Another June birthday dessert. I think this is the last one I’ll be making this month. (My waistline is thankful for that!)This cake is so easy. A one bowl cake with a simple buttercream. The most work you have to do is zest and juice the limes.
I was going to give you this recipe in a few weeks and had something else planned for today but after eating this over the weekend it was still on my mind, so here you go!I have to tell you that this chocolate cake is so moist and delicious that it will probably become my go to chocolate cake. The fact that it is so easy is a huge plus, too. But, I’m not going to kid you that I invented this cake. This is just a modified version of a classic Hershey Cocoa cake.I’m thinking this cake will also make a great 9×13 cake with a simple dusting of powdered sugar. Or a broiled coconut topping. For my purposes this past weekend I needed a special layer cake for a great friends birthday. Happy Birthday, R!
I played with flavor combinations for her birthday cake. She loves chocolate but also gravitates toward fruit flavors, especially citrus. Lemon was my first thought for this icing but I personally really love chocolate with lime. (See my key lime pie recipe.)I also like the idea of decorating cakes/cupcakes with gummy candies. Cake with candy? Yes, please! Although you have no idea how difficult it was to find lime flavored gummy candies!
I had thought I would use lemon icing and dot the top with lemon drops. When I randomly changed to lime I had to figure out what to use instead of lemon drops. I recently saw a cake on Pinterest that was covered with gummy bears. All over the sides and the top. It looked so fun! I almost did that. (I probably still will eventually.) So Tim and I made a trip to a local grocery/farm market that has a lot of bulk gummy candies. They have gummy cherries, peaches, strawberries. They even have gummy army men, penguins and frogs. But no limes. They did have some sugar coated gummy type candies that are all mixed flavors and looked like citrus slices. I bought a container and I managed to pick out enough limes to circle the base of the cake.
The fruit slice candies on the top of the cake ended up being green apple flavor, but at least they looked like limes!Speaking of gummy bears. . .Tim got some chocolate covered gummy bears for his birthday. My initial reaction was “ewww, gross”! However, as it turns out, they are soooo good! I mean like addicting and fantastic. Gummy and fruity and chewy and chocolate all at once. I couldn’t walk past the bag without eating one. Evil, delicious candies! Pretty sure they were calling my name. . .soft, sweet whispers. . .I take no personal responsibility for eating most of the bag myself. (poor Tim) It was not my fault. The bears made me do it.The thing about chocolate cake over any other flavor, in my experience, is that most people will drop what they are doing and eat a slice. They might pass on the vanilla or strawberry or lemon cake but the chocolate really pulls people in. Can’t resist it. The only other flavor that I see that sort of dedication to is cherry chip.
Amazingly, I never used to be a cake girl. And when I did eat cake I scraped off the icing first! Can you imagine? I was so dumb when I was young!
(Oh-I should mention that I used a thin layer of the icing between each layer along with a layer of lime curd that I purchased at the grocery store. I was too lazy to make homemade curd. I wanted to make sure the cake was good and lime-y. But the icing is very lime-tastic so you probably don’t need the curd.)
Easy Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, milk, oil and mix until well combined. Boil the cup of water. While mixing, slowly add the water. Mix until everything is combined. Your batter will be thin.
I used three 9″ round cake pans that I sprayed with non-stick spray. You could use 2 pans or a 9×13. Or even make cupcakes but you’ll have to adjust the bake time accordingly. Because this made three thin layers for me I did not have to bake them as long as you would for thicker/larger cakes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
2 cups butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
zest of 3 limes
Juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
5 cups powdered sugar
Beat the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Add the salt and lime zest. Mix well.
Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar at a time and slowly mix into the butter. After about the 3rd cup of powdered sugar add the lime juice and beat into the sugar mixture very well. Add the last 2 cups of powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency. I used all five cups but you might use less or more depending on the season or the humidity level where you live.
Use to fill and frost your cake after it is completely cool. Decorate with gummy candies as you please!