This is what I wanted to post for Easter; a modest but alluring chocolate cake with an intensely rich chocolatey flavour. Apparently, something magical happens to chocolate cake when you add coffee to it, but more on that later.
Despite its humble roots, this coffee chocolate cake feels like a celebration cake to me; the type of cake you whip up for a birthday, anniversary or some other special date on the calendar. Plus, because it’s so very easy to make, it takes away the stress usually associated with trying to make special occasions, well, special.
So I thought of this cake again for this coming Mother’s Day. For a friend who’s celebrating a very special Mother’s Day, her first. It’s an airy and moist cake, perfect for a long lazy afternoon tea of oohing and ahhing over a baby. Also, even though my mom prefers savoury treats, I know she’ll appreciate the indulgent flavours of this cake.
Who knew cocoa powder and coffee made such a spectacular pair? In this cake, coffee imparts an intense chocolatey depth to the cocoa flavour. The coffee taste is noticeable in the batter but the taste mellows off after it’s baked, it works its magic on deepening the chocolate flavour instead.
While this cake is rich, light, moist and decadent, and perfectly delicious on its own, a coat of frosting makes it exceptional. I didn’t include a recipe for the frosting I used here because I’m still working on the ratio, but I’ll tell you want I did in case you want to give it a try. The frosting is homemade Nutella and whipped coconut cream.
For the Nutella, hazelnuts and cocoa powder is whipped into creamy butter (using a high-powered blender or food processor). The Nutella is then blended with the whipped coconut cream to create this velvety smooth frosting. There are a lot of homemade Nutella recipes out there; I’ve been experimenting this and this.
A light dusting of powdered sugar will do the trick as well, or use your favourites frosting; there is no wrong way to enjoy this cake.
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour (or a combination of flours)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or plant-based milk of your choice)
- 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with oil and set aside
- In a large bowl, sift flour and cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda
- Add cardamom and sugar and mix well to incorporate
- In a smaller bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, almond milk and grapeseed oil
- Stir in coffee and vanilla extract and mix well to combine
- Make a well in the flour mixture (dry ingredients) and pour the coffee mixture in (wet ingredients)
- Mix with spatula or gently with a whisk to get a smooth batter
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 25– 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 - 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving or frosting