This is perhaps my favorite all time baking recipe. I was in search of the perfect, simple, fool-proof chocolate cake. For two years I tried multiple chocolate cake recipes, tweaking this and that. After much experimentation, this is the one. It’s fast to make and tastes just like a good chocolate layer cake should.
(makes 36 cupcakes, two 9-inch layers, three 8-inch layers or a generous 9 X 13 cake)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 oz boiling water
8 1/2 oz (1 3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour [for cupcakes, increase flour to 9 1/2 oz (1 7/8 cup)]
7 oz (1 cup) white sugar
8 oz (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
2 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) cocoa powder (natural – not Dutch processed)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
8 oz (1 cup) buttermilk
3 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
In a small heatproof bowl mix chocolate and boiling water. Blend until chocolate is melted. It may look a little clumpy – don’t worry. Set this aside while you mix the rest of the batter.
Mix all the rest of the ingredients on low for 20 seconds or so just to combine. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Add the water/chocolate mixture to batter. It’s OK if the water/chocolate mixture is still warm. Mix on low to combine. Batter will be thin.
Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. For 24 cupcakes or three 8-inch layers, test after 18 minutes; for two 9-inch layers, test after 22 minutes; and for the 9 X 13 cake test after 28 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack or parchment lined plate to cool completely.
This cake is fabulous when frosted with Vanilla Buttercream. You can find that recipe as part of my Chocolate Sandwich Cookie entry. But a more detailed and slightly larger batch recipe is forthcoming.
Note 1: to prepare a pan, I use cooking spray with flour. It is fast, easy, and always works. I use cupcake papers when I make cupcakes.
Note 2: I use a scale to measure my ingredients. It’s just a faster, easier way to bake. It also makes measuring flour accurate and consistent. I’ll include both types of measurement where possible.
This recipe is dedicated to the members of Bible study, who have been testing my dessert experiments for many, many years.