Easy Chocolate Cake recipe

Growing up, there was always a sense of anticipation in the air whenever my grandmother announced she was baking her famous chocolate cake. The rich aroma of cocoa would fill the kitchen, and the promise of indulgence would linger until the first slice was served. This chocolate cake recipe is a tribute to those cherished moments, combining classic flavors with a touch of nostalgia.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: Approximately 350 per serving (serving size: 1 slice)
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 30g
  • Protein: 5g

Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water

For the Chocolate Ganache (Optional):

  • 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream

For the Chocolate Buttercream (Optional):

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Origin and Cultural Significance:

Chocolate cake has a long history rooted in European and American baking traditions. Its decadent nature has made it a favorite for celebrations and special occasions worldwide. In American culture, chocolate cake is often associated with birthdays, weddings, and other joyous events, symbolizing indulgence and happiness.

chocolate cake
chocolate cake

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations:

  • For a gluten-free option, use almond flour or a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Substitute dairy-free milk and vegan butter for a dairy-free version.
  • Add a hint of espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Incorporate chopped nuts or dried fruits for added texture and flavor.

Beverage Pairings:

  • Rich red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot complement the chocolate notes.
  • Coffee or espresso for an indulgent after-dinner treat.
  • Cold milk or a creamy hot chocolate for a comforting pairing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Overmixing the batter can result in a dense cake. Mix until just combined.
  • Not greasing and flouring the cake pans adequately can cause sticking.
  • Overbaking leads to a dry cake. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

Health Benefits of Key Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may have heart-protective benefits.
  • Eggs provide high-quality protein and essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and selenium.
  • Cocoa powder is a good source of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.

Regional Variations:

  • German chocolate cake features a coconut and pecan filling.
  • Black Forest cake originates from Germany and includes layers of chocolate cake, cherries, and whipped cream.
  • French chocolate cake, known as “gateau au chocolat,” tends to be denser and richer in chocolate flavor.

Step-by-Step Recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a bowl, sift together 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour, 1¾ cups of granulated sugar, ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, 1½ teaspoons of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup of whole milk, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Troubleshooting:

  • If the cake sinks in the middle, it may be underbaked. Ensure the center is fully set before removing from the oven.
  • Crumbly texture can result from overmixing or using too much flour. Follow the recipe measurements precisely.
  • Dry cake may occur if baked too long or at too high a temperature. Check the oven temperature and baking time.

Essential Kitchen Tools:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk or electric mixer
  • Cake pans
  • Cooling rack
  • Spatula for frosting

Sustainability Practices:

  • Choose organic and fair-trade chocolate and cocoa products to support sustainable farming practices.
  • Use locally sourced ingredients when possible to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Repurpose leftover cake for creative dessert ideas or freeze for future enjoyment.

Flavor Profile and Texture:

This chocolate cake is rich, moist, and deeply chocolatey, with a tender crumb that melts in your mouth. The combination of cocoa powder and quality dark chocolate creates a luxurious flavor profile that is both comforting and indulgent.

Best Occasions to Serve:

  • Birthdays and celebrations
  • Dinner parties or gatherings
  • Holiday desserts

Conclusion:

In conclusion, this chocolate cake recipe is a delightful indulgence that brings together timeless flavors and cherished memories. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or simply craving a decadent treat, this cake is sure to delight your taste buds and warm your heart. Embrace the joy of baking and sharing this classic dessert with loved ones, creating new memories to treasure for years to come.

chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake has a long history rooted in European and American baking traditions. Its decadent nature has made it a favorite for celebrations and special occasions worldwide. In American culture, chocolate cake is often associated with birthdays, weddings, and other joyous events, symbolizing indulgence and happiness.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water

For the Chocolate Ganache (Optional):

  • 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream

For the Chocolate Buttercream (Optional):

  • 1 cup 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a bowl, sift together 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour, 1¾ cups of granulated sugar, ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, 1½ teaspoons of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup of whole milk, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Keyword Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe