Chocolate Cake is my favorite flavor of cake for any occasion! I have searched far and wide, high and low for a recipe that was simple, delicious and could easily be customized. But alas, I have had many difficulties with chocolate cake recipes. Either they didn’t rise correctly, they were way too dense, or didn’t have much flavor. I typically always would revert back to using a good ole box cake mix. This has been incredibly frustrating to me! I can’t even tell you how many recipes I’ve tried out over the years. I had almost given up all hope until…….
A week ago I was given the honor of making a baby shower cake for a friend. This couldn’t be just any cake though, I mean, I couldn’t doctor up a cake mix and roll with it. See, her adorable son (the big brother to be) is highly allergic to peanuts, and since most cake mix boxes say right on there something like “may contain peanuts” or “made in a factory with peanuts” I just couldn’t take the risk of exposing him to nuts! I researched online which brands are “safe”. I found that Pillsbury is supposedly a safe option but I didn’t even want to risk it. A serious peanut allergy is not something you mess with. I can not imagine being a mom who has to not only worry about normal mom stuff (we worry A LOT!) but also have the added stress of your child possibly being exposed to peanuts. A severe peanut allergy can result in death! I wasn’t going to toy with this so I dug out a cook book that I recently bought at a thrift store. It’s an old Hershey’s Cookbook (copyright 1993) and has some amazing recipes in it.
I’m going to go down a bunny trail for just a quick sec. I LOVE thrifting. Thrift stores are my kryptonite. I seriously purchase many items from thrift stores. I have found some amazing cake pans for just a couple of bucks, a new set of golf clubs for my husband (yes brand new!), really nice clothes, antiques, new products, you name it! But one thing I always have my eye out for are cook books, especially old ones. I have cook books that were my grandmothers from the 1950’s and 1960’s and I just love looking through them. There are some awesome recipes in there with ingredients that just aren’t used as often today as they were back then. Ok, back to my story….
As I flipped through my Hershey’s cookbook I came across several chocolate cake recipes. One recipe that stuck out to me was the Collector’s Cocoa Cake recipe. So I read through the list of ingredients and realized I had everything that it called for (BONUS!). So I got out my mixer and went to town! I must say, I really loved how this cake turned out. It is moist, chocolatey and delicious! It held up quite nicely as well. The cake wasn’t dense but rather light and fluffy. The cake was a big hit at the baby shower as well!
The cupcake pictured on this post is topped with a Chocolate American Buttercream laced with cinnamon coffee. I have included that for your epicurean delights. Yum-o!
Collector’s Cocoa Cake
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cups Hershey’s Cocoa or Hershey’s European Style Cocoa (I have looked for this European version and can’t find it, would LOVE to try it though!)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/3 cups water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round baking pans.
- In mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla, beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl stir flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- Add to butter mixture alternately with water, beating after each addition. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes for 8 inch and 30-35 minutes for 9 inch pan or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
- Cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate American Buttercream
- 1 cup of solid vegetable shortening, or 2 sticks of butter softened
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I love vanilla and never skimp on it!)
- 3-5 teaspoons of milk
- 3-5 teaspoons of strong coffee
- 1 lb or 4 cups of confectioners sugar (use more if you need to thicken it up if the icing is too runny)
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup of cocoa powder
- Cream shortening or butter , flavoring, milk and coffee. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been mixed together. Blend additional minute or so until creamy. Makes roughly 2-2 1/2 cups.