Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake

I found this cake Saturday night while going through a 1997 Better Homes & Gardens. At first I thought it was a chocolate cheesecake recipe, but the introduction to the recipe said it was a much-requested chocolate layer cake recipe from a 1975 issue of BHG. I hadn’t heard of it, so I did some research and found that the popular BHG cake was actually a spin on an old 1951 Bake-Off cake called Peppermint Double Delight — a recipe with an interesting technique. You first make a cream cheese mixture, scoop that out to use as the frosting, then use the rest of the “frosting” as part of the cake batter. Since mint is not my all-time favorite flavor, I decided to try the original Better Homes and Gardens version of the cake recipe.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake Slice

The mint version of the cake is here.

As for my cake, it was very good. It wasn’t as chocolaty as some other cakes and it took a while for the flavors to meld, but after it sat on the counter for a while (frosted), it absorbed a little more moisture and was even better.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake Whole

Update: This cake is kind of confusing. It’s a novelty cake in that you use a portion of the batter (before egg and flour are added) as frosting, but I think this technique makes the cake less accurate. For instance, the end of step one says “Reserve 3-1/2 cups of the mixture to use in the cake; set aside.” and then the beginning of Step 2 says “To the remaining mixture (you should have 2 to 3 cups mixture), beat in enough of the additional 1 to 2 cups sifted powdered sugar to make of spreading consistency. Cover and refrigerate the frosting.” I don’t think the recipe will be the same for everyone because measuring out exactly 3 1/2 cups of batter is tricky. It would be better if the recipe said to “weigh out XXX ounces or grams of batter to use in the cake” and then you’d be using the perfect amount for the cake batter since weight is so much accurate that volume. But this is an old recipe so it makes sense that there would not be a weight. Another thing which gives this cake a high margin of error is that it has 9 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar. Like flour, the weight per volume of confectioners’ sugar can vary. Volume is not that accurate, while a weight would be. Since there’s not weight on the confectioner’s sugar, it’s easy to use too much or too little. That being said, the cake worked for me and we enjoyed it. So bake at your own risk and let me know what you think!

A few notes to go with the original recipe

– If using unsalted butter, add about 1/2 teaspoon of extra salt plus a pinch to make up for the salt missing in the butter. The original was made with salted butter.
– Measure the flour very carefully. My 2 1/2 cups of flour weighed 11.3 oz. If you don’t have a scale, stir the flour and aerate it before measuring.
– Make sure to sift the confectioners’ sugar before measuring since the original recipe calls for sifted confectioners sugar. If you use volume measurements and do not sift, you’ll be using way too much sugar. Sifted confectioners’ sugar takes up more room in a cup, therefore you need more of it (as in this recipe).

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  1. says

    Cream cheese and chocolate! Now that is a fantastic combination. I just love cream cheese in baked goods. And this is an interesting twist. I bet it will get even better, too, since you already noticed a difference.

    Clever about the raspberries – I would probably also accept pureed raspberries rather than jelly as an explanation, too!

    Thanks, Anna. Hey, I don’t think we’ve had any cat or dog photos lately, how are they doing?

  2. says

    Carol, I’ll have to eat some today to find out. Thanks for asking about the pets! I’ve been posting their photos (mostly Lizzie) on Facebook lately rather than Cookie Madness. Lizzie is great. She’s here on the floor next to me.

    Katrina, I can’t believe you like cake! I will keep it a secret.

  3. Louise says

    I probably saw that recipe in it’s first incarnation. 🙁 I just looked at it on the BHG website and Anna, you better spend the rest of today at the gym. Their recipe makes 12 servings with 660 calories each. 🙁

  4. Amy D. says

    That looks delicious. But I cannot make it or anything else until I get rid of these Girl Scout cookies that have taken over my house.

  5. Louise says

    I just looked at the Domino’s recipe and I like the sound of it as it’s white cake with cream cheese. I like chocolate cakes to have an intense chocolate taste, although I make an exception for Sacher Torte. I’ve wanted to give you a link to Nestle’s Ultimate Chocolatier Chocolate Cake, in case you haven’t tried it. It appears the link is screwed up right now, but today I sent Nestles an email inquiring about it so hopefully they will straighten it out.

  6. Nancy says

    This sounds like a great cake! I’m glad you mentioned that your version is not as rich as the originals. I find that although I am a chocolate lover, sometimes it’s much better to use a filling that balances all the chocolate. I like to use home-whipped cream filling with some fresh strawberries when I make a multi-layer chocolate cake. It’s light and fluffy.

  7. says

    Nancy, I’m starting to like whipped cream as much as frosting too. I’m not sure what’s going on, but a lot of things are starting to taste too sweet to me. As for richness, this one is rich in the sense that it’s moist and has butter and cream cheese, but it’s not as deeply chocolate.

    Pearl, I am not sure how long it took to make it. It was fairly simple.

  8. Barbara says

    This was my favorite birthday cake when I was a child. I’m looking forward to trying this evolution of the recipe. I think I will try it with cherry pie filling, sort of Black Foresty!

  9. Lisa says

    Hi, I’m new here. Found you by googling “chocolate cream cheese cake” as we temporarily misplaced our 33 year old copy of the recipe! This is what I’ve had for my birthday cake every year since I was a teenager and discovered chocolate (prior to that I always requested banana cake w/ cream cheese frosting). The pictures showed up on google before your site did and I knew that was the cake. My husband just found our recipe and is in the kitchen now working on the cake for my birthday. We love this cake! It’s so good we should have it more than once a year, but we never do.

  10. Lisa says

    I forgot to say that we’ve never added raspberry filling. The recipe that I have from my Mom didn’t include it–don’t know if she omitted when she originally copied the recipe or not.

  11. says

    Lisa, I’m glad to hear it came up on Google! Is my recipe the same as yours? I haven’t made this one in a while, but we really liked it when I did. I need to format it.

  12. Bill says

    Thank you for this recipe. My dear mother made this cake for me and called it chocolate cake plus. It was three layers and did not have the raspberry filling. It was the best chocolate cake I ever had. I know she told me that you mixed ingredients together and then divided them in half. You saved half for the frosting and added flour and eggs for the cake. I lost her recipe and she has since passed away. I will try this one and hope it is the same. The picture looks like it. I tried one about ten years ago that was an epic fail. I will try again with this recipe. Thank you again!!

  13. Jennifer Richardson says

    Here is the original recipe from Better Homes & Gardens February 1975 issue:

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

    2 (3 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
    1/2 c. butter, softened
    1 t. vanilla
    6 1/2 c. (1 1/2 lbs.) sifted powdered sugar
    1/3 c. milk (room temperature)
    4 squares (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
    4 T. butter, softened
    3 eggs
    2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    1 t. baking powder
    1 t. baking soda
    1 t. salt
    1 1/4 c. milk

    Cream together the softened cream cheese and 1/2 c. softened butter. Add the vanilla. Alternately beat in powdered sugar and the 1/3 c. milk, beginning and ending with sugar. Add in melted chocolate. Take out 2 cups to use as frosting; Cover and place in refrigerator. Cream remaining chocolate mixture together with 4 T. butter. Add eggs and beat well. Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat into creamed mixture alternately with the remaining milk. Place batter into two prepared 9″ x 1 1/2″ cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool on racks. Remove frosting from refrigerator 15 minutes before frosting cake.

    Original recipe submitted to BHG by Mrs. Jody A. Cate, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

    *I have been making this cake for 40 years. The only changes I make: I use 3 cake pans and I line each with parchment paper.

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