Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Double Chocolate Kahlua Cake

Double Chocolate Kahlua Cake - made December 19, 2015 from Key Ingredient
One of my favorite and easiest-to-make cakes is the Kahlua Cake whose recipe I got from my friend Patricia years ago. It’s one of the few, extremely rare, recipes where my baking soul is (grudgingly) okay that it’s made with a cake mix as its base. I know, it hurts me to even say the words “cake mix” but it’s the truth.
In peering through my pantry to clear out my baking ingredients, I found a lone box of chocolate cake mix. I must’ve bought it for some recipe long ago and never followed through so it has sat untouched on my shelf until it almost reached its expiration date. The Kahlua Cake I like uses yellow cake mix and chocolate pudding mix, both of which I did have since I had planned to make that version of Kahlua cake for Christmas. But this recipe seemed like a good excuse to use up the lone rider chocolate cake mix.
It was just as easy and made palatable by punching up the chocolate flavor with a couple tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa. The Kahlua didn’t hurt either. The cake baked beautifully and easily slid out of the Bundt pan without protest. Score. I made the full recipe of frosting but ended up using only half of it. Since I’m not a frosting person, I didn’t see the sense of glopping it on an inch thick. Instead, while the cake was still a bit warm, I spread a thin layer of frosting over it, let it melt like a drippy glaze and set then put a second thin coating over it. That seemed like plenty and my niece, always a willing taste tester, agreed that it was the perfect cake to frosting ratio.

The texture of this was soft and fluffy, similar to cake mix texture so I’m a little prejudiced against it but the taste was helped by the Kahlua and the cocoa. My niece liked this cake better than I did; this was good but I still prefer my friend Patricia’s version. The link I got it from on pinterest goes to a site where you have to sign up to be able to access the full recipe. I don't believe in that so I've written up my own version of how I made it.
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Kahlua
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Frosting (a half recipe is sufficient if you don't like a lot of frosting)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons Kahlua
8 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional (I didn't use it)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a nonstick Bundt pan.
  2. Sift together the cake mix and cocoa powder in the large bowl of a standing electric mixer. Add the Kahlua, buttermilk, oil and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined and glossy.
  3. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (40-50 minutes, depending on your oven).
  4. Let cool to lukewarm.
  5. For the frosting: combine cocoa powder and water; bring to a boil, whisking smooth. Add Kahlua.
  6. Beat butter until creamy and add cocoa mixture. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth. Add cinnamon if using. Beat until smooth and glossy. Frost thin layer over lukewarm cake and let cool until set. Apply another thin layer. Let set and serve.

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