Cow Patty

Yippee yay a ………Cow Patty

This tune rings threw my head and invariably out of my mouth in song whenever I start to think about this special dessert.

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Have you ever walked in a pasture filled with cows and smelled a proverbial aroma? It’s coming from a hot, steamy chocolate like patty…..well folks that’s poop…or nicely said a cow patty.  Our best selling dessert looked like a cow patty but tasted better than a BonBon!

I originally called it a BonBon as a nod to the chocolate encased cake that I adored eating at Greg’s Deli, a local family owned deli and bakery, that once thrived in Montgomery, AL. The sweet chocolate cake merely resided as a mouth watering memory since Greg’s closed over fifteen years ago.

The name BonBon was always so enticing to me but just didn’t work for our establishment. I think it might have been to refined for us. I renamed it the “Cow Patty” and guess what…… sold like crazy!  Who would have ever thought something that sounded so wrong could be so right!

Today I’m going to show you a slighty different version of the original Cow Patty.  Most people will remember buying them in small tin pans as single servings. Today, I’m showing you how to make it in a layered cake version. If you’re bias to the single serving, you can simply make your cake in a 9×13 cake pan then slice into single servings.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need. 


2 cups all-purpose flour

2½ cups sugar

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup canola oil

1 cup sour cream

1 ½ cups water

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs


5 egg whites

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pound butter (4 sticks softened)

Chocolate Icing

½ cup butter (1 stick)

2 cups sugar

¼ cup cocoa

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Let’s start! Line four (8 inch) round pans.

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Lay out a long sheet of parchment paper and trace the outter side of the pan with a pencil.



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Fold the the parchment paper in half.




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Fold again and cut your outline.




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You should end up with four 8″ circles like this.




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Lightly spray the inside of the pan with a non stick spray and place your parchment paper circle in the bottom.




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Run your fingers around the inside to crease the edges and push any excess parchment paper up the side of the pan.




Now let’s get to the good part……CAKE!

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Start by sifting 2 cups of all purpose flour into a bowl. DO NOT FORGET TO SIFT! It’s hard explaining to your 3 year old child why mommies chocolate cake has white chunks in it……ummm…… so say’s my friend. Trust me…just go with it and DON’T FORGET TO SIFT!

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Now add 2½ cups of sugar.

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Then sift in ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add  2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine them well.

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Pour in 1 cup of neutral vegetable oil. ( I use canola but you can also use soybean or a vegetable blend.) Now add 1 cup of sour cream. Confess….which one of you burst out in song……just a dollop of daisy…..if it wasn’t you, I’m sure you are now and YOU’RE WELCOME!

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Moving right on. Gently stir to blend.

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Gradually beat in 1½ cups of water until it’s all combined.

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Blend in 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.  (I make my own vanilla extract but that’s another subject we will touch on soon.)

cow patty 074Whisk in 2 eggs. I always crack my eggs in a separate bowl just in case one happens to be bad and to also prevent pesky egg shells from roosting in my cake.

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*TIP* I prefer to bake with eggs that are at room temperature. To achieve this quickly you can place your cold eggs in a bowl filled with luke warm water for a minute or so.


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Beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is incorporated.

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Divide the batter between the four cake pans and give each a light tap on the counter to release any air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees until a tooth pick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean (20-30 minutes).

While your cakes are in the oven you can make the meringue and here’s how…..

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You’re going to start the meringue by pouring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar into a heat proof bowl, I use a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Then add 5 egg whites and a pinch of salt.

(You can use a double boiler but to save having to clean one more thing, I use the Kitchen Aid bowl and a pot filled with water about a quarter ways up……  I’m a rebel like that.)

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Don’t over fill the sauce pan, one to two inches of water is enough. The bowl should not sit in the water. The steam is what cooks the mixture.

Side note…my husband officially thinks I’m a little to detailed because he watched me take a picture of this pot! I can’t tell you what he said but it was funny! I’ll introduce you to my funny man one day.

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Back to where I was……. You will need to continually whisk this mixture until…

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you can pull a string of it between your fingers and not feel the grains of sugar. The mixture should feel silky. At this point remove the mixture from the heat and…

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begin to whisk. Start on the lowest setting, gradually increasing to the highest setting until soft peaks form. This should take 8-10 minutes. A good sign is when the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.

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Slice 4 sticks of butter into small cubes. When the mixture reaches the soft peak stage slow the whisk down. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the butter cubes one at a time, until all of the butter has been incorporated.

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This is what it should look like.

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Start assembling the cake by placing one cake layer on a plate and add a dollop of meringue.

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Evenly spread the meringue. Continue the same pattern with each cake layer until you’ve placed the last layer on top.

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At this point stop and begin to make the chocolate icing.

cow patty 199Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan with 2 cups of sugar……

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¼ cup of cocoa and a ½ cup of milk in a sauce pan.

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As the butter begins to melt you will need to stir, allowing everything to incorporate, so that the sugar doesn’t  stick to the bottom of the sauce pan.

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Allow the mixture to boil 1-2 minutes without stirring.

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Give it a good stir and allow it to boil another minute or so. This is a good example of what it should look like.

The chocolate icing is very easy to make.  Just be sure not to walk away from it to fold a load of laundry, wipe the babies nose and check Facebook. If you over cook it, the icing turns into a brick….. so say’s my friend……. just go with it and DON’T OVER COOK! If you do you might as well throw the sauce pan away… say’s the same friend!

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Place strips of parchment or wax paper under the bottom layer. Prepare a bowl of ice. You will sit the hot pan of chocolate on top of the ice. This is called an ice bath. Stir until the chocolate has cooled and becomes the perfect consistency to pour over the cake. Make sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the pan. If you feel the chocolate is setting or hardening too fast simply pull it off the ice while you continue to stir. You should work fast during this stage because as the chocolate cools the perfect consistency is hard to control.

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Start pouring the icing onto the center of the cake.

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Work your way around the outter edges. Make sure you pour extra chocolate to allow excess to run over the sides.

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As the chocolate begins to cool pull the parchment strips up along the sides of the cake to push excess chocolate back along the bottom layers.

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Pull the strips away and voilá you’ve got your self a cow patty. The best cow patty you’ll ever eat…….so says my friend!

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Yippee a yay……….. Cow Patty!