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chocolate cake

Food & Recipes

Ultimate Chocolate Layer Cake // Joe’s 29th Birthday Cake

September 13, 2016

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Every year I make my husband a birthday cake, and every year Joe asks me to bake a chocolate cake. One of Joe’s favorite recipes of all time is a recipe I developed a couple years ago when I was working for Betty Crocker. Let’s be clear when I say that yes, this cake starts with boxed cake mix, but it’s anything but ordinary.

Actually, I should clarify that I have nothing against boxed cake mix in certain situations, including this one, where using boxed cake yields some of the best cake around.

This was my first attempt at baking this cake in layer format rather than in a bundt pan, and with a few adjustments and adaptations, it turned out really well! I would make this cake again and again, and you should, too, if you’re looking for a chocolate cake recipe that will blow your guests minds.

Plus, the leftovers taste pretty great, too. Not that I would know anything about eating leftovers after taking photographs in the middle of the day or anything. ūüėČ

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Ultimate Chocolate Layer Cake // Joe's 29th Birthday Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 slices
 
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 box (4-serving) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Frosting
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Make the cake layers:
  2. Heat oven to 350¬įF. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water and eggs and beat until smooth and well combined. Batter will be thick. Beat in the chocolate chips just until combined.
  4. Divide batter between the two pans and spread evenly in pans. Bake on the middle oven rack 22 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes on wire racks. Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire cooling racks, about 1 hour.
  6. To Make Frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate and beat until well combined, about 1 minute more. Beat in the milk vanilla and salt, followed by the powdered sugar, beating about 2 minutes or until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  8. To Assemble Cake:
  9. Place on cake layer on a cake plate or serving tray. Spread some of the frosting on the top of the cake evenly. Top with remaining layer. Use remaining frosting to frost top and sides of the cake. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Cake recipe adapted from One-Bowl Strawberry Bundt Cake 
Frosting recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook 

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Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

January 28, 2014

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Maybe you’re already thinking about Valentine’s Day? Maybe, if you’re like me, you think Valentine’s Day could be done a little better. I like Valentine’s Day, but I really don’t like the chiche roses and pressure to do something grand or give the perfect gift. A couple years back, Joe and I agree to never go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. We usually go out to eat a couple weeks before or a week after the actual day, avoiding the crowds and the craziness and the fixed menus.

This year, with the incredibly cold weather we’ve been having, I think my idea Valentine’s Day date goes something like this: watch a movie in our pajamas, drink red wine, eat this Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake. It’s pretty simple, really.

I don’t have a clue why it took me so long to make a flourless chocolate cake, but I’m a little embarrassed. I think I’ve always associated flourless chocolate cake with restaurant menus and sophistication and difficulty. In reality, it’s a no-brainer! I frequently find myself out of flour, but I almost always have cocoa powder and some semi-sweet chocolate and eggs, meaning I’m never more than a few ingredients away from a delicious, easy and impressive cake.

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If you’re like me and have been putting off making one of these cakes, delay no more! Grab some high-quality chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar and eggs and get to baking something sweet for your sweetheart. And don’t feel the need to wait for Valentine’s Day. This cake is easy enough to make even on a weeknight, but I can’t guarantee it will last longer than a day.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake for Two
Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon high quality vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder)

Directions
Heat oven to 375¬įF. Grease 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment. Set aside.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar until well combined. Add eggs, whisking after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and cocoa powder until just combined.

Transfer batter into cake pan and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until edges have set and formed a crust. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto plate or platter. Cut into wedges to serve.

Happy Baking!
Madison

Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake

October 7, 2011
Thank you all for the happy birthday wishes and for your support as I balance a whole host of things that are piling onto my platter. I can promise you that I’ll have more information for you about unspoken happenings by the end of the month.
Now, let’s talk about cake. Although Joey and I celebrated my birthday with an ice cream cake this year, I made these little individual chocolate loaf cakes a few weeks back after spotting them on Smitten Kitchen for a little early birthday celebrating.¬†
Although I’m famous for not loving chocolate like most people seem to (including my hubby), something about this simple recipe called out to me. You see, when it comes to baking, there are few things I love more than a simple cake recipe. I guess I still believe deep down inside that cakes are supposed to be simple, Little House on the Prairie style. It makes absolutely no sense, I know.¬†
This recipe made enough cake to feed a small crowd, or a few hungry chocolate lovers for days on end. I found that dividing the batter among individual loaves as opposed to one giant loaf made it easier to freeze some of the cake and save it for later. Which, of course, comes in handy when the craving for chocolate strikes. 
Everyday Chocolate Loaf Cake 
Recipe just slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Ingredients
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
*1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 cup buttermilk
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*3/4 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions 
*Preheat oven to 325¬įF. Butter three mini loaf pans (you can also just use one standard-sized loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes). Line the bottom of the baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.¬†
*In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs. Beat until just combined, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla. 
*In a large bowl, beat together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the mixture in the bowl, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl and transfer batter into the prepared pans. 
*Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 
Happy Baking!
Madison