When I was in high school my sister-in-law and I decided to make a cake as a surprise for my mom’s birthday. We successful snuck her trusty mixer out of the house to the church next door, giddy with excitement that we were going to pull off such a wonderful surprise. We got to work, with me manning the mixer and feeling ultra important. I was doing so well and everything was going swimmingly. I left the mixer for a moment and continued on my merry way to complete the other important tasks in front of me. Suddenly we were startled by a grinding, gargling sound as the mixer gasped for air. We rushed to it’s aid and discovered that I had left the spatula in the bowl and it had gotten tangled in the beaters. We tried to free it from it’s agonizing pain, but it was too late. The motor had burnt out. It had died a painful and tragic death. We hung our heads and carried the lifeless mixer back to the house. Happy Birthday Mom! Surprise?
Thankfully I have an understanding Mom who likes to laugh in the face of adversity (in this case probably to keep from crying). Since then I have become a much better cook and hopefully a little wiser. I have made many a cake with no ones mixer being the worse for it. Including this one. I actually like to mix this cake by hand because it is so easy to whip up and only dirties one bowl. I have made this cake on numerous occasions and it is a definite favourite. It is chocolatey, moist, and delicious. It goes with numerous amounts of fillings and variations. The cake pictured above was for my son’s 1st birthday back in June. I froze it, along with it’s filling of Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse and topped it with Ganache. Which made for an icy delight. The one below is simply filled with a Coconut Creme Filling. But, this is one cake that I can eat completely on it’s own with no added icings or fillings. Not too sweet and just perfect!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ¾ cup baking cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, coffee and milk. Whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well incorperated (about 2 min.). It will be quite runny.
- Grease and flour 2- 9 inch round pans. Pour the batter into the pans and bake at 325ºF for 25-30 min until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 min. before removing to cool completely.
- Because this cake is so moist it does not hold up well in a pan larger then 9 inches. This includes a 9×13 pan. The cake is too dense to hold up to it’s own weight and will sink in the middle.
- If you want to make this in 2- 8 inch pans pour the extra batter into 6 muffin cups and bake off. The cupcakes will probably take about 20 min. So, keep a close eye on them.
- I often make a cup of strong instant coffee for this recipe.
- Instead of greasing and flouring pans I always grease the bottom and cut a circle of parchment to fit. This makes for easy removal. When you flip the cake out, remove the parchment immediately.
Adapted from TasteofHome.
Update! Upon popluar demand here are the recipes for the fillings and ganache:
Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
- 1/2 package (4oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
- 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
- Whisk together the cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth. Mix in the pureed strawberries.
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold into the strawberry cream cheese mixture.
- Line a 9 inch round pan (the same size you used for the cakes) with plastic wrap and pour the mousse inside. Freeze until solid.
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Bring cream to a boil over medium heat.
- Poor over chocolate. Let sit for a moment then stir until smooth.
- Let cool to room temp.
- Remove mousse from freezer and unwrap.
- Place one cake layer on serving platter. Position frozen mousse in the centre and top with remaining cake layer.
- Allow to thaw for 30 min, or so.
- Meanwhile drizzle with ganache and garnish with fresh strawberries.
Coconut Creme Filling
adapted from allrecipes
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 20 large marshmallows
- 14 ounces flaked coconut
- Cook the sugar, butter and evap. milk in saucepan for 10 min.
- Stir in the marshmallows until melted.
- Stir in coconut. (I didn’t use the full amount of coconut)