Because it’s the week of chocolate…
We get to go all out (on a Tuesday!) and make the chocolatiest cake of them all.
I mean, it’s so chocolatey it’s called blackout cake. That’s gotta tell you something.
Truthfully, I just assumed the blackout part of the title was from chocolate overload, but apparently this cake surfaced during the blackout drills of WWII in Brooklyn. I found the website kitchenproject with the entire history of the Brooklyn Blackout Cake. Just click on the link for more info, kind of interesting.
So in all honesty, me making this cake had nothing to do with this week or Valentine’s Day. It just worked out that way, but I have been pretty much dreaming about this cake ever since I saw it last year on one of my favorite blogs, The Tart Tart.
From the minute I laid eyes on that cake, I knew that at some point in time I would have to make my own variation. Kind of sad it took me a year to do it, but oh so happy that I finally made it.
Of course me being me, I changed a few things around and added a little of my favorite frosting, ya know, I just can’t help it.
So I tried a couple different recipes, each only slightly different. My first cake was basically disgusting, like rock hard and gross. I am pretty sure that I messed something up. I didn’t give up and decided to try a different recipe, this recipe worked great.
Here’s the deal, The Brooklyn Blackout cake has a pretty simple chocolate cake as the base, but the thing that makes the recipe shine is the pudding. Yeah, the pudding!!
Instead of frosting each layer of cake with frosting, we are going to use homemade chocolate pudding. It’s silky, creamy and perfect. I mean, pudding and cake? Together? YES.
Here is what I did though, I made the cakes with a little coffee. See, I have a hard time making a chocolate cake without at least a little coffee, it just makes that chocolate flavor shine. Then I made the pudding, BUT I also made some of my all time favorite whipped chocolate buttercream frosting because again, I just can’t make a chocolate cake without it.
It may seem like a bit much to have both pudding and frosting going on, but I promise, promise, promise that it’s not. It also has just the right textures and level of sweetness.
The pudding is still the star of the cake, but the frosting adds that sweet buttery taste that we all love with cake. Gotta have that.
OH and then? You cover the entire cake in well… crumbled cake crumbs.
Meaning you do not even have to worry about making your frosting look pretty, you are just going to cover it in more cake. Score!
And guys, I know that cake is not really a Tuesday thing… wait, scratch that. Cake is an everyday thing. So just make it, enjoy it and a be happy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and canola oil together. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. One by one, add the eggs, mixing after each addition. With the mixer running at low speed, add the vanilla, cocoa, coffee, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. With the mixer still running on low speed, add about 1/3 of the cake flour, then about 1/3 of the buttermilk, and beat until combined. Repeat with the remaining cake flour and buttermilk, beating until combined.
Pour the batter among the 2 cake pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then grab 2 large flat plates, line them with wax or parchment paper and invert the cakes onto the paper lined plates. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before slicing + frosting.
While the cake is cooking, make the pudding. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the water, the sugar, honey and cocoa powder into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup very cold water and the cornstarch together until smooth. Whisk the corn starch mixture into the cocoa mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until very thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until firm, about 45 minutes.
To make the frosting, add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer). Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat, scrapping down the sides as needed another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks of white. Add 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream and whip the frosting for 2-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. If desired add the remaining tablespoon of the heavy cream (I normally do) and whip until combined. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter or thicker frosting.
To assemble the cake, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake layers in half horizontally. Take the ugliest layer of cake and crumble it into fine crumbs (or put it in the food processor) for topping and then reserve the other 3 cake halves for the cake. Place a cake layer on a cake plate or serving platter (reserve the most even layer for the top) and spread with cooled pudding. Top with another layer of cake, then pudding, then the final layer of cake. Now take the butter frosting and frost over the top and sides of the cake. If desired, you can now cover the frosted cake in any remaining pudding, I did. Use your hands to coat the cake with the reserved cake crumbs, pressing the crumbs gently into the pudding. Chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.
*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature place them in a bowl and fill with warm water. Let them sit five minutes. **Recipe adapted from Food Network.
Augh – I cooked the pudding until super thick … cooled for 3 hours. As I put on cake slices … it was slip and slide. What a chocolate mess!!! 😖
So sorry to hear you had some issues with this recipe! Is it possible the cake pieces were still too warm? Please let me know how I can help! xT
Do you ever use butter as a substitute for oil in your cakes? If so, does it work out for you? Thanks in advance!
I’ve actually started to use coconut oil in my cakes, I love it! But an equal amount of melted butter should work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
I wanted to love this cake so much because of my memories of eating this growing up (I’m from Brooklyn!) but it was a disaster. I must have over cooked it because it was super dry. The pudding was way too chocolatey ( can’t believe I said that) and it made a lot so double disappointing bc I would have eaten it another day. I made it for my DIL BIRTHDAY and I was embarrassed when everyone graciously ate it with lots of milk. Only recipe of yours that didn’t work out for me.
Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback, so very sorry that this didn’t workout for you!! Was there anything you may have adjusted? Please let me know how I can help! So sorry! xTieghan
This recipe is god awful! This is not blackout cake at all, it’s something that just needs to be trashed. The cake part is ok – it’s really not quality rich dark chocolate flavor like it should be. The pudding is just flat out GROSS – who the hell ever makes pudding with water & honey anyway? That inkling of a tablespoon of honey ruins the flavor entirely. Not to mention the amount of pudding this recipe says to make is triple what you actually need. The frosting is just weird, it doesn’t taste like chocolate but you kinda sorta know it’s there. And fact is it looks nothing like the photos in this recipe – the photos here show a dark chocolate cake – with layers of a dark colored chocolate pudding and a dark colored chocolate frosting, if you follow the recipe as listed, totally different. Coming from someone who is from Brooklyn, I can tell you, this wouldn’t be allowed in any bakery.
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and review. I am so very sorry that you did not enjoy the recipe, please let me know if there is anything I can help with. Have a great day! xT
I’ve made this cake twice and it has come out beautifully both times! I made it for an engagement party and a birthday party. Everyone raved about it. Truly a hit and go to recipe for me!
Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan
Not my favorite chocolate cake. The cake ended up being dry and crumbly. I never thought I would say this but the flavor was too chocolatey. I felt like I was only tasting cocoa powder. The pudding, cake and frosting are all cocoa powder flavored which I think make the flavor very one dimensional.
Hi Tieghan! May I ask if the cake pan you use is springform cake pan or the not springform version?
Which one would you recommend to make layered cakes?
I did not use a springform pan for this recipe, I just used 2 basic 8 inch, round cake pans. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Sweater cake ?❤️❤️❤️
Hope you love the recipe Shannon!! xTieghan
So decadent and moist. I even manage to make it look good to almost like yours. Will make this again. Like alot of your other recepies that i have tryied. Thank you!
I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan
I made this recipe for my birthday cake last week! Very chocolatey and perfect for a chocoholic like me. Some things to note: as someone else mentioned, this made WAY more pudding than needed, I could have easily only made 1/2 or even a 1/3 of the recipe and had plenty. I did not at all think the pudding suffered flavor-wise for being made with water instead of milk! Though as the leftovers sat the water started separating. I’d also recommend checking the cake much sooner than called for; my oven almost always bakes the full time given in a recipe or longer, but when I checked the cake at 27 minutes (based off someone else’s comment that it was done for them at that point) it was already totally set. The cakes did end up seeming a bit dry and overbaked, however with the pudding and frosting they were still delicious!
Hi Cori! I am sorry this did not turn out as you expected. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with! xTieghan
Can this be made into cupcakes?
Totally, I would just reduce your bake time to 25-30 minutes. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan
I am making this cake tomorrow in Aspen at 8k feet. What high altitude adjustments would you make?
No adjustments need to be made:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
This cake will be one of the best chocolate cakes you’ve ever eaten.
I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you! xTieghan
I want to make this for my daughter’s 27th birthday. She would like an alternative to the buttermilk and heavy whipping cream. Any suggestions using coconut milk or other alternatives?
Hi Marnee, I would recommend using an equal amount of full-fat canned coconut milk. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan
How do I sub buttermilk for coconut milk?
Hi Marnee, jus use an equal amount. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan