We all need a few go-to recipes in our back pockets to prepare for when the opportunity for a perfectly delicious holiday cake presents itself, and this recipe is mine: a simple cake with cocoa powder and the flavor of coffee which meets in a bowl with little equipment and almost at any time.
The whipped chocolate buttercream makes this cake a chocolate lover’s dream, but the cake is just as delicious with a basic vanilla buttercream.
Chocolate cake in a bowl
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of yeast
- 2¼ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup black coffee, hot
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, gently melted
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
To prepare the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with rounds of parchment paper.
2. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until combined. Add all the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl (and the bottom of the bowl) twice.
3. Pour equal amounts of batter into both pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the center is barely set and a toothpick comes out of the cake almost clean. Cool in pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. The cake will stay fresh for several days if covered, or for a month if tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.
To prepare the icing:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar, beating over medium heat for another minute and a half. Add salt, vanilla and cream and beat to combine for 30 seconds. Quickly stir in the melted (but not hot!) chocolate until incorporated. If your chocolate was too hot and the mixture seems too runny and loose, you can place it in the fridge to firm it up a bit or add a little powdered sugar.
To assemble the cake:
Use a serrated knife to cut the domes from the top of the cake. The top of the cake should be flat before assembling. Place some frosting on your plate or on the cake board where you want to frost your cake and place your first layer on top. Use an offset spatula to spread a dollop of frosting over the first layer. Place the next layer on top and repeat this process. Frost the sides of the cake and decorate as desired. Store the cake covered, tightly, with plastic wrap. It is best to consume it within 2 days of its manufacture.
Kate Wood, who lives in Selma, includes her recipes on her blog Wood and Spoon and on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. It also aired on Alabama NewsCenter.