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Help Needed with Chocolate Cake

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

I just tried making a Chocolate cake using the recipe found at the back of all the Hershey's Cocoa casing. The recipe is as follows:


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
I used a 10" Round Cake pan instead of 2 9" Round Cake pan to bake, as usual I tested the cake with a toothpick and it came out clean after around 50-55 minutes. The cake turned out to be odd looking (the centre of the cake was puffed up and "crispy") but when cutting it into half to do my frosting, I found the cake too moist to move around.

Anybody have any suggestions on the bakeware I can buy, cause the one I'm using now doesn't have a detachable bottom so I have to flip my cake onto the cake plate. Also anybody have any idea why my cake turned out this way?

Any help and suggestions are glady appreciated!

Thanks alot guys!~


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post #2 of 16
Increasing the salt will decrease the moisture content but you better wait for someone else to posts. Maybe momoreg or pan or someone else can help.

Rgds Rook
post #3 of 16
It could possibly be the oven temperature you used or just the oven itself. You often need a higher temperature for small items like cupcakes than you would for a larger cake. This allows small items to bake without drying out and large items to cook through evenly. It sounds like possibly your cake appeared done on the outside, but was underbaked inside. This could have happened if you filled the one 10"-round pan quite full.
Regarding your other question - you don't need a detachable bottom for what you are trying to do. Line the bottom of your cake pan with a parchment circle. Treat cake pan as needed (non-stick spray, flour). Allow cake to cool in pan, then loosen edge with knife. Cake will pop out and can be turned right side up on platter before frosting.
post #4 of 16
Do you have a heating core? I would use it if I did this will help ensure your cake is done all the way through.

Rgds Rook
post #5 of 16
I have baked this recipe at least 6 times in the past two weeks. I use a 9x13" pan, 150oC fan forced for 45-50 mins. [DH is on a chocolate kick].

I would suggest:
Check your oven's temperature.
Reduce the temperature from 350oF to 325oF.

For "1 1/2 ts baking powder and 1 1/2 ts baking soda with 1 c milk" in the recipe, I have used the variations :

"2 ts baking soda with 1 c soured or buttermilk"
"2 ts baking soda and 1 ts baking powder with 1 c soured or buttermilk"

Both these work as well as the original leavener amounts.
post #6 of 16
This may be a silly question, but would one 10" pan equal the volume of two 9" pans?
post #7 of 16
If both pans were 1-1/2" high, the 9" pan would have a volume of 95 cubic inches, the 10" pan would have a volume of 118 cubic inches or 24% more. So the answer is no. If you put all the batter into one 10" pan you'd have a problem.

A 9" round or even a 10" with the proper amount of batter shouldn't take 55 minutes to bake. Try to get away from using toothpicks; there is no professional baker in the world who does this. Toward the end of the bake use your finger very, very gently in the middle of the cake which is the last part to bake. If you leave a depression it is not done. When done it will spring back. Many people have a tendancy to overbake devil's food or chocolate cakes; be careful about this. Leavening the top a tiny, tiny bit underbaked is OK especially if you cut a dome off.

Once you get the proper pans try again baking at about 325 to 350 (but every oven is different). If you still peak up in the middle lower the oven temp next time.

Detachable bottoms are normally for cheese cake. Grease the regular pan then line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease the paper again. Dump the cake after cooling for awhile (maybe 10 minutes) but don't wait until the cake is cold.
post #8 of 16

Just a guess, but where are you located?

No specifics but what is your elevation?

Might be an issue.

post #9 of 16
Good morning. What I have to say about your recipe is not easy for me to say to you. Simply because It is going to be against a large national corp. They have made this formula many times I am sure. However this formula is not a well balanced formula. I will not mention all that is incorrect I will just tell of only one imbalance. Then if you wish to continue with this formula you can send me a request post & I will advise the small changes as well as the mixing technique you must employ in order to have a viable baked product.
My feeling is this my friend thare are many excellent choco cake recipes out there why this one????.

Notice the sugar ingredient... 2 cups...
2 cups of granulated sugar weighs 14, oz.
The flour ; 1 3/4 cups All-purpose weighs approx 4 3/4 oz per cup or close to 8 1/4 oz total.


Whenever the weight of the sugar outweighs the weight of the flour you have a condition known in prof baking circles as 'A HI-RATIO CAKE FORMULA". In bakeries for this condition they utilize a ingredient known as
"EMULSIFIED SHORTENING". Home bakers can utilize a special mixing technique to counter this condition.
In any event my friend, the chemical leaveners are out of balance & I will question the use of milk when employing cocoa. This formula I truly believe will succeed in a bundt cake pan but you will have problem in a round pan. Good luck & have a nice day my friend.
post #10 of 16
Why not share your advice in this thread?
post #11 of 16
Good afternoon to you my friend. I have no reason not to, it's just that I feel I should not waste the time of our other members that are not so intested in a particular food science problem or recipe or it's applications which are very boring. How, if there is a member who wishes to know further, I would be happy to share with him. I must admit first that I am only a Amatuer ar this.
post #12 of 16

Please, post to the threads. You'd be surprised at how many "lurkers" there are who never post or never even register but gain insight and information from people like you sharing what they can for the benefit of everyone who reads the tread, not just the original creator of the thread.
post #13 of 16
Actually, I've made this exact cake many, many, many times. It always gets rave reviews when split and filled with whipped ganache and covered with poured ganache and presented as a triple chocolate cake.:lips:

It is a very liquidy batter and I have recently made minor changes (like increasing flour to two cups and replacing milk with buttermilk.) However, I have made it exactly as written and it works fine. I think the original poster's problems was putting all of the batter into one 10 inch pan. You could increase the batter by 1/3 and bake in two 10" pans. My suggestion is to get the recommended pans or to bake half at a time in the 10" pan for a shorter time and expect a shorter cake.
post #14 of 16
Good morning. Thank you for your prompt reply. You are right about the failure of this cake due to the change in pans. Especially using a 10 inch cake pan. A you know, most often using this type of pan requires a heating core installed in the middle, in order for this cake to bake 100% thru-out.
Good luck & have a nice day my friend.
post #15 of 16
There's really nothing wrong with the forementioned recipe if instructions are followed and the proper pans with the proper amount of batter is used.

This is a high-ratio formula, in fact, the sugar is 169% in bakers percent using the oz. weights given by Z-BESTUS. This is a little high but not out of the question. Emulsified shortenings are used in commercial bakeries but even more important would be the use of high ratio cake flour. In any case this recipe is geared to AP flour.

There is nothing wrong with the leavening. The extra soda is there to deepen the color. Leave it out one time. You should get the same volume cake just lighter in color.
post #16 of 16

Great Recipe!

At our restaurant this is the best selling chocolate cake! It is a great dense chocolate cake. We bake it in a 9x13x2...at 325 for 45-50 minutes.






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