Two days after we came home from the hospital with Joseph, my grandparents came to visit and meet their very first great-grandchild. My grandma brought us a chocolate cake and after days of ice chips and hospital food, it more than hit the spot. As far as desserts go, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake rank right up there as the utmost in comfort sweets. My grandma told me that it was a really simple recipe and that she had received it back when my dad and his brothers were in elementary school. I continue to have a huge soft spot for old, nostalgic recipes, this one was no different.
This cake is super simple to make – you prepare a large box of cook and serve pudding, let it cool to room temperature, then stir in a box of chocolate cake mix. Pour it into a pan, then top with chocolate chips and chopped nuts, and bake. You know what a nut I am for frosting, so the fact that I love, love, love this cake without any frosting is a testament to how fantastic it is. Topping with chocolate chips might sound crazy, but it just flat-out works here.
I usually go all-out and make an elaborate cake for my birthday every year (see here, here and here); however, it was midday yesterday when I realized that my birthday was a day away and I hadn’t even thought about a cake. My brain has instead been consumed with tracking poopy diapers, calming a fussy baby after shots, and soaking in as many wide-mouthed smiles as I can every single day.
I made this cake over the weekend, but it seems like a perfect one to share today as I usher in 35 with shifting priorities and a new appreciation for simplicity and all the good things in life :)
Combine the chocolate pudding mix and the milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and bubbles are just beginning to form.
Remove from the heat and pour the pudding into a large mixing bowl. Press wax paper against the surface of the pudding and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
Remove the wax paper from the pudding and give it a stir. Add the chocolate cake mix to the bowl and stir to combine, ensuring there are no pockets of dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.