Chocolate Blackout Cake




Introduction: Chocolate Blackout Cake

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of …

New York style chocolate blackout cake is one of the darkest, richest, and densest chocolate cakes you may ever have the luxury of eating. Consisting of layers of spongy cake seperated and covered by a thick custard-like frosting, this is a cake to be reckoned with.

This recipe comes to me from my mother who has fairly high standard when it comes to chocolate blackout cake. For some time she has been trying to recreate the cake she used to get from the now-defunct Pakula's Bakery in Spring Valley, NY. While some versions have been close, this apparently is the stand-out amongst the bunch. From my viewpoint, this cake would be at home in a traditional Brooklyn bakery or sitting in a display case at a Jersey diner. In short, this cake is quite good.

Step 1: Chocolate Blackout Cake Ingredients

For the cake batter:

1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup milk

Step 2: Chocolate Blackout Frosting Ingredients

For the frosting:

3 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups Dutch process cocoa powder
1 Tbsp corn syrup
5 Tbsp corn starch
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Step 3: Parchment Paper Lining

Before you start baking the cake, cut parchment paper into circles and line the bottom of two cake 9" pans.

Step 4: Cream the Fat and Sugar

With a stand mixer and a whisk attachment (or hand mixer), cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until it starts to get seemingly light and fluffy.

Step 5: Blackout Cake Batter

Put the mixer onto low speed and add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time.

Next add the vanilla, baking power, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

Finally, add the milk and flour in small increments, switching between the two.

When it is done, it should look chocolaty and creamy.

Step 6: Pour the Batter

Spread the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Step 7: Bake

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes on the middle cooking rack.

Step 8: Chop Butter

Chop the butter for the frosting into small pieces.

Step 9: Start the Frosting

In a large sauce pan, mix together 2-1/2 cups of water, the sugar, and the cocoa powder.

Whisk this mixture over a medium-high flame until brought to a boil.

If it becomes a rolling boil, turn the heat down a bit.

Step 10:

Dissolve the corn starch in a 1/2 cup of water and then pour it into the sauce pan.

Whisk vigorously for a few minutes while bringing it back up to a slight boil.

The mixture should start to get very thick and dark.

Step 11: Finish the Frosting

Remove the frosting from the flame and add butter and vanilla.

Stir until they are both combined.

Step 12: Pour the Frosting

Pour all of the frosting into a large bowl.

Step 13: Cover

Cover the frosting with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for about an hour.

It helps if the wrap is gently placed directly onto the chocolate frosting itself to keep a skin from forming on top.

Step 14: Waiting

If everything was timed correctly, there should still be a few minutes before the cake is ready.

Now would be a good time to eat whatever excess frosting you can find... or clean. I suppose you can always start to clean up.

Step 15: When to Take the Cake Out of the Oven

Stick a toothpick or skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is ready to take out of then to let cool.

This cake should sit for about 10-15 minutes once removed from the oven.

Step 16: Cooling Racks

Flip the cake out onto the cooling racks.

Let them get to be about room temperature.

Step 17: Cut the Cake in Half

Cut each of the cakes into two equal halves with a sharp serated knife.

Step 18: Crumbs (optional)

Take the ugliest of the four cake sections, and crumble it up into crumbs for coating the edge of the cake.

Place the large crumbles into a food processor and blend them down to much finer crumbs.

Step 19: Frost a Layer Cake

Before starting, figure out which section is the flattest, and set this aside for the top.

Place one layer on your cake stand and frost the top.

Stack the next layer on top, and frost the top again.

Finally, put the remaining layer with the flat side up.

Frost the sides of the cake and then the top layer.

Step 20: Coat With Crumbs

Coat the outer edge of the cake with the fine crumbs.

Alternately, if you decided to not make crumbs and make a four-layer cake, then coat the outside with dark chocolate chips.

Step 21: Refrigerate

Let the whole the chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Step 22: Serve

Slice the cake and serve.

It is extremley rich and goes good with milk.

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    6 years ago

    Can you please tell us the equivilant of one stick of butter?
    I can get "sticks"of butter in my city that are about 1/2 cup. But the butter in your picture looks more like the full sized butter available, which is 4 times the amount in a stick, or 454 grams..
    So would it be 1/2 cup of butter, or 2 cups of butter?
    Thanks! ;)


    Reply 6 years ago

    1/2 cup


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Goes good with Coffee, too, I think! I'll have two slices, please!

    Substitute the shortening for Lard and your cake will be far better. Shortening is the devils own grease.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Traditionally this cake was made in Jewish bakeries in and around New York - particularly Brooklyn. Historically lard was not used because it would make this cake decidedly not Kosher. I feel that replacing the shortening with more butter would be more appropriate to the recipe.

    Richard Keenan
    Richard Keenan

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm, the Brooklyn Blackout Cake was first named at Ebinger's bakery during the second world war. George and Catherine Ebinger who set up Ebinger's bakery in 1898 were not Jewish. In 1962 seven members of CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality) were arrested for protesting outside Ebingers shop and stopping deliveries being made. They were protesting because Ebingers refused to employ Blacks, Hispanics and JEWS. Hardly Kosher.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Well - learn something new every day. Regardless, I still doubt that it was commonly made with lard.

    Richard Keenan
    Richard Keenan

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi randofo, You're right, I doubt it would have been made with lard but I only suggested it as a replacement to vegetable shortening as shortening is not a good fat to be cooking with. Lard has had a bad press over the last few decades and it is undeserved as it is far superior to shortening and much healthier. Cakes and pastries baked with lard are delicious, try it, that was all I was suggesting.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You have succeeded in making my mouth water! We have a cake like this and almost the exact same frosting that has been in our family for many decades.

    (only difference in the cake is we use real mayo instead of eggs and oil. You never taste the mayo, but it makes for a moister, dense cake. )

    Have you ever tried the Dark Dutch processed cocoa for this? It just might be awesome! ~.^


    6 years ago on Introduction

    this cake looks so damn delicious!

    i really hope i'll be able to try and make it soon!