Starbucks Pike Chocolate Cake | Always Aubrey

Monday, June 3, 2013

Starbucks Pike Chocolate Cake

As I've probably mentioned here before, I love to bake.  And I always bake something to surprise my teammates at work with for their birthday.

Most recently, after a failed attempt at a Cuban cream cake (so many wasted egg whites!) I had to turn to my stunt cake (my mental backup plan) to avert a recipe disaster.  So I decided to make a deep dark chocolate cake recipe I'd used years ago, which calls for a cup of black coffee to be added.  Only since my coworker's coffee of choice is Starbucks Pike, I picked up a tall cup on my way home from the grocery store.

Had to show this photo from the failed cream cake... because look at those PEAKS!

This chocolate cake is so moist.  Soooooo moist.  And unlike some of my standbys, it's from scratch... no boxed cake mix this time.  The most disconcerting thing about this recipe is just trusting it to work.  The batter is not the thick, decadent look you're used to when baking; it looks like thin, messy chocolate soup.  No matter how many times I make it, I always turn the oven light on and anxiously peer in praying for it to work.  So don't be a nervous Nellie like me, just set it and forget it!  You'll know by the delicious, warm smell that you're on the right track.

That said, with this stunt cake I used my stunt frosting...  The Cool Whip frosting tubs I keep in my freezer.  Thaw those babies out, and you've got a whipped topping that spreads on without creating crumbles.  It's like the commercials, y'all.  Plus, with a rich cake like this, the chocolate frosting was just light enough not to make it feel like overkill, just sweet enough to cut the coffee flavor.  I sprinkled some dark chocolate cacao nibs (in the bulk section at Whole Foods) on the top for garnish.

No one would have guessed this was the stunt cake.  In fact, since I had to serve it the same day I made it, the only photo I have of the finished cake is the last little bit I brought home to Duke.  This cake was DEVOURED.  The two kids who had some loved it too... though I'm sure their Mom paid for the chocolate+coffee jolt later on!

This is the only photo I took of the finished product... it was eaten so quickly!

Frost this baby with whatever you want.  Buttercream, mint, even caramel toppings would complement the dark chocolate taste.  Powdered sugar even.  I'm just often so consumed with creating the cake that I turn to store-bought toppings; and nobody can tell the difference.  As Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"

Starbucks Pike Chocolate Cake
(slightly adapted from Food.com)
Ingredients
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup black Starbucks Pike coffee
1/2 cup canola oil ( or any vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.  Grease and flour one 13 x 9-inch baking pan. If you want a layer cake, use two 9-inch pans.
3.  In large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4.  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee (if making with instant, use 2 tsp to make 1 cup), oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
5.  Pour into prepared pan.
6.  Bake until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (30-35 minutes for round pans, 35-40 minutes for rectangular pans).
7.  Cool 10 minutes; (if using 9-inch round cake pans, remove from pan) and cool on wire racks.
8.  Cool completely, then frost with your favorite icing.

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