I’ve only made this cake twice – once to try it out, which was a huge success, and the second time for Cullen’s 25th birthday, on request. It was actually quite an honor to be asked to make the cake for his birthday. Normally his aunt makes all birthday cakes for the family, but in this case (and under family circumstances), not so much. He got a piece of the first cake and was smitten from the word “go.” When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday cake, he immediately answered: “That chocolate cake you made and took to the office. It was goooood.”
How can you turn down a man with a wish for his birthday cake?
The only difference between the two was the buttercream that I used. I used a recipe for “drier” buttercream the first go-round – that’s the cake that I’ve been teasing you with for weeks on end. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t remember where I found that particular recipe, so I had to go searching for another one. I finally settled on the SMBC from Joy the Baker, and though it was tasty, I think I screwed it up. It was very soft, and like to never set up properly. Of course, it may have been divine retribution from the Kitchen Gods for using someone else’s Cuisinart mixer versus my own loving KitchenAid to make the damn buttercream in the first place. I’m sure that’s a cardinal sin, written down in the original kitchen Bible. That’ll teach me, won’t it? Maybe next time, it’ll work out for me.
The moisture comes from the addition of vegetable oil, I think, and it works out really well that way. Normally I’m not a fan of oil as the fat in cakes – I’m a good Southern girl, give me my butter! – but in this cake, it works. I wouldn’t dare use applesauce or yogurt in place of oil here, although I might consider using yogurt just for the tang. (Maybe cream cheese? Mmm, the possibilities.) The instant coffee really brings out the flavor of the chocolate, but be sure to level it out at least before you add it in, or it will overpower your chocolate instead of enhancing it. (In other words, don’t be like me.)
Hershey’s Perfect Chocolate Chocolate Cake
found at Obsessed With Baking
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa (natural)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
(I added 1 tsp of instant coffee)
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. 10 to 12 servings.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did. It keeps for quite a while and the chocolate flavor cures the longer it sits. If I’d have had the foresight (and the time) to bake the cake layers a day or so ahead of time, I’d definitely have done that just so the flavor could have intensified. I recommend a dry buttercream, like flour frosting or something similar, to complement the moistness of the cake. But of course, do as you will. I’ll guarantee you that you’ll be happy with the end product, no matter what you do on the outside (or the inside).