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    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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Recipe: one bowl mocha cake

One Bowl Mocha Cake

I made this recipe for a friend’s chocolate-themed birthday this past weekend.  What’s great about it is that if making a cake from scratch scares you at all, this is as easy as baking cookies.  There’s no heating over a stove or anything – mix everything up in a bowl and into the oven it goes.

The angle of this picture makes the appearance of the cake look better than it actually was.  The rack in my Chinese oven apparently isn’t level because when I put the layers together they were really lop-sided!  Oh well, it was delicious and the sparklers from Anna’s Mom were good entertainment!  Here’s the recipe:

One Bowl Mocha Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans.  Make sure you do a really good job because I found that this recipe really sticks to the pans.
  2. Measure flour, sugar, cocoa powder, oil, eggs, buttermilk, baking power, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Dissolve instant coffee in the hot water, or replace with a cup of extra-strong brewed coffee.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth.  (If you’re like me and you don’t have the luxury of electric appliances, this means “beat until the lumps are out and your arm is close to falling off.”)  The batter will be really thin, but it’s supposed to be.
  3. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them onto a wire rack to let them cool completely.
  4. Frost cake with coffee-flavored icing, then drizzle melted chocolate across the top of the cake.

* I made my own by mixing a little vinegar into a cup of milk.  I used skim.  Let the milk sour for a few minutes before you mix it into the batter.

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