I made a birthday cake for a dear friend this week. It's a bit of a tradition that I've established with a few precious friends, all of them fellow moms (you know--the people who are responsible for making the cakes in their families). It's great fun for me to lavish this little bit of love on them on their birthdays.
Nine times out of ten, I'll make them a chocolate pound cake. The recipe was given to me years ago by a sweet woman named Ruby Bea (isn't that a wonderful Southern name?), so my kids always call it "Ruby Bea Cake." Call it what you want; this is one of my favorite cakes EVER. Why? It's delicious. It smells heavenly when it's baking. It travels well (no frosting). It freezes well. And it's easy to make. Here's the recipe. Try it for yourself. I can pretty much guarantee good results.
Chocolate Pound Cake1 devil's food cake mix (any brand, any variety)8 oz. cream cheese, softened3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)1/2 cup water1 teaspoon vanilla extract4 eggs1 small package instant chocolate pudding1 heaping cup chocolate chipsPreheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or do what I do and just spray it with nonstick cooking spray).Place cream cheese in mixer bowl. Beat cream cheese a bit to soften. Add cake mix; beat a bit to combine with cream cheese. Scrape sides of bowl. Add oil, water, and vanilla; beat well. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pudding mix; beat until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.Pour/spoon batter into prepared pan. Note: the batter will be very, very thick. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, not a moment more. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove cake from pan.
I wish there were a scratch-n-sniff feature on your computer. Mmmmm. Heaven for your nose, right here in this little cake.
Dust it with powdered sugar if you like. Serve it with vanilla ice cream or raspberry sauce if you want to be fancy. Or just cut a slice and eat it with your fingers: it's very dense, so it's a good eat-from-a-napkin cake.
You will like it. I promise. Try it yourself and see!