Jorge and I kicked off a 10 day Christmas “Stay-cation” on Friday and we are both so excited. We kicked off the weekend by doing a whole lot of nothing. I baked, we caught up on some TV shows and played with the girls.
We didn’t really take a full vacation this year and just had a few long weekends here and there. So he had some time off saved up that would expire and I decided to mostly check out for the rest of the year.
However, this time of year still means baking for me. I love to cook and bake and find it soothing, but this time of year I go into over time. I think my Mom is trying to force me to slow down and enjoy Christmas…since she informed me she has already purchased all our desserts for Christmas.
Sure, I still get to make the turkey and all the sides, but dessert is officially off my list. (We don’t need 4 pies for 6 adults!) So I decided to go ahead and bake for our neighbors and friends. First up? These outrageous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. And then I made this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that I used my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe that has been featured on many dream cakes. I have tried many different chocolate cake recipes over the years and I haven’t found a single one that comes close to beating it.
For the icing, I did a Chocolate Buttercream with a little cinnamon. I also added a little cayenne pepper to give it a slight bit of heat to the frosting. If you like Mexican Hot Chocolate, add the cayenne to your frosting.
This frosting recipe uses a little shortening — yes, you can sub it for butter — but I really recommend you use the shortening instead. It is still mostly all butter, but the shortening gives it better texture like from a bakery and I promise you won’t be able to taste a difference! If you do decide to use all butter, you will need to add a little milk (like a tablespoon or two) to the frosting.
Hope you enjoy this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake as much as we all did!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup butter flavored crisco shortening (or an additional 1/2 cup butter)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don’t cook) into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch – then frost.
Cream butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed. When all sugar has been mixed in, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Assemble the two cake layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Frost cake as desired.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. (With no milk in the frosting, it does not need to be stored in the refrigerator.)
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