There is nothing more nostalgic than a ding dong. I remember ding dongs as a child; unwrapping the shiny foil packaging to reveal a smooth chocolate-y cake with a surprise creamy filling on the inside (and not having to share it with anyone)! Oh the simple pleasures in life! I think back to when I discovered this recipe for ding dongs. Honestly I think it was the beginning of my baking journey. Since that time, I have made several batches of these snack-sized cakes…they seem to be loved by all.
The only thing more enjoyable than the ding dongs themselves is what we call the “ding dong buffet”…a truly cherished event in our household. The buffet consists of “ding dong holes”; small morsels of devils food cake leftover from the top of the cakes. They are joined by bowls of chocolate ganache and whipped cream. The buffet is utterly delicious and never disappoints!
Devil’s Food Cake
Yields: Makes one 9x13x2 sheet cake or 10-12 3 inch cakes
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (2 1/3 cups at high altitude)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (1 tsp at high altitude)
1/4 tsp salt (1/2 tsp at high altitude)
1/2 cup sifted natural cocoa, such as Ghiradelli
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (minus 1 Tbsp at high altitude)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (plus 3 Tbsp at high altitude)
Position the rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter the pans, line with parchment, then butter and flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside.
In the large bowl on an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes, until very well blended. Scrape down the bowl and beater. Beat in the vanilla and eggs and scrape down the bowl and beater again.
With the mixer on the lowest speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk ending with the flour. Once the ingredients are blended together, increase the speed and whip for about 30 seconds.
Divide the batter between the pans (1/2 full). Bake the sheet cake for 45-55 minutes or the 3 inch pans set on a cookie sheet for about 25-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Make sure to rotate the pans after about 20 minutes of baking for even browning). Cool the cakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan to release them. Cool completely.
Recipe from Pie in the Sky, by Susan Purdy
Whipped Cream Filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on medium speed with the whisk attachment, into firm peaks. Transfer to a pastry bag and set aside.
Use a 3 inch cutter to cut eight rounds from the cake (if using a sheet cake). Insert a small paring knife through the middle of the cake horizontally cutting about 3/4 through the cake. Use a 2 inch cutter or simply cut a circle out of the top of the cake to created a pocket for the filling. Slice the top of the small cake lid in half as it will become the cover for the opening once the cake has been filled. The other half is the “ding dong hole” which is anxiously awaiting the buffet :). Pipe the cream to fill the hole in each cake. Press the round slices of reserved cake onto the top.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
12 oz bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valhrona)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan just until it begins to boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1 or 2 minutes, then whisk gently until completely blended and smooth.
Working with one cake at a time, place it on a cooling rack set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour approximately 3 Tbsp of glaze onto the top of the cake, using an offset spatula to gently push the glaze over the top and sides, letting the excess run down the side to coat them. (I find that a small ladle works perfectly for drizzling the glaze over the cake). Repeat with the remaining cakes working quickly so that the chocolate remains warm and thin. If the glaze becomes too thick to pour over the cakes, reheat it in the microwave or set over a bit of simmering water until fluid again.
Refrigerate the cakes for at least 30 minutes so that the chocolate can firm up and the cakes can be eaten by hand.
Ding Dong concept adapted from the Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet
This recipe isn’t a difficult one, however, it has several steps to completion. I usually make the cakes one day and fill and glaze them the next day. If it still sounds like too much work, email me and I’ll make you some!! 🙂