Chocolate Banana Bread #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

New, inventive recipes are always fun – but sometimes you just want a classic.  We love banana bread around here. Add in lots of chocolate, and you’ve got a treat that barely lasts 24 hours.

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It was also a great opportunity to showcase another favorite of ours – Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil. Whether or not you’re a coconut oil fan, you should give this a try. It’s what converted me! It really does have a fabulous butter flavor – you won’t miss the real thing.

Lots of other chocolate goodness this way, too! —>

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Chocolate Banana Bread
(from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, measured melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed bananas, approx. 2-3 bananas
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips dark chocolate chips for healthier
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Run the oats through a blender or food processor until the consistency of flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. Whisk in the yogurt and coconut oil. Whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Stir in the mashed banana.

To the same bowl, add the oat flour, salt, baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the pan.

Fresh Corn Salsa (5)

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Whisky Chocolate Bacon Chili #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite parts of #Choctoberfest is getting a chance to show how versatile chocolate can be. Everyone always jumps to cakes and brownies, but there’s so much more than that – how about some chocolate for dinner?

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This delicious chili uses a full bar of Forte chocolate but if you’re thinking “chocolate with meat? gross!”, you’ve got it all wrong. The chocolate isn’t going to be obvious when you dig in, but it add a great depth of flavor and an amazing smoothness to the chili.

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Forte’s motto is “Celebrate Life through Chocolate”, which I’m totally on board with. This chili is simple enough that you can celebrate any day.

Forte is offering a special deal during Choctoberfest – use code CHOCTOBERFEST2018 for buy 3 get 1 free chocolate bars.

And be sure to check out all the other chocolaty goodness being offered up today here: An InLinkz Link-up

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Whisky Chocolate Bacon Chili
(adapted from Wallflower Kitchen)
Serves 6

8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1 red onion, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup whiskey
2 oz. dark chocolate (I used Forte 64% dark)
Green onions, chopped

In a large pot, crisp the chopped bacon over medium high heat. When cooked, remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon but leave the drippings. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the chunks as you go. When it’s about halfway cooked, add in the onion and peppers. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft.

Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and cumin. Bring to a boil. Stir in the whisky and half of the bacon. Reduce to low and simmer for an hour.

Stir in the dark chocolate until melted and evenly combined. Serve topped with chopped green onions and remaining bacon.

Fresh Corn Salsa (3)

Chocolate Witch’s Brew Cupcakes #Chocotoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble…

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What shall we add to the witch’s brew today? Essence of mummy? A pumpkin picked at midnight?

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These adorable cupcakes are reminiscent of a witch’s cauldron, so of course, there’s a magic potion inside – courtesy of Sprinkle Pop! I used two of their sprinkle mixes in these cupcakes and they were so, so perfect for getting the desired effect.

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I used the Lime Green Sprinkle Mix on top of the cupcakes to give the image of a bubbling cauldron. The cupcakes are stuffed with their Monster Mashup Sprinkle Mix. The kids had so much fun biting into the cupcakes to see what the witch had cooked up in her cauldron – ghosts, eyeballs, mummies, and pumpkins!

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These were a quick from-scratch batch of cupcakes and buttercream, but you could always use a boxed mix and icing if you’re more comfortable – the sprinkles are the real stars here!

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This is also the first recipe I’m sharing for this year’s #Choctoberfest – you can check out a TON of other chocolaty goodness from my fellow bloggers right here: An InLinkz Link-up

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Chocolate Witch’s Brew Cupcakes
(adapted from Sugar Spun Run and Wine and Glue)
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot coffee

For the icing:
1/2
 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the oil and milk until combined. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the coffee and stir until evenly combined – it will be quite thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each well 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a knife inserted  comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and beat. Add in the vanilla, milk, and food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated.

After the cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer or small knife to cut holes into the cupcakes. Fill the holes with sprinkles. Ice with the butter cream then dip each cupcake into the green sprinkles. Top with additional sprinkles if desired.

These are best served the same day.

Fresh Corn Salsa (4)

Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls

This post is like a love letter shout-out to my moms club friends. Because, oh, do they humor me.

It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I was super lucky to fall into this group shortly after becoming a mom. Having a local group of women going through the same stage of life has been invaluable for my sanity.

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And, like I said, they humor me. When I come up with something I get excited about, I can count on them to jump in and be excited too. My latest pet project? Monthly potluck dinners. This month’s theme was “Back to School” so everyone brought slow cooker meals and freezer-friendly casseroles. Next month, we’re doing “Fall Favorites”.

Besides the good company and the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally make, this also gives me a captive audience for recipe testing. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls for Christmas for the last few years, but I keep eyeing recipes that are variations. This sweet combo is amazing as a decedent breakfast or special dessert.

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Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls
(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 16

For the dough:
1 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
12-oz. package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

To make the dough:

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in the sugar and yeast using a spoon. Cover with a towel and let stand 5-10 minutes, until yeast is activated and looks foamy. Add the softened butter, eggs, and salt and mix until combined but the butter will be chunky. Slowly add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough into an even 10×24 inch rectangle.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, toss the still-frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mash the raspberries so they are small pieces. Spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 24-inch-long log. Cut into 15 even pieces. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Cover the rolls with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the chocolate chips are melted. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

To make the glaze:

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls. Serve warm.

Fresh Corn Salsa (6)

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares #FoodBloggerLove

Today we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with some #FoodBloggerLove and I’m so thrilled to introduce you guys to Nicole from For the Love of Food.

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I was so excited to get to know her blog over the last few weeks – she and I are super similar! She also has two little ones that help her out in the kitchen, family meals are her bread and butter, and she’s crazy for anything chocolate peanut butter.

Yeah, I know – it was like looking in a mirror!

I knew I wanted to make a treat Nicole would love – and I also wanted it to be something her girls could help with. These Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect fit!

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My little helpers helped with the measuring and stirring. These treats are no bake, but they do need a few minutes on the stove top to melt the ingredients together so I handled that. They only take about five minutes to prep – perfect for a toddler attention span! – and they’re so, so good. If a peanut butter cup and a crunch bar had a baby, this would be the result.

Nicole, I know you’ll love these! I hope you and your girls get a chance to make them soon! Happy #FoodBloggerLove!

If you’re looking for some more blogger love, check out the #FoodBloggerLove linkup here:

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
(slightly adapted from The Big Man’s World)
Makes 20 Bars

3 cups crisped rice cereal
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.

Add cereal to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until all melted together and well combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out, and refrigerate for several hours.

Once cooled and solid, use the paper to lift out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in a fridge.

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes for 2 #RecipesforTwo

What’s better than chocolate lava cake? Chocolate lava cake with warm, melty peanut butter sauce in the middle. Seriously you guys – this is what dreams are made of.

We fell in love with lava cakes after a cruise a few years ago and they’ve since become my go-to special occasion dessert. And this one is freaking amazing. If you’re a chocolate-peanut butter fiend like me, you will love this! That melty peanut butter is really something special.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes just two little cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or any other occasion where you want something special for a smaller crowd. The recipe can, of course, be scaled up to make more – but sometimes it’s nice to have something already sized for two!

 

Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes
(adapted from The Cookie Rookie)
Serves 2

2 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. German Baking Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg + 1 egg yolk
Pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. flour with the cocoa power and coat the inside of the greased ramekins with it – shake off any excess.  Place prepared ramikins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Combine 4 Tbsp. butter and the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and salt on medium-high for about three minutes, until the mixture is think and pale yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate until no longer streaky. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.

Use 2/3 of the batter to fill the ramekins, then place half of the peanut butter mixture on top of each ramekin. Cover the peanut butter with the remaining batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes – the top should be set but the cake should still have a little jiggle. Let sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Need more ideas for Valentine dishes for two? Here are some great ideas!

Savory

Sweet

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies #ChristmasCookies

If you like the idea of mint for the holidays, but aren’t a huge peppermint fan, these are the cookies for you.

For me, these are a nod to my Grandma.

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma’s contribution to holiday dessert has been a box of Andes Candies. We’ve all come to expect them and holiday dessert is not quite right without them on the table.

When I ran across this recipe that uses Andes chips, I knew Grandma would love them – and I just had to make them.

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Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
(from The Diary of a Real Housewife)
Makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 package Andes mint pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches and mix until just combined. Fold in mint pieces.

Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti #ChristmasCookies

Disclosure:  I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

Today’s cookie recipe is my unexpected favorite of the week – and features #ChristmasCookies week sponsor Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas and Flavors.  This biscotti is amazing – even if you’re not a biscotti fan, you need to try this! There is such an awesome flavor here – thanks, in large part, to the Nielsen-Massey products – and they pair just delightfully with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. A small bag of these paired up with some K-Cups would be an amazing teacher or neighbor gift this season!

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Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.

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Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ChocolateAlmondBiscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(adapted from Italian Food Forever)
Makes about 20

2 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
Dark chocolate candy melts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, slat, and baking powder until well combined.

In another both, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract together until completely combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the sliced almonds and chocolate.

Knead the dough for a minute or two, until it comes together well. If too sticky, add another Tbsp. of flour.

For them dough into a log approximately 4″ wide and 1 1/2″ high.

Bake for 35 minutes, than remove to cool and reduce oven to 300 degrees.

When it has cooled for about 15-20 minutes, use a serrated knife to slice the log into 1/2″ slices and place, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Remove and cool completely.

Melt candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle over biscotti and cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

One thing I love about #Choctoberfest is getting to know some new brands – like Davis Chocolates I showed off the amazing Cocktail Sticks on facebook last night, but they also sent these awesome (organic!) peanut butter baking chips  – and I knew they’d become cookies.

These cookies are so, so fabulous. They’re rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet – and then you bite into the pockets of chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. It’s just seriously yum. I brought these to a meeting and as we were packing up at the end everyone was grabbing “just one more” – always the sign of a good cookie!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Davis Chocolate Organic Peanut Butter Baking Chips)
1 cup chocolate chunks

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet at bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and then let cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can see today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:

Roasted Sugar Chocolate Cake #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

Imperial Sugar returned as the Choctoberfest Gold Sponsor this year – and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already seen the amazing package they sent. I’m not sure who was more excited about it – me or the kids. (PS – if you want to win your own year’s supply of sugar, check out their Scary Scramble Contest going on now!)

When I started planning recipes for this week, I asked Jake if there was anything special he wanted to make, and without hesitation he told me, “Chocolate cake”. So, it went out our list.

It was also a great excuse to try out roasting sugar. Have you heard of this technique? I’ve seen it on a few food sites and I was super intrigued – you cook the sugar for a few hours and it gives the sugar a caramel-like flavor but you can still use it like you would regular white sugar. The results in this cake were pretty amazing – it’s more or less a regular chocolate cake, but then you get this beautiful caramel flavor at the end of the bite. I can’t overstate how awesome that touch is!

Roasting the sugar was also the only part of the cake that Jake didn’t have a hand in. He was particularly excited about helping frost the cake – and overrode my plans of topping it off with dark chocolate curls in favor of  mini chocolate chips.

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I absolutely love how excited he was to see the end result – and hear again and again from friends and family we shared the cake with how awesome it was. Jake kept telling me, “I made that! I’m Baker Jake!” and they recreated the cake a million times over in his play kitchen. In the middle of a crazy week, it was such a good reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Thank you, Imperial Sugar, for helping create such a fun memory with my little guy!

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Roasted Sugar Chocolate Cake
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 9″ 3 layer cake

4 lbs. white sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)

3 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
7 cups powdered sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

Start by roasting the sugar. Pour 4 pounds of sugar into a glass or ceramic 9×13″ baking dish. Roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours, stirring well every 20 minutes. You want the sugar to start to turn a lightly browned color, but not to melt. Once done, cool completely and store in an airtight container.

To make the cake, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of the cooled roasted sugar. Add in the eggs, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Grease 3 9″ cake pans and divide cake batter evenly between pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cake layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

To make the frosting, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Once the cake layers are cool, frost and decorate as desired.

See the rest of today’s #Choctoberfest recipes here: