Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake

Five years ago, I don’t think it would have occurred to me to use a cake mix to make a semi-homemade chocolate cake. Having two kids has me scurrying for shortcuts.

This weekend, the dads in this family requested chocolate cake. And who am I to deny them chocolate cake on Father’s Day? I have made this semi-homemade chocolate cake three times now. Each time, the cake has been highly praised with recipe requests. I think the key to a good doctored box mix cake is in making a homemade frosting.

 Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber
Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber
The cake mix recipe I use is from All Recipes (though the chocolate buttercream frosting is one that I have tinkered around with for years). Many thanks to Denise as her Too Much Chocolate Cake recipe is the best. The call for a Devil’s Food box mix has led to much discussion in our home as to what is the difference between a Devil’s Food cake and a chocolate cake. From what I can gather from the help of some Google research, Devil’s Food is a richer version of chocolate cake.
Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber
This picture does not include the 1/2 cup water or the full amount of chocolate chips. The pudding mix is already mixed with the cake mix in the bowl.
I preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, I mix all ingredients for the cake batter, stirring in the chocolate chips last. (As I mentioned above, I don’t always use the chocolate chips. The cake comes out great without them, but does have an extra chocolate punch with them.)
I use two nine-inch round pans. I grease the pans really well with Baker’s Joy. Dividing the batter evenly, I pour it into the two pans. I set them the oven for 24 minutes but usually leave the pans in for around 28 minutes. As soon as the cakes have slightly pulled away from the edges, a toothpick or knife comes out clean, and the tops spring up when touched, they are ready.
Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber
I butchered the tops of the cakes with a knife, checking to see if they were done. No matter. The frosting covered them nicely.
The cakes cool in the pans set on wire racks for about an hour. After an hour, I invert them onto a cooling rack for another 30 min or so. While the cakes are cooling, I begin on the frosting.

In my mixer, I beat the butter. To that, I add the cocoa and sugar alternately with a little milk, beating after each addition. After all the sugar and milk are added, I toss in the vanilla and run the mixer again. The frosting should look firm but not dry. If dry, I add just a wee bit of milk until the frosting comes to the right consistency. If not firm enough, I add a bit of sugar until everything is like I want it.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber

I am not the best at frosting cake. I do the best I can. Most of the time, people are too enamored by the taste of the cake to worry about how inept I am with the decorating aspect.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake - The Gifted Gabber

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 box Devil's Food cake
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix (5.9 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (sometimes, I skip this ingredient)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Basic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
  • 6 TBSP butter, softened a bit
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar (may need a bit more)
  • 1/3 cup milk (may need a bit more)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients for the cake batter, stirring in the chocolate chips last.
  3. Grease two nine-inch pans really well with Baker's Joy.
  4. Dividing the batter evenly, pour it into the two pans.
  5. Set the pans in the oven for 24 - 28 minutes.
  6. As soon as the cakes have slightly pulled away from the edges, a toothpick or knife comes out clean, and the tops spring up when touched, they are ready.
  7. Allow cakes to cook in pans for one hour before turning out onto wire racks.
  8. While cakes cool completely (another 30 minutes or so), prepare the frosting.
  9. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter.
  10. To that, add the cocoa and sugar alternately with a little milk, beating after each addition.
  11. After all the sugar and milk are added, toss in the vanilla and run the mixer again. The frosting should look firm but not dry. If dry, add just a wee bit of milk until the frosting comes to the right consistency. If not firm enough, add a bit of sugar until frosting is thick.
  12. Carefully frost the sides and top of the first layer before doing the same with the top layer.
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I asked my dad if he thought this semi-homemade chocolate cake was worthy of going on the blog (which is comical since I don’t think my dad really understands what a blog is). He said, “This cake is worthy of going anywhere!”

There ya go, folks.

Linking up this semi-homemade chocolate cake at these link ups:

Amaze Me Monday (Mondays)
Tweak It Tuesday (Mondays)
Turn It Up Tuesday (Mondays)
All About You (Tuesdays)
Wow Us Wednesdays (Wednesdays)
Inspire Me Wednesdays (Wednesdays)
Whip It Up Wednesday (Wednesdays)

 

 

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