The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

This year for Girls’ Night I thought we’d make s’mores. I love them and I’d just gotten a fire pit so it seemed like the right move. Plus, s’mores don’t require much work in the way of preparation or clean up. But then it hit me one day while I was going over my list of party needs: I’m a BAKER. And I’m going to make s’mores?! Unacceptable.

I knew immediately what I would bake. Of all the recipes that I’ve seen online and recipes that have been sent to me, there was one that stood out: The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from Add a Pinch. I had recently used The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever} from this blog for my Rainbow Cake and I assumed the chocolate cake would be equally amazing (hint: I was right).

The recipe calls for espresso powder, which I could not find anywhere. It’s sold on Amazon (of course) but I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to find it in stores and therefore didn’t order it in time. While searching high and low for the powder, some packets of cocoa mix caught my eye. I have no idea what I was thinking other than, “Chocolate Supreme!” So I grabbed this packet of Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix (about $1 in the store, not $23). It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized, uh, there’s already cocoa in the cake. Why would adding extra cocoa, even Chocolate Supreme, make a difference? But I thought I’d try it since what comes in the packet isn’t the same as unsweetened cocoa. I hoped that maybe it would give the cake a flavor boost like the espresso powder supposedly  does.

I got to mixing and soon realized just how easy this cake is to make, and now that I’ve made it once I’ll be able to mix it up in about 10-15 minutes. As Robyn points out in her post, a heavy-duty mixer isn’t even necessary. I used a hand mixer and was careful not to over mix. This batter starts out extra thick, and as Robyn mentions, the boiling water thins it out quickly and creates bubbles.

Chocolate cake 13
Before                                                                           After

And just as with the white cake, this batter was incredible. I’d happily drink it from the bowl. I don’t know if it came out the way it’s supposed to but the Chocolate Supreme cocoa mix certainly didn’t hurt.

Using shortening to grease the pans was the best idea I’ve ever had (other than deciding to bake this cake). I hate the way butter bakes along with the cake, makes the edges hard and often burns. And the smell of cooked butter? Ew. The shortening and a minimal amount of flour was perfect for avoiding burns and keeping the cake from sticking. The cake baked nicely and rose quite a bit.

Chocolate cake 10

I let the cake cool and leveled both layers. Then it was time for my favorite part: the frosting. Naturally, I used Add a Pinch’s Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Despite the cup of cocoa in the frosting, it turned very pale.

Chocolate cake 11

The light in my kitchen gives the photo a yellow hue, but it was definitely a very light chocolate color. Almost like a mousse. Despite the color, the frosting had a very rich cocoa flavor. Very rich. Mama Bear and I agreed that it was like a dark chocolate. Since this was my first time making it, I had no way of know if it came out the right way or if I’d made a mistake without knowing it.

The consistency was great for spreading, though, and the cake was so moist that crumbs weren’t an issue. My layers were still slightly uneven so I just filled in the spaces with extra frosting (darn). A crumb coat probably wasn’t necessary but I did one anyway. I have a fear of crumbs in my frosting.

Chocolate cake 4

I put it in the fridge for a bit but there wasn’t much change. The frosting was too wet and didn’t really set. More sugar probably would have made it lighter but there was already 5.5 cups in it so I let it slide. Then I slapped on the rest of the icing, trying to make it look like the photo on Add a Pinch’s post. But because of the consistency, it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to…

Chocolate cake 5

Either way, it tasted fantastic. The color of the frosting darkened a little over night and it remained very cocoa-y. But the cake was moist, delicious, and the frosting complimented it nicely.

Chocolate cake

The cake was a hit at Girls’ Night and one friend even told me that I should have my own bakery (thank you)! I’d like to do a little experimenting on the frosting (less cocoa, less butter, more sugar). But the cake is a keeper. It’s delicious, easy to make, and this will be my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on!

P.S. My apologies for the terrible photos – I’m having a bit of trouble with those.

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