If you know me, I love to bake. Cakes are one of those things that I never think I have perfected quite yet, even though I’ve probably baked hundreds by now. There’s always room for improvement, whether the crumb needs to be a little more moist, or the frosting should be a little creamier. But, as of today – I think I have made The Best Chocolate Cake Ever.
The ingredients may look very similar to other recipes, but these ingredients are tweaked just slightly to create this oh-so special chocolate cake recipe. What I have learned over the years is water makes the biggest difference. The batter should look soupy as you pour it, not spoon it, into each of the pans. You might think – no way can this be right as you are preparing it, but keep going – I’m right.
As for the frosting, a block of cream cheese never hurt anything and that’s the case with good chocolate buttercream. Cream cheese provides the consistency of that manufactured stuff, except without all the chemicals and way better flavor. The smooth spreadability will astound you and make you feel like Picasso as you compose your cake – I promise.
So, go for it and bake this one for that chocoholic in your family – you will never need to hunt and peck for another chocolate cake recipe again.
*adapted from thestayathomechef.com
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Creamy Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
colored sprinkles, optional
(Makes 9-Inch Double Stacked Cake)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix together on medium-low speed eggs, water, oil and vanilla. On low speed, add dry ingredients in two batches until combined. Pour batter into both pans evenly and place in oven to bake for 42-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool in pans for 30 minutes. Loosen around edges with a knife and invert onto a wire rack, let cool to room temperature. Proceed to frosting, or wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator overnight.
- In a stand mixer, mix butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl and add vanilla. Mix again for 1 minute. Add confectioner’s sugar slowly – one scoop at a time, until combined. Add cream and mix again until creamy smooth.
- Place first layer cake on cake stand, cut 1/4 inch top off to remove dome. Dollop a third of frosting on top and smooth out evenly. Cut 1/4 inch dome off second layer of cake and place on top. Proceed with frosting to cover top and sides. You may have a little leftover depending upon decorations or piping you desire. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve, remove 2 hours before slicing. Enjoy!