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Brooklyn Blackout Cake


The blackout cake was made popular in Brooklyn by Ebinger Baking Company during World War II. Of course, the traditional recipe remains a mystery, but this version is similar to the chocolate classic. This three-tiered devil’s food cake is layered with chocolate pudding, covered in dark chocolate frosting, and topped with extra crumbs. Make this treat if you’re in the mood for an indulgent chocolate slice that is just how your Brooklyn elders remember it.


For the pudding

  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup whole milk
  • 3 Ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 Cups cocoa powder
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Cup brewed coffee
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

For the frosting and assembly

  • 8 Ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 Cup hot water
  • 2 Teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract


For the pudding

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk. Cook and stir until thickened and almost boiling. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the vanilla, and cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down so that the surface of the pudding is touching the wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cooled.

For the cake

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray each with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, cocoa powder, sugars, and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Mix in the flour mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing cakes and cooling completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting and assembly

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and whisk in the hot water, corn syrup, and vanilla. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes until it is easily spreadable.

Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a plate, spread the pudding on top, and repeat for 3 layers. You should have one cake layer leftover. Spread the frosting on the sides and top of the cake. Crumble the remaining cake layer and sprinkle it on the cake.