Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

With the responsibility of undertaking the creation of your child’s birthday cake comes a basic yet really, the ultimate decision: what kind of cake am I going to make?

You would think that chocolate simply just pops to mind instantly and your decision is made. But start searching the internet for ideas and you are bombarded by recipes. Some have mayo, some have sour cream, others have coffee and others have none of those at all.

This one I grabbed from Epicurious because of the amazing rating it has and the positive comments. I wasn’t about to dabble in creating my own recipe for my son’s birthday, I had no time and no patience to be honest.

This is one amazing cake. Rich, sweet, dark, moist, this is the best chocolate cake I have tasted outside a restaurant and better than a lot I have tasted IN actual restaurants.

It will make 2 ten inch cakes for a layer cake or one very large specialty cake pan. I used 1 and a half times this recipe for my huge 16×16 square pan and it was perfect. The rest went into the little stars I used to hold candles with R2D2.

Ingredients Needed:

3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Kick the tires and light the fires to 300 degrees.

 

You can see above that I used Hershey’s cocoa, and now that I know the recipe is a definite keeper, I would invest in 3 ounces of better chocolate. And speaking of chocolate, you need to chop it up.

I made a fresh pot of coffee for this recipe, one for me, some for the recipe. It was a win-win situation.

Melt the chopped up chocolate in the hot coffee until it is completely dissolved and set aside.

Whisk together your dry ingredients.

Beat your eggs for 2-3 minutes, until they are thick and lemon colored. Time to add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.

Once those are in, add the coffee/chocolate mixture slowly.

Then it’s time for the dry ingredients, dump them in and mix at a moderate speed until they are combined completely.

Grease and parchment line your cake pan.

This works so, so well. You can’t do this with a character cake pan, of course, since you need the contours of the shape, but when you are going for a straight shape? This saves a lot of tears, the cake pops out beautifully.

I greased the whole thing then cut out a square to lay on the bottom. Yes, I greased under the parchment paper.

Bake at 300 degrees until done. The original recipe says an hour to an hour ten, but that would have charred 10 inch cakes, so I am not sure how that was right. This monster took about an hour and it was a 16×16 pan and 1.5 times the recipe.

It just comes down to know your oven. The reason this recipe also appealed to me is I love longer baking at lower temperatures, when they work, they work.

The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or the middle springs back to the touch.

Create what you want!

Mmm. Leftover birthday cake.  A birthday mom’s due reward.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Rich, sweet, dark, moist, this is the best chocolate cake I have tasted outside a restaurant and better than a lot I have tasted IN actual restaurants.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Cake
Serves: 12
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Kick the tires and light the fires to 300 degrees.
  2. Get the chocolate and chop it up.
  3. Melt the chopped up chocolate in the hot coffee until it is completely dissolved and set aside.
  4. Whisk together your dry ingredients.
  5. Beat your eggs for 2-3 minutes, until they are thick and lemon colored. Time to add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  6. Once those are in, add the coffee/chocolate mixture slowly.
  7. Then it’s time for the dry ingredients, dump them in and mix at a moderate speed until they are combined completely.
  8. Grease and parchment line your cake pan.
  9. Bake at 300 degrees until done.

 

Never miss a recipe again!

Subscribe to my newsletter for a weekly roundup of contests, new recipes and more!

9 comments
J
J

Tried this today, AMAZING!

Java_Junkie
Java_Junkie

Hmmm, mine didn't work out. As Chane mentioned, batter was VERY runny, but since I followed the recipe as written, I went ahead. Used a 9x13 and an 8" round pan. 


At just over 30 minutes, I turned on the light & took a peek. They were rising beautifully in height, level, no dome, but as Chane also mentioned - not very pretty looking. If I hadn't seen their comment, I probably would have yanked them from the oven right then and there & called it a day. 


Since I used smaller pans, I checked at 45 mins & they were still very runny. Closed the door & almost immediately, my 8" sank. And the 9x13 fell in as well, but not as extreme. Drat!!


Smelled like they burnt, but the skewer was still wet? I'm thinking this is definitely a fail today :-(

Jezebel
Jezebel

Can't wait to try this for my son's birthday next weekend (with your chocolate buttercream recipe)!  A question for you - I see that you call for non Dutch cocoa.  Is there a reason for this, and can you recommend a brand?  I have Fry's cocoa and since it has sodium carbonate in it I assume it is the dutch process type.  If I can't find natural cocoa (and I haven't even looked at bulk barn yet, so this may not be an issue) is there a problem with using the Fry's?  Thanks! 

Nidil
Nidil

Hi, I baked this chocolate cake and truly it is the best chocolate cake I ever made. This is what I was looking for and finally found. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe,,,, Karlynn.. U are awesome..

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

I always use this for cupcakes, the batter DOESN'T rise as much, so fill the cups about 3/4 of the way. They make dense, rich, amazing cupcakes then!

ChaneSmit
ChaneSmit

I made this recipe into cupcakes, but I think that the batter was to runny, because it did not rise into round peaks like cupcakes normally does.  Is there any adjustments that I can make to ensure it's success next time? Because they taste very nice, they just don't look good.... :(

A Canadian Foodie
A Canadian Foodie

YUM! That is exactly the best - the old fashioned, thick, dense, moist and rich chocolate cake. :) Mom always put brown sugar icing on hers. YUM

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Java_Junkie That's really weird, I've never had it fail on me! It's from Epicurious and has over 1500 comments and 4/4 spoon review, which is why I chose to share it on here. It is a runny batter but baking it at 300 for a long long time makes it perfect and nothing baked at 300 should smell burnt after half an hour.. I'm at a loss! 

Trackbacks

You might also enjoy…

IMG_1555

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are in a league of their own when ...

chicken-francaise_512x3842.jpg

Chicken Picatta

This is the recipe that accompanies my Chicken ...

r2d2cake6_449x384

How To: Make an R2D2 Birthday Cake

First of all, give yourself at least three days to do ...