I ❤️ to celebrate birthdays because it is another year of life as well the opportunity to spread joy and make someone feel special. And of course, another opportunity to bake! Featured here: Peanut Butter Cup Cake with homemade Peanut Brittle and chocolate drizzle atop. Recipes courtesy of:
Peanut Brittle: #baketolive #livetobake #livetoeat #palatablethoughts #EEEEEATS #chocolate #peanutbutter #cake #peanutbrittle #birthday #cake #foodporn

Crazy Chocolate Kahlua Cake

It was a team effort that went into the decorating of this cake. Because “teamwork makes the dream work!”. Truer words were never spoken and this applies to many aspects of life.

Slice close-up just before devouring.

I like decorating with edible items like cookies, candy and fruit. Not that fondant isn’t edible, but it sure isn’t tasty like the natural goodness of fruit, is it?  For this cake I had the image in my mind of lining the outside of the cake with those twirly-flaky cookies.  But where to find them in Midtown West? I tried my local D&Y Natural Land before heading into Manhattan on the day I was to bring this cake in and much to my surprise they had exactly what I was looking for. My office-mate had the toasted coconut chips for the topper. It’s amazing how things just come together sometimes. The point of this cake (I look for ANY chance to bake because is there really ever a reason needed to bake? There’s reason in the clouds to bake!) was to celebrate belated birthdays for my intern who recently turned 21, for a teammate who recently turned 25, and our ring leader whose birthday has remained a mystery until this day. Because intern has just turned the monumental 21, I worked the booze-factor into my cake. My inspiration for what to bake always comes from the smallest details, just as this. Not that turning 21 is any small detail! It’s a major landmark in a young adult’s development! For now the fake I.D. is not needed!  (who needs a fake I.D. when one has a sister 3 years older. Not that I was drinking before the legal age anyway……….) 

Behold, the beautiful decorated cake above, and a slice close-up below that. I love the slice close-ups and the partial cake shots if I remember to snag them, because it shows what’s on the inside. Because it’s what’s on the inside that counts anyway, right? Fortunately for me, I found a man with good insides and outsides. Double rainbow! =D

I perused Kahlua cake recipes online for a while, as I usually source my recipes from online sources such as,,,,,, and a variety of blogs here and there. Martha Stewart, Barefoot Contessa, and The Pioneer Woman are a few of my trusty back-pocket faves. I opted for this cake based on the ingredients, recipe execution simplicity (I wanted a quick recipe for this one because I didn’t have a lot of time the night before), and my assumption that it would translate well to a layer cake rather than the called for bundt cake. Believe it or not, I still am not in possession of a bundt cake pan. Nor a pastry cutter. Nor a foamer. Nor so many things that I cannot wait to add to my baking tools repertoire in years to come, and the bakery to come. =D

Behold, the recipe:


Recipe adapted from Baked Bree’s blog:

1 box chocolate cake mix (without pudding)
1 box (3.75-ounce) instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups sour cream
4 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Kahlua
1 (6-ounce) package chocolate chips

Kahlua Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons Kahlua

Take note that this recipe calls for not only pudding mix, but also boxed cake mix. Boxed cake mix?!?!  Boxed anything, in my heart, is sacrilegious. It just does not make sense. Why used a boxed mix when you can avoid all those preservatives, added sodium, chemicals/who knows what, when you can simply make from scratch? I truly believe everything tastes better from scratch. But sometimes, just sometimes, you have to leverage the option of the boxed mix. Or fall prey to, that is. =P 

The glaze didn’t work out quite a beautiful as the one in BB’s featured picture, but then again, pictures never truly translate to the real time experience. I topped the cake with the glaze and while I did not get the color or consistency expected, the top layer of the cake did absorb the glaze and made it that much moister. The toasted coconut chips and Pirouette cookies really make this cake. Truly. What a beauty. Almost too pretty to eat. But we had no problem doing that!

Bake on, eat on, and live on!