This chocolate blackout cake is a recreation of the famous cake from Ebinger’s bakery in Brooklyn.
I first heard about Chocolate Blackout Cake years ago, and was immediately taken by the unique appearance – instead of a traditional frosting, the outside of the cake is decorated with the crumbs from a cake layer. Blackout cake was the signature dessert of Ebinger’s bakery, which operated in Brooklyn, New York from 1898 until 1972… any cake that was popular for that long is a must-eat in my book!
This was a pretty simple cake to make and assemble – the pudding filling comes together really quickly and can be made up to a day ahead of time. The chocolate cake recipe was unlike any I have made before – the batter starts with melted butter and cocoa powder, and the rest of the ingredients are whisked together right there in the saucepan! That’s it – just one saucepan – no mixers or special equipment required.
I did find that filling and frosting with pudding caused the layers to slide around a little bit, but I just popped it into the refrigerator for a half hour to firm up before finishing, and it was perfectly set once we sliced into it. The cake did sit out at room temperature for a couple of hours after it was served and I had no issues with sliding layers or drooping pudding – it stayed perfectly set.
If you love chocolate, you will LOVE this cake. It’s wonderfully rich and is great plain, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Make the Pudding: In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, half-and-half, and milk. Set the pan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture begins to thicken, look glossy and large bubbles break on the surface. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.
Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the coffee, buttermilk, and sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.
Assemble the Cake: Cut each cake in half horizontally so that you have four layers. Crumble one cake layer into medium crumbs and set aside. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or plate. Spread 1 cup of the pudding over the cake layer and top with another layer. Repeat with 1 cup pudding and last cake layer. Spread the remaining pudding evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the cake crumbs evenly over the top and sides of the cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: You cannot taste the coffee in this cake - it is used to enhance the chocolate flavor. If you cannot use coffee, you can substitute water, but be advised that it will alter the flavor of the cake.Nutritional values are based on one serving