Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY: Fool-Proof Birthday Cake

Oh, look, another DIY! Maybe I will post these most often than I thought...

Anyway, it was my best friend's birthday last week (HAPPY BIRTHDAY again, SARAH), and of course, I had to bake something to celebrate. I decided I'd go with my fool-proof chocolate cake recipe (not made in a mug this time), which, surprisingly, comes from Hershey's. I first tried this recipe a few years back for my then-boyfriend's birthday, and while I was weary at first about the 1 cup of boiling water the recipe calls for, I was so pleasantly surprised with the result that this soon became my go-to chocolate cake recipe.

For accompaniment, I made a very simple dark chocolate ganache, which glistened beautifully on top of the super moist cake. I love making ganache not only because it's such an easy fix when you need something to top a boring cake but also because it requires a lot fewer ingredients than a whipped cream or frosting yet tastes just as good.

On top of the ganache, I placed some blackberries, her favorite fruit, and dusted some powdered sugar to make it pretty.

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and blackberries

Super moist cake + rich and smooth ganache + sweet yet tart blackberries = happy, happy birthday girl and friends.

For the recipes:

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Note: I cut the recipe in half and made a single-layer cake because I had to take it elsewhere and didn't want it to be too heavy. Also, because we were planning on going out after dinner, I tried not to bring an insane amount of cake, so we could finish the whole thing on the spot.

1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10 to 12 servings.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1. Put 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Pour 1/3 cup of heavy cream into a saucepan on medium-high. Once the cream starts to steam, remove from heat, and pour it on top of the chocolate chips.

3. Wait 1 minute for the heat to distribute, and stir until you get a smooth, glossy mixture.

4. Wait another 5 minutes for the ganache to cool and set for a bit, and pour on top of the cake.


  1. SO DELICIOUS!!! thank you <3 <3 <3 seriously the best chocolate cake ever. and THANK YOU Hershey's!

  2. can you make one for me too? and send it by mail in december?