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The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

This recipe is the ultimate chocolate cake recipe! It is one of those keepsakes foundation recipes, that you may use as a base for many other desserts. Easy to make yet so versatile, moist and delicious – make sure to keep it in an easily accessible place!

chocolate tiramisu

When I first came across this recipe inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction; it was just another recipe in my cookbook. However, I found myself coming back to it and used it to make mini chocolate and peanut butter frosting layered cake and chocolate tiramisu! They were so successful, that this recipe became my go-to ultimate chocolate cake! It’s perfect in its simplicity.

The best part of this recipe is that you don’t need any fancy equipment nor expensive ingredients. All you need is 2 bowls; one for the wet and the other for the dry ingredients, a whisk and a spatula, that’s it.

Chocolate layered cake

Tips & Tricks

  • Buttermilk plays an important role in this recipe as it reacts with baking soda and acts as a leavening agent, which makes this chocolate cake light and fluffy. It also adds a nice tang to the flavour profile of the cake; similar to the red velvet cake. If you do not have buttermilk, simply add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to regular milk.
  • Why oil and not butter? Oil in general is lighter than butter in terms of weight. It also compromises of 100% fat (butter usually constitutes of fat and water). Thus, the oil makes this ultimate chocolate cake soft, light and moist.
  • This recipe is for approximately 6 persons. It can yield 12 cupcakes or a 20-25cm diameter cake

Storage tips

  • Best eaten fresh, but you can still keep this chocolate cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days on your kitchen countertop. Or, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Simply thaw them in the fridge overnight before icing or eating.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Course: From The Kitchen, Something SweetDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 95g (¾ cup) self-raising flour* (spoon & leveled)

  • 45g (½ cup) unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 70g (⅓ cup) castor sugar

  • 100g (½ cup) packed light muscovado sugar

  • 80ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 120ml (½ cup) buttermilk, at room temperature*


  • Preheat your oven to 180C and line your cupcake tray or cake mould
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and baking soda (if using any)
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until combined.
  • Pour half of the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix. This batter will be thin as there’s no butter.
  • Fill your cupcake trays or cake mould to ¾ full and bake for 15-20 mins for cupcakes and 40-45 for cake or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • *If you do not have self raising flour substitute with all-purpose flour and add 3/4 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • *To make your own buttermilk – add 1 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to regular milk. Let it sit for 5mins to curdle.
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