Hot Chocolate Cake

Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s sweet, comes in dozens of forms, and tastes amazing with pretty much anything!

When my dad had his birthday earlier this week then, I knew exactly what I should make him: a hot chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

I found this yummy recipe through Pinterest, and all credit goes to the blogger at I Heart Eating – check that link to see her blog, she has lots of great recipes! – for the recipe for both the cake and buttercream frosting.

To start off with, gather your ingredients! You’ll need…

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of hot chocolate (1 cup of water mixed with standard hot chocolate packet)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup of buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter (melted) – I used unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

NOTE: In order to get the eggs at room temperature, grab a bowl, fill it with warm water (about the temperature you would use if you took a bath) and place the eggs in it for 10 minutes. To get the buttermilk at room temperature, warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Alright! Now that the logistics are out of the way, let’s get started.

IMG_0525Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and go ahead and grease or butter two nine inch cake pans, and then flour them. When you finish, they should look something like this.

If you find yourself with too much flour in the pan, gently tap it against the side of the counter top and the excess flour should separate off. You can then throw that excess out.

Moving along, in a small bowl whisk together the hot chocolate and cocoa powder.

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Then in a larger bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. MAKE SURE your buttermilk and eggs are room temperature. The first time I did this, I got impatient and went ahead and added them to the warm/melted butter…the result was that all the butter clumped together in a huge lump!

See the source image

Haha, so yes, room temperature is really important! I also mixed in each ingredient one at a time, before adding the next one.

After all of those are mixed so that they’re well combined, go ahead and whisk in the hot chocolate mixture that you set aside earlier.

Whisk in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and viola! The batter is complete!

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Pour the batter into the pans, and then bake for 20-35 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, and afterwards, it’s time for frosting!

Here’s what you need to make chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of whole milk, half and half, or cream

NOTE: to get butter to room temperature, leave it out of the fridge for 30 minutes. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT. It makes a huge difference in the frosting!

Using an electric mixer (either hand of standing), beat the butter until it is a pale color, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.

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Add 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk.

When I did this, I added each ingredient individual, making sure that it was mixed in thoroughly before adding the next one. Additionally, I add 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar at a time, since I didn’t want it to fly out of the bowl all at once.

Mix on low.

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Now, my family has a sweet tooth, so I added some more powdered sugar. I added about 1/4-1/2 a cup at a time, and then tasted it to see if I liked it. As long as you don’t add huge amounts of sugar at once, you can play around with how sweet you want it and it shouldn’t mess the frosting up!

Once the frosting is finished, go ahead and frost that cake!

After taking one of the cakes out, I placed it on a cake stand and frosted the top of it. Then, I put the other one on top and frosted the entire outside of it. If you have a knife that doesn’t have sharp edges, such as a specialized knife specifically for cutting butter (if you have one specific for frosting and baking, use that! I don’t have one yet so I improvised!), it will make the frosting go on smoother.

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I baked this cake on Tuesday, and let me tell you, this will not last long in your house, especially if you have teenage brothers or sons!

Let me know how it went if you try it, in the comments below! What other kinds of chocolate cakes do you enjoy?

~ Southern Dreamer