A certain hubby of mine recently turned 30 and I found it appropriate to raise (literally) his standard birthday cake to new levels. Three of them to be exact.I almost considered this gorgeous cake (with chocolate frosting throughout, of course), but I chickened out at the last minute since it was a new recipe and an important birthday. I noticed when making the cream-filled chocolate cupcakes earlier in the week that the cupcakes didn't really "dome" much—which would be perfect for a layer cake. When the layers get too rounded at the top, they become difficult to stack unless you trim them (and I'm just not advanced enough for that).
I won't duplicate the recipe here (it's right below this one!) but since I only have two 9-inch round cake pans, I used one 24-cupcake recipe to evenly fill two pans (be sure to butter and flour the pans first!), baked that off, let cool, released from pans, etc., then made a half recipe of the cupcake recipe to fill one more cake pan. However, since you can't really halve three eggs, I did want to mention that I used just one egg in the halved recipe and everything turned out just fine.
Cooking time varied slightly as well, with two pans in the oven taking about 33 minutes to fully cook (but test on your own with a toothpick).
I doubled the chocolate buttercream frosting (rather than multiplying by 1.5) and that was a good idea since there's so much surface area on a triple-layer cake (and hubby is all about the frosting anyway).
Finally, to pipe on the lettering, I used a basic vanilla buttercream recipe—just a small batch. I'd double the following recipe if you wanted to use it to actually frost anything like a batch of cupcakes. This is the recipe given to us at the Sur La Table class and is used on the whoopie pies as the filling. You could add some food coloring if you'd like!
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 c. powdered sugar
1.5 T. heavy whipping cream—milk will definitely do though
1/2 t. vanilla extract (or my new favorite paste if you want the flecks!)
pinch of salt
Cream butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, starting on low and increasing speed to medium, until mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and beat on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scoop into piping bag or large zip-top bag with the corner snipped to pipe on details.