Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

I’ve really been getting into this Julia/Julie thing. I refuse to cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking or any other cookbook. So, I have been on a mission to decide what I could do. I decided on making the perfect chocolate cake.

You see, most chocolate cakes seem a little dry. So I want to make a perfect chocolate cake. To get started, I picked a recipe entitled “The Perfect Chocolate Cake”. This is a chocolate cake with whipped cream filling and a chocolate frosting. I baked it and it turned out to be ‘perfect’. The cake was moist with a wonderful chocolate flavor. To be sure I was on track; I served it to some friends of mine. To my utter surprise, my friend Roger licked the plate. And I thought I can’t improve on plate licking. As it turns out the recipe was first published by Southern Living magazine in September 1977. It has been more of their more requested cake recipes. I guess that proves that a true classic never goes out of style.

I didn’t manage to get a picture of Roger. But it would have been quite a picture. You will have to be content with a picture of the cake and a recipe. I hope you bake the cake and enjoy it as much as my friends. Who knows, it could become your plate licking cake too.

If you have a ‘perfect’ chocolate cake recipe, please let us know.

Perfect Chocolate Cake


1 cup cocoa
2 cups boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2½ cups sugar
4 eggs
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Whipped Cream Filling (recipes follows)
Perfect Chocolate Frosting (recipes follows)

1. Combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
2. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beating at low speed of electric mixer, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Do not overbeat.
4. Line three 9-inch greased cake pans with wax paper; grease and flour wax paper. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans, peel off wax paper, and cool layers completely on wire racks.
5. Spread Whipped Cream Filling between layers; spread Perfect Chocolate Frosting on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whipped Cream Filling
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
¼ cup sifted powdered sugar

Beat whipping cream and vanilla until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Chill.

Perfect Chocolate Frosting

1 package (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ cup half and half
¾ cup butter
2 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; add powdered sugar, mixing well.
2. Set saucepan in ice, and beat at low speed of an electric mixer until frosting holds its shape and loses its gloss. Add a few more drops of half and half if needed to make spreading consistency.


  1. boney m. has the commercial disco sound "perfect" version,.the hit version
    Tony Esposito stays indeed the best!....even the sound is sometimes better.....his singing is some times to "shrill"

  2. I have a photocopy from the December 1990 Southern Living magazine that is reprint of the 1977 article. Since at least March 1999, my wife’s 30th, I make this cake each year for her birthday. I have baked many versions of chocolate cake but this one takes the...you get it. Make it with top-shelf cacao, chocolate chips, and vanilla and prepare to be amazed. Call me decadent, but I increase the whipped cream by 50%; I double the frosting. My wife and I enjoy it chilled, to keep the slices thin.