Black Magic Cake

For Father's Day, we had everyone on my mom's side of the family come over for dinner on Saturday. I was in charge of dessert, like usual, and I wanted to make a cake that not only my dad would like, but my grandfather would like too. He loves chocolate, and so does my dad. (I mean, who doesn't?) So I flipped through my grandmother's old recipes, and I was only a few cards in when I found it.

Hershey's Black Magic Cake. Supposedly the best chocolate cake ever.

After I decided to make the Black Magic Cake, I needed to come up with something for the frosting. A few days ago I saw a really awesome video tutorial by Sweetapolita about how to make a "watercolor" cake. It looked like something I could do, so I decided to give it a try. She used blue, green, and purple to give her cake a beachy look, but I went with three different shades of blue. I accidentally forgot to bring my turntable home, but it still turned out nicely. I do suggest using a turntable for this, though. It would have been much easier. 

After dinner was over, we sat around and looked through boxes and boxes of old pictures that were recently found in my grandfather's old house. It was probably one of my favorite things about this weekend. We all just sat around and laughed. Good times. :)

Out of all of the pictures we looked at, this one is by far my favorite. And in honor of Father's Day (even though it was yesterday) I want to share it with you. 

I took a picture of the picture with my phone, so that's why it's a little fuzzy. But still my favorite.

If you know a chocoholic with a birthday coming up, or even if you don't, I highly suggest this cake. 

Granny's Recipes 01

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

  • First, make a pot of strong coffee.
  • Spray or line three 8" cake pans and preheat oven to 350. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Carefully whisk together.
  • In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients: sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until incorporated and smooth. 
    • I don't know why I included the sugar in the wet ingredients, but I see it written that way in recipes a lot. Unfortunately, there are no directions on my grandmother's recipe card, so I just prepared the batter the way I've made other cakes in the past.
  • Then pour 1 cup of coffee. Add half of the coffee and half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. 
  • Add remainder of coffee and dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the can pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting
For the frosting, I used Sweetapolita's whipped vanilla frosting, which is what she uses in her watercolor cake tutorial. Also, if you're interested in the watercolor tutorial, you should really check it out. It's very informative and easy to follow. >>> Sweetapolita's Pastel Swirl Cake Tutorial

I think my parents get pretty stressed out when we have the whole family come over to our house, and maybe I'll understand that some day. But overall, I'd say this weekend was a success. Yes, there were some minor concerns, but there always are. I forgot some ingredients the first time I made the cake, the shocked look on my step grandmother's face when my grandfather unwrapped the electric razor we gave him, and my grandparents trying to back out of our drive way. But the cake was close to perfect the second time I made it, there was a receipt for the razor in the bottom of the gift bag, and my grandparents didn't take out our mailbox. (And seriously, I can't even back out of our driveway without getting in the grass. It's just shaped funky.)

I really hope my dad enjoys his Father's Day gifts: the new stereo for his car, the new little tv for his home office/guest bedroom, and the magical chocolate cake with pretty blue frosting. ;) He definitely deserves them!


  1. This one was over the top! It is seriously one good cake - and it looked awesome too.

  2. When I was eating the second piece of cake, which did not have ice cream accompanying it, I could focus on the taste of the cake itself. A "Black Magic" cake should be extra chocolately you know? It was excellent. And I always love your frosting.

    Also the water color effect of the frosting along with the little pearls (not sure what they are called) made it luck especially fancy.

    Now about my Father's Day: just having you there made it extra good. I love the photo you included in your blog post. If you look closely at the expression on my face, you can tell I am throughly enjoying holding you. And, you will always be my little girl. :)

    With much love,


    1. I'm glad you liked it! And you're right, they're sugar pearls! I'm so glad you had a nice Father's Day. :)

    2. I just came across your blog entry via Pinterest. I'm always looking for an easy and amazing chocolate cake recipe, and your story & correspondence with your family made me tear up...what a wonderful family!!!! I can't wait to try the cake....I may even try the frosting....thanks for sharing your recipe and great story.

    3. I too found this via Pinterest (I repinned btw). Your story was heart warming and the comment your Dad left you above...Priceless! Dad's are great aren't they? Here it is 12:07 a.m and I'm getting ready to make this cake for my Dad, He loves chocolate cake,He loves anything sweet. My Dad is very sick and he is dying from end stage liver cirrhosis and congestive heart failure, I'm telling you this, to let you know that even though we don't know each other, you in a way, are taking part in something special, which is helping me fullfill the sweet tooth of a dying man. From one baker to another, passing along a recipe may seem like something mundane to some people, but to others, people like you and me, it is an act of humanity, a gift among strangers....Now back to the chocolate cake! ~Heather :)

    4. Awesome. Everything, cake, story, remarks, everything is purely awesome.

    5. Thank you all for the nice comments! I really appreciate it and I'm so glad y'all enjoyed this blog post! :)

  3. That is the prettiest thing I have ever seen you bake!

  4. I love reading your blog, Beth. You're such a great writer and the treats you make looks wonderfully tasty! One day, I will try some of these recipes.

    Also, that picture of you and your dad is so cute! I miss seeing you and your family.

    1. Aw thanks, Lindsay! I miss you too! We're all getting together in a couple of weeks, right? I'm really looking forward to it!

  5. Hey My name is Kayla and I actually work with your dad. He has showed me your website and I really like it. I also love to bake and I love seeing how creative you are. I have took a few ideas from you(hope you dont mind). Keep going girl you are doing an awesome job!!!!

    1. My dad has mentioned you before! Well I'm glad you like my blog and thank you so much for the nice comment! :)

  6. That cake is beautiful - inside and out! So elegant! Keep it going girl!

    That picture of you and Jeff is just priceless and gives me the warm and fuzzies!

    1. Thanks, Aunt Jane! I think it's my new favorite picture. I can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

  7. Found your Black Magic Cake recipe and I can't wait to give it a try. I noticed you make the comment about putting sugar with the wet ingredients. Believe it or not, sugar IS a wet (or liquid) ingredient. I know, it sounded crazy to me also when I first discovered this professional baking fact and scientific oddity. It is considered a wet ingredient because when it is heated it becomes a liquid. This is what determines it's category. If you think about it none of the other ingredients we consider "dry" will do this. This includes flours, baking poweder, baking soda, salt, and anything else I'm missing. But, all sugars melt. The baking world however has adapted to the world measuring it as a dry ingredient and develop all recipes accordingly. Now you have a good trivia question next time you need one.

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