Some Recipes I've Been Meaning to Share

comments: 80

For many, many years I have loved my favorite chocolate cake recipe. But my sister Susie's is even better. This cake is awesome. It's dense, moist, perfectly chocolatey, and, I don't know, but there's just something really sophisticated and steady about this cake. It tasted as good as it did on the third day as it did on the first day. I agree with Susie. This is the

Best Chocolate Cake in the Whole Wide World

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (we used Cacao Barry Extra Brute, which she says is the best)
1 1/4 cup hot water
3 cups brown sugar
2 2/3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
9 oz. butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (warmish) water

Preheat oven to 350 F, unless you have a convection oven. I have a convection oven and we baked this at 315 F and it came out perfectly. Grease and flour (or use cocoa powder instead of flour if you aren't going to frost the sides) two 9" round baking pans, and maybe throw a few cupcake papers in some cupcake tins in case there is more batter than you need. (Note: I use this 6" x 3" cake pan for my little cakes. The baking time is almost twice as long. I slice the cake into thirds when cool.)

Mix the hot water with the cocoa powder and let it sit for a few minutes until the cocoa is dissolved. Combine the brown sugar, cake flour, baking soda, and salt — paddle (we used a Kitchen Aid mixer, but you could use a hand mixer on low) until it is all combined and looks consistent. Add the cocoa water to the dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. (Side note: She was not happy with how fast my lowest Kitchen Aid speed was — we had to put a big dish towel over the mixer to keep the batter from flying out of the bowl everywhere, so be careful.) Cut up the butter into smaller pieces and add to the batter. Paddle for about 3 minutes on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Beat eggs lightly and mix them with the warmish water and the vanilla. Add these wet ingredients to the batter in thirds until just combined. Scrape down the bowl a lot. Pour batter in the cake pans until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 22 minutes and then check them; a toothpick poked into the center should come out clean. The cake might take 15 more minutes, but you don't want to overbake it. Let the cakes cool in their pans, then remove and frost with Cloudburst Frosting. (Please also read my notes there about this frosting; you have to beeeeeeeeeat it a lot lot.) Decorate to your heart's content! I used crazy-good fresh blackberries and mint leaves.



I also made up this soup. I almost never make up any recipes but I have to confess I was super happy with this one, and everyone else seemed to like it, too (including my brother-in-law, who ate it out of a glass dish that Andy and Susie brought to him at the bar where they were meeting after he got off work to play pinball [in his suit, unless they brought him a t-shirt, too, I don't know]. I just thought the image of him eating this in a bar was so hilarious).

Curried Potato-Shrimp Chowder

2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons good yellow curry (I use Dean and Deluca's)
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken broth
2 ears fresh corn (you could use frozen; I'm not sure how much that would be, maybe 1 to 1 1/2 cups?)
1/2 pound fresh shrimp, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 or 2 little ripe tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded, then chopped up, just 'cause I had them
*1 can coconut milk

In a large stock pot, fry the bacon until it is crispy then remove it from the pot and let it drain on some paper towels. Pour out the bacon grease and then add the olive oil to the pot. When it's hot, add the onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes and sautee until the vegetables are starting to brown. Add the garlic and the curry powder and the salt and sautee for a few more minutes until it's really fragrant. Add the chicken broth and simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender (I like them quite tender, almost mushy). Add the corn, fresh shrimp, peas, and bacon (thanks for catching this JenW!) and simmer until the shrimp are cooked and the corn and peas are heated through. Add the basil and some chunks of fresh tomato and chow down (at the bar).

Hopefully I got these recipes right [bites nails nervously]! I get very nervous posting recipes!!!

*DRAT: I was just at the store getting ingredients to make this again and realize that I forgot to mention: We also added the thick part of one can of coconut milk, too! You could leave it out but it's really good with it in. I am really sorry I forgot about this!


Hoooooray! I was hoping you would share this fabulous cake recipe! YUMMY!

Oh that looks so wonderful. I wish someone would make me those for my birthday. Love chowder and chocolate cake. (sigh)

3 cups of sugar!? Wow, no wonder it's a great recipe. This would have to be a once-a-year splurge.

Your Cloudburst frosting is divine! I've made it a couple of times.

I wasn't entirely clear, but do you return the bacon to the soup? Or is it just for the remnants of bacon fat that remains after you pour it out? Looks delicious--I may try this because it hits all the lovely things I enjoy!

Dear Alicia, I've been following your blog for years, and keep coming back for the beautiful calmness of it.

I've never commented before, but this is too hilarious: I had printed out your favorite chocolate cake recipe a long while ago, and finally baked it today (though not with Hershey's... with Swiss chocolate powder). We declared it the best chocolate cake we had ever tasted! I thought my search for the perfect chocolate cake had finally ended... and here you go and post another one... oh dear! I'll have to try again very soon :)

Thank you so much, for every single thing you share on here. It's very inspiring and truly appreciated :)
Fleur, from Switzerland

THANK YOU ALICIA!!!! cannot wait to try both of these recipes!!

The cake sounds delicious and the pictures are the zinger...I'll have to try it soon!

Mmmmm. That soup looks good. I'm going to try it this weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

Thank you for the recipes! Can't wait to try them. The soup looks and sounds totally delicious. Was just thinking of making a minestrone soup but now can't wait to make this! And amazingly I have everything on hand.

Fantastic, I have many cake events coming up and this looks to be just perfect.

i'm sooooo happy to discover your yummy blog! i look forward to catching up.

hope you'll follow me back.

smiles to you.

your newest follower,


Of course, it's dinner time here in western Washington, and I'm hungry!!! Even if I wasn't, these two recipes look amazing! While we travel down through the chilly coast, I'm sure we'll be trying your delicious soup! Thank you!

Mmm! I've been wanting to do some baking - your timing is perfect! I also wanted to say, Last Christmas I made your cloudburst frosting, but I made it gluten and dairy free so my brother could eat it (he's intolerant to both) for my eldest brother's 50th b'day. It was fabulous!

The recipes look fabulous, but I'm behind a few posts. You have inspired me to SEW! (Actually, I have been sewing allot lately, but more crafty-type items, like zipper pouches and pillow cases---not stuff to wear.) Being too impatient to mail-order anything, I went to the chain fabric store and bought a Simplicity pattern for a peasant-type top and some super cheap muslin to make a sample. After I make sure the pattern is going to fit me, I want to get some good quality cotton and make the top with an embroidered yoke. Years ago, I used to sew all my own clothes, including slips and swimsuits. I haven't sewn a garment for myself in about 20+ years.

These look yummy. However, I'm always afraid to cook shrimp because I don't know if I will know when it's done. Could I use canned shrimp? And if I do cook the raw shrimp, how do I know when it's cooked? And what is the thick part of coconut milk? Thanks for posting these.

I'm going to bake the cake the next time we have friends over. The cake looks almost too good! =o)

Oh yeah, both of these are happening this weekend. Thank you for the recipes!

let me just be a witness: i almost always make Alicia's cloudburst frosting and everyone LOVES it! ;-)
I'll have to look for that cocoa....

Thanks for the new recipe. Your go to cake, has been my go to cake for the last year. My family loves it, and I've become an expert Cloudburst frosting maker. I'll have to give this cake a try on the next birthday that comes around.

My cooking group, BITE (but is this edible) met earlier this week, and our theme was "I've been meaning to make that!" We got a chance to make things that have always intrigued us, but we just never got around to. It was great, as are the recipes that you've been meaning to share!

Thank you for these recipes -- I'm excited to try the cake and frosting!

I'm really looking forward to trying this cake - it looks absolutely delicious. As others have said, I am hopeful I can create a gluten free version for the boy. But am sad...I tried the Cloudburst Frosting for a friend's birthday cake, but I failed :-( Perhaps it doesn't like gluten free flour? I'll just have to try again because I need to experience that frosting! x

both recipes look amazing. definitely trying them both. thank you for sharing!

sue collins says: August 24, 2012 at 08:30 AM

Now that's a cake..mmmm.

definitley going to try the chocolate cake hope it tastes as good as it looks

They look SO GOOD!!!
*mouth drools*

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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