Blackout Cake

The Blackout Cake was the creation of Ebinger's, a famous New York-based neighborhood bakery chain. An indecently rich, dark tower of chocolate[, this cake has become something of a Holy Grail for many bakers. Cult-like fans went through Blackout withdrawal when the bakeries closed down and The Cake disappeared. Many have tried to rec-reate this cake; I feel this version comes close. It is a multi-stepped process (remember, this was a bakery specialty) but it can easily be broken down into components.]

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
10 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Chocolate Pudding:
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (preferably Dutch processed)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (preferable Dutch processed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Icing:
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 dozen chocolate wafer cookies
Directions

To make the Chocolate Pudding: Combine 1 cup milk with 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and bring to just under a boil.

In a mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar with salt, cocoa, and cornstarch. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup unheated milk. Gradually whisk in hot milk and place entire mixture back into the saucepan. Heat, over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and just starts to bubble.

Whisk in egg and egg yolk and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter. When both are melted, strain pudding through a fine-mesh strainer, and cool. Cover with plastic and reserve in refrigerator.

To make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 (8-inch) cake pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and flour pans, shaking out the excess.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.

In a mixer with a whip attachment, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in vegetable oil. Alternately add dry ingredients with buttermilk, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add the coffee and vanilla to form a thin batter. Divide between prepared cake pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks, peel off paper and cool completely.

When cool, split each cake in half with a serrated slicing knife. Reserve 1 layer for another use. Spread bottom layer with half of the reserved Chocolate Pudding. Place second layer on top and spread with remaining pudding. Top with last cake layer.

To make the Icing: Over a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter. Remove from heat, whisk in brewed coffee, corn syrup, and vanilla. Place icing over an ice bath and chill, whisking often until the mixture is of soft but a spreadable consistency. Working quickly, ice the sides and top of cake.

In a food processor, pulse the cookies into crumbs. Press the crumbs onto sides and top of cake.

Serve cake at room temperature. If holding for more than 2 hours, store in refrigerator for up to 48 hours, but bring to room temperature before serving.

Serving Suggestion: Blackout cake is meant to be served simply, on its own. If you want to dress individual plates, perhaps add a drizzle of fudge sauce and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.


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    If you go to all the trouble to make this, don't skip the chocolate wafer crumbs on the icing. I used chocolate Teddy Grahams, since I didn't have wafers. Also, when making the pudding, add a little of the warm milk to the eggs before mixing it all together, or you will have small bits of cooked egg in your pudding. Delicious cake.
    Growing up in Brooklyn, We lived only a few blocks from an Ebingers bakery and besides the cupcakes and coffee cakes, we got the Blackout cake almost every time we went, but it didn't have cookie crumbs.The cake was covered with the pudding,not icing,and the pudding was covered with the last layer of the cake crumbled up. I nixed the cookies and the icing.
    One of the best chocolate cake recipes. I made these as cupcakes as well and they came out perfectly.
    Hi If someone can tell me is the cocoa (preferable Dutch processed sweet or unsweet??
    I made this cake for Easter and for Mother's Day, and it was fantastic both times. The first time, I tried to cut one of the layers in half and it didn't quite work, so I just put the pudding between the 2 layers. The flavor of the cake and pudding were great, but I would have preferred the icing a little sweeter. I recommend leaving the 2 layers whole as the cakes are delicate and putting the pudding between the 2 layers-you'll have more than you need, but you can always keep the extra pudding to eat. I skipped covering the outside of the cake in crushed cookies, but perhaps next time I make it, I'll do it. I made the cake and pudding one day and the icing the next. This cake requires a bit of work, but it's fantastic and worth the effort. Everyone who tried it enjoyed it.
    My Mom worked at Ebbinger's bakery in Brooklyn as a teen and I attempted this cake as a surprise for her birthday. Success! The cake was moist, the pudding perfect and the icing the perfect touch! The recipe is a little intimidating but worth the effort.
    This is one of the best chocolate cakes I've made thus far. It is superb: moist, rich and so chocolaty! And I love that I don't have to spend time creaming butter. I didn't taste the flavor of the coffee. I didn't make the icing or pudding. Instead I made a double layer cake with cherry pie filling on top and in between the two layers and drizzled melted chocolate on top. So decadent. My 3 friends literally finished it in one sitting...
    Ive tried making this cake twice now, its so delicious. but both times that I've made it... when it comes out of the oven it seems inflated...and then while cooling it collapses on itself. any suggestions?? its soooo delicious but it just turns into a huge mess to serve!
    Everything you would ever want in a chocolate cake.
     
    The pastry is very moist and rich.
     
    The pudding is delicious.
     
    Icing compliments both cake and pudding wonderfully.
     
    The cake is not overwhelmingly sweet.
     
    This is now my new favorite chocolate cake.
    I have never made a cake from scratch before, so I thought for sure it would turn out horrible.... but I was very wrong. I made it for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day and he loved it. I think it tastes even better when it is refridgerated (and lasts longer too). Just watch when you add the egg while making the pudding, it can easily turn out "scrambly."
    This was a very rich, delicious cake. It was very moist and the wafer cookies on the outside provided a nice contrast in texture. Very good, I would recommend this to any chocolate lover.
    I made this for my father's 60th birthday party and everyone loved it. They all wanted the recipe and raved about how much they loved it. I followed the recipe exactly except I used the advice of another review and used the extra layer of cake to make crumbs instead of the waffers. It came out perfect! Try this recipe it is totally worth it!
    this recipe was a little bit difficult my first time. I made it with my sister so it wasn't too hard. It went a lot smoother with two people working on it than I think it would have been with just me. haha. But overall it was absolutely fantastic.
    This is probably one of, if not THE, best cake I have ever made and eaten. It is soooo moist. We made the cake with a hazelnut buttercream and it was TO DIE FOR. I am currently eating the cake scraps as I write this. I could probably eat the whole thing on my own, it's so light...
    I made this cake for my husbands b/day. We were absolutely amazed at the result. The cake was so good we had it eaten in only a couple of days!!!
     
    You must try this one, you won't be disappointed.
    This recipe was by far the best chocolate cake I've ever made! It's rich, moist(it was so moist, I was afraid to cut the layers , so I only had two) and delicious! I tried it for a relative's(Chocolate lover's) birthday cake-we were all very impressed.Time consuming, but not too difficult.Well worth it!I did't do anything to the outside(no wafers).
    In the realm of chocolate cakes, this is at the top of the list as one of the best. My husband, a Brookkyn born boy, said it reminded him of Ebinger's Backout Cake and it brought back a lot of memories. It was incredibly moist, chocolately, and dense. We used a dark chocolate dutch cocoa both for the cake and the pudding and it was an amazing substitution. I used 3 8-inch pans instead of the two it called for and reduced the baking time to 30 min. We thought that rasperry jam in the layers with the pudding would also be a great addition. Already have requests for more!
    This cake was very very moist but alittle dry around the edges, but smother it with pudding and that fixes it. I did not care for the icing at all, it was bitter, perhaps needed sugar. Instead, make double pudding and put that on top and you have a chocolate cake that is to die for. I'm not a coffee lover but I loved this cake; I couldn't taste the coffee at all.
    I am a chocolate loverand this cake certainly hits the spot!
    This was a good recipe but not a great one. It seemed a bit dry.
    Not only was this a simple cake to bake, it was a very elegant desert.
     
    My family has ask for me to use this cake as our family celebration cake in the future.
    I cake was soooo good I ate too much and blackedout!!!
     

     
    Sara is such a dear.
    A wonderful cake to serve to family and friends. Very moist and tasty.
    I grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950's. Ebingers Blackout Cake was a favorite of my family and we mourned when Ebingers went out of business. When I was just a kid, I would go into the store and point to the cake which would then be placed in a light green box with a diamond design and tied with string. When I saw this recipe I was delighted and couldn't wait to try it. It's an excellent facsimile, but there are two things I would change to make it more authentic. The original cake had cake crumbs on top of the icing. I used the extra cake layer to make the crumbs instead of the chocolate wafers. The second thing is the icing; it was as good as any chocolate icing I've tried, but not as soft and dark and creamy as the original. When chilled, this icing hardens just a bit too much. Any suggestions? At any rate, my husband (who is not easy to please) says it's the best chocolate cake I've ever made, and that's saying a lot because I do a lot of baking.
    it is not that hard to make and its worthy
    Having actually tasted Ebinger's famous Blackout Cake, I have to say that I was extremely please with the results of this recipe. The cake tasted just like the original. If you make the recipe in parts, it works very well. I actually made the cakes the day before and then prepared the filled and frosting. And, as my brother reminded me, he likes it best frozen!!! So, pop a slice in the freezer. The filling is like ice cream when frozen. Enjoy.
    I did this one for Christmas dinner 2004. Overall it was a pretty good desert, but the cake needed to be a little more moist.
     
    Also substituted dark chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate, for a richer chocolate flavor.
    That is exactly how decadent this cake tastes and looks. I usually do not write reviews - but I had to for this cake. The first time I had it (my Mom made it for me) was like an out of body experience!If you love chocolate, you know what I mean. It is a little labor intensive, but it is a labor of love for chocoholics. You can easily do the cake and pudding a day ahead - I did and it worked great. I'm actually going to make more of the cake and keep it in the freezer for when I need another one on a hurry! Breaking up the steps does help a great deal. The cake is exceptionally moist and the pudding filling is rich and creamy. For the pudding I used skim milk (ok, so cutting calories is not what this recipe is about!) and reduced it by 1/4 cup to get a thicker pudding. Fabulous! This cake is my new contribution to every family/potluck/special occasion function.
    I feel that this is the best chocolate cake that I have tried making. not too easy, but worth it. The cake is chocolatey and moist.
    I was definitely intimidated with the recipe because this was my first attempt at baking a cake from scratch. It ended up being a very easy recipe to follow and a lot of fun to make. I did double the pudding recipe because I knew the boys would like it to be thicker. Anyways, it turned out well in the end and everyone loved it.
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