Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Food: Black Magic Cake

My birthday was last week. In an unfortunate turn of events, I ended up spending it by myself. Being the impatient type, I didn't want to wait for my husband to return and make me my birthday cake. I decided to just do it myself.

Birthdays are a time for tradition, so I stuck to what my mom always made for birthdays: Black Magic Cake with Mocha Frosting. Mmmm....And I stuck with the simple version that my mom also favors, just making a sheet cake. For me, this goes back to the impatience: if I make a layer cake or cupcakes, it'll take longer to frost. Alas, I should have waited longer for this cake to cool though since I rather made a mess of the frosting.

I'm not a coffee drinker unless it's iced and mostly milk, but I love Mocha Frosting. I love it so much in fact, that when I was a kid, I used to peel the frosting off the cake and eat it last. I think the coffee flavor is pretty subtle, especially in the cake, but if it's too much for you, you can play with the amount of cocoa powder and make the frosting chocolatey-er. I'm not sure where the frosting recipe originally came from, but I have seen the Black Magic Cake recipe in a Hershey's Cookbook. Happy birthday to me!

Black Magic Cake with Mocha Frosting

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee and 1 cup boiling water)
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar and milk to equal 1 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 13" x 9" x 2"  pan or 2-9" round pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for sheet cake or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
Cool completely on wire rack.

Mocha Frosting

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp hot coffee (or 1 tsp instant coffee and 3 Tbsp boiling water)
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt

Mix all ingredients until smooth and frost the cooled cake!
 Note: You may need to make additional frosting if you make a layer cake.


  1. Yes, I found the recipe on the Hershey's Cocoa box originally. I think that your Grammi Edna had the frosting recipe, though I don't remember for sure.
    Also if you want to keep the caffeine down a bit you can use decaf coffee.
    Hope you had a happy birthday. Too bad you had to make your own cake.

  2. YUM! Great photo! I don't like coffee, but would maybe make an exception for this delicious looking cake (happy birthday!)

  3. Thanks! I don't taste the coffee in the cake at all. If you like a slight bit of coffee flavor, like in coffee ice cream, you'll like the frosting too. My husband isn't a coffee drinker either though and he isn't a fan of the cake. I'd say it's worth a try though! You can always add more cocoa to the frosting.