Recipe: One-bowl chocolate cake

Recipe: One-bowl chocolate cake

Kate Haritos | 1 July 2018
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This cake is one of my favorites, it’s a rich, decadent chocolate cake and especially if you’re a chocoholic like me this would be the perfect option for a birthday treat or even a “make for no reason” cake, during a regular week for a morning nibble 🙂

The best thing about it is that it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet so it would be hard even for the ones with a no-sweet appetite to resist having one bite:). Also: super easy to make as it’s a naked cake – you may need to use an extra effort for the roses but then again you can go with just adding the frosting on top of the cake and just trying to create a rustic style decoration while smoothing it out until it reaches the edges.


  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1 (6-inch) layer cake



  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 3 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Flaked sea salt, for topping


1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 6-inch cake pans. This batter is sticky so I also lined the bottoms with parchment.

2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. Next, crack in the egg, pour in the buttermilk, warm water, olive oil and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. The batter will be thinner than cake batter that you’re probably used to—that’s ok!

3. Divide the cake batter amongst the two cake pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Clean out the bowl you used to make the cake and dry it thoroughly. While the cake is cooling, use it to make the frosting,

4. To make the frosting: add all of the ingredients to the the cleaned large bowl or the bowl of the stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the butter, powdered sugar, melted chocolate, cream or milk and vanilla extract. Beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one last time, just to ensure everything is combined.

5. Decorating: Add a few tablespoons of frosting to the center of one of the rounds of cake. Smooth it around, until it reaches the edges. Add a pinch of salt all around. Place the second layer on top. Add the remaining frosting to piping bag with a star tip attached. In the center of the top layer of cake, pipe out a rose by starting in the center and going all the way around twice. Complete the cake by adding more roses around the center rose. 6. Top the cake with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt.

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