I found this recipe one snowy night; hubby was outside shovelling our extremely long sidewallk and I wanted to make something tasty. Just so happened to have a box of Hershey’s Cocoa and since I had all the ingredients handy it seemed like just the thing. Let me say we gobbled this cake within oh, about 3 days. The following week we got another snowstorm and I was taking a turn with the sidewalk. As I passed the kitchen window there was hubby, holding up the cocoa box and smiling Yeah, that cake didn’t last long either.
This has got to be one of the softest, moistest cakes I’ve ever tasted. And when I say soft, that’s a warning because I’ve heard of some people having trouble with it holding up under fondant. I don’t know though, buttercream is heavy too and it’s always worked fine for me *shrug*. I also get asked how it holds up to stacking, to which I reply that it’s not the cake that is holding up the next tier, it’s the supports so the cake is fine for stacking.
One thing it’s not great at is carving, it just kind of crumbles all over the place. I have tried replacing all the milk with sour cream and it does help but it’s still kind of soft. I used it for my Superman cake and also the top part of my barn cake was carved chocolate cake.
I haven’t tried as many variations as I did with my yellow cake, mainly because even though it’s a good cake, it’s not MY favorite (ahem, it’s my husband’s favorite ;D). You can swap out the oil for melted butter, or the milk for sour cream, or the vanilla for another extract, or the hot water for coffee, and it always tastes good. Even if it is over baked a little it doesn’t matter, it’s such a moist cake! I think the only time I ever had it not turn out was when I used some obscure brand of vanilla that I bought at Sam’s Club. Seriously didn’t think vanilla could be that different but that one was!!
Anyway, here’s the recipe:
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1-3/4 cups (215 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (64.5 g) HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (237 mL) milk
1/2 cup (119 mL) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (237 mL) boiling water or strong hot coffee
Preheat oven to 350 (170 C), or 325 if using dark pans. This cake can make:
Round cake layers:
2 tall 8″
3 short 8″
2 short 9″
Square cake layers:
2 short 8″
1 short 9″x13″
28-30 cupcakes (start checking on these after about 13 minutes)
Prepare pans by using baking spray or grease and flour. Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In another bowl (or see how I do it in the video) measure out the milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs but do not stir. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in hot water and blend thoroughly; batter will be thin.
Pour into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes, like my yellow cake though I like to start checking a little earlier, around 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan(s) then turn onto a baking rack to cool completely.
Here’s a video showing how I do it:
I usually use skim milk since that’s all we use and….now don’t freak out….extra light olive oil. You can say ew BUT….3 years in a row I’ve used this recipe in a local contest and WON. And I’ve stopped counting how many times I’ve been told that it’s the best chocolate cake EVER
For variations, try almond extract and don’t taste the cake until the next day, hubby says it tastes just like a chocolate covered cherry. I love using flavored coffee with this also, just about any flavor works with it