National Chocolate Cake Day

January can be a pretty tough month. The holidays are behind us, the weather forecast up north is for snow with periods of snow, and there’s no great excuse to indulge in chocolate-y goodness until Valentine’s Day. And heck…that’s still weeks away!

So, thank goodness for the caffeinated geniuses who came up with National Chocolate Cake Day. What? You haven’t heard of it? Well, mark your calendar for 2012, because it’s January 27th every year.

In honor of National Chocolate Cake Day, we’d like to share one of our favorite recipes for this iconic dessert. Now, Donna does most of our baking…in fact, for the past few months, we’ve initiated what we like to call “Bake Night” once or twice a week, which is when Donna pulls back her long blonde hair and hunkers down in the kitchen for a couple of hours. She can bake pretty much anything, but she makes a really really good chocolate cake.

Here’s the recipe for it. I’m no chemist, but I think the coffee really brings out the chocolate’s sweetness.

Donna’s Almost Famous Chocolate Cake

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa (I recommend Hershey’s, since I grew up so close to their chocolate factory)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk (you only need a cup, but buy a gallon. Because you can’t eat chocolate cake w/o a glass of milk!)
3/4 c. oil
1 c. instant coffee
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (we use vanilla we buy in Mexico–it makes the whole kitchen smell good!)

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add milk, oil, and instant coffee, beat together.

Add egg and vanilla and beat.

Pour into cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now, if you’re a chocoholic like the hub, you can go for a nice chocolate icing as well. Me, I prefer a little less chocolate, so if I’m making the Bake Night schedule, I request the following Peanut Butter Icing:

2 c. 10x sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 T. butter, softened
2-3 T. hot water

Combine all ingredients in the mixer and cream together. Spread on a well-cooled cake.