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One Bowl, No Measurements: Chocolate Cake, As Easy As Can Be

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At first glance, this bare bones recipe may look like something from a technical challenge on Great British Bake Off, but the absence of measurements is intentional. This is what I like to call a “no-measure cake” (as in, no measuring spoons or cups needed), and the recipe is so foolproof it’ll turn even the most challenged cooks into a star baker.

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of tricks, techniques and ingredients to make my cakes as moist as possible. Adding mayo works well. Strictly buttermilk is great too. But yogurt is my go-to cake moistening agent. Since I don’t typically keep large containers of yogurt on hand, I wanted to create a recipe that used all seven ounces of an individual yogurt container at once. One day, while scraping the yogurt into a mixing bowl, I suddenly had an epiphany: If this yogurt container is just shy of a cup, could I use this to measure the rest of my ingredients?

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“Get it, girl,” I thought while simultaneously air high-fiving myself. (Don’t judge, I just prefer to test my recipes alone.)

No measuring cups in sight.
No measuring cups in sight. Photo by Bobbi Lin

But, as it turns out, I wasn’t the first person to think of this idea. The OG Domestic Goddess of baking, Nigella Lawson, beat me to the punch… obviously. And she’s not the only one. Yogurt Pot Cakes are quite popular (and have been for some time) in Italy. But studying her brilliant recipe gave me the assurance I needed that creating a yogurt cake of my own was a good idea. Thanks for the boost of confidence, girl! (Yeah, I said that to myself, too.)

I decided to take my cake in a more chocolatey direction. But with the addition of cocoa powder also came an addition of some warm water (coffee would work well, too). And, to achieve a bit of a lighter textured cake, I chose to use self-rising flour. This truly is baking at its laziest, and the result couldn’t be more delightful.

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No-Measure Chocolate Cake

E2e8594d a586 4d85 87b7 91c15fe719ab  grantmelton 1494862480 444 Grant Melton
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Makes one 10-inch round cake
  • 1 7-oz container plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 container canola oil
  • 1 container sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 containers self-rising flour
  • 1 container cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 container coffee or warm water
  • Salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
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How do you avoid doing extra work when you just feel like baking, but don't have much time or energy? Let us know in the comments!