This decadent chocolate cake is full of chocolatey, moist perfection with a soft, tender crumb. The cake is rich in chocolate flavor, not too sweet nor bitter. The recipe uses basic ingredients and by following a few simple guidelines this cake has never failed me.
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This cake gets its rich, dark flavor and appearance by using a combination of black cocoa and regular cocoa. Additionally, the recipe calls for brewed coffee which enhances the chocolate flavor but does not impart the taste of coffee. My customers and family refer to this as my ‘blackout cake’ due to the deep chocolate color.
Tips for Making the Perfect Chocolate Cake:
- Measure all ingredients and set out all equipment before beginning to make this cake. This extra step ensures your ingredients are measured properly, you are not searching for a tool while preparing the batter and you don’t forget to add anything!
- Cocoa Powder: Not all cocoa powders are created equal! Be sure to use a Dutch processed cocoa powder. To achieve the dark color and intense flavor use a combination of black cocoa powder and regular cocoa powder. Using all black cocoa powder will result in giving the cake a slightly bitter aftertaste.
- Mixing: Even a great cake recipe may produce a tough cake if the batter is overmixed as overmixing will inherently lead to excess gluten development. This recipe can be mixed using a stand mixer, by hand with a spatula, or using a hand mixer. Mix the batter gently once wet ingredients (eggs, oil, coffee) are added to the dry ingredients and only mix until homogenous.
- Coffee: Water may be substituted for the coffee used in this recipe. I recommend using cooled, brewed coffee. The end result will be a more chocolatey cake and not a coffee-flavored cake.
What Flavors to Pair with this Chocolate Cake Recipe:
I don’t consider myself a ‘purist’ when it comes to flavor pairings. My philosophy is eat what you like! I hope the following suggestions help you with ideas:
- You can’t go wrong with a vanilla bean filling and icing in a chocolate cake! Just scrape the seeds out of a few vanilla beans into your favorite icing. Alternatively, use a few tablespoons of vanilla bean paste.
- Fresh raspberries or strawberries to pair nicely with this chocolate cake. Fill each layer with a vanilla pastry cream and press in an abundance of fruit.
- Nut fillings are a great choice because you will be adding taste and texture to your cake. Make a hazelnut praline (or nut of your choice), chop the praline into bits and press into your filling.
- Mousses are my favorite fillings for cakes as they are light, creamy and not too sweet – the perfect addition to an ‘adult’ cake. Consider coffee mousse, chocolate mousse (you can’t have too much chocolate!), fruit mousses or caramel mousse.
Rich Chocolate Cake
- 75 Grams Cocoa Powder (3/4 cup) Use a combination of dark cocoa powder and regular cocoa powder for a richer chocolate taste and appearance.
- 265 Grams All Purpose Flour (2 cups)
- 400 Grams Granulated Sugar (2 cups)
- 2 TBSP Corn Starch
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 3/4 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil (6 fluid ounces)
- 4 Large Eggs Room temperature
- 1 1/4 Cup Brewed Coffee (10 fluid ounces) May substitute water
- Preheat oven to 275°
- Prepare two 8" cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper or greasing the pans. Alternatively, this recipe will make 18 cupcakes or one 10" round cake pan.
- Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer. If mixing by hand or with a hand mixer, combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add oil and eggs and mix until combined.
- Slowly pour brewed coffee into bowl while continuing to mix, scraping the bowl occasionally. The batter should be smooth.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 275°
- Increase oven temperature to 350° and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until cake is fully risen and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Place cakes on a rack and allow to cool completely before unmolding. Unmold by running an offset spatula or knife around the inside of the cake pan and flip the pan over onto a platter.