Birthday Chocolate Cake

Half Hour Chocolate Cake

I’ve been meaning to blog about this recipe since September. Each time I make this chocolate cake recipe from the old Joy, I think I must blog about it this time. But I never manage to get decent photographs: it’s gone too quickly.

But yesterday the camera was out for taking pictures of the birthday girl (two years old already!), and I finally got some half decent shots of the cake. Or cupcakes, I should say, with slightly purple frosting: the natural food colouring isn’t very strong, but still it’s a nice tint.

This recipe comes together very easily by hand, only a whisk, a wooden spoon and the slightest bit of elbow grease required. But it yields a moist, rich, deeply chocolate cake that is extremely versatile: cupcakes, standard round cakes, or cake for a jelly roll. It’s delicious every time.

As I mix everything by hand, I’m not a fan of making frosting. It always seems too time consuming. Instead I pair this cake with lightly whipped mascarpone cheese: it’s a very good match.

Half Hour Chocolate Cake

Half Hour Chocolate Cake
adapted slightly from the 1931 Joy of Cooking
(This is called Half Hour Chocolate Cake because the original recipe claims that it can be mixed, baked and iced in half an hour. And Irma says ‘and the claim is justified.’ Indeed as a sheet cake this cake bakes in only 8 minutes so that leaves you enough time to mix and ice it in 30 minutes. But as a thicker cake you’ll need more time for baking.)

Note: This makes a small cake or a half jelly roll. I doubled it and it made 18 cupcakes.

3/4 C sugar
2 Tbs (1oz.) softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 C milk
6 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs (1oz.) butter

Melt 2 Tbs/1oz. butter and stir in the cocoa powder.

In a small bowl combine the flour & baking powder with a whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the remaining 2 Tbs/1oz. butter with the sugar, egg and vanilla using a whisk.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

Add the milk and whisk to combine.

Add the rest of the flour mixture and whisk to combine.

Add the cocoa powder mixture and whisk until well blended.

Pour into a greased pan of your choice and bake at 350F/180C. Cupcakes took about 15-20 minutes. When done they will spring bake when press and a toothpick will come out clean.

Mascarpone Frosting
These are guideline amounts. Taste and adjust to your desires.

1 & 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk

Whisk everything together and spread on cooled cake. If the frosting gets stiff just add more milk.


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