Description: Food Network Kitchen's Bumpy Cake. Keywords: Milk, Vanilla Extract, Cocoa Powder, Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Instant Espresso Powder, Buttermilk.
Recipe courtesy of Emily Weinberger for Food Network Kitchen

Bumpy Cake

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes freezing and chilling times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Sanders Confectionary Company in Detroit, Michigan, makes all sorts of candies and fudge, but is famous for what is appropriately called “bumpy cake.” This legendary dessert resulted from a happy accident over 100 years ago when the owner, Fred Sanders, ran out of buttercream to completely frost his devil’s food cake. He decided instead to pipe thick rows of vanilla buttercream (the “bumps”) on the top, then blanket the entire surface with chocolate fudge frosting. This adapted version boasts a moist, one-bowl chocolate cake, long pillows of sweet vanilla buttercream and a decadent, pourable fudge draped on top. Be sure to clear room in the freezer: freezing the cake before and after piping the buttercream is essential to success.


Chocolate Cake:


Chocolate Fudge Frosting:


Special equipment:
a piping bag, a 1/2-inch round tip, a candy thermometer
  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder and instant espresso in a large bowl. Pour in the vegetable oil, water, milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the granulated sugar until well combined. Fold in the flour until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs, 33 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely in the dish, about 1 hour. Freeze until hardened, about 1 hour.
  3. For the buttercream: Meanwhile, fit a piping bag with a 1/2-inch round tip. Combine the sugar, butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer). Mix on low speed until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium high and mix until smooth and thick but pliable. Adjust the consistency if needed by mixing in the milk. Transfer the buttercream to the piping bag. If the buttercream has become too soft and warm, refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.
  4. With a short side of the cake dish facing you, pipe 7 rows of buttercream crosswise on the cake 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. Return the cake to the freezer until the buttercream is very cold, about 30 minutes.
  5. For the fudge frosting: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Fit the saucepan with a candy thermometer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly, until the frosting is smooth. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour half of the fudge frosting over the buttercream rows, tilting the dish slightly so that the entire surface is covered and the fudge drips down the sides of the cake. Return the dish to the freezer until the fudge hardens, about 10 minutes. Repeat frosting with the remaining fudge and refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to let the fudge harden before serving. Be sure to use a sharp knife to cut the cake; the fudge is sticky, especially around the edges of the cake. The cake can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.