This is my absolute favourite chocolate cake recipe. The cake is incredibly moist and not too sweet. It’s light but it holds up wonderfully under frosting and even fondant.
- 2 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
- 3 cups white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/3 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a bowl, whisk together hot water and cocoa powder until the cocoa powder has dissolved. Set aside to come to room temperature.
2. In a mixer with a beater attachment, mix butter with sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about two minutes. Scrape down to the bottom of the bowl once during mixing to make sure no butter is stuck at the bottom.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on the lowest speed after each addition until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
4. Add vanilla and mix on lowest speed for about 30 seconds to combine.
5. In a bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add a third of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and mix on lowest speed to incorporate.
6. Add half of the cocoa mixture to the mixing bowl and mix on lowest speed to incorporate. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining cocoa powder mixture, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
7. Grease the inside (base and sides) of three 8" pans with non-stick spray, butter or oil. Divide batter between the cake pans.
8. Bake at 175ºC or 350ºF for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
9. Let cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to loosen cake from the edges of the cake pan and then turn onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
You can use salted instead of unsalted butter but if you do, omit the salt.
This recipe works best with plain flour, also called all-purpose flour.