Easy Chocolate Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12 slices
For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a gluten-free flour blend)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coffee powder (or espresso powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing: (Makes 3 cups icing; enough to generously ice a double layer cake or 24 cupcakes)
  • 225g (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temp
  • 8 Tbsp (115g) (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 cups icing sugar (powdered or confectioner's sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Prepare two 8-inch cake pans or one 9-inch pan by spraying with baking spray or greasing and lining with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso powder into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and sugar and whisk to combine (or use the paddle attachment of your electric mixer).
  3. In a separate bowl combine milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add to flour mixture and whisk (or beat in the electric mixer on medium speed) until well combined. Carefully add the boiling water and stir (or beat on a low speed) until combined. Once combined, whisk vigorously (or beat on high speed) to add air to the batter for about 1 minute. NB: You'll find the batter a bit wetter than average due to the amount of liquid in it. This is perfectly normal.
  4. Distribute the cake batter evenly between the two (or one, if using) prepared cake pans. Bake for 50-55 (for two cakes*) or 55-60 minutes (for one cake), until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. NB: The cake will dome and crack towards the end of the bake, however I found that when I inverted the cake to cool it, the dome flattened out so it didn't require trimming.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan, invert and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer with a large bowl), beat together 8 oz creamcheese with 8 Tbsp butter on medium/high speed until creamy (3 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.
  2. Sift in 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup cocoa powder to ensure there are no lumps then add 1/4 tsp salt. Mix on low speed until well combined, scrape down the bowl well then increase to medium/high speed, add the vanilla and beat until smooth and whipped (1 min).
To assemble:
  1. For one cake: Place the cake, right side up, on a serving plate. Generously slather the icing over the cake and swirl with the back of a fork or spatula. You'll have a fair bit of icing left over - freeze for another time (perhaps some cupcakes!).
  2. For two cakes: Place one cake, upside down (so the flat surface is on the top), on a serving plate. Generously slather the icing on the surface of the cake. Place the second cake, right side up (so that the flat surface is on the bottom), on top. Slather more icing over the top and sides of the cake, swirling with the back of a fork or spatula.
  3. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. NB: The cake lasts exceptionally well for a couple of days; simply store on the kitchen counter and cover cut edges with plastic wrap. If you prefer to store the cake in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before serving.
*In Hershey's recipe (link above) it suggests that 2 x 9 inch cakes should cook in 30-35 minutes. However, my 2 x 8 inch cakes were still completely unbaked at that stage, and they took around 50-55 minutes to bake. I suggest you keep a close eye on the cakes from 35 minutes onwards and check every 5 minutes or so with a skewer.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at https://thekiwicook.com/2015/05/31/easy-chocolate-cake/