This year for Ethan’s birthday, I gave him all of my cookbooks and let him pick out the cake for his special birthday BBQ bash. I realize I took a real gamble on this one, but thankfully he chose a cake that was a breeze to pull together and that required very little effort on my part. To be honest, I think this cake was chosen because “darn” is a word that he isn’t typically allowed to use a lot. When asked what kind of cake he was having for his birthday, an eruption of giggles would ensue and he would say, ” A DARN good chocolate cake. ” I love the innocence of youth!
Thanks to this cake being such a breeze to pull together, we did two cakes this year for the family members that weren’t craving a rich chocolate cake. A blueberry muffin cake was also added to the dessert table and everyone was really happy to have two options to choose from. We saved on time and decorating, by incorporating a Mario figurine set around the cake that would double as a birthday gift. I found these at Toys R’ Us and we used some of the money that his grandparents had sent to put towards the figurine set.
This chocolate cake is rich, but not the sickeningly sweet rich that makes you clutch the sides of your stomach. It contains a devil’s food cake mix, a little sour cream, a chocolate pudding mix, and a generous handful of semisweet chips. I dusted it with confectioner’s sugar, but the moisture in the cake kept absorbing it. If you are dusting this one, just wait until the last minute and then sift a generous amount on the top.
This is the perfect cake to tote to your next potluck dinner, to share with good friends, or just as a special treat for yourself. Serve it with a big glass of ice cold milk and you will feel like a child again as you indulge in this delicious cake!
Darn Good Chocolate Cake (Courtesy of “The Cake Mix Doctor“)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil’s food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix (I bought a devil’s food cake mix from Aldi)
1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a Bundt pan with cooking spray and then dust with flour. Set the pan aside. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, warm water, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat two to three minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure they are distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter in the pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your fingers and just starts to pull away from the pan. 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto the rack to cool completely, 20 minutes or more. Dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar (if desired).