Ebinger’s Yellow Layer Cake with Mocha Frosting and Hard Chocolate

Posted on by on February 1st, 2012 | 26 Comments »

Yesterday the world lost an incredibly amazing woman, my Nanny. And, this post is dedicated to her.

If my Nanny could tell us what she wanted today she would tell us to dress in our fanciest clothes, eat the best meal we could and use our finest china to do so, dance, sing, laugh. She lived everyday like that. She savored every moment in life, big or small. She had celebrations just because. Sparklers weren’t just for the 4th of July, presents and cake weren’t just for Birthdays, fancy clothes or elegant delicious meals weren’t just for special occasions and dreams weren’t just for sleeping.

People that knew her, even if it were for a brief time, lives were touched and those that didn’t know her will never understand the special person they were missing out on.

Thinking back, a great deal of my childhood memories and fond moments were spent with my Nanny and Grandpa. She taught me lessons I have carried on with me my whole life. She showed me in her own uniqueness and quirkiness that it’s ok to be different. In fact you should be different. Be yourself. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks as long as you are true to yourself. Confidence is everything and she had more confidence in one hand then most people can muster up in a whole lifetime. She showed me to stand up for myself, speak my mind, ask questions and never stop learning. She showed me there was a world beyond what I knew in my Dix Hills bedroom. Plays to see, countries to explore, music to play, paint to create masterpieces with, food to be enjoyed and magical places to escape to if need be. She taught me that it doesn’t matter if you win and that it’s more important to be able to lose. She showed me that women should and can be independent and strong. She taught me to stop and appreciate little moments in life, to unbuckle my seatbelt in the back of the car while driving over the 59th street bridge and take a look out the back window at Manhattan twinkling at night. Lick the cake batter off the whisk, ride the glass elevators of the Marriott Marque, have tea at the Plaza because thats what Eloise did, talk in different accents because its funny, collect things that make me happy, play dress up no matter my age. She was my biggest fan and cheerleader. She taught me what unconditional love is.

I celebrate the life of an amazing woman, my Nanny, my friend.

If you’re from New York (especially Brooklyn) you know the name Ebinger’s. Even if, like me, you were born long after the iconic bakery closed it’s doors, you know there is nothing like an Ebinger’s cake. Bakeries all over NY have been trying to recreate some of Ebinger’s classic desserts like their Black Out Cake and their Yellow Layer Cake with Hard Chocolate. This was my grandparents most favorite cake and made an appearance more ofte than not. If you ask my Grandfather today he will still tell you it’s the only cake worth getting. For most Brooklynites Ebinger’s wasn’t just cakes, it was a way of life.
When I heard the news that my Nanny had passed, I took to the kitchen to clear my mind and gather my emotions. I decided to try and recreate my Grandmother’s favorite dessert in honor of her. Though I know nothing is ever as good as the original, my version of Ebinger’s Yellow Cake with Mocha Frosting and Hard Chocolate tastes just as good, if not better than all those recreations I have tried over the years.
If you grew up an Ebingerist or have lived with stories of  the famous bakery from parents and grandparents or if you just want to try a reallllly awesome cake, give this a try.
Ingredients:
For Cake (from Joy of Baking)

6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

For Mocha Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground dark coffee

1 tablespoon milk

For Hard Chocolate:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate chips

For Garnish:

1 candied cherry

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 9-inch x 1 1/2 inch cake pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla extract, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.
Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk and mix on low speed with an electric mixer until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake’s structure.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg.
Divide cake batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface (Pans will be about half full).
Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.
Cool completely.

While cake is cooling make mocha frosting by combining powdered sugar, ground coffee and cocoa powder in a small bowl, set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip butter until fluffy.
Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time.
Once all the powdered sugar has been added, add in milk and beat until fluffy, scraping down sides as needed.

Once cake has cooled cut each cake in half. There will be and extra layer, use for something else.
On a piece plate covered in parchment paper, place one layer of cake and top with some of the mocha frosting.
Top with another layer of cake and top with some more mocha frosting.
Top with last layer of cake and using the rest of the frosting, frost entire layer cake with a thin layer of mocha frosting.
Place cake in fridge to cool for at least an hour.

When cake is almost cooled prepare the hard chocolate by melting butter and chocolate in a double broiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

When cake is done chilling, remove from refrigerator and very carefully pour melted chocolate over top, making sure to cover the sides as well, using an offset spatula.
Place cake back in refrigerator to chill until chocolate is hard, about 1 hour.
Place a single candied cherry in center.

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26 Comments

  1. Nadia
    Posted on: 2-1-2012

    My sweet Beth, what a beautiful post and wonderful tribute to an amazing woman! Thank you for sharing. Sending all my love to you, E and your whole family. Wishing you all peace and comfort. xo

  2. Posted on: 2-1-2012

    So sorry to hear it, she sounds a lot like my grandmother in many ways. Sad no matter how old she was.

  3. Posted on: 2-1-2012

    Ah, did you say MOCHA FROSTING!?!?!? I think I’m in love :D

  4. Posted on: 2-1-2012

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother,she looks and sounds like a wonderful person.And what a lovely cake you made to her tribute.

  5. Posted on: 2-2-2012

    This looks sensational – the flavours, the presentation the everything :D
    I am in love :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Post To See: Fresh Fruit Tart

  6. Posted on: 2-3-2012

    Mmmm..this layer cake looks great! Wish I had a piece right now! :)

  7. Posted on: 2-4-2012

    Oh no Beth… I’m terribly sorry to hear the loss of your grandma. You have such a wonderful memory of her and she’ll be smiling reading your post today. Being far away from home, this kind of news is very hard to take. As my grandparents are getting old, I constantly worry if I have enough time to meet them when I go back. Hope you find some comfort, despite physically far away from your family members. Thinking of you!

  8. Darcey
    Posted on: 2-4-2012

    Sorry for your loss. I too grew up on will try your recipe in memory of my Dad.

  9. telesma
    Posted on: 2-4-2012

    I am sorry for your loss, but what a lovely tribute. I pinned it so I won’t forget about it, and hopefully that will bring you plenty of much deserved traffic. :)

  10. Posted on: 2-4-2012

    You were lucky to have someone so wonderful like your Nanny…Really sorry on your lost Beth.. and you did beautiful work with this layer cake to honor her. Big hug :)

  11. Posted on: 2-4-2012

    Beth,

    I saw your post on Pinterest and followed you over here. This is my stepfather-in-law’s favorite cake EVER. He loves it so much, it’s like the cake is part of the family. (I know Ebinger’s no longer exists, but they get a very similar cake from some place in Great Neck.) So when I saw this post, I immediately forwarded the link to him and my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. Maybe we will make it for him for his 85th birthday, which is coming up.

    Thank you — and so sorry for your loss.

    J.

  12. Posted on: 2-4-2012

    Beth, your grandmother sounded like such a special woman and it is so incredible that you had such a close relationship with her! I love hearing stories about her, and about your time together. Also, having tasted this cake I can tell you that it’s perfect, and that your nanny would agree. She’d be so proud of you, for so many reasons. All my love. xo

  13. Posted on: 2-5-2012

    Congrats! I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. You can view details at this link: http://www.ditchthewheat.com/2012/02/liebster-blog-award.html

  14. Posted on: 2-6-2012

    This was such a lovely post and I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful person and this keep seems a perfect way to celebrate her life.

  15. Posted on: 2-6-2012

    Your nanny sounds like an amazing woman…I can see her spirit living on in you. Thank you for sharing…and thank you for all the support. It means more to me than you know. Hugs and love from Austin.

  16. Posted on: 2-11-2012

    what a lovely way to honor your grandma. the cake looks beautiful and sounds delicious. i have heard of ebinger’s because of their blackout cake. great post!

  17. Posted on: 2-17-2012

    Such a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Nanny. So sorry for your loss.

  18. Posted on: 2-20-2012

    I am so sorry for your loss. Grandmom are always so so special.
    Your Grandmom was and will be an awesome person, this is a wonderful tribute and thanks for sharing with us.
    May she Rest in Peace.

  19. Posted on: 2-28-2012

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for this amazing tribute, lovely post.

  20. Posted on: 3-8-2012

    Sorry for your loss, but I’m sure you can find solace in knowing she’s in a better place. And what better way to remember your Nanny… food is my favorite family heirloom.

    all the best
    brad

  21. Posted on: 3-17-2012

    Oh, I’m so sorry. What a wonderful way to honor your grandmother…she would be touched, I’m certain.

  22. Jill
    Posted on: 9-16-2012

    I made this tonight for my husbands birthday. It was very good and everyone loved it! I will keep this recipe for future use. One thing that really made it special was the dark chocolate over the mocha chocolate icing. The flavors work well together. It was something special for my husbands 35th birthday! Thank you for this special recipe.

  23. Jon Blake
    Posted on: 11-7-2012

    Your nanny sounds like a wonderful woman and your tribute to her is beautifully written. I came across your site while looking for a recipe for yellow cake with hard chocolate frosting – it’s been my favorite since I was a kid, and Ebinger’s in Bensonhurst was always one of my favorite bakeries. It was a sad day when they closed. I can still taste their wonderful pumpkin pie. Every pumpkin pie I have ever eaten since is compared to Ebinger’s and I although I’ve had some that were excellent, I don’t think I’ll ever taste one that’s 100% up to the ones that I remember. I loved their brownies too. They were kind of plain-looking, no frosting, and nothing fancy about them, but they were wonderful. Thanks for posting the recipe, my wife and I love to bake and, and with Thanksgiving coming up we plan to try it soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  24. Dean Link
    Posted on: 11-10-2012

    Loved Ebinger’s Chocolate Layer Cake as a kid growing up in Bay Ridge. I asked for it every year for my birthday cake. Every once in a while for years I googled looking for a recipe. Going to try this one and if it tastes as good as it looks, I will be one happy little kid putting a piece in the freezer to eat the next morning!

    Your Nanny sounds like a wonderful lady and she knew a good piece of cake when she had one. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  25. Dean Link
    Posted on: 2-9-2013

    Made it first time and it was close, but my coffee was not ground nearly fine enough. Perhaps a bit strong on coffee flavor too, so will cut back the amount. Cake was good, but a bit dry at altitude. Dark chocolate icing was spot on perfect. Birthday coming, so trying it again.

  26. minda
    Posted on: 4-19-2013

    anyone have recipes for DUGAN’s muffins & crackers?

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