Birthday Cakes

My favorite cake recipe for Birthday parties.  I love this recipe, because I don't even have to substitute ingredients.  It's milk-free , easy to make and  so yummy.

Black Midnight Cake from Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

I like to add milk free chocolate chips to the batter before I bake the cake.  I have tried and like Tropical Sourcechocolate chips and Ghiradelli® chocolate chips.  Although, Ghiradelli chips are manufactured on the same equipment that also makes products containing milk.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, 2 round pans, 9x1 1/2 inches or 3 rounds pans, 8x1 1/2 inches.  Beat all ingredients 30 seconds on low-speed, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat on high-speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan(s).
Bake rectangle 40 to 45 minutes, rounds 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool about ten minutes in pan on wire rack and then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

I also use this recipe for cupcakes and bake 18 to 20 minutes.

Below are a few cakes that we have  made over the past few years with this recipe.  I can't take all the credit.  My mother has made most of them.  When we were living too far away for my mother to save me, I gave it a shot and made the elephant and golf course.  The kids love being surprised every year and I love coming up with ideas and seeing it come together.

My favorite frosting recipe.
1/4 cup dairy free margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons dairy free milk; I like Silk Soy milk