Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Pink Frosting

by Elizabeth Dengler, The Huckleberry Home

Elizabeth Dengler

I’m excited to share with our Huckleberry Home readers these 2 recipes from my childhood. My aunt to this day makes this chocolate cake and I remember it as the best cake I’ve ever eaten. When I was an adult I asked her for the recipe. She revealed that it was on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa powder box! Remember when the cocoa powder containers used to be made of metal and you’d have to pry the top off with a butter knife?! Ahhh those were the days. One time or another I’d not have quite a good grasp of the container while attempting to get the lid off and the powder would go flying and you can’t wipe up cocoa powder without everything looking like it spent too much time in a tanning booth.

The frosting recipe is a variation of my mom’s 7-minute frosting. It is my favorite frosting to this day and I can only remember her ever making it for her Christmas tree cakes. She used green food coloring for an authentic tree color appearance. The cake was always a boxed mix and she used her 2 Christmas tree-shaped baking pans. When the cakes finally cooled (which seemed to take forever as a kid) my sister and I would spread the green frosting all over and then douse it in sprinkles to look like ornaments on the tree. Baking with kids can really inspire a lifelong enjoyment of creating in the kitchen, the bonus being the math and chemistry lessons!

For Valentine’s Day, I like making my aunt’s Hershey’s chocolate cake in the shape of a heart and of course the frosting needs to be mom’s frosting, but pink (not a requirement however). At Easter, we make a bunny cake using this recipe. I realize my family has an affinity for holiday-themed cakes!
For the heart you will need a 9-inch square baking pan and one 9 inches round and I recommend parchment paper. For the frosting, you will need a candy thermometer and I recommend a stand mixer and low humidity.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 1 9-inch round baking pan and 1 9 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add in the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Pink Fluffy Frosting from Betty Crocker
2 egg whites
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons Maraschino cherry juice (if you want traditional white, use water)
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Room temperature egg whites will have more volume when beaten than cold egg whites. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed just until stiff peaks form. (I highly recommend a stand mixer)
  2. In 1-quart saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup and water until well mixed. Cover and heat to rolling boil over medium heat. Uncover and boil 4 to 8 minutes, without stirring, to 242°F on a candy thermometer or until a small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a firm ball that holds its shape until pressed. For an accurate temperature reading, tilt the saucepan slightly so the mixture is deep enough for the thermometer.
  3. Pour hot syrup very slowly in a thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly on medium speed. Add vanilla. Beat on high speed about 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Putting it all together:
Slice the cake round down the center. Place each cut long side flat along the square cake edge to form a heart. Frost the top and sides of the cake liberally with the frosting. You can add sprinkles or colored sugars for extra flair. Enjoy!