It was Tom’s birthday. Two days after Christmas and I was just about desserted-out! He kindly let me have free reign over his birthday dessert so I picked this Chocolate Ding Dong Cake with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Filling and Caramel Ganache. Who wouldn’t love that????
Ding Dong the Diet is Dead!
Our oldest was due the first week of January many moons ago. The week of Christmas before his ETA, I spent many evenings working at the University Hospital where I was an oncology nurse. One night, I was pulled to another unit and waddled around taking care of my charges, not knowing little Thomas would arrive in less than 24 hours. He was our bonus tax deduction, born before January first. But he was also born two days after Christmas. That’s a short straw! So I always need to make sure I have a super-duper, decadent dessert to celebrate. A diet breaker.
Hugs and Cookies to the Rescue
I popped over to Danielle’s blog, Hugs and Cookies XOXO, to check out here fabulous desserts, and immediately fell for this Ding Dong Cake. Danielle had it decked out in chocolate dipped Twinkies, truly an extravagant dessert! Even without the third layer and Hostess garnishes, it was still fancy enough to celebrate a family birthday. I know Tom was thrilled!
Two Sweetie Pies
Thanks again to my lovely friend, Danielle, for another magnificent recipe! She is my go-to blogger for decadent treats. I promise you will love whatever you try from her blog!!! We share a recipe from each other’s sites every second Monday of the month. Tom was delighted with his birthday cake and I couldn’t help but sample sliver after sliver as I was cutting slices for the family. This is one of the most irresistible cakes you could imagine. Especially if you love Ding Dongs!
Check out Danielle’s take on this recipe as well as her social media sites! Make sure to check out which of my recipes she made this month, too.
Serves: 8-10 servings
- 2 cups sugar
- 1¾ cups flour
- ¾ cups cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot coffee
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 8 ounces homemade caramel sauce or best quality store-bought caramel sauce
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1½ cups chilled heavy cream
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds scraped from inside the bean
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line 2, 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients & mix.
- Add the buttermilk, hot coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined 1-2 minutes.
- Divide batter among cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pans about 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack until completely cooled. I froze mine at this point, overnight.
- Make caramel ganache by melting 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips in the microwave till melted. Stir in 8 ounces of caramel sauce and whisk till smooth. Set aside to let thicken.
- Add the cold water to a small bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until it has set.
- In a small skillet, add about ½-inch of water, and heat over medium-high heat. Place the small bowl with the gelatin directly inside the skillet. Stir the gelatin until it is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet.
- In the mixer, use whisk attachment and beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds. Beat on high to soft peaks. Add the melted gelatin mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed.
- Take the first cake layer and place it on a cake plate. Spread with half the ganache. Top with vanilla bean whipped cream. Chill for about a half hour to make sure the whipped cream can support the second layer. Add the second layer of cake and the rest of the ganache. Chill cake.