Pantry Chocolate Cake

Pantry Chocolate Cake.

Pantry Chocolate Cake.

Well, my stepdaughters left the other day.  It’s very quiet and lonely without them.  I really enjoyed cooking and baking for them because they love everything I make and if that’s not a confidence booster then I don’t know what is.  My son and I did a little back-to-school shopping today so I didn’t have much time to plan out a menu.  I looked through my trusty America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book for an easy dessert that I could make today.  This Pantry Chocolate Cake looked promising because it was fairly quick to put together and the best part is that I had all the ingredients on hand.  In the book, this recipe is labeled as great for beginners so it isn’t complex.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Pantry Chocolate Cake

This cake can be served plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or iced with a quick frosting.  The frosting recipe follows the cake recipe.  You can also stir in 1 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips into the batter at the end of step 2 to make this cake extra chocolaty.

1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

3/4 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee (optional)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling and grease the foil.  Whisk the cocoa and the boiling water together in a small bowl.  Let the mixture cool slightly.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder (if using) together.  In a medium bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, egg, vanilla, and cooled cocoa mixture together.  Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

3.  Give the batter a final stir with a rugger spatula to make sure it is completely mixed.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.

4.  Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Let the cake cool completely in the pan, 1 to 2 hours.

Quick Chocolate Frosting

Makes enough to frost an 8-inch cake or an 8-inch pan of brownies

After the cake has cooled for about 1 hour, melt 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes.  Cool the mixture until barely warm, about 5 minutes, then spread evenly over the cake or brownies with a spatula.  Continue to let the cake cool until the topping is set, 1 to 2 hours. If your kitchen is too warm for the frosting to set (like mine was) then place cake in fridge for 10 to 20 minutes to set the frosting.

Top view

Top view




48 comments on “Pantry Chocolate Cake

  1. Niki says:

    Yum! I love chocolate cake, but hate when you want to make it, they require stuff that’s never in the pantry (or fridge) like I have one w/ sour cream in it and another w/ dry milk solids… good, but sometimes, you want cake and don’t feel like going to the store first!

    • tortatebukura says:

      γεια σου Niki
      Because it’s a simple cake it’s not as rich as those made with butter, sour cream or buttermilk but this cake is great when you don’t feel like running to the supermarket and you need a chocolate cake fix.

  2. sharon says:

    Looks yummy! Does it taste dense or soft?

    • tortatebukura says:

      It’s not really dense because there is no butter or sour cream and it has only one egg in it. It’s soft but not as tender as cakes made with cake flour. It’s just an understated cake that’s good to make when you have a chocolate cake craving but don’t have the patience or time to make anything complicated.

  3. sharon says:

    My families like cake very tender but at least I can make it with my daughter. She loves any cake with chocolate.

  4. amy says:

    ooooh. i want my choc fix now! and i want your simple choc cake:)

  5. otha Sheets says:

    I love chocolate cake especially when the recipe is simple to make.

  6. aristipposian says:

    i simply imagine all the way with mind and palate, this is very moist, very soft and very tasty piece of cake and make myself a coffee, as good as i am known for – nothing less.

    Thank You!

  7. Iris Robin says:

    This chocolate cake looks so amazing. I can’t get to the store fast enough so I can start cooking this! That picture is making me drool right now! Thanks for such an amazing recipe!

  8. Elena says:

    wow,I wanna make this cake! It looks so good!

  9. Guta Cunha says:

    Looks great in the photo!!!
    I want it now! 🙂

  10. emmanueloga says:

    Oh my god, if it tastes like it looks…. that has to be the most delicious chocolate cake I’ve seen on ages. BTW, The fact I’m on diet food right now has nothing to do with my comment :-).

  11. Tisya says:

    Oh my gosh…..just looking at that cake makes me crave chocolate! It looks amazing! *drool* 🙂

  12. I’m always on the lookout for a good, easy chocolate cake recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  13. dorsay says:

    wee~~~It looks so delicious.

  14. Afandi says:

    Hmmm, really looking irresistible!

  15. romulo says:

    i love chocolate!!!! Good post!!!!!

  16. kaffak says:

    looks very tasty 🙂

  17. tariq2009 says:

    it looks good and delicious
    can you convert the photo to the real cake? hahaha

  18. peachypetunia says:

    yummmmmyyyyyyyy….looks so good for n unplanned dessert…!i love it…d taste must have been divine hehe

  19. steph says:

    hi, i’m new here. and i’m just strolling around on this website.. and i saw a picture of that yummy looking cake. 🙂 out of all the pictures that showed…ur cake stood out the most..hahaha.. its probably because i love chocolate…but it really does look delicious. I too love to cook…at times i will go by the recipes..but cooking from scratch and ur own creation is fun… 🙂 i think i’ll go now..hahaha..i’m getting hungry…. *covers my eyes* picture of ur cake is so irresistable…


  20. dizi izle says:

    ımmmmm looks very gooodd 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  21. morethinking says:


  22. apocalypsecakes says:

    Very nice pic. Might need to go out and get that.
    – Apocalypse Cakes

  23. caitkaciarhoswen says:

    Yum this cake looks delicious!!

  24. darkcherrymocha says:

    it looks so i just need to haul my lazy self to the kitchen to learn how to bake!!

  25. shama says:

    Was passing thru wordpress and saw an irresistible chocolate cake .
    Looks very yummmmm…….
    Will try to bake it and give a response . If such cakes and goodies are available on this site , will start visiting .

  26. Demuress says:

    I can’t seem to be able to find dutch processed cocoa powder. I know that you can subsitute regular cocoa powder + baking soda for it, but it never seems to work out for me, any advice?

  27. LadygreyCE says:

    wow that looks sooooo delicious!

  28. stephanietran1121 says:

    wow . that looks so delicious !

  29. مریم says:

    Wow =P~ i love chocolate :X

  30. It’s look very nice. I hope it’s sweetest as it’s look, hehehe. Salam from Indonesia.

  31. toastiebear says:

    Looks delicious! I know I will be trying this out soon!

  32. livvyjane says:

    Yum.Yum.Yum!!! =) That looks fantastic…..

    Check my amazing coconut cupcakes out:

  33. thepseudoepicurean says:

    that looks sensational! 🙂 i tried the recipe a couple of days ago and i made cupcakes out of them. i have a feeling i baked them a little over but they were nonetheless decadent and a ridiculously indulgent treat. i had them served with vanilla ice cream and my guests loved them. thanks for the recipe!

    • tortatebukura says:

      Vanilla ice cream would go so well with this cake. Thank you for letting me know that you tried out the recipe. I love hearing from those who peek at my blog.

  34. anne says:

    wow!!!thank you! i have just tried this recipe and it came out so yummy! my family love it.. so it is definitely a keeper. God bless you more and thank you for a million for sharing this. 🙂

  35. Adeline Lee says:

    Thanks for this fuss-free recipe. I can make it straight away because I have all the basic ingredients with me. Some recipes called for this and that which I dont have and normally I will just KIV. Even the frosting is so simple to make. Ade

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