HERSHEY’S “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake

6 “ish” years ago, I found this chocolate cake recipe. I think I made it because it was in a Hershey’s favorite recipes cook book I got for Christmas. And I’m pretty sure that the first time  I made it was for my son’s 2nd birthday. It quickly became my family’s favorite chocolate cake. In my opinion, it is the BEST chocolate cake recipe ever. I’ve made a lot of chocolate cakes and none can compare to this recipe.

The perfect chocolate cake!

I began making it for every special event. I played with the recipe too. I tried to make cupcakes out of it (epic fail, this recipe does not work for cupcakes, it sticks to the paper horribly and they come out super flat), I tried it in different shapes (round, square, rectangle) and I even added a little something new to it; cinnamon.

I can tell you that when I give this recipe to my friends, for some reason it tastes different or doesn’t come out or the cake breaks for them. I don’t know why. So I’m going to add a few tips on what I do:

1. I use Baker’s Joy non-stick spray. I don’t spray the edges of the pan though, just the bottom.

2. I use the gray Wilton pans. I have used the 9″ round and I have used the square ones also (same color-the gray non-shiny variety). I have used a 9 x 13 glass pan also. I sprayed it with the Baker’s Joy spray liberally.

3. The cakes are done when they no longer jiggle in the middle and yet have pulled away from the sides of the pan.

4.  I let them cool completely. They shouldn’t even be slightly warm.

This cake is so, so, so moist. I believe it is due to the boiling water you add last. It gives it almost a pudding-like texture. And if you’ve never made a cake from scratch, you should know it does have a different texture than a boxed cake. This cake is perfectly dense.

I love to add cinnamon to my cake (about 1/2-1 tsp), but I’ve never noticed it affecting the way it comes out. My husband is a hard-core purest and he prefers it without the cinnamon addition. But I prefer it with it and since I’m the one cooking it, well, I win.

I also prefer to use the Hershey’s Special Dark variety of cocoa. The frosting recipe that follows is also excellent. I use the Special Dark variety of cocoa for that also. But, and there is one major BUT! I do NOT melt the butter when I make the frosting. It just doesn’t turn out for me when I do that. I don’t like the texture or the look of it. Instead, I get a stick of salted butter out as soon as I start making the cake. Then, by the time they are completely cool, the butter is nice and soft and I can whip it. Whipped butter makes a better frosting every time for me. And yes, I will even add cinnamon to it.

Finally, the other fun thing to do is to put your layer of frosting on the first round, then place one layer of fresh raspberries (hull face-down) on top and squish that second layer of cake on the top. You might need to double the frosting recipe (if you like a lot of frosting or have high raspberries) to cover the gap that is created by the middle layer. But if you squish it down a bit, you should be ok. 😀 Ready? Ok! Here we go! (You can click on the link or I went ahead and placed the recipe here too.)

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar (plus a bit extra if you like more firm frosting)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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