If you have purchased my new cookbook, ‘surprise-inside cakes‘, you may have noticed something.  There really aren’t that many recipes.

Which is weird for a cookbook.  The few recipes it does have are recipes that I truly adore, and today, I am sharing one!

In the book there is a cake called the Neapolitan Hi-Hat cake.

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake!
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You are all pretty familiar with my Neapolitan obsession, so it was a natural progression for me to have it in the book.

And while I love the beauty of neapolitan, the dark brown chocolate, the like pink, the crisp white… what I want to talk about today is the flavors, or the recipe.

When you have mile-high sweet and sugary whipped cream and strawberry cake amazingness, you really need a dark and high quality chocolate to pair it with.  That is how my Decadent Brownie recipe was born.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

This is the deconstructed hi-hat, with no hat. 😉

I made up the recipe from my book, topped with a bit of whipped cream, and added a couple strawberries for texture and flavor.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

While I love a good fudgy brownie, this cakey brownie with a crispy crust and bits of semi-sweet chocolate is my newest obsession.

Ob. Sesh. On.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

Sorry for my bad spelling above.  I promise I won’t start saying what-evs and obvi and talking about cake swag.  But if I do, just chalk it up to YOLO.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

Decadent Homemade Brownies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
While I love a good fudgy brownie, this cakey brownie with a crispy crust and bits of semi-sweet chocolate is my newest obsession.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate, about 2 ounces, finely chopped


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8-inch round cake pan.
  • In stand mixer, combine sugars, butter and vanilla and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.
  • Sift flours, cocoa and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture with mixer on low speed and blend until ingredients are fully combined. (no more than 1 minute)
  • Remove bowl from mixer and fold in finely chopped chocolate by hand using a spatula.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let brownies cool to room temperature in pan.
  • Cover in whipped cream and strawberries.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I love a perfect brownie and the texture of yours looks amazing in the picture. Oh and how cute is that high hat cake 🙂

  2. I just showed this pic from your book to my husband this morning as my “I must make this one immediately”!
    I am in love with the hi hat idea! Needless to say, my husband is totally on board with this idea! Yum can’t wait!

  3. Yummmmy! I just showed this pic from your book to my husband this morning ! And then there it is again. That settles it I really must make it! I’m loving the whole hi hat idea right now! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your book just arrived in the mail yesterday, and I can’t put it down! I have so many ideas running around in my head now – can’t wait to get in the kitchen and give it a try. 🙂 I’ve admired your blog for a while now, and have loved your surprise inside cakes. Soooo glad you turned them into a book!!

    1. Thank you so much Kim!! I am just thrilled that you feel inspired… THAT is what it’s all about! 🙂

  5. Hi Amanda, there’s nothing better than cake and your creations are so much more than cakes, they’re about the delight! This brownie looks so very decadent and ultimately fudgey too. Love the snaps as always!

  6. OMG this recipe…I am drooling…sooooo yummy! I need to make this the second I get home! I love how you made it deconstructed hi hat…very clever!

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