Lazy Kitchen Ep. 22: New Year Chocolate Cake

Hello! Is there a better way to greet the new year than with lots and lots of chocolate? No? That’s what I thought.

It’s still a pretty lazy cake. I’m calling it brutalist in style. We didn’t have the materials for piping, and I didn’t have the patience for refining anything. But it’s still good.

Disclaimer: This contains a lot of sugar. Like a LOT.

Introduction: New Year Chocolate Cake

Happy new year! Our spread for New Years’ Eve was a bit crazy for a household of 6. We had salad, a charcuterie box, holiday ham and cheese, chicken wings, porchetta, fried spring rolls, white sauce lasagna, salmon pesto pasta, focaccia bread, baby potatoes, my Christmas cookies, and a chocolate cake. Plus wine. Many thanks to Ate Marianne for half of this menu.

There’s really no such thing as a New Year Chocolate Cake. I just happened to make a chocolate cake for New Years’ Eve. That’s it.

I’ve always wanted to make a chocolate cake (the Mary Grace Cafe chocolate truffle and/or chocolate cakes are up there in my favorite desserts of all time). I thought this is the last big occasion (and excuse) that I’ll have in awhile. My family and I have also been stocking cake flour, cake pans and whatever else throughout the quarantine. I finally got to use them!

This is the most basic chocolate cake recipe I could find online, adjusted for our tiny oven and available ingredients.

Ingredients: New Year Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (finally got to use the expensive Hershey’s one that we bought)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar, let stand for 5 minutes (this is an alternative to 1 cup buttermilk)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup (155 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ~5 cups (560 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk, as needed

Simple Chocolate Cake Recipe

I’m calling it rustic. This won’t pass any food photography or food styling course. But it was good enough to eat. I promise.

Prep time: 1 hour

Bake/Cook time: 30 minutes + 15 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and dust with flour (remove the excess). In my case, I used one 1-inch pan and one 10-inch pan, then I did a lot of creative cutting afterwards.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients using a stand mixer on low speed: all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. On medium speed, add and beat the following ingredients until smooth: eggs, buttermilk substitute, water, vegetable oil, vanilla extract. This may take a few minutes.
  4. Divide cake batter into the pans. Each pan will have approximately 3 cups of the mixture.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then turn out the cakes.

Making the frosting

Disclaimer: The frosting I made turned out to be delicious, but also super textured and grainy. I think it’s the quality of the sugar.

  1. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  2. Add and combine the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  4. Add milk as needed to get desired texture.
  5. Frost the cake.
  6. Enjoy!

I don’t think I’ll ever make the effort to make a cake again, or at the very least, I’ll make a much smaller cake (it took a few days for us to get through the one I made).

Heart slice! Ah, I already miss the indulgence of making a cake and eating it too.

Until next time!

❤️ Your resident kitchen gremlin

See other lazy kitchen episodes! 

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