Chinese 5 Spice Chocolate Cake with Ginger Buttercream Frosting

By • February 16, 2012 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is a combination of some of my favorite things: Chinese Spices and Chocolate! It is considered by my family to be "the best cake ever!"Twice Cooked Half Baked

Serves 16

Chinese 5 Spice Mix

  • 9 star anise, broken
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 3 chile de Arbol
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 9 cardamom pods

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (75%+), chopped
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar, plus extra for dusting pan
  • 1/2 cup chocolate pieces/chips
  • butter for pan
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Add all of the spices listed, except the ground ginger, into a warm pan. Shake pan to keep spices moving until they become fragrant. Place these spices plus the ginger into a spice grinder and blend until powdery. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and sugar a 10" round cake pan. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices then sift to mix. Set aside. In a small bowl, add the chocolate and then pour over the hot coffee. Allow to sit for about a minute then whisk to combine. Chocolate should be runny at this point. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the 2 eggs until foamy and lighter in color. Add sugar and whip to combine. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix just to combine. Add the chocolate and coffee mixture and blend on medium for about a minute, scraping sides as needed. Add the flour and spice mixture and blend on medium until fully combined, scraping sides as needed. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate pieces. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until pick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before inverting and frosting.
  3. To make buttercream frosting, blend 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened, unsalted butter and 1 cup of marshmallow fluff until smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, blend until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 T. finely chopped candied ginger. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Spread onto cooled cake top. Double if looking to cover entire cake.
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Comments (9) Questions (0)

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11 months ago Matthewrmt

Looks like a great recipe--but where do you add the sugar? There's no mention of it bond the list of ingredients. Do you beat the eggs and sugar together like in a chiffon cake?

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11 months ago Twice Cooked Half Baked

Sorry about that! Funny how easy it is to drop these steps when transferring recipes. The recipe has been updated here, but you do add the sugar after beating the eggs.

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over 1 year ago Twice Cooked Half Baked

I am glad you are enjoying it. My family was over the moon for this cake and I make a lot of cakes :)

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over 1 year ago PaulaL

Thank you for the link - I had no idea that there might be details dropped. My apologies. And to be fair, both my fiancé and myself are loving this cake!

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over 1 year ago Twice Cooked Half Baked

I am sorry to not have seen this until now, but again if you were having it overflow in your oven as you wrote this, not much I could have changed. Anyway, my original post is here: http://twicecookedhalfbaked.... I will go back and see why the details have dropped from the Food52 side of things. Hope you will give it another try. It was really quite delish!

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over 1 year ago PaulaL

I'm making this cake now and I have lots of questions...1) how much baking soda should you add?, 2) when do you add the sugar?, and 3) did you use a deep 10 inch cake pan? I don't have one, so I used a 9 inch, and I now have cake batter all over the floor of my oven. I have high hopes for this cake, but the directions need some work.

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almost 2 years ago MaryAnnS

If I already have some Chinese 5 spice prepared - what is the measurement to use in the cake?

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over 2 years ago Twice Cooked Half Baked

Sorry that I omitted that. It should be 1/2 cup strongly brewed hot coffee.

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over 2 years ago torgerson

How much coffee goes into this recipe