The quest continues with a simple chocolate layer cake from Mom
This cake recipe is one of my Mom’s favourites. It’s a really simple chocolate layer cake that stands the test of time, why? Because it works. It doesn’t use any fancy ingredients, just simple pantry items and … water. As usual I added a twist, this time it’s blueberries which take the simple to spectacular!
So to recap, my quest for the ultimate, no-fail chocolate cake, began in February with Part 1 – Deluxe Chocolate Cake Mix. A pretty great start with a score of 44 out of 50. In April, I returned with Part 2 – Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake which was even better, coming in at 46 out of 50. This popular cake was moist and delicious, how could it be beaten? Well, it got beaten by the current champ, Part 3 – Red Wine Chocolate Cake. OMG so good, and a score of 48 out of 50! Let’s see how Mom’s cake matches up…
To recap the CAKE QUEST scoring: I’m using a rating scale from 1-10 with the following criteria:
1. Simple. Uncomplicated method, and no ingredients that can’t be purchased at any grocery store.
2. Texture. Moist yet fluffy. Not too dense, this is not a mousse cake or flour-less cake.
3. Flavour. Rich and natural dark chocolate.
4. Fool-proof. It always turns out perfectly. If time is tight, you’re sure it will turn out every time.
5. Height. I love a lofty cake.
Results… 46 out of 50
1. Simple. 10 this was really simple only 9 ingredients!
2. Texture. 8 it was moist, but not as moist as Mayonnaise or Red Wine cakes. Texture is quite even, only a few air pockets.
3. Flavour. 9 excellent. Dark, rich chocolate flavour.
4. Fool-proof. 9 simple method, easy to follow, totally fool-proof.
5. Height. 10 these three layers were really high and tender.
I can see why this cake recipe has been around for a long time. It is simple, tasty and dependable. It was excellent, but not good enough to knock the current champ, Red Wine Chocolate Cake, off the throne. Sorry Mom…
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
- ⅔ cup blueberry jam
- ½ pint fresh blueberries
- In a small bowl combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until smooth. Set aside until completely cooled.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour three 9” layer cake pans.
- In a medium bowl sift flour, soda, salt and baking powder.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, at high speed, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
- At low speed, beat in flour mixture in four additions, alternating with cocoa mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
- Divide evenly into prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when pressed with fingertip. Cool in pans 5 minutes and then turn out to cool on racks.
- To assemble: (SEE ICING OPTIONS BELOW) Place first layer on a serving plate. Spread ⅓ cup of blueberry jam on top. On the top of the second layer spread ½ cup of chosen icing, then flip it over and place on top of jam-toped layer. Repeat with third layer, then frost cake all over with chosen icing (I chose to do trendy 'naked' sides and pile the icing a mile high on the top). Top with fresh blueberries.
- BUTTERY VANILLA ICING (as shown): 1 cup butter, room temperature, 3-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar,2 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract - In a bowl whip butter until light and creamy. Add sugar, cream and vanilla. Whip on high speed until light and spreadable.
- CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE ICING: 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, ½ cup butter, room temperature, 3 cup confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp salt – Whip all ingredients on high speed until light and spreadable.