The BEST Chocolate Cake — EVER! ((Part 5 of the “BUSY Mom Cooks” recipe series))
You may be thinking to yourself “We’ll, her definition of busy and mine must not line up — because I would NEVER have time to make a cake from scratch!” Let me assure you – you CAN do this and it is SO worth it. There are a few keys to making a homemade cake both simply & deliciously. I will tell you how to do both well — even if you are a busy bee like me.
So let’s jump right in! Let me start by telling you why this is the cake for you:
- Betty Crocker considers this to be the “BEST Chocolate Cake”. This is our Mom’s and Grandma’s Betty – of the good old, scratch made simple days!
- It makes just the perfect single-layer round 8″ cake. Perfect for a treat, but leaving no lingering leftovers that will blow your will power & grow your waist-line!
- The recipe is simple, but lends itself to an opportunity to tweak to your liking AND learn a few handy baking tricks while you are at it — even if you are busy, we can all squeeze in learning something new, RIGHT?
- There is chocolate involved. Yum, yes that deserved it’s own bullet.
- It is the BEST ever.
Gather the necessary ingredients and with the first step, you will realize exactly what makes this cake so easy. Add ALL of the ingredients into a your mixer’s bowl and beat on LOW for 30 seconds, increasing to HIGH speed for 2 minutes.
There is no science or precision. Simply measure, dump & mix. But before we move on to sticking this baby in the oven, let me point out a few updates I made to this vintage recipe:
- The original recipe calls for melted unsweetened chocolate squares.
I only have cocoa powder, so I measured out 2 ounces of cocoa powder and added 1/4 c boiling water to the powder and WOW!! That deepened the chocolate flavor ((bloomed is the technical term, I guess)) and released the most amazing aroma!
- The original recipe calls for shortening.
Um, I am a butter kind of gal. I did the old “one-two-switcheroo”. The butter switch yielded a delightful cake
- For the last substitution, the original recipe calls for buttermilk.
Usually, I don’t have buttermilk on hand and, when busy – I DEFINITELY do not have time to run to the store for that one missing item. But I usually do have sour cream. I simply added a heaping ¼ cup of sour cream and the residual liquid that separated from the sour cream while in the sour cream carton. You can also add 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to milk as a substitute for buttermilk.
This is also a great recipe for little hands – so bring on the kiddos.
This recipe also calls for the use of a mixer. I am sure the opinions on whether using a mixer saves time or costs time. But for me, it is a “time cost-er” – so I beat the fire out of this batter and it made me feel great. A little sweaty but still great. Gracie counted to 20 for me 7 times – and when she was finished my arm fell off and hit the ground, bounced back up and re-attached itself to my body and the batter was ready for my final tweak.
Really, for a chocolate cake to be the BEST ever – I expect the chocolate to reach out and slap you with every single bite.
Yes, 4 ounces of roughly chopped high quality Belgian milk chocolate will do that to ya!
Now, the final step for this busy momma who’s baking a homemade ((birthday)) cake? Parchment – parchment – parchment! AND non-stick flour spray. Ain’t nobody got time for a cake to stick!
It is also helpful to let the kiddos do the dishes — just make sure they don’t put them back in the drawer.
Bake & allow to cool before topping with your favorite buttercream.
The result is a very moist, fudgy/brownie-like single-layer cake.
I topped with some leftover buttercream ((check out some of my easy & delicious buttercream recipes HERE))
and a simple 2-ingredient ganache ((recipe coming soon)).
Certainly worthy of a celebration –
and comparable to a high-end bakery.
Yum!! A speedy and VERY delicious, HOMEMADE fudgy chocolate cake. No need for a box or a bakery – YOU CAN DO THIS.
The BEST Chocolate Cake
- 1/4 c + 2 T boiling water
- 4 t cocoa powder
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 1 c granulated cane sugar
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1/4 c + 2 T sour cream*
- 1/2 stick (4 T) melted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 t vanilla
- 4 oz chopped Belgian milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8 round cake pan with parchment and spray with a flour-based non-stick spray. Combine cocoa powder & boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Combine all ingredients, including the cocoa water/mixture. Beat on HIGH either by hand or using a mixer for 2 minutes.
add the chopped milk chocolate, stirring to combine, Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the center is set and an inserted toothpick doesnt come out with wet batter on it.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before inverting on a baking rack.
Top with your favorite buttercream & ganache ((see body of post for recipe links))
- * When using sour cream, I add the residual liquid in the sour cream container, usually 1 T of liquid.
- adapted from Betty Crocker