My Foolproof Homemade Chocolate Cake
There are very few things better in life than a good homemade chocolate cake.
This is a favorite recipe of mine, and as long as you follow the directions, it turns out well every time.
Apparently it was the Ancient Egyptians who were the first to develop advanced baking skills.
Now they were not baking chocolate cakes, but they were building the foundations for the cake as we know it today.
This goes to show how long the cake has been evolving over the centuries to provide us with this beloved dessert.
Early cakes were more like bread with dried fruit and sweetened with honey.
They were a far cry from the refined sugar in the cakes we are used to eating now.
This cake should definitely be an option for the next birthday cake you bake.
The Secret to a Delicious Homemade Chocolate Cake
Probably the word that comes to mind when you think about good cake is the word moist.
What is a good cake if not just moist enough to allow for a pleasant mouth feel?
Mixing is important, but over mixing can leave you with a tough cake that will be less appetizing.
How you make the cake is as important as what goes into it.
Dry ingredients mixed separately is a crucial step to making sure that you have a well balanced recipe.
Adopting this simple process will ensure that the leavening agent used is well dispersed.
Also leaving the eggs as an addition on their own is a good thing to keep in mind.
Once the sugar and butter have been creamed together add the melted chocolate (if making chocolate cake).
At this stage add the eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing each egg into the batter before adding the next.
Another important thing to remember is add the wet ingredients such as milk or hot water in batches.
Alternating dry and wet ingredients to your mixture will increase your chances of baking a nice cake.
Starting with dry and ending with dry additions with a third of the wet in between additions.
Will make sure your batter does not separate, or become too dry and stiff for proper mixing.
There are so many options when it comes to making frosting.
A lot will depend on your preference for the type of icing to accompany your cake.
Something very sweet, not so sweet, just powdered sugar, and a lot of variations in between.
Consistency is also important to think about, from ganache to chocolate buttercream to a fondant.
Be sure that the frosting is a compliment to your cake and does not overpower it in flavor.
These two components must work together to make a successful cake.
Not forgetting the filling if there is one of course.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cake
For the Cake
Add sugar, vanilla and boiling water in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix at medium speed.
Stop once sugar has begun to dissolve into the water and vanilla.
Chop the chocolate on a cutting board making small pieces for easy melting.
Cut up the butter and mix with the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
Melt the butter and chocolate and whisk together.
This step can also be done using a bain-marie if you do not have access to a microwave.
In a mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients making sure they are well incorporated.
Add the melted rich chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture, and mix well.
Add the eggs one at a time until each is well blended with the chocolate mixture.
Heat the buttermilk to a bit above room temperature.
Add some of the flour mixture until just mixed, then add a third of the buttermilk.
Alternate with additions this way ending with the flour mixture.
Grease and line two cake baking pans, and line with parchment paper.
Split cake batter evenly between both pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove cake to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the Frosting
I like to use a sourcream frosting for this layer cake, that has a nice chocolate flavor of its own.
Using a stand mixer, mix the butter and the cocoa powder, then add the sour cream and vanilla.
Add the confectioner sugar one heaping tablespoon at a time so that it doesn’t get blown out of the mixer.
This easy frosting recipe is one that can be kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Just warm to room temperature and frost your cake as usual.
Tips for Making
- It’s important to mix the dry ingredients well to disperse the baking powder and baking soda.
- Use parchment paper along with grease in your cake pans.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before removing them from the pans.
Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 7 oz Butter
- 8 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate chopped
- ⅜ cup Hot Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1¾ cups Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1½ cups Flour all purpose
- 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Butter softened
- ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 3¾ cups Powdered Sugar
- ¾ cup Sour Cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 325ºF (177ºC). Grease and line two cake pans with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl, whisk until smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer stir the sugar, water and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and mix well.
- Add eggs one at a time waiting for each to be mixed in well.
- In a separate bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together.
- Starting with the dry ingredients, alternate with the addition of the dry mix and the buttermilk.
- Split the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Put on a baking tray and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pans comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack before removing the cakes from the pans.
For the Frosting
- Using a stand mixer, mix the butter with the unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Add the sour cream, and vanilla.
- Add a heaping teaspoon at a time of powdered sugar, until all ingredients are combined.
- Frost cooled cake, with a layer of frosting between cake layers.
Can This Cake Be Frozen?
Definitely a yes on that one!
Wrap each fully cooled cake layer in a double layer of plastic wrap making sure to pull it tight.
The less air that stays close to the cake, the lower the chance of freezer burn.
You can also freeze the frosted cake as a whole, by refrigerating first so the frosting won’t be too soft.
Again wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and it should stay in good shape for three months.