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in the kitchen with: hable construction

by Grace Bonney

I learned of Hable Construction through design*sponge, but fell in love when Grace finally ended her search for the perfect sofa (that would fit in the door to their Park Slope walk up) with a Hable Construction pattern. It took me two years and a million trips to New York to remember to go to the Hable shop, but I did around Christmas in 2007, and even managed to stumble upon a sale! While I was there, I got to talk to both Kate and Susan, and while I didn’t know they were from Texas, I knew they were from the South by their very strong accents, wonderfully outgoing and helpful personalities, and huge genuine smiles. Seeing them in their environment really makes me wish I were talented enough at something to start my own business. But alack and alas, I leave that to those who are!! Their recipe for a Country Style Chocolate Chip Cake was more of a “studio choice” by their colleagues, and is quite similar to that of Bonnee Sharp’s (must be something Texan!), but uses chocolate pudding instead. The photography was done by none other than Matt Armendariz in his Long Beach studio, who recently appeared at #7 on the Times Online list of the world’s 50 best food bloggers. –Kristina

About Susan and Katharine: Named after their great-grandfather’s road construction business, Texan sisters Susan and Katharine Hable founded the NY textiles company Hable Construction in 1999. Katharine, a born saleswoman with professional experience working at Kate Spade and Polo Ralph Lauren; and Susan, an artist inspired by nature and the handmade aesthetic, decided a business partnership would be a harmonious marriage of the siblings’ talents. Paving roads of a different sort, the new generation of the family business merged their skill sets with an updated sensibility, aiming to create artfully distinctive and utilitarian products for everyday living. Katharine currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, and is the entrepreneurial force behind Hable Construction. Susan currently resides in New York City and is the designer behind the strikingly colored and lofty-scaled patterns cast on Hable Construction products. [Portraits by RINNE ALLEN]

CLICK HERE for the full Country Style Chocolate Chip Cake recipe or just click “read more” below…

Country Style Chocolate Chip Cake*


1 box instant yellow cake mix
1 box chocolate jell-o instant pudding (small package)
8 oz of sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1 pack of semi-sweet chocolate chips (small package)

mix all together (near the end of mixing, pour in 1 pack of semi-sweet chocolate chips and fold into batter)
grease bundt pan
pour batter into pan
bake at 300 degrees for an hour
let cake cool
display on pretty platter!
finish off bundt cake with confectioner’s sugar

Why Kate and Susan chose this cake:

Here’s a quick, easy, inexpensive, and scrumptious recipe from Kate & Susan. We went on a beach-y getaway this weekend in Long Island and I had to ask how they made it. It’s an instant cake mix recipe disguised with a couple of add-ons that make it special and so good! Their mom handed the recipe down to them when they were growing up in Texas.

*NB: We have learned that this recipe is very similar to a recipe already in print. Unfortunately I have been unsuccessful at locating that recipe in print. We wish to apologize profusely to the original author of this recipe for any inadvertent oversight. Please know that we do not intend at all to infringe on the hard work you’ve done to develop the recipe and we would be very happy to credit you if you could please contact me through hello@threelayercake.com

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  • I love Hable, thanks for the story! Sadly, their shop on Perry St. is closing, so you lucky New Yorkers better get over there. Up to 80% off!

  • i actually have been using a variation of this recipe for years that i got from my mother. so wonderful and easy to make! have had lots of compliments on it… hope you can track down the original creator of this recipe, it’s a delicious recipe…

  • that’s the same cake recipe my mom gave to me years ago and i always make to impress! being from texas, i guess those good recipes get around that big ol’ state…

  • mmm! That looks fantastic! And I love the white cake stand…I have a thing for those and pick one up everytime I find a good deal! I may need to rein myself in :)

  • Oh wow, what an awesome cake! I throw a party in the summer every year and this cake will be a perfect, southern, addition to the added festivities! Thanks so much for the post!

  • I have the same recipe but you use a devil’s food cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix; it’s ultra chocolate!

  • yum! like karen, i also make this with devil’s food cake (and happen to be from texas)…

    i think i got it from allrecipes.com and it was called chocolate lover’s cake or something to that effect…

  • im trying to make this recipe right now actually…followed the directions, and the hour in the oven is up, and its still gooey, not nearly baked through….what am i doing wrong?!

  • I am very disjointed to see a recipe that includes a prepackaged cake mix and jello… Expect more from designsponge.

  • Hi Meredith,

    Thanks for this citation. Another reader has cited the source for a similar recipe from the book “Best Recipes on the Backs of Boxes”. I think since many people grew up with this cake, it is not so easy to find the source! Maybe the source is a corporate test kitchen and the recipe has been modified to meet individual tastes over time? Who knows… But we’ll keep looking!

  • Citizen

    Why would you “expect more” from a site that isn’t a food site? It’s a design site, give D*S a break.

  • susan here again from hable. different ovens require a little cranking. in response to jackye’s comment about the gooey cake: try 350 degrees next time. my apologies if the cake didn’t turn out. also, how much pudding did you use? the grocery store i go to typically sells one standard size box of pudding – not sure how many ounces it is, but i can check. that might be another factor. hope it turned out in the end?

  • WHOOPS!!! Just checked out the Hable girls chocolate chip cake… Mama says…” there are a few problems here!” Make these changes please… 3/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup of water.. yes, it is a small package of chocolate chips and a small package of instant pudding.. and the cake is perfect at 350 degrees for 55 minutes… sorry there were boo-boo’s…but those girls certainly know how to “lick the platter clean”… DO TRY…

  • AND…. it is a yellow cake mix with PUDDING INSIDE!!! Very important! And it gets better with age….

  • Ok, I made the cake as in the original post (with the wrong oil/water amounts). Used the 3.9oz box of pudding and a 16 oz bag of choc chips. Baked at 350 degrees for 60 mins. And it was AMAZING. I literally had to hide cake from my husband so that we’d have pieces left for my parents. But most people should definitely plan on a 350 degree oven, that’s pretty much the standard baking temp for cakes and cookies.

  • I tinkered with it this past weekend and OOOH!! It was fabulous and delicious!!

    I also had to hide it from my boyfriend so we’d have desert for our Easter guest! haha!

  • I made this cake to stellar reviews… I ended up having to up the temp & the Baking time… More like 1.5 hours at 350….Yummy

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