• Prep Time
  • Cook Time
    35 MINUTES
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I wanted a white cake, not yellow.  I wanted a thick chocolatey chocolate frosting that was very generous in its ratio to the white cake.  I wanted a towering confection that would be a star next to a cold glass of milk…  or a glass of ruby port.  I wanted the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. Oh, Hell, I wanted a Chocolate City cake.  Chocolate City is how former Mayor Ray Nagin characterized New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Post-2006, it’s also a name that appears not infrequently on both dessert and sushi menus in the New Orleans area.  (The Chocolate City roll at Uchi Sushi on N. Causeway is my personal favorite). It’s a humorous reminder of one of our more opportunistic politicians.  But to me, the original idea of a Chocolate City was a good one, the view that the future would be better than the past.   So, my Chocolate City cake is about loving someone enough to spend the time to bake this cake…  yeah, that... and, well, chocolate.  This cake is decadent, rich and familiar all at the same time.  It’s everything a chocolate cake should be.

According to Wikipedia:  The Chocolate City speech is the nickname that some people have given to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech by Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 16, 2006. The speech concerned race politics in New Orleans several months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the city.

I have made a lot of cake mistakes (miscakes).  Here is what I have learned from making all those mistakes:

  • Bring eggs and butter to room temperature.  All recipes say that.  The recipes say that for a reason.
  • Turn on your oven before you start putting your cake together.
  • Set a timer. This is what your smart phone is for.
  • Unless you are an expert baker or Albert Einstein don’t try to make substitutions in a cake recipe.
  • If your oven is small, use smaller cake pans.  They should never touch while baking or hang over the edge of the rack or touch the oven sides.
  • Let the cake cool before you slather icing on it or the icing will melt.
  • Read the recipe over at least 10 times before you start baking a cake.


Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Frosting


    Put butter and eggs out in the morning to cook mid-day. Prepare pans and have everything in place before you start cooking. Read the recipe 10 times at least. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Step 1

    Put dry ingredients in a small bowl, stir with fork. Set aside.

    Step 2

    In your brightly colored Kitchenaid stand mixer: Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and oil and beat until creamy.

    Step 3

    Add flour and milk in four alternating additions. Begin and end with flour. Scrape the bowl frequently.

    Step 4

    Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake batter.

    Step 5

    Pour batter into 3 six inch cake pans, or 2 eight inch pans. I like to use the smaller pans because my oven is apartment sized, and the smaller pans bake more evenly than larger ones that touch each other. If you use the smaller pans, you will not use quite all the batter.

    Step 6

    Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. If a toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are done. They will pull away from the sides of the pans. Invert and cool on racks.

    Step 7

    MAKE FROSTING: Melt the chocolate and let it cool. Cooling is very important because if you put hot chocolate on colder butter you will ruin this frosting.

    Step 8

    Cream butter until fluffy.

    Step 9

    Pour in chocolate and keep beating. Scrape bowl often.

    Step 10

    Add vanilla and salt.

    Step 11

    Add confectioner's sugar. Keep beating.

    Step 12

    Add one or two tablespoons of milk, or cream to get to the desired consistency.


    When the cakes are perfectly cooled, frost the cake with the chocolate frosting.

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