A guy who knows his way around a kitchen, knows his way around my heart. There isn’t a man in my family that doesn’t sauté, whisk, or grill. Personally, cooking stresses me out (too many things to keep track of at once). I have to drink a glass of wine before cooking if the recipe wants me to sauté garlic, bake some vegetables, and boil pasta all at once. Baking is so much slower and the instructions are never just “a pinch” of this or “a dash” of that (HOW MUCH IS A DASH??). All you have to do is measure out a few ingredients, throw them all into a bowl, mix it up, and pop it in the oven. And if you are anything like me, there is a strange satisfaction when you use a knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup before adding it to the batter (Nope? Just me?). Basically, baking is easy, fun, and so delicious! Why not impress your crush, girlfriend or wife with your skills?
This is a date that you can do at any point in your relationship. If you don’t trust me and baking still terrifies the living daylights out of you, you can get store-bought cake mix (along with a couple of eggs) and make your cake that way. If you want to step it up a notch, which you should, you can call your grandma to get a copy of her secret family red velvet cake recipe or use my favorite recipe at the bottom of the article!
Baking can definitely be a team sport. One of you can mix up the dry ingredients (step 5) while the other beats the eggs and sugar (step 3), and because there are no time sensitive steps there is plenty of time to chat, flirt, and lick the beater. When you pop the cake in the oven, feel free to pop on a favorite movie, TV show, or spend some time washing up the flour that spilled all over your counter and somehow got in your hair (Just me?). Cleaning up is pretty much the worst, but you gotta make room for the main event—frosting!
Now is when the magic happens. There are no limits to what you can put on your cake—sprinkles, chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces, M&Ms, etc. Pick up your favorite sweets or premade icing bags to create your masterpiece. If you are feeling truly ambitious, homemade frosting is a nice touch. Personally, I always get lazy by the time my cake is done and just buy store-bought cream cheese frosting, throw some food coloring in it an call it good—just make sure you have enough to go in between the layers and surround the sides and top of the cake (2 cans should do it).
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what your cake looks like, it will always taste amazing. And more importantly, you guys made it together! So kick your feet up, slice off a chunk of cake, and slip into a nice sugar coma. You deserve it.
Triple Chocolate Cake
Recipe makes 1- 8 inch round, double layer cake
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 package (3.9 oz) of chocolate instant pudding powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
(Instead of buttermilk I typically use Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend because it is dehydrated and keeps for months in your fridge.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
- Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside. This allows the cake to easy leave the pan after you bake, instead of sticking to the sides.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the following ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition: eggs, white sugar, butter, oil, cocoa, instant pudding powder, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Start boiling some water (make sure you boil more than a cup as some of it will evaporate). Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to the sugar and egg mixture. Blend well. (If you don’t own a flour sifter, I suggest mixing your dry ingredients together with a whisk– it makes it fluffy).
- Fold in 1 cup of the boiling water.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix briefly. Pour the batter into the two greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool.