A slice of quick, simple chocolate cake in the middle of February is like the cut-out cookie of December. Everyone appreciates a good slice of homemade chocolate cake on Valentine’s Day! And what’s not to love? Your fork pulls away a rich, moist cake, bursting with real chocolate. Topped with my chocolate glaze or your favorite creamy chocolate frosting, the season of love just become remarkable.
As much as I enjoy a really good chocolate cake, the idea of a messy kitchen is not quite as appealing. Most often, homemade cakes require the use of a mixer, lots of spatulas and utensils. You can plan on the effort taking much of your afternoon and that doesn’t include the decorating…. Friends, may I introduce to you the most simple and delicious chocolate cake I know? No mixer needed! It’s moist, full of rich, chocolate flavor and much healthier than the typical recipe with lots of sugar and oils. The best part? No one will guess that you made, baked and decorated this cake from scratch in less than an hour!
The original recipe for this simple chocolate cake is entitled “Chocolate Birthday Cake” from the cookbook, The Vegan Cheat Sheet, written by Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey. No, I am not a vegan , but in my experience, no one has done it better! As with most recipes, I made a few adaptations…
Instead of ¾ cup sugar, I am using only ½ cup sugar
Instead of 1 cup water, I am using 1 cup chocolate milk
I am adding half of a 4 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate bar into the batter
Instead of powdered sugar, I am glazing the cake using the remaining chocolate bar
Come on in to my kitchen!
Here are all the ingredients minus the silly vanilla. I forgot to get it in the picture. Instead of using eggs, this recipe gets its leavening from a reaction caused by the meeting of baking soda and balsamic vinegar. (Balsamic vinegar in cake?! Trust me, nobody will ever guess it’s in there). Instead of shortening or butter, this recipe includes pure, unsweetened applesauce. Another unusual ingredient is chocolate milk. I’m using chocolate almond milk, but any kind will do!
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 pan or your favorite tube, bundt or cake pan of equivalent size.
First, shave half of a 4 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate bar and set it aside.
Get out two bowls: one for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients. In the dry bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder(I’m using a mixture of regular and black cocoa), 1 tsp. baking soda and ½ tsp. salt. In the other bowl, whisk together 1 cup chocolate milk, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar.
Now, pour the wet mixture into your dry mixture. You will notice a bubbly reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. Using the same whisk, mix well.
Now, whisk in your shaved chocolate
Using a spatula, pour the batter evenly into your greased pan. That’s it!
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Here is the finished cake in my wonderful smelling kitchen. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes and then remove it from the pan. I’m using a decorative tube pan, so I plan to flip my cake over to get that feathered look.
Top with a glaze, frosting or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you don’t have time. Here, I’m coating the cake with my recipe for a rich chocolate glaze that utilizes the remaining half of the Bakers bar. I melted the chocolate with 1 T. coconut oil and 1 T. maple syrup on the stovetop. When melted, I turned the heat off and added ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract. That’s it! Pour it on, spread it out and watch it cool into a fudge-like coating.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I also spent an extra 2 minutes of my life drizzling white chocolate in the corner and adding two little red heart candies. Simple and happy!
There you have it. A delicious, moist and rich chocolate cake that took less than an hour from start to finish.
Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂Print
Simple chocolate cake made with cocoa powder and chocolate milk.
- 4 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate bar, divided
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup chocolate milk
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9×9 pan or small bundt or tube pan.
- Shave half of a 4 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate bar and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and ½ tsp. salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup chocolate milk, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Whisk together.
- Whisk in the shaved chocolate.
- Spread batter into pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.
- Let cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and frost or glaze with remaining chocolate bar, if desired
Need another delicious cake recipe? How about this one for the best Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe?
Meredith is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom living in NW Ohio. She loves to adapt recipes to her family’s eclectic tastes and is learning to provide nourishment for any bellies who walk through the door at a moment’s notice. If not in the kitchen, you’ll find Meredith in front of her sewing machine or spending quality time with her home and church families. Life goes by so fast!