While most people are baking Christmas puddings, fruit cakes and gingerbread men at this time of the year, I baked a chocolate cake instead. The kids had a birthday recently and my options are usually a vanilla sponge cake, mud cake or red velvet. I've never really made chocolate cake before (really!) other than chocolate mud cake (I prefer to distinguish the two). It wasn't until I brought Miss H to her friend's birthday party that I tried the most amazing chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, that I was determined to solve the mystery of the best chocolate cake ever. Simply, the cake was so light and moist and the frosting was just awesome. For a while, it did remind me of the chocolate cream buns that I used to enjoy during my childhood days.
So, I googled pictures of chocolate cake with frosting and finally found what I was looking for. Aptly, it was called The Best Chocolate Cake Ever. No joke. And indeed it was true to its name. Note that the cake uses vegetable oil instead of butter, hence giving the cake a lighter texture and flavour. What? No butter you say? Well, you will find all that butter in the divinely rich chocolate frosting that you can't get enough of.
This will be my final post for the year, and I will see you back here in 2014! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
Adapted from Add A Pinch
- 2 cups plain or all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1½ cups butter (375g), softened
- 1 cup cocoa
- 4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup milk (approx)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
- For the cake:
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Whisk on low to combine the mixture, and then increase to high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely. Trim off the top of the cake if you prefer it to be level.
- Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting.
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar has been added. You may not use up all the milk if the consistency is right i.e. not too runny.
- Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.