tasty tuesday, a birthday cake

today is our good friend david’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! i wanted to make him something special, you know, to show that we care. he is the guy that is always there for us if we need an extra hand (he is super strong!), more importantly he supports us, makes us laugh, makes me say inappropriate things in front of his parents (i am still horrified!), cares about our happiness, and is an all around great guy. anyone would be lucky to have that kind of a friend in their life.

so for my tasty tuesday recipe and in honor of david’s birthday …

a homemade, chocolate blackout cake. i got the recipe from watching america’s test kitchen. this show is my new obsession. i love it! what makes this cake different is the pudding is the icing and essentially additional layers of chocolate.

this cake takes time and a bit of patience. but i think it is worth it. this was probably the first cake i have made that i was dying to try! be sure to give the pudding and the cake enough time to cool or you’ll end up with runny pudding and gummy cake.


1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus extra for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. for the pudding: whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, half-and-half, and milk in large saucepan. set pan over medium heat. add chocolate and whisk constantly until chocolate melts and mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 4 minutes. stir in vanilla and transfer pudding to large bowl. place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day. you want to push the plastic ontop of the pudding so the hard “skin” doesn’t develop.

2. for the cake layers: adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl.

3. melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. stir in cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. off heat, whisk in coffee, buttermilk, and sugars until dissolved. allow to cool. whisk in eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in flour mixture.

4. divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. cool layers in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour.

5. to assemble the cake: cut each cake in half horizontally. crumble one cake layer into medium crumbs and set aside. place one cake layer on serving platter or cardboard round. spread 1 cup pudding over cake layer and top with another layer. repeat with 1 cup pudding and last cake layer. spread remaining pudding evenly over top and sides of cake. sprinkle cake crumbs evenly over top and sides of cake, pressing lightly to adhere crumbs.