Chocolate cake is the iconic dessert that adorns celebrations from grand to small and everywhere in between. It is the cake that evokes memories of first tastes, of celebrations past and present, of moments made magical.
The cake itself is usually sweet and rich, and has either a flour or sponge base. The batter is often flavored with a hint of vanilla and may also contain other ingredients such as cocoa powder or sour cream to help keep the cake moist. It is most commonly frosted with buttercream frosting or whipped cream, but can be embellished with all sorts of things such as edible flowers, fruit slices, crumbled cookies, or other confections such as jimmies or gummy bears.
Various recipes exist for chocolate cake, and each has its own flavor and texture. Some are more traditional, while others are based on other ingredients such as fudge or vanilla creme to lighten the cake and make it more versatile for use in other contexts.
A few tips to make your cake come out perfect every time:
Always use a high-quality cocoa powder (preferably Hershey’s) for the best results. The higher the quality of the cocoa powder, the richer and more delicious your cake will be. Don’t skimp on the butter or oil – both are essential for moist cakes. The best oils to use for baking are vegetable, canola, or safflower. Always keep your oil in a dark place to prevent oxidation and spoiling.
Baking times vary, so it’s important to watch your cake as it bakes. You will know it is done when the top springs back to the touch of your finger and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. When the cake is cooling, place a sheet pan on the rack below your cake pans to catch any drips.
This chocolate cake is very easy to make, and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is one of my go-to recipes for birthdays, special occasions, and those “just because” moments. It is my most-requested recipe for a reason – it is moist and fluffy with just the right amount of chocolatey goodness. It is also incredibly versatile and can be tweaked to include exciting modern chocolate flavor combinations such as matcha or pistachio, if you are so inclined.