FLUFFY CHOCOLATE CAKE

Everyone needs a good Chocolate Cake Recipe that they turn to when needed. This is mine and I love it because there is no fuss when making this recipe. This recipe is exactly the same as a Vanilla Cake Recipe, but all you need to do is change out some of the cake flour for cocoa powder. So you have 2 recipes in 1! A lot of chocolate cakes use oil, water or coffee, but this one is so simple, you won’t need to go looking for another chocolate cake recipe.

This recipe makes two 20cm/8 inch cakes.

If you’re a beginner baker, you might want to check out my List of 10 essential baking tools for beginners.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 cups (300g) Cake Flour (add 2 teaspoons baking powder if your cake flour doesn’t have it added already)
  • ¾ cup (30g) Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup (226g) Butter, unsalted & soft
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) Milk, room temperature

How to Make an easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

This Chocolate Cake cannot be any easier to make! Start by measuring out your ingredients (remember to take your butter out the fridge a while before to let it come to room temperature), grease your cake tins and preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

TIP! You can use butter to grease your cake pans and then sprinkle flour around the pans so that the cakes don’t stick to the bottom!

Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until just combined. Try not to mix the cake batter too much, only until you no longer see any dry ingredients.

TIP! Remember to scrape down the bowl between mixing!

Then add half of the milk, mix until combined and repeat with the remaining milk. Using a spatula, give the cake batter a final mix, making sure that all the ingredients have been well combined. Divide the batter evenly between 2 cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cakes are ready when a toothpick comes out clean.

When your cakes are done, remove them from the oven and leave them in their tins for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Now is a great time to make the frosting and only assemble when the cakes are totally cooled down.

TIP! You can add a delicious berry jam in between the cake layers to cut through the sweetness of all the chocolate! Berries and chocolate go great together!

INGREDIENTS For the Frosting:

  • 2 cups (500g) Powdered Sugar
  • 250g unsalted Butter at room temperature (you can add a pinch of salt if you find american buttercream on the sweet side)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Milk/Cream
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder (taste it after adding 1 or 2 to see if you are happy with the taste)

How to make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat your butter for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy
  • Gradually add the icing sugar
  • Add the milk + vanilla extract
  • Beat for another 5 min until all combined and you are happy with the texture (you can add more or less milk but don’t add too much as it will make piping difficult)
  • Add your cocoa powder, mix and taste

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PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

If you like the taste of Peanut Butter in general, then you are going to love this frosting!! I expected peanut butter mixed with butter, mixed with a whole lot of icing sugar to be so overly sweet, but honestly, it isn’t! It’s so delicious that I think this might be one of my all time favorite buttercream frostings.

It’s best to use a smooth peanut butter, not crunchy and add it to the butter to incorporate well. You can use a stand mixer of a hand mixer to make this recipe. You will also need a spatula and your frosting knife or piping bag and tips.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g Butter (unsalted & softened at room temperature)
  • 100g Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 225g Icing/Powdered Sugar (sifted)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Milk

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:

Start by adding the butter to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the butter for about 5 minutes or until it is lighter in color and doubled in amount.

Add the peanut butter to the butter and mix well to combine the two.

Add half of the sifted icing sugar and mix for about 3-5 minutes, as you want the sugar to incorporate really well before adding the rest of the sugar. Add the remaining icing sugar and repeat as before.

Finally, add the milk to obtain the required consistency that you would like. More milk will make it looser and less milk will make it stiffer so it depends on you.

Your Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting is now ready to frost your delicious cakes or cupcakes. Thus frosting goes really well with either Vanilla or Chocolate cakes and cupcakes.

VANILLA (AMERICAN) BUTTERCREAM

American Buttercream is made from butter, icing/powdered sugar and any flavors you wish to add. It is a sweet buttercream frosting as there is a lot more sugar than butter and it is a great consistency for frosting or piping onto cakes and cupcakes. This recipe is also so versatile as you can add coloring, flavors, jams or spreads to it to create a range of yummy frostings.

BUTTER – I use a good quality butter for my buttercream and I do not use any shortening or other types of butter or margarine. There are many recipes that substitute butter for shortening or replace half of it, but not for this recipe. The best way to soften your butter is to remove it from the refrigerator an hour before you want to use it. You can soften it in the microwave, but it is not recommended as you can’t control the melting and you can risk it being too soft and you definitely don’t want to use a melted butter in your buttercream. It will just be runny and not have a good consistency to use.

SUGAR – American Buttercream uses a lot of Icing/Powdered Sugar and this is what gives it it’s yummy sweetness. You cannot, unfortunately, use less sugar than what the recipe uses as it will definitely change the taste and consistency. But, if you prefer or want to try a less sweet Buttercream/Frosting, than I recommend trying my Ermine (also known as Cooked Flour) Buttercream Frosting. It is so soft and velvety, but is not as stable as an american buttercream. If you want to pipe with your buttercream, then I would advise using an american buttercream.

LIQUID – I prefer to use milk in my recipes. The best would be whole/full cream milk, but you can also use water or cream. There is no secret or special recipe for this, but it’s about your personal taste and preference. So taste and add more or next time add less or try another ingredient until you’re happy with it. You will add more or less for not only the taste, but for the consistency too. If you want to frost your cake, then you can add about 3 tablespoons, but if you’re piping, then I would only add 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of milk for a thicker consistency. That’s the joy of baking, it’s so versatile and easy to change or adjust.

VANILLA EXTRACT – If you are making a vanilla buttercream and not adding any other flavors to it, then you can add and taste again like before. Start by adding 1 and if you want a stronger vanilla taste then add 1/2 a teaspoon at a time, mix and taste again.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g Butter (unsalted & softened)
  • 500g Icing/Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Milk (other options to add are water or cream)

This recipe makes about 2 cups, but it can be halved or doubled depending on how much you need.

HOW TO MAKE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat the butter for about 5 minutes, until it is lighter in color, creamy and seems to have doubled. You can do this with a whisk, but I highly recommend using a hand or stand mixer.

Sift in half of the icing/powdered sugar and mix well before adding in the rest. Mix for about 5 minutes to fully incorporate the butter and sugar. You don’t want a ‘grainy’ texture and you can avoid this by sifting your sugar, adding it in in parts and mixing really well so that it dissolves into the butter.

Then add the milk and vanilla extract and give a final mix for 1 to 2 minutes. The milk will thin out the consistency of the buttercream so add more or less depending on what you want or prefer.

Some other buttercream frostings to try:

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ermine Cooked Flour Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Swiss Meringue Buttercream