I wouldn’t call this “best-ever chocolate cake” if I didn’t sincerely mean it. I originally made this for my friend Lindsey’s birthday at the end of April, and I made it again in June. It is dangerously delicious, scandalously sensational, arrestingly amazing, and any number of other alliterative adverb-adjective pairs. It’s based on the chocolate cake and frosting recipes in Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and though you should not be duped into thinking this is AT ALL low-cal or low-fat, it is made with whole grains, natural sugars, and healthy fats. And if you use nondairy milk and creamer, it’s vegan, but no one you feed it to would ever guess. Even if they did, they’d be too busy asking for a second piece to say anything.
Per serving: 346 calories, 19.3g fat (8g sat), 45g carbs, 4g fiber, 3.2g protein
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp cream of tartar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk of choice
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 7 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup plain coffee creamer or half-and-half
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flours, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth.
- In a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power, melt the chocolate, stirring just until smooth.
- Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Add the melted chocolate...
- ...and fold in until just combined. Add the vinegar and chocolate chips...
- ...and, again, fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake springs back lightly in the center when touched and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add the sugar and cocoa powder...
- ...and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in the creamer.
- Heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture is smooth and hot, but not boiling.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside to cool at room temperature until thickened.
Feel free to just use 2 cups all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour + AP flour.
Although I usually take “cool completely” pretty liberally (i.e. “let it cool off just long enough so it doesn’t burn my fingers or mouth to try a bite”), it’s particularly important with this cake that you truly do let it come to room temperature before frosting it. Coconut oil begins to melt at just 75 degrees, so if you put this frosting on a warm cake, it will almost instantly turn into chocolate juice……which doesn’t sound too bad, if you ask me, but it doesn’t make for a very presentable finished product.
Try and keep your hands off it long enough for the frosting to set up a little…
…but it’ll never set up completely, preferring to remain an ooey, gooey, melty blanket atop the cake.
In a word, this cake is unreal. It’s impossibly moist, punctuated by rich pockets of melted chocolate chips, and is deeply, darkly chocolatey, owing to the triple-dose of cocoa (in bar, chip, and powder form) it contains. And that frosting! I’m telling you, I want to take a bath in it. I’ve already had multiple people request that this be their birthday cake this year, and I will be more than happy to oblige. As far as I’m concerned, this is the last word in chocolate-chocolate cake.
I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend! Got any fun plans (besides making this cake!)?