This cake is a lie. Just kidding- but it is the cake inspired by Portal. It’s actually one of the best homemade chocolate cakes ever. It’s super chocolatey, incredibly delicious, and has one of the best chocolate frostings. You can’t go wrong with this!
PORTAL CAKE RECIPE
Portal is both a super fun computer game and an interesting board game. I first played the computer game in grad school when my boyfriend (now husband!) took it upon himself to show me the fun game. He insisted I play through the entire game and when I got frustrated or couldn’t figure out what to do, he would give me clues to help.
It was a lot of fun! The game is a series of puzzles set in a research and development company. You are told to complete each puzzle and that there is cake at the end as a consolation prize. You use portals to solve the puzzles... hence the name.
In the game you are being instructed on what to do by GLaDOS (which stands for Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System). She comes off trying to help you and promises you cake when you finish, but in reality she is trying to kill your character. So throughout the game you see “the cake is a lie” written on the walls. As if it’s a warning to you not to trust GlaDOS.
The Portal board game is something we picked on the fly from store that was going out of business. The game also uses portals and cake as its main themes and is quite fun to play. However, if I had to choose, I’d play the computer game over the board game.
This Portal Cake Recipe is so good!
This dark chocolate cake was a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat- and it wasn’t a lie! It is massive though, so either make it for a party or just be prepared to eat a lot of cake (which isn’t a bad thing!) I ended up sending at least half of this to work with my husband and they were very happy to get it! They ate it within one day and told me how much they enjoyed it!
The cake may be a lie in the game, but it's very real here!
I would definitely enjoy this with a big glass of cold milk.
If you like this recipe check out my chocolate cupcakes with a marshmallow frosting, Star Wars inspired chocolate chip wookie cookies, and my chocolate drizzled popcorn! And did you know I have a full Hearthstone inspired menu? Check it out!
Have you played Portal? Or do you just love chocolate cake? (I am a yes to both obviously!) Let me know in the comments below!
Best Chocolate Cake
- 1 tsp instant espresso
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- ⅔ cup special dark cocoa powder*
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ⅔ cup cake flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 2 extra-large yolk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
Best Chocolate Frosting- make 2 batches of this!
- ½ cup butter melted
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- ½ block of chocolate almond bark
- whipped cream
- 8 cherries
- 1 white candle
To make the best chocolate cake:
- Preheat oven to Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9 inch round cake pans, bottoms and sides, then sprinkle the pans with flour, then cut out parchment in circles to fit the bottom of the cake pans and place those in the pan.
- Boil water and add espresso to it, stirring until dissolved.
- Whisk cocoa powder, then buttermilk and vanilla into water/espresso mixture.
- Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a separate bowl.
- Using a stand mixer, whisk sugar and butter until fluffy. About 10 minutes.
- Add each egg and the yolk, one at a time, into the butter mixture, letting each one fully mix into the batter before adding the next. Add in oil and mix until fully combined. The beat mixture on medium high speed for a minute- the mixture will be light and fluffy.
- Fold in ½ of the flour and then fold in ½ of the buttermilk mixture to the batter. Then fold in remaining flour and then remaining buttermilk mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Try baking the cakes on the same rack, or baking them one at a time. This will ensure even baking.
- Once the cakes are done let them cool completely before decorating.
How to make the best chocolate frosting:
- Melt butter in a microwave safe dish.
- Mix in cocoa powder and salt. Alternate stirring in the powdered sugar and milk in increments. I like to do 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 splash of heavy cream, stir and repeat.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Make sure to make 2 batches of this recipe!
- See notes for more frosting info!*
To assemble the cake
- Once cakes are cooled, level them by cutting off any raised dome structures.
- Gate your almond bark to make chocolate shavings. I used a cheese grater and grated about half of the large chocolate bar.
- Place a little bit of frosting on a cardboard cake round and then place your first layer on top of that.
- Add at least ½ cup of frosting on top of the first layer and spread out into a nice thick even layer. Then repeat with the 2nd layer and 3rd layer.
- Then gently press the chocolate shavings over the entire cake.
- Using whipped cream, either canned or homemade (if using homemade use a piping page and tip to get the correct design), pipe on 8 dollops of whipped cream.
- Place a cherry on each dollop of whipped cream (it might help to dry the cherries off with a paper towel before placing them on the whipped cream).
- Add a white candle in the middle and now you have a portal cake! Enjoy!
I am not affiliated with or sponsored by the maker's of Portal, Vale Corporation, or Microsoft.