Pipe Dream #134: To Grace Goodbyes – Chocolate Churro Cake

Whaddya gonna do when your family is moving away? I figured I’d want to do something that would leave a lasting impression, something solid and enduring that they could take with them to remind them of home and encourage them to boldly forge their way into new territory. So I made them a cake, of course.

I mean, hopefully it will stick in the mind of their stomach, what with the gloriously moist and fluffy chocolate sheet cake housed in cinnamon buttercream and filled with dulce de leche buttercream. That speaks of love to me. And you?

The chocolate cake recipe for this was super easy. Not as rich as this cake, nor super sturdy, but it was moist and completely up for the task with which I had tasked it. That is, to stack itself into layers and reside in my stomach.

I also made my own dulce de leche. I bet you could faint in shock about that. You didn’t even know that was possible. Well I’m telling you, friends, it is possible. Possible and delectable. Delectable and simple.

Step 1: Puncture a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Step 2: Boil it into submission.

Bam. Dulce de leche.

Feelin’ the love,


Chocolate Churro Cake

For the cake:

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 whole beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Note: I use an 18x13x2 cake pan, then split the layer down the middle and stacked the two on top of each other for a layer cake.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.

For the dulce de leche:

Remove label from a can of sweetened condensed milk. Pierce three holes in the formation of a triangle on top of can (this is critical to release the pressure from the heat or else the can may explode.) Place the can in a sauce pan and fill the sauce pan with water three-quarters of the way up the side of the can.

Bring water to a simmer and keep it there for 3-4 hours or until desired consistency. For a thicker, more syrup-like texture cook closer to 4 hours. When ready, use tongs to remove can allow to cool slightly and pour dulce de leche in a bowl and whisk to smoothness. Let cool before storing.

Note: I used a stovetop method, but click here for an oven or microwave version. Who even knew you could make dulce de leche in the micro??

For the swiss meringue buttercream:

From smitten kitchen

2 cups of egg whites (approx. 12 large)
3 cups sugar
5 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. It should also be completely cool. Add the vanilla. Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip until the frosting comes together.

To assemble the cake:

Once cake is cool, split the layer in half. Take one third of the swiss meringue butter cream and mix it with about 3/4 of the can of dulce de leche. You can really actually mix in as much as you want; I call it mixing “to taste.” Just kidding. Everyone calls it that.

Mix cinnamon to taste into the rest of the buttercream, and then pipe a border of frosting around the bottom cake layer. Fill the cake with the dulce de leche buttercream, and top with the second layer. Frost the cake using the leftover cinnamon buttercream.

1 Response to “Pipe Dream #134: To Grace Goodbyes – Chocolate Churro Cake”

  1. 1 bethany September 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    This cake was so delicious! Thanks for all the time, care and love you put into making it! Love, Beppie

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