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5 from 8 votes

A Lovely Little Chocolate Cake

A sophisticated cake that is very easy to make. All you need is a bowl, a whisk, and baking dish!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French-American
Servings: 9


For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil (canola, safflower, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot (not boiling) coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • Grease and flour (or spray with "baking" spray) an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then whisk in the egg, oil, buttermilk, hot coffee, and vanilla. Whisk only until the flour disappears into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until the cake puffs and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean -- 35-40 minutes.

Making and applying the icing:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Add more milk or confectioners' sugar to achieve a thick but pourable consistency. Pour the icing over the cake while the cake is still warm.

Serving the cake:

  • Let the cake cool to room temperature. Then slice it into 9 equal pieces. Cover and refrigerate leftover cake for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze the cake.