Rich and luscious, this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake tastes just like a steaming mug of your favorite cold weather beverage. It’s the ultimate chocolate layer cake and a pinch of cinnamon in the frosting gives it an extra pop of flavor.
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.
Rich & Luscious Chocolate Layer Cake
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!
Hot Chocolate Dream Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ 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
For the Frosting
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup butter flavored crisco shortening, or an additional 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ 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.)
NOTE: The adorable Snowman Marshmallows came from Williams Sonoma.
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