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Brooklyn Blackout Cake

If you love chocolate, you will LOVE this cake. I found this recipe when looking for a special cake to make my chocolate-loving daughter-in-law's birthday. Be sure to give the pudding and the cake enough time to cool or the end results will be disappointing. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/4 hours + chilling Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • CAKE:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 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


  • In a small heavy saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Stir in chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl; stir in vanilla. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or until cold.
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa; cook and stir until blended. Stir in sugars. Remove from heat; stir in buttermilk, coffee and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove parchment. Cool completely.
  • For frosting, in the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over hot water, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in hot water, all at once. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla. Refrigerate 25-30 minutes or just until spreadable.
  • Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with half of the pudding. Repeat layers. Top with a third cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake.
  • Crumble remaining cake layer; sprinkle over top and sides of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 609 calories, 30g fat (18g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 353mg sodium, 73g carbohydrate (51g sugars, 7g fiber), 9g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Bradley
    Jan 2, 2021

    Pudding and cake turned out perfectly. Frosting was thin and would not setup, but this was quickly rectified with a couple spoons of cornstarch. In the end this was excellent, and pretty much exactly like the Entenmann's Blackout cake I grew up with. Thank you!

  • Jellybug
    Aug 11, 2016

    Made this cake for my husband and he loved it, I too ate way too much! This cake is decadent and rich. Definitely a keeper...

  • sleepingbees
    Nov 9, 2015

    I must have done something wrong because I had two thin layer of cake which were almost too thin to cut in half. Is there an error in the ingredients? 1 1/2 cups of flour to 2 cups of liquid doesn't sound right to me. I had a very runny batter. I haven't tasted the cake yet so I don't know how it tastes.

  • ewif
    Oct 26, 2015

    Terrible. The cake layers turned out thin, gummy and rubbery. It says to melt the butter when making the batter which I did and I think this lead to my cake layers failing to rise.

  • fantasticdreambird
    Aug 31, 2015

    Fabulous! limbaking, to answer your question. The rating is no reflection of the recipe but rather, how you combined the ingredients. Too dense is poor incorporation of mixing methods. Creaming butter, sugar and eggs should never be beaten on high, rather always on medium. When adding flour mixture it must be done lightly for a cake, otherwise it will be dense from developing the gluten too much. If your cake rises then falls, it is from over beating and will be dense.

  • limbaking1113
    Jun 8, 2015

    I have no idea what went wrong, I followed the instruction exactly but my cake turned out way too dense and not cake-like at all. But the chocolate pudding was good, I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chocolate chips.

  • KristineChayes
    May 6, 2015

    I've made this densely chocolate cake several times -- for family and for company -- and it is always a hit. I was a child during the November 1965 Blackout (which affected Long Island, too) and Blackout Cake was the result of a Brooklyn bakery's lighthearted way of commemorating the event :) Boxed stovetop chocolate pudding, not instant, worked fine for me the last time I made this cake and didn't have time to make the pudding from scratch.

  • Patty5555
    Feb 10, 2015

    I renamed this to "Inside Out Cake" because the cake is on the outside. Definitely worth the trouble to make this. Rich gorgeous chocolate flavours.

  • snogle81
    Jun 10, 2014

    Fantastic recipe, and that's coming from someone who's not a huge lover of all-chocolate desserts!

  • s_pants
    Mar 25, 2014

    Definitely a chocolate lover's dream! Very rich and decadent. I used Hershey's special dark cocoa, but next time I would like to use pure Dutch-process. In addition to making sure the cake and pudding have cooled completely, make sure the frosting has enough time to set up. Mine was in the refrigerator about an hour and it worked perfectly. At 25-30 minutes it was still too thin.