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  • 8 clean unglazed (very important) terra-cotta pots, 3 inches high and 3½ inches across at the top (6-ounce capacity)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Chocolate Frosting, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray pots with cooking spray. Put a small piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each pot to cover the hole.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir together boiling water and cocoa in a small bowl.
  4. Combine butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes, scraping the bowl once. Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition.
  5. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl occasionally. Batter will be thin.
  6. Divide batter evenly among pots to about three-quarters full. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pots on baking sheet and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until cakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely in the flowerpots. Frost the top of each with Chocolate Frosting, if desired.
Note: The cake batter fills two 8-inch layer cake pans, if you prefer. Bake the cake layers 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire racks and fill and frost as desired. Recipe adapted from The Family Kitchen: Easy and Delicious Recipes for Parents and Kids to Make and Enjoy Together by Debra Ponzek (© 2006. Published by Clarkson/Potter Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.).

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The recipe was originally published as Adorable DIY Chocolate Flowerpot Cakes on

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