Monday, March 9, 2020

Chocolate Cake to Cheer Us Up!

We're all getting a little nervous. One by one, our plans are crumbling. Maybe they should, maybe not. It's a scary time. And what's the best cure for worries? The thing that makes us all feel better? Chocolate cake! The miraculous delicious decadence of chocolate cake.

Always looking for new ideas, I went in search of recipes. Guess what? The top rated recipes were almost identical. Same ingredients, same amounts! And they're all based on a recipe from Hershey. Hah! They should know what makes a great chocolate cake, right?

So here it is. The only thing I added was instant coffee to the hot water because we all know a little coffee makes the chocolate bolder. And if we're going to eat chocolate cake, we want the yummiest chocolate!

There are a couple of things about this cake that I particularly like. It doesn't require a mixer, although I do recommend using one for the frosting. So this is a great recipe to make when you're off at the beach in a rental or staying at someone else's house where there's no mixer.

This is also a super recipe for a beginning baker. Not only can it be made with a whisk, but the measurements are easy and straightforward. It uses nice basic baking steps that everyone should know and there's not anything difficult about it.

The original recipe calls for sifting the dry ingredients. I admit that out of nothing other than sheer laziness, I did not sift them. I did however, whisk the dry ingredients thoroughly to break up any little clumps. It worked out fine. However, if I had been baking it for a party or as a birthday cake, I would have taken that extra step just to be on the safe side. After all, cocoa powder is unsweetened and no one wants to get a bite of it.

This is the perfect birthday cake for a chocoholic. It's moist and flavorful, has a lovely crumb, and the amount of frosting is exactly right, not so much that it's cloying.

Hershey's Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered cocoa
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and place parchment paper on the bottoms.

In a very large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Put it all through a sieve to get rid of any clumps. Put it back in the bowl and use a whisk to mix it more. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk and stir with your whisk. Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water, add to the other ingredients, and stir until combined and smooth. Divide between the baking pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (I used 2%)

Melt the butter. Using a mixer, beat the cocoa powder into the butter. Add the powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time, alternating with the milk and the vanilla. When everything has been added and the consistency is appropriate for frosting, beat for an additional four minutes.

Coming in trade paperback this month!


  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing, Krista!

  2. Glad I can now comment.
    Looks fantastic! There is never too much chocolate for me!