Ok so you would be correct in thinking that we must be total cake nuts over here. We paint them...decorate with them...and heck, even our candles and some of my perfumes are of the sweet baked variety. A few years ago I was gifted a bunch things from Aaron. Lots of Williams Sonoma stuff. Like pink spatulas, dishtowels, and all those pink silicon goodies. All of those baking accessories seem ubiquitous now, but this was kinda when they first hit the market and WS was pretty much the only place to get them.
One of my fave pink cakes stands was also a Valentine's gift and a chocolate candle as well! It's a bit of a let down that every chocolate candle that I've come across since then has been less than stellar. They all smell very fake...headache inducing really. But that chocolate candle from Williams Sonoma over a decade ago was fabulous!
Ok so chocolate! And Valentine's Day are pretty much inseparable for most.
Now...if you are looking for a last minute decadent dessert to surprise your sweetie or family with tomorrow then look no further! And also, don't limit this recipe to special occasions. It happens to be a go-to recipe for. Must've made it over 40 times over the years. It's one I can execute last minute or on a whim! Most likely there will be no shopping required if you keep basic baking ingredients in the pantry.
Of course there are fancy chocolate cake recipes that call for bars of expensive baking chocolate which I also adore...but this here is made using merely cocoa powder!
When I made this I seriously had no plans on doing so. I got up to change the load of laundry over and before I knew it I was measuring out my ingredients and prepping my cake pans! Aaron always laughs when he starts hearing pans in the kitchen. Chocolate Cake out of the blue! It's so much better than a boxed mix or can frosting. I really think that once you make this frosting you will be converted and never use a can again! Well if the zombie apocalypse happens who am I kidding...I think I'd use can frosting to frost a kitchen sponge.
Okie doke...let's get baking shall we?
Perfect Chocolate Cake
You will need:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. ( I always use parchment paper rounds in my pans...perfection every time)
Combine your sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (the batter will be really thin..don't be scared!). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes (my oven took about 40 mins) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Now let's make the frosting!
Perfect Chocolate Frosting
You will need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, add your melted butter, next
mix in your cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
Makes about 2 cups.
Frost and serve!
What are you guys doing for Valentine's Day? If you are a long time reader of this blog you know that Aaron and I have a tradition of cooking a fab meal together. We gave up the craziness of going out to crowded restaurants years ago. We shopped for our ingredients today and are so excited for tomorrow. Of course we'll be back to share that with you! :)
Happy Baking friends!