Do we need a birthday, wedding or anniversary to have chocolate cake?
Not on January 27, because it’s National Chocolate Cake Day.
In America, chocolate was consumed primarily as a beverage until the 1830s or 40s. Chocolate cakes, as we think of them today, mostly did not exist then. According to the Dover Post, chocolate cake was born in 1765 when a doctor and a chocolate maker teamed up in an old mill. They ground up cocoa beans between huge millstones to make thick syrup. The liquid was poured into molds shaped like cakes, which were meant to be transformed into a beverage.
A popular Philadelphia cookbook author, Eliza Leslie, published the earliest chocolate cake recipe in 1847 in The Lady’s Receipt Book. Unlike chocolate cakes we know today, this recipe used chopped chocolate. Other cooks of the time such as Sarah Tyson Rorer and Maria Parloa all made contributions to the development of the chocolate cake and were prolific authors of cookbooks.
The first boxed cake mix was created by a company called O. Duff and Sons in the late 1920s. Betty Crocker released their first dry cake mixes in 1947.
Here’s one of our favorite chocolate cake recipes by Robyn Stone
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
For the cake:
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
- Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! xo
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