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Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

  • March 23, 2016
Have you decided on your Easter dessert yet? If you haven’t got one of these adorable Easter lamb molds, how about a good old fashioned chocolate cake?
Years ago, I found a delicious chocolate cake recipe in a magazine. It used boiling water and cocoa and was easy to make. More importantly, it was so moist and tender that it always wowed anyone who took a bite. It became my go-to chocolate cake recipe. So when I decided to bake a chocolate cake for a dinner party not long ago, I scoured my bookshelves for the decades-old tattered magazine that contained the recipe. Unfortunately, it was missing in action — not to be found anywhere I looked.
At the same time however, Jamie, author of “Life’s A Feast” blog, posted a chocolate cake recipe that looked and sounded delicious – and very similar to the one of my memory. Except that she substituted hot coffee for the boiling water called for in the recipe I remembered — an inspired decision since the coffee makes the chocolate flavor even more “chocolate-y.”
Since then, I found the original recipe, not in that magazine that seems to have disappeared — but from Hershey’s Chocolate Company’s website. It’s called the “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate cake.
I would have to agree — and I’ll bet you will too.
Make it with the chocolate frosting they suggest. Or with Jamie’s Chocolate Mocha Mascarpone Frosting recipe here.  I love chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Especially when there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
But this time, I wanted to make a chocolate mousse filling and a white buttercream frosting for contrast. If you want the chocolate mousse filling recipe, click here.  For the buttercream icing, I don’t even use a recipe per se. I just dump a box of confectioner’s sugar into my mixer, add about 1/4 cup of softened butter and mix. Add enough milk (and 1 teaspoon of vanilla) to bring it to spreading consistency.
Just to shake things up (and cover up any imperfections in frosting) I smeared the sides of the cake with chocolate Jimmies (maybe you call them sprinkles in your neck of the woods).
The top decoration is easy to do too. Just pipe parallel lines in chocolate over the white frosting, then run a toothpick back and forth in the other direction to create the design.
Give it a try. Even if you’re a beginning baker, it’s a cinch to make and the taste is dreamy.
Speaking of dreamy, isn’t this a gorgeous place? You could be here too in September, if you enroll in our writing retreat on Lake Como, Italy. We’ve just had to change the dates to make it a week earlier because of a government meeting that will take place during our original week. But the good news is that Villa Monastero, (in the photo below) where we’ll be staying, has given us a price break because of the change, and we’re passing that on to you. So click onto Italy, In Other Words to find out more, or contact me via the blog.
Check out Ciao Chow Linda’s Instagram page here to see more of what I’m cooking up each day. You can also connect with me on here on Facebook, here for my Pinterest page, here for my Twitter feed.
Happy Easter.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
printable recipe here

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water (I use a cup of hot coffee instead)
  • 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. (I used three pans.)
  • 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (or coffee) (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Hydrangea Cupcakes

  • June 18, 2012
Last night I dreamed I found a miniature dinosaur in the suitcase I unpacked from my recent trip to Italy. (I’ll return to sharing more posts and recipes from that trip shortly.) Anyhow, so this was a real dinosaur in my dream – kind of like a tyranosaurus rex, but cute like that little gecko on those tv insurance commercials. Relieved that it just miniature, and unsure what to do, I locked it in a room and went back to sleep. The next morning, I opened the door and the dinosaur had grown tenfold, and it wasn’t so cute anymore. I slammed the door shut and called animal control. Then I woke up and had a cupcake with Miranda by the hydrangea bushes.
You know Miranda, don’t you? I use as my email address for this blog not because I have a real daughter named Miranda. No, my real daughter’s name is Christina, and while it’s a lovely name, I’ve had a twinge of regret over the years in not naming her Miranda, linking it with the Shakespearean connotation in my last name (you’ll have to figure that one out.) So when we put in a fountain a few years ago, I seized the opportunity to call her Miranda.
OK, so back to the cupcakes. I don’t normally eat cupcakes for breakfast, but this dinosaur business was an emergency that called for a little sugar catharsis. My friend Dede got the ball rolling a few days ago by giving me some lovely pink and lilac hydrangeas that I arranged in a vase with my own blue flowers. That was all the impetus I needed to make the cupcakes I saw on the blog Glorious Treats a while back. One baking and I had enough for guests Friday night, Saturday night and Father’s Day too.
After you’ve baked your favorite cupcake recipe, make the frosting. I used a basic buttercream frosting and colored it using liquid supermarket food coloring. If you want more color choice (and less dilution of the frosting), buy the paste food dyes available from cake decorating shops. I was too impatient to make the extra trip to the store.
Use a pastry bag and place two colors inside. Then with a number 2D decorating tip, squeeze the little florets all over the top of the cupcake.
You’ll end up with something like this if you use the two tones of color:
Or you can opt for a single color like this. I added the pink to a bag that wasn’t quite empty, so I got a few edges that were a slight lilac color too.
Try it while hydrangeas are in season and set a pretty dessert table.
More Italy posts coming soon!
This recipe for chocolate cupcakes is an old tried-and-true recipe from Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake and makes a great layer cake too.
Chocolate Cupcakes (24 cupcakes)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


Line muffin tin with paper liners.  Heat oven to 350*F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
Bake cupcakes for aproximately 22-24 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Buttercream Frosting (for 24 cupcakes)

4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or light cream
Assorted food colors
Using a No. 2D decorating tip, place two colors of frosting inside a pastry bag, and pipe “flowers” all over the top of the cupcake.