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Favorite Take-a-Break Chocolate Cake
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My kids' school recently had a work day before a big fundraising event, and I decided to surprise all the volunteers with a fun afternoon treat. I needed something casual enough to eat off a napkin, and, of course, it needed to be irresistible enough to get people to take a break! Since I'm working on the event non-stop, too, I needed something quick to make.

Favorite Chocolate Cake takes only 15 minutes to prepare! I made it in the morning while I was having my tea and popped it into the oven. Then I did my morning chores and got ready to head out, all while my cake baked for 40 minutes.

First, grease and flour your pan by spreading a thin layer of butter on the bottom and sides of the pan. Then, toss in about a 1/4 cup of flour and tap the sides to move the flour to all the inside surfaces of the pan.

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Be sure to tap off the excess into the sink, so the pan is just lightly coated with flour.

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Now we're ready to make the cake batter. All the ingredients go into the mixer bowl, one by one. Just follow the order and this cake's a snap!

Start by mixing your butter and sugar.

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Then add buttermilk, chocolate, eggs and vanilla.

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Stop and scrape the bowl once or twice and soon it will be well mixed.

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Now add the dry ingredients. They don't need to be sifted together or even combined, just add them all right into the bowl. I like to add the flour first, and then sprinkle the baking soda and salt on top to spread them out a bit.

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When you start to mix, be sure to keep the speed very low until the flour starts mixing in, or you'll be overcome by a huge cloud of dust. In no time your batter is ready for the final, unusual, ingredient... boiling water!

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Again, mix slow or you'll end up with, literally, cake on your face! The final batter is thinner than you might expect, so don't be surprised.

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Now just pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake. 

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Pretty soon the whole house will start to smell like chocolate. In less than an hour, your cake will be done. Test to make sure a toothpick or your tester comes out clean.

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I love the dark chocolate color of this cake! I decided to fancy mine up a bit with a doily that I laid on top of the cake before sprinkling with powdered sugar. Since there were no holes in the middle of the doily, I folded it in half and used a heart hole-puncher to add some more places for the sugar to peek through.

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Then I placed the doily on top of the cake and sprinkled it with powdered sugar.

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You can do this with a few round doilies, or even cut out letters to make a message before you dust with sugar! Whatever you use, just do your best to pull it straight up off the cake and get it to the sink or the garbage as carefully as you can.

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The doily pattern isn't overly fancy but it makes the cake very fun and inviting. It took the volunteers about an hour to slow down and try the cake, and then, within minutes, we were all taking a well-deserved break! Everyone raved about this cake --  moist and delicious with a rich chocolate flavor.

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When I finally got home later that night, the recipe was still up on my computer screen. I used the "email recipe" link to send it to two volunteers who knew a great recipe when they tasted it. They were thrilled to see it in their e-mailbox so soon, and I could check that task off my list!

I'm not sure what makes Favorite Chocolate Cake so good! The other volunteers and I think it's the buttermilk. Or maybe it's the boiling water? Or the unsweetened chocolate? Who knows? In any event, this is such an easy and fabulous cake it is my current favorite quick-fix treat. This cake definitely hits the spot!

Stop back soon when Becky's grilling brats for Memorial Day weekend...

Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.

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