The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

It’s no coincidence that I’ve been posting dessert recipes recently – my sweet tooth isn’t exactly a well kept secret. So, I had cravings for a rich, dense chocolate cake one night. Like any normal person, I went straight to YouTube to torment myself with video recipes in slo-mo. One of them in particular inspired me (this one from Tasty), and I decided to go on yet another baking spree. I modified the ingredient proportions, and it came out a lot better than I thought. If you like a rich, dense chocolate cake that is 110% chocolatey and comes with a generous slathering of chocolate buttercream, ie. the ultimate chocolate cake, this one is for you.


*Measurements provided in metric and imperial units for my American friends across the pond. Love y’all.


  • 255 g (3/4 cup) flour
  • 170 g (1/2 cup) Bournville cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 255 g (3/4 cup) milk
  • Splash of red wine
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 170 g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 255 g (3/4 cup) sugar (half white half brown)
  • 2 eggs
  • 85 g (1/4 cup) vegetable oil or mayonnaise
  • Dark and white chocolate chunks


  • 220 g (approx 2/3 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 85 g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 170 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • Milk as needed



  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. Grease and line two 8-inch baking tins with parchment paper.
  3. Sift your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, instant coffee granules) in a large bowl. Set this aside.
  4. Measure out the milk in a glass or measuring jug. Set this aside.
  5. Using an electric hand mixer, cream butter and sugar in another large bowl for approximately 5 mins until light and fluffy. You’ll want to use your largest mixing bowl for this to prevent chunks of butter flying across your kitchen.
  6. Beat one egg at a time into the creamed butter and sugar mix.
  7. Add vegetable oil/mayonnaise and beat until combined.
  8. Add your dry and wet ingredients in small increments each time to the creamed butter and sugar/egg/oil bowl. Whisk until combined.
  9. Add red wine and vanilla extract, whisk until combined.
  10. Add your chocolate chunks and fold them into the batter with a spatula. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides with your spatula so that everything gets mixed in. Personally, I prefer larger chocolate chunks to give you that melt in the mouth texture when you bite in.
  11. Pour half of your batter into one baking tin, and the other half into your other tin. Smooth the surfaces out with your spatula so that they’re even.
  12. Pop the tins into the oven and bake for approximately 35 mins, or until a skewer/knife into the centre of the cake comes out clean.


Chocolate buttercream

  1. Beat the butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar whilst beating. Do this gradually so that you don’t choke on the inevitable powder-splosion.
  3. Add milk as needed until you’re happy with the buttercream texture.
  4. When the cakes have cooled, spread the buttercream all over the cakes and in between. Go wild with decorations if that’s your thing.

I must admit, this took me a lot longer than expected – but then again, this is my first proper cake. Mayonnaise or vegetable oil in cake? I know. Don’t be put off. You can’t taste it at all, and it gives the cake a delightfully dense texture and stops it from drying out for a very long time – trust me.

finished chocolate cake pic

I’ll admit – I made the rookie mistake of putting all my batter into one deep tin and baking it for twice as long to cut it in half later on – only because I couldn’t find another tin of the same dimensions. Don’t do this – the outsides of your cake will get dry and the inside will take forever to cook. If this does happen, simply use a serrated knife to cut the dry parts off. On the plus side, it did leave me with extra chunks of cake to use for cake pops, simply add ice cream!

I’d love to hear how this goes for you if you decide to try it. Go on, satisfy those chocolate cake cravings. Guilt-free is no fun, just saying. Until next time – you go girl.

– J

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Disclaimer: All images used in this post were photographed and edited by J, exclusively for thenellybean. J takes no credit for creation of this recipe, Tasty’s original recipe was taken and modified to satisfy her many strange cravings – hence red wine in cake.

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