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5 from 1 vote

Family Memories, See’s Candies and Chocolate Penuche Cake

You can order the sprinkles for the outside of the cake from Baker's Cash and Carry in Salt Lake City. But you have to buy a 5# bag which would decorate a lot of cakes.


  • Cake:
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup less 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Penuche:
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Honey Glaze:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (55-60% cacao)
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Chocolate “jimmies” (Guittard decoratifs are very good)


  • To make the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-inch round pan with oil and dust lightly with flour, or spray generously with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment or waxed paper.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, vanilla, and water; then add to the dry ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes–with a hand whisk or with an electric mixer on low speed. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when touched with a finger. Cool completely.
  • To make the penuche:
  • Mix together the brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in a saucepan. Place over low heat and stir a few times until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture reaches a boil. When the mixture reaches a boil, let it cook but do not stir, for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the frosting cools and reaches spreading consistency, which can take 10 to 15 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  • To make the glaze:
  • Place the chocolate, butter, and honey in the top of a double boiler, over gently boiling water; upper pan should not touch water. When the chocolate and butter are almost melted, remove from the heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until smooth. Allow to cool until just spreadable.
  • To assemble the cake:
  • With a serrated knife, split the cake in two layers, keeping the knife level and parallel to the bottom of the cake.
  • Put the bottom cake layer on a cardboard circle or a flat serving plate. Use a frosting spatula to spread the penuche on the cake. Place the second cake layer on top, pressing gently to flatten.
  • Frost the sides and top of the cake with the cooled glaze. Sprinkle the cake all over with chocolate decoratifs.