Splendidly Chocolate!

I have a confession to make, I’m a chockaholic, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  Just chomping on a chocolate bar is my idea of heaven, give me chocolate chips, in a dessert, in a drink, in a snack, in a cookie, and I’ll be your friend for life.  I’ll have to admit though, these days I do not tempt myself, nor go down that route anymore, as I have no self-control – it’s all or nothing for this gal.  

It had been a while since I had baked any kind of chocolatey goodness, so when our friends invited us over to celebrate his Dad’s birthday, I asked him about his Dad’s favorite dessert as I wanted to contribute to the party.  Without any hesitation, he blurted out “Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting”.  So, here was my chance, I set about finding something suitably chocolatey to bring to the party.  I had also been testing my new convection oven over the weeks and thought this was a great opportunity to make a double-tiered chocolate cake and see if the convection oven was all it was cracked up to be.  I had been doing some of my own research online to acquaint myself with this new appliance. It claims to cook and bake evenly.  There is a small fan in the back of the oven that circulates the air, thereby allowing even distribution of the hot air in the oven.  It also cuts down the baking time by a few minutes, allowing you to tend to other things, like pouring yourself a cocktail :).  Thanksgiving, Christmas and other larger gatherings work a treat with the convection oven as you can bake several dishes with the same setting at the same time.  This chocolate cake is adapted from Epicurious.   I wanted to link this post to Selma’s tips n’ tricks on baking and a whole host of other ideas.  If you haven’t already visited her blog you’re missing out; not only is she so helpful to newcomers such as myself, she just has such an amazing blog full of wonderful recipes and stories.  Her motto “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful” http://selmastable.wordpress.com/tips-and-tricks/

  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
  1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350deg F.  Butter 2 (9″ by 2″) round cake pans and line bottom of each with parchment paper.  If using wax paper, butter and dust side of pans with cocoa powder (if cake is semi-naked), knocking out excess.
  2. Whisk together hot water and cocoa powder in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy about 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce speed to low and add flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter may look curdled).
  5. Divide batter between cake pans, smoothing tops.  Bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean and edges of cake begin to pull away from the sides of pans 25-35 minutes total.  Cool layers in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, removing parchment paper and cool completely.  

Chocolate/Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.  Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.  Add chocolate chips.
  2. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.  If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.  If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.  Frosts 9″x13″ cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8″ or 9″ two-tiered cake.  I sandwiched the 2 tiered cake with some frosting, then spread some on top, but not the sides to give it a more semi-naked look.  I then piped some curly-wurlies on the top and base of the cake.  If you want to frost the entire cake, you would probably need to make some adjustments with the frosting. 

The hosts prepared grilled sea bass, home-made barbecue sauce on baby back ribs, steamed asparagus and pasta.  It was all very delicious.  Loved the whole fish, bones and all :).  Finished it off with a dessert pumpkin martini :).  

I’m off to join Angie’s  virtual potluck party.  Today’s co-hosts are Naina and Prudy.  Please click on their names to reach their blogs – each unique, creative and most talented.  Thanks ladies for allowing us this great get-together every  Friday.  We visit, learn, and forge wonderful friendships around food.  🙂

40 thoughts on “Splendidly Chocolate!

    1. Thanks Anjana, it looks like we’ve both been on a chocolate cake kick lately? I’m definitely going to try your last recipe though, but I’m on a hunt right now to find that 5″ cake pan – when I do find it, I can make a mini chocolate cake and devour it all by myself :).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, you’re right though, that “naked” look is comforting too, knowing you’re not eating a ton of frosting and devouring those extra calories? :))


  1. Looks like it was a wonderful party, Loretta! And that cake is to die for! YUM. I am a chocolate fan myself and regularly long for a slice of chocolate cake such as this one you’ve made. But, I’m also an all or nothing girl, and probably can’t stop at one small slice. Great job on the cake and happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Ngan….. I sometimes wish that I did not crave chocolate as much as I do. But it looks like you’re in that same predicament eh? Oh well, live and let live!! My dying wish would be a slice of gooey chocolate cake with all the trimmings :)). Happy FF! 🙂


  2. Happy Fiesta Friday Loretta! This is such a lovely cake.. and yes..I’m a chocoholic too.. I’ll remember that, and make sure that I have chocolate in the house if you ever come to visit!! I’m printing this recipe, as I’ll definitely be trying it very soon! I love how you have it decorated… it’s simply sophisticated. Love it. I have a convection oven / microwave oven. I’ve had it for about a year now, and do you know that I’ve never tried the convection part? You have me thinking about it now! Thanks so much for sharing.. awesome post!! ❤


    1. Aww, thanks Prudy, you’re too kind. I do love anything with a mere hint of chocolate :). Yes, you ought to give your convection oven a go, I was and still am experimenting with it with roasts, baked goods, etc. They do say casseroles are better with a more conventional oven because of the depth. Thanks too for co-hosting, no small task that’s for sure! Happy weekend!


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