This is a cake recipe I found in an Amish cookbook and it intrigued me because of its simplicity. The recipe struck me as one for a cake that is so indulgent, rich and decadent that it leaves you completely spellbound! The Black Magic Cake is a dessert that is sure to cast a delicious spell on your taste buds. This cake is the perfect blend of cocoa powder and coffee, which gives it a rich and deep chocolate flavor that is both intense and irresistible.
🪄 Why Black Magic Cake?
No, the cake's name has nothing to do with an Amish penchant for magic or the supernatureal. Instead, the name "Black Magic Cake" is likely a reference to the cake's dark color and rich, chocolatey flavor. The cake is made with a combination of cocoa powder, coffee, and buttermilk, which gives it a deep, dark color and a moist, fudgy texture. The coffee also adds a subtle bitterness that helps to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate.
📋 Tips For Beautiful Black Magic (cake!)
- Use high-quality ingredients (Duh). This is especially important when it comes to the cocoa powder. A good-quality cocoa powder will give your cake a richer, more intense chocolate flavor.
- Use buttermilk. I like this one. Buttermilk adds a tangy flavor to the cake and helps to make it moist, honestly, I do this for most cakes that I make. Many Amish cooks use buttermilk in their cakes.If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
- Add coffee. Coffee adds a deep, rich flavor to the cake. You can use any type of coffee you like, but I recommend using a strong, dark roast. However, the recipe below does not list coffee and this addition is completely option. Some people are not major mocha fans.
- Don't overmix the batter. Overmixing the batter will make the cake tough. Mix the batter just until it is combined.
- Bake the cake until it is just cooked through. An overbaked cake will be dry and crumbly. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean when the cake is done baking.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting it. Frosting a warm cake will make the frosting melt and slide off.
- To make a black magic bundt cake, grease and flour a bundt pan. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
A Cake For Kids
I first made this cake when my daughters were very young and simple was key. This one had a few steps that made it interesting, though, like dissolving the baking soda in the sour milk before adding to the rest of the mixture. And adding the hot water last. Gave me a little bit of a chance to try to explain some simple science in baking to them. I think the "magic " part of the cake can be explained a couple different ways.
One, it is so delicious it'll disappear within hours of you taking it out of the oven. But, as a practical matter, the "magic" is probably just in the way the baking soda interactions with the sour milk to create a fluffy, delicious cake!
This really makes a good cake. I think if I made it again I'd be tempted to use two cups of brown sugar and then add maybe another cup of white sugar. You'd think the cake would be sweet enough with two cups of brown sugar, but it just didn't seem like it to me. Now, I will say, though, that topped with the frosting it was plenty sweet so maybe you just want to leave it as is. The extra sweetness is just something I'd be shooting for.
The brown sugar frosting, in my view, is simply amazing...I think I'd take it over buttercream any day. And it is simple to make, you do, however, have to stir constantly to avoid scorching, but that isn't tough to do...I was somehow managing to hold Beatrice in one arm and stir with the other hand and it got done. You can get the brown sugar frosting recipe here.
The chocolate cake recipe does not call for it, but you could add vanilla extract, a teaspoon always adds good flavor. This, however, is already about the best chocolate cake I've had. Another addition option is a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon salt. Be sure to lightly grease your cake pans and have a wire rack read for cooling.
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl and use a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed for the wet ingredients and dry ingredients.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and put into the refrigerator or try freezing. This cake doesn't take much prep time at all, and total time is about 20 minutes before the oven.
🙋 FAQ Black Magic Cake
Yes, while many Black Magic Cakes do have coffee in the ingredients, this does not. Use strong black coffee for best flavor. Half cup buttermilk instead of sour milk can also be used. Or ¼ cup heavy cream and ¼ cup buttermilk.
A Dutch cocoa or a Hershey dark chocolate kind is best. The higher quality, the better!
🖨️ Full Recipe
Amish Black Magic Cake With Brown Sugar Frosting
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 /2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 /2 cups sour milk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup hot water
- Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl.
- Dissolve baking soda in sour milk before adding to the first mixture.
- Last, add hot water.
- Pour into greased 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or until a butter knife insert comes out clean..