May 12, 2009 9:00 PM
Juju's Chocolate Birthday Cake
POSTED IN: Recipes , Desserts
TAGS: Birthday , Cake , Chocolate , Desserts , Juju , Recipes
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"Bandido!" My late grandfather would scream, with his wide smile and the most endearing eyes, to my youngest son, if he were here to see how Julian messes up the kitchen.  

As soon as a thought of cooking appears in my head, he drags a chair, climbs on top, asks  what are WE going to make, and without waiting for an answer announces that it is "yo, yo, YO...," who will cook and experiment. I shall be of assistance. 

Needless to say, it takes much longer than needed and the kitchen looks messier than my husband likes to see it. But if you ask me, it is worth every extra second and extra spoonful of crumbs on the floor. 

Well then, what cake to make for his birthday? Of course chocolate! His brothers tell me with a tone of disbelief. However, I know it has to be spongy, fluffy, gooey, sticky, moist, extra messy, sweet and truly decadent to be worthy of the three candles in its middle. 

Since I will count with not only one, but probably three, enthusiastic sous chefs, the cake should have a fun and simple preparation process.

After playing around with a couple ideas, a cross between my oldest sons' favorite camp cake and what I remember from my growing up birthday cakes from Sanborns (a Mexican store famous for making incredible cakes) is what creates: Juju's birthday cake!

Jujus birthday cake 2.jpg
Thank the heavens and the seas for the wonderful surprises one can encounter while playing in the kitchen. It just never stops! This one is definitely worth a try. 

Jujus's Chocolate Birthday Cake
Serves 10 to 12 non-hungry people

Ingredients For Cake
1 cup water
2/3 cup cocoa
½ cup vegetable shortening, or butter
2 cups flour
1 ¾ cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
Ingredients For Frosting
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup cocoa
½ cup vegetable shortening, or butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
¼ cup sprinkles, optional

To Prepare
Grease a 9X13 cake pan with vegetable shortening. Place a piece of parchment paper so as to cover the bottom of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake: In a large pot, over medium heat, pour the water, stir in the cocoa and add the vegetable shortening. Let it heat, for a couple minutes, stirring now and then, until it all dissolves. Remove from heat. 

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, beat the eggs and combine with the sour cream.

Taking turns, add a quarter of the flour mix and then a quarter of the sour cream mix into the cocoa mixture and stir with a spatula, incorporating all of the ingredients as you move along. Pour onto the greased cake pan and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely moist, but not wet.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool a bit while you prepare the frosting.

To make the frosting: In a sauce pan, over medium heat, pour in the milk and the vanilla, stir in the cocoa and add the vegetable shortening. Heat and stir until it is all dissolved and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the confecioners' sugar. Thoroughly mix with a spatula and set aside.

To Assemble
Run the tip of a knife around the edges of the cake. Turn onto a platter and gently remove the parchment paper.  Pour the still hot frosting over the cake and gently spread it out with a spatula. If you wish, you may add sprinkles of your choice before the frosting hardens.


Looooooved it Pati! The blog is totally awesome!!!! Loved the design and the photography. Now I have to try the recipes. Keep up the good work!!! Hugs, Ana Maria.

Ana Maria Cordoba | May 25, 2009 11:32 AM

Many, many thanks Ana Maria!!! Yes! Let me know what you think once you try the recipes in your kitchen... And let me know when you are going to be making some of those orange/chocolate cookies!

Pati Jinich | May 26, 2009 9:27 AM

Pati!! I just have one word for your blog: AMAZING!!!
I definitively have to try this cake with Gabriel as he is a real chocoholic (and Jacques seems to be following his steps). I will let you know how it all turns out...
Un abrazote

Nathalie | May 28, 2009 8:56 PM

Nathalie, Thank you! Yes, let me know! Try it with colored sprinkles on top... Hugs!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Nathalie | May 28, 2009 10:07 PM

Pati, I made the chocolate cake and everyone loved it! Thanks for the recipe

Jessica Lang | July 4, 2009 8:01 AM

Hey Jessica!!! That's great news! My pleasure to post recipes... keep on trying more...

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Jessica Lang | July 4, 2009 4:59 PM

Just got information on your website and recipes....I got to say I know her and use to teach her Pilates. I am dying to try that chocolate cake recipe.
Hope I get to see one of your classes.
Ann Hallman

Ann Hallman | July 17, 2009 7:04 PM

Hi Ann, Let me know how that cake goes, and of course you should come to one of the classes!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ann Hallman | July 21, 2009 11:16 AM

Thanks Pati, everyone (specially the kids) loved this cake!!
We made it in Switzerland and Spain ;-) So now you have new followers for your website and recipes in Europe!!!!

Nathalie replied to comment from Pati Jinich | August 26, 2009 4:32 PM

I love this post - the deep chocolate cake, your grandfather's voice, your beautiful family. And that picture at the end! Happy Birthday to Juju - lucky to have a mom like you.

Marilyn | September 14, 2009 8:10 PM

I saw your show for the first time yesterday - the school lunch episode, and made the cake today. It is delicious!
The next time I get to the grocery store, I will buy some buns and make the sandwich for my son's lunch. He will love it, I'm sure!
I have a girlfriend from Mexico, so I plan to bring her some cake tomorrow. I will be sure to share your website with her also.
Cheers from Canada

Pia Pedersen | October 22, 2012 1:30 AM

I have a similar recipe and it's called
a Texas Sheet Cake. We love it!

DeeDee | November 30, 2012 3:25 PM

Thank you, DeeDee! I hope you'll try this recipe, too!!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from DeeDee | December 3, 2012 10:05 AM

I love your show and your accent~ great! I am going to make the Mexican wedding cookies tomorrow for Christmas along with others. Can't wait to try them.

Millie | December 18, 2012 6:38 PM

We love this cake!! My six year old daughter made it for the first time the other day, with help from mom and dad, and it was wonderful!!

Lisa | January 1, 2013 6:21 PM