Basic Chocolate Cake

A basic chocolate cake is something that everyone enjoys. This is a simple recipe for it that you may make at home. So grab your apron and get ready to cook.

I typically make this frosting for the basic Chocolate cake just before serving. I should also mention that you’ll want to give your coconut milk a good shake (or stir) before using it – it tends to separate in the can. If you have a hard time finding whole wheat pastry flour, feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour.

Basic Chocolate cake

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup non-alkaline/non-Dutched cocoa powder (I use Dagoba)
1 tablespoon baking powder (look for non-aluminum type)
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup barely melted unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
1 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk, room temp
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, shaved or finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F degrees with a rack in the middle. Butter and flour an 8×8 square cake pan (I’ve also had success using a 9×9 pan, just adjust your baking time).

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup until it looks like caramel. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and then the coconut milk. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined. Add the chocolate and stir until everything comes together and is no longer dusty looking – avoid over-mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. This is a cake I like slightly under-baked, so I pull it out when the center is still a bit under cooked – the toothpick doesn’t quite come out clean when testing. If you are going to use it for a layer cake – then bake it all the way (clean toothpick). Remove from oven and allow to cool (absolutely completely) in pan before frosting (frosting recipe below).

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks

To make the frosting melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water. In a medium bowl beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup. Then add the melted chocolate. Stir until silky smooth – any flecks of butter should be melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the whipped cream and fold the chocolate into the cream. Keep going until the chocolate is well incorporated. Use an offset spatula to frost the completely cooled cake. If the cake is at all warm, the frosting will weep and melt. It still tastes good, but isn’t what you’re after.

Makes one 8×8 or 9×9 cake.

Basic Chocolate cake

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup non-alkaline/non-Dutched cocoa powder I use Dagoba
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder look for non-aluminum type
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup barely melted unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup real maple syrup room temperature
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk room temp
  • 8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate shaved or finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees with a rack in the middle. Butter and flour an 8×8 square cake pan (I’ve also had success using a 9×9 pan, just adjust your baking time).
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup until it looks like caramel. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and then the coconut milk. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined. Add the chocolate and stir until everything comes together and is no longer dusty looking – avoid over-mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. This is a cake I like slightly under-baked, so I pull it out when the center is still a bit under cooked – the toothpick doesn’t quite come out clean when testing. If you are going to use it for a layer cake – then bake it all the way (clean toothpick). Remove from oven and allow to cool (absolutely completely) in pan before frosting.
  • To make the frosting melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water. In a medium bowl beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup. Then add the melted chocolate. Stir until silky smooth – any flecks of butter should be melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the whipped cream and fold the chocolate into the cream. Keep going until the chocolate is well incorporated. Use an offset spatula to frost the completely cooled cake. If the cake is at all warm, the frosting will weep and melt. It still tastes good, but isn’t what you’re after.

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