Few things go down as well as a slice of chocolate cake and a cup of milky five roses tea (colour reference: 2D, as per the tea colour chart circling Instagram during the peak of lockdown.) This cake is moist (my apologies to all the polarising readers who hate this word but really, there is no better description), chocolatey and quite honestly the Best Chocolate Cake I’ve ever eaten. My mom is a Le Cordon Bleu Chef and has basically been baking from when she learned how to speak. For as long as I can remember there was a chocolate cake recipe she would use that was so well-loved that you could hardly read the faded writing between the lines of the now yellowed paper and fat stains. Shocked to write this and she’s even shocked to admit it, but this recipe has kissed that 50-year-old recipe goodbye. So we really mean it when we say it is the Best Chocolate Cake recipe out there.
- 1 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coffee
- 250g salted butter
- 1kg icing sugar
- 1 tsp instant coffee (dissolved with 4 tsp of boiling water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 milk (depending on consistency)
- Preheat your oven to 180c. Line 2, 22-23cms non-stick springform cake tins with baking paper on the bottom.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Then add the sugar to the bowl and mix to combine.
- In another bowl beat the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Using a stand-alone mixer (or an electric whisk if you don’t have one of those) on the slowest speed, carefully add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix a few times until just combined. NB tip - don’t over mix!
- Divide the batter evenly between the two tins and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a skewer/toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean.
- Cool in the tins for half an hour and then turn them out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before icing. Icing a warm cake will be a tragedy.
While the cakes are cooling, “kill two birds with one stone” as they say, and make the buttercream icing.
- Using a stand-alone mixer or electric whisk, beat all the icing ingredients together on high speed until all combined and light and fluffy.
- To ice the cake, place one layer with the dome facing up on your chosen plate/stand (sometimes you can miraculously have no dome and in that case, congratulations on making a level cake!). Scoop a huge dollop of the icing on the top and spread it out to make it smooth and level. Add the second layer of cake, again with the dome facing upwards, and use the remainder of the icing to cover the sides and top.
- Icing a cake is no small feat but fortunately comes with GREAT reward. I have watched many a cake icing tutorial and my favourite is Bon Appétit ‘Baking School’ channel on YouTube. Claire makes you want to jump off the couch and bake a cake immediately.
- If you’ve got a piping bag and a nozzle, pipe some decorative edges onto your masterpiece. Alternatively, decorate it with some smarties/chuckles/chopped nuts/anything really would look fabulous.
(Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s famous ‘Beattys’ Chocolate Cake.)