Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brownie Cake

This is a variation of a recipe I saw in the Penzeys catalogue. It is the perfect example of making do when you make a mistake; and of making an alteration when your instincts say you should. First of all, I misread the first instruction to combine water, butter, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and cook 'over medium heat until boiling.' The ingredients list had said 'softened butter' and usually, well actually always until this recipe, that meant it wasn't going to be melted. So I had that in my head and just skimmed right over the part when it said to melt it. The other thing is that it called for a 9x13 pan, and mine wasn't available, so I used a 10x15. I would have chosen the larger pan anyway because it just seemed like too much batter for the smaller size. It was perfect. I suppose the brownie cakes could have been even higher in a smaller pan, but I have a feeling the batter may have overflowed the sides. The third thing I did differently was to add vanilla to the frosting because I always do. I call this brownie cake because it is really a combination of the two. All that said, this is a fantastic recipe. The cake is light and airy, and the frosting is sublime, as most frosting is. Well worth heating up the oven on a summer's day to make these delicious, chocolatey treats.


1 cup water
1 cup softened butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350º F.
Add water, butter, and cocoa powder to the mixer and beat well. Add sugar, eggs, and sour cream and mix till smooth.
Sift together flour and baking soda, lower speed of mixer, and add slowly.

Pour into greased 10x15 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.


Cream 1/2 cup softened butter and add 4 cups powdered sugar, cup by cup alternating with milk. Add 1 Tablepoon cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Use as much milk as necessary to make a smooth frosting. The recipe called for 2 Tablespoons but I needed more than that.


  1. Arggggg! You're killin' me.
    Currently off sweets and bread here. But I'll be saving this for later.

  2. How very, very silly of you, Pamela. :<)

  3. Hey Nan!
    This recipe sounds great, but I would decrease the water by just a bit and make up for it with some brewed coffee. (C'mon, you know you have some sitting in the coffee pot from this morning, don't you?) This tip came from the Food Network, can't remember which show, but I do like to do this with my brownies!
    I don't really know if this helps my brownies or not, but I like the idea of using something which I would normally toss!

  4. The picture has me positively drooling here in front of my computer! :-D
    I think I must raid my sweets drawer tonight.

  5. This looks delicious...I wish my inner cook would talk to me like that! :D

  6. Kay, I've never liked coffee in anything but coffee. :<)

    Cecelia, oh yes!

    Librarian, the nice thing about working at home is you can raid it anytime!

    Cait, indeed!

    Staci, very funny!

  7. It has your name written all over it, Ernestine! :<)

  8. Mmm, double the chocolate equals double the happiness. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cake up.

  9. reading that makes me weak in the knees...I need to recline...

  10. Lisa, thanks for coming by, and I will try and connect with your sweet treat soon.

    Caite, ;<)


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