Before we get started I am going to make the "claim" that this is the ultimate chocolate cake recipe. If you love moist and soft cake then this cake is what you want. The batter seems very "wet" but I assure you that even non cake people will love it. It always stays super moist too which is a must for chocolate cake.
This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and it's never let me down.
My friend taught me this brilliant cake recipe and before you turn up your nose to it, do not be fooled by the use of the metric system. Once I started to weigh all of my recipes in grams and measuring in milliliters this got so much more consistent. And I will say that it does take a little getting used to but the technique works so much better. And pay attention to the different instructions, for example the hot water is really important. What does it do? What it does however is ensure that the cake stays moist! Strange as it may sound this is really important.
And it doesn't use any eggs, in fact, you probably have most if not all the ingredients in your house already!
For the cake:
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 210g plain flour, plus more for pans
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 400g confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 140ml hot water/freshly brewed coffee *
- 120ml vegetable oil
- 100ml well shaken buttermilk *
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
- 90g good cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
Coffee is really nice and since I love to eat chocolate with coffee it is really a must for me. Some people like my dad will only eat it like this now, much to the annoyance of my mother. Also shake the buttermilk really well, otherwise it is senseless using buttermilk in the first place.
This was once pretty standard cupcake recipe that was cleverly converted into a cake recipe. The rule of thumb is the larger the cake the lower the temperature. Longer baking will not dry out your cake. This is a little anecdotal but when I first tried to bake cake I thought that it would work better if I baked on higher temperatures.
Also when you convert to a different forms the trick to get the right volume is pretty easy. I will share method my friend uses.
Here is how she did it:
First pour enough water into your cake pan to fill out to the appropriate level for batter. Most times one dozen cupcakes equals 2 x 8" rounds that are 1" high.
Then measure how much water you need to fill the number of cupcake portions the cupcake recipe calls for. You may find that the recipe needs slightly less baking powder if you have to double the recipe.
But, honestly, as long as you have enough batter, it will be delicious. Be aware that cupcakes usually take 20 minutes, a larger cake is usually 30 minutes, and a bundt cake can be up to 50 minutes.
The hot water/fresh coffee is added at the very end because the flour is effectively coated with fat (the oil and eggs), thereby reducing the amount of gluten that can form when flour and liquid are mixed.
The reason the water needs to be hot is because hot liquid (water/coffee) helps "bloom" cocoa powder, creating a deeper, more rich chocolate flavor and it will further infuse the flour with the fat. It also might help extract some flavor out of the ground espresso as well.
Generally, more sugar means more moistness, the reason is because sugar is hygroscopic, this means that it will absorb moisture from the batter.
Acidic ingredients like buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream etc. keep cakes nice and tender when they get older as well. Which is the main reason why this cake is so tender and moist in the first place.
Make sure that you use buttermilk. Normal milk just doesn't cut it.
Oil makes cakes have a more open texture and definitely more moist. You can also refrigerate your cake if you use oil and it won't become hard as there is no butter to solidify. Think of any carrot cake you have had before and how moist it was.
I can almost guarantee you it was made with oil.
That's it. Easy right? Even if you don't get it right the first time you can keep trying. The "bad" cakes are still delicious.