Sam's Favorite Chocolate Cake

February 10, 2014

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: Everyone needs a new favorite cake. Here's yours.

Sam's Favorite Chocolate Cake from Food52

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I know you think you do not need another birthday cake recipe, but here are five cogent reasons to get you to make Sam's Favorite Chocolate Cake:

1. I made it for a work potluck the other day, and my coworkers were so beguiled they completely forgot about the incident involving raised voices and threats of quitting. 

2. The headnote will make you weepy, unless you have a heart of a jawbreaker. 

3. Jam in cake is good. Really good.

4. The frosting is the perfect mix of sinful and enriching. Also, easy. 

5. Everyone needs a new favorite cake. This will be yours. 

Chocolate Cake from Food53

Sam's Favorite Chocolate Cake by sweet enough

Makes 1 cake

3/4 cup cocoa
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
2 scant teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup good quality sour cherry jam

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • aaditya kumar yaav
    aaditya kumar yaav
  • anita
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  • Irene Westenberg
    Irene Westenberg
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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


aaditya K. June 30, 2014
davidv iwant to freind ship you
aaditya K. June 30, 2014
hi anita
anita June 29, 2014
kitty i want to freindship you
anita June 29, 2014
Kitty May 22, 2014
To keep a cake moist, leave it in its' pan and place it in the FREEZER, after only 5min. out of the oven. Let freez for 3-4 hours or several days! Same for Brownies.
Irene W. May 8, 2014
Please advise is it semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in the cake recipe portion?
Irene W. May 8, 2014
Would somebody please clarify is it 4ozs of semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate in the cake recipe!
Timm-o March 24, 2014
How do you lighten this up? A little too dense. More baking powder? And what about using milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet?
davidv March 21, 2014
I made this did not turn out very good it was hard and to dense
Edguyver March 16, 2014
I made this recipe yesterday, without the jam( I just poured and spread the icing between the two layers) and wow! I shared this with family, and they all commented on how professional it was. This cake can hold it's own to most deli/bakery display case cakes.
Roxy K. March 16, 2014
OK- SO I owe an apology to all of you guys, when I first read the TITLE of the recipe, IT APPEARED TO ME that a chef had published the [SACHER TORTE]recipe by renaming it "SAMMY...." IT WAS NOT clear to me that it was a mother's recipe of her son's favourite cake...if indeed that was a person who published this, not a writers group... anyway... yes, it turns out Sammy's favourite cake is the same recipe of the SACHER TORTE FROM SACHER CAFE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA.
MOVING ON,I must say that this recipe was much easier to follow and prepare than the "original" published in the Sacher cookbook.
@ KRISTEN L, I had egg whites in the kooler and so I whipped them with two Tb spoons of sugar and folded the "meringue-like" whites into the batter...mine turned ohhh so moist.... the original calls for apricot jam, but the raspberry fits amazingly well... to add contrast, i also squeezed half of a lemon into the jam to make it more acidic and no so was fabulous..!!!!
Kristen L. March 16, 2014
This was pretty good but a tad on the dry side. Followed the recipe to a T. Any suggestions to make a moister cake next time around?
davidv March 16, 2014
don't know I did but it did not workout hard as a rock
Lillie March 12, 2014
Don't care if it's plagiarized or not...made it yesterday, and it is absolutely delicious. Also this is "Sam's" cake that his mother made for him and he loved. She didn't say it was a recipe she created. I appreciate her sharing.
Heather March 11, 2014
I used semisweet chocolate, Hershey's cocoa powder and all purpose flour and it turned out beautifully. Enjoy!
NorrinRadd March 11, 2014
NorrinRadd March 11, 2014
Uhhh, so is the author going to address the ambiguous ingredients list? Semi-sweet or bittersweet? Dutch process cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder? All purpose flour or cake flour? Maybe I'll just google that Sachertorte thingy....
Roxy K. March 11, 2014
Sam's Favorite Chocolate Cake by sweet enough
I guess there's shameless people who also plagiarize cake recipes. THE "Sammy FAVOURITE CAKE " recipe is a copy of the famous SACHER TORTE from SACHER CAFE IN VIENNA... Come on people, be honest..!
Sherly C. May 10, 2014
I don't understand why people choose to be so mean spirited. Regardless where she obtained the recipe, it was a kind gesture for her to share it. I'm looking forward to making this recipe.
Marie B. March 10, 2014
The list of ingredients says semi sweet and recipe says bittersweet--the flavor would be different. Also do you melt chocolate first before adding water. Please help
Marsha C. March 10, 2014
In the list of ingredients it says 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, but in the directions, it calls for bittersweet chocolate. I don't suppose it makes much difference, but they are NOT the same thing.
Marie B. March 10, 2014
I agree
Roxanna March 6, 2014
This cake looks very similar to a cake in Austria called Sachertorte. Could this recipe be a take on that?