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Super-Moist Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


This 'Depression-era' Chocolate Cake has a secret ingredient that was used as an economic substitution for butter and eggs and it gives this cake it's super-moist super powers and it's still one of the most preferred chocolate cake recipes out there today!

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  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate do not exceed 61% cacao, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise do not use reduced-fat,fat-free or Miracle Whip, Hellman’s
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/4 cups butter softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for dark frosting, use part Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 25mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F
Butter and flour three 8" diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides, or two 9" pans.
In a medium bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, then whisk in boiling water until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl. Set aside.
Using mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beating until blended after each addition.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes.
Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen.
Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Frost when completely cooled.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Using mixer, cream butter, add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
Place cake on a platter.
Frost top of first layer.
Place second layer on cake.
Frost sides and top.
Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
Serves 10-12.

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