Buttercream & Frosting, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

Chocolate Cake with “Dirty” Icing

May 17, 2011
Steve, my husband, does not like chocolate.  He will eat it sometimes, but he does not crave it.  This is annoying to me as a baker because I love baking desserts with chocolate.  But because it’s only me and him in the household I don’t make a lot of chocolate desserts, because he rarely eats them and I’m left with a lot of leftovers.  With his dislike of chocolate I am constantly looking for chocolate desserts that he will like.  And let me tell you… I found a chocolate cake recipe that hit the mark!
This chocolate cake recipe is amazing.  Seriously… it is… a-ma-zing!  Even if you don’t like chocolate, just like Steve, you will like this cake. Trust me!  Steve absolutely loves this cake!  Whenever I make this recipe, he always asks for more!
This cake is moist, light, and just melts in your mouth.  It has the perfect texture and each bite is packed with flavor.  I have made this recipe so many times and each time I make it I am still surprised of how wonderful it is.  It has this divine taste that is not too overwhelming and chocolaty, but still appeals to the chocolate lovers of this world.  It just has this addicting nature that keeps you wanting more!
When I decided to make this chocolate cake I wanted to make it with a simple, white frosting.  Let the cake shine and just have the frosting be the perfect, subtle compliment.  And that is exactly what happened… the cake was just as amazing as usual and the frosting was the perfect addition.  The frosting was sweet and sugary and made a great combination with the chocolate cake.  This was my first time making this frosting and I will definitely be adding it to my recipe book.  It’s so easy and simple, it only takes 5 minutes to whip up – and the outcome is so tasty!
Just as I was about to frost this cake with the normal frosting technique – simple and clean – I thought… let’s try something new.  I had some leftover cake so I crumbled it up and smeared it into the frosting.  I thought I could create this “dirty” effect that makes the cake a little different… and it worked out just like I wanted!  It resulted in a cake that was more rustic and fun 🙂.
Enjoy this simple and tasty cake!


Chocolate Cake with “Dirty” Icing
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: 1-5 layer Rectangle Cake
For the Cake
2 cups Sugar
1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
½ cup Olive Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Boiling Water
For the Icing
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
2 tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour the bottom of sides of a sheet pan (use a pan around 17×12 inches).  Place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
To make the cake, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, in a large bowl.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, olive oil, and vanilla.  Gradually add the dry ingredients until the mixture is fully incorporated.  You will have to stop the mixer a couple times to scrap down the bowl.  Add the boiling water and mix until the batter is smooth.  Don’t worry if your batter is watery – it is supposed to be thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Cool in the baking pan until it reaches room temperature.  Place the cake (still in the baking sheet) in the freezer to harden.
While the cake is in the freezer, make the icing.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.  Gradually add the confectioners sugar until the mixture is smooth.  Add the milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  If the mixture is not smooth enough, add a little bit more milk.  The same goes with the confectioners sugar – if the mixture is too buttery or doesn’t taste sugary enough, add more confectioners sugar.
To begin assembling the cake, remove the cake from the freezer.  Using a serrated knife, cut the cake vertically into 4 equal pieces, and then cut those pieces in half.  This will make 8 rectangle pieces of cake.  You will need at least one piece to “crumb” the outside of the cake.  This will leave you with 7 pieces of cake to layer.  I stacked my cake into 5 layers because I didn’t want it to be too high.  However, feel free to layer your cake up to 6 or 7 layers.  Just make sure your cake is sturdy enough.
Place 1 piece of cake onto a cake stand or plate.  Layer the top with icing and then place another piece of cake on top.  Continue stacking until you have at least 1 piece of cake left.  Carefully frost the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of icing.  Place the cake in the freezer to harden the icing, about 15 minutes.
Take the cake out of freezer and frost another thin layer onto the cake.  To create the “dirty” effect, crumb the last piece of cake and sprinkle the crumbs all over the sides and top of the cake.  Using your frosting spatula, run your spatula on top of the crumbs to push the crumbs into the icing.  Add as many crumbs as you think is needed to create the effect.  Smear the frosting to mix the crumbs and icing.  Serve and enjoy 🙂!
Cake recipe adapted from Annie Eats, Icing recipe from Martha Stewart.

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  • Coco_nna February 2, 2012 at 5:07 am

    can the olive oil replace with vege oil?

  • Krissy's Creations February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Yes!  Vegetable Oil will work just as well 🙂

  • guest April 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    2 Tbsp is not 1 1/2 sticks of butter it should read 12 Tbsp

  • guest August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    is it 2 cups of caster sugar or regular sugar?