Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not-Just-For-Valentine's-Day Chocolate Cake

LUCY BURDETTE: From the way recipes have fallen out this week, you'd think we planned "chocolate week," wouldn't you?  But turns out, we aren't that organized: Great minds just think alike! 

This is my go-to cake for birthdays, special occasions, and days when we need a serious pick me up in my household. This time I baked it in a square pan because I was going to a dinner and needed pieces that would be a little easier to manage. Usually I make it a two-layer cake, frosted all over with the decadent chocolate-sour cream frosting. Any way it's delicious. (However, be warned--the square cake took at least 20 minutes longer because it was so thick. More like a bundt cake than a layer cake. Keep checking it with a toothpick.) 

 Whether or not you have a Valentine this year, you deserve a piece of chocolate cake!

Ingredients for the cake batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened (about 10 and 2/3 tbsp)
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 one-ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 and 1/4 cup cold water

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the softened butter in a large bowl, then add the sugar and vanilla and beat well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Finally, add cooled chocolate and beat well.  Now beat in the dry ingredients, alternating in three sections with the water.

Pour the batter into well-buttered pans and bake at 350 degrees, 25-30 minutes for round pans, 50 or so for the square pan. Cool to room temperature.


3-4 Tbsp butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
About 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if you can bear it:)

Melt the butter and chips together over low heat until smooth. Stir in vanilla and let cool off the stove. Then whisk in the sour cream. 

Gradually add the powdered sugar until the icing is a pleasing consistency.

Frost the cake. Refrigerate until you eat it--also refrigerate left-overs (if there are any.)

Here's what it looks like as a standard birthday cake.

And this was my Valentine's edition.

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Mystery Lovers Kitchen!    

I can't explain why TOPPED CHEF looks so warped, but I do know that it will be published on May 7!  But you can pre-order the book today. And then please follow Lucy on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest too.  

Congratulations Sheila! BURIED IN A BOG #14 on the New York Times bestseller list!


  1. Lucy, adorable cake. Sweet. And Sheila, congrats on NYT #14. Wheeeeee!

    ~ Daryl aka Avery

  2. thanks Daryl/Avery. I was worried about how long it took to cook, but hub and I both agreed it was more moist and delicious than ever!

  3. Fun Valentine's iteration of your favorite chocolate cake, Lucy/Roberta. Love it, and happy congrats to our blog sister, Sheila, on her wonderful news.

    Have a sweet day with your
    own Valentine, Lucy!

    ~ Cleo

  4. I wonder if I printed the recipe really big & put it in a place they would see it... Would the boys bake that for me? Looks really good & not to complicated!

  5. Your chocolate chips in the picture for the frosting look like the chocolate disks you can get from King Arthur flour Great stuff
    Helena, I like your idea. Think it'll work? Maybe with the ingredients casually placed next to the recipe???

  6. Helena, it's worth a try. I like Libby's idea of putting the ingredients right there too:). If you think it's too complicated, my one-bowl chocolate cake is even can search for that on this blog.

    And you know I can't remember what kind of chips they were--maybe Ghirandelli?

  7. Can I tell you how much I'd like a piece of that cake right now? With a tall glass of milk, please. I was out running errands and the grocery store (in a college town) was packed with adorable young men buying chocolates, flowers and stuffed animals. I'd much rather have a piece of Lucy's cake.

    Who has a birthday coming up so I'll have an excuse to bake it?


  8. And mega-congrats to Sheila for a phenomenal launch!!!!!


  9. Great cake idea for special day. Can surprise our loving ones by making delicious things.