• March 29, 2011

    Moist Chocolate Cake

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    Moist chocolate cake recipe | www.foodess.com

    There’s something to be said for a cake that you can whip up at 9 o’clock on a Friday night, after a serious doozy of a week, when you need some baking therapy that requires little to no brain power. By the time this past weekend hit, I think anything requiring technique or poise in the kitchen would have had induced some kind of cerebral short circuiting – I imagine there would have been sparks, probably some twitching and likely even drool.

    Okay fine, so there might have been drool anyway.

    Actually, when the cake emerged, there was probably drooling and clapping. I tell you that because I trust you won’t judge me.

    This cocoa-based cake is deeply chocolaty and incredibly moist. It surprises me every single time with how good it is for something so easy. It is a great emergency cake to have in your repertoire for forgotten birthdays, last-minute visitors, or urgent Friday night chocolate cravings. I love to smother it in gooey marshmallow frosting (the seven-minute kind made with just whipped egg whites, sugar, and vanilla). Mmm… Drooling again. Note to self: try to control that. This time I smothered it instead with a super easy cocoa buttercream frosting. Not the fancypants Italian buttercream, the shortcut American-style buttercream that is basically just butter, icing sugar, and cocoa powder. Again, brain short-out aversion strategy.

    Moist chocolate cake recipe | www.foodess.com

    I have used this recipe to make sheet cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes, mini cupcakes… really, you can’t go wrong. Everything gets tossed in the standing mixer (no creaming of butter and sugar, or alternating between dry and liquid as in typical cake recipes), poured into cake pans, and popped in the oven, easy as 1-2-3.

    Note: I have been asked dozens of times if you can taste the coffee, and the answer is no; it does not taste at all like coffee. You won’t know it’s there, it just deepens the flavour of the chocolate and the heat helps smooth out the batter and get rid of lumps. But feel free to use just plain boiling water in its place.

    P.S. If you like this, you’ll love my super moist banana bread recipe…

    UPDATE 14/2/2014: Fluffy Chocolate Frosting recipe here!

    UPDATE 24/7/2015: Moist Vanilla Cake recipe here

    Moist chocolate cake recipe | www.foodess.com



    Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Servings 12
    Author Jennifer Pallian


    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 cups granulated white sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened
    • 1/2 cup butter melted
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup hot coffee or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans (or line with parchment paper circles) and set aside.
    2. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny.
    3. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached.
    4. Allow to cool 15 minutes in pans, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cake. Place a wire cooling rack over top of each pan. Wearing oven mitts, use both hands to hold the racks in place while flipping the cakes over onto the racks. Set the racks down and gently thump on the bottom of the pans until the cakes release. Cool completely before handling or frosting.
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    Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + making something delicious, in roughly equal parts. So happy that you've joined me!

    • Yummm. You can pick the flower buds off and they’ll divert energy into producing more leaves, but eventually it’ll cotton on and only grow the flowery bits. I quite like “older” leaves too, they are nice and pungent!

    • Pesto is one of my favourite summer things to make too. So good! Also, I didn’t know you could freeze it. Jenn, you’re a genius, as usual. 🙂

    • Dee

      Jenn, my Cilantro just started to look a little strange. Do you think it might be thinking about flowering? Should I harvest?

      • Yes, you probably should.  The flowers of the cilantro plant don’t look that different from the leaves at first, which is why I didn’t notice it happening… but the stalks become tough and the leaves lose their flavour.  

    • Your pesto is beautiful!  It so green.  I make pesto and freeze it, but it turns brown very quick.  How do you keep pesto from turning brown?

      • Hmm… I have never actually encountered that problem! Mine stays bright green. So do my other herbs that I freeze in oil…

    • Jenn

      I planted some Basil this year and I would love to attempt this homemade pesto.  Did you like the flavor of it with the walnuts or do you prefer it with pine nuts?  Pine nuts are so pricey and I would love to use walnuts instead if you think it tastes just as good?

      • The taste is different than pine nuts, for sure, but I love it!

    • Don Francis

      Cut the basil flowers as soon as possible. Basilis an annual, so, you can get the most of it just cutting them.
      I,m a Chef, and I grow my own herbs, trust me this proccedure works!

      • Thanks for the tip! I pinched off all the flowers and have been harvesting it lots, and feeding it good organic plant food, and it’s back to flourishing 🙂

    • I was just reading the comments down here and saw a suggestion for walnuts in pesto instead of pine nuts.  Hadn’t thought of that, but the ease of finding walnuts (and cheaper price) might make homemade pesto just a little more feasible.  How about almonds?  That’s one nut I think everyone here likes. 

      I have a fair amount of basil growing in my garden and would like to make the best use of it before the fall. Great idea – to freeze it with oil, too.

      Erika K

      • YES! Any nuts really would work, there’s a lot of room for creativity. Toast them for best flavour.

    • Hector

      How many oz of basil is there in 3 cups

      • gourmetsleuth.com has a great online cooking converter that I use for those things!

    • Natassha Stash

      It was gorgeous THANK YOU!! Perfect without frosting and with ice cream!!

    • Rach

      What’s the frosting used in your cake in the photo? Looks yum!

    • Saff

      the most moist cake i’ve ever made everybody loved it thank you plus the buttermilk alternative was amazing…..thank you Jennifer & foodess


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