This Brooklyn Blackout Cake has layers of soft chocolate cake, silky chocolate pudding filling, surrounded by chocolate fudge frosting topped with chocolate crumbs. If that wasn’t enough, it’s gluten free, nut free, eggless and easily vegan! If you're a chocoholic, THIS is the cake for you!!!
Brooklyn Blackout Cake has always been my favorite cake…FOREVER! It's decadent, moist, rich and this one is allergy friendly! No one would ever believe it!
REASONS TO LOVE THIS CAKE
- Allergy Friendly- This cake is gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- The cake is super soft, decadent and delicious.
- Pudding- It has chocolate pudding in the middle!
- Easy to Make- The batter mixes up in just one large bowl with a whisk!
- Chocolate- It has chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and chocolate fudge frosting.
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- White Vinegar- We use this along with the milk of choice to make a homemade buttermilk.
- Vegetable Oil- This cake uses oil instead of butter/vegan baking stick to help it stay moist.
- Cocoa Powders- I like to use two types but if you only want to use one, use Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
- Cornstarch Water- This helps bind everything together since the cake is eggless.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
MAKE THE HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK
Measure out 1 cup of milk of choice.
Add in one 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and stir to combine.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then stir again.
It will appear chunky and that’s normal.
USING TWO TYPES OF COCOA POWDER
People ask how I get my chocolate baked goods to be so dark. The secret is in that bit of dark cocoa powder.
Using two types of cocoa powder creates a richer color and flavor, which I adore!
However, keep in mind that cocoa powder is quite dry. Dark is even drier than Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
If you only used the dark cocoa powder, your baked goods would be way too dry and bitter.
Therefore, if you don’t have both types of cocoa powders on hand, just use either the Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
If you only use the one type, keep in mind that your cake and frosting won’t be as dark as my cake is.
SMOOTHING THE BATTER
Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked.
If you leave it misshapen, that’s how it will remain when baked.
When the batter is in the pans, gently smooth the tops with a butter knife.
Make the Pudding the day before
Although this cake isn’t difficult to make, it is time consuming.
You need to make chocolate pudding and then have it cool and thicken so that you can use it in the center of your cake.
The best way for this to be thick enough to spread so it doesn’t ooze out of the cake is to make the pudding the day before the cake.
This way when you need to assemble your cake, the pudding is super thick and easy to work with.
Make the fudge frosting the day before as well
You don’t have to do this the day before, but it definitely makes assembling the cake a much quicker process.
If you do make the frosting ahead of time, store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
If it is too thick to work with the next day, pop the bowl of frosting in the microwave (without the plastic wrap) and heat it in 5 second increments, stirring after each time, until it is soft enough to spread.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS with Pictures
Here are the steps to make this cake!
STEP 1: Make The Pudding First
Use this recipe to make the pudding for this cake.
You want it thick and cool when you assemble the cake. Make sure the pudding is made ahead of time and is cold from being in the fridge.
Step 2: WHISK TOGETHER ALL THE DRY INGREDIENTS
In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt.
STEP 3: MAKE THE HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK
In a large measuring cup, measure out 1 cup of milk. Add in 1 tablespoon of the white vinegar and stir. This is your homemade buttermilk.
STEP 4: MAKE THE CORNSTARCH WATER
In a large bowl, using a spoon, mix together the cornstarch and water until thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first.
STEP 5: ADD THE LIQUID INGREDIENTS
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add in the cornstarch water mixture, the homemade buttermilk, the warm water, vegetable oil and vanilla.
Whisk until smooth and combined. If it gets too thick, switch to using a spatula.
STEP 6: SCOOP THE BATTER
Using a spatula, divide the batter equally between two greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pans; smooth the tops with a butter knife.
STEP 7: BAKE THE CAKES
Bake the cakes in the center rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 47-50 minutes until slightly springy when carefully touched.
STEP 8: CUT THE CAKES
Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans.
Once the cakes have cooked completely, take them out of the pan and slice the tops off to create flat surfaces.
Cut or crumble the tops to make tiny crumbs. We will use these later so set them aside.
STEP 9: MAKE THE FROSTING
For this cake I use my chocolate fudge frosting. You only need half the recipe so divide it in two.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE TIPS
Step 1: Pipe a Ring of Frosting
Place one layer of cake on the bottom of a cake plate/stand. Place some of the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe a ring around the top edge of the cake.
This is tp prevent the pudding from oozing out.
Step 2: Spoon The Pudding
Using a tablespoon, scoop about ¾ of the pudding into the center of the frosting ring.
Step 3: REPEAT THE PROCESS
Place the other layer of cake on top and repeat this same process.
STEP 4: KEEP THE TOP AND SIDES THIN
Use an icing spatula to frost a thin layer of fudge frosting on the top of the cake and a thin layer on the sides.
This will be our crumb layer to just make sure the pudding doesn't ooze out.
STEP 5: CHILL THE CAKE
Pop the entire cake in the fridge uncovered for 15-20 minutes. This will make it more stable to work with.
STEP 1: Frost The Sides and Push In the Crumbs
Take the cake out of the fridge and continue to frost using an icing spatula.
First frost the sides again and this time immediately press the chocolate cake crumbs into the wet frosting so they stick.
Step 2: Frost the Top
Frost the top of the cake. You can press crumbs into the top as well but I like to just press a handful or so into the center.
Step 3: Add Frosting Swirls
If desired, pipe extra frosting swirls around the top of the cake.
Step 4: Chill Again
If not serving the cake right away, chill the cake again and take the cake out 15-20 min prior to serving.
HOW TO MAKE THIS VEGAN
Follow these simple steps to make sure the cake is vegan:
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Only use a non dairy milk of choice.
- Make sure to use vegan baking sticks instead of butter.
- Follow my pudding and frosting recipes to ensure they're vegan.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day, but you can make this cake, pudding and the frosting the night before and then do the assembling in the morning.
The pudding tends to eventually make the cake layers wet, so it really is best assembled the same day.
If making the night before, keep everything in the fridge wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.
To make the rings of frosting, put some frosting in a zip top bag and snip a corner off. Then pipe the frosting rings this way.
Most traditional blackout cakes are covered in crumbs but no, you don't have to do this part.
If you can't have cornstarch, make my Triple Chocolate Cake recipe for the cake itself and then follow the rest of the recipe here for assembly.
STORING AND FREEZING
Since gluten free and eggless baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep this brooklyn blackout cake as fresh as possible.
Once the cake is cut into, it’s best to cut the entire cake into slices, wrap each slice in foil and store in a zip top bag in the fridge.
Eat extra slices within 2 days.
When ready to eat, let the slices sit on the counter, in the foil for about an hour or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
I like to warm each slice in the microwave in 5 second increments until warm. It does make the pudding very hot. Be careful not to burn yourself!
I would not freeze this cake due to the pudding. It would make the cake layers super wet as it defrosted.
Blackout Cake History
Where did the Brooklyn Blackout Cake Get its Name?
The blackout cake was invented by a bakery in Brooklyn called, Ebinger’s. Most likely it was invited in 1898 when the bakery opened its doors but the name really made the cake famous during WWII.
The story goes, it was named after the mandatory blackouts to protect the naval yard in Brooklyn.
Sadly the bakery went bankrupt in 1972 and the family kept the recipes locked away and a secret.
Ebinger’s Bakery and My Family
But what’s even more amazing to me is this personal connection.
Sadly I was not able to ever experience Ebinger’s Blackout Cake since the bakery closed before I was born.
BUT…my dad lived in Brooklyn, 2 blocks away from Ebinger’s until he was 12 years old.
The blackout cake was my grandma’s favorite…well that and the coconut custard pie.
My grandma, dad and aunt would walk to the bakery to get the cake. It of course became my dad’s and aunt’s favorite as well.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Please leave me a star review below!
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @laneandgreyfare if you make my recipes and follow along on Pinterest! Enjoy!!!
Brooklyn Blackout Cake
For the pudding:
For the cake:
- 1.5 cups gluten free flour
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder I use ½ cup Dutch cocoa and ¼ cup dark
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup of warm water
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- Follow this recipe. You will only need half the recipe.
For The Pudding:
- Follow this recipe. Do this first because it needs time to be cool in the fridge.
For The Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans with vegetable oil, line bottoms with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper with vegetable oil as well.
- Whisk the gluten free flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until combined and lump free.
- Measure out one cup of milk of choice into a measuring cup. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar into the mix and stir with a spoon. Let it sit for 5-10 min and stir again. It should look slightly chunky. That’s normal.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 6 tablespoons of water and mix together with a spoon until thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first. Set aside.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the cornstarch water mixture, milk and vinegar mixture, warm water, oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. If it starts to get too thick, use a spatula to mix the rest.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two greased cake pans.
- Bake the cakes for about 47-50 min in the center rack of the oven or until the cakes spring back at you when carefully touched.
- Let cool completely in the cake pans. Turn out from pans, and place on cooling racks.
- Once they're cool, use a cake knife cut a thin layer off the tops of each layer to make the cakes level and flat on top.
- Take the extra cake pieces and cut them into tiny crumbs. Set aside.
For the Frosting:
- Follow this recipe. You will only need half the recipe.
For Assembling The Cake:
- Place one layer of cake on the bottom of a cake plate/stand. Place some of the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe a ring around the top edge of the cake. This is to keep the pudding from oozing out.
- Scoop about ¾ of the pudding into the center of the frosting ring.
- Repeat this same process with the other layer of cake.
- Use an icing spatula to frost a thin layer of the fudge frosting on the top of the cake and a thin layer on the sides. This is our crumb layer so the pudding doesn't ooze out.
- Pop the entire cake in the fridge uncovered for 15-20 minutes. This will make it more stable to work with.
- Take the cake out of the fridge and continue to frost. First frost the sides again and this time immediately press the chocolate cake crumbs into the wet frosting so they stick.
- Frost the top of the cake. You can press crumbs into the top as well but I like to just press a handful or so into the center.
- If desired, pipe extra frosting swirls around the top of the cake.
- If not serving the cake right away, chill the cake again and take the cake out 15-20 min prior to serving.
The recipe for the chocolate pudding was from NYT's Blackout Cake Recipe.