Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dark Rich Chocolate Cake + Free Printable

I love to give homemade gifts, sometimes because it saves money and sometimes because I like making them and sometimes, just sometimes, because it is the best version of whatever it is.  In this case, this is the BEST chocolate cake mix recipe ever!

The creative process

I've been making up batches of this recipe for my family and friends for years.  Thanks to the HillBilly Housewife website which I was surfing at work one day looking for ideas on how to save time and money on meal preparation.

This cake is dark and rich and oh so chocolately.  It is also incredibly moist thanks to the powdered buttermilk!  If you've never seen this in your grocery store, I have found it locally here at Stater Bros. and Smart N Final.  I grew up using it in recipes and my grandmother would always bring us a bunch from the air force base when she went shopping there with my uncle.

Powdered Buttermilk

Below is the ingredient list and instructions from HillBilly Housewife:

Dark Rich Chocolate Cake Mix
·          1 cup unbleached white flour
·          2/3 cup whole wheat flour
·          1-1/2 cups of sugar
·          ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa
·          ¼ cup dry buttermilk powder
·          1 teaspoon baking powder
·          ½ teaspoon salt
·          1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals

To prepare add:
2 cups of water
½ cup of vegetable oil
2 eggs
Mix for two minutes or until smooth
{Batter will be runny}
Pour into oiled 9”x13” pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
Recipe taken from:

The key to this is putting the ingredients into quart size (sterile) canning jars using a canning funnel as seen below.  This really helps cut down on the mess.  Also, you MUST mix in the buttermilk powder.  Personally, I put in the salt, cocoa and baking powder, then mix in the buttermilk powder by shaking up the jar.  If you don't do this step you will ruin the mix if it sits in the cupboard longer than a week.  The buttermilk turns into a rock if it isn't mixed in or kept completely dry.

Canning funnel with Quart Canning Jar
Once you've assembled the ingredients, you are ready to begin.  Total cost for 14 jars was under $62 so it is about $4.00 per jar.  Certainly more expensive than a $1.00 box of cake mix, but this is totally worth it.  These also make great party favors and you can cut the recipe in half and use smaller jars but it only saves about $1.00 because the canning jars are still pricey.

Completed jars including shopping for ingredients is about 1 hr.  So 14 gifts for $62 in an hour.  That's the kind of time and money management I can get behind!

Completed Jars

Now you can get fancy and make a hand-made label, but I just print mine out on the printer and tie it with a ribbon and I'm done.

Feel free to use this on your own jars.  Just paste the pic into a Word Doc and enlarge until it fills a standard sheet of paper.

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