Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

brown derby cake

(2 ratings)
Recipe by
Casandra Claybourne Thompson
Eastover, NC

It's a bit messy but who doesn't love a messy cake.

(2 ratings)
prep time 30 Min
cook time 30 Min

Ingredients For brown derby cake

  • 1 1/3 c
    all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c
    cocoa, unsweetened
  • 3/4 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1 1/4 stick
    unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 c
    packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c
    granulated sugar
  • 3 lg
    eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 oz
    bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 c
    whole milk, room temp
  • 1/2 c
    boiling water
  • 4 oz
    semi-sweet or milk chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 pkg
    gelatin, unflavored
  • 1/2 c
  • 2 lg
    egg whites
  • 1/4 c
    granular sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1 c
    heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz
    fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
  • (1) 15 oz
    can sliced peaches, drained
  • 2 md
    bananas, sliced thinly
  • 1
    hand full fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 c
    heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 c
    confectioners' sugar,sifted (plus more to taste)

How To Make brown derby cake

  • 1
    Instructions For cake: Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 1 round cake pan and 1 medium-sized mixing bowl (oven-safe!) with butter and a healthy dusting of flour or confectioner’s sugar. Line the round cake pan with parchment paper as well. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until soft. Add both sugars and continue beating for 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla. At this point things may look curdled but keep on beating. On low speed, add melted chocolate. Then add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions. Mix just until incorporated. Add in the boiling water which will thin down the luscious batter. Finally, stir in the chopped chocolate with a rubber spatula. Divide the cake evenly between the prepared pan and prepared bowl. Bake separately in the preheated oven. The round cake will take about 25-30 minutes. The bowl took me closer to an hour to set properly. When you insert a knife into the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Allow cake to cool for several minutes before running a knife/spatula around the sides, unmolding, and allowing to cool completely to room temperature.
  • 2
    For filling: (Again, as above, you can simply mix the fruit with whipped cream sweetened slightly with confectioner’s sugar if desired. This recipe gives a bit more solid filling with the addition of gelatin.) Stir gelatin in milk to soften. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff and add the sugar in slowly, mixing to combine. Heat the gelatin and milk mixture over very low heat for several minutes until the gelatin is completely dissolved. With the mixer on, pour the warmed mixture over the egg whites and mix well. Add in vanilla. Cool to warm before folding in prepared fruits. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks (you can use your dirty beaters). Fold in to fruit mixture.
  • 3
    For topping: Beat heavy cream in a clean bowl until stiff peaks. Add sugar to taste. For assembly: Once cakes are cooled, level both cakes, reserving scraps (take a bit off even if your cakes came our perfectly which mine never ever do). Take round cake and place on stand. Top with as much filling as desired. (I only did one big fat layer of filling and used about 3/4 of it. In hindsight, you can cut the cake baked in the bowl into two layers and then have two layers of filling with three layers of cake. Just saying.) Top with cake baked in the bowl. Using a spatula, spread sweetened whipped topping all over cake. Finally, crumble scraps and press into whipped topping. If your scraps a little too moist, you can spread them over a baking sheet and dry them out a bit in a warmed oven.

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