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Didn’t stop until I got the perfect chocolate cake

I used real brewed coffee instead of instant coffee

Chocolate cake with ganache drip and buttercream frosting

I usually try out different recipes a week, but once I started on this chocolate cake, I became obsessed and didn’t stop until I got the perfect cake for my taste.

What is the perfect chocolate cake for me?

Taste: Not too sweet, not too bitter. I have tried so many recipes, and those with one full cup of coffee made it too bitter. I did half water, half coffee, and I used real brewed coffee instead of instant coffee. Instant coffee didn’t enhance the flavor of the chocolate as well as brewed coffee.

Decadent chocolate flavor: Balance of milk and dark chocolate. I tried several cocoa brands, and what worked for me was a mix of Hershey’s Special Dark and 100 percent cacao. I didn’t want to make it pure dark cocoa, because I don’t like the bitter taste. For the ganache, I used Belgian milk chocolate callets for the cake and Goya milk chocolate buttons for the drip, and they both worked as intended. The chocolate doesn’t have to be the expensive kind; it really all boils down to taste and what works for you.

Texture: Moist and dense. The worst chocolate cake is a dry and crumbly cake. It should stick on your fork when you slice it, and then melt in your mouth. That’s it. I learned what makes a cake moist, and I put everything I’ve learned into this recipe: brown sugar (not just white sugar), boiling water (not hot, not lukewarm, boiling), melted butter, canola oil, and the final magic, sour cream.

Video: Look at how moist this cake is


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A post shared by Lou Gonzales (@lougonzales)

If you follow this recipe to the letter (I even used grams for the dry ingredients to be precise), I can guarantee you one chocolate cake that will satisfy your cravings for that Matilda chocolate cake, Goya fun factory dip in the chocolate river, or milk chocolate buttons from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

You can also make cupcakes with this; just bake at 10-12 minutes instead of 30-35 minutes.

Making chocolate cupcakes with my niece using the same recipe

Dark chocolate cake with Belgian chocolate ganache frosting


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups or 256 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup or 300 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup or 110 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup or 50 grams dark cocoa powder (special dark)
  • 1/4 cup or 20 grams regular cocoa powder (100 percent cacao)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted salted butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup full cream milk

Chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups or 240 grams powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate ganache

  • 500 grams milk chocolate buttons
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp melted butter


Directions for the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/160 degrees C.
  • Line two nine-inch cake pans.
  • In a stand mixer (or heat-proof bowl and hand mixer), add sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Carefully pour boiling water/coffee into the cocoa mixture.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add canola oil, melted butter, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla and blend until combined.
  • Mix in flour.
  • Finish by adding sour cream and full cream milk and blend until combined.
  • Pour into cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. (Insert a toothpick, and when it comes out clean, it’s done.) For cupcakes, pour into cupcake pans and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate buttercream

  • Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), whip the butter until pale and fluffy.
  •  Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Continue to whip until light and fluffy (about three to five minutes).
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes before frosting the cake.

Chocolate ganache

  • Put heavy cream in a sauce pan, heat until it simmers (do not boil).
  • Put milk chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl.
  • Pour hot heavy cream in the bowl.
  • Let it sit for about three minutes.
  • Mix/ whisk together until the chocolate melts.
  • Let cool completely before frosting the cake.



Decadent dark chocolate cake with Callebaut Belgian chocolate ganache full recipe on www.TheDiarist.Ph #thekitchendiarist #chocolatecake #foodtiktok

♬ Chocolate Cake (feat. Dean Grech) - Rick Parma
About author


Spanning two decades of a career in publishing, she began to see the lockdown as a priceless boon – for it has given her the leisure of unleashing her potential as an amateur baker, writer, and digital publisher.

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