Plant a delicious surprise on your guests with these springtime delights. Chocolate cakes, baked in small, unused terra-cotta pots, create the illusion of new growth. Each cake is topped with a creamy layer of chocolate frosting, a smattering of crushed cookies and candy "rocks," and a fresh sprig of mint. After dessert, wash out the pots and put them to use with real plantings.
Use six unglazed, untreated terracotta flowerpots (each with a six-ounce capacity, about 2 3/4 inches tall and 2 3/4 inches across the top). To make smaller cakes, use nine 4-ounce terra-cotta pots. Thoroughly wash the new pots in hot water before using.
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for pots
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Quick Chocolate Frosting