When I asked on Facebook who would like a Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cake, I got a few takers. In all honesty, I don’t think my request was taken seriously. Luckily my good neighbor and friend who lives across the street knew I wasn’t joking and was in the mood for some chocolate cake.
This started as a basic no-frills chocolate cake. It’s the recipe for Best Chocolate Cake Evah which I found at Add a Pinch a couple years back. Hands down it is the best and is my go-to recipe for a very moist chocolate cake which happens to be the case with most cakes made with oil. Oil doesn’t hold air bubbles so when mixing this batter, you won’t get a fluffy aerated mixture that you would if you were creaming butter or shortening with sugar. I wanted to know the scientific reason that cakes made with oil are more tender and this is what I found out. Oil coats the flour proteins which reduces gluten formation which keeps the crumbs tender. Simple, right?
What I also love about this recipe is how quickly it comes together. All the dry ingredients go in one big bowl and sifting is not required. I didn’t sift my ingredients for so long that now I feel a bit guilty when I don’t, but it worked. A quick combine with a whisk is all that’s necessary. Then you add the wet ingredients, saving the boiling water for last.
This recipe calls for espresso powder and at one time I was using lots of it for various recipes. Last fall I decided to try the freeze-dried brand that comes in brick form Café Bustelo and I am very happy with it. I put it in an airtight container and I’m sure it will last for a very long time.
This recipe makes two 9-inch cakes easily. The cake I made here is two 6-inch cakes and I ‘ll share with you later what I did with the rest of the batter. Use whatever chocolate frosting you like. I used one of my favorite canned varieties filling between the layers and adding more to the top. This little-naked cake was just the right size and yields 8 servings. For a finishing touch, and since Valentines is coming soon, I added maraschino cherries with stems to the top along with some chopped walnuts.
You can add a few hearts and other décor and this Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cake can be a great centerpiece on your Valentine’s table and perfect for dessert after your romantic dinner. No romantic dinner planned? Enjoy it while watching Netflix, it’s all good.
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Chocolate Frosting
- Maraschino Cherries, drained and with stems
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º F and prepare two *9-inch cake pans for non-stick baking.
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl of a stand mixer.
- Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined.
- Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter beating on high speed for about 1 minute.
- Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes.
- Invert cakes onto wax paper lined racks and cool completely.
- Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting and garnish with stemmed maraschino cherries and chopped walnuts.
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