Hershey's Perfectly Choc. , Choc. Cake?

Baking By Price Updated 22 Apr 2013 , 1:34am by perfectcakebyshirley

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Price Posted 12 Jun 2007 , 10:16pm
post #1 of 27

I'm sure some of you have used the Hershey's "Perfectly chocolate", chocolate cake recipe on the side of the Cocoa can. Do you have trouble with it falling in the center? Every time I make it, it falls. I thought maybe the reason the cakes were falling was because I was taking them out of the oven too soon. I made one today and left it in an extra 5 minutes after it tested done. It still fell! Any suggestions? I made it in a 9X13 sheet pan, greased and floured. Baked at 350 as recipe called for. In the past I have tried 325, but that didn't seem to make a difference either. If anyone has the secret to making this "Perfectly Chocolate" cake PERFECT please share! Thanks


26 replies
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JoAnnB Posted 13 Jun 2007 , 12:08am
post #2 of 27

Since I can't tell exactly how you put it together, I have couple of suggestions. Over mixing can cause the cake to fall. Also, try using a flower nail for a heating core. I have a different chocolate cake recipe that used to fall all the time, until I started using a nail. And I use at least one in everything, often two or three.

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Price Posted 13 Jun 2007 , 12:53am
post #3 of 27

JoAnnB, thanks for the reply. The recipe makes a very thin batter. Directions are to beat the dry ingredients plus milk, eggs and oil for 2 min. then add boiling water and mix in. I was very careful to follow directions and did not mix for longer than the 2 min. I also used 3 flower nails in the center. I'm starting to wonder if it's because I have been baking it in a 9X13 sheet pan. The directions suggest 2 9" rounds. I'm thinking maybe with the thin batter, the larger pan might just not work right. Just a theory though! I think I will be on the search for a new choc. cake recipe! lol

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JoAnnB Posted 13 Jun 2007 , 4:13am
post #4 of 27

Well, you might try it in round pans. Also, check your leavening. Baking soda or powder can lose effectiveness (just in case)

Good luck.

I heard Toba Garrets chocolat cake is very good. I believe it is posted in Epicurious.com

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heidisuesmom Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:04am
post #5 of 27

I use the older recipe from the side of the Hershey's cocoa can. It's the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake. I make mine in a 9x13 pan and use the "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate frosting.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Hersheys cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla on high for 3 minutes. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture until smooth. Pour batter into pan(s). Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "Perfectly Chocolate" frosting.

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hersheys cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Add vanilla. Makes about 2 cups.

This is the only chocolate cake recipe I use. I've also heard that the Black Magic cake from the Hersheys website is "out of this world", but I have not tried it. Good luck with your cake!!

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Price Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 11:55am
post #6 of 27

heidisuesmom & JoAnnB, Thanks so much, I'll have to give them both a try. I decided to just make an icecream cake out of the cake that fell! I just cut it into 2 layers and filled with vanilla icecream. Yum, Yum. One of my favorite desserts this time of year!

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MessiET Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:42pm
post #7 of 27

I have baked the Hershey's cake on an 11x15 rectangle pan with no problems. That is strange that it is falling in the middle. Are you using fresh baking powder?

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Price Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 8:08pm
post #8 of 27

Yes, just bought a new can last week. I can't figure it out either. I have tried everything I can think of. The cake looked beautiful in the oven, it had risen nicely and then about 5 minutes before it was done it began to sink! I couldn't believe it. I think I'm giving up on the recipe and will try the ones suggested to see if I have any better luck. Thanks to all!

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KateWatson Posted 22 Jun 2007 , 12:34am
post #9 of 27

Decided to do a few chocolate cakes to test out recipes, so I did this Hershey's cake too. It also fell in the middle, I used 9" pans, fresh bkg. pwd,. 325º. But it looks moist and delicious and I think I'll make extra frosting and fill in the crater with that! Has anyone made it round and not had it fall? And may I add - one hour and one full, happy stomach later - it IS very moist, fudgy and fabulous! The frosting is a lovely, glossy, easy to use chocolate, although probably too soft for piping, etc. I put the "crater" side down on the cake plate, filled, then put the other "crater" side down and after frosting there was very little "dip" on top. A definite keeper of a recipe! icon_biggrin.gif

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darkchocolate Posted 27 Jun 2007 , 11:10am
post #10 of 27

I know this doesn't help with your cakes sinking but I just wanted to offer a suggestion to help if it happens with any cake.

I just used my 12 X 16 Magic Line pan for the first time yesterday. I used 2 flower nails towards the center and I used my baking strips. The cake tested done, but it still fell in the center. This cake is for my daughter to take to church tonight for her youth leader's birthday and I wanted it to be special. I thought I could fill it with frosting but I didn't really want people having to eat so much frosting and a little piece of cake.

I had extra batter and I had baked two 6" rounds and they baked up beautifully. I had planned on frosting them and giving that cake away. Just before I stared crumb coating, I decided to use my extra cake and I starting slicing it like I would to level it and I filled in the sunken middle. I then did my crumb coat and when that dried I flipped the cake over and it looks perfectly level. I was so happy that it turned out good and now everyone will get equal cake and frosting.

Thank God for extra cake when you need it. Now I have a 6" round in my freezer to make cake balls.


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Gretta Posted 27 Jun 2007 , 11:28am
post #11 of 27

Price- I have had the same problem with that particular cake. Cake tester tested done so I removed it from the oven. Fell on two occasions. Tried the center nail(s) technique, same result. Went to baking it longer, watching it carefully until it began pulling from the sides, and it did much better. I think it may be so moist that it takes that extra bake time to "strengthen."

Btw- I have given up on it. Although it is good, I don't have the time to babysit a cake. Besides, I am in the process of trying to find "great" recipes with the fewest extra ingredients possible. I don't do a large volume of cakes, etc. By keeping my ingredients list to a minimum, my profit margin goes up.

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lsawyer Posted 27 Jun 2007 , 12:59pm
post #12 of 27

I don't know the answer to this, but I remember reading somewhere (The Cake Bible??) that you have to change the amount of baking powder based on the size of the pan--I believe it's a smaller amount as your pan gets larger. There's a science behind it, but I can't remember all the details. If there's too much BP for the pan size, it will sink.

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Katskakes Posted 27 Jun 2007 , 1:09pm
post #13 of 27

haha... i was just going to post about this recipe today!
I bought a hershey book in barnes and noble a few years ago. So far the only thing i've done is the chocolate mousse. so good! So last night I wanted to give this recipe you mentioned a try. I have mousse left over i don't want to throw out.
I made it, it was nice and dark - actually looked black.
in the book it says to add water, which made my mix super watery! so stinking runny. But i thought whatever let's bake it. I used a 10" pan only. And it cooked fine on the out side but the middle did not. It was there for about an 1 hr baking. Obvious twice the about suggested on the recipe.

So i just took it out of the oven and let it sit. I know the middle is not really cooked, so i'm gonna cut the good parts and make cake balls.
I was hoping to find out if the consistency of it is supposed to be super runny? maybe i added too much water and milk? Must look at the book tonight.

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Clypzilla Posted 27 Jun 2007 , 1:10pm
post #14 of 27

This is a tried and true recipe for me! Also an old faithful of my aunt's. I made one a few weeks ago in a larger sheet cake pan and it was fine. It sounds like everything I would have thought to mention, boiling water, baking soda, flower nail, etc. was already mentioned here. As far as strengthening, maybe turning the heat from 350 to 325 and leaving in an extra 5-7 minutes will help.

Good luck and don't give up on Hershey!! (my hometown) icon_wink.gif

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beachcakes Posted 28 Jun 2007 , 5:00pm
post #15 of 27

yes katskakes, the batter will be very runny. I always bake it at 325 for a little longer. I love this cake!

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vanz Posted 30 Jun 2007 , 1:17pm
post #16 of 27

I used this recipe many many times, can't skip this one 'cause it always turned out perfect for me. Just my thought, mix in the boiling water well... good luck!

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JerryLINY Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 1:50am
post #17 of 27

The problem may be related to the type of flour. Bleached flour is able to hold more liquid (and fat) than unbleached flour. Bleaching strengthens the gluten strands. I think some recipes work better with bleached flour.

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VaBelle Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 2:08am
post #18 of 27

I don't use this recipe, but I always have problems with my chocolate cake sinking in the middle even though my tester comes out clean. I started leaving in the oven for an extra five minutes and now I don't have sinking problems.

Usually sinking in the middle means the cake isn't done so I would be hesitant to give it to anyone. Just a thought.

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JerryLINY Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 2:42am
post #19 of 27

The problem may be related to the type of flour. Bleached flour is able to hold more liquid (and fat) than unbleached flour. Bleaching strengthens the gluten strands. I think some recipes work better with bleached flour.

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carmijok Posted 26 Apr 2012 , 5:14am
post #20 of 27

I know this is going to sound weird but it works. Someone on CC here actually recommended it and I tried it and bingo! I use the Hershey recipe as my go-to chocolate cake (with a touch of coffee and a pinch of cinnamon). What the CC'er whose name escapes me...said to do was to add your sugar to the batter just before you add the boiling water...not to have it already mixing with the eggs and cocoa and flour and such. My cake rose and stayed that way! I've done it twice and it worked both times.

This recipe can be very temperamental. I've found that weather plays a big part in how it turns out as well. If it's rainy and humid it's not a good chocolate day for me. I also have learned that a clean empty soup can open at both ends works much better as a core for the center of a large cake than a little flower nail...or even a regular core. Just grease it and flour it and the center cooks nicely and comes out clean.
I always overfill my pans to make sure I get the full 2" height and I also have used the part I've trimmed off to even out areas that need it.
Hope these little tips have helped.

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KayMc Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 3:24am
post #21 of 27

This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and I found a way to stop that dreaded fall in the middle. Replace the milk with the same amount of sour cream. As soon as I made this replacement, this recipe stopped falling for me.

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arlenej Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 6:16pm
post #22 of 27

Are you using cake or self-raising flour? Don't. Use a strong flour and see.

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Norasmom Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 6:23pm
post #23 of 27

Mine sunk as well, but I am going to try carmijok's advice! It's so moist and delicious, but it's such a chemistry thing! Making the perfect chocolate cake is almost as hard as meeting a man. I met the man, now for the cake...

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Jess155 Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 1:31am
post #24 of 27

I'm actually making this recipe right now. It didn't sink, but it's really moist and fragile. Is it going to be able to stand up under fondant? I'm really worried. This is going to be 3 of the 5 tiers. It tastes heavenly, but it's soooo crumbly!

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jade8 Posted 29 Apr 2012 , 2:19am
post #25 of 27

someone else posted about this and the link is below. i always sub sour cream for the milk and make adjustments to the bp and bs. i use flower nails and cake strips and get no sinking. i did try adding the sugar in the end once and the cake came out more like dense brownies than the cake texture i am used to with this recipe.

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pamela3 Posted 21 Apr 2013 , 8:22pm
post #26 of 27

falls everytime! I have been making this cake for 50 years and haven't figured it out yet! 

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perfectcakebyshirley Posted 22 Apr 2013 , 1:34am
post #27 of 27

I use this recipe all the time, because it's so moist, and haven't had a problem with it falling. Make sure to mix the first ingredients really well, and beat for the time specified, before adding the boiling water (and make sure it is boiling.) I bake till just a few crumbs are on the tester in the middle of the cake. It is very soft though, so I would not recommend it for fondant.

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