Best Chocolate Cake Ever
cakes, Favorite Bakes

Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Best Chocolate Cake Ever
Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Last weekend my youngest had his very first sleepover. This meant I had some extra time (lets be real, A LOT of extra time) for me to go through my recipes and see what I haven’t blogged about. I realized that I have never posted the recipe for the cake (the best chocolate cake ever to be exact) that helped me fall in love with baking!

This chocolate cake recipe was sent to me by my biggest baking fan when I first expressed an interest in baking. I’ve been hooked on baking ever since. After a few tweaks and tries I was able to create the very best chocolate cake ever! Trust me, this is a cake your whole world will beg you to bake again and again. Below is the recipe for the best chocolate cake ever along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¾ unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Ganache Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cup of heavy cream

Cake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle of the oven. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat combine butter and 1 cup of water. Heat until butter melts.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
  • In a large bowl (either stand mixer or hand mixer) whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add butter mixture. Mix on low until just combined.
  • Add yogurt mixture. Mix on medium until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Dividing evenly, pour cake batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes. 
  • Cool for 25-30 minutes.

Ganache Directions

  • Put chocolate chips into a medium bowl.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until hot.
  • Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and let stand for one minute.
  • Gently whisk until smooth.
  • Divide ganache evenly into two bowls.
  • Let cool stirring occasionally until spreadable.

Building the Cake

  • Place one cake on a serving plate, bottom side up.
  • Spread the top with ganache in an even layer all the way to the edges of the cake.
  • Top with the other cake, bottom side down.
  • Gently reheat the remaining ganache in the microwave for 5-10 second until pourable.
  • Pour over the cake letting it drip down the sides.
  • Once the ganache has set, slice, serve and enjoy!
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake and Merit Coffee

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

  • This cake is very easy to over bake. If you need to bake for more than 35 minutes, make sure you watch it closely. If the edges start to darken it’s time to take it out. The cake will continue to bake while it’s cooling.
  • Don’t forget to let the cakes cool completely before putting it together with the ganache. 
  • You can put the ganache you’re using to spread on the first cake layer in the refrigerator if it’s taking too long to become spreadable.
  • Careful with the ganache. It’s dangerously good. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself over the sink licking the spoon without even realizing what’s happening. 
  • This cake is a great dessert for a fun dinner party or can be devoured as a decadent breakfast (my personal favorite way to eat cake) with your favorite cup of coffee. Here’s a link one of the best coffee shops in Austin if you’re ever in the area
  • This cake is best enjoyed within a few days.
  • If you liked this recipe, check out my recipe for Mint Chiffon Cake.
  • As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!
Best Chocolate Cake Ever
cakes, Favorite Bakes

Mint Chiffon Cake

Mint Chiffon Cake

Confession… I haven’t baked since Christmas except for three birthday cakes for three very special people. I spent several months during the holidays focused on baking holiday treats and I needed some time to reset and refocus on healthy eating. I love baking so much, and I’m good at it, like really good, but I’m also an avid gym goer and very conscious about the amount of sugar and gluten I put in my body. Those two things don’t exactly mesh (real talk “healthy baking” is never as good as sugary floury baking) so I took a small break from the baking world.

During my brief baking hiatus, I didn’t realize how much I missed baking until my cousin’s husband reached out and asked me to bake a very special treat for my cousin’s 40th birthday bash. Her favorite flavor is mint. He sent me an idea for a vanilla mint chiffon cake, and I ran with it. I wanted this cake to be perfect for my cousin, Haley (also the 20+ people I had never met before, no pressure!). So I baked this cake, tweaked this cake, and ate this cake at least 3 or 4 different times before my taste tester and I crowned the recipe below the winner. Baking this cake not only relit my baking fire, but it created the most delicious, light, spongy, and minty chiffon cake you’ll ever bake and eat! Below you’ll find the recipe along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Mint Chiffon Cake with Mint Infused Icing


Chiffon Cake

  1. 2 bunches (or 1 packet) fresh mint, leaves picked
  2. ¾ cup whole milk
  3. 2 ¼ cups plain flour
  4. 1 ½ cups extra fine granulated sugar
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 8 large egg whites
  8. 7 large egg yolks
  9. 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  10. 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste


  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 bunch (or 1/2 packet) fresh mint, leaves picked (use the other half of the mint packet for cake decoration)

Directions for Cake

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine fresh mint leaves and milk together in a saucepan and heat slowly until simmering. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely to room temperature. Once cool, strain out the mint leaves ensuring you squeeze the leaves to release all the flavor.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, half the sugar, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, oil, mint flavored milk, and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until smooth, the batter will be thick. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Continue whisking and slowly stream in the remaining sugar until stiff shiny peaks form. Stir one third of the egg whites briskly into the egg yolk-flour mixture. Then gently fold through the remaining egg whites. The mixture should be light and foamy. 
  4. Scrape into a large, un-greased tube pan. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 60 minutes, or until springing back when lightly pressed. Check the cake at 30 minutes and if the top is browning or cracking, oil a piece of foil and cover the top of the cake. 
  5. Remove cake from oven and turn the pan upside down immediately (the cake should stick to the pan) and leave to cool completely – this helps the cake keep it’s shape. When the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it, and turn it out.

Directions – Icing 

  1. Combine fresh mint leaves and heavy cream together in a saucepan and heat slowly until simmering. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely to room temperature. Once cool, strain out the mint leaves ensuring you squeeze the leaves to release all the flavor.
  2. Whisk together powdered sugar and infused heavy cream to form medium or thick icing. Pour over the top, letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with mint leaves and edible flowers.
Mint Infused Icing Drip

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did

  1. Don’t use skim milk with this recipe. WHOLE milk is necessary to infuse the mint. I used skim milk the first time, and the cake had zero mint flavor. ZERO.
  2. Make sure you slowly bring the milk to a simmer. Don’t burn your milk or heat it too fast. The mint needs to simmer for it to soak up that minty flavor. You’ll know it’s done when the milk has a light green tint to it.
  3. Don’t skimp on squeezing the mint. Most of the flavor in the mint is still there after steeping in the milk. Squeeze Squeeze Squeeze until there is not one drop of liquid left in those leaves.
  4. Sift all your dry ingredients. This will prevent clumps in your batter and icing.
  5. Folding egg whites is a lot harder than it sounds, but they must be incorporated slowly and carefully into the batter. If you’re too fast, you won’t get the light airy batter that makes it the chiffon.
  6. Don’t forget to check your cake halfway through the bake. If the top is browning add a piece of foil over the top.
  7. Don’t spray your cake pan. It will stick, but that’s part of this bake. It easily comes out when a knife slides around the edge.
  8. Be sure to let your cake cool completely before trying to remove it from the pan. I didn’t give the first couple of cakes time to cool, and they were a pain to remove from the pan. The last few I let sit on the counter for an hour or longer and they came right out.
  9. Icing… I tried it in what felt like a million different ways. I tried lemon icing (although delicious the lemon completely stole the show from the mint). I tried super thin, medium, and thick. The mint icing was the winner, and I went with a thicker icing for the party. Both the medium and thick icing worked great (add more sugar for a thicker icing and more cream for a thinner one), but make sure you go with mint or even a plain would be tasty.
  10. Dripping icing is tricky. I’ve found the best way is to pour it all on top and drag it down a little with a butter knife where you want the drips. I used a tiny mixing bowl with a spout, but a measuring cup would work just as well.
  11. Last but not least a little tip for myself. Keep baking. You love it. Don’t worry about the sugar and the gluten, that’s part of the fun. Cut a sliver to taste and share with hungry friends, family, and neighbors, but don’t ever stop baking. You enjoy it, baking is your creative outlet, it’s one of your happy places, it’s even at times therapeutic, and did I mention how good you are at it? If any of you bakers or bloggers or readers and eaters have tips on what to do with extra bakes, send them my way.
  12. As always… don’t forget to enjoy!
Mint Chiffon Cake
cakes, Favorite Bakes

Tres Leches Cake

If you’ve been following my blog, you know most of my baking and blogging inspiration comes from trying new desserts at restaurants all over Austin TX. This week is no different, we’re baking a new favorite, Tres Leches Cake (Milk Cake). I’ve heard of tres leches cake, but didn’t know what it was and had never eaten it. Last weekend I got the chance to try it for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS… A cake soaked in milk… where has this been all my life?!?! It was delicious, sweet and the texture was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. Of course, I had to try and recreate it. Below is the recipe for my Tres Leches Cake along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Mae Bakes Tres Leches Cake


1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup white sugar

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups 1% milk

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.

Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.

Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Let cake cool in the pan for at least an hour.

Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.

Whip whipping cream, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Let the cake sit in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy!

Tres Leches Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Topping

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

The batter will be thick. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to have a cookie batter-like consistency.

Don’t be weirded out by how the cake looks after it bakes. Once it soaks up the milk it will fluff up and turn into the delicious picture below. (I almost trashed mine because I was afraid I had overbaked it, don’t do what I almost did)

GIve the cake time to soak up the milk mixture before topping with the whipped cream.

I topped mine with cinnamon, but fruit like strawberries or blueberries would make great toppings too.

This cake is best served after a night in the refrigerator, but you can serve it after a few hours if you’re pressed for time.

“Every cake should be soaked in milk”- #1 Mae Bakes Taste Tester. Truer words have never been spoken 🙂 If you love milk, this cake is for you. It’s big enough to share or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week if you want to keep it to yourself!

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Easy Tres Leches Cake
Breads, cakes, Favorite Bakes

Pumpkin (Cake) Bread

Have you ever had Pumpkin Bread? I was a newby until my son had his school Thanksgiving Lunch last week. The one thing about his school lunch that he could not stop talking about was the PUMPKIN CAKE! I later found out that it’s really called pumpkin bread. We’ll call it both because it’s sweet like a cake, but looks and cuts like a loaf of bread. When Clark (my oldest) asked if I could learn how to bake pumpkin cake for our Thanksgiving, I couldn’t say no. Despite the bar being set super high I think we knocked this one out of the park. Below is the recipe with a few tips.

Pumpkin Cake Bread with Brown Sugar Topping

Brown Sugar Topping– 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 all purpose flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Bread– 1 15oz can of pure pumpkin puree, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon salt

Maple Syrup Glaze– 1/2 cup powder sugar, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Brown Sugar Topping Instructions-in a small bowl mix all ingredient, store in refrigerator while making pumpkin cake bread.

Pumpkin (Cake) Bread Instructions– Preheat oven to 325F and butter the sides of a 9×5 loaf pan. Line with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Set aside. In a separate larger bowl using an electric mixer; mix together oil and pumpkin puree until combined. Mix in half of the dry ingredients and add the milk. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour in pan and spread evenly. Remove brown sugar topping, break up with a fork and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Maple Syrup Glaze– Mix together sugar and maple syrup. Pour glaze over loaf while the loaf is still hot. Let the bread cool for 20 minutes before serving. VIOLA! Pumpkin Cake Bread!

Tips, Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did– 1. Whatever you do, DO NOT forget to line the pan with parchment paper. I skipped it thinking it wouldn’t matter since I “buttered” my pan, but it’s a loaf… with a topping. Dumb Dumb move by me because the parchment is what helps get the loaf out of the pan. Otherwise you have to dump it… LITERALLY. I ended up making a giant mess, but learned a valuable lesson. 2. The brown sugar topping is probably the best part for the kids to help. My boys usually get bored with baking, but once I gave them some forks to break up the sugar and sprinkle on the loaf they were in HEAVEN. 3. Don’t be scared. It sounds really hard, but this is by far the easiest bake I’ve made. And maybe even the tastiest. 4. The bread will last for 10 days if stored in the fridge. Wrap it in foil or store in plastic containers and reheat for 10-20 seconds in the microwave. I promise it tastes freshly baked even out of the microwave. 5. ENJOY!