31 January 2012

My New Favorite Chocolate Cake

So, I haven't really been baking much lately because my doctor says that I'm a fat cow.  Well, he doesn't say that so much as he says that pregnant women shouldn't eat sugar and blah blah while he wags his finger in my face and rattles off a list of all of the things I can't eat, a list that could also be titled "Mandy's Favorite Foods."  Shoot.  And then he calls me a cow.*

But I really miss baking, so when I needed a gigantic favor from a coworker last week, I didn't hesitate to try to bribe her with baked goods.  And it worked!  I was figuring that I'd whip up my favorite vanilla cake of all time, but my plan was derailed when she said, after granting my request, "I like chocolate."  And here's the thing: I don't really understand chocolate.  (I know, I know, I'm a dirty blasphemer.  Sorry.)  I have the recipe for the Back in the Day Bakery chocolate cake, but it is a really expensive cake to make (like $15+ just in ingredients), and in addition to being a dirty blasphemer, I'm also cheap.  Then I remembered that I'd seen Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Chocolate Butter Cake recently, and figured I'd give that one a whirl.  I had almost all of the ingredients on-hand already, the process seemed pretty simple, and the recipe had received rave reviews.

So I made the cake and it was the bee's knees.  It did take about 15 minutes longer than Deb had said it would to bake, which could have been either because I was using 8" round pans instead of 8" square pans, or just differences in our ovens.  Other than that, though, the cake was super easy to make.  Of course, it did use coffee, which I had to google how to make because I do not know how to make coffee.  (Some of you are probably unfriending me right now.  No coffee and no chocolate?  WTF?  Here's another: I don't eat seafood.)

Then I faced the task of finding a chocolate icing, another thing I really don't understand.  I went with this Chocolate Buttercream recipe, which was also pretty simple to make and used cocoa powder instead of chocolate that I would have to melt.  I wasn't crazy about the icing when I tasted it by itself, but when it was paired with the cake, it was divine--creamy and sweet, and a tiny bit salty.  The icing really had the best texture. Oh, and the recipe made enough icing to frost the entire huge cake, which was awesomepants.

And the finished product smelled amazing.  Last night after Matt and I ate [a pretty healthy] dinner, we were both sitting around wanting dessert.  So we did some quality assurance testing and cut right into the cake that I was supposed to take to my coworker.  Oops!  How else would I know it wasn't poisonous, though?  You're not supposed to poison coworkers after they help you out.  We were protecting her.  Yeah, that's it.

So, if you're in need of a chocolate cake recipe, I'd recommend this one.  Do you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe?

Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Butter Cake
Savory Sweet Life's Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

*He never called me a cow.  


  1. I feel the same way about chocolate. I really don't understand the appeal.

  2. My mom always makes me the chocolate cake and chocolate butter cream frosting recipe from The Williamsburg Cookbook. It is very rich and I love it.



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