An original recipe by Erin McDowell
Photo by Jennifer May
Category: Cakes
Difficulty: Medium


65g (4.5 Tablespoons) 100% cocoa powder
365g (1 ½ cups) boiling water
225g (1 cup) shortening, at room temperature
115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
445g (2 ¼ cups) granulated sugar
225g (4 large) eggs, at room temperature
55g (4 large) egg yolks, at room temperature
15g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
402g (3 1/3 cups) cake flour
8g (2 tsp) baking powder
3g (1 tsp) baking soda
3g (¾ tsp) fine sea salt
Whipped Ganache:
240g (1 cup) heavy cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease an 18x13 inch baking sheet.
  • Make the cake: place the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour in the boiling water and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the egg and yolks one at a time to the mixer, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding more. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Sift the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together to combine. Add one third of the flour mixture to the mixer and mix on low speed to incorporate. Add half of the cooled cocoa mixture to the mixer and mix to combine. Repeat, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.


Whipped Ganache:

  • Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small pot, then pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then let it cool to room temperature (don’t let it set until it is totally firm).
  • Transfer the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip on medium high speed until lightened in color, 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl well and whip again to make sure the ganache is fully aerated.
  • Scoop the ganache onto the cooled cake and spread it evenly to the edges.