January 9, 2013

ding dong cake

A couple of years ago we went to a Valentine's Day dinner with some friends and I brought this cake but realized I never shared the recipe. With all this talk lately of Hostess going out of business, it reminded me of this cake which my sister aptly named the "Ding Dong Cake" because of the cream layer inside. If you haven't noticed, I'm a big fan of chocolate and this cake is rich but a fun thing to make for a special occasion like Valentine's Day. I also garnished the cake with fresh raspberries because hey - they look like hearts and also because chocolate + raspberries = true love.
1 box Devil's Food Cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips until combined. Pour the batter into 3 round cake pans, sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 325 degrees until done in the center (about 30 minutes but check the cake mix box directions). Remove cakes from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans. Let cool completely on wire racks until ready to assemble.

Ganache Icing
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened at room temperature

Place chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat whipping cream just until it starts to come to a boil. Remove from heat and pour hot cream over the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and shiny. Let cool completely until it is at room temperature. Once cooled, add the butter to the chocolate and cream mixture and whisk at medium speed until well combined and smooth. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons milk

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the mixing bowl. Turn mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients to blow up everywhere) until it is absorbed and mixed well into the butter. Increase mixer to medium speed and add vanilla, salt and cream and beat for 3 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add a little more powdered sugar if it needs to be a little more stiff and add a little milk (a tablespoon at a time!) for a thinner consistency. Note: if you want one less thing to make, you can just buy a jar of chocolate frosting since you're really not using much for the recipe. If you choose to make the chocolate buttercream, you will likely have some leftover.

Whipped Cream Layer

1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a cold mixing bowl, whip the cream until slightly thickened. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to assemble (this should be done last so it doesn't sit for very long before putting the cake together).

To Assemble:
Take a small sandwich bag and fill with 1 cup of chocolate frosting. Cut the tip off the bag and place a small dot of frosting on a cake stand and place one of the cake rounds on top. Pipe a 1/2" wall around the top edge of the cake to create a "barricade". Pour about 1/4 cup ganache icing in the center of the layer and smooth it to the edges of the piped frosting in an even layer. Place the second cake on top and make another 1/2" wall around the top edge of the second cake layer. Drop about 1 cup of whipped cream in the center and lightly spread out (not all the way to the edges). Place the final cake on top.

Carefully frost the top and sides of the cake with the ganache icing in a thin layer (called a "crumb coat" - which fills in any cracks and smooths out the cake). Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and ganache has solidified a bit. Frost cake a final time with the ganache icing, trying to get it as smooth as possible. Return to the refrigerator and let chill overnight (it's really best after it's been chilled for 24 hours).


  1. So, you make it with buttercream frosting? I make it with ganache frosting. It's amazing! You'll have to try it sometime.

  2. See, like that, how do you make THAT CAKE and not eat any of it!? Seems like torture! :0)


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