The Undomestic Goddess: Best Chocolate Cake Ever?

24 March 2014

If you read the title and are a teeny tiny bit confused, then please let me explain. I'm an undomestic goddess, meaning I have no idea how to work around a kitchen. I'm terrible at cooking, if I go near a stove I'll most likely blow the house up, and it's quite likely that I'll end up making a huge mess. So when I took a leap of faith and decided to bake, well, let's just say it was one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind. Which is why I've started a new non-beauty related series on my blog called "The Undomestic Goddess", which will feature my crazy antics, mishaps, and even some successful kitchen stories.

Today's post is going to be about a chocolate cake recipe which claimed to be the "Best Chocolate Cake Ever" on Addapinch's blog. As a lover of chocolate, I decided to give it a whirl as it looked simple enough, and I'm here to give the verdict on whether or not this is the best chocolate cake ever. Did I blow the house up? Did I end up stabbing myself with a fork? Well, you'll just have to keep reading to find out.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the cake:
  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  5. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
So, first off, I would like to say that when reading this recipe, I was pleased to know that it was so simple. Being a beginner there is nothing that annoys me more when a recipe states to have "vanilla beans, eggs, flour, the blood of a virgin", seriously? Recipes that are short and sweet, and have ingredients that are easily accessible is always a plus.

 After following all the steps and adding boiling water in the mixture, I was a little concerned to how thin my batter was. But thankfully it was supposed to be thin, as the boiling water helps keep the cake moist (do I sound like I know what I'm talking about?). I should warn you though, to make sure your cake pan isn't a springform cake pan, otherwise it would leak out of the sides. Trust me, I'm speaking of experience, since I had to suffer through that while making this cake. I divided the mixture into two cake pans which were the same size, and put it in the oven for 45 minutes, which is more than the recipe states.

I let it sit for an hour and went on to make my buttercream icing. I didn't actually use the recipe that was given, as I wanted it thick enough to make the roses at the top, so I followed this recipe by I am Baker. Unfortunately, I didn't document the icing process, but the recipe is very easy to follow.

2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks) at room temp.
7½ cups powdered sugar (or one 2lb bag)
1 cup good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream

  1. ***THIS RECIPE IS FOR A CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ROSE CAKE. You may need to halve this recipe if you are not making buttercream roses!***
  2. Place room temperature butter and vanilla into a stand mixer and beat at medium-high for about three minutes. You want it to appear lighter and fluffier.
  3. While butter is in mixer add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to a bowl and mix with a whisk. (sift)
  4. With mixer off, add in one cup of the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. Turn mixer on to low and then slowly add in remaining powdered sugar mixture, one cup at a time.
  5. With mixer still on low, add in milk. Turn mixer to medium high and blend for at least two minutes.
  6. Frosting will appear very light, but it will darken as it sets.
You'll notice that this involves a LOT of icing sugar, so be prepared to stand there sifting for a very long time. This is the part where I messed up. Instead of adding the icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt one cup at a time, I accidentally added all of it in the same go (yes, feel free to judge). So this is the part where I was standing there dumbfounded and thinking "seriously Basmah!? How hard is it to follow a recipe?", truth is, for me, it's pretty darn difficult. But thankfully, it didn't really make much of a difference, as I had to add in the whole mixture in the butter anyway. 

I cut the tops of the two cakes so they can be even and not look like a giant volcano ready to erupt, and I applied the icing in between the two cakes and finally to the cake itself. If you're wondering how I made the roses, it isn't actually all that difficult, I mean, if I can do it, you can to. I used a Wilton 1M icing bag nozzle and started from the middle and made my way around in a circular motion, then afterwards just applied little sugar beads to the center of the roses. 

So now the final verdict. Was it the best chocolate cake ever? Safe to say, yes. I love the cake, it was soft, moist and delicious all at the same time. I did have a little gripe with the icing though as I didn't really enjoy the taste all the much, but otherwise I give this probably 4/5. Not to mention that it was SO easy! Plus, my house was in one piece, and I'm still alive which is reassuring.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Do you enjoy these sort of posts? What would you like me to attempt next?

Leave a Comment

  1. wow you did a great job! I have so much trouble baking. I made some cookies for my boyfriend and his family during xmas, I had to make 3 batches... to get it right ><

    LilynotLouise | Beauty and Food

    1. Thank you Lily! I know where you're coming from, I'm terrible at anything that has to do with food, that's why I prefer eating rather than making haha

  2. Oh my gosh that looks delicious! Those roses look gorgeous, I can't believe you haven't been baking for years. I'm so tempted to take a stab myself now!

    Silver Screen Beauty Queens

    1. Thank you so much! I wish I could give you a piece through the computer screen haha! You should definitely give it a whirl and let me know how it goes! x

  3. for an undomestic goddess that cake looks amazing! my mouth is watering already

    1. Thank you! I will have to give full credit to the easy recipe, any harder and it wouldn't have turned out the way it did haha!

  4. Bas, you did an amazing job with this cake! It is decorated so beautifully, hun. Only problem is, now I need cake! lol

    1. Thank you! Haha the worst part about reading food posts is the craving you get afterwards lol!

  5. Oh yum! Looks amazing! I really need cake now!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like it, maybe now you can try it out for yourself and let me know how you got on! :)

  6. This is absolutely beautiful Basmah! The roses look really difficult to do but you did such an excellent job :)

    1. Thank you Fatima! Surprisingly, they're actually very easy to do, just need the right piping bag nozzle! :)


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