Perfect Chocolate Cake

Perfect Chocolate Cake


For birthday celebrations my mother made her chocolate cake with rich fudge frosting and a chocolate filling. I believe she found this recipe in McCalls Cooking School publications, a series of cooking magazines with detailed instructions. When I married she shared with me her prize recipe and I’ve made this moist flavorful cake for birthday’s ever since.

1 cup unsifted unsweetened cocoa

2 cups boiling water

2 3⁄4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter, softened

2 1⁄2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla

6 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces

1⁄2 cup half and half

3/4 cup butter

2 1⁄2 cups unsifted confectioners’ sugar

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1⁄4 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with wire whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt, and baking powder. Grease well and lightly flour three 8 by 1 1/2 inch layer-cake pans. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, at high speed, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally until light-about 5 minutes.

At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with the cocoa mixture (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not over-beat.

Divide evenly into pans; smooth top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.

Cool in pans 10 minutes.

Carefully loosen sides with a spatula; Remove from pans; cool on racks.

Frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate pieces, cream, butter; stir over medium heat until smooth.

Remove from heat. With a whisk, blend in 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar.

In a bowl set over ice(I use ice cubes) beat until it holds shape.


Heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave, until the mixture begins to steam.
Pour over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir — at first slowly, then more vigorously — until the chocolate is completely melted. If necessary, reheat very briefly to soften any remaining hard bits of chocolate. Add almond extract.  Refrigerate ganache until thick.

To assemble the cake:

On plate place a layer, top side down; spread with half of the ganache. Place the second layer, top side down; spread with rest of ganache.

Place the third layer, top side up.

To frost: With a spatula, frost sides first, covering ganache; use rest of frosting on top, swirling decoratively.




One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Good Dinner Mrs Mellen and commented:

    Baking is my passion, and showstopping cakes my specialty. I have never found a more perfectly moist, rich chocolate cake like this old recipe from McCalls. When I want to make a chocolate cake, this is my favorite recipe. I use it for cupcakes, sheet cakes, and layer cakes. If you are looking for an easy cake recipe, this is the one.



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