The BEST Chocolate Cake EVER

I don’t get to bake as often as I like, but when I do, I typically go all out. Yesterday, my oldest daughter Sloane really wanted to help me bake something, and I had just the thing. I have a go-to recipe for chocolate cake, and a go-to for frosting, but this time, I wanted to do something extra-special. I had come across this recipe for a Ding-Dong cake, and couldn’t resist the idea of making one myself.

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I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe linked above, instead of the one the Ding-Dong recipe calls for. I just can’t not use it: I’ve tried so many, and this one just has the best, richest flavor, comes out delicious every time, and somehow retains moisture, and even gets a little BETTER for about 5-6 days! I vary it just ever so slightly, so I’ll put my version below:

Ingredients

  • 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 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of a shot of espresso and hot water/ strong hot coffee

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Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

2.Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt 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.

3.Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add the hot coffee to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. (Full disclosure, I dump everything in a bowl except for the coffee, mix it, add the coffee, and beat for 1 minute. It works great and uses fewer bowls.)

4.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.

5.Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

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I noticed the Ding-Dong cake recipe actually called for my favorite frosting as the filling, so you can follow either recipe I linked above. You’ll want to start the first part of the frosting recipe while the cake is cooling, because it also has to cool for a while before continuing. Here is the frosting recipe:

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

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Instructions

1.In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk first, and then heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very very thick, like brownie batter.

2.Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. It MUST be completely cooled before it’s mixed with the other part of the frosting.

3.Stir in the vanilla to the flour and milk mixture, once it’s cooled.

4.Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left, so beat it for quite a while, until it’s smooth.

5.Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat it into oblivion. Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

I layered that amazing frosting goodness in between the cake layers, in a super-thick layer. Make completely sure the cake is totally cooled, or this frosting melts and won’t be pretty.

ganache 1

And then, lastly, I used the Ding-Dong recipe’s ganache, and it was SO easy, and so beautiful. It also tastes great. Here is the ganache recipe:

Ingredients

  • 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Instructions

1.Place chocolate chips in a large measuring cup.

2.Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s boiling, being careful not to scorch it.

3.Add the hot cream and butter mix to the chocolate chips by pouring it into the mixing cup.

4.Wait for 5 minutes, and then stir the mixture until it’s completely mixed, and creamy.

Pour the ganache over the cake right away, very slowly, and then chill the cake for 4 hours before serving.

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My little helpers agree it’s the best cake I’ve made so far.

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(I took all of the photos in this post with a Fujifilm X100T camera.)