There are a lot of great chocolate cake recipes in cookbooks and online. Being the official test kitchen for Veracity Media Group, I get to test recipes that catch my eye and make recommendations for our publications. I’m also happy to share the love with other baking bloggers. Both professional and weekend warrior bakers have beautiful sites with lots of easy to follow recipes and suggestions. When you find something that catches your eye, carve out some time to try the recipe on friends and family. It’s a great way to learn.
This amazing recipe, THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE by My Baking Addiction, if very rich. I made a few changes on my final cake but not enough to rewrite the recipe. Make time to visit Jamie’s blog for beautiful photography, stories and great food!
What did I change?
I have tested the recipe as written but not everyone will have Black Cocoa on hand, or even buttermilk.
- I left out the black cocoa this time. No other substitution needed.
- I made my own buttermilk… 1 cup of whole milk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir and allow it to congeal some while you prep other ingredients.
- I used bourbon vanilla extract from Trader Joe’s. I love the flavor it adds to baked goods.
- I keep Extra Dark Roast Cafe Pajaro coffee on hand from Trader Joe’s. I use an Italian style percolator to make strong coffee for recipes, and myself. This tool is not necessary but however you make coffee for baking recipes, the stronger the better for flavor.
- I was out of vegetable oil. It seems to happen lot. I used refined coconut oil. Remember, refined has no coconut taste, unrefined tastes like coconut. It’s a solid and remains that way below 75 degrees. So, you can’t just throw a 1/4 cup into the recipe. All ingredients, eggs, milk, etc. must be around room temperature for it to work. I melted the coconut oil half way down in the oven then mashed up the rest. Being there is warm coffee in the recipe, the coconut fat did its job properly and the cake came out perfectly moist. It’s trial and error. If you don’t have the patience to work with it, head to the store and grab some vegetable oil.
Let’s talk Simple Syrup. Why use it?
- It can take time to decorate a cake so brushing syrup on to the layer, or using a squeeze bottle, will help retain moisture.
- If you would like to add flavors, in this case I used raspberry, it’s easy to do and you don’t have to add flavors to the batter. I like to keep cake layers on-hand in the freezer but I may not want all of them to taste like raspberry.
- Cake layers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks by soaking in syrup and wrapping in plastic.
- When freezing, soak the cake layer with simple syrup, wrap in plastic, place in a sealable plastic bag or air tight container. Store up to 2 months. Some say 3 months but I air on the side of caution.
Here is a recipe link for my Raspberry Simple Syrup. This is a basic recipe that needs no flavoring so you may leave out the raspberries. You can also half this recipe if needed. I store the syrup in a small mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
For buttercream frosting, my standard go-to is VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING posted at Food.com by contributor, C. Taylor. It’s incredibly good and I’ve been a fan of Sprinkles Cupcakes since it first opened in 2005. Yes, I waited in a long line once in Beverly Hills for two cupcakes. I don’t think I have ever passed by when there wasn’t a line out the door.
For the RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING in this recipe…
- Make the Sprinkles recipe as directed so you can see the consistency.
- Then add 1 teaspoon, up to 1 tablespoon, of Simple Raspberry Syrup to taste. The frosting will be slightly pink.
- Add in a little more confectioner’s sugar to bring the consistency back. The syrup makes the frosting wet so you will need to firm it up for piping.
- I added two drops of pink food coloring and folded it in with a spatula.
For large rosettes, I use a Wilton Open Star 1M Decorating Tip.
Need help with the rosettes? Here is a video tutorial from Amanda Rettke of I Am Baker.
It’s a very simple cake and a beautiful one to share with friends and family. I picked up a few Valentine mini paper loaf pans at Michael’s to give slices of cake to neighbors…my best taste testers!