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No-fail chocolate cake recipe

No-fail chocolate cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Celebration cakes
  • Birthday cake
  • Chocolate birthday cake

An extremely moist and delicous chocolate cake. Nice for birthdays, cake sales or Valentine's day.

245 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 2-layered cake

  • 225g butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225ml buttermilk
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 225ml boiling water

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease and line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper. If you prefer to make a rectangular cake, grease and line a 20x30cm tin.
  2. Sieve together the cocoa, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Add the boiling water and beat for one full minute.
  4. Spoon mixture into cake tins. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(209)

Reviews in English (176)

Definatly will make this again! I used hot choc instead of cocoa and used much moer milk that instructed but it turned out to be a suprisingly light and very chocolatey cake! A must for first time chocolate cake makers like myself! =)-23 Feb 2011

by naples34102

This is not a deep, dark chocolate cake, but it sure isn't short on rich chocolate flavor! This is an incredibly moist, stick to the tines of your fork cake, that baked nicely in two 9-inch layers in 25 minutes. I didn't bother with the parchment paper and it released from the pans easily just sprayed with Baker's Joy. I didn't change a thing with this recipe, and won't the next time around either. It is delicious just as written. Frosted with "Caroline's Chocolate Fudge Frosting," also from this site, this was a cake I'd be proud to serve anywhere.-18 Sep 2008


help!! I made this exactly as instructed, thinking that this would be a no-fail cake, and I was wrong!I don't know what I did wrong, as I said I followed everything written, can anyone tell me why it turned out sticky?It's thick and didn't raise much, and you can see it's so moist inside it's not even a cake, not even a brownie, it's just a hard dense block of black stuff! So disappointed~someone please tell me what could cause this!-15 Apr 2006

Homemade Cake Recipes No Fail Basic Cake

To go directly to the no-fail basic recipe for our super easy homemade cake recipes, click here, or browse through these sensational yet easy recipes for wonderful cakes with the homemade touch. They are all a "throw in the pot and mix" type of recipe that always produces an irresistible cake.

  1. Place a clean bowl over a saucepan of hot water (bain marie). Ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water & no water goes inside the bowl
  2. Grate the cacao butter, add to the bowl & allow to melt slowly. Don’t keep the water boiling, turn the heat off and just give it a quick blast every so often if necessary
  3. Once melted, add the cacao powder & stir in thoroughly with a balloon whisk or fork, until it starts to slightly thicken

    The chocolate should be runny & easy to pour
  4. Add 1 tbsp of Sweet Freedom & stir in very thoroughly. It will thicken as you add the Sweet Freedom
  5. Taste it and if you prefer it sweeter, add more 1/2 tbsp at a time, mixing thoroughly and tasting after each
  6. When the mixture suits your taste, pour gently into the mould using a jug or spoon
  7. Place it in the fridge to set for an hour or more (or in the freezer if you can’t wait that long)
  8. Any remaining chocolate is the chocolatier’s treat!

Ron Ben-Israel Bakes a Better Chocolate Cake

It is no secret that Chef Ron Ben-Israel tastes some of the best, most impressive dessert dishes around on his show, Sweet Genius. But did you know that Chef Ron also creates his own ingeniously inspired and impeccably decorated cakes? Yes, he is a New York City-based wedding cake baker who has a passion for designing whimsical confectionary creations that taste as heavenly as they look.

A few weeks ago I caught up with the Sweet Genius himself and we chatted about what it takes to make a classic, tried-and-true dessert: chocolate cake. Not surprisingly, Chef Ron shared that he has discovered two tricks to baking the best-ever chocolate cake and they are both easy, no-fail techniques.

Ron_Ben_Israel 2155.tif

Assistant Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Photo by: Pernille Pederson

“The different thing about my recipe is that it gives the strongest chocolate flavor possible. I learned to pour boiling water or very hot coffee on the cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is actually very rich with cocoa fat, and if you pour the hot liquid on it, the liquid brings out the aroma and deep flavor and makes the chocolate much more intense,” explains Chef Ron. If you’re worried about the cake tasting like coffee, don’t be — the hot coffee will merely enhance the chocolate’s natural flavor, not cover it up.

His second technique is a lesson in what not to do. Chef Ron says, “I eliminated milk from the recipe because I found that milk actually tapers the flavor of the chocolate and makes it a little bit less intense and even a little bitter.” Ron’s Chocolate Layer Cake (pictured above) recipe featured in Food Network Magazine does not include milk, unlike many chocolate cake recipes, but rather calls for hot strong coffee. He stacks rich, decadent cake with whipped ganache then covers the entire tower with even more creamy, bittersweet ganache and decorates the sides with paper-thin chocolate bark.

Check out how Ron prepares this four-layer showstopper and learn how to bake it at home.

Wacky Cake with No Fail Fudge Frosting

Do you have a recipe that holds a special meaning to you or you vividly remember learning how to make? For me, it’s Wacky Cake. Wacky cake was the first cake that I learned to make from scratch.

My mom taught me how to make it when I was in middle school, and it’s been one of my favorites to make ever since!

From sifting the ingredients together to licking the spoon at the end (Don’t worry, there aren’t any eggs!), I still remember making this cake when I was young.

Wacky cake is a simple, classic cake that is easy for anyone in the family to make!

One of my favorite things about this cake is that it is somewhat of a mash up between both sides of my family. I discovered that both of my grandmothers had a recipe for wacky cake in their recipe boxes, and the cake that I make is a mixture of both.

It is a neat way to carry on the tradition of both of them in one cake.

The name “Wacky Cake” comes from the fact that the cake doesn’t have eggs, butter, or milk in it. The recipe was developed around World War II when common baking ingredients were hard to come by. Don’t worry. You won’t miss the eggs or butter!

This rich, chocolaty cake is perfect for celebrating anything from birthdays to good grades to holidays!

Once I learned how to make it, it somehow became somewhat of a tradition that I made this cake for my mom’s birthday.

I suppose it was about time that someone made her a cake! Not that I minded, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to have a slice of wacky cake.

Topping the wacky cake is what is labeled as “no-fail fudge frosting” on my mom’s recipe card. And, it proves to be exactly that. If I could learn how to make homemade fudge frosting in middle school, anyone can make it!

The frosting tastes just like a thin layer of fudge has been spread across the top of the cake. Using McCormick’s pure vanilla extract ensures that the frosting has a rich, subtle vanilla flavor making it completely irresistible!

My mom and I always made sure that we scraped out all of the frosting out of the saucepan with a spoon and spatula, because it just wouldn’t do to have any of it go to waste!

Top with sprinkles that match the occasion, and you have a festive cake ready for any celebration!

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour, plus more for flouring the cake pans
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, plus more for unmolding the cake
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup melted unsweetened Baker's chocolate
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing two cake pans

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Put the flour, sugar, butter, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If you don't have a stand mixer, you can put the ingredients in a bowl and use a hand mixer with the blending attachments.) Mix on slow just until the ingredients are blended together, a few seconds, then raise the speed to low-medium and continue to mix until smooth, approximately 1 additional minute.

Stop the motor and pour in chocolate. Mix for 1 minute, then, with the motor running, pour in the hot water. Then add the eggs, 1 egg at a time, adding the next one after the previous one has been absorbed into the mixture. Stop the motor periodically and scrape the bowl from the bottom with a rubber spatula to integrate ingredients, and return the mixer to low-medium speed. After all the eggs are added, continue to mix for an additional minute to ensure the eggs have been thoroughly mixed in. This will help guarantee that the sugar is dissolved and that the flour has been thoroughly mixed in, which will help produce a luxurious mouth-feel in the final cake.

With the motor running, add the buttermilk, stopping the motor to scrape the sides and bottom. Continue to mix for another minute or until the mixture appears smooth. Before baking, be sure the batter is at 70-73°F or the cake will crown.

Grease two 9-inch cake pans (2 inches high) with the butter, and flour them.

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and get as much batter as possible out. Bake until the cake begins to pull from the sides of the pan and is springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. The cakes should be at room temperature before you remove them from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, top with sugar, and one at a time, turn the pans over and turn the cakes out onto parchment the sugar will keep it from sticking. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to decorate.

Convection Baking or Conventional Oven

Here are a few ways to bake the cakes!

First, if you use convection ovens you must lower the temperature 25 degrees, so if your recipe is calling for 350 degrees, put this to 325 degrees.

The time to bake it is a little tricky, bundt pans takes around 1 hour because they are so thick and sheet cakes with shallow edges cook faster in around 25 minutes.

Personally, I love convection cooking the cake was very light and fluffy using either recipe.

The recipe card is printed for regular oven baking methods and a note on convection oven baking.

This cake was baked in a preheated oven at 325 degrees in the convection baking mode for 25 minutes.

Classic No-Fail Sponge Cake

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Nothing quite compares to the elegant simplicity of a beautiful sponge filled with jam, cream and fresh berries. This no-fail version ticks all the boxes light, fluffy, super soft and of course, requests for a second helping.

Love this recipe? Share it!



Sponge Cake

  1. 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  4. ¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp Queen Organic Vanilla Extract
  6. 75g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

To assemble

  1. 600ml thickened cream
  2. 1 tsp Queen Concentrated Vanilla Extract
  3. ½ cup (170g) strawberry or raspberry jam
  4. Fresh strawberries, to decorate

Related Tags

Method - Meringues

Step 1

Prepare Queen Meringue & Pavlova Mix as per pack directions, adding Queen Concentrated Vanilla Extract. Pipe meringues onto baking paper and bake at 100°C fan-forced/120°C conventional for 1 hour.

Method - Sponge Cake

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced/180°C conventional. Grease & line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm round cake tins.

Step 2

Sift flour and baking powder together three times. Set aside.

Step 3

In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat eggs, caster sugar and Vanilla Essence on high speed for 15 minutes until mixture is thick and pale in colour.

Step 4

Sift ¼ of the flour mixture into egg mixture and gently fold using a large metal spoon. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, taking care not to over mix.

Step 5

In separate bowl, add a heaped spoonful or two of the batter into the melted butter mix to combine.

Step 6

Add butter to sponge batter and fold very gently to combine, with no streaks of butter remaining.

Step 7

Pour batter into two prepared tins and gently smooth the tops. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Allow cakes to cool in tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Method - To assemble

Step 1

Whip cream and Concentrated Vanilla Extract until firm peaks form.

Step 2

Place the first sponge layer on a serving plate and spread generously with vanilla cream. Top with berries and a drizzle of jam.

Step 3

Top with remaining sponge, then top with more cream, strawberries, jam and meringues to finish.

Ultimate Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe (video)

Need a simple, no-fail chocolate sponge cake recipe for your next cake creation? I’ve got you covered with this fantastic, rich and chocolate-y version! While most chocolate cakes tend to be dense and fudge-y, this recipe yields a super fluffy, light as air cake layer that will surprise you! And you’ll love how versatile this recipe is – you can fill and frost this cake with just about anything! This cake recipe is from my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series, where I share simple cake, frosting and filling recipes!

Watch My Video!

Watch my video recipe for step-by-step instructions! This chocolate sponge cake is ridiculously easy to make once you have the technique down and it’s almost impossible to mess it up! Want to get new recipe updates? Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

How To Make A Sponge Cake

What sets a sponge cake apart from other cakes is the method of preparation and ingredients. Recipes like this one call for more eggs than usual, six to be exact! I know that sounds like a lot for a cake but it’s the eggs that give these cake layers volume. The first and most important step is whisking the eggs and sugar until the eggs are pale in color, thick and voluminous. The more volume, the better! It’s equally important to add the dry ingredients gently, folding carefully but thoroughly to keep the eggs fluffy.

If you’ve ever baked a sponge cake before, you know that they tend to be much drier than a traditional butter and sugar based cakes. That makes them great filling with a variety of fillings! Try these cake layers with creamy or fruity fillings such as custards, citrus curds or fruit preserves dessert liqueurs also work well. Since sponge cakes don’t have a ton of moisture on their own, they absorb other liquids and moisture very well!

How To Use Sponge Cake

Sponge cakes go well with jams, fruit preserves, liqueurs and ganache since those all can soak into the cake well. Here are some more ideas for filling the cake:

  • For this simple cake pictured, I used blueberry preserves and chocolate ganache, along with my ‘German Custard Buttercream’. It was absolutely delicious! The preserves and chocolate both made the cake very moist and tender!
  • Also, try this with my ‘Berry Whipped Cream Frosting’for a berry twist.
  • And to make the ultimate chocolate cake, combine my chocolate sponge cake with my ‘Chocolate Buttercream’.

More Recipes!

Looking for more of my ‘Back To Cake Basics’ episodes? Check out some of my other recipes!

    – the best, no-fail basic sponge cake recipe! – try this rich and fudgy chocolate cake recipe next! – delicate vanilla cake for any recipe!

Enjoyed this recipe? Please share and save it to Pinterest!

Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):

My classic KitchenAid stand mixer is a must for every kitchen!
I love these aluminum round cake pans for all my cakes. And these precut parchment paper rounds are a huge time saver!
Use this set of jumbo cake decorating tipsare the ones I use for almost all my recipes.
I love these off-set spatulas for everything from cake batter to frosting.

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups dairy sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt, blending well. Blend in the butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

When cold, frost with the frosting.

FROSTING: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Pour the mixture into a small mixer bowl and allow to cool completely. Add the confectioners' sugar to the cocoa mixture alternately with the milk then beating to a spreading consistency. Blend in the vanilla.