Monday, August 11, 2014

That Old Black Magic Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe is my answer to packaged cake mixes. It was developed in the Hershey test kitchen, and I have used for years, as my go-to recipe when I need a chocolate cake that is versatile and can be made quickly. Baked in a bundt pan, I tote it to meeting. Baked in cake pans, it becomes the base for a chocolate whipped cream cake that will drive men mad, and when unceremoniously dumped into a standard baking pan, it makes a perfect cake for picnics and barbecues. While it is not inexpensive to make, it is so easy to prepare that it is a perfect starter cake for young bakers. I vary the flavor by occasionally using almond or orange extract in place of the vanilla that is called for in the Hershey's recipe. This is a rich, moist cake that will be more appreciated by adults than children, who generally shy away from its intense chocolate flavor. It is important to use unsweetened rather than Dutch processed cocoa in this recipe. Dutch cocoa, which is designed to use with baking powder, will not react with baking soda and the cake will not rise properly. All in all, I think those of you who have never tried this cake, will love it. Here is how it is made.

Black Magic Cake and Icing...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Hershey's Test Kitchen

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick butter, softened
2-2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt


1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan, two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2) Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
3) Bake 50 to 55 minutes for fluted tube pan, 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen cake from side of pan and remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 12 to 15 servings.
4) To make frosting: Cream butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt together until smooth. To thin, use just a little milk at a time or until you have the right consistency.

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Jeannie Tay said...

That looks so decadent! Perfect bites for picnics and parties!

Maggie said...

I managed to get through 40 years of baking without ever hearing about this cake, and was blown away when I tried it. Never thought such a retro technique, with no butter or fancy 70% chocolate, could be so delicious.

After several bakes of it, I discovered (through distraction and sheer laziness) that it improves tremendously if left to age in the pans, uncovered & unfrosted, for 2-3 days. No need to refrigerate. It becomes moister, denser, and more intensely chocolatey. I don't understand exactly why, but it really works.

I bake a lot of much fancier cakes, and none draw the raves that this one does.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I love chocolate cake! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

Pinned to my cake board.

Newmoon said...

How does it become a chocolate whipped cream cake?

Mary Bergfeld said...

Newmoon, I fill and frost the cake with a whipped cream frosting.

Diane said...

Mmmmm my mouth is watering. Hope that you are well, have a great day Diane

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