For years, I have struggled to find a great chocolate cake recipe, one that produces a cake that is moist yet not too dense, rich but not sickly. I found myself compromising flavour to get the right texture, and full of frustration because I couldn’t compete with shop bought chocolate cake. I found myself reminiscing about a chocolate cake Mum made for my sister, in the shape of train wagons. That was possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten. She can’t remember which recipe she used as apparently it was an ‘error’ cake, which turned out to be beautiful in both looks and flavour. I was 7 and I can still smell it and almost taste it. That’s how good that cake was.
So my chocolate cake recipe hunting mission became an obsession, I was determined to find the ultimate chocolate cake recipe. Until yesterday. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the ultimate, the great, the fabulous… Mr Chocolate Look-no-further Cake!! This cake is moist, rich, delicious, full of flavour. It ticks all of (my) boxes and I think the secret is, ladies and gentlemen, buttermilk and coffee. Yes, coffee in chocolate cake. I promise the cake won’t taste of coffee, just of chocolate. I promise.
340g plain flour
400g caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120mL vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil, but any odourless/tasteless vegetable oil should be ok)
3 medium free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
240mL freshly brewed & hot coffee
50g cocoa powder
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven at 180C and grease a 20/24cm loose bottom cake tin.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix until combined. Set aside
3. Whisk the eggs, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla, until well combined.
4. Slowly addd the dry ingredients to the wet and mix slowly. Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
5. Pour the batter into the greased cake tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife/skewer comes out clean.
5. Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
1. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the cocoa powder and beat again until light and fluffy.
2. Ice the cake with the chocolate icing using a butter knife or a spatula knife.