Today is my daughter’s birthday, and I’m one of those moms who makes her kids’ birthday cakes herself most of the time. One year, when the Fairy Princess Badass was very little, I came up with a chocolate cake hack for her birthday, and since I wasn’t sure whether it would end up being a nightmarish mess or something absolutely wonderful, I called it Chocolate Disaster Cake.
The only disaster was the impact it had on everyone who was trying to diet.
This cake has been the most popular dessert I’ve made for seven or eight years now. My aunt suggested I start selling it — go into business as a baker instead of what I’m already doing — because it was so good. It takes a lot of forms depending on the occasion — cupcakes are good for kids’ birthdays, bundt cakes are good for large family gatherings — and is ridiculously easy to make. Here is the recipe:
Start with a reasonably good quality box mix you like. When I first did this, I used either Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines (I can’t ever remember which is which) Super Moist Devil’s Food. I picked Devil’s Food because when I was little I used to make Devil’s Food cakes in my Easy-Bake Oven and thought I was an incredible baker. It was awesome, and DF is a great choice if you like it, but you can go with any really moist chocolate variety and it will serve you well here.
Add to this box mix a box of instant chocolate pudding mix and a bag of chocolate chips. You will also need to modify the recipe on the box to include 4 eggs, 1/2 c. oil, and 1 1/4 c. water. Mix them all up but good, then bake them according to the box instructions for whatever pan(s) you’re using. It might take a little longer than you expect so keep checking it after the minimum time. When a toothpick comes out clean (or at least not too gooey and liquidy) from the middle of the cake, you’re good to go.
Glaze this cake with melted chocolate truffles and sprinkle powdered sugar n top when you’re about to serve it. You can forego this part with cupcakes, if you want. The cake is moist and rich and delicious all on its own.
Now…why am I sharing this recipe with you today? Because last week my daughter wrote an acrostic poem for me that went like this:
I was so touched because my kids are really picky eaters and turn up their noses at my dinners often enough to make me question my prowess in the kitchen, which basically never happened (except for one time when I was in college) before they were born.
In other words, yeah, this is totally a Proud Mom Moment, and you may find it indulgent, but I’m going to take it anyway. Enjoy your cake.