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Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake has winning pedigree

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Kitchen Mailbox received a letter from John Watson of Squirrel Hill requesting a recipe for a chocolate cake. This cake, John claimed, called for cream cheese and 6 cups of sugar. John went on to explain that a portion of the batter is used as icing for this made-from-scratch cake.


John was right on the money with his description of this cake. You do indeed use 6 (6 1/2 to be exact) cups of powdered sugar and a portion of the batter is used as icing.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake, was sent in by Grace Stewart of Ross. The cake is from a 1975 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. The recipe is similar (some ingredient amounts differ) to the 1951 Pillsbury Bake-Off winner, Starlight Double-Delight. This $25,000 prize-winning cake was the creation of Helen Watson of La Jolla, Calif. Today's recipe is probably a version of that cake.

Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. Cooks are able to create many dishes with what's on hand while tasting and correcting with each new addition. Bakers, on the other hand, have to be sticklers for measurements, oven temperatures and even pan sizes. Here are a few tips we gathered from the "Food Lover's Tiptionary" by Sharon Tyler Herbst. Some of these tips might not pertain to today's recipe.

Use an oven thermometer -- ovens can by off by as much as 75 degrees.

You'll get better volume from cakes if the ingredients are at room temperature before you begin mixing.

Shiny pans are best for cake-making because they reflect the heat and produce cakes with tender crusts. If you use glass baking pans instead of metal, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Whenever a chocolate cake recipe calls for greasing and flouring the pan, grease it and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder instead.

Before measuring sticky sweeteners such as honey or corn syrup, lightly coat the measuring cup or spoon with vegetable oil. The syrup will easily slip out.

Don't open the oven door during the first 15 minutes of baking time. Sudden movement or temperature changes can cause a cake to fall.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

  • 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Grease and flour two 9-by-1 1/2-inch cake pans; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together cream cheese and the 1/2 cup butter and vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar alternately with the 1/3 cup of milk. Blend in the chocolate.

Remove 2 cups of chocolate mixture to use for; cover and refrigerate.

Cream together the remaining chocolate mixture and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add eggs; beat well.

Combine the dry ingredients and beat into chocolate mixture alternately with the remaining milk.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until tested done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove and cool on racks. Remove frosting from refrigerator 15 minutes before frosting cake.


Velma Brunk of Robinson is looking for a recipe for chocolate pudding made with milk or whipped topping. "The result was just like chocolate mousse without all the work. I thing it was part of a book or pamphlet which was put out by Jell-O with quick and easy recipes."

Jeffrey Whitman of Dallas, Texas, writes: "Does anyone have a recipe for the 49er pancakes at the Original House of Pancakes? These pancakes are a little gooey in texture and thin like a crepe."

Jennifer Onaitis Legler writes: "I live in Great Falls, Va., but remember having a delicious dish at the Eastwood Inn in Penn Hills back in the '70s. Any chance you can find their recipe for Shrimp Tetrazzini?"

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett-@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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