Retro Brooklyn

| October 31, 2012

Remember Ebinger’s ?

Any of us brought up in Brooklyn remember the sweet deliciousness of Ebinger’s Bakery, which ultimately blossomed to over 50 stores until their eventual demise in 1972.

The 50’s and 60’s in Brooklyn were replete with the ultimate German pastries and cakes, that turned weekends at our house into a “sweet tooth” paradise.

Dad would stop on his way home from the office and arrive with armfuls of Crumb Buns, Coconut Custard Pie, Othellos, Lemon Cupcakes and but of the course, the unforgettable “Blackout Cake.”

It is such a testament to the deliciousness of this item, that generations of Brooklynites continue to reminisce about Ebinger’s blackout cake and that forty years after Ebinger’s closed, we are still chasing the recipe. So start measuring your flour and butter Ebinger’s fans, here goes:


Yields 8 to 10 Servings


½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbls. boiling water
2 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup whole milk
1 cup unsweetened butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsps. Pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt


4-1/2 tsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate
3 tbls. cornstarch dissolved in 1-1/2 tbls. hot water
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbls. unsalted butter


12 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup hot water
1 tbls. light corn syrup
1 tbls. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Place the cocoa in a small bowl and whisk in the boiling water to form a paste.
Combine chocolate and milk in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until chocolate melts.
Remove from heat. Slowly whisk small amounts of the hot chocolate milk into the cocoa paste to warm until completely combined. Return to medium heat and stir for 1 minute. Remove and cool.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time and add the vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix flour and chocolate mixtures until just combined.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter gently. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick in the center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.


While the cake is baking, make the filling; Combine the cocoa and boiling water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar and chocolate. Add cornstarch mixture and salt to pan and bring to a quick boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and whisk in the butter, I tablespoon at a time until melted and combined
Whisk in the hot water all at once and whisk until smooth.
Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for up to 15 minutes prior to using.


Use a sharp serrated knife to slice each cake layer horizontally in half to form 4 layers. Place one layer on a plate. Swath with one third of the filling. Add second layer and repeat. Set the third layer on top. Quickly apply a layer of frosting on top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Take the fourth layer and crumble. Apply the remaining one third of the frosting to the top and sides and sprinkle all over with the crumbles. Store in a cool place and serve within 24 hours.

This is lots of work Brooklynites, but well worth the time and a great chance to reminisce with family about the days when “Brooklyn was the World.”

Charlotte Goldblatt

Ebinger's Chocolate Cake