November 3, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
This classic one bowl chocolate cake is an old-fashioned dessert I stole from my Southern grandma’s recipe box (try our amazing chocolate dump cake, too!). It’s easy to make and comes out moist with a rich frosting on top, and the secret ingredient, coffee, which enhances all of that delicious chocolate flavor.
Busy Day Chocolate Cake Ingredients
This recipe yields a decadent chocolate cake using key ingredients like unsweetened cocoa powder, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla extract.
The icing, made with cocoa powder, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee, complements the cake beautifully, providing a creamy, sweet, and chocolatey finish.
For The Cake:
- 2 cups of white sugar
- 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons of baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of hot coffee
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
For The Icing:
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- ½ cup of cocoa powder
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of coffee
Substitutions And Additions
BUTTERMILK: You can make your own buttermilk using whole or 2% milk and lemon juice or distilled vinegar.
For every one cup of milk, stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Add a little bit extra to this moist chocolate cake with chocolate chips mixed into the batter.
NUTS: If you like nuts in your cake, add chopped walnuts or pecans to your cake batter.
COFFEE: If you absolutely do not want to use coffee in this recipe, you can substitute the same amount of hot water for the coffee.
How To Make This One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe
Let’s have a look at how to whip up the simple cake batter all in one bowl using our step-by-step instructions.
For The Cake
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan by rubbing shortening on the pan and using cocoa powder to dust the pan instead of white flour.
Rubbing cocoa powder on the pan instead of flour keeps the chocolate flavor going.
STEP TWO: Using a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
STEP THREE: Add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, coffee, and oil. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for about two minutes, the batter will be thin.
STEP FOUR: Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan.
STEP FIVE: Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
STEP SIX: Cool ten minutes in the pan before icing.
For The Icing
STEP ONE: In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat melt the butter. Remove frrrom heat.
Whisk in cocoa powder. Return to stove on medium-low heat and cook until just begins to boil.
STEP TWO: Remove from heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar — you can sift it to remove any lumps before adding.
Add the vanilla and coffee and stir until mixed.
STEP THREE: Let the frosting cool for ten minutes to let it set up just a bit.
Don’t let the icing cool too long or it will harden in your pan and not be easy to spread.
STEP FOUR: Spread the icing over the cake.
How To Serve
This delicious cake is perfect with a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee.
During the holidays, you can serve this with a scoop of peppermint ice cream, or dsuring the spring, add fresh berries.
We’ve got you covered with some handy storage tips!
MAKE AHEAD: If you want to get a head start on your busy day, you can prepare the cake a day in advance.
Once the cake has completely cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
Store it at room temperature until you’re ready to serve.
Just remember to hold off on adding any frosting until you’re ready to enjoy, as frosting can become less appealing when made too far in advance.
ON THE COUNTER: This simple cake will store in an airtight container on the counter for three days.
IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze this cake, either in slices or as a whole.
It is helpful to freeze the cake unwrapped first, and then to wrap the frozen slice or pan once the frosting will no longer transfer to the wax paper or other wrapper.
Why We Love This Recipe
SIMPLICITY: This recipe is incredibly easy to make since it requires only one bowl. It minimizes the hassle of cleanup and is perfect for novice bakers or those looking for a quick and straightforward option.
RICH CHOCOLATE FLAVOR: The cake boasts a deep and satisfying chocolate flavor, thanks to the generous amount of cocoa powder used. It’s a true indulgence for chocolate lovers.
MOIST TEXTURE: The inclusion of buttermilk, eggs, and vegetable oil results in a moist crumb. The cake’s texture is velvety and delightful, making each bite a pleasure.
This one bowl chocolate cake is so simple to make but it tastes absolutely amazing! The cake is dense and moist, with the perfect balance of sweet and chocolate richness. The homemade icing is everything. It’s so good, I could happily eat it with a spoon on its own.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This easy recipe can be frozen either as a whole or cut into slices for up to two months.
The buttermilk and oil make this black magic chocolate cake extra moist.
While not exactly the same as wacky or depression cake, this busy day cake has many of the same ingredients.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Lunch Lady Brownies
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- Boston Cream Cupcakes
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
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One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2½ cups flour
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon coffee
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Grease and flour a 9×13-inch cake pan.
- Using a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, coffee, and oil. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes, the batter will be thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes in the pan before icing.
- In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat melt the butter. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in cocoa.
- Return to stove on medium-low heat and cook until just begins to boil.
- Remove from heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar (you can sift it to remove any lumps before adding).
- Add the vanilla and coffee and stir until mixed.
- Let the frosting cool for 10 minutes to let it set up just a bit. Then ice the cake. Don’t let it cool too long or it will harden in your pan and not be as easy to spread.
- Spread the icing over the cake.
- Rubbing cocoa powder on the pan instead of flour keeps the chocolate flavor going.
- Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
- Don’t let the icing cool too long, or it will harden in your pan and not be easy to spread.
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