After weeks of rather obsessive preparation we had the actual "Fair Day" celebration for Audrey's and Kate's fourth birthday (that's singular, these cousins share the same day just 2 hours apart). And it was fun! It all started with an idea for pony rides, got color from the happy Dolce fabric collection, and really came to life when I thought "county fair!" These birthday parties just keep getting better!
I'm starting with the best part: dessert. Here is our dessert/favor table in county fair theme, including bandana quilt tablecloth. My husband warned me I might not be appreciated so much by other mom's for passing out so much sugar, but isn't that sort of expected at a birthday party?
RECIPE for Buttermilk Chocolate Cake:
(This recipe is actually a brownie recipe--a really, really yummy one from a friend of mine. They have a cakey texture and I decided to try them as a cake last year for Father's day and it was a big hit. This is a rich, chocolatey, moist cake and I can eat the frosting straight in large spoonfuls--truly addictive! See how to do as cake at the end of the recipe.)
Marnie’s Buttermilk Brownies
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 c. flour
- 1 c. water
- 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 tsp. baking soda
Mix together sugar and flour. In a separate saucepan, bring water, cocoa and butter to a boil. Pour that mixture over the sugar and flour. Mix well. Add eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and baking soda. Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (sifted)
- 5 Tbsp. canned milk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- powdered sugar
Boil together the butter, cocoa and canned milk. Remove from heat. Add enough powdered sugar to make it easy to spread. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread on brownies immediately after removing from the oven.
To do as a 2-layered cake: Make a double bath of brownies and fill 2 buttered and floured layer pans (I use 9” pans) about half full. You’ll have some batter left over—could do a third layer or bake as brownies in a 9” square pan. Bake about 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Remove and let cool in pans 15 minutes, then flip out on cooling racks. Triple the frosting and use 1 bag of powdered sugar or whatever it takes to make it spreadable. Assemble the layers with a generous amount of frosting in between them and cover cake completely using knife to make decorative swirls.