Sunday, April 26, 2009

rich chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting

Yesterday two wonderful, beautiful, and loving friends of mine were married. I was privileged with the duty of providing the wedding cake for the happy couple. Cake making is a passionate hobby of mine which will continue to show up in many future entries to come. I'm happy that this lovely, tried and true recipe, gets to be my first post on the topic.

The chocolate cake recipe is adapted from a number of vegan chocolate cake recipes floating around the internet. This version has been tried and tested many times in my kitchen to produce a recipe with a larger number of servings while retaining a rich, moist, and deep chocolate flavor.

The frosting is your classic buttercream recipe veganized, with the addition of melted chocolate chips rather than cocoa powder for a deeper, dark chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Cake

serving size: 40-50 (recipe works just fine cut in half for a smaller version)

For batter:

4 1/2 cups of flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 1/2 cup sugar (I recommend using superfine baker's sugar if available)
1 tbs baking soda
1 cup canola oil
3 tbs vinegar
1 1/2 tbs vanilla
3 1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For frosting:

1 cup shortening at room temperature(I recommend Earth Balance shortening sticks, don't use Crisco, it's totally gross)
1 cup buttery sticks at room temperature (again, use Earth Balance for best results, do not use the tub version)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips
4 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 inch round pan and an 8 inch OR for a double layer cake, two 10 inch round pans.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and baking soda. Mix well. Add the canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla and then with the mixer on slowly pour the cold water into the batter. Mix until smooth.

Pour batter into greased pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly across the tops of the batter and immediately place in oven. Bake 30-35 minutes until center is set. The 12 inch pan may take a couple minutes longer than the 8 inch pan to finish. Do not be fooled when your toothpick down the center of the cake comes up dirty, the chocolate chips will have melted and will not provide you an accurate result. Instead, press the center of the cake with your palm, if there is resistance then cake is done.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. With a butter knife slide around edge of inside pan to help release. Turn pan over onto a wire cooling rack and rap the middle of the pan a few times until cake is out. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


Cream margarine and shortening with an electric mixer until smooth. You may have to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Add vanilla extract and mix one minute more.

Melt the semisweet chocolate chips. I recommend the double boiling method, but a microwave also works. Add to bowl and mix until all ingredients are smooth and the color is uniform.

Slowly, cup by cup, add in the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl between each addition. If frosting seems too stiff mix in a tsp of water, repeat as necessary until desired consistency is achieved.

Decorate as you wish!

Like the cake in the picture? Hire me to make it for your next event, or a different cake of your design.

The happy couple with their cake:

Congratulations Jasper and Cherie!


  1. Hey, nice cake!

    For a less appetizing and unrelated question: Do you guys know if manure has to be composted before using it in your garden or if it can be used as-is?

    I just discovered an endless source of poop right in the middle of Chicago!

  2. That cake was so delicious! Have any recommendations for smaller applications like small cake pan or cupcakes?

  3. Julie,

    Cut the recipe in half for a 9x13 sheet cake, 24 cupcakes, or 8 inch double layer cake. Works great.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Leonardo,

    Manure from a source such as that would definitely need to be composted. It will overheat your garden and shock your plants.

    Manure purchased from garden stores should already be composted fully. Usually it will say so on the bag.

  6. The cake was so good!
    But I am a little surprised that the first comment on my wedding cake post is about poop :-(