2008 Cocoa Cake Contest Winning Recipes
    1st Place
    Kelly Madey
    Middletown Grange Fair
    No stick cooking spray for baking
    2 cups sugar 2 cups cake flour
    ½ cup Hershey’s cocoa 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs
    1 cup buttermilk ½ cup canola oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla ½ teaspoon espresso powder
    1 cup boiling water 1 (8 oz. bag of Hershey Heath Toffee Bits)

    Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment circles and spray with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla to dry ingredients. Beat mixture until combined and smooth (about 1 minute). Stir espresso powder into hot water. Add to batter and mix until just combined. Pour batter into pans and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes then remove cakes to wire racks to finish cooling.
    Peanut Butter Meringue Frosting:

    1 1/8 cups sugar ¼ cup water
    ½ cup pasteurized organic egg whites 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
    3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 ½ cups confectioner sugar  

    Place sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until temperature
    reaches 240 degrees. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, whip egg whites in a stand mixer to stiff peaks. Add hot sugar syrup and continue to beat for approximately 15 minutes or until mixture has cooled. Add butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Whip until fluffy. Add confectioner sugar and whip until combined and creamy.

    Caramel Sauce:

    ½ cup light brown sugar 1 tablespoon cream
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ teaspoon vanilla

    Place all ingredients except vanilla into a small saucepan. Heat to a boil, stirring. Cook
    for 2 more minutes. Remove mixture from heat. Carefully add in vanilla (mixture will sputter).
    Stir to combine. Let cool until thickened but still liquid enough to drizzle.

    Place bottom cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle ¼ cup
    toffee bits over top. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Place second layer on top. Repeat.
    Spread remaining frosting over cake. Place ¾ cup toffee bits on top of frosted cake.
    Drizzle with remaining caramel.

    2nd Place
    Lisa Buzzard
    Schnecksville Community Fair


    Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch pans.

    Main Recipe Ingredients:

    2 cups sugar 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
    ¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
    1 ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs 1 cup milk
    ½ cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup boiling water  

    Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients:

    ½ cup butter 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/3 cup milk

    Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

    ½ cup butter ¼ cup shortening
    1/3 cup Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
    1 cup Hershey’s Hot Fudge Topping  

    Garnish Ingredients:
    Chopped cocktail peanuts Hershey’s Hot Fudge

    Sauce Methods:
    Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks until completely cool.

    Next make the Peanut Butter Filling. In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in ½ of the confectioners’ sugar. Mix in ¼ cup of cream. Beat in the remaining confectioners’ sugar. If necessary, add a little more cream or milk until the filling reaches a good spreading consistency.

    Next make the chocolate fudge buttercream frosting. Cream together the butter and shortening. Sift the cocoa with the confectioner’s sugar and add to the cream mixture. Mix together while adding 1 tablespoon milk at a time until mixture is smooth. Don’t add more than ¼ cup milk. Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy. I doubled everything and made two batches for this recipe, as I wanted to do piping.

    Final Assembly: After you have made both the peanut butter filling and chocolate icing, split both cakes in half. Spread bottom layer with filling. Place next layer on top. Continue this sequence until cake is completely assembled. Spread chocolate frosting on sides and top of cake. Affix chopped cocktail peanuts around the sides of cake. If desired pipe a top and bottom border on the cake and drizzle with hot fudge sauce.

    3rd Place
    Paul Menendez
    Luzerne County Fair


    4 oz. Hershey’s semi-sweet baking chocolate ¼ cup Hershey cocoa
    ½ cup boiling water 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup butter or margarine 2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoonvanilla 1 cup buttermilk
    2 cups flour ½ teaspoon salt
    4 egg yolks  4 egg whites

    Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cool. Mix flour, cocoa, soda, and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Blend in vanilla and chocolate. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour into three 9-inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with waxed paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run spatula around from pans; remove paper and finish cooling on racks. Spread frosting between layers and over top of cake.


    ½ cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 cups confectioners’ sugar ½ cup milk
    ¾ cup unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa  

    To prepare frosting: in medium bowl with electric mixer, beat remaining butter and vanilla until creamy. At low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, alternating with milk, beating until frosting is smooth and fluffy.


    ½ cup Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 tablespoons butter

    Place chocolate and butter in a zip lock bag and set in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Remove bag from water and kneed chocolate and butter until evenly mixed. Cut a corner of the bag off and drizzle over cake.

    4th Place
    Marel Raub
    Schuylkill County Fair


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

    Cake Ingredients:

    1 pound brown sugar 1 stick butter
    3 eggs 2 ¼ cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Hershey’s Cocoa 3 tablespoon oil
    ½ cup sour milk 1 cup coffee
    1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon black raspberry liqueur

    Filling Ingredients:

    1 10-oz. jar seedless black raspberry preserves

    Raspberry Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

    4 egg whites ¾ cup sugar
    2 tablespoon water ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon Vanilla 3 sticks unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons black raspberry liqueur  

    Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
    ¼ cup sweetened black raspberry puree ¼ teaspoon corn starch

    Cake: In medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream together brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add Hershey’s cocoa and oil. Mix well. Alternately, add flour mixture and milk, mixing well after each addition. Add coffee, vanilla and liqueur. Mix well. Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool on wire racks. Cut each cooled cake layer in half. Spread preserves evenly on top of both bottom cake halves. Replace top cake halves.

    Frosting: In a large metal bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar. Place bowl in pot of simmering water. Using hand mixer, beat mixture until temperature reaches 160 degree F. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat mixture until cool. In another large bowl, cream butter. Add a large dollop or meringue mixture to butter and mix well. Continue to add meringue mixture in large dollops, mixing well between each addition. Add liqueur and mix well.

    Sauce: In small microwavable bowl, mix raspberry puree and corn starch well. Heat in microwave 30 seconds. Cool. Decorate assembled cake. Keep refrigerated.

    5th Place
    Helen Beal
    Beaver County Fair


    1 ½ cup Hershey Chocolate milk 3 cup sugar
    1 ½ cup strong cooled coffee 2/3 cup oil
    1½ cup Hershey cocoa 3 teaspoon vanilla
    3 eggs 2 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoon salt
    1 cup Hershey mini chocolate chips 2 ½ cup cake flour


    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 10-inch cake pans with wax paper cut to fit. Spray with non stick spray.
    2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add milk mixture. Mix. Pour into prepared pans.
    3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely and ice.

    Ho Ho Middle Layer Filling:

    2 cups regular sugar 2 cups white Crisco
    1 can evaporated milk ½ teaspoon clear vanilla
    ½ teaspoon butter extract  

    Start by mixing slowly and increase speed until mixing on high for about 10 minutes.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing:

    2 sticks butter 2 teaspoon vanilla
    6 cups confectioners’ sugar (2 pounds) 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa
    4-6 tablespoon hershey chocolate milk  

    Ice top and side with chocolate buttercream icing.