Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake goes to the Pa. Farm Show (recipe)

Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Baking, Blog, Recipes, York County

Julie Hein of West Manchester Township is headed to the Pennsylvania Farm Show this weekend — not to sample the food court like the rest of us, but to deliver her York Fair prize-winning Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake for the state competition. The drool-worthy concoction is chasing victory in the PA Preferred Classic Chocolate Cake contest.

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake

Julie Hein of West Manchester Township won the PA Preferred Chocolate Cake contest with her Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake at the York Fair on Sept. 12, 2013. (Bill Kalina photo —

Hein talked to York Dispatch reporter Candy Woodall this week:

“I like the challenge of coming up with something different that appeals to the judges and is good. I’m ready to go.”

To read the interview with Hein, click here. To try your hand at making the cake, check out the recipe below:

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake


For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • 2 PA Preferred Weis eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips


For the chocolate ganache:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)


For the frosting/filling:

  • 2 (3.4 oz.) instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups cold PA Preferred Giant milk
  • 1 (16 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • Orange food coloring, optional

For the cake, beat sugar, cocoa, boiling water, oil, vanilla and liqueur in large mixing bowl on low speed for 30 seconds. Add PA Preferred Weis eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, beat on medium-high for four minutes. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and remove cakes to wire racks.

For the ganache, combine whipping cream and chocolate chips in medium saucepan. Heat over low until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and liqueur. Refrigerate one to two hours, until set, stirring occasionally.

For the filling, whisk together pudding mixes and PA Preferred Giant milk for two minutes. Let stand for two minutes and then fold in Cool Whip and optional food coloring, blending well. Chill thoroughly.

To assemble cake, place one cake layer on serving plate and top with a thicker layer of ganache and a thicker layer of filling. Repeat with the next layer. Place the third layer on top. Frost top of cake with remaining ganache and frost sides with remaining frosting/filling (this can be reversed — frosting on top and ganache on sides.) Garnish as desired. Chill until serving. Cake needs refrigeration after baking.

UPDATE: Hein’s recipe finished fifth out of 74 entries, prize-winners all. Congratulations!