Today I am psyched to be sharing my FAVORITE chocolate cake recipe with you - it's dense, moist, loaded with chocolate, and insanely easy to make!
I struggled with what to name this cake. Options were: Cheater's Chocolate Cake, Company Is Coming Chocolate Cake, Sunday Supper Chocolate Cake. Honestly, all of these names fit the bill. Let me explain:
- Cheater's Chocolate Cake - we are cheating a bit here in our culinary endeavor by enhancing a boxed cake mix and using pre-made toppings. Shhhh!!! I won't tell if you won't. Yes, there is a time and place to make everything from scratch, HOWEVER.....
- Company Is Coming Chocolate Cake - we all have the unexpected guest drop in from time to time. You know what I'm talking about! Or maybe you are like me and are expecting guests, but you get caught up in cleaning everything from top to bottom, leaving little time to cook anything from scratch. Either way, we all want the red carpet treatment from time to time, and believe me, your guests will feel like royalty when you serve this to them!
- Sunday Supper Chocolate Cake - let's channel our inner Ina Garten and plan a sumptuous roast chicken with potatoes for a cozy Sunday supper. It's the weekend, so why not add dessert to the menu? But don't wear yourself out; Ina always says that making everything from scratch is completely unnecessary! This cake is perfect for the occasion.
Are you drooling yet? I certainly am.
Our Back Pocket Chocolate Fudge Cake is baked in a tube pan/angel food cake pan with a removable bottom. This takes the scare-factor out of getting the cake out because you will have the bottom portion of the pan supporting the cake until its cool and set enough to handle. I have not tried baking it in a bundt cake pan - mainly because it is so dense, moist, and fudgy that I'm afraid it would fall apart upon removal. But I will update this post if I do decide to try it in a bundt pan!
Let's talk a bit about the toppings. Now, don't get me wrong - I've made my own hot fudge and salted caramel topping from scratch dozens of times. But, can we all agree that sometimes when we want to make these types of things, you don't have all the ingredients on hand? For me, I never have heavy cream for caramel or corn syrup/golden syrup for fudge. So in a pinch, I always have a jar of the Smucker's Simple Delight Hot Fudge and Salted Caramel toppings on hand. This is NOT sponsored - I truly love both of these sauces and think they are as close as you can get to the homemade versions! I love how they both set up beautifully on the cake with a glossy finish and stay that way once you refrigerate the cake.
Ok now....enough of all this talk! Let's get on to the recipe so that you can whip up this heavenly cake!
If you decide to give my Back Pocket Chocolate Cake a try, please let me know in the comments below! You can also upload a picture to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @SweetCayenne5 and I will be sure to feature you on my feed! The once a week newsletter is also available.
For more chocolate love, check out these recipes for Chocolate Gravy, Oatmeal Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies!
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Back Pocket Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup sour cream at room temperature
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅓ cup lukewarm water
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder OR 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (optional)
- 1 (12.75 ounce) package Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Cake mix
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup Smucker’s Simple Delight Hot Fudge Topping
- 2 tablespoons Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉ and place a rack in the lowest third of the oven. Spray a tube cake pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle cocoa powder in the pan and rotate the pan while tapping the sides to coat the pan with the cocoa. Place the tube pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Place the sour cream, eggs, water, pudding mix, oil, and espresso powder (if using) in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer on low speed to combine thoroughly, about 45 seconds. Add the cake mix to the mixture and mix on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the chocolate chips into the cake batter. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared tube pan. Place the baking sheet in the oven with the cake pan on top and bake for 35-45 minutes until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the bottom outer pan of the tube pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before removing the tube center and transferring to a serving plate.
- Microwave the hot fudge and salted caramel jars (with the lids removed!) in 30-second increments until they are pourable.
- Use a spoon to spread ½ cup of the hot fudge topping on top of the cooled cake. Drizzle the caramel on top of the fudge in a quick back-and-forth motion. Serve the cake immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. The cake tastes wonderful warmed, at room temperature, or chilled! A scoop of ice cream on top is HIGHLY recommended!
- This cake can be made in advance up to 2 days before adding the fudge and caramel topping. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before topping and serving.
- Alternatively, you can freeze the cake (wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bring to room temperature before topping and serving.
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How come you used vanilla pudding mix instead of chocolate?
Whitney Reist says
Hi Liz - great question! Vanilla pudding mix is just a pantry staple I have on hand whenever I need to enhance boxed cake mix. Sometimes life calls for a quick cake, so I keep boxed mixes and vanilla pudding mix on hand for when I need them 🙂