Sunday, March 15, 2009

Special Dark Picnic Cake

I’ve been in the mood for cookies but I couldn’t find any cookie recipes that really grabbed me so I turned to my personal cookbook. Nope, still not cookie recipes that screamed “Make me!”. So I turned to the cake section. Perhaps I could find something chocolate-y.

Special Dark Picnic Cake is a recipe that I probably originally found on a chocolate chip package. The recipe is available on the Hershey’s site, along with other chocolate recipes. Hmmm, there’s a couple of cakes that I would love to try.

This was a good chance also to test my oven. Since this is a recipe that I have made many times and know that it bakes correctly, if it didn’t cook all the way through like the Red Velvet Cake, then I would know that the problem was with my oven and not that recipe. I’m happy to report that the problem is with the recipe. This cake baked up just fine.

I’ve never followed the directions exactly when making this cake. I just pour the water into the bowl with the chocolate chips and butter and stick the whole thing in the microwave. Ditto the frosting. As a matter of fact, I should have read the directions for the frosting a little more closely! I was wondering why the frosting was so runny. I omitted the step in the refrigerator. Fortunately, this is a sheet cake, not layers, so the consistency of the frosting wasn’t critical.

This is a very easy cake to make that is “Dark” in name but light in texture.

Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!

Special Dark Picnic Cake
(source: Hersheys.com)


1 cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 ⅓ cups boiling water
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup dairy sour cream
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13 x 9 x 2 –inch baking pan.

Combine chocolate chips, butter and water in large mixer bowl; stir with spoon until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended. Gradually add flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, baking soda, salt and vanilla; beat on low speed of electric mixer until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost.

Special Dark Frosting


¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Place butter and chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth.

Refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes or until of desired spreading consistency. Makes about 1 ⅔ cups frosting.

Recycle: sour cream container, vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

1 comment:

Katy said...

Your cake looks delish! I was thinking I needed a good sheet cake and will have to give this a try at the next family gathering when a layer cake is too much but I still want a nice cake.

My favorite chocolate cake is on the back of the Hersheys cocoa can, along with their frosting. Love those Hershey's recipes!

Thanks for posting this and sharing your thoughts. I'm inspired to try this for sure.