Chocolate Cake (Or: Mother’s Little Helper)

by Carilyn on September 4, 2015

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I think it’s time we talk about something serious, something we all obsess about but are afraid to admit out loud. We don’t want to be judged. We don’t want people to see into the dark little crevices of our soul. But our desires need to be acknowledged. We must declare our love for it.

Chocolate Cake.

There, I said it. No more ignoring the elephant in the room (or on the blog, or whatever). For some reason, we walk around pretending like we don’t all want it. Like craving it is some sort of sin.

But it’s natural, I tell you. We all need Chocolate Cake.

And if that’s a sin, well then so be it. Start picking up those stones, friends.

But before you do that, let’s talk about this cake. You know you want to.

Yesterday, I was just plum worn out. My mileage is high, we’ve had a couple of family crises, things are a bit cray cray out here in the west. It was time to seek help.

I went to my medicine cabinet, aka, the pantry, and there it was – a brand new can of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder. How did I forget it? It called out to me, “I can help. I can relieve your fatigue and make you sing Barry Manilow songs again while you’re running.”

Yes, yes, yes.

So I made a cake. A glorious mountain of frosted chocolate goodness. Then I took a bite. And then another. All while standing at the kitchen counter, eyeing the couch, trying to decide if I should skip my second run and just curl up with the whole cake.

But I didn’t. I put the glass dome back over it, got on the treadmill, ran 10 more miles.

And then I ate the cake for dinner.

And all is right with the world today.


Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups AP flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease two 9 inch cakes pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

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In a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix the oil and sugar until blended. Add the eggs and mix well.

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With the mixer on low, slowly add milk and vanilla extract, then beat on low for 2 minutes.

Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin.

Divide between the two cake pans.

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Bake for 30 -35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans. Allow to cool completely on a rack before frosting.

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Chocolate Frosting

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 sticks butter, softened

1 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup milk, divided in half

2/3 cup Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ovaltine, or Nestle Quik


Cream together butter, cocoa powder, and salt. After well blended, add powdered sugar. Mix on low while slowly adding 1/2 cup of milk and vanilla. After incorporated, raise speed to medium.

In a large glass, mix the remaining milk and Instant Breakfast (or whatever you choose). Slooooooooowly mix it into the frosting. You may not need the whole amount. Stop adding when the frosting reaches your desired consistency – don’t let it get too thin.

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Cut a big ol’ piece and curl up on the couch – but only after you’ve done all your miles.



{ 1 comment }

Char September 5, 2015 at 1:36 pm

I have to admit my dirty little secret seeing as you’ve shown me yours. I don’t love cake.Cake’s okay but I can live without it. I love to bake it and decorate it but that’s where it ends. Chocolate is my weakness. Can’t live without it.
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