for more than thirty years, i have always purchased a birthday cake for my husband brian. this year, i decided to make him a cake from martha’s stewart’s cooking school book. i made her white cake with easy chocolate buttercream. instead of making two layers, i divided the batter into four smaller layers, baking them for only 17 minutes each. the buttercream frosting was made with frango mint chocolate baking cocoa, so it has a distinct minty taste. the coconut decoration was my personal addition, since brian likes coconut. this frosting is not a glossy ganache, but a richer and sweeter buttercream. i believe it is labeled easy, since cocoa is used instead of melted chocolate, which would need to be incorporated into the mixture. the layers added height, and i had just enough icing, about five cups to decorate the cake. by using only two layers, i would have had additional icing to pipe decorations onto the cake. since this cake was well received, i am going to continue my baking attempts for future family celebrations.