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!!!

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).