This wicked good cake starts out as a cake mix – specifically a Betty Crocker Super Moist Dark Chocolate cake mix – which is then transformed into cake nirvana with the addition of just three ingredients: water, eggs, and mayonnaise.
Let me be perfectly clear: this is the cake that will call to you in the middle of the night, drawing you in search of just one. more. slice.
•5 cups confectioners’ sugar
•6 tbsp baking cocoa
•1/2 cup butter at room temperature
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•2 tsp vanilla
First, make the cake coating by combining the solid shortening, the flour, and the oil together in a small bowl with a fork. Brush this mixture liberally over your chosen cake pan(s). This time, I’m using a glass 13×9, but this coating will guarantee your cake to pop out of most any pan, in one piece, and no unsightly white flour splotches – check the results using it in a catherdral bundt pan:
(that cake, by the way, is a Snickers Cake, and quite good, but a lot fussier to make than the not-s0-basic chocolate cake we’re featuring today).
Back to our dark chocolate mayonnaise cake…
Heat your oven to 350º (325º if you’re using a glass baking pan).
Add the cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise to the bowl of your mixer and combine on low for 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s), you’ll have enough for two round or one bundt or 13 x 9.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let rest for five or ten minutes before turning the cake(s) out to cool completely on a wire rack. This cake was going to a party, so I left it in the pan.
You’ll also want some strong, hot coffee. I like to use instant espresso – about three teaspoons per cup of boiling water. You may not want to drink the coffee made to this strength, but you will love the frosting.
Add the heavy cream and the vanilla and keep beating – the frosting will be quite thick, almost fudge-like.
With the mixer running (set it on medium), add the hot coffee/espresso by tablespoons until your frosting is the consistency you prefer. Usually, about three tablespoons do the trick for me, by this particular batch took almost 1/2 cup to get to a nice spreading consistency.
Because of the buttercream, I normally make the cake the day before I plan to serve it, then make the frosting a few hours in advance. Store any leftovers in the fridge or a cool pantry or porch.
And be certain to let folk in the house know where you’ve stashed the cake – they will return to bed in a foul mood if they can’t find it in the middle of the night. Do not ask me how I know this.