Best Ever Chocolate Cake

11:00 AM

Do you have one of those recipes that is always a hit and you get requests for it over and over?  THIS is one of those recipes.  The kind of recipe that makes grown men swoon, and results in people exclaiming almost incomprehensibly over giant mouthfuls of cake, "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!!" All the while trying to shovel in more.  This is the kind of cake whose leftovers (yeah, like there are really leftovers!) greet you in the morning with all kinds of rationalizations for why Chocolate Cake for breakfast is the BEST IDEA EVER!!

This cake is moist and positively heavenly!  The Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is light and fluffy, almost like a mousse, and is definitely my favorite frosting with this cake (although the Cream Cheese Fudge Frosting is a richer, and even more decadent option).

I've had this recipe in my file to post for a while now, but getting even a semi decent picture has proven to be more than a challenge.  The cake disappears so fast!  I seriously had to hide the last piece of cake so I could try to get a picture of it before it disappeared as well!

It's always a hit, and is so easy! It only requires a bowl and a whisk!

I typically use a mix of two types of cocoa powder when I make this, but if you only have one, don't wait to make this!  Just measure out the full amount of cocoa powder with the one kind.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup special dark or Dutch process Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup regular unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (click for recipe)
or Cream Cheese Fudge Frosting (coming soon!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper. 

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and Greek yogurt and whisk to blend. Gradually mix in the water. Blend in the egg and vanilla. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for about 15 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. 

(*Note: These cakes are very, soft. on the rare occasion that I have both the time and patience, I like to freeze the layers for about 30 minutes before frosting.  It makes frosting the cakes so much easier! If you want a perfectly frosted cake, you'll want to take this extra step.  If you're like me, you probably just want to get it into your mouth as soon as possible and you'll be ok if you skip this step.)

4. While cake is cooling, mix up your Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting or Cream Cheese Fudge Frosting.  

5. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 1/3 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (*Note: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating.) 

I like to keep this cake in the fridge until just before I serve it.

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