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Quick & Easy Chocolate Cake

Category: Dessert
Source: Kristen J. Gough

I'm usually not the one to reach for a box instead of the flour, but with this cake you really can't tell the difference – so why go to all the work of making a cake from scratch? Plus, I pack on a smooth, gooey chocolate icing.

Ingredients: Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix (fudge is my favorite)
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup water
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Optional add-ins: 1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts or all of the above (just avoid marshmallows, it doesn't work well as a mix-in)

Chocolate icing
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. Espresso powder (optional)
2 1/2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
2 cups powdered sugar
Directions: Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking oil then dust the pan with flour (the flour should coat the pan). Remove any excess flour by turning it upside down and tapping the bottom.

In a large bowl, blend all of the ingredients together (except the mix-ins) using a handheld mixer on high speed. Add your mix-ins. Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center of the cake.

Let the cake cook for about 25 minutes and then invert onto your serving dish.

Chocolate icing
In a medium-sized saucepan, gradually bring all the ingredients to a medium-high heat and stir until smooth (about 4 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in the powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. Allow the icing to cool until it thickens enough to pour over the cake. Dribble onto the cake allowing some icing to pool in the center. You can also garnish with nuts.

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