This quick-mix chocolate cake is not a complicated recipe and you get it into the oven super quick!
If you want a great recipe to bake with the kids, then look no further. The whole family will love this delicious cake.
A no fuss, quick-mix Chocolate Cake recipe.
Baking is fun and baking with your children is double the fun! However using a complicated recipe just means no one gets to eat cake quickly. This no fuss, quick-mix Chocolate Cake recipe ensures that you get the cake into the oven super fast. This is the cake that your grandmother would have made – no fancy ingredients, no fancy baking pans and no fuss. And because this recipe uses melted butter, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. My easy Vanilla Cake recipe uses softened butter but I have a trick to speeding up that softening process.
This recipe was given to me years ago by my mother-in-law and has served me well. One bowl to mix up the cake batter, one baking pan to bake the cake and one simple chocolate frosting spread on the top – just like a boxed cake mix but so much tastier!
What is dutch process cocoa powder?
Coco powder is not just cocoa powder. There are two types – natural and dutch processed and there is a lot of science behind the difference. You can read here about what Serious Eats has to say about it. It’s interesting stuff but basically “normal'”cocoa powder is naturally acidic so it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda. Conversely, dutch process cocoa powder has had the naturally occurring acid neutralized. This mean is won’t work in a recipe relying solely on bicarbonate of soda for the leavening.
Can I use “normal” cocoa powder in this quick-mix Chocolate cake?
While I used dutch processed cocoa powder in this recipe, you can substitute natural cocoa powder because this recipe doesn’t rely solely on bicarbonate of soda for the leavening. This cake also uses self raising flour for leavening which contains baking powder. If you don’t have self raising flour, you can read this post about how to make a substitute or check the notes in the recipe below.
I like to use dutch processed cocoa powder in this quick-mix chocolate cake because I find it gives the cake a darker color and more of a chocolate taste. However. in this recipe the choice is yours. Use natural cocoa powder if that’s what you have.
How to make this quick-mix chocolate cake.
This Chocolate cake recipe is quick-mix and really easy to make with 6 simple steps.
- In a stand mixer bowl, sift the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Add the milk and melted butter. Mix for 30 seconds.
- Scrape the sides and base of the bowl with a spatula. This is important to ensure even mixing.
- Add the eggs and beat on medium for 2 minutes.
- Pour into baking pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Before baking, tap the baking pan on the kitchen bench to break any excess air bubbles. This prevents those large pockets of air that sometimes occur in quick-mix cakes.
The Chocolate frosting for this cake.
Frosting for this cake is a very simple chocolate buttercream. Mix softened butter with sifted icing (powdered) sugar and cocoa then add vanilla extract for flavor and a little milk until smooth. Beat until thick and creamy and spread over the top of the cake. This is a very simply frosting that has a multitude of uses.
What you need to know about sugar in baking recipes.
Sugar is a traditional sweetener used in many sweet, baking recipe. However, sugar does much more than sweeten a recipe. Sugar adds moisture, tenderizes and even helps leaven a cake and using the incorrect sugar can change the end result. There are a few basic sugar types used in most baking recipes. I like to use castor (or superfine) sugar in baking that calls for white sugar like my Apple cake. If you only have regular granulated sugar it can usually be substituted but you may comprise on lightness. Brown sugar is sugar that has had molasses added to it. Brown sugar changes the texture and flavor when used in baking like the rich, caramel flavor in my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. Icing (or powdered) sugar is using mostly in icings, frostings and glazes or a snowy dust over cakes, cookies and doughnuts. However when used in cookies, like my Spritz cookies, this sugar creates a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Each sugar will provide different taste, texture and flavor to a baking recipe and substituting one type requires experience and baking knowledge but can have some great results. Sugar must be stored in air tight containers in a cool, dark place. Brown sugar is prone to hardening if it loses moisture. To soften hardened brown sugar, place in a microwave safe boil, cover with damp paper towel and microwave on high at 20 second intervals breaking up with a fork as you go.
With this quick-mix Chocolate cake recipe, you will enjoy baking with your children because it is such a simple, no fuss cake and turns out perfectly every time!
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A quick-mix cake full of chocolate flavor with delicious but simple chocolate buttercream.
- 1 ½ cups self raising flour see notes
- ¼ cup plain (all purpose) flour
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa powder see notes
- 1 cup castor (superfine) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 tablespoon dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C. Butter an 8in/20cm round deep cake pan. Line the base then flour the sides with a mixture of flour and cocoa powder.
In a stand mixer bowl, sift the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Add the milk, butter and vanilla.
Mix on low for 30 seconds. With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and base of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated.
Add the eggs.
Mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour in to prepared pan. Give the pan one sharp bang on the kitchen bench to burst excess air bubbles.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is coming away from the sides and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack. Place a second wire rack onto the cake and upturn so that the cake sit on it base. Don't just pick the warm cake up with your hands to turn it over because it may crack.
Sift the icing (powdered) sugar and cocoa into stand mixer bowl.
Add the butter and mix on low for 1 minute.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix. Add more milk to achieve a a smooth but thick frosting.
Frost the cooled cake with all of the chocolate frosting. Decorate as desired.
- If you don't have self raising flour you can make your own. In Australia, the brand I use calls for 2 teaspoons per cup of flour. However American readers may need to adjust this quantity - most brands call for 1 - 1 1/4 teaspoons per cup of flour. In other countries, please follow the directions on the packet of baking powder you are using.
- You could also use cake flour in this recipe.
- While I used dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe, you can substitute natural cocoa powder because this recipe doesn't rely solely on bicarbonate of soda for the leavening. Dutch process cocoa powder is wonderful in this quick-mix chocolate cake because I find it gives the cake a darker color and more of a chocolate taste. However. in this recipe the choice is yours. Use natural cocoa powder if that's what you have.