Chocolate Cake Recipe
All I can say about this chocolate cake recipe made from scratch is that it is AMAZING.
It tastes as good as it looks and has a beautiful texture.
This chocolate cake is made with the special dark Hershey’s cocoa which gives a robust cocoa flavor. And the use of real butter and whole milk make this cake so rich and decadent that I wanted it all for me.
This is a butter cake, which makes it the perfect cake if you are planning to decorate it with ganache and fondant. It does have the structure to hold the weight of both and still be moist fluffy and tender.
Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients:
- Unslated Butter
- Special Dark Hershey’s Cocoa
- Espresso powder
- Sour Cream
- Baking powder and soda
- Vanilla and almond extract (almond is optional)
- Mixer. I use a Kitchen Aid but a handheld mixer would work just fine.
- Baking Pans
How to make a chocolate cake from scratch.
Have you ever made a butter vanilla cake? It is pretty much the same process. Once you know your recipe you can bake a cake in no time.
Measure all your ingredients before starting, that helps so you don’t forget to add any ingredient. Also, butter, milk, and eggs should be room temp.
Start by heating up the milk and dissolve the espresso powder. If you do not dissolve it well you will end up with undissolved granules in your batter and you certainly do not want that.
If you want to play it safe you can add this espresso powder which is ready to be used.
On a bowl mix the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda together and reserve.
On a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until the butter is pale. Add the eggs one by one so each mix in together very well. Keep on beating for another 2 min.
Time to add the flour mix and the milk-coffee solution. Alternate between the two, three times. Start with the flour and end with the milk. Being honest sometimes I just add all the flour at the same time and once it looks like it is all mixed in I add the milk.
Next, add the vanilla and the sour cream. Do not overmix. As soon as you see all the ingredients mixed in, stop the mixer. Don’t forget to scrape the sides a couple of times while mixing the batter.
You can use 3 – 6″ round cake pans or 2 – 8 inch round cake pans. Bake the cakes at 350 F for around 45-50 minutes.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Personally I think the best buttercream to frost a cake is Swiss Meringue buttercream. Best known as SMBC in the cake world.
Swiss meringue buttercream is very smooth velvety icing. Not that sweet, not thick…just perfect to complement a good cake.
I know it can sound intimidating to make it at the beginning, but trust me once you know the pointers to succeed with the method it is so easy to make it.
How to make Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
You need egg whites, granulated sugar, butter, vanilla extract and chocolate.
At first, I thought I could use some powdered cocoa, and you can but it will have a grainy texture.
The best way to do this chocolate buttercream is to use semisweet or unsweetened chocolate. The one I used is the Bakers brand and it worked really well.
You need a double boiler to melt the chocolate and then let it cool down.
In a mixing bowl mix the egg-whites and sugar, place the bowl on the double boiler with simmering water underneath. Slowly let the sugar dissolve into the egg-whites. The key is to not stop whisking the mixture because then the egg-whites will get cooked and you end up with chunks of eggs.
The mixture should reach 155 F and the sugar should be completely dissolved.
Remove the bowl from the heat and with the whisk attachment, whisk the mixture on high until you reach stiff peaks and you can touch the side of the bowl and not burn yourself.
Add the butter and keep mixing. There is going to be a point were the buttercream looks like cottage cheese, just keep on mixing it all comes together. Add the vanilla and add the melted chocolate. Let everything incorporate.
Scrape the sides and fold the buttercream to remove some of the air.
If the buttercream is too soft place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes and mix again.
It is ready to be used as a filling and to decorate your cake.
Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Unsalted butter
- 5 Eggs
- 2¼ cups All purpose flour
- 2 tsp Espresso Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 pinch Salt
- ¾ cup Special Dark Cocoa
- 1 ½ cup Whole Milk
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Almond Extract optional
- Preheat the oven at 350°F
- Heat up the milk and dissolve the espresso powder, set asaide.
- On a bowl mix in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- On a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar for about 5 min. Until the butter is pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one and allow them to incorporate into the batter.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Set the mixer speed to low and start adding the dry ingredients and the milk mixture in three intervals, alternating between them. Start with the dry and end with the milk mixture.
- Add the extracts and the sour cream.
- Pour the batter in three 8 inch round cake pan and bake at 350°F for 45 min or until is well baked.
- Let cakes rest inside the pans for 10 min. Remove them from pans and let them cool completely before decorating.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 6 oz egg whites
- 9 oz Granulated Sugar
- 1 lb unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs Vanilla extract
- 6 oz Semisweet or Unsweet chocolate
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler and set aside.
- On a clean mixing bowl combine the sugar and egg whites.
- Place the mixing bowl over a double boiler (simmering water). Water should not touch the mixing bowl.
- Stir the mixture constantly. Check for granules and keep on stirring until no granules are present and the mixture temperature reaches 155 F.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and place it in the mixer. Using the whip attachment, whip up the meringue until it is close to stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.
- With the mixer at medium speed, add the cubed butter and keep on mixing until the buttercream becomes thick.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix together.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix all together. Buttercream is ready to use.
Here is a video on how I make my Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream