The other morning, while my oldest son Shayne and my husband Kris were distracted by whichever college football bowl game was on, my youngest son Landon and my daughter Alainna and I decided to make a cake. Landon immediately took out the kitchen stool to examine the boxed cake mixes that I always keep stocked in the pantry (you know, just in case).
Landon’s instant reaction to my ‘let’s make a cake’ suggestion prompted me to check the always trusty Food Network site for a five star chocolate cake recipe (which can be found here). To be honest, I was after Ina Garten’s chocolate sheet cake recipe, but knowing how much my husband complains when I use coffee in any chocolate recipe, I thought I would save myself the headache.
What first caught my eye as I was reading the recipe for this cake was that it is made with flat cola (I used Coke – the only ‘real’ cola in my opinion; Landon would disagree). This recipe also calls for two types of chocolate; semisweet or bittersweet bar chocolate (I used semisweet) and unsweetened cocoa powder. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so I made my own sour milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice and filled the rest of the measuring cup with milk until it reached one cup (about 3/4c + 3 TBSP of milk) and allowed the mixture to sit for five minutes.
I’ll settle for licking the bowl 😛
This recipe supposedly makes a 9 x 13 cake, but I used about two cups of the batter to make eight cupcakes using the heart-shaped silicone molds my sister Lucy gave me for Christmas.
I baked the cupcakes along with the cake at 350 degrees, but reduced the cooking time for the cupcakes to 18 minutes.
After seeing how high the 9 x 13 cake rose, I was glad that I didn’t use the entire batter in one pan – it would have surely overflowed. The volume of the cake batter easily doubles and then some while it bakes.
The aroma of this cake as it bakes is so enticing that it was difficult for my kids (ok, and me too) to allow it to cool before digging right in. All I can say is thank goodness I made cupcakes! There is no way we could have waited for the entire cake to bake and then cool before sneaking a bite.
How could you go wrong with all that chocolate and two heaping teaspoonfuls of vanilla? The slight caramel notes from the cola also enhanced the chocolate nicely.
This cake is so light (but not too fluffy) and deliciously moist. This chocolate cake has become my go-to recipe. Who needs a boxed cake mix when this cake is so simple to prepare and tastes sooo much better?!