I wonder if I should call this cake a Maryland Cake because it’s where I live. I’ve seen versions of this cake everywhere, and most often it’s named for the state in which the baker lives. Interestingly, the New York Times picked it up and showcased it as a *Denver Sheet Cake. It does have a certain homey appeal that I could imagine parents making for their children’s birthdays year after year, thereby naming it after home, wherever that is.
This cake is no-fuss since it’s made in a 9x13 pan. The recipe is easy to follow, and the results are a rich, really moist, and always crowd pleasing cake for chocolate lovers. I called my version a chocolate black-out cake because I made some changes to add depth of flavor. My version is solid black, once iced, and the intensity of the chocolate is enough to make your teeth ache, in a good way.
I tweaked the recipe to give it my own signature, and I served it with Talenti’s new hazelnut chocolate chip ice cream. If you haven’t tried this flavor, it’s a must; I almost wish I had not discovered it because it pairs perfectly with anything chocolate and I have a weakness for anything chocolate.
Chocolate Black-Out Cake
For the cake:
2 sticks salted butter
1½ cups brewed strong coffee, completely cooled
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ cup dark cocoa powder
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
For the frosting:
1 stick of salted butter
¼ cup dark cocoa powder
6 tbs. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. confectioner’s sugar
Place oven rack in middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch sheet pan. Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl, and whisk well.
Combine butter, cocoa and brewed coffee in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk frequently until butter has melted and mixture is smooth, glossy and bubbling around edges. Remove from heat.
Fold cocoa mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until combined.
Turn batter into prepared pan and bake until cake has risen, shrunken slightly from edges, and tests clean with a toothpick, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a rack.
Combine butter, cocoa and buttermilk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk frequently until butter has melted and mixture is smooth and bubbling around edges.
Remove from heat and transfer to a standing mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.
With machine on low speed, add vanilla and sugar, and mix until smooth.
Pour warm frosting over top of cooled cake, and smooth with a spatula. Allow frosting to become firm before slicing cake.
If you prefer cold cake, refrigerate until ready to serve. It tastes amazing at both room temperature and cold.
*The New York Times recipe, where I originally found this cake (I changed some ingredients), is at this link: