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Feb 14, 2010 04:39 PM

Please share your favorite chocolate cake recipe!

I would be very grateful to hear what your go-to chocolate cake recipe is. I like all styles of chocolate cake. Thanks!

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      1. For a quick in the oven, cake batter ready before oven is done preheating, I use the Hershey black magic cake.

        I have a lot of different ones, depending on how much time I want to spend and the occasion.

        23 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          Wow, no butter! It looks very easy. Do you have a fancier one you use for special occasions?

          1. re: visciole

            Ironically, another one that uses oil and not butter is the Triple Chocolate Celebration cake:


            For a regular chocolate cake, if I wanted to split the time difference, I like the sour cream chocolate cake or devil's food cake from C.I.'s Best Recipe. But, I'm always playing around with different recipes and cakes--my favorites just keep growing and growing.

            1. re: chowser

              "my favorites just keep growing and growing."
              as long as the same can't be said about your waistline after all that baking! ;)

              question about the Triple Chocolate Celebration you find the results to be worth the effort and time? it's a pretty labor-intensive recipe. and how does the mousse component compare to others you've made? just curious.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                That Celebration Cake is a wonder to behold! Truly, someone in our office, Kim, has made it twice...BUT, you have to be comfortable with "pastry transfers" and so forth which she said she has to mail-order here in SWFL...she does not have pastry chef training but ... well, she could BE a pastry chef...this cake takes a while to prepare for sure...I will nominate Epicurious' DOUBLE Chocolate Layer Cake that even *I* have baked numerous times, requires less effort and yields stunning results...and this is not to dumb down Visciole's request AT ALL...he or she may be totally up to the task of the Celebration Cake but herewith I submit the Double Chocolate Layer only advice is to bake the darn thing in 3 -9" or 8" pans...those 10" pans are hard to come by and cost some $$$$...this makes a HUGE cake...and if I were to judge by "looks" alone, the award goes to the Celebration Cake...if I were to judge by "taste" alone, no doubt about it...Double Chocolate Layer Cake:


                1. re: Val

                  was looking for a recipe like this last week could not find.. So I made a single layer cake from epuicurious on the site last week. Day one I was not impressed kind of cak-ee (I'm more a flourless guy) but cake really came together on day 2.




                  1. re: Val

                    The Double Chocolate Layer Cake is the best chocolate layer cake I've ever made, and about the best I've ever eaten.

                    1. re: Val

                      thanks so much for the recommendation (and feedback) on the Double Chocolate Layer Cake. i'm always on the lookout for *really* good recipes to use as a starting points to develop killer GF goodies, and this one sounds like a keeper!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I've done it GF - similar to Black Magic cake and also did the Chocolate Wedding cake with orange buttercream (except different frosting) from epicurious. Both worked well. We did tiered and 3D shaped cakes.

                        1. re: jsaimd

                          Did you like the double chocolate layer cake as much as the black magic cake? I actually prefer the black magic cake better, find it more moist. I thought the addition of the chopped callebaut would make a big difference but it didn't.

                          1. re: chowser

                            I like the Black magic, but I use half brown butter or clarified butter and half oil.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      LOL, I have to be very picky about my calories so I don't keep growing! The cake is worth the effort but part of the work is making it look good so if you're not picky, it's not too bad. I've done it w/out the chocolate on the transfer paper and have never used fruit; just covered it all in ganache or chocolate whipped cream. I'm terrible about following the recipe exactly and prefer a nutella mousse in this to the chocolate mousse. It's from the chocolate hazelnut souffle cake, also from Bon Appetit (but not on their site). I do increase the Nutella, by dollops. This is a little more complex than the one from the recipe (which is a standard whipped chocolate cream). I've also used the Hershey black magic cake, with the different mousse centers and different toppings. Like I said, I love to experiment! The one thing I find with the Triple Celebration cake is that it's very chocolate-y, even for someone like me who loves chocolate. A small piece is enough.

                      12 large egg yolks
                      ½ c. sugar
                      6 Tab. Frangelico
                      ½ butter, room temperature
                      4 oz. Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
                      6 Tab. Nutella
                      1 c. chilled whipping cream

                      Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium saucepan to blend. Whisk in Frangelico. Add butter. Whisk gently over medium heat until mixture is thick, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Gently stir in Nutella. Transfer to large bowl; cool to room temperature. Beat cream in medium bowl until cream holds peaks; fold into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Cover mousse and chill up to one day.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I should add, as transfer paper goes, I don't get the professional ones w/ the gold design. I get a sheet of florist paper from the grocery store and cut that to shape, It's not as pretty but it works and is cheap.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Great to know this, thanks!!!

                2. re: chowser

                  Just tried the black magic cake yesterday, and frosted it with Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" frosting. For some reason, I often end up with cakes that are not worth the effort, and usually wish I had just stuck with a box. This was easily the best cake I have ever made (and I would say, still excellent, even bearing in mind that all my other cakes have been crap). Thanks for sharing.

                  1. re: happybellynh

                    Glad it worked for you. That's why it's one of my easy go -to cakes. I can have the batter done before the oven is finished preheating. My kids throw it together easily, too, and I love that there are no unusual ingredients (other than buttermilk but I'll do the milk/vinegar thing) in it. LOL, better than crap cake.

                  2. re: chowser

                    I have been salivating over a chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten on Food and Wine but was also looking for other favorites. I clicked the link to the Hershey Black Magic cake and lo and behold, Ina Garten's is EXACTLY the same recipe. Apparently there's nothing wrong with stealing an oldie but goodie verbatim!

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Yes, it's been pointed out before but I think the Hershey cake predates Ina's.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I realized that as I read farther down the thread - and I'm sure the Hershey's cake pre-dates Ina's. Heck, it might pre-date Ina herself! :)

                    2. re: chowser

                      I ended up making the Black Magic cake today with just a couple of changes - I bloomed the cocoa powder in the coffee, and added a square of melted unsweetened chocolate to the mix. I also baked it in 3 pans instead of two. Anyway, it's DELICIOUS and incredibly moist, but I think the changes I made may have negatively affected the structure - it's extremely tender and delicate, with a wide open crumb. One of my layers fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan, and the others just barely held together. It's very damp outside today so that may have something to do with it as well, but next time I think I will omit the extra chocolate and perhaps cut the sugar just a bit, as I worry it might be too sweet otherwise.

                      I used a CI recipe for the frosting - the one they use with their old-fashioned chocolate layer cake. It's sort of a whipped ganache - melt 16oz of bittersweet chocolate, set aside. Melt a stick of butter and add 1/3c. sugar and 2T. corn syrup, cook until dissolved. Combine with chocolate, 2t. vanilla and 1 1/4c. heavy cream in a mixing bowl and cool in an ice bath to 70 degrees, then beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Anyway, the frosting is INCREDIBLE - it's so light and silky, just melts on your tongue, and a dream to work with - my cake was practically falling apart and I was still easily able to frost it with this. It will definitely be one of my go-to chocolate frosting recipes from here on out.

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        hmm, i'm not so sure one square of chocolate would have had that much of an impact on the structure - my guess is that the humidity you mentioned was the more likely culprit. glad everything was delicious anyway :)

                      2. re: chowser

                        would this recipe be appropriate to use in a black forest cake? also the link is not working anymore, is this the correct recipe:
                        there is a lot of coffee in it, would a coffee hater taste it?

                        1. re: cleopatra999

                          The link in chowser's post works fine for me, but your All Recipes link is, indeed, the correct recipe. As for the coffee in the recipe, no worries: the coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, but you cannot taste it in the baked cake, and it's unlikely that anyone would guess it was in there.

                          I don't know what's used in a traditional Black Forest cake, but the Black Magic is dense and moist, and the liqueur, cherries, and whipped cream would certainly work well enough with it. It's a good match with whipped-cream frosting.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            perfect thanks! I think dense is one of the keys as you want it to hold up all the yummy extras.

                      3. Thanks for the replies. The recipes look great, so I'll have to try them all eventually... but this weekend I'm going to try the Double Chocolate Layer Cake. I'm a sucker for anything with buttermilk. I'll let you all know how it came out.

                        1. I made this chocolate cake with espresso buttercream for my husband for Valentines Day and he flipped out. We also love the double chocolate cake from Epi. It does make a huge cake but I have successfully halved the recipe and baked in 2 8" pans.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jules127

                            I love espresso buttercream! Thanks for the link!

                            1. re: jules127

                              you're a superstar, jules. just checked the link.

                              1. re: jules127

                                I saved the link recipe for the Espresso buttercream, yum. Thanks for posting!