January 23, 2011

Chocolate cake geek

This photo seemed to get some of you enthusiastic for chocolate cake, and it would seem rude not to share the recipe for this absurdly easy to make, but gratifyingly towering and delicious one.

Here's the thing about chocolate cake for me - it has got to taste really good to justify the silly amount of calories it contains, and bonus points if it looks good and is simple to make. This has led to about twenty years of hunting out a recipe that fulfils my picky-princess demands. It has been a rather yummy journey as you can imagine, but one littered with overly dry, or sickly sweet, or frisbee shaped failures.

But this cake is up there in my favourite pile. It falls into the celebration category for me because it just looks so special and is suitable for a range of luxurious fillings. It is loosely a Devil's Food Cake relying on vegetable oil for its moistness and having a wickedly dark crumb. You do have to like a certain gloriously trashy box-cake vibe to love this cake, it is not a classic victoria sponge kind of affair. I play slightly with the oil/cocoa powder ratio to avoid any dryness or bitterness from the enormous amount of cocoa powder in the recipe - so I am generous with the oil and slightly skimpy on the cocoa powder. This is not a super sweet cake, but it has a wonderful decadent flavour.

At this point I have to tell you that I found this recipe in the fabulous recipe section of The Angry Chicken blog, and it not the only total winner of a recipe I have mined from this most rewarding seam of foodie loveliness  - go check it out for yourself here and the recipes are in the 'in the kitchen' section on the right hand side bar.

So here is the recipe:  Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate"Chocolate Cake


2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
11/2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Stir sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water - the batter will be thin. Pour into prepared tins -  I used two 8" round tins and baked for half an hour. How easy is that? No creaming, splitting, frantic adding of flour etc! For a one pan cake use 13x9x2" pan and cook for 35-40 minutes. You could also make about 30 cupcakes which need 20-25 mins.

Hershey's recommend frosting - 1/2 cup of butter melted and added to 2/3 cup of cocoa powder into which 3 cups of icing sugar, teaspoon of vanilla extract  and 1/3 cup of milk are then slowly mixed until a spreading consistency is achieved. Spread onto the cake, only when the sponge is thoroughly cold.

I like this cake with the frosting or with whipped cream in the middle instead. In the summer, strawberries, cherries or raspberries folded into the cream is deeeelish. Sprinkling of icing sugar on the top. Enjoy!

*Edit: obviously not geek enough, it was a nearer 8" pair of cake tins I used it transpires, not 7" - I am so sorry for my sloppy pan measuring, (mine are a wierd size, just under 8") - it is corrected in the recipe now. *


  1. You are a wicked lady.I am just going to have to do some investigating now. I agree with you though- chocolate cake has to be perfect or there is no point in eating it. Think I'll be putting cream in mine... Ax

  2. Ooh, a project for tomorrow evening! Hoorah!! x

  3. I'm going to try this. I'm intrigued by the addition of boiling water!

  4. No one has ever accused me of being a baker. BUT this recipe sounds very do-able.

    I'll give it a try. When I do, you'll be the first( well the first outside this house) to know the results.

    If I can't master it, we'll be over in the summer to eat it with berries. right?

    xo jane

  5. It looks - and sounds - wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Yummy, will give that a go....like the idea of raspberries folded into the cream too..
    Julie x

  7. Thank you so much for putting this up, Belinda. It looks untterly delcious! I have a question for you, if that's okay......when the recipe says 'cup' does it mean any old cup or is it a specific quantity?

    I love the idea of putting whipped cream in the middle of a cake....what a fantastic thought. And with rapsberries too? Oh. My. Goodness!


  8. This looks like total perfection and thank you so very much for the recipe! WONDERFUL decadence - and why not? XX

  9. Yum, thank you for sharing, I will make it this week as a treat.

  10. WOW, what a delicious looking cake, my mouth is watering at the thought of it. Did you hear Deborah Meaden talking on radio 4 about the recipe sharing website she is involved in? I haven't looked at it yet but will certainly do so very soon.

  11. Belinda this looks seriously yummy and I love that all the ingredients are normally kept in our cupboard. A quick fix when the sugar fairly falls upon us! Thank you for the recipe:)

    Thanks also for your comment...Adele has a great voice and I am not sure I would have discovered her if it were not for my daughter.

    Best wishes...

    Jeanne xx

  12. Blimey that does look good - naughty, but nice!

    Have a lovely day,

    Nina xxx

  13. Hi Belinda,

    Thank you for posting the recipe!!

    Happy new week!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

    You are a saint to have devoted all those years, for all the chocolate lovers out there, i think i can safely say... Thank you.
    ~ tear + lip quiver ~

    @Jane, into the kitchen with you, i see that comment up there, there's no getting out of this one!

  15. Oh Lordy, I am off to buy some cocoa!!!!

    Sarah x

  16. So glad you all liked the look of the cake - check out the minor edit note please and remember y'all this is a U.S.A. style Devil's Food Cake, not a Viccy sponge.

    G.G. I feel we could bond over chocolate cake!!

    Sarah, I know the cup measurements can be a bit annoying for us Brits, but the simplest thing to do is get a cheapo cup measure set - only a couple of squids and you will be sure to get the amounts right. They are at every cook shop or supermarket or amazon.

    Happy days, cake bakers!!xxxx