Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best Chocolate Cake. EVER.

So, funny story. A few weeks ago was my daughter Rebecca's third birthday. All along we'd talked about the kind of cupcakes she wanted for various birthday functions that week and we'd agreed on Oreo cupcakes for The Big Day. Then, just before naptime- when I was going to be baking said cupcakes- she announced that she doesn't want cupcakes. She wants a big cake. A "real" cake. Well, ok, it's her birthday and baking is baking in my opinion, so she went to sleep and I set out to find a chocolate cake recipe. I came across this. This is one of the first recipes I ever saved in my quest to start making food that didn't, you know, suck.

However, I noticed in reading through the recipe that it's intended to be made as a sheet cake. I don't have a sheet cake pan. I did, however, just receive 2 brand spanking new layer cake pans that were begging to be used. I read through some of the comments on the original post from The Pioneer Woman (By the way. I totally want to be Ree's internet Best Friend. In a completely elementary school note-passing kind of way.  "Dear Ree, do you want to be my friend. Please check yes or no. Signed, the geek in the back of the class, Laura") that said that this could be made into a layer cake. So off I went.

The cake came together very quickly. Simple and easy. I like that. I popped it into the oven, let it cool slightly while making the frosting, then read the directions again. It says to pour the warm frosting over the warm cake to let it kind of spread itself. Less work for me. Bonus.

However. I made this into a layer cake. Not thinking about the fact that a sheet cake pan would have sides to it (duh) I poured a tiny bit of the frosting onto the first cake layer, spread it around a bit then set the second layer on top. Then the fun began. I poured, nay, DUMPED, the majority of the frosting over the cake. Then I watched it trickle down the sides of the cake and a little bit onto the wax-paper-edged plate I'd set it on. (Wax paper to make cleaning up the edges of the cake a touch easier so it would look prettier when serving. Ha. Right.) Then I watched as chocolatey goodness ran, not just down the cake, not just down the plate, but all over my counter. It was a frosting flood.

So this:

actually looked more like this:

Do you see the frosting bits running down the wax paper, thus dripping onto my floor? What you can't see is the other side where it ran all over my counter.

which then, I'm afraid, turned into a bit huge kitchen mess that I left, in frustration, for my husband to clean up. (Thanks babe!) Before sighing and stalking out of the kitchen in a huff, I did lick the counter top. I admit it. Hi, I'm Laura, and I have a cake/chocolate problem.

Thankfully, this cake was worth the whole big mess. X 100 million. Brian's already asking when I'll be making it again. I will, as soon as I stop finding bits of chocolate frosting in the nooks of kitchen cabinet doors.

The Best Chocolate Cake in the Entire World
print this recipe


for the cake:2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
½ cups Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

for the frosting:½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
1-¾ stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

In the bowl of an electric mixer add together the flour, sugar and salt.

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter, then add in the cocoa powder. Mix together well. Pour in the boiling water, stirring together and let it simmer for about 30 seconds. Pour the cocoa mixture over the flour mixture and beat together.

In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Pour this into the mixing bowl and blend until just combined.

Pour the batter into prepared cake pan(s) and bake about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack to cool.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, add in the cocoa, milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. Mix in the pecans and powdered sugar.

If using a sheet cake pan, pour the frosting over the top of the cake while it is still warm. If using layer cake pans, remove from the pans and once cooled, spread the frosting over the cake.

Source: The Pioneer Woman


  1. LOL, love it! I too am part of the Ree fan club...though she doesn't know it! Looks like one delicious mess

  2. I feel like kitchen disasters just HAVE to happen sometimes... I know I've had a ton of them! At least you still ended up with a delicious chocolate cake!

  3. You are still my baking hero, even more so now that you have admitted to being a counter-licker.

  4. Really lush result, so delicious, that kind of culinery masterpiece would last about 2 seconds in this house. Do you have any similar recipes to this?