There are a few things I don't mess with. Bedtime for the kiddos, the kind of peanut butter my husband eats, my face wash, and Mel's "best ever" recipes. I have learned that all of these things are the way they are in order to make my life better, easier, and tastier. This cake is one of my favorite recipes from Mel's blog. I have searched high and low for homemade cake recipes that have the texture of a box cake, you know the light and airy crumb that is uber moist and tasty on its own or topped with frosting? This recipe fits the bill, plus I can pronounce every ingredient!
It is chocolatey. It is delicate and light. It is simple to make. It freezes beautifully. It makes a TON of cake. It is fabulous with Peanut Butter Frosting which you all know is one of the perfect combinations for dessert at this house.
I changed nothing about the recipe. Follow it as Mel has given it to us, and you will be a hero at your house!
P.S. I am sorry to say that I never got a picture of the cake sliced. My family ate it up pretty quickly! I will update the photos next time I make it.
The Best Chocolate Cake
Recipe source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Cook's Note taken from Mel's blog-Some people experience spill over with smaller cake pans. Judge the batter in the cake pan by only pouring it 2/3 full. If there is excess batter make cupcakes and freeze for later.
*This recipe is very versatile. It works well with any size cake pan. Just make sure to plan accordingly for bake times.
1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottom of the pan and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.
Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed (with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not over bake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.
Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level. Frost as desired (I highly recommend this life-changing frosting).
**Cook's Note-Mel didn't add any variations to this recipe but next time I make it I plan on adding 1-2 tablespoons of instant coffee to the warm water and then frosting the cake with a mocha chocolate frosting. Oh My!
Total Cost-I have no idea and I am going to guess about $1.50 depending on the cocoa you use and assuming everything is bought on sale.