The Brooklyn Blackout Cake.
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.
The Brooklyn Blackout Cake.
- 8 tablespoons butter softened at room temperature, 1 stick
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar use 1 1/2 cups for a sweater cake
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee optional
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups flour + 1/4 cornstarch
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 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.
Those layers? That pudding? That’s what’s going to make everyone happy. Trust me!