Chocolate Cake:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (240 ml) warm water

1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream (35% butterfat)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature


Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.

In an ungreased 8 inch (20 cm) square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Frosting: Place the chopped chocolate, cream, and butter in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and melt until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature until it is of pouring consistency. Then pour the frosting over the cooled cake. Let stand until frosting has thickened.

Serves 8 - 10 people.


Want a quick and easy Chocolate Cake with great flavor? This is it. All the ingredients can actually be mixed together right in the pan and this single layer cake has a rich chocolate flavor with a moist and tender crumb. A nice snacking cake. The kids will love it with a tall glass of cold milk while the adults might prefer it with a hot cup of coffee.

What makes this Chocolate Cake unique is that it is a "mix-in-the-pan" type of cake. This refers to how all the ingredients are just mixed together, right in the cake pan. A little unusual which is probably why other names for this cake are a "Wacky" or a "Crazy" Cake. However, while in theory I like the thought of no dirty dishes, I will say that, practically speaking, I find it much easier to mix the ingredients together in a separate bowl, rather than in the pan. There are a couple of things about this recipe that are worth mentioning. First, it does not contain eggs. Second, this cake uses unsweetened (natural) cocoa powder (not Dutch processed) which has an intense bitter flavor that makes it well suited for use in this chocolate cake. (Popular brands are Hershey's, Ghirardelli, Pernigotti, and Scharffen Berger.) Third, we also add a little lemon juice (or vinegar) to the batter, which causes a reaction between the cocoa powder and the lemon juice giving the baked cake a distinctly red tinge (reminiscent of a Red Velvet Cake). And lastly, while I have used melted butter, you could substitute with corn, canola, safflower, or even a vegetable oil.

The cake pan doesn't need to be buttered if you are going to serve the cake directly from the pan. However, if you want to remove the cake from the pan, then butter and flour the pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment or wax paper. Once the cake has been baked and cooled, I like to frost it with Ganache. But this is not absolutely necessary. If you like you can just dust the top of the cake with a little powdered sugar or cocoa powder and serve it on its own or with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Now, Chocolate Ganache is simply a mixture of cream and chocolate. While you can make ganache by pouring hot cream over chopped chocolate, for this recipe you melt the chocolate right along with the cream. Then remove from heat and let the ganache cool until it is of pouring consistency.