It’s the start of a year-long quest for a no-fail chocolate cake recipe
It begins here. For the rest of 2016 I plan to take you on a journey through the land of chocolate cake. Our quest? To find the all-time, go-to, no-fail, ultimate chocolate cake recipe. You know, the one that you always can go to if you need a birthday cake, anniversary cake or just a delicious gift to take to a potluck. Dependable. Fool-proof. Always delicious.
During my CAKE QUEST, let’s use a rating scale from 1-10 with the following criteria:
2. Texture. Moist yet fluffy. Not too moist, this is not a mouse cake or flourless cake.
3. Flavour. Rich and natural dark chocolate.
4. Fool-proof. It always turns out perfectly. A must if time is tight.
5. Height. I love a lofty cake.
So, where to start? Well, the most dead-simple I guess. A boxed cake mix. Not just any cake mix – deluxe chocolate cake mix!
I’ve tried all the cake mixes and my favourite by far is Duncan Hines Devil’s Food. They’re not a sponsor (but you should be…), it’s just the best. The deluxe part is I don’t make it just out-of-the-box. I add a few things to tart it up a little. Nothing too fancy: Jell-o Chocolate Instant Pudding, sour cream and milk instead of water.
The batter is really thick, like fudge. That’s good, scoop it out into the layer pans and spread it out as evenly as you can.
Add a Classic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and you are done.
1. Simple. 10 can’t get more simple than this.
2. Texture. 8 it was moist and really fluffy. Texture is a bit uneven, lots of air pockets even though I taped the pans before baking.
3. Flavour. 7 good chocolate flavour, but could be improved a bit. Points off for ingredients I can’t pronounce…
4. Fool-proof. 10 always turns out perfectly. If not over-baked, this cake is totally fool-proof.
5. Height. 9 these layers were really height, not sure we can improve on that.
I hate to say it, but it is going to be tough to beat. The areas were scratch cake can make up ground are in flavour (you know all the ingredients) and texture.
So here we begin, join me each month this year while I explore many classic chocolate cake recipes – Mayonnaise cake, Guinness cake and many more.
Do you have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that you would like to share? I’d love to hear from you!
The Ultimate Cake Quest - Part 1 Deluxe Chocolate Cake MixEMAIL Recipe Share on Facebook
- 1 pkg devils food cake mix
- 1 pkg, 113 g chocolate instant pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup 1% milk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
CLASSIC BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 3 cups icing sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 2/3 cup softened butter
- 5-6 Tbsp milk or cream
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour 2 – 8” pans.
- To a large bowl, add cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, milk, oil and eggs. Blend with a mixer on low for I minute. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on medium. The batter will be thick and fudgy.
- Scrape evenly into the two pans, smoothing out with a spatula.
- Bake until springs back when lightly touched – about 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from oven let cook 5 minutes before turning out on to cooking rack.
To make CLASSIC BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- Whisk sugar and cocoa together in a bowl.
- In another bowl beat butter until smooth. Gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with milk until smooth. Beat in vanilla.
The best and favourite go to cake in my opinion is the Chocolate Mayonnaise cake my mom made in the 19t0’s. I still make it to day. All from scratch, no cake mix here and it is delicious!!
I’m going to try that one next month. I have heard good things…
Can you include a requirement that it should not be too crumby? I just made a chocolate cake – delicious and chocolaty but so many crumbs.
Good point. I think that would fit under TEXTURE. The crumbs are from a cake that is too dry… yuck!
Lori…Could you use a 9×13 pan rather than the layer cake pans?
Yes, cooking time should be the same.
I’m not a big fan of mixes of any kind, but I’ve found this recipe to be terrifically dependable – of course scaled down by 4! http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2014/03/chocolate-celebration-cake-for-100.html
Instant pudding mix or cook and serve?
Instant pudding mix
Wonder if it would make good cupcakes?