Chocolate Birthday Cake

Every year on my birthday, I go all out on Dessert. I indulge in something sinfully delicious, and it's been a tradition that I really really really enjoy. Like really. Of course I don't wait a whole year to have dessert, but if I do happen to be in a situation where dessert is present, I usually don't eat a big (regular) serving. (Even though I'd be all over that warm brownie and ice cream.)

But on my birthday, I eat a nice big serving of my favorite dessert...

And usually, I'll eat it for dinner.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

It all started in 2010  when I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby. It was my birthday, and my husband and I went to the Del Mar fair in San Diego. We had been walking all day and I'd watched my husband eat one fried treat after the next. I was insanely jealous because at that time, I was still really careful with what I ate.

As we drove home that night, I got a little sad because I hadn't allowed my self to enjoy a treat, even on my DANG BIRTHDAY!! I decided that night I wasn't going to restrict my self so much, and I would allow my self to enjoy dessert here and there without feeling so much guilt.

So I made my husband stop at In N Out for a chocolate milkshake.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

I remember enjoying that milkshake SO much, almost feeling a kid who had no shame in pounding down a few pieces of birthday cake without their parents noticing.

Since then, I've made it a tradition to have a rich dessert each year on my birthday. And for the past 4 years I've made it a tradition to have it be an insanely rich chocolate cake.

This year I asked my mom to send me chocolate cake recipe from my grandmas cookbook. She sent me this one:

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(If you've ever made The Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake, you will notice the recipe is pretty dang similar.)

Now, let's talk about oleo!

Just kidding. Do they still make oleo?

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

I decided that my grandmas PTA cake would be the best base for my birthday cake. But I didn't stop there.

Next, I made a Whipped Chocolate Buttercream. Back in the days when I used to make cupcakes for people, buttercream was my most requested frosting. I could make it with my eyes closed, and could eat it with my eyes closed too!

Then to top it all off, I poured a dark chocolate ganache over the entire cake.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

Chocolate ganache IS my favorite food, in all seriousness.

If I read chocolate ganache on a  dessert menu, I order it. No matter what.

Now, You could leave the cake as is, but I think we all know that sprinkles on birthday cakes are a requirement. Bonus points if you use chocolate jimmies! My grocery store didn't have any, which practically sent me into depression, but I recovered quickly.

Rainbow sprinkles work wonders.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake

Ingredients

  • (For the cake)
  • 2 sticks butter (or 1 cup coconut oil)
  • heaping 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. flour (can use white whole wheat, spelt, or oat flour)
  • 2 c. sugar (can use coconut sugar)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • (For the Whipped Chocolate Buttercream)
  • 3 sticks softened butter
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 heaping TB. cocoa powder
  • 5-6 TB. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract
  • (For the Ganache)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar, then set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan, add the water and bring to a boil.
  4. In another sauce pan melt the butter and cocoa powder. Once the water is boiling, add it to the butter/cocoa mixture and let boil for about a minute.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool for a minute.
  6. Fold in the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture. Don't over mix.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, then eggs, vanilla, and then baking soda.
  8. Slowly fold it into the cake batter.
  9. Grease two round cake pans, or a jelly roll pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before removing.
  11. (Make the Whipped Buttercream)
  12. In a mixer, whip the butter until it's creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat on high until whipped and all combined.
  13. Spread the frosting on top of one cake layer, then place the other cake on top. Spread more frosting on top and all around the sides. Use all the frosting, mostly in the middle and on top. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to set while you make the ganache.
  14. In a small bowl add the chocolate.
  15. In a sauce pan, heat the heavy cream on low/medium heat until it is about to boil. (Don't overcook.)
  16. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then stir it slowly till the chocolate has melted and it's creamy. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so it cools.
  17. Pour the ganache over the entire cake, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
  18. (Keep cake refrigerated, but let it sit out for about 20-30 minutes before serving.)

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Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish
Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake via The Diva Dish

So the moral of the story is, eat dessert on your birthday. No if's, and's, or big butts about it.

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

I don't mean to brag, but I consider myself a connoisseur of the chocolate aisle in the grocery store. I find myself there often.

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

I'm often browsing the different types of chocolates, mostly dark, and I always find myself reaching for the same brand of chocolate,

Green & Black's Organic Chocolate

. They are an all organic and Fairtrade certified company and they are my favorite chocolates to snack on and bake with. During the day I'll grab a few squares of the 85% Dark Chocolate, and BAM! I'm a new woman!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

With summer quickly approaching in Vegas, I find my kids (and myself) craving cold and satisfying treats. Popsicles and smoothies are usually our go-to, but lately my kids have been on a milkshake kick. Do ya blame them?!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

I wanted to create something that was light and refreshing, but also indulgent and sweet for those hot summer afternoons. I knew that the Dark Chocolate Mint Bar would go perfectly with coconut ice cream! But then...

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

Fold in that Mint Dark Chocolate in some coconut whipped cream for a topping on the milkshake and it takes everything to a whole new level.

A level I like to call perfection.

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • (For the Milkshake)
  • 1 pint good quality coconut ice cream OR coconut Greek yogurt frozen ice cubes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 12 squares GREEN & BLACK'S ORGANIC Mint Dark Chocolate
  • Ice-optional
  • (For the Whipped Cream)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, placed upside down in the fridge overnight
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 4 TB. pure cane powdered sugar
  • 6 squares GREEN & BLACK'S ORGANIC Mint Dark Chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Make the whipped cream first. Turn the can right side up and open. Remove all of the thick cream and discard or save the water for later use.
  2. Whip the cream and the rest of the ingredients (not the chocolate) together with beaters or a mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  5. To make the milkshake, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.
  6. Top with the whip cream.
  7. Eat immediately and enjoy!
  8. Serves 2 milkshakes or 4 small ones.

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Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

The second I finished whipping these up my girls were jumping up and down begging for a glass! Too bad I didn't share... Just kidding! I let them have a sip ;).

They loved the little bits of mint chocolate inside, which added a whole new level of excitement for them. Being a kid is the greatest right? The whipped cream was probably my favorite and I can definitely see using it again for other sweet treats in the future!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Coconut Milkshake w/ Mint Chip Coconut Whipped Cream

Have you ever tried Green & Black's Organic Chocolate? It's amazing and made in great taste! There are 11 flavors!

Dark Chocolate:  Dark 70%, Dark 85%, Hazelnut & Currant, Mint, Maya Gold, Ginger, and Spiced Chili

Milk Chocolate:  Milk Chocolate, Almond, and Toffee

White Chocolate:  White Chocolate

If you had to choose your favorite chocolate bar, which would it be? Answer in the comments below for a chance to win a $100 cash equivalent gift card plus a GREEN & BLACK'S ORGANIC Chocolate prize pack! (I always choose 85% Dark Chocolate every time! :) )  

This sweepstakes is sponsored and fulfilled by BlogHer

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GREEN & BLACK'S ORGANIC Chocolate. All opinions are 100% mine.

Entry Instructions:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This sweepstakes is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/21/2015 – 6/30/2015.

Be sure to visit the Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts

*My kids request donuts often, and I love baked donuts that I can make from home as a healthier alternative! These are made with pancake mix, so half the work is already done for you! Enjoy these Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts with your kids anytime without the sugar overload!* ********************************************************************************************

We live somewhat close to a donut shop, and every so often on a  Saturday we will walk over with the kids and get them their favorite chocolate donuts! There is also a green juice place next door, so usually I'll grab my breakfast there and then stare them down with jealousy as they eat.

It's a wonderful family tradition.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

I've made quite a few baked donuts at home, but I always seem to have a problem with the texture. Especially if I have used bananas in the batter, then I just feel like I'm eating a circle sized banana bread. But lately I've been baking with pancake batter, and for some reason the texture has been just perfect!

Light, airy, but still cake like. All that's missing is a rich chocolate frosting with 1/4 cup of chocolate sprinkles on each donut.

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Even better, these things bake up in a little over 10 minutes, and you don't have to wait in a long line only to find out the parent in front of you took the last chocolate donut that would have belonged to your 4 year old. Thank goodness for a game of rock, paper, scissors with your husband to see who has to relay the message to her...#firstworldtoddlerproblems

Speaking of my husband, he ONLY eats glazed donuts. I just. I can't. It's all about the cake donut my friends. Am I right?

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Also, I've talked about my love for Kodiak Cakes before, and I swear they aren't paying me to say this, but they have been my favorite pancake mix to use! I just LOVE the ingredients, so if you haven't ever tried it, definitely do so!

And while you are at it, drizzle some good quality melted chocolate over the top of your donuts. When the chocolate hardens on the soft donut it's OH SO GOOD!

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pancake mix-I used Kodiak Cakes
  • 2 TB. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB. melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. milk of choice
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Whisk the pancake mix, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar together.
  2. Then add the egg, coconut oil, and milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Grease a donut pan.
  5. Add the batter in a large plastic bag, and then cut the corner off.
  6. Pipe the batter into each donut, filling almost all the way to the top.
  7. (This should make about 5 regular sized donuts.)
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
  9. Let cool and then remove from the pan.
  10. Top with desired toppings~I drizzled some melted white chocolate over and it was delicious!

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Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish
Healthy Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts from The Diva Dish

In the spirit of Valentines, feel free to sprinkle a touch of pink love on each donut. It appeals to little eyes even more! No pink box needed ;).

Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)

Who doesn't love pancakes in the morning?! What if we turned them into Mini Pancake Muffins perfect for those little hands! (And not to mention, perfect to eat when time is short!) Keep reading for the recipe! *********************************************************************************************************

I've never understood people that don't eat breakfast, or aren't very hungry in the morning. I feel like they can't be trusted...

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I go to bed thinking about what I'm going to have for breakfast, I wake up in the middle of the night wanting that breakfast, and I get up in the morning rushing to go eat that breakfast. Almost before I do anything, like put my glasses on. Or get my children out of their bed.

Luckily for me, my girls are just as excited about breakfast, and usually remind me at 6 in the morning it's time to get up RIGHT THIS SECOND and make it for them because they might pass out of starvation.

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My four year is the most particular about the foods she eats, so I usually get asked every morning if she can have Cheerios, water, and five pounds of blueberries. As easy as it is to sometimes let her get her way, I'm trying my best to offer her different suggestions. (And let's be honest, blueberries aren't cheap when you buy them by the pounds...)

I usually can do pancakes with her, but not waffles. Unless I lie and tell her it's a pancake, then I'm in the clear. But don't add blueberries to the batter because she will react as if you cut off all her hair in the middle of the night while she was sleeping. Dramatic? No, total reality. She definitely doesn't get it from me...

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So I took a big leap of faith and decided to make muffins out of pancake batter. I thought it would be fun to make them bite because for some reason kids LOVE mini foods! I added a few chocolate chips on top, which was a risk, but it definitely went over well. I also thought about making these banana muffins, which you could do, but I bought 47 cans at the beginning of pumpkin season so I'm trying my best to use those up!

Oh boy...these were good!

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My girls dipped theirs in pure maple syrup, but you could definitely drizzle it on top as well! Even adding a little melted butter or coconut oil on top would be heavenly!

These, my friends are 4 year old dramatic princess approved!

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Mini Pancake Muffins (Pumpkin)

Ingredients

  • 2 c. pancake mix, I used kodiak cakes protein pancakes because they have the best ingredients
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • 1 chia egg=1 TB. chia seeds mixed w/ 3 TB. cold water. (let sit for 5 minutes.) OR one egg
  • 1/2 c. coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree-Can sub mashed banana
  • 1 TB. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TB. pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips to top muffins with

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. (Leave out the chocolate chips.)
  2. Spray a mini muffin pan with oil, or use mini muffin liners. Add batter to the pan, filling about 3/4 full. Top with a few chocolate chips.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until they are done.
  4. *If using an egg, these may cook faster than if using a chia egg, so watch muffins carefully!)

3.2.1310

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Just looking at these muffins makes me hungry for 2nd breakfast!

Wait, what? You don't have 2nd breakfasts? Oh...It must be a 29 weeks pregnant thing than right?

Right????!!! ;)

Just Desserts Mother's Day Recipes

As promised, I have all the recipes from THIS Mother's Day: All Desserts Menu. I will say that I've gladly been enjoying each and every single dessert on a...daily basis. Especially the Chocolate Truffles! I've had to fight my husband off for those. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Mother's Day! The recipes will be a link that you click on that will take you to a PDF Word Document of the recipe (Since there are 4 recipes on this post.) Once you click on the PDF, you can print them out!

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Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes with Vegan Vanilla Frosting 

I've been wanting to make a vegan frosting FOREVER that didn't use powdered sugar! So grateful I found the perfect recipe to play around with, and actually make a FLUFFY frosting that I could add to a piping bag!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes w: Vegan Chocolate Frosting

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars (TO DIE FOR)

I find myself sneaking a bite here and there from the fridge. They remind me of no bake peanut butter cookies, which I remember making and eating all the time as a kid!

Click the link below for the recipe:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzled Strawberries 

The ganache is so simple to cook up and incredible delicious, you will most likely start making it often and putting it on everything. Even pizza...maybe?

Click the link below for the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Covered Strawberries

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Rich Chocolate Truffles(I WILL MAKE THESE WEEKLY!)

If you have ever had  a truffle from See's candy that just satisfies that chocolate craving like no other...well, life is about to get a whole lot better :). These cure ANY chocolate craving, and they have the added health benefits! Cocoa powder, healthy fats from coconut oil, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup!

Click the link below for the recipe.

Rich Chocolate Truffles

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Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream & Peanut Butter Avocado Ice Cream

Let's talk about this issue I have with our rental house. (You probably thought I was going to say I had an issue with my chipped nail polish. Sadly...No.)

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So for some reason, our precious little rental has carpet in the kitchen/dinning room. Fine. Whatever.

Unfortunately I have this one year old I like to call DESTRUCTABLE/DESTROY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT/GET INTO EVERYTHING/THERE ARE STAINS EVERYWHERE BECAUSE OF ...this one year old. For example, this morning  I was trying to fix our curtains that happened to fall and almost land on my head when I moved them. (Ahem. Husband.) As I was doing this, my one year old found my nail polish (the pretty chipped one I'm wearing), and thought she needed to paint her toes.

Now there are nail polish foot prints and stains through out the kitchen/dinning room carpet. It's lovely. Right next to it is a blue paint stain that my three year old made. Then right next to that is my brown couch that has blue marker written all over the cushions. Like I said, lovely.

I highly doubt we will get our deposit back.

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After living in our rental for over a year now, I finally decided food and art projects should probably take place out side. I know...I FINALLY decided that? What took so long Ari? Did my house have to look like a Crayola Box exploded before I did something?

Recently, I was sent these adorable girly bibs from JJ Cole to review, and the girls and I decided to make some ice cream and test them out. These bibs will soon be released at BuyBuyBaby.com, so look out for them! I figured the girls would eat the ice cream like they normally do, dripping everywhere/all over their face...But just my luck they ate the ice cream as clean as I've ever seen them. But I did love the bibs because they were wide enough to wear it covered all of their top. And any ice cream that did drip, I just wiped right off!

For the record, it took a good 10 minutes to stop the girls from fighting over the bib that had a little more pink than the others.

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The ice cream the girls ate was avocado based, which is a great healthy fat for kids! (Great for brain growth!) It doesn't have any avocado flavoring to it, so need to worry about a guacamole flavored ice cream :)! The mix ins are so versatile, you could pair it with almost anything. An added bonus is the creamy-ness that the avocado adds, which gives it the perfect ice cream texture!

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Peanut Butter Avocado Ice Cream & Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • • Sweet Cherry Avocado Ice Cream:

  • • 1 frozen avocado, cut up

  • • 1 frozen banana, diced

  • • 1/2 c. frozen dark cherries

  • • 2 TB. honey

  • • PB Avocado Ice Cream:

  • • 2 TB. natural PB

  • • 1 frozen avocado, cut up

  • • 1 frozen banana, diced

  • • 2 TB. honey

Instructions

  1. The directions are the same for both ice creams.

  2. Blend ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy. If needed add a little milk to make it blend easier.

  3. Eat immediately or store in a closed container to let it harden a little. It will be perfect for an ice cream cone after it's hardened for at least 30 minutes!

  4. Enjoy!

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I'm thinking I should probably pay someone to professionally clean my carpets, or I could just buy a cute rug to place over the top?

Or...I could just watch my kids more closely...

* A special thanks to Michelle for sending my girls and I these cute samples of JJCole bibs! I was not paid to write this review, just asked to express my opinion. These bibs will be available at BuyBuyBaby.com, so if you love them, check them out! Thanks again!*