Our Devilishly Great Chocolate Cake Recipe (And Tips!)

For all our chocolate lovers out there, the age-old question of how best to satisfy your sweet tooth is still a daily struggle. While you can go out and by a chocolate bar any day, it seems much more difficult to create your own masterpiece from scratch, but it really doesn’t have to be. There are many different types of chocolate cakes you can make like the Instant Pot chocolate cake or tiramisu. With our recipe and tips, chocolate utopia is just around the corner. Whether you need it for a birthday, or a midnight craving, this chocolate cake will leave you satisfied with its moist and decadent layers

Before you nail it in the kitchen, take a look at our tips and tricks of the trade. These will allow you to, not only know the ins and outs of the baking process, but also learn how you can make your cake your own with slight flavor variations. Below, we’ve included some of our favorite tips for ensuring only perfection leaves your oven.

Tips to Get You Started:

  • Use the real stuff. In order to get results you’re crazy about, make sure you invest in quality chocolate and cocoa. Dark chocolate blocks are a great option and create a rich and sophisticated flavor. You can always break up pieces of your favorite specialty chocolate bar. Or if you don’t want to spend too much, try a grocery chocolate like Ghirardelli.
  • Make sure you level out your batter once it’s in your pans since you don’t want layers that are falling all over each other. Tapping your pan on your counter several times, can help release any air bubbles and ensure a smoother finish.
  • One common mistake made by newbies is not contrasting flavors well. If chocolate on chocolate is a definite must, try our buttercream frosting. Or if you’re feeling brave, why not go for a fruit-flavored frosting or filling. Cherry and chocolate are not in an exclusive relationship with candy.
  • Choose your flavor wisely. While vanilla is a safe bet for most recipes, if you aren’t one for the typical, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Something as exotic as zucchini can give your cake a unique (non-veggie) flavor. Who would have thought, right? There are many other options like lemon or orange zest that can give your cake the X factor. Wanting to try even crazier flavors? Check out these unusual ingredients
  • Adding coffee to the recipe like we have, will not cause your cake to taste like coffee, instead it helps release that rich cocoa flavor we are all dying to taste. If you are aiming for a coffee flavor, simply add more coffee and cut back on cocoa. Also, if you are fresh out of coffee, boiled water has the same effect on enriching flavor.
  • Always make sure your cake is completely cooled before frosting it to perfection, if you don’t want an avalanche. Believe me, we’ve all had a couple natural disasters in our kitchen, but we would never wish that on you.

Feeling like a pro baker? Perfect! Now for the chocolatey goodness we’ve all been waiting for: 

Our Devilishly Great Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-inch cake pans and lightly sprinkle with flour.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder of your choice (or gourmet chocolate)

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups hot coffee (yes, you read that right!)

1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (substitutes include: a handful of shredded zucchini or lemon/orange zest)

A smidge of butter and flour to grease your cake pans

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, hand mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to stop when ingredients are thoroughly combined so you don’t beat all the air out of your batter.
  2. Next in line, mix in your eggs, hot coffee, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla (or substitute). Beat in your mixer until creamy.
  3. Divide the batter into three pans, making them as equal as possible. 
  4. Place pans in the oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes. 
  5. Once baked, set your cakes on a cooling rack for 10-15 before taking them out of the pans, and then let them cool some more. Once they are completely cool, it’s time to frost!

Notes:

  • Try sticking a toothpick in the center of your cake to make sure it’s fully baked. If it comes out free of crumbs or batter your cake is fully baked.
  • Resist the urge to open the oven and check on your beauties for the first 20 minutes or so. This could cause your cake to end up flat or with a funky set-up.

Let’s not forget the frosting… 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or flavor of your choice)

3-4 Tablespoons milk 

Instructions

  1. Place butter in a large bowl. Set your mixer on low, and beat till smooth.
  2. Next you’ll add 2 cups of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and turn the mixer to low speed. Stir until well-combined,
  3. Add the rest of the powdered sugar in, little by little. 
  4. Now you’ll add in your remaining milk, gradually increasing speed until your frosting is your desired consistency. 

Well there you have it. If this recipe doesn’t put you in a sugar coma, I don’t know what will, but it’s all in the name of chocolate, right? Baking the perfect cake doesn’t have to be hard, as long as you have the right ingredients and follow these simple steps. Whether you’re one for adventure and want to try our zucchini approach, or are a sucker for classic chocolate, there’s something for everyone with this recipe. And that’s the way the cake crumbles!

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