Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake


I know exactly what you are thinking. Seriously? Another chocolate cake? Well, yes. You see, the problem in my family is that four of our birthdays fall within less than a month and a half of each other – so that is a lot of cake in a short amount of time. Poor Alainna is the only one with a birthday not in our 1 ½ month period, but hers is the worst of them all – the day after Christmas!

No matter what, Shayne and Kris will ask for a chocolate cake. The only difference is that Shayne wants frosting – and lots of it; and Kris doesn’t care for frosting at all. I always give Shayne what he wants, but Kris, well, he can compromise. I usually try to make a few unfrosted cupcakes or a mini cake with no frosting just in case Kris really detests the frosting on his ‘real’ cake.

Late last month as I was flipping through the free Cuisine at Home magazine I had received, Kris noticed the chocolate cake on the back page that touted that old-fashioned flavor. He said to me “now that is a chocolate cake!” Forget that I had already settled on a cake – actually the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted (no, it is not one that I have that I have blogged about). Although I was more than annoyed by his excitement for a cake he has never even tasted, I reluctantly asked him if he would like me to make this chocolate cake instead. The reply – a somewhat indifferent ‘sure’. How he can go from really impressed to indifferent in a matter of minutes is beyond me. Because I was annoyed by the idea of trying another chocolate cake that I knew would not even come close to my favorite recipe, I closed the magazine and sat is aside until I was ready to bake.

Not actually reading the recipe until I was preparing to bake turned out to be a bit of a problem. As I was inspecting the ingredients list, I realized that I didn’t even have some of the items needed, but I was bound and determined to make this recipe work without having to run to the grocery store for any missing ingredients.

First, I did not have instant coffee on hand, but I did have instant espresso, so I halved the amount in both the cake and the frosting. I also did not have pure, unsweetened cocoa powder, so I used a Dutch processed-black cocoa blend.

Probably the only thing that the cake itself has going for it is that there are no eggs. Still, eggs or not, the chocolate flavor was just not there in the cake alone. The cake was fairly moist, because of the oil, even still, I prefer butter based cakes.

To be honest, I was worried about how the frosting would turn out. I was fully prepared to make an alternate chocolate frosting if this one failed. Again, I used a Dutch processed-black cocoa blend for the frosting. The part that I was the most apprehensive about was adding sour cream to the warm chocolate mixture. Well, come to find out, I did not have sour cream at all, so I improvised using two ounces of cream cheese instead. To my delight, there were no issues with the integration of the cool cream cheese and the warm chocolate mixture.

The bland, nearly unrecognizable chocolate flavor of the cake didn’t even matter once it was slathered with what is, likely the best chocolate frosting ever. It is so good that you want to keep eating it until it makes your belly ache, just like you used to do as a kid. Hey, there is nothing wrong with over-indulging every once in a while, right?

classic chocolate

The 6” with raspberry cream filling.

I left the larger cake ‘old-fashioned’ as described in the magazine, but wanted to give the smaller cake a little pizzazz. I had only made one 6 inch cake so I split it in half and filled it with a light raspberry cream filling and topped the second layer of cake with the thick, creamy chocolate frosting. I found that the raspberry cream helped cut some of the richness of the chocolate frosting. The frosting and filling are definitely keepers, but next time they will be sandwiched between and coating my favorite go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Raspberry Cream Filling
  • 1c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ c raspberries, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tbsp raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
  1. Puree raspberries in food processor
  2. Strain raspberries through a fine mesh sieve; add raspberry liqueur to smooth raspberry puree
  3. Whip heavy cream and sugar until it has doubled in volume
  4. Gently fold raspberry puree into the whipped cream mixture until well combined; do not over mix

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One comment

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