The Little Black Dress of Cakes

Windy City’s Top Pastry Chefs Share Their Recipe For A Decadent Chocolate Cake
That Works For EVERY Occasion

The Little Black Dress of CakesIt has been said that chocolate is like the little black dress of desserts: it’s perfect for every occasion and never goes out of style.  Two of Chicago’s top pastry chefs are sharing a recipe for a decadent old fashioned chocolate cake that is sure to become your go-to dessert for every event.  Whether you’re looking to wow your relatives at the big Labor Day BBQ, want to surprise your friends with something amazing at your next dinner party or want to make your significant other feel extra special on their birthday, the Old Fashioned Devil’s Chocolate Cake from trendy Chicago dessert destination BAKE will do the trick!


The Little Black Dress of CakesCake:

1/3 c. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1 c. Water
1 ¾ c. Sugar
2 1/3 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ tsp. Salt
2 ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
1 c. Buttermilk
¾ c. Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs

Chocolate Icing:
1 lb. Unsalted Butter
1 ½ cup. Bittersweet Chocolate (melted)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1 lb. 8 oz. Powdered Sugar
2 c. Sour Cream

1) Bring the water to a boil.
2) Add the Cocoa Powder while whisking by hand and boil once again.
3) Remove from the heat. 
4)  Sift the dry ingredients and place them in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment.
5) Combine the Buttermilk with the Oil and Eggs.  Add them to the dry ingredients and mix smooth.
6) Add the liquid cocoa mixture and combine until smooth.
7) Pour into 2- 8 round cake pans that have been and sprayed
8) Bake at 325 F for 25-30 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9) Allow it to cool.
10) Ice the cake by placing two scoops of filling on one of the two chocolate cake rounds.
11) Place the other round on top and allow it to set in the refrigerator
12) After the cake is set, mask the cake with the remaining frosting.

1) Melt the Butter and Sugar over a water bath until hot.
2) Place the combination together in a machine fitted with the whip attachment.
3) Add the Vanilla Extract and all of the Powdered Sugar. Whisk on low speed until it comes together.
4) Add half of the Sour Cream until it comes together, scraping the sides. (It may look curdled at this point.)
5) Add the remaining Sour Cream until smooth
6) Place in a container in a cool place to set up or in the refrigerator for longer storage.
7) Ice the cake by placing two scoops of filling on one of the two chocolate cake rounds. 
8) Place the other round on top and allow it to set in the refrigerator.
9)  After the cake is set, mask the cake with the remaining frosting.

Recipe yields one 8-inch cake.

One glance in the window at BAKE (or a quick visit to their Instagram page) and you’ll see that co-owners Jennifer and Eric Estrella are serious about cake.  The charming and whimsical bakery’s cake menu features classic flavor combinations (like rich Red Velvet Cake + Cream Cheese Icing) as well as unique ones (like the S’mores Cake made with Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Ganache, Marshmallow, Graham Crackers and a Burnt Meringue Frosting.)  However, their Old Fashioned Devil’s Chocolate Cake is “definitely our pièce de résistance,” says Jennifer.

In addition to their mouthwatering cake menu, customers can enjoy over 20+ different pastries and sweets baked fresh daily.  Novelty sugar cookies iced by hand, oversized scones and five different types of chocolate chip cookies are just a few of the items that keep Chicagoans (and tourists) coming back again and again.

Before opening their popular Wicker Park bakery, the Estrellas honed their pastry skills in luxury hotels, bakeries and restaurants all over the country (Jennifer previously held the position of pastry chef for Four Seasons Hotels while Eric was the pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton.)  Their charming Wicker Park outpost is the culmination of a combined 30 years of experience and a lifelong love of all things sweet.

BAKE is located at 2246 W. North Ave. in Chicago.  The bakery is open Monday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Wednesday – Friday from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  They are closed on Tuesday.   Both Jennifer and Eric are available for on-air cooking demonstrations and other TV segments.