February 12, 2019

chocolate cake for february

Well hello. This was my birthday cake and I meant to share the recipe back in January. Then I got sick sick sick with some yet-to-be diagnosed stomach problem (I've been having issues for years), and my daughter was hit in the head HARD by a kid flinging open their locker door above her, apparently as fast and violently as they could (yeah I'm talking to the school, her nose could have been broken, or her eye put out), and THEN Snowzilla Seattle 2019 moved in and it snowed a TON and got crazy cold, which is unusual in the temperate and mild Pacific Northwest. The school kids have missed a week of school, and counting! This area just received the most snow it has had since 1945 apparently.

I've worn out my eyes (and my family's patience) checking the weather reports every 5 minutes. Multiple weather reports. And Twitter feeds. I've lost my mind.

So it's been an exhausting few weeks! Happy news - all of the Hygge and Folkore boxes were mailed before the storm  - I discovered that the USPS post office had a big rate change after Christmas - a two to three dollar increase! Regular ground mail is now the price that priority mail used to be. So no more quick priority mail, sorry! I have to switch to ground, which can take about a week to get to the East Coast, but most things take that long in the mail, so um this is a really boring bit of information and no one cares about this Melissa. Things arrive when they arrive!

Now Valentine's Day is almost upon us and I thought you might like to see this chocolate cake. Easy to put together, and we all loved it. I always do chocolate cakes for my birthday, and my daughter usually does some kind of fruity cake, typically lemon. And Andrew likes non-cake. He'd rather have cookies, brownies, blondies, or coffee cake.

So I didn't really discuss it on the blog at the time, but last fall my kiddo had a TREMENDOUS opportunity. After nearly 6 months of auditioning since April 2018 with nearly a thousand other kids, she was cast as one of the orphans in 'Annie' for one of Seattle's main professional theaters. It was a huge endeavor, and she pretty much missed school for most of the autumn, but it was a life changing experience for her. And she's bonded for always with the other girls who were also in the show!

The reason I mention it in this post is because at one point during the run of the show, the cast had 'Bundt Fest' day. As in most everyone in the adult cast made cakes and brought them in to share. One of the musicians in the orchestra made this chocolate orange bundt cake and I nearly fainted when I tried it. Turned out that this guy went to high school with my husband and they know each other! I badgered my husband until he badgered this guy into coughing up the recipe.

NOW - I don't think my version was as magical as his. Not sure why. I might have needed more chocolate, I was a little short. But it was still FANTASTIC, even if not as death-by-chocolatey a version as my husband's friend made. Even cake hating Andrew enjoyed it.



nonstick cooking spray for the pan
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam orange marmalade
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup raspberry orange liqueur, such as Chambord Grand Marnier
3 large eggs
One 15.25 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup fresh raspberries for decorating (i didn't use these)
1 bunch fresh mint for decorating (see above)
Dark chocolate orange candy bar (1?), chopped up

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate orange bits
1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam, orange marmalade
1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord (or orange liqueur)
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • For the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with oil or butter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the milk, jam, melted butter, liqueur, and eggs. Add the cake mix and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. (Put in the dark chocolate orange chopped up in here).
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the cake, about 35 minutes (might actually need 45-50 minutes). Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the ganache: Put the chocolate, jam, liqueur in a mixing bowl. Bring the cream to a low simmer in a small pan set over medium high heat. Pour over the chocolate and let stand 10 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Let stand another 10 minutes.
  • Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and pour the ganache over it, letting it drip down the sides. Use the raspberries and mint to decorate the top to look like a holiday wreath if desired.

And there you have it! Really easy as far as cakes go, and it's moist and fudgy. You can make it with a dark chocolate orange candy bar, which is what I did, or wait until the holidays and use one of the chocolate oranges that you find in stores at that time - I find them at World Market or Trader Joe's. But a candy bar would also be just fine!

HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY IN ADVANCE! That's what we call Valentine's Day. For more of my chocolate cakes over the years, you can check out this one and this one.


  1. Happy belated birthday! That cake looks divine, I must make one immediately. All for myself, of course. Thank you for my Hygge box, it came right before we had snow and it was PERFECTION. A little bookish picnic just for me. YAY. xoxo

    1. Thank you my friend! I'm so loving how you described the box as a bookish picnic! So fun! I was quite delighted to do a little twist with the Fika theme.

  2. I want some!!!!

    We keep having heavy sleet and ice, with only a bit of snow. I miss snow. I don't like the ice. It's so cold and icy today. You'd never guess it was almost 70 degrees yesterday. Kansas weather is psycho.