How To Make an Awesome Chocolate Cake

No-fail Recipe from a Pastry Chef

Photo of chocolate cake

As a Pastry Chef, there is no recipe that I give out more, or offer more advice on than baking the perfect chocolate cake. No matter what your baking skill level, this is one of those things you want in your portfolio. This recipe is infallible if you follow the instructions, and even a child (properly supervised) can create a dessert to be proud of. Since this cake is so awesome, it doesn’t require frosting, but could be paired with a creamy frosting for a decadent dessert. My husband prefers it plain, but I like a little dusting of powdered sugar. See what new combinations you can come up with!


  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour (not self rising)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


  1. Gather and check all ingredients. Before you start cooking is the time to make sure you have enough of all required ingredients. Nothing is worse than getting halfway through mixing only to find that you are missing something, or don’t have enough. Or even worse, discovering that your ingredients have gone bad .Get around this by pre-measuring all ingredients before you start.
  2. Pre heat the oven and prepare your pan(s). Turn the oven to 350 F or 160 C. Rub a thin layer of oil or butter over the entire inside area of the pan and dust with flour. Discard any excess flour into the trash. Set pan(s) aside.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder until well blended, in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Combine sugar, eggs, oil, coffee, buttermilk and vanilla extract until smooth, in a separate large mixing bowl.
  5. Add half of the dry mix into the wet bowl, stir with a wooden spoon until batter is mostly free of lumps. Now add remaining dry ingredients, and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until batter is uniform and smooth.
  6. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick or knife tests clean when inserted near center. When the cake is fully cooked it should spring back when gently pressed, kind of like pressing on a sponge.
  7. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Flip the cake out onto rack and continue to cool completely before frosting or dusting with sugar.

Once cooled this cake can be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to two months. I am sure once you bake this for the first time it will become and instant, no-fail favorite. For easy flavor changes try substituting rum, amaretto or mint extract for half of the vanilla extract. This cake is also sturdy enough to be used in ice cream cakes or as a base for a fancier dessert. Have fun with it!


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Oh, the yum of it all... can't wait to try it!

By Lora Somoza

Excellent tips!! I am not a regular chocolate-eater but I like this recipe ....thanx, keep it up.. I love to experiment with different foods to have a unique taste....

By Waheedullah Aleko