There’s nothing quite as decadent as a homemade chocolate cake. The perfect chocolate cake is rich and moist with a delicious chocolate frosting.
Cocoa powder is a popular ingredient in chocolate cakes but it is not necessary.
Luckily, chocolate comes in other forms besides cocoa powder. You can use baking chocolate in place of cocoa powder to create an extra chocolatey cake. This cake is perfect for birthdays and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
While adding a second layer isn’t always necessary, it does help create a really impressive-looking (and tasting) cake. Adding the extra layer of frosting to the center of the cake adds extra chocolate flavor and a creamy texture.
Cocoa Powder vs. Baking Chocolate
Chocolate is made from cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is mainly made from cocoa solids while pure unsweetened chocolate is made from more than half cocoa butter. The cocoa solids provide the flavor and the cocoa butter is where the texture comes from.
Cocoa powder has a stronger chocolate flavor, but baking chocolate provides a silky texture.
However, when baking cakes the other fats in the recipe can also affect the flavor and texture. Cake made with chocolate instead of cocoa should be served at room temperature and not cold because of how the chocolate solidifies at colder temperatures.
This can affect both the texture and the flavor, but as long as it is served at room temperature then this problem can be easily solved.
How to Keep Cake From Sticking to the Pan
One of the trickiest things about making a cake is often just getting the cake neatly out of the pan.
There are a few things to do to get your cake to come out of the pan without breaking:
- Make sure that your cake is thoroughly cooked. You can insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean then it is done. Your cake should start to come away from the sides of the cake pan as it cools.
- Make sure that your cake is completely cooled before removing it from the pan. You can chill it in the refrigerator for 2-12 hours.
- When removing the cake from the pan, gently slide a butter knife around the edges of the pan before turning it upside down.
Chocolate Cake Mix Substitutes
If you don’t have a baking chocolate bar, semi-sweet chocolate chips will work in both the cake and frosting. Just make sure that the amount of chocolate is the same as written in the recipe.
The amount of fat in the milk is not necessarily important. Many people feel that whole milk gives a better homemade taste to cakes however 1% or 2% would work fine as well.
If you can’t use milk, you can also replace the milk with water. There will be a slightly different flavor but the cake will still have the same overall flavor and texture.
You can also use almond or coconut milk. Any substitutions for milk in this recipe can be replaced using a 1:1 ratio.
Please keep in mind that this is only for the cake and not the frosting. Whipping or heavy cream must be used for the frosting in order for it to have the correct consistency.
How to Make Chocolate Cake Without Cocoa Powder
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and gather your ingredients.
Step 2: Melt chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1-2 minutes or until completely melted.
Step 3: Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Step 4: Prep the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
Step 5: Add the milk and dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture.
Step 6: Add milk and blend until combined.
Step 7: Add eggs and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
Step 8: Pour evenly into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans (just like these I found on Amazon). Bake for 35 min. Allow cakes to cool in pans.
How to Make Chocolate Frosting
Step 1: Chop the chocolate and place it in a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Heat the cream in the microwave until small bubbles start to form. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate, and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Whisk until smooth with an electric mixer on low, then allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Whip frosting at high speed until it becomes fluffy.
How to Frost Chocolate Cake Without Cocoa Powder
Step 1: Spread frosting on the bottom layer of the cake. Add the second layer on top and frost.
For the cake:
- 1-1/2 pkg. (4 oz. each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate baking bar
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
For the frosting:
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips or baking chocolate)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt chocolate and butter a microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1-2 minutes or until completely melted. Stir to combine.
Stir in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
Add the milk, flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well blended.
Pour evenly into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake for 35 min. Allow cakes to cool in pans.
Spread frosting on the bottom layer of cake. Add the second layer on top and frost.
For the frosting:
Chop the chocolate and place it in a mixing bowl.
Heat the cream in the microwave until small bubbles start to form.
Pour the heated cream over the chocolate, and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 7g