Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolate Birthday Cake

I'm 43 (yikes... almost 44) and I think this is only my second cake from scratch. The first one was more than a decade ago and I don't even remember what kind it was.

I've always made box mixes. (except for coffee cakes & stuff like that) But actual cake cake... a box. Now, I often dress them up. I add cool things to make them more fun, more flavorful, just different. But they start with box mixes. It's also what my family requests. They don't know any better. They like yellow box cake with chocolate canned frosting. Chocolate boxed cake with chocolate canned frosting.

I do make frosting sometimes. But Jon doesn't like homemade butter cream frosting. Other people like it, so I think it's just him and not my frosting!

Anyway... back in December, I saw this cake at Amber's Delectable Delights. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. That was Lilly's birthday request. But it ended up being boxed & canned. (they all still liked it!)

So anyway... fast forward to last weekend when I asked Jon what kind of cake he'd like for his birthday. He also wanted chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. So then I asked if he minded if I tried making it from scratch. He said he didn't mind, but then said, that he really liked box cake mix. I questioned him more to be sure he really didn't mind me experimenting with his birthday cake and I think he really did mind, but was too polite to tell me. =)

So I mentioned to my sister that I was going to make a chocolate cake for Jon's birthday. She suggested I make the recipe that's on the Hershey Cocoa can. I let her know that I'd found a recipe online that I wanted to try. I went back to Amber's Delectable Delights and realized it was the same cake!


So the only thing I did differently was subbed 1/3 of the cocoa with Dutch Process cocoa. I made a special trip to Penzey's to get it and figured I should use some. (ok ok... I'll use any excuse to go to Penzey's!)

Hersheys "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting.

ONE PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


Stir together dry ingredients.

Added remaining ingredients according to directions.
It's a good thing the directions said this would be thin or I would have thought I did something wrong!

See up at the top where it says grease AND flour? Yeah... I just used cooking spray on my 20+ year old pans... and one totally stuck... you can see it's kinda pieced together on the right. So please... grease AND flour!

I made the frosting and frosted the cake at 6:30am yesterday morning, before work. So there are no 'in process' kinda pictures.

This cake definitely isn't beautiful.

Gosh I could have put some sprinkles on it or something!

But the slice actually doesn't look too bad.

I'm not a chocolate fan, so this cake is WAY too chocolaty for me. But the chocolate lovers in my house assured me that it's moist, delicious, chocolaty and awesome!

Jon didn't miss his boxed cake with canned frosting. =)


Culinary Alchemist said...

Most Excellent chocolatey goodness!!! :)

Joelen said...

Lucky Jon! Happy Birthday to him and your cake looks awesome!

Mo Diva said...

Food Porn. I would so love to take a slab of that cake...*sigh*
Thanks for posting the recipe. Its officially been copied and put in the "must try" file!

Bob said...

Hey, if he says it's fine it's his own fault if it still bugs him! Besides, that cake is waaaay better than boxed cake. :)

Michele said...

Girl, that's right up my alley (the eating the cake not the baking it)!!! I have made some cakes from scratch but I never really like them. Although there was this one hazelnut torte....that was good. Everything else, just eh. lol

I would totally have this cake for my birthday...it's in July...you know, just in case... ;-) JUST KIDDING!!!

Donna-FFW said...

Happy B-day to your hubby!! Ive heard that the chocolate cake from Hershey's is one of the best. Did you find that to be true? If so, lmk Id like to try it. Not as much as Id like to try those beers you mentioned a while ago though!!

Spryte said...

Thanks for all the kind words!

~Amber~ said...

Happy (belated) Birthday to Jon! I am glad everyone enjoyed the cake even though it was to rich for you. ;)

Jude said...

Mmm looks so deeply chocolatey. What a nice thing to do for the bday celebrant!

DDpie said...

Spryte you know me, I'm a cake mix box type of gal, but this is ONE scratch recipe that has never failed me. Good job girly. (Oh, btw, my bday is listed over at bakespace hint hint)

Spryte said...

Amber... I wish I stilled loved chocolate... I remember loving it and disappointing that chocolate isn't all that appealing to me now.

Jude... SO chocolatly... and the birthday guy (my hubby) really deserved it!

DD... if you were closer, I'd happily make you a birthday cake!

Tangled Noodle said...

Gorgeous cake but I have to admit, it's the icing that's getting to me! Just give me a big old bowl of that and I'm happy.

Spryte said...

My daughter would have happily eaten a big bowl of icing too!