No-Measure Chocolate Cake Recipe on Food52


No-Measure Chocolate Cake

September 11, 2017
8 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Not only does this cake come together in one bowl, but you also don't have to fuss around with measuring cups or spoons. All you need is a 7-ounce, individual-sized yogurt container. —Grant Melton

Watch This Recipe
No-Measure Chocolate Cake
  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Empty the Greek yogurt container into a large mixing bowl. Now, using the container as your measuring device, add one yogurt container full of sugar and one yogurt container full of canola oil to the bowl. Then, add in two large eggs. Using an electric hand mixer, beat mixture until smooth.
  3. Now, still using the empty yogurt container to measure, add in two container-fulls of self-rising flour and one full container of cocoa powder. Beat on a low speed until lump free, and slowly add in a full container of warm water (or coffee, for intensified chocolate flavor) and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth. Once smooth, pour the batter into a prepared 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. Let cool.
  4. Release the cake from the spring form pan and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. The cake goes well with a dollop of whipped cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Eric Muscatell
    Eric Muscatell
  • Pat
  • FrugalCat
  • Judy Sennesh
    Judy Sennesh
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, Food Network Kitchen and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies (with salt.)

    98 Reviews

    Eric M. December 12, 2020
    Food52 should really remove this recipe from its site as it tarnishes their good reputation. It’s a truly awful cake that is very dense and gluey and not very sweet. I’d really urge you not to waste your ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly and was so disappointed.
    Pat March 8, 2018
    Wanted a quick ,easy dessert. I had saved this recipe to my favorites & thought I would give it a try. Followed the recipe exactly using KA triple cocoa & KA self rising flour and strong coffee. Buttered my 10" springform pan and dusted with the cocoa. Best cake ever !! Not sure if this is good thing as I always have these ingredients on hand. :-)
    FrugalCat February 22, 2018
    I used coconut oil (its a liquid at room temp here in the tropics), turbinado sugar and decaf coffee. It came out fantastic. Coconut flavor was subtle.
    MONICA February 4, 2018
    No me gustó, es poco dulce, vamos que no lo haré de nuevo...
    amy January 19, 2018
    I'm an experienced baker. Made this and followed all directions. Used hot water rather than coffee, and Droste cocoa powder. I had to throw it out. I've never had to do that before. It was totally tasteless.
    Kathy January 20, 2018
    We, too, ended up throwing it our. Realized that we were putting ice cream on it to make it palatable. Don't need the extra calories. Opted to enjoy the ice cream.
    Kathy January 13, 2018
    Sadly, this cake just wasn't "it" for us. We did not like the texture, too dry. Also, I wish I had thought of it when I was putting it together to add a teaspoon of vanilla which I always do in chocolate recipes. I used coffee for the liquid.
    Judy S. November 25, 2017
    Most yogurt containers I see now are less than 6 ounces (often 5.3 ounces). What to do about the eggs? Still use 2.
    LPS November 3, 2017
    I love this easy recipe! Instead of coffee, I used Scottish Breakfast tea and added a teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom. I've also used good quality vanilla and English Breakfast tea. It's moist and not overly sweet!
    Barbara R. October 14, 2017
    I finally tried this recipe. Sadly, it did not rise. I could not get my hands on self-rising flour, so I tried the substitute suggested in palyn hart's comment (1 container cake flour and one container AP flour.). The taste is delicious and it's certainly edible, but not something I would serve to guests.
    Oh, well. Guess I'll have to eat it all by myself. ; ) And next time I'll wait until I have the self-rising flour on hand.
    Steve October 15, 2017
    As you may already realize, self-rising flour has a leavening agent in it whereas cake or AP flour does not.
    Jennalynn October 15, 2017
    The difference is: baking soda or baking powder. you needed to add that.
    Barbara R. October 15, 2017
    Yep, realized I was missing the leavening agent in hindsight. Thanks (and Jennalynn).
    palyn H. October 9, 2017
    One of my favorite pleasures in life is a rich, moist, not-too-sweet, naked, single-layer chocolate cake topped with generous scoops of good vanilla ice cream. This cake fit the bill perfectly, and will now be my go-to cake recipe. I made it using a 7-ounce container of full-fat Fage Greek yogurt, noting the yogurt level in the cup, and using that same level as the fill point (not quite all the way to the top) for the other ingredients. The only changes I made were to replace one cup of the flour with King Arthur unbleached cake flour (for extra tenderness), and King Arthur organic AP flour for the remaining cup. I also added one teaspoon of vanilla and used slightly watered-down coffee for the liquid. For the cocoa, I went basic with regular Hershey's cocoa, but in future will try other premium cocoa brands to see if it makes a difference. I baked the cake in a regular 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment, and used not quite all of the batter (for fear of overfilling). The cake required just a few minutes over the recommended bake time, and came out slightly domed, with just a few surface cracks. When cool, the cake was tender, moist, not too sweet or overly dense, with well balanced flavors. Absolutely delicious. Topped with vanilla ice cream, it was heavenly. Was equally tasty the next two days, enjoyed with just a glass of cold milk. So grateful for this recipe!
    Juli January 25, 2019
    How did you get it to rise without any leavening? You replaced the self-rising flour — that has baking soda and salt added — with flour but no baking soda or powder.
    robinorig October 9, 2017
    I used part black cocoa from King Arthur, too. For some reason, mine fell in in the center and didn't totally cook in the center. I baked it longer and was afraid it would burn if I left it in longer. I might try it in a Bundt pan next time to solve that problem. I'm thinking it could be because it's been extremely humid lately from all the hurricanes. Otherwise I don't know as I haven't had this problem before. I'm an experienced baker.
    Cooking I. October 9, 2017
    I made this using coconut oil and a combination of King Arthur triple cocoa blend and King Arthur Black cocoa(purchased at Food52). Adding coffee is a must, brings out the chocolate flavor.
    Reminds of an old fashion Devil's Food cake.
    Colleen L. September 30, 2017
    It would be helpful to know what size of containers you are talking about!! We all live in different locations. You can get different size containers of all those ingredients.
    Steve September 30, 2017
    Hi Colleen- he mention the First listed ingredient. 7 oz. container. Then, the whole point of the recipe is to use just that same container to measure all the other ingredients.
    John A. September 22, 2017
    Oh, nevermind. A pinch!
    John A. September 22, 2017
    How much salt?
    Ruti September 21, 2017
    I made this recipe with very slight changes. I used regular a 7 oz container of plain yogurt, (no Greek yogurt in Argentina), 1/2 a cont. of sunflower oil, and half a cont. of unsweetened cocoa powder, the other half of finely chopped 70% cocoa chocolate, because I have a lot and I love it and didn't feel like melting it, which would be the other option. It's really good, and no doubt the original version must be too, but with half the oil, in my opinion.
    Ruti September 21, 2017
    "a regular 7 oz container"
    Kelly O. September 23, 2017
    Totally agree. I used a whole co trainer of oil and I think you can definitely taste it. I balked at using a whole container, and I should have gone with my gut and cut it in half.
    Amy September 21, 2017
    I made this recipe tonight for my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary celebration. It was a fun recipe - a nice change from the usual. I used a full 7 ounce freshly brewed Americano in place of the water, along with 2 teaspoons vanilla. Hindsight, this may have been too strong a coffee to use, and I may have been a bit careless and not leveled off the unsweetened cocoa, perhaps adding a bit more than it called for. This added a lot of intensity, and when I tasted the finished batter it did not taste nearly sweet enough. I ended up adding another almost 1/2 cup of sugar to get it to the right sweetness for our personal taste. So in effect, I pretty much doubled the sugar. This made it take longer - almost 45 minutes to bake - which was fine. After it had cooled, I poked holes in the cake with a bamboo skewer and poured a homemade salted caramel sauce over top, again to balance out the intensity of the chocolate. We had it with vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. If anyone wants the homemade caramel sauce recipe, I'm pasting the link below. We thought it went quite well with the cake.
    Jennalynn September 20, 2017
    I'm surprised at all the craziness in the comments.
    It's just a fun way to put together a cake quickly/easily.
    There are a ton of chocolate cake recipes if you want to use measuring cups/spoons/ other ingredients.
    Let this be what it is.
    denni September 21, 2017
    robinorig September 20, 2017
    BTW, the Fage small yogurt containers here are now 6 oz. I think maybe they were 7 oz originally but have been shrunk down to 6. Also, liquid and dry measurements are totally different and volume is different than weight.
    Laura J. September 19, 2017
    I'm confused by the positive comments on this cake - it's too oily. Maybe using half the amount oil would be better. Taste wise maybe melted butter or another oil would be nicer but the canola oil really didn't work for me.