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Hershey’s Imperfect Chocolate Cake

hershey's perfect chocolate cake


This is the famous Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate cake recipe found on the back of their baking cocoa. At the end of the recipe it calls to add a cup of boiling water to the batter, (which I did).. the only part I missed was turning on the oven. Then after figuring that out after 45 minutes sitting in the oven (obviously enough time for water to no longer be boiling hot), I baked the cake and this is what came out. Apparently boiling water makes your perfect cake perfect.

hershey's perfect cake nailed it

From: Nicole
Subject: Hersheys “Perfect” chocolate cake

20 Responses to Hershey’s Imperfect Chocolate Cake

  1. Jessica says:

    Usually I would think that the problem was with not following the directions, but I just pulled this same cake out of the oven and had the same issues–overflow and collapse. Plus, to add insult to injury, it doesn’t even taste that great. I would have done better with a box mix.

  2. Pintester says:

    Ohhh, heartbreaking!

  3. Beth says:

    This is hard to believe because I have made this recipe for many years and never had this problem. The secret is to gently mix the boiling water into the batter. And yes, it is a thin batter but wonderful. To the comment that a cake mix is better…allow this cake to sit for a day with the chocolate icing and you will be singing a different tune.

  4. Nicole (the person who nailed this cake) says:

    My mom makes this all the time, that’s why I attempted it. But I think it had a lot to do with not turning the oven on, and the wisks on my mixer don’t seem reliable.

  5. Lissa says:

    Maybe it depends on the person. This is just about the only cake I can successfully make in Denver. It comes out perfect. All other cakes implode or look like they will devour the living.

    It sucks because I can’t stand boxed cake mix. It all tastes dry, unless you add pudding mix which ups the fat content by like 8000.

  6. Karissa says:

    This is my go-to cake recipe, and I use it ALL THE TIME. I frequently mix it up while my white cake is baking, too, and they need the same pan…so by the time the chocolate gets in the oven, I can guarantee the water is no longer “boiling”. I have never had this happen, there really has to be something else that went wrong.

  7. Whitney G says:

    Between the photo of Nicole’s chocolatey sadness and Lissa’s description of cakes that “look like they will devour the living,” I just snorted coffee through my nose.

  8. Michelle says:

    OMG! I cannot believe this! I actually had this EXACT thing happen to me on Tuesday night of THIS week! I kid you not–I bake every week and have never had a fail like this. I feel so much better….

  9. Melis says:

    I’ve been able to make this cake, but it’s… well, it’s finicky. It will be denser then a boxed cake mix. It will take some finesse and patience if you decide to use a pan different from the two 9″ round that the recipe calls for (it’s doable: I’ve done a doll cake for my middle daughter using this recipe). The oven HAS to be preheated. It seems to help if your baking powder and baking soda is on the fresh side (and not the can that was sitting on the shelf for two years… not that I would KNOW ABOUT THAT or anything…). And, playing around with it to see what your normal is. Hope this helps…

  10. Nance says:

    Also, don’t try this recipe in an intricately shaped cake pan. When it comes out like it’s supposed to, it’s too tender and light to get out of the pan in 1 piece! (tastes good, though!)

  11. Melissa says:

    I literally made this 5 hours ago, put the cake in the oven, and went to shower. when i got out, the cake had exploded and my whole house smelled like it was burning down. Thanks a lot hershey’s

  12. Janet B says:

    Wow! I’ve never had that problem with it. However, it’s so runny that I regularly make a huge mess when I try to make cupcakes with it. I’ve pretty much given up on that.

  13. About once a year I have a memory issue and decide to make this cake. Every year the exact same thing happens to me too. The cake explodes everywhere, burn smell fills the house and the damn thing doesn’t even taste that good. And I swear that I’ll never make it again. Until 365 days later, which apparently is exactly how long it takes me to forget tragic kitchen disasters. :)

  14. Towanda says:

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday 9 years ago and the same thing happened to me! He loved it, but I couldn’t get over how ugly it was and I never made it again. To find this post when I’m just getting up the nerve to try it again made my day, :-). Maybe this time it’ll be better…

  15. Carol says:

    Molten Lava Chocolate Cake RecipeBecause so many people love mint chtaolcoe lava cake, we’ve included a variation with this recipe. * 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chtaolcoe, chopped * 4 large eggs * bd pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped * 4 tablespoons unbleached all- purpose flour * bd cup sugar * 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg* * bd teaspoon ground cinnamon—or for a mint version, substitute 1bc teaspoons peppermint extract for the cinnamon * Whipped cream for garnish (1 pint heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract) * Raspberries and mint leaves for garnish (optional)*We use a nutmeg grinder and a fresh nut; you also can use the nut with a plane grater.Preheat the oven to 350b0F. Grease eight 4-ounce cake molds or ramekins.Over a double boiler, melt the chtaolcoe and butter, stirring constantly. Once they are completely melted, set aside and cool.Combine the sugar and eggs and whisk until pale and fluffy. Stir the chtaolcoe mixture into the egg mixture until completely blended. Whisk in the flour, nutmeg and cinnamon and mix well. Pour the batter into the cake molds and bake for 14 minutes at 350b0F. While the cakes are baking you can whip the cream. To one pint heavy cream add 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar as the cream begins to thicken, plus 1 teaspoon vanilla and a few grains salt. Unsweetened or barely-sweetened whipped cream is also delicious, so feel free to reduce the sugar or add none at all.Remove the lava cakes from the oven and cool for 2 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, invert the molds onto individual dessert plates, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves and serve immediately. We prefer to pass the whipped cream in a bowl so guests can help themselves to the amount they prefer.

  16. Susan says:

    My mom and I have been making this cake for years and in multiple ovens (both convection and electric) and I’ve never had this happen. Very weird! This cake is usually moist and awesome (we affectionately call it the PMS Cake) and very requested in our family.

  17. Petra says:

    Wow! This is my go to recipe for every birthday cake I make and it never ever failed. Perfect cake every time. I did have a fail box of yellow cake before because I got distracted and didn’t follow directions.

  18. I’ve been making this cake for 2 years straight. Besides being too tender to come out of the pan I haven’t had problems until now. The past 5x’s Ive baked this it came out like the above picture. Tonight it totally exploded all over my oven and now my house smells like fire! I have to find another moist chocolate cake recipe

  19. Sara says:

    Is it just me, or was she trying to bake the cake in a casserole dish?!

  20. Jessica says:

    This is my go to ultimate cake how I amaze my family! ! Every year for my fathers in laws birthday. Then this year 3 times a nasty liquid burning mess!! Followed directions WTF??? NEVER happened before!!!!

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