That's It: Part II

comments: 60


Well, okay. I feel so bad that I left you hanging. I don't know what was funnier, scrubbing cake off the baking sheet or reading the comments from everyone who thought these were Whoopie Pies (they did look like WPs, though those rings of what look like white filling are actually the little metal cake pans, or the parts of the pans that aren't covered with molten chocolate). I'm sad to say that looking at the finished cakes was just as funny, since they didn't really get any better looking, though I tried, oh I tried. I really did try. I laughed out loud, alone, so many times while doing this, so at least I amused myself.

So, I was just trying to bake little cakes like the ones I did for Valentine's Day last year and the dinner party ones with the pink flowers and the birthday one (now I'm just showing off, cause that one was beautiful, I'm sorry, but it was). So I mean, I had it. I did used to have it. I had to go back and look just to make sure. Was I [pause] too sexy for my shirt? I think so. Hubris. Got lazy. While you are all so nice to blame the oven temperature, the recipe, the humidity, the baking soda, or the [insert name of blameable cause other than myself here] for me, I'm chagrined to say this one was entirely Operator Error. I just filled the pans way too full; apparently, though I took the time to make cake batter entirely from scratch, I could not really be bothered to stop for 1/4 second and think about how much batter I should put in the pans.

Turns out, not too much. This batter, when finished, is totally liquid, the consistency of Swedish pancake batter. But it . . . rises. So the cakes totally blobbed out in the oven and gooed all over my nice beautiful baking sheet. I was standing and looking at them through the oven-door window with my mouth actually hanging open as they were bubbling over, oozing like lava. That was a sad moment. I decided to let it go, and hope the part in the pans still cooked. But thank goodness for the nice baking sheet, otherwise . . . well, at least I got that part right.


The finished stacks are these wobbly, pock-marked, frowsy little towers of sponge and cream. I think they are embarrassed for themselves, actually. They looked just like the ones I made in my Easy-Bake Oven when I was nine. But Andy was right: They are delicious. So it was all fine — just too much batter of a too-sticky cake in a 4" round tin. The recipe, Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, is one I've used many times, and it is the best chocolate cake, if you like them dense and sticky, as I do. But it's so moist that it's not a great candidate for further lateral slicing, like I did with the Stacks of Hearts and Clouds (drier); this one's sticky even when it's coming out of the pan. It's insanely delicious, though, so don't let me stop you. Don't let my problems stop you. Just, put it in the right size pans. I see now that this — wrong pan-size — is a recurring theme in my baking badness. So, after I surgically removed these from their pans and cut off all their weird edges, I added a layer of raspberry jam. Frosted them with this (with a little jam added):

Cloudburst Frosting

4 T. flour
1 c. whole milk
1 c. butter
1 t. almond extract
2 c. sifted confectioners sugar

In small pan, whisk together flour and milk. Simmer until thick over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool completely but NOT in refrigerator. Cream together butter and almond; add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and beat until fluffy. The frosting will appear to separate, but just keep beating on high until it whips up into smooth, fluffy clouds.

Slapped a doily under them, sprinkled on some powdered sugar, and just dug in, quick. Not a problem. Nope [munch munch], no problems now. I wish you were here so you could have some and then maybe you'd forgive me for being such a doofus. Nevertheless, I'm sticking to smocking and savories for a while. Seriously. That's it.


Your description of gooey chocolate cake reminded me of No Pudge brownies. Which I tried over the weekend with your icing recipe and cooking the brownies individually. Perfect....and a teeny tiny bit guilt-free with the low-fat brownie underneath that yummy icing. :)

They look lovely and delicious! For the frosting, does "almond"=almond extract?

Hershey's dark chocolate cake is the best tasting recipe ever, even when the results aren't aesthetically pleasing. In college, my friends and I would often bake this cake, usually in the early morning hours when we should have all been sleeping.
Thanks for reminding me of those lovely times!

I made this cake last night for my husband's birthday, it was so good. and I'm a cake spaz. I couldn't have been happier with its chocolatey blackness. Have you seen the cookbook "Birthday Cakes"? It has pictures that I think you would like

Well, I'm a little late, but I'm here now. You wouldn't happen to have the coffee pot on, would you?

I appreciate the camera tutorial in your post above, very much. I'm learning to use a new camera, and don't always understand everything that I'm reading.

Thank you.

that's it. oh yeah. that's it fer shur. i am now going to have to make these.

chocolate, sticky, insanely delicious? that's a big GO on all counts!

Ditto on the Hershey Cake. It is our staple birthday cake at work. I will try that frosting though, looks good.

Cloudburst frosting and Hershey's deep dark chocolate cake---how happy I was when I looked up the recipes to find that they were different names for my mother's old standbys: Black Magic Cake (almost exactly the same ingredients as Hersheys except butter instead of oil) and Ermine Icing (almost the same as Cloudburst, except vanilla flavoring instead of almond and regular sugar instead of confectioners). These were the birthday cakes of my childhood. I think the black magic cake recipe came from my aunt in Pennsylvania, and the ermine icing may be from the old Joy of Cooking. I try to reproduce them, but they never look as pretty as my Mom's. Taste almost as good, though!


K - those look absolutely delicious!! And.. I learned a new word that I absolutely LOVE!! Frowsy. Love it. :)

Hi! I tried your icing yesterday and it turned out great. I questioned how long it takes to get "fluffy" because I've made some things and mixed so long that they fall. But I just kept the mixer on for awhile and it turned out ok. At first I though it was too buttery, but after it chilled in frig we put it on a chocolate cupcake and it tasted like ice cream. My hubby said that it was the best icing he ever ate, and me too! I'm serving it tonight for a party. Thanks!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.