A Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling

One awkward summer afternoon last year, I sat across the table from a boy, eating dinner together, and he told me he didn’t like cake. Can you believe that? He didn’t like cake.

A Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling | Foodal

He was so bold, in fact, he actually dared me to name a cake that could change his mind and, darn it, I must not have been ready because my mind went totally blank (or maybe I was just confused since the conversation changed topics so many times, without warning, when I’d be mid-sentence, even).

So I didn’t tell him about Swirlz and their magical cupcakes with the most amazing, creamy frosting I’ve ever tasted, nor that he should, on his way home, grab a $2 slice of chocolate cake at Portillo’s, that fast-food chain popular around Chicago, and feel its silky, rich frosting melt on his tongue.

Mostly though, I really regret that I’d never made this one, which, if I’d had to offer in my defense, definitely could have tipped the scales in my favor.

Top view of a Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling | Foodal

As you may have noticed from the post about truffles, there were two of my coworkers that had birthdays this last month. First was Carrie’s (provoking the celebration with Restaurant Eve’s cake, which you’d swear was a sugar cookie in cake form).

Today is Alicia’s, celebrated at work Monday with this—a wonderfully moist and delicious chocolate cake, filled with homemade whipped cream and topped by chocolate buttercream frosting based off the vanilla version.

You know, they’ve come a long way, cakes. Originally just sweetened breads, flat and round, made with nuts and honey, cakes didn’t become the confections we now think of until the 17th century, at which time they were only available to the very affluent.

Sometime in the last hundred years, cakes became more common, with home cooks taking them on in their own kitchens, like my grandma did with her home catering.

Still, though, cake isn’t exactly a set type or flavor: there are fruit cakes (those hard, brick-like objects people like to give at Christmas), shortcakes (summery, often paired with strawberries), pound cakes, jello cakes, box cakes, made-from-scratch cakes, zuccotto cakes, cakes with nuts, cakes with carrots grated into the batter.

With so many different variations—and so many different people making them—it’s no wonder bad experiences happen.

Even birthday cake, traditionally layered, frosted and decorated, covered with candles and sliced into thick slices, isn’t hard to find done wrong.

Everyone has their own preferences, but for me, this is what I expect from a good birthday cake (what about you?): moist batter (there’s nothing worse than dry cake), good flavor and a fairly pretty presentation. And this cake? Has all that and more.

I started with a basic Hershey’s recipe for the batter, figuring it made sense to trust the people who know chocolate best.

Those of you telling me not to give up on buttercream will be glad to know the frosting is just that, and those of you who find buttercream a little heavy will be relieved that the filling is fluffy, light and whipped, a simple blend made from heavy whipping cream, blended until it was thick enough to dollop on a spatula and sweep over the bottom layer of cake.

Plus, as a bonus, the whipped filling adds moisture to the layers, ensuring this birthday cake will be just as it should be: soft and sweet, velvety chocolate with punches of light cream.

After a bite of this, who couldn’t like cake?

When you’re making the whipped cream, set the bowl of ingredients inside a larger bowl filled with ice, and mix it with a hand mixer, if you have one. It makes the task insanely easy and fast.

The Recipe

A Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling | Foodal
Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
A Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling | Foodal
Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
For the cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 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
For the whipped cream filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Servings: people
Chocolate Cake:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Fill between the layers with sweetened whipped cream, and frost the top and sides with "perfectly chocolate" chocolate frosting.
Whipped Cream Filling:
  1. Whip the cream to form loose peaks, add the sugar and vanilla, and continue to beat until thickened. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting:
  1. Melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in the vanilla.


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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

12 thoughts on “A Sublime Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Filling”

  1. Thanks, Meeso!

    Adam – I know it’s not popular to praise Hershey’s chocolate, especially when compared to Valhrona or other upscale brands, but, while it’s ordinary, Hershey’s is also a time-tested, inexpensive option made by the largest chocolate distributor in North America, as well as the oldest. Its classic chocolate bar is an American icon, usually one of the first kinds to be loved by kids.

    That said, by all means, one could use Scharffen Berger or Penzey’s or maybe Ghiradelli cocoa powder in this recipe, and I’m sure the results would only be improved! (Although, you tried the test cupcakes, so you know!) I’d love to hear what other people try.

  2. Hey, all I can afford is Hersey’s! It’s tastes just fine, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like the upscale chocolates. I think it’s totally fine for your ordinary chocolate cake.

  3. Holy cow, that looks good! I actually prefer Hersey’s over anything. It’s probably because it is, as you said, “a time-tested, inexpensive option.” If we had plain chocolate in the house when I was growing up, it was most likely Hersey. Sometimes, I’ll bite into a chocolate Santa or Easter egg and expect that taste, and then I’m disappointed, because it’s a generic-tasting chocolate. Although I do love some confections from Fannie May, Hersey is my #1.

  4. Hannah and Carrie, thanks for weighing in!

    DD, I know. It’s right up there with people who don’t like chocolate.

    Jessica and Susan – THANK YOU! You guys are too nice.

  5. The chocolate cake in your close-up photo is, quite simply, impossible to say no to. I don’t care who it is or what their hang-ups are, saying no to a cake like that can only be for effect. I can’t help wondering if the boy you had dinner with has a secret stash of cakes in his room that he privately gobbles down. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. I wish I’d had your frosting a couple of days ago, when I didn’t want to make 4 cups of ganache or buttercream for two dozen cupcakes, and had to commit the sin of buying canned. (The recipients all approved anyway.)

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