One Bowl Chocolate Cake

By • June 22, 2014 • 33 Comments



Author Notes: This simple and rich chocolate cake is straight from the pages of my mum's scrap-cook-book. It was the first thing I learnt to make in the kitchen all by myself. The mixture is terribly forgiving and encouraging of sneaky swipes of batter. This recipe taught me how to bake a cake and the importance of tasting your food as you go...particularly if it involves cocoa.Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Makes 1 lovely large cake, ~10 slices.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 & 2/3 cup Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cups Quality Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1 & 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 ounces Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 & 1/4 cup Milk

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Warm Water, plus more for dipping the knife when spreading the frosting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line an 8 inch springform cake tin with baking paper.
  2. For the cake: sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl (for use with an electric mixer - or if lacking an electric mixer and feeling particularly spritely you can mix vigorously by hand). Add the salt and stir.
  3. Whisk the eggs lightly before adding them to the mixing bowl with the softened butter, oil, vanilla extract, milk and vinegar.
  4. Beat the mixture on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl to ensure all the mixture is being incorporated then beat on high for 3 minutes. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin.
  5. Bake in your hot oven for ~60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Depending on the strength of you oven, you might like to check it at 50 minutes.
  6. For the frosting: sift the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, then add the butter and vanilla. Whisk in the warm water, a tablespoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable
  7. Using a butter knife dipping in hot water, spread the icing on the top of the cooled cake. Be as generous/ugly as you like. We’ll call it rustic.
  8. Dust your frosted cake with more confectioners sugar, decorate with lollies or maybe just finish it all off with a generous sprinkling of Malden sea salt flakes... go with your mood, whether classic, childish or crazy (good).
Jump to Comments (33)

Comments (33) Questions (1)

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6 days ago Kelsey Forsyth

are you supposed to whisk the eggs separately? or with the butter, oil, vanilla, milk and vinegar? do you whisk in a separate bowl? in or the bowl with the dry ingredients?

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5 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Whisk the eggs separately in a small bowl or cup, then add them (plus all the wet ingredients) to the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients before beating. I hope that clears it up! x

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6 days ago Regine

Pam I myself use canola or vegetable oil. I don't have olive oil but extra virgin olive oil which too me is too strongly flavored for a chocolate cake.

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6 days ago Pam Bills

I made this cake yesterday following the recipe exactly, and it turned out great.
Just wondered if it mattered if you use olive oil, or would vegetable oil work just as well?

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5 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Yes vegetable oil is absolutely fine to use from a flavour point of view. Thanks again, Regine! x

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16 days ago sw

sorry i meant how many cupcakes does this recipe make?

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15 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

I've never made it as cupcakes and it would naturally depend on the size of your cupcake moulds, so I'm afraid I can't say! Jump in and give it a go, surely you'll get at least 10 from most pans x

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15 days ago Miranda Johanning

when i made this into cupcakes i got right at 20, or 21 cupcakes, but i filled them pretty generously (about 2/3's). probably with a more consistent system you could get a full 2 dozen

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15 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Thanks, Miranda! x

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16 days ago sw

how many cupcakes does this week?

Stringio

23 days ago Miranda Johanning

Just made this cake as cupcakes, and it was great! Really simple, rose nicely, but not ostentatiously and made only out of ingredients I already had! Unfortunately I only had regular cocoa powder so my cakes weren't as chocolately as they could have been, will definitely be investing in some dutch-processed!

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23 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Don't you hate an ostentatious rise? Excellent use of the word ;) x

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24 days ago Kace Schwarm

I liked the simplicity of the recipe and even managed to bake it with my 5 yr old without frustration--yay! But, I thought the cake tested clean and was disappointed when it had a fudgy center. Also, it rose quite high and then fell in the middle as it cooled--I'm wondering if this is related to the fudgy center?? Will try again because of its success with the 5 yr old set, but definitely will cook it for closer to the 60 minutes stated (and not the 53 minutes I did today)

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24 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Hi Kace, yes it is rich and a bit fudgey... especially when more on the undercooked side & especially when using brown sugar in place of white, which I sometimes do as I like a fudgey cake. In terms of it falling when cooling, yeah do make sure it's not coming out too early. Sometimes mine falls but never drastically, it's not a very fragile or delicate cake...keep me posted if you make it again!. It's a great one to make with kids, super chuffed you and your 5yr old loved baking it together x

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23 days ago Kace Schwarm

Good to know re: fudginess (I like fudgy, too, so will have to try the brown sugar suggestion). The 5 yr old had a great time helping me measure out the ingredients and sifting things together. :) Thanks again!

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23 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

So happy to hear of all these kids in the kitchen :) x

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24 days ago Marra

How do you think that this recipe would stand up if using gluten free flour?

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24 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

I absolutely think it's worth a try! I don't do a lot of gluten-free baking myself, but if you have a good flour, a good blend, the textural difference should be minimal x

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24 days ago Marra

I'll let you know how it goes! The pursuit of delicious, lovely textured but gluten free baked goods continues!

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23 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Go forth & gluten-free! Good luck x

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24 days ago Regine

Made this a second time but this time poked holes into cake and rum LOL (Grand Marnier is good to). I let it sit for a while and then I iced it. Wow. So good. This recipe is good with and without. So versatile. I also love the icing. Plus when it settles you can still wrap cake without the icing getting stuck. Icing is dry enough that you don't have to worry about it coming off; yet it is velvety enough.

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24 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Regine, you are next level awesome...rum drenched? YES. & yeah, the icing texture really lends itself to easy wrapping, you're right x

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29 days ago skb

Hi, Heidi. Where in the world did that AWSOME bowl with the huge, loopy handle and pour spouts come from??

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29 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

It's my mum's! It is awesome, right? She got it at an op shop about 10 years ago, it's old and French and fabulous x

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29 days ago skb

Oh, those French!! What a wonderful heirloom. Enjoy, and thank you for the fantastic recipe!

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29 days ago smitty

Hi Heidi, have you ever tried it using all butter (and no oil?) Looking forward to trying it soon!

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29 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

I haven't! I don't imagine there to be too much of a difference, but obviously cannot guarantee. Let me know if you try it that way x

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30 days ago MQAvatar

I love it when recipes go against things that I'm taught (beat a cake for 3 minutes! wow!) and are still wonderful and beloved. They're such a good reminder that making food is so much more than strict rules--even baking! Such a lovely photo, by the way.

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29 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Oh, thank! Yes I know, it's so keenly beaten. I remember as a child just marvelling at those beaters...magically it incorporates and aerates and doesn't make it tough or flat. And I swear those 3 minutes ARE in the recipe, not just a throwback to how long it FELT like when waiting to lick the bowl as a kid ;) x

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about 1 month ago CalamityintheKitchen

just had to make this. today. even though (or because) i have been manically busy. and baby, it is everything your beautiful photos promised it would be. so exactly the cake i wanted to eat at the end of this crazy day.
ps. i used natural instead of dutch cocoa, because that's what i had, and it worked out fine.

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30 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Boom!! This is awesome. So happy. & thanks for letting me know re the cocoa x

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about 1 month ago campbell.jentrye

This is fantastic. My milk had gone off so I used 1c almond milk and 1/4c half and half. I'm going to try and work this cake as a vanilla cake soon.

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30 days ago Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

Oh ace! That sounds like a brilliant idea, let me know how it goes x