Parfait! THE Chocolate Cake

PortillosChocCakebfLOI’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I seem to have become the cake guy amongst our circle of friends. Put a gathering together, and I will more than likely be bringing a cake of some sort; which is really pretty easy, once you know a few simple secrets…

Like, how to turn a boxed cake mix into a super rich, super moist, super super cake, topped with an espresso buttercream frosting that just makes you happy to be around for the dessert course.

01CakeMixMayoEggsbfLOThe secret? (In this case?)


Yep. A bit of mayonnaise, some eggs, and a boxed cake mix, and you will have yourself one of the best chocolate cakes you’ve ever tasted.

02CakeMixEggsMayoBowlbfLONote: this method works for other types of cake mixes, too, but somehow it just doesn’t seem right to me. Good thing I have other options.

Cake Pan Coating:
•1 tbsp shortening
•1 tbsp flour
•1 tbsp canola oil

•1 box chocolate cake mix
•3 eggs
•1 cup ice cold water
•1 cup mayonnaise

Buttercream Frosting:
•5 cups confectioners’ sugar
•6 tablespoons cocoa
•1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•2 tsp vanilla
•3 or 4 tbsp hot coffee/espresso

03aCakeBatterbfLOFirst things first, fergettabout cooking spray or plain old greasing and flouring your cake pan(s) – you want cake that’ll come out easily and cleanly, even if you’re using a fancy, schmancy bundt pan. Good thing the perfect solution is so quick and simple:

Mix one tablespoon each of shortening (Crisco, butter, what have you), cooking oil, and flour together in a small bowl with a fork. Use a brush to apply this mixture to 05CakeCoolingRackbfLOyour cake pan(s) of choice. Your baked cake(s) will pop out of their pan(s) with no muss, little fuss, and none of those white blotches from when you just apply butter and flour to a cake pan(s).

On to the cake!

Heat your oven to 350º and add the chocolate cake mix, eggs, and mayonnaise to a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then high speed for four minutes.

Transfer the cake batter to your prepared cake pan(s) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

06aCocoaPowderAltbfLOAllow the cakes to rest for about 5 minutes, then turn them out of the pan(s), and onto wire cooling racks to cool for about an hour.

Note: you do not have to do this as a layer cake, it is every bit as moist and tasty made in a 13×9 pan.

Cake made and nicely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting.

But, what sort of frosting should go on a super rich, super moist chocolate cake?

07FrostingbfLOI’m thinkin’ chocolate, but with a kick of espresso added.

Cream the butter together with the cocoa and confectioners’ sugar, then beat in the heavy cream and vanilla. You will have a very rich, very thick frosting.

Good thing for hot espresso!

08cCakeFrostedNicebfLOBeat the espresso into the frosting one tablespoon at a time until you’re happy with the flavor and the consistency.

Frost your cake.

I don’t worry too, too much about making it all look bakery shoppe perfect, I just try to make sure that there is sufficient frosting between and on top of the cake; if I manage to frost the sides, too? Bonus!

I have let this cake rest, frosted, covered and on the counter for several days, until it is eaten up, but if you fret about the buttercream frosting, by all means store any leftover cake in the fridge, but let it come up to room temperature again before serving.

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