Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Chocolate cake in a pinch. Sounds too good to be true, but this one is straight-up the simplest chocolate cake recipe ever! I guarantee you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen, and the mess is minimal, as you mix everything together in the pan that you bake it in.

The idea for this recipe came from Everyday Food. I altered it slightly, adding more cocoa, less salt, and omitting the cold water, instead adding a cup of cold coffee, because coffee adds more depth and flavor to chocolate cake. Plus, it gave me another opportunity to use my favorite new kitchen helper, Starbucks VIA. I plan to revisit this again, and try to improve it even more.

It popped out of the pan very nicely, without leaving anything behind, which was a plus, however, it lacked that deep fudgy chocolatey flavor that I love. It was great for the amount of time and effort it took, still, miles better than a box cake, but stay tuned, I'll be working on it.

Here's how I did it:

Lazy Sunday Chocolate Cake
by Dulce Doll

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. best quality cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 packet Starbucks VIA dissolved in 1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a 9-inch square baking dish, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Whisk together until well combined, making sure to check right to the bottom of the pan for dry ingredients stuck in corners.

Bake 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Frost with your choice of icing, or just eat it right out of the pan! I used some leftover Coffee Buttercream that I had in the freezer. Enjoy!

Makes about 8 (or 1) servings.

* To follow up, I was too quick to judge this cake! It was totally fudgy and moist the next day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Little Late, But Still...

So, since I was making Christmas cupcakes at Halloween (see earlier post), I decided to post the super-cute spider cupcakes I made last year for Halloween. I used mini cupcake pans and made LOTS of them! And they were such a hit, I used Ina Garten's coconut cake recipe that I found on

Please excuse the shoddy photography, I wasn't blogging at that point, and I took the pictures just for fun. Not to say that I think that my more recent photos could be considered amazing by any stretch, but I think an improvement on last year's, for sure.

I added black gel food coloring to both the cake batter, and the frosting, enough to make it really black, and then dipped the tops into black sprinkles to give them a sparkly finish. For the legs, I used black licorice wheels which I pulled apart and cut to size. For the scary little red eyes, I used mini cinnamon hearts, which I cut in half.

These were a lot of fun to make, and they were very well received at the party I took them to (not to mention, how moist and delicious they were!). I've provided the recipe as I used it for these cupcakes, but also the link the the original recipe, because it is slightly different and I would recommend using these cupcakes any time, not just Halloween.

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes:

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 large eggs
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 lb. sweetened flake coconut
Black gel coloring


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium mixing bowl, and set aside. Break eggs into a small bowl, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, carefully pour in eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.

Mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk by alternating between 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup buttermilk; be sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Add the coconut, and mix until incorporated. Add enough black gel coloring to turn the batter very black.

Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cup with batter using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity; the batter should nearly reach the tops of the cups. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool briefly in the tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Black gel coloring

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and enough black gel coloring to tint completely, and stir to combine.

Decorating instructions are pretty self-explanatory from the pictures. Have fun!

Ready for their legs!

This was just a fraction of what the recipe actually made.