Every year I make my husband a birthday cake, and every year Joe asks me to bake a chocolate cake. One of Joe’s favorite recipes of all time is a recipe I developed a couple years ago when I was working for Betty Crocker. Let’s be clear when I say that yes, this cake starts with boxed cake mix, but it’s anything but ordinary.
Actually, I should clarify that I have nothing against boxed cake mix in certain situations, including this one, where using boxed cake yields some of the best cake around.
This was my first attempt at baking this cake in layer format rather than in a bundt pan, and with a few adjustments and adaptations, it turned out really well! I would make this cake again and again, and you should, too, if you’re looking for a chocolate cake recipe that will blow your guests minds.
Plus, the leftovers taste pretty great, too. Not that I would know anything about eating leftovers after taking photographs in the middle of the day or anything. 😉
- 1 box Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix
- 1 box (4-serving) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Make the cake layers:
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water and eggs and beat until smooth and well combined. Batter will be thick. Beat in the chocolate chips just until combined.
- Divide batter between the two pans and spread evenly in pans. Bake on the middle oven rack 22 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes on wire racks. Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire cooling racks, about 1 hour.
- To Make Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate and beat until well combined, about 1 minute more. Beat in the milk vanilla and salt, followed by the powdered sugar, beating about 2 minutes or until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
- To Assemble Cake:
- Place on cake layer on a cake plate or serving tray. Spread some of the frosting on the top of the cake evenly. Top with remaining layer. Use remaining frosting to frost top and sides of the cake. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Frosting recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook