Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recipe: Tasty No-Fail Chocolate Cake

This is my go-to recipe for cake. It is tender, moist, delicious, and very easy to make. No breaking eggs or sifting anything. I have been making it for seven years; I even used this recipe and made cupcakes for my brother’s wedding. It’s a great choice for uncertain ovens because it has no eggs. If it comes out a little undercooked, no harm done. It’s very sweet – a kid friendly cake. For grown-ups you can reduce the sugar by half a cup.

I had meaning to post this recipe anyway, but I am putting it up in response to Rachel's call for help on How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. I didn't have an icing recipe to offer. If you have one, click over and suggest it.

Oven. That's all.


· 3 cups flour
· 2 cups sugar
· 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1.5 teaspoon salt
· 2 cups very cold decaf coffee (don’t worry, you can’t taste it. It just adds color and a subtle depth of flavor.)
· 1 cup corn or other vegetable oil
· 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans or butter and line bottoms with parchment paper. This is important – the cake will stick if you don’t prep the pan right.
3. In a medium bowl mix first 5 (dry) ingredients
4. In a large bowl mix the coffee, oil and vanilla, then whisk in dry ingredients until well blended. Do not overmix – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. This is more like a muffin batter; a few lumps are okay.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
6. Bake cakes about 25-30 minutes or until they test done.
7. Cool completely. And I mean COMPLETELY. If the cake is at all warm, it will break coming out of the pan.

Notes: You can use orange extract instead of vanilla for a chocolate-orange cake.


  1. Very impressive writing on the cake. My lettering always starts off small in the beginning, grows bigger, and then squeezes at the end.

  2. My mom is actually in charge of cake writing. I can't do it at all!

  3. How does your cake hold together without eggs?

  4. The oil and leavening take the place of eggs in its structure.