There are probably about a million different chocolate cake recipes out there... each just slightly different than the others, all claiming (or hoping) to be the best. The recipe that I have found to be the best, is aptly named, "Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake".
I happen to be a big Hershey's fan. I've been to the town, had a great time at the theme park, and fell in love with the hotel... But more importantly I love their chocolate. I prefer Hershey's kisses over just about any other chocolate out there, I use their chocolate chip cookie recipe as my stand-by, and think that their chocolate cake really is perfectly chocolate.
I have made the chocolate cake in the past for birthdays and other occasions, but yesterday I made cupcakes from the same recipe, and fell in love all over again. When paired with a batch of the "Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting", you end up with a moist, light, purely chocolate cupcake with some of the most delicious chocolate frosting you've ever tasted. (When refrigerated, the frosting is almost like a light/airy version of the most perfect chocolate fudge you've ever had.) The best part is, this chocolate-on-chocolate combination is not overly sweet and is light enough that you can enjoy more than one cupcake in a sitting!
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes about 30.
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Line muffin cups with paper liners. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22-25 minutes. (Or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean). Cool completely. Frost.
Makes about 2 cups frosting.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, *I have only ever used butter
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
*Tips/Tricks:* In the past, when I made the frosting, I had problems with lumps of powdered sugar not dissolving no matter how much I whipped the frosting. This time, however, I did a few things to ensure that my frosting came out nice and smooth:
1. I allowed the melted butter and cocoa mixture, as well as the milk, to come to room temperature to prevent the butter from forming little lumps when shocked with cold milk.
2. I sifted the powdered sugar... well, at least half of it. This part was tedious, and I will admit that I gave up a little over half way through...
3. I fitted my mixer with the whisk attachment and cranked it all the way up to high speed, and let it whip the frosting until it was as light and airy as I wanted it to be.
I hope that you have an opportunity to make and enjoy this recipe... it's sure to impress!
... I think I'm going to go sneak a "leftover" cupcake!
You can find the recipe here on Hershey's website.