Blackout Cake

I never had the true Brooklyn Blackout Cake experience. This is a chocolate cake which captures a bit of American history. The story goes that there was a great neighborhood bakery in Brooklyn called Ebinger's. They were famous for the Blackout Cake.
Legend has it the cake originated during the war when Blackouts were practiced in the city. Ebinger's made this cake famous and baked it for 74 years. Then one very sad day the Bakery closed its doors and the recipe was sealed in a vault by the family. Rumor has it that Entenmann's tried to buy the recipe but the family kept the secret and refused to sell out. Occasionally a newspaper article will pop up claiming to reveal the top secret recipe for blackout cake but those lucky brooklynites who grew up with the sweet treat have yet to give approval to any of the so called authentic recipes. sightings of ex Ebinger bakers or family members are as elevated as Elvis sightings. Each new sighting or recipe brings excitement and anticipation of a cake so delicious it may only exist in memory.
After much research and recipe comparisons  I've been able to gather the cake is a moist, deeply chocolate flavored cake filled and surrounded with chocolate pudding and coated in a chocolate crumb crust. I did not choose to bake one of the Ebinger Blackout Cake recipes. I went with a classic American cocoa cake and a classic American cocoa pudding found on my Hershey's cocoa tin. It is still a Blackout Cake and may be the stuff of legends once your friends have a slice. So until the mystery of Ebingers famous recipe for Brooklyn blackout cake  is solved I think we will just have to keep baking!
Do you have a bakery from your past that has great memories or a most loved recipe? Mine is a place called The Goody Bakery. It was located in South Miami. My dad used to take me there after preschool and I would get a giant sugar cookie decorated like a smiley face.

Hershey's Black Magic Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour - I used cake flour for a more tender crumb
  • 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 13x9x2-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.

Hershey's Chocolate Pudding
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped topping(optional)


1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk.

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into individual dessert dishes. To avoid a skin from forming on top, press plastic wrap directly onto surface; serve warm or refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired. 4 to 5 servings.

1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in large microwave-safe bowl; gradually stir in milk.

2. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring every 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into dishes and serve as directed above.

To Assemble the cake
Level the baked cakes. Use the cake scraps or baker snacks ;) to make a crumb coating for the cake.
If you have tall enough cake you can half each one for a 3 layer cake and use the 4th layer to make the crumb coating for the cake.
Place 1/2 cup of pudding in between each layer and the top of the cake. You may cover the entire cake with pudding if you like but this cake is so moist it is fine without it! Cover the top with crumbs from your extra cake layer or scraps. That's all there is too it! I like how simple yet elegant this cake looks.

Tasting notes: This cake is very moist and tender with a nicely balanced chocolate flavor. Not too sweet. The pudding compliments the cake well. It is sweet and creamy. more in the realm of milk chocolate. I like it as a frosting and will use it again. If I were just using the pudding as a dessert sans cake I would try another recipe. It does not have enough chocolate flavor for me and is a little too sweet as a stand alone dessert - I am more of a dark chocolate fan. Hope you enjoy!


Unknown said...

Wow does that cake look like something I could dive into! I had a favorite bakery when I was a kid too.I was called Snowflake Bakery in Syracuse,N.Y. I used to go every Sunday with one of my parents and looked forward to a big sugar cookie with multi-colored sprinkles on it.

Katie said...

Yum it looks like a wonderful cake. Love the extra cake crumb sprinkle too. When I was young there was a bakery in town and if we had been good we sometimes got to chose a treat. I always went for the marshmallow ball that was sat in an icecream cone and decorated with sprinkles to look like an ice cream. I used to love them :)

Pam said...

The cake looks absolutely delicious! Yes, there was a fabulous bakery here that closed 5 years ago unfortunately. We do not have one bakery near us now due to the grocery store bakeries taking over. So sad!