Dark Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This week we found out if we are having a boy or a girl!  To reveal the news to our family, we decided to make a “gender reveal” cake.  We decided to make a chocolate cake (our favorite) with some of the most delicious cream cheese frosting to compliment it.  Blue or pink frosting would be on the inside, and the outside would be white frosting.  When we cut into the cake, it would be revealed whether we were having a boy or a girl!

The cake recipe is based strongly off of a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe.  I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder to give it that extra dark flavor, and I used hot coffee instead of boiling water to bring out the cocoa flavor even more.  The result is a super moist cake packed with chocolately flavor.  The cream cheese frosting recipe is the perfect balance for this cake.  It’s not overly sweet, so it really compliments the chocolate cake.

So… was it a boy or a girl?!  Check out the photos below!  I added pink and blue sprinkles to the entire outside of the frosted cake to make it a bit more fun.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Active Prep: 30 min
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
TOTAL: ~1 hr, plus cooling and frosting time

Dark Chocolate Cake

 Ingredients:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c brewed hot coffee

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, beat together eggs, milk, and vegetable oil.  Add to flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  3. Slowly stir in vanilla and coffee. Batter will be very thin.  Pour into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 °F for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove from cake pans and cool on wire racks completely. Frost as desired with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).

Cream Cheese Frosting

 Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz each) blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ – ½ c milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add softened butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to low and slowly add half of confectioner’s sugar. Add ¼ cup milk and vanilla, then continue adding the remaining sugar.  Add additional milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase speed to medium high for 1 minute until well-combined. Frost cake as desired.

It’s a boy!!!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting

I don’t think I’ve posted a cupcake on this blog yet – HOW CAN THAT BE?!?  Cupcakes are my FAVORITE thing in the world to make (and eat!).  Making and decorating cupcakes is my favorite hobby.  I just can’t get enough!

I promised Lauren (my twin sis) that I would make her some Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes for her (our) birthday (yesterday!).  The thing is… pregnancy brain struck and I LITERALLY forgot to make them!  I had all the ingredients bought and ready to go, and I just completely blanked out and didn’t realize what day it was until I woke up yesterday and realized that the promised-cupcakes were still in ingredient-form!  OOPS!  So, I made them today to bring to her tomorrow. 🙂

These Chocolate Oreo cupcakes have a surprise Oreo baked on the bottom.  The chocolate cupcake recipe is adapted from one of my FAVORITE chocolate cupcake recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  The frosting has a butter and cream cheese base, plus lots of crushed Oreos mixed in.  I hope she doesn’t mind getting a box of 11 – a baker’s dozen from me is 11, not 13 😉 (hey, the baker needs one, too!)

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Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Active Prep: 15 minutes
Bake time: 18-20 minutes
TOTAL:  ~35 minutes

YIELDS: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c all-purpose flour
  • ½ c Hershey’ Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ c light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c buttermilk
  • 12 Oreo sandwich cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Prepare a cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add brown sugar, white sugar, oil, and vegetable oil and mix on medium high with an electric beater until well-combined.
  4. Add half of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk, slowly folding in after each addition. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk.
  5. Place one Oreo cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Add ¼ cup of batter to each liner.  Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Frost with Cookies and Cream Frosting and decorate as desired!

 

Cookies and Cream Frosting

Prep: 15 minutes

YIELDS: Frosts ~12-18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese (2 blocks), room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 6-8 Oreo cookies finely crushed (~1 cup)
  • 12 mini Oreo cookies, for decoration (optional)

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  2. With mixer on lowest setting, slowly add confectioners sugar. Once incorporated, increase speed to medium-high to blend well, about 1 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add ¾ c of the Oreo crumbs.  Mix until combined.
  3. Frost cupcakes as desired. Garnish with mini Oreo cookies and remaining Oreo cookie crumbs.  Enjoy!

Marble Bundt Cake

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  This weekend I had the honor of celebrating my great aunt’s 94th birthday!  NINETY-FOUR!!  And she is just as lovely as ever.  She is more like a grandmother; in fact, my sisters and I call her just that – Grandma Blan.  That’s a story for another day, though. 🙂

Growing up, Grandma Blan would always bring over the most delicious and beautiful baked goods and confections – I think that’s part of the reason why I love baking so much!  She’s also send us care packages in college filled to the brim with all of her delicious treats!

For her birthday, I made a marble Bundt cake topped with a chocolate glaze.  It was good – moist and flavorful and not overly sweet (I tend to like things on the super-sugary side, but I know not everyone is into that so I figured I’d tone it down!).  I recommend serving this with some fresh whipped cream on the side for those of us who must have some type of frosting on their cake. 🙂

Special thanks to Foxy Folksy for the cake recipe!  Head on over to her blog for lots of other great recipes and DIY ideas!

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Marble Bundt Cake

Active Prep: 10 min
Bake time: 40-60 min
TOTAL: 50-60 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp boiling water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high setting until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat well, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
  4. Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the flour, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat until all of the flour and buttermilk has been added and mixed in.
  5. Take one-third of the batter and put it in a separate bowl. To this bowl, add the cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp boiling water and mix well.
  6. Alternating between the vanilla and chocolate batters, place dollops of batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Shake pan lightly and tap down to get batter to settle.  Use a knife to gentle cut through the batter a few times in different spots to create a marble affect – do not overdue this!
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes until done. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 min.  Invert directly onto serving plate.  Decorate as desired (chocolate fudge glaze recipe below).

 

Chocolate Fudge Glaze

 Ingredients:

  • 2 c confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 5-6 Tbsp water

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. If needed, add additional water to achieve desired consistency.

 

Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream


I finally had time to make John’s birthday cake!  I’m only 5 months late… sorry John!  Since this cake was SO long overdue, I decided it had to be the absolute BEST chocolate cake I could make, and nothing less!  It had to be moist, rich, and dark.  And big.  REALLY big… so I opted for four layers.  Did we really need a giant 4-layer cake for just the two of us?  Probably not… but now we have cake for daysss (and hey, no one is complaining!).

If you are a chocolate lover like me, you will absolutely love this recipe.  The cake recipe is one of my favorites, adapted from Deborah’s recipe over at Taste and Tell.  The frosting is made using the to-die-for Hershey’s recipe using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder.  This cake will satisfy even the most intense chocolate cravings!  Enjoy!

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

Active Prep: cake – 20 mins; frosting – 10 mins
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
TOTAL: ~1 hour, plus cooling and decorating

Dark Chocolate Cake

 Ingredients:

– 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
– 1 ½ c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 1 Tbsp baking soda
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– ½ Tbsp salt
– 4 c white sugar
– 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 2 c milk, at room temperature
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
– 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 1 ½ cups hot coffee

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Line four 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (*Be sure to sift the cocoa powder or your batter may end up with unmixed chunks of cocoa powder in it – not tasty to bite into!)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until combined. Add the milk and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture.
  4. Once combined, add the hot coffee and mix slowly until just combined. Batter will be thin.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 °F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave cakes in pans for ~15 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks to let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.

 

Dark Chocolate Buttercream

 Ingredients:

– 2 1/2 c (5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 3 1/3 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 15 c confectioner’s sugar
– 1 2/3 c milk
– 1 ½ Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir on low until combined.
  2. With mixer on medium speed, add confectioner’s sugar and milk a little at a time, alternating between the two. Add vanilla.  Turn mixer up to medium-high for 5-10 seconds, until frosting is well-mixed.  Add additional sugar or milk depending upon the desired frosting consistency.  Frost cake as desired.  Makes ~10 cups frosting (enough for one 4-layer cake).