baked goods, RECIPES

The best chocolate cake

March 29, 2024

This is one of my and my son Rex’s all-time favourite cakes. It reminds me of a homemade chocolate cake lovingly baked by a mom who undoubtedly deserves every “Best Mom in the World” mug she’s ever received.

The sponge is unbelievably light, fluffy, and covered in an almost pudding-like chocolate icing, which is rich, smooth, and crazy good. Just know that if I have baked you this cake, I really love you. 



2 and ½ cups all-purpose cake flour

1 and ½ cups white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup cocoa powder

3 eggs

⅔ cup veg oil

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

⅔ cup buttermilk – Make your own by mixing ⅔ cup of milk with 1 generous teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1 cup of hot coffee *You can substitute this for 1 cup of hot water, but coffee does enhance the chocolate flavour. 


160g unsalted butter

200g milk or dark chocolate, I use a combination of both – chopped

⅔ cup of fresh cream

¼ cup cocoa powder

⅔ cup icing sugar

Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 2 x standard-sized (22/23cm) round tins by greasing the sides and lining the bottoms with rounds of baking paper.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a big bowl with a handheld mixer, add your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sifted cocoa powder, and give it a quick mix. 

3. Then add the eggs, oil, vanilla essence and buttermilk. Give it another quick mix, but be sure to not over-beat it. Gradually add the hot coffee (or hot water) in a thin steam and mix until just combined, ensuring there are no lumps. The batter will be quite smooth and runny, which is perfect. 

4. Divide the mixture equally into the baking tins and bake for ±28 mins or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Check them at 28 minutes, if they are slightly moist in the centre, just give them 2 more minutes or so. Once baked, let the cakes cool completely before icing.

5. Icing: In a medium sized pot add the butter, chopped chocolate, cream, sifted cocoa powder, icing sugar and salt. Heat all the ingredients over a medium heat, stirring constantly until everything has melted and you’re left with a beautiful smooth icing. 

6. Once melted pour into a shallow dish and cover the literal top of it with cling wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool at room temperature for about ±20 minutes before popping it into the fridge for about 2 hours or so. 

7. When it has set it should have a nice thick, spreadable consistency. If it’s too firm, pop it in the microwave for literally a few seconds and then give it a mix with a spoon or spatula. 

8. How to ice: Dollop 1/3 of the icing onto the 1st cake layer and spread it out evenly. Top that with the 2nd cake layer then use the remainder of the icing to cover the rest of the cake.

9. Prepare to fall in love with your new favourite chocolate cake!

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