We all seem to have our favorite Chocolate cake and for me it is a version of the the tried and true recipe on the back of the Hershey cocoa container. Yep, that is the one. Why search and make other recipes when Hershey has provided us with the ultimate recipe?
What makes this recipe the best?
This is a rich chocolate cake that is not overwhelming to make nor overwhelming to eat. You can have more than just one bite. The crumb is soft and moist yet strong enough to hold a beautiful shape when cut.
Recommended Changes to the Original Recipe
Coffee is a wonderful chocolate enhancer. I add 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to the recipe to bring out the chocolate flavor.
Cocoa can be very drying to the crumb of the cake. To add to the richness and moisture of the cake, I replace whole milk with butter milk. The butter milk inhibits the forming of gluten and results in lighter tender cake crumb.
Another substitute the milk that that would work well is sour cream.
Can this recipe be used with a sculpted cake?
I am going to say it depends. The moistness and loose crumb will fall apart easier than a tight crump cake. Sculptures that do not have a lot of small little carving areas will work.
I have used this recipe with sculpting a couch shaped cake that was covered in fondant. Before starting, I ensured that the cake was frozen to keep the crumb intact.
Crumb coating a cake before applying fondant or a butter cream frosting can be challenging with carved cakes. It is challenging to get into small spaces and smoothing out the frosting without knocking off some of the cake crumb. It can be done though.
The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 cups Flour
- 3/4 cups Hersheys Cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Espresso powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup butter milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degress and line 2 cake pans with parchment paper.
- Mix in a large bowl the first 7 ingredients – the dry ingredients
- Add in the next 4 ingredients ( eggs, butter milk, oil and vanilla) mix well
- Slowly, pour in the boiling water and stir in. The cake batter will be very thin
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. I use a scale to ensure that each layer will have the same amount of batter
- Before placing the cake layers in the oven, I use cake pan wraps. Placing a wet wrap around the cake pan will prevent over cooked edges and the cake will have a smaller dome.( flatter cake layers)
- Bake 30- 35 minutes or until the tooth pick test comes out clean
- Cool for 15-30 before turning cakes out to a colling rack. Cool completely before icing.
I suggest increasing the recipe by 1/2 since this cake is a quick and easy batter to make.
For example, instead of using 2 cups of the required ingredients,increase the quantity to 3 cups.
This will give you enough batter for a dozen cupcakes. Make more batter than what is needed for a 2 layer cake can be time saving for later on.
If you do not need cupcakes to go along with your cake, freeze them. That day will come when you need some cupcakes quickly.
To maintain the perfect shape, freeze the cupcakes in the baking pan. After the cupcakes cool, the pan will need to be wrapped in plastic wrap, followed with foil and then freezer paper. Write the flavor of the cupcakes and the date they were made on the freezer paper. Cupcakes can be frozen for about 3 months.
Thawing out Cupcakes:
After removing the cupcakes from the freezer, remove all the wrapping. When able, remove each cupcake from the pan and place on a cooling rack to thaw. ( Needs to be lifted up so they do not get wet bottoms).
Cupcakes thaw out quickly. I would recommend applying a little bit of simple syrup to each cupcake before icing. This will ensure that they are good and moist.
The cupcakes can be iced and decorated while still frozen, but you will not be able to apply simple syrup for increased moisture.
I hope this becomes your favorite Chocolate Cake recipe. Who would think such a fabulous cake could be as quick and easy to bake?
Cheers…Happy baking !!