My family has a 4th of July tradition wherein we always go to my Aunt Diane’s house in New Jersey, eat tons of food, and come home completely stuffed. I would be lying if I said that this year was any different. There was grilled pizza, spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, homemade zeppoles, deep fried turkey, potato salad, grilled veggies, a red white and blue cheesecake, Italian wedding cookies (or rainbow cookes as I like to call them), rice pudding, and my contribution – the chocolate agave cake with honey cream cheese frosting. You see, when my aunt called a few weeks ago and my mom asked her what we could bring, she vaguely mentioned dessert and I jumped in saying, “I’ll bake something”. Did I think about the fact that I would be moving two days before? No. So there I found myself in my new apartment on Friday morning baking a cake. My roommate must have thought I was insane. I probably am.

Now normally I am totally a vanilla cake person. I like chocolate. But I like vanilla more. However, since all of the other desserts were vanilla-esque, I thought chocolate would be a nice variation. I saw this recipe on Baking Bites and instantly knew it would be the perfect way to use up some agave nectar that I had. And we all know I can’t resist cream cheese frosting. My only complaint about it was that it was a little dense. If any tried and true bakers out there have any idea why, I will be all ears.

And for the record, my internet is still not working. I am currently sitting in the library here, mooching off the wireless. It’s really only fair. I have spent the past few nights hanging out with my MD/PhD friends though (Josh and Josh and Sophie) and we have had so much fun. It’s going to be a good eight years. I can tell.

Chocolate Agave Layer Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 9-inch layer cake, adapted from Baking Bites

2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup agave nectar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup almond milk
8 oz neufchatel
1/2 cup butter
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup milk
2-3 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round pans and line them with circles of greased parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by agave syrup and vanilla extract.

Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the milk, before stirring in the remaining flour mixture. Mix only until just combined. Divide evenly into prepared pans.

Bake for 22-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry or with some moist crumbs attached. Do not overbake.

Turn cakes out onto wire cooling racks, peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely.
Cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for a day or so if you don’t want to assemble the cake right away.

For the frosting:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat at high speed until smooth, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar until a thick and spreadable consistency is reached. More milk can be added to thin the icing, if necessary.

Level the cake layers and place one on a serving tray or cake stand. Top with 1/2 of the frosting and spread into an even layer.

Place second cake layer on top of the first and top with remaining frosting, spreading into a nice thick, even layer.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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13 Responses to Chocolate Agave Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Debinhawaii says:

    It looks tasty and I love the use of agave. And of course everything is better with cream cheese frosting. Glad you are having fun with your friends and settling in.

  2. Reeni? says:

    This looks so yummy with the cream cheese frosting kind of dripping down the sides. I bet the agave made it real moist. How cool that you are forging friendships already!

  3. burpandslurp says:

    I’m so happy to find you so optimistic! It is definitely gonna be a fabulous 8 years (and more I hope!)
    That cake looks amazing! And so much healthier with agave!

  4. Megan says:

    What was dense, the cake or the icing? Because it looks perfect!

  5. I’m impressed that you could whip up a cake 2 days after moving in. Can’t wait to see what you can do when you’re fully settled!

  6. Donna-FFW says:

    My good lord, Joann. I want to run and make this right now, right now. I LOVE LOVE the sound of it. The frosting, the cake .. I am adding it to my list to try soon..

    Can you post about the zeppoles? I love them and would love to learn to make them.

  7. sugarlens says:

    Mmmmm…sounds likea delicious 4th. I bet your chocolate cake stole the show!

  8. Maria says:

    The cake looks good! I love agave!

  9. Justin says:

    i was on the jersey shore on july 3 — wish I had the address for that party at Aunt Diane’s house!

  10. I’m one of those people who prefer a vanilla cake over chocolate any day! It sounds great! Good luck unpacking in your new apartment!

  11. ttfn300 says:

    that looks a-mazing. i’d go for a slice for breakfast right now 🙂

  12. Kim says:

    Cream cheese, honey, chocolate….sounds delicious!! I’ve never used agave before and I am thinking of buying some. I’m curious about it for sure. I think I could eat the entire cake right now : )

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