Black Magic Cake

While I’ve often said I’m not a big fan of chocolate… and I’d never fight you for a slice of chocolate anything, my friends, let me state right here… this is the cake that would make me change my mind. Although it is homemade from scratch, it rivals any cake by a professional pastry chef in a 5 star restaurant. It is incredibly moist… incredibly rich… incredibly flavorful… and incredibly delicious. Yeah, this cake is black magic alright because it would pretty much take some black magic to make me love a chocolate cake this much! Suffice it to say that if there were two of us at the table… and only one slice of Black Magic cake left… oh yes indeed I would push up my sleeves, slip off my earrings, kick off my shoes and wrastle you right there in public. And rest assured I would emerge victorious. This chocolate cake is that just.that.good!

Once again, I won’t bore you with an excess of words because I think the pictures speak for themselves. The recipe comes from Hershey and can be found by clicking here. It’s been around a long, long while and is experiencing somewhat of a recent resurgence.


I saw the recipe and pictures on the internet the other day.  I must have looked at it more than a dozen times during lunch… to the point where one of my co-workers told me “quit lookin at it, just go home and make it!”.  And that’s pretty much what I did… I went home that night and made it.


Between the layers I spread apricot preserves thinned with a bit of water.  Truthfully, I think I should’ve used more filling because apricot and chocolate is a very tasty combination but it was amazing nonetheless! I can already imagine using all different kinds of fillings when I make this again and again in the future. 


For the icing, I made a pourable ganache by heating 6oz of cream to just about boiling and pouring it over 9oz of semi-sweet chocolate morsels… letting it sit for about 3-4 minutes and then stirring gently until combined.  It thickens as it cools and I waited until it was pourable… but still thick enough so that it spread nicely with an offset spatula.


Just in case the link I created above decides to break at some point in the future, I’ll post the full recipe right here as well as make the title a clickable link…

Black Magic Cake


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13×9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.


Have a delicious day!

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40 Responses to "Black Magic Cake"

  1. I can’t believe how moist your cake looks! It’s as if it’s going to jump off the screen.

  2. AmyRuth says:

    Wow, really beautiful photo of a oh so luscious cake. I love love love dark chocolate so this may be a "sweetie." Either way, you really did a beautiful job with this cake. Your co-workers were on the money with this effort.

  3. Elyse says:

    Wow! I must taste this amazing cake that has you converting to the chocolate-lovers’ side! It totally looks incredible; I can only imagine that it tastes super divine, as well. This is the sacher torte of cakes with that apricot jam!! Man, it looks so good. I want to make it right now!

  4. ack! that cake looks so good!! it makes the lemon cake i’m making right now seem downright sad.

  5. ingrid says:

    WOW! Like you I am not a fan of chocolate. A little chips in something but that’s about it for me unless its dark and then I might think about giving it a try but for that cake to have you wrastling for the last piece, a non chocolate lover? Guess I really need to give it a try. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    BTW, your photos did full justice to the cake!

  6. jill says:

    How funny, I just posted almost that same cake recipe, but I got it out of bon appetit. I mean there are differences (1 more egg, a little more flour, butter instead of oil) but it’s basically the same cake! I made a gluten free version here hey that tastes good!
    but I wish my frosting had been as dark as yours!

  7. Jamie says:

    Em, that looks amazing, beautiful photos! I am so making this tomorrow!

  8. Koma says:

    I was one of the lucky ones to taste this wonderful cake yesterday. The pictures give it justice, but the taste was amazing.

  9. Maria says:

    I need some black magic and now:) The cake looks divine, lovely photos as well!

  10. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love the addition of coffee to any chocolate treat. I think the coffee adds even more depth. Your cake is the stuff of dreams!

  11. Emily Rose says:

    wow that is a very beautiful cake!! I love chocolate but for some reason I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate cake- but this one looks amazing! I can’t believe how moist it looks!

  12. Fellow Co-Worker says:

    Well, let me start by saying… WOW!!!… There are chocolate cakes and then there is the Black Magic Chocolate cake baked by the Repressed Pastry Chef. I’m lost for words to describe how wonderful this cake made me feel, it’s kinda sinful. The flavor was incredible, it was really…really moist and so delicious. I was surprised to find out that the filling was apricot preserves and this just added to the unique taste. I’ve been dropping hints that the RPC should bake another flourless cake, however, I’ve changed my tune…. Another Black Magic Cake is needed.
    Signed… Fellow Co-Worker.

  13. Karen says:

    I made this cake YEARS ago and people begged me for the recipe. It is absolutely delicious!

  14. leslie says:

    perfect cake and beautiful photos

  15. Michelle says:

    I like the idea of the apricot preserves between the layers. Looks delicious!

  16. brilynn says:

    Those pictures certainly do speak for themselves! Looks awesome!

  17. HappyTummy says:

    oh gosh. this looks delicious!!

  18. Gayle says:

    This cake has been around a long time. It is my favorite.!My grandmother who would be in her ninety’s made this cake for us kids . She called it Old Black Joe. It is delicious with buttercream frosting!

  19. Matt says:

    I’m not much of a chocolate fan (I like it, but it doesn’t make me swoon or anything), but this looks incredible. Beautifully presented!

  20. CakeSpy says:

    Wow, I am intrigued! Like you I am not the biggest fan of chocolate–I mean, I like it of course, but I don’t default to choose it above another flavor. But the idea that this one was the "one that could turn you around"–it makes me so curious! Beautiful pictures!

  21. Dalia says:

    I just made this cake earlier today, word for word. It smelled divine and now the two layers are cooling. I’m not too big on apricot, so I’m spreading a light fresh strawberry compote between the layers, and finishing it off with your ganache, which looks amazing btw.

    Can’t wait to try this tonight, I’m taking it to a friends’ get-together.


  22. Kristen says:

    Just looking at these photos has me drooling! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  23. Friedl says:


    This looks like an amazing cake ! So moist… And there’s not even real chocolate in it !?!

  24. It looks so chocolatey and moist! Looks like THE perfect chocolate cake. Love the addition of apricot preserves.

  25. Leesa says:

    You are my hero! You know that I just baked just about EXACTLY this same recipe just an hour ago- it’s from Country Living’s website… It’s DELISH!! I added some Kalua to a batch, coffee to another, and then made a batch of plain choc. Turned out smooth and moist… LOVE IT! I adore your pictures!!! If you have a chance come visit me @ I can’t rememeber if I have already left you my site in a comment, but I live in France and I am starting up baking classes since cupcakes are really known here (that’s starting to change a little now). Anyhow… I’ll post the choc. cake pics when I get done with the frosting….
    Have a nice weekend… Leesa

  26. Brenda says:

    I made this cake yesterday and it was a crowd pleaser! I’m not a fan of friut and chocolate mixed together, so I added a caramel filling instead, mmmmm. I used your ganache recipe too. It took longer to thicken than I thought, but it turned out perfect. Thanks for a great recipe!

  27. leemz says:

    I’m baking this cake just now, It’s in the oven and the icing is in the refrigerator, i have my fingers crossed :)

  28. leemz says:

    cake turned out perfect but the icing just didn’t work, although i let it rest in refrigerator for 5 hours, it didn’t harden up :( wonder what went wrong?

  29. What, do you suppose, would happen if my Six Stack Rainbow cake met your black magic cake? I suppose the baked world as we know it might implode with such ferocity it would make Merlin look like a kid with a licorice wand.

    Isn’t it fun. fun. FUN to bake?

    Will be checking in often. Your site is GORGEOUS!

  30. Monique says:

    I’m making this cake this weekend! Thank you for posting.

  31. non says:

    would this work as a four layer cake rather than two layers – or would that be too chocolately?

  32. Tanya says:

    You know this is the same exact recipe that Ina used for Beatty’s Chocolate Cake?? That’s my GO-TO choco cake recipe for this house of 4-1 Non-chocoholics!

  33. Cherie says:

    Oh. My. Word.
    I made this cake today. It was astounding.
    The only difference was that I used Morello Cherry Preserves as the filling.
    Thank you for pointing me in this direction. So simple. So perfectly chocolatey!
    My new go-to choc cake. :)

  34. Rox says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I loved it, and I loved making it. I baked it yesterday and there’s nothing left of it, and I’ll bake it again on Wednesday to take it to work for a celebration. The ganache turned out great and I used plum preserve for the filling, which was great :)

  35. [...] does.  Only on rare occasions does a chocolate dessert really do it for me.  One example is the Black Magic Cake that, in a single bite, changed my mind about chocolate cake.  But scoot over Black Magic Cake [...]

  36. Bonnie says:

    brave brave girl! I am glad you took the narrow path AND went ahead with this.. This looks awesome x 1000!

  37. mina says:

    thanks for the birthday wishes and commenting on my blog. but most of all, thanks for this cake recipe! it did taste as delicious as you made it out to be. ^^

  38. [...] are a couple of chocolate recipes that are good enough to make me change my mind.  One is the Black Magic chocolate cake and the other is this adaptation of the chocolate ice cream recipe from David [...]

  39. Kristin says:

    The cake looks beautiful – so dark and chocolatey. I like the idea of apricot filling. And the photos are very nice.

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