Dark Chocolate Cake

This post really is about righting a wrong. A few weeks ago, I wrote about trying out a chocolate cake recipe from Ina Garten, but catastrophically leaving out the baking soda.

Dark Chocolate Cake

So here’s the recipe redone, with baking soda and all. So did I actually like this recipe? I give my review at the end of this post.



For the cake:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
115g all-purpose flour
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 freshly brewed coffee

Makes two 6-inch cake layers.

For the icing:
150g butter or shortening, or combination of both
1/2 tsp salt
250g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
About 1/4 cup milk (use only enough to thin to a spreadable consistency)


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Grease and line two 6-inch round cake tins.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, salt, and vanilla.

Step 3: Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the yoghurt and coffee, and mix everything together. Divide the batter equally between the two tins and bake for 35 minutes.

Step 4: Cool the cakes to room temperature before icing. To make the icing, beat the butter/shortening and salt on high speed for 5 minutes until the colour lightens. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat in. Add the milk slowly while beating until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.


I really like this recipe. 50g of cocoa for such a small cake means that it has immense chocolate flavour. The coffee also helps to bring out the chocolatey-ness.

Things to tweak? Way too much baking soda, in my opinion. That’s because the cake layers don’t bake evenly. They bake with a huge dome on the top which sinks quite a bit on cooling. To me, the dramatic change in size signals way too much leavening. So maybe 1/2 tsp baking soda is more than enough.

I’d also cut down the salt to 1/4 tsp. A little salt enhances sweet flavours really well, but too much just tastes, well, salty.

Great chocolate cake recipe, but I’ll work in my tweaks to make it mine.


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