Friday, December 30, 2011

Chocolate Celebration Cake

We are just hours away from the new year and I'm rushing to get one last recipe onto this blog before the clock strikes 12. Why? Because I'll be doing my top 12 recipes of 2011 soon and this cake will be on the list! I bake several cakes a year and I've made and tasted several recipes for chocolate cake in my lifetime and this is one of the best I've ever eaten. The recipe was given to me by my cyber friend, China, (hi China!) and I'm so grateful for it. Her husband made this cake for her birthday this summer and she raved about it. I read the reviews online and so did everyone else.

Happy Birthday M!

I baked this chocolate cake for a very special lady, my mother-in-laws' ex sister-in-law. Let's call her M. M was married to Mr. H's uncle many years ago. Got that? He (the uncle not Mr. H) is kind of a loser (haha!) so we ditched him and kept her after their divorce. She really does feel like part of the family. Scratch that, she is part of the family and this year for her birthday she decided to spend it with us, which gave me the opportunity to bake a birthday cake. Together with my mother-in-law we prepared dinner and dessert. She requested "anything chocolate" so I turned to this recipe by Gale Gand.

This cake makes a lot of batter and produces a large cake. The one thing that makes this cake unique is that it is made with all brown sugar- 3 cups to be exact. Yes, that's a lot of sugar but it makes a lot of cake too. It was mighty tasty and moist thanks to the addition of sour cream. It also has hot coffee in the batter, but you could substitute hot water if you like. The coffee just brings out the intensity of the chocolate without actually tasting it. I happen to like coffee and chocolate together so I paired it with a mocha cream cheese frosting. The combination was killer good. And as I mentioned it's making my top 12 list of 2011 so you know it's a good recipe. If you're needing a new chocolate cake recipe, I sincerely hope you'll give this one a try. You don't even need to use my frosting recipe, any frosting will do or heck, just eat it plain. But please put it on your list of things to make this upcoming year, hopefully sooner than later.

Chocolate Layer Cake from Gale Gand via Food Network

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  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Cut 3 circles of waxed paper or parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans, then press them in.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix. Add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the sour cream and mix. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream. Drizzle in the hot coffee and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake until the tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay), about 35 minutes. Halfway through the baking, quickly rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even baking, but otherwise try not to open the oven.

Let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely before frosting.

Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting by Monica h

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream

In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese and mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.

Add the cocoa and espresso powder and beat on low until just combined then add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Gradually add powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Start with 3 cups adding more if necessary. Once frosting is sweetened, thick and creamy add the heavy cream and mix on medium speed- the frosting will thicken slightly. Don't overwhip once you've added the cream.

Frost cooled cake layers. Refrigerate any leftover frosting. Refrigerate any frosted cake, but eat at room temperature for best flavor and texture.

Thank you for making 2011 such a memorable year for Lick The Bowl Good. I'm looking forward to another year of baking and licking bowls with you all. Happy New Year!

Oh, and the winner of the Shabby Apple apron is Julie of Fruitcake In The Kitchen. Congrats Julie!


Lyndas recipe box said...

This cake does look wonderful; chocolate is my favorite so I must try your version.Beautiful photo!

K-Koira said...

Looks delicious. But, don't we still have over 24 hours to the new year?

Foodiewife said...

Yep, I'm all about chocolate and coffee. the sour cream must really make this super moist. I'm adding this to my list of cakes to bake-- just as soon as I break my no eating sugar New Year's Resolution!

Coleens Recipes said...

That is one gorgeous cake, it looks SO moist. I love that top photo of Hayden on your web page, EVERY time I see it, I think...he looks so cold!!! Must be because I live in Alaska, huh? lol

Quirky Jessi said...

Mmmm, it does look like a good one to give a try.

Heather @ said...

YUM! Happy New Year to you and your men :D

Ruth Hiebert said...

I would just like a slice of that cake and a cup oaf coffee now.It looks fabulous.

Little Ol' Liz said...

There is Family by Birth, and Family By Choice. I'm blessed with the Birth ones, and especially fond of the ones in our lives by Choice. It sounds like you are, too.

Fabulous cake. Our first Birthday of the New Year is on the Third. With a cake recipe like that --- I can't wait!

ilovecooking said...

Wow, this cake looks amazing. I really love baking too. I'm a major chocoholic so I'm glad I stumbled upon this cake. I've never tried adding hot coffee to a cake before so that should be interesting. I don't really drink coffee...I can't believe how huge this cake though. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting :)

Wishing a Happy New Year to you, your family, and friends!

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

I love that family can be made up of so many people in so many different ways! Oh and this cake looks absolutely divine! My Mom's birthday is next weekend and I have been looking for a new cake recipe to try and I think this is it!

Unknown said...

I've made Gale's chocolate cake many times over the years - it's a keeper!


Julie said...

Love the story of how you kept M in your family :) That's one fabulous looking cake. So excited to be a winner :)

Peggy Clyde said...

Yum, yum, yummy looking chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing.

Jackie said...

I don't usually do well with layer cakes but this recipe sounds wonderful and I love chocolate. I will have to give this try. I hope you have a Happy New Year.

Maria from Paris said...

Thanks a lot for this recipe and the others too !! I don't have enough time to try all of them but let me say that you are a great "tentatrice".
I wish you a wonderful New Year to you, your family and friends !
A friend from Paris

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Love the story of "M" and that you made her that amazing chocolate cake for her birthday. She's a lucky lady in many ways.

Debbie said...

Happy New Year Monica and what a lovely cake!

sandybnfla said...

Happy New Year, Monica! I am really enjoying your blog because baking is my favorite part of cooking and you do have some fab recipes. One thing I noticed on the recipe for the frosting for this cake -- 1/2 cocoa? 1/2 of what measurement? I would like to know because I would love to make this soon.

Cassie said...

Mocha. Cream cheese. Frosting. I DIE. I have to bake this IMMEDIATELY.

Happy New Year to you and your sweet family, Monica!

Emily said...

Oh Yummy Big Time!

Happy New Year Monica!

Alleen said...

Looks divine, craving a bit of chocolate now! Happy New Year!

Adele @ The Dutch Door Kitchen said...

I love your blog.... can't wait to try the mocha frosting recipe - it sounds divine!

Bunny said...

The cake looks divine, but more importantly...Happy New Year momma!

Meredith said...

Hi, Monica! I just love your site and your recipes. I'm going to try to make this cake this weekend! Wish me luck! One quick question - what is the measurement for the cocoa powder in the frosting? Cup, I assume? Thanks!

LoLy said...

WOW, the cake looks wonderful, thank you for sharing :)

ramya said...

Oh Monica, The cake is an absolute delight.I tried it and posted it on my lil' space.However I used your chocolate sour cream frosting and the cake was a 'KILLER'!!I think your recipes are simply WOW!!Happy new year.

rkmillerales204 said...

First of all Monica, I'd like to say you are my idol and your blog is my bible! You never let me down! :)
I made this cake last weekend for my older sister's best friend's birthday party...and it was devoured! Instead of the mocha frosting, I used your cream cheese pecan frosting from your Italian Cream Cake recipe. The combination was delicious. I still can't get over how moist the cake was!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe (and all the others, keep them coming!) :)

Jennifer Bizon said...

I made this cake on Monday for my husband's birthday. I made a fudge filling for the inside, but used the cream cheese frosting recipe for outside. It was so good. My son said it was the best cake I'd ever made and he wants the exact same for his birthday. I generally only like white cake, but I thought this cake was delicious. Perfect texture.

Ju said...

Hi !
After reading all the great reviews , I will very likely make this cake for my best friend's baby shower! How many servings does this cake yield?
Thanks !

Monica H said...

You can get about 12 good sized serving out of this. If you cut them smaller, about 16 servings maybe?

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