First off, if the recipe seems familiar, you are right. It’s the same recipe I shared for National Cake Day back in November. What can I say – my family loves chocolate cake.
Every year for Christmas, I bake a half-sheet cake for Christmas Day. That’s when the extended family all gathers at the farm, and we need a bigger cake. I must confess, while I hold my own at baking, I’m not necessarily all that talented in the decorating category. At least not without some cheats.
Last year I bought a chocolate bear and two chocolate Christmas trees from this amazing candy shop in Columbia, California. Every year we make a trip up to Columbia to watch the candy makers do their thing. It’s really a fun outing complete with chestnuts roasting on an open fire, amazing chocolate creations and even hand made candy canes.
Not everyone has the need for a big cake. Perhaps you’re contributing to a pot luck gathering with a selection of sweets, so a layered cake will do. Or maybe yours is a small, intimate gathering. There are a lot of reasons for a smaller dessert. This cake not only fits the bill, it is so easy to make. The only two changes I’ve made from November was to decorate the cake in a whimsical Christmas way and to dust it with a little powdered sugar for that fresh snow feel.
As for the decorations – these can be had at most bakery supply stores. Places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels also has a variety of options in their baking-candy section. Just make sure what you use is food safe. Mine have been collected over the years. When Kiddo was a little guy, we would bring cupcakes to school that I ordered from the bakery. I also requested extra cupcake ornaments that I then recycled into my baking. I figured it was a win-win since I could bring something to school without adding extra work to my holiday schedule, and I got great ideas for decorating at home. One year I even baked a cake that I left plain, and let the kids decorate it themselves. That was fun.
After all, having fun is the whole point of the holidays. Right?
Triple Chocolate Christmas Cake
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips, divided
Heat oven 325-degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round dark; non-stick cake pans with shortening or margarine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat eggs with oil until foamy. Add cake mix and milk, beat on low speed until moist, about 30 seconds.
Increase speed to medium, continue to beat for 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the batter in each pan, about 1/4 cup per cake layer. Tap the pans on the counter to release any trapped air and help chips sink slightly into the cake.
Bake on the middle rack in the heated oven for about 23 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake springs back when touched lightly.
Let cake cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1-1/2 cups Butter
6 cups Powdered Sugar
3/4 cup Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa
2 heaping tablespoon Hot Fudge
3 or 4 tablespoons Light Cream
Soften butter, cream in the bowl of a stand mixer.
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar with cocoa, set aside.
Whip hot fudge into the creamed butter. Blend until well incorporated. Add powdered sugar mixture in 3 or 4 additions, blending completely between each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.
Add light cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting is of a spreadable consistency.
Note: If a deeper “chocolate” is desired, add more hot fudge.
To Assemble: Trim top dome of 1 layer of cake if necessary. Place on a cake platter, trimmed side down. Spread a layer of frosting over the top and out to the sides.
Top with remaining cake layer, right side up. Generously frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with food-safe Christmas decorations. Then dust with a little powdered snow.
Serve and enjoy!