This cake was the culmination of a number of things. I had a little bit of time to kill in the morning. I hadn’t eaten dessert all weekend. I had all of the ingredients present to bake the cake without going to the grocery store. I wanted to surprise my wife (who loves mint chocolate chip ice cream). I had never used my 6″ cake pans to scale down a larger cake recipe. I wanted to try a new frosting recipe.
So, mint chocolate cake happened.
I really think this was one of the best chocolate cakes, if not the best, chocolate cake that I have baked. It was moist and chocolate-y with a nice light crumb, pretty much everything that you would want from a chocolate cake. I added dark brown sugar for extra taste and moisture. Next time, I will consider using hot coffee instead of water to bring even more chocolate flavor to the table.
I liked the mint frosting, which with only 2-3 teaspoons of peppermint extract, was not as minty as I wanted but “perfect” according to my wife. It is very light and not so sweet, almost like a cool whip topping, which was kind of refreshing when flavored with peppermint. My wife commented that it was very similar to the lighter frosting that you might find on a grocery store cake. I don’t think it deserves the “best ever” moniker and is not worth the amount of time required, though. Admittedly, it could very well have a place on a super-sweet, dense, and/or fruity cake. I think it could make for a nice frosting for a strawberries ‘n cream cake or a brownie cake, which are now two more ideas to try…
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake:
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups (150 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
3/8 cup (33 g) dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp. (16 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2-3 tsp. peppermint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 1 tbsp. pieces
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 6″ cake pans. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the oil and sour cream, and beat until just incorporated.
- Gradually beat in the water.
- Blend in the vinegar and vanilla.
- Beat in the egg until well mixed.
- Pour batter into cake pans (~440 g per cake). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for 20-30 minutes, then flip onto wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
- Whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil and is thick enough that it is difficult to whisk (~5-10 minutes). It will be gelatinous.
- Transfer mixture to a small bowl and cool completely to room temperature. If storing in refrigerator, bring the mixture back to room temperature before proceeding.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed with peppermint extract and food coloring until mixed.
- Add the butter one piece at a time until incorporated.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Frost cakes as desired.