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Recipe: Hershey’s Especially Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate layer cake coolingI love dark chocolate. So whenever I get one of those Hershey’s sampler bags with milk chocolate, Special Dark, Mr. Goodbar and Krackle, I always hoard the Special Dark mini-bars. I absolutely adore them!

A few weeks ago, I got myself my first set of 8-inch cake pans at the President’s Day Sale at the nearby Calphalon Outlet Store. I have been searching for the first layer cake recipe to try and when I came across this one by Hershey’s, I knew I had found gold! Now, while the recipe calls for a 9-inch set of pans, I was able to make it work in my smaller set. I just had to carefully level the cakes, once they had cooled, since they had risen so much from the pans.

Now, here’s the rest of the recipe:

Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Cake

What You’ll Need

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. (Quick Tip: I find that the Pam Baking is so much easier and saves me the mess of getting flour all over my kitchen.)

Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Next, add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat with a mixer on medium speed for two minutes. Stir in boiling water (note: your batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Run a paring knife around the edge of the cake pan and then cool 10 minutes in the pans. Remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely. Frost with Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below.)

To put together the frosting, beat the butter until smooth and then add in the cocoa powder. Next, alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating until it reaches your desired spreading consistency. You may need to add a little extra milk. Stir in vanilla. Makes about two cups of frosting.

Hershey's Especially Dark Chocolate CakeThis cake was a huge hit! It was super moist. One of my testers said, “I couldn’t tell where the cake ended and the frosting began!” If you love dark chocolate like I do, this is the cake for you. Even if you don’t like dark chocolate, I think you’ll ask for a second helping (along with a tall glass of moo juice.) This is one recipe that is well worth the time and effort!

Oh Hershey’s, you’re one of the things that makes America great… and Hershey’s Kisses.


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