My little sister is turning 21 today. I told her I would make her birthday cake this year… I should probably note that I tried to make her one from scratch last year and it absolutely bombed. So, this year she made me compile a list of 10 cakes and send them to her in an email… back in November (both of us were trying to procrastinate as much as possible from studying for midterms). She narrowed it down to three cakes: a red velvet, a triple chocolate cake and a rich and dark chocolate cake with a swiss meringue buttercream frosting. I opted to make the dark chocolate cake with the swiss meringue buttercream. Attempt number one was a semi-failure. I baked the cake according to the recipe and when it came out the bottom was moist and sticky. I swear I cooked it all the way through but to make sure I basically tore apart one of the layers of cake. It looked all nice in the middle so I have no idea why the bottom was sticky and wet. Anyways, my sister stole those two layers and made cake balls out of them. Attempt #2: fail. The lemon juice I used to make the buttermilk substitute was over a year old (thanks mom for keeping that in the house…) so I tossed that one since the buttermilk was soo not working and the batter looked awful.
For the Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour two 9 inch pans (I used two 8 inch pans and I have a feeling that’s why one of mine overflowed all over my oven. However, the recipe I used said to use one 9 inch pan so someone will have to tell me if you actually have enough for two 9 pans or not and I’ll adjust this recipe accordingly. I definitely think there’s too much batter for just one pan.) In a bowl, sift the dry ingredients and then mix them together. Make a well in the center and add all other ingredients except for the coffee. Mix the batter on a low speed (or by using a wire whisk by hand) until the ingredients are combined. Then, add the coffee and mix again. Pour into greased pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
For the trifle:
Chocolate cake (as prepared above)
1 5.9 oz package of instant chocolate pudding
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 can (21 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed (CoolWhip)
1 (12 oz) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed (CoolWhip)
3 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 cup Heath candy bits
Prepare the cake as instructed above. In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix, water, and condensed milk. Mix until smooth. When the pudding thickens, fold in 8 ounces of whipped topping until no streaks remain. Cut the cake into one inch cubes. Then, in a large trifle bowl, make a layer of the chocolate cake (I made 4 layers so I used 1/4 of the cake). Then, make a layer of pudding and a layer of the regular whipped topping. So right now you should have cake, then pudding, then whipped topping. Keep repeating this process until you get the number of layers you would like (I would recommend 3 or 4 with this much pudding and cake). On the top sprinkle the Heath candy bits on top for a nice little crunch. Refrigerate before eating. Now enjoy!