Saturday, November 10, 2012

How I Made Mammaw's Black Magic Cake (Or I Can't Make a Pretty Cake to Save My Life)

When my oldest son turned 1 (6 years ago now), my Mammaw came up from her small town in Southern Missouri to celebrate with us. She brought with her a Black Magic cake for him to have for his first birthday cake....we set out his high chair in the middle of the room, and spread newspaper underneath it to catch all the crumbs that we were sure would fall to the ground; but that child literally used his finger to wipe up and lick every crumb and speck of frosting off of his tray. He completely waxed it! And ever since then, it's been a tradition to have a Black Magic cake for a first birthday in my family.

Today, we are celebrating my youngest daughter's 1st birthday. I cannot even believe that she is getting that old...any mom will say that the time absolutely flies by. My mother sang this song to us, and now I sing it to my children:

Where are you going, my little one, little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around, and you're tiny,
Turn around, and you're grown,
Turn around, and you're a woman with babes of your own.

Yes, I'm crying.

On to the cake.

Black Magic Cake:
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (or 1 cup boiling water and 2 tsp. instant coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well and add dry ingredients listed below:

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Pour batter (it will be thin) into greased 9x13 pan (I used 2 round cake pans). Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

I'm not much of a frosting person, but I LOVE ganache, so I made a whipped ganache frosting for this cake. It's AMAZING.

1 cup whipping cream
9 oz. chocolate (I used semisweet chocolate chips)

Set the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl; then in a saucepan, heat the whipping cream until just before it reaches a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix until it all melts together. Holy cow.

Once this mixture cools and thickens, whip it until it reaches a frosting-like consistency. This is SO EASY, I promise you!

Now, I'm more of a pie person than a cake person, and I cannot make a cake pretty for anything!!!! I don't know if it's because I lack the skill, or because I lack the patience, or if it's a deadly combination of both. I have just decided that there are people who can ice a cake well, and people who can't. Apparently I'm one of the ones who can't. Which is yet another reason to stick with pie, in my opinion.

It stinks that in my family, I'm the only one who really appreciates a good birthday pie.

I'll let you know how my baby enjoys her first birthday cake. :)

This post is linked up to Six Sisters' Stuff Sumo's Sweet Stuff Making the World Cuter Skip To My


  1. I would love for you to share this (or any of your other great ideas) at the link party going on through tomorrow night at ‘Or so she says …’ Hope to see you there!

    1. I'll do my best to be there! Thanks for the invite! :)

  2. I love the story behind this cake. Truly sentimental. Thank you for sharing this sweet story and creation with Foodie Friends Friday.

  3. Love the story about your family tradition. That makes the cake even better, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.

    1. Thanks for hosting! And thank you for stopping by. :)

  4. This looks so delicious. Love your poem! I remember celebrating my daughter's 1st birthday and we're getting ready to celebrate #20 soon!!! That poem is so true. Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

  5. Umm...yep, I'm crying at that song too. Love it! Also, the cake looks delish!


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