If I were to choose the perfect chocolate cake, this would be it. The cake is moist, dark and tastes like chocolate. Some chocolate cakes don’t taste like chocolate you know. The fudge filling is rich and thick but not too sweet. The vanilla frosting is silky smooth, pipes beautifully and melts on my tongue. Once I cut into this cake, I like to close my eyes and take a deep breath allowing the aromas of chocolate, sugar and vanilla to penetrate my brain. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is the startling contrast between the fluffy white frosting and deep brown, almost black, cake. This cake gives me the full sensory experience I crave in a dessert.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like chocolate cake in almost any form. German chocolate cake – I’m there. Black Forest Cake – I’ll take a piece. Smore’s cake, chocolate malt cake, chocolate peanut butter cake, chocolate Oreo cake, Almond Joy cake – I won’t complain if you offer me a piece! One of my next projects will be a chocolate, chocolate chip cookie layer cake. I got my inspiration from this Ultimate S’More Anniversary Cake, but of course I’m not going to make mine quite as complicated. Update: I made it! Here’s the link to my Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake and how it all came to be quite by accident.
It’s still going to be It was extremely delightful! The only chocolate cake I might decline is a chocolate cake that has nuts baked into it. I’m just not a fan of baked nuts, never have been.
The sheer simplicity of this cake and the fact that each component is so perfect on it’s own makes it a great combination of recipes to have in your repertoire. All three components can be used successfully in different combinations.
You could bake the cake as cupcakes, fill them with the perfect vanilla frosting and top with the chocolate fudge when it’s slightly warm. This would taste pretty close to a hostess cupcake, for real!
The white frosting would be a good substitute for a swiss meringue buttercream. It would also be a delicious icing for a Red Velvet or Fruit Basket Cake like this one. Fruit Basket Cake is another recipe on my to do list. I have some great combination ideas.
The chocolate fudge has a rich taste and a great gloss to it. When it’s slightly warm you could use it to pour over an ice cream sundae, Boston Cream pie or to dip the top of your cupcakes for a polished look and rich taste.
The chocolate cake is so easy and flavorful I bet you will find yourself making it again and again wherever a chocolate cake or cupcake is required. You could add chopped semi-sweet chocolate for a double chocolate cake or put some chopped Andes Mints in the cake batter and frost it with mint frosting for St. Patrick’s Day. How about a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and crushed candy canes for Christmas? Whoopie Pies, Oreo Cake, Chocolate Dipped Frosted Graham Crackers… You get the idea. The potential combinations are practically endless (have you noticed I cannot exaggerate)!
Chocolate Fudge Cake with Perfect Vanilla Frosting
Chocolate Cake Recipe adapted slightly from “The Sweet Little Book of Cupcakes” recipes from Sweet Cupcakes, Inc.
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
Chocolate Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. In a stand mixture beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Add in the vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk while mixing on low speed and blend well. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour the batter equally into the two round cake pans. Bake for 12 minutes and rotate the pans. Bake for another 8 – 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the center. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla frosting recipe adapted slightly from Tasty Kitchen via Pioneer Woman’s suggestion
Perfect Vanilla Frosting Ingredients
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
10 Tbsp Butter, room temperature
4 Tbsp Shortening
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not confectioners sugar)
Perfect Vanilla Frosting Directions
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, like brownie batter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. It must cool to room temperature before the next step. While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I usually put my stand mixture on medium high and set the timer for about 6 minutes with the whisk attachment. Once your butter is light and fluffy, add the cooled mixture and whip again until the frosting is white and silky smooth. This is a very stable frosting and can be spread or piped onto your cake. It can be flavored more strongly by adding more vanilla and/or almond as desired.
Fudge Filling Ingredients
1 cup half and half, scalded
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 – 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Fudge Filling Directions
In a saucepan or in the microwave heat the half and half until almost boiling, steam should be rising off the top and it should be very hot but not bubbling. Put the chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate and butter into a heat proof bowl and pour the scalded milk over the top. Allow to sit for 3 minutes, then stir to combine and thoroughly melt the chocolate. Sift in the confectioners sugar and stir to combine. Lastly, stir in the corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Allow to sit until it is a good thickness to put in the center of the cake. If you are cooling it completely and assembling it the next day, you can reheat it for 5 – 10 seconds to soften it a bit.