On my page for ideas and inspiration on this blog has long been chocolate cake. I feel like chocolate cake is an illusive thing. It never seems chocolatey enough, or moist enough, or rich enough. I really, really, want to find that magic recipe…. unfortunately… I don’t think this is the one, but this one is delicious, easy and only makes a small cake. I know that sounds strange, but cake never gets finished in my house, so I hate making a big cake that won’t get eaten.
The ingredient list is back to the basics again, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, buttermilk (which I didn’t have so I made my own with milk and white vinegar), baking soda, baking powder, table salt, dutch process cocoa powder and all purpose flour.
To begin, I preheated my oven to 350 F degrees and buttered and floured an 8-inch-square cake pan. Then I lined the bottom with a square of parchment paper. Next, I beat 3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (wait…I think I was supposed to use 6 tablespoons of butter and I used 16….hum…..oh well)
Next, I beat in the egg yolk and egg along with 1 teaspoon vanilla until they were combined. I scraped down the bowl and then added in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon table salt. I mixed this until it was very well combined.
I added in my 3/4 cup of buttermilk to the batter. The great Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen let me know that it might look curdled… um this looked curdled for sure!
Finally, I mixed in 1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder and 1 cup of all purpose flour until it was all incorporated and then carefully stopped so that I didn’t over mix it. This saved the batter and turned it into a beautiful thick chocolate mixture. I poured this into the prepared baking pan and smoothed the top. I baked the cake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick came out clean after being tested in the middle of the cake.
After cooling in the pan for 10 minutes, I flipped it onto a plate, took off the parchment paper, then flipped it back onto the cooling rack to finish cooling. Again…it sank a little in the middle… I don’t get it! While it cooled though, I made the icing.
I loved this simple icing! I think it was the real star of the cake. 1/2 cup room temperature butter, 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, pinch of salt, 3 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet 85% chocolate, 1 teaspoon whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
I added the powdered sugar and butter to a bowl and used a hand mixer to mix them together until they created a smooth and light mixture. It is tempting to want to add moisture right away, but resist! It will come together in the end. Then I added the melted and cooled chocolate (I microwaved it on 50% power for 25 seconds and then mixed it as much as I could and then gave it 5 more seconds at 50% power and finished mixing and melting it all), milk and vanilla.
I added ALL the frosting to the top of this cake and let my sprinkle “helper” add some pink sprinkles to the top of the cake for Valentine’s Day. He for sure ate WAY MORE sprinkles than made it on the cake, but it was so fun having him help me.
- I’m still on the lookout for the perfect chocolate cake recipes – if you have one you love – Please send it to me or leave it in a comment below!
- Also – it may have had something to do with my inability to actually follow this recipe correctly…oops
- I love baking with my kids!
- I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day
Recipe: Fudgy Chocolate Cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulate sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 ounces 85% chocolate – melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon whole milk (more if icing is too thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- For the cake- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with butter and cut a square of parchment paper and put in the bottom of the pan.
- Using the mixmaster paddle attachment beat the butter and sugars together until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Scrape down the batter and add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until very well combined. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. The batter will look curdled. Add the cocoa and flour and mix until just incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert onto a plate, take off the parchment paper and then invert back onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
- Transfer the cake to your serving dish before icing.
- For the icing- Beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl with a hand mixer until it is fluffy and combined. Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate, milk and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat for 1 minute more until nice and fluffy.
- Top the cake with the delicious icing and add sprinkles for decoration if desired.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman and can be found with many other amazing recipes at SmittenKitchen.com