Choco-Buzz

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 18 snack cakes, 3" x 2" each

Recipe photo

You might think that the test bakers here at King Arthur pursue the loftiest of goals, culinarily speaking. 100% whole wheat bread. The perfect simple sugar cookie. Whole-grain oatmeal muffins.

Well yeah; we do. But we also become wildly enthusiastic over cream puffs, fudge brownies, and pizza.

And cloning famous snack cakes, always a fun-filled project.

We recently held a Snack Cake Smackdown in the kitchen. Fellow bloggers Mary Jane Robbins, Susan Reid, and myself vied for the honor of Snack Cake Queen.

The winner has yet to be crowned; we're having too much fun to end the competition. But for the time being, the following is my favorite Smackdown entry: Choco-Buzz, a clone of Hostess' 1980s-era Choco-Bliss. Gone, but not forgotten... and now reborn, bigger and better than ever.

One final note: My thanks to Susan for her chocolate filling recipe, which I've put to good use in these cakes. Thank goodness this is a FRIENDLY competition!

Read our blog about these snack cakes, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Choco-Buzz

star rating (21) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 18 snack cakes, 3" x 2" each
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt; low-fat is fine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted*
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted*
  • *For the smoothest filling — yes, you DO have to sift the cocoa and sugar. If a few lumps don't bother you, never mind the sifting.

Icing

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted*
  • *For extra-chocolate-y icing, substitute 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar + 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted together, for the 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar called for.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" cake pan; or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.

1) To make the cake: Melt the butter, and stir in the cocoa and hot water.

2) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, sugar, soda and salt.

3) Pour the cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to blend.

4) Beat in the buttermilk or yogurt, eggs and vanilla.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, or until it tests done. (You'll smell the chocolate aroma, and the cake will begin to pull away from the edge of the pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

6) To make the filling: Place the cocoa, chips, salt, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat until the cream is very hot, and the chips have softened. Remove from the heat, and stir till the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, reheating briefly if necessary. Stir in the vanilla, and set aside.

7) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and half the confectioners' sugar until fluffy. It'll go through a crumbly stage; keep on beating and it'll come together.

8) Add the chocolate mixture, beating till smooth.

9) Scrape the bowl, then add the remaining confectioners' sugar. Beat again until the filling is a fluffy, spreadable texture; adjust the consistency with a little more cream, if necessary.

10) To assemble the cakes: Turn the cooled cake out of the pan, and cut it in half crosswise, to make two 9" x 6 1/2" rectangles. Using a long serrated knife, slice through the middle of each rectangle to make two halves (a top and a bottom) suitable for filling.

11) Spread half the filling on one bottom piece, using your wet fingers to pat/spread it right to the edge of the cake. Repeat with the other bottom piece. Top the bottom pieces with the top pieces. You should now have two chocolate-filled 9" x 6 1/2" cakes.

12) To make the icing: Combine the chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the cream is very hot, and the chips have softened. Stir till the chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, reheating briefly if necessary.

13) Add the confectioners' sugar, or the confectioners' sugar/cocoa, and beat till smooth.

14) Spread the icing evenly over the two cakes. Working with one cake at a time, make two vertical slices and two horizontal slices, to yield nine 2" x 3" snack cakes. Repeat with the remaining cake.

15) Serve immediately. For storage, allow the icing to set, then wrap each cake in plastic wrap individually. Cakes freeze nicely if well-wrapped.

Yield: 18 snack cakes.

Reviews

1 23  All  
  • star rating 07/26/2014
  • Amy from Westchester County NY
  • Delicious but very very rich! Much richer than a commercial snack cake. Next time I would lighten it up by using a shortening/marshmallow fluff filling.
  • star rating 03/19/2014
  • Debbie from Rio Rancho, NM
  • This recipe is easy to prepare and the filling is divine. However, I've never dealt with such a tender cake. No matter how I tried to slice it, the layers came apart unevenly and with plenty of crumbs. In fact, I had to glue the whole top layer back on with icing. The recipe is extremely sweet. While I found it almost too chocolately (from an avowed chocoholic), my middle school students gobbled it down and begged for more. I ended up making a filling variation where I replaced the cocoa with flour, the vanilla extract with cherry extract, eliminated half a cup of powdered sugar, and added a teaspoon of lime juice. This was a big hit on Valentine's Day. The cake is wonderfully moist....I just wish it was easier to separate.
  • star rating 01/01/2013
  • Betsy from Ann Arbor
  • Tasty--moist cake, creamy filling. Takes a little time to make, but the results are worth it.
  • star rating 07/30/2012
  • mamaof3 from KAF Community
  • Not worth the time and money! I love KAF recipes because they are tried and true, but this one is a flop. The cake smells chocolately, but doesn't particularly taste like chocolate, the filling is vaguely chocolately, but pretty grainy (and yes, I did fully melt the chocolate and sift the dry ingredients), and the cake broke apart when I turned it out of the pan (it was fully cooled, and I had used greased parchment paper in the bottom). The frosting was good, and that's about it. It was not worth the ingredients I used making it, nor my time spent.
  • star rating 07/27/2012
  • drtylitlmunky from KAF Community
  • This recipe turned out great. I decided to make cupcakes out of it instead, ended up with 24 cupcakes, with extra filling and icing. It's every chocolate lover's dream, and every 4 year old's dream. Thank you!!
  • star rating 07/24/2012
  • jlightfritz from KAF Community
  • This cake is awesome! Followed the directions (no deviation whatsoever) and the cake turned out perfect. The cake was moist and flavorful, the filling dense but very easy to spread, the icing has almost a fudge like quality to it....
  • star rating 12/06/2011
  • Michael from North Dakota
  • This was a great cake and the filling and frosting made it all. I did cut the butter in the cake by half and substituted apple sauce for the other half. I also cut the sugar in the cake recipe by one third. It turned out wonderfully and was still moist because of the filling. Since it is the holiday season I added 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract to the filling! AHHHHHH!!! Amazing!
  • star rating 03/24/2011
  • Beth in GA from KAF Community
  • I bookmarked this recipe a while ago, waiting for a good excuse to make it. Well, today I had a good excuse, so I whipped it up. I found it to be pretty easy to make, no harder than making an cake with butter cream frosting with an extra step, of the top icing. I have four children under five, so when I bake, I lay things out before starting, to make sure I don't miss steps or measure ingredients incorrectly. Utilizing the microwave for the heating and melting helped out quite a bit. It was one of the easiest cakes I have put together. We usually do not eat things with vegetable shortening. However, we do not eat treats like this often either, so I figure once in a while won't be a big deal. High quality corn syrup at the store is not the same as HFCS, so I have no problem using it.
  • star rating 12/01/2010
  • Laura from Illinois
  • Based on the recipe concept, picture, ingredients, and my distant memory of snack-cakes, I thought the filling for this cake would be like a fluffy creme. Instead it came out dense and heavy, like a ganache, though quite easy to spread. I used organic palm oil instead of shortening because I don't use trans fats. My question: Did the palm oil create the dense filling, or is it really not as light and fluffy as the picture makes it appear? It was incredibly rich. I couldn't possibly have made another chocolate frosting for the top (baking for kids), so I used vanilla buttercream. Though this wasn't what I expected, it was generally loved and inhaled by everyone.
    Yes, the liquid fat made the filling dense. FYI, Crisco has been trans-fat free for a couple of years now. Frank @ KAF.
1 23  All  
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