Geoff and I have been trying out intermittent fasting. You never realize how much you think about food until you can’t have any. I get to eat 500 calories a day. I only do it twice a week. It’s not like I’m starving. It’s fine. But it is weird to realize how many times I’m tempted to eat just while driving to work. Then I come home and look at my Bloglovin’ feed, and I might as well be in Hell. It just makes the day after fast day so much better.
Last week I finally got around to reading all those Valentine’s Day posts, and I realized that if I didn’t make myself a chocolate cake, I might die. And when you need chocolate cake, there’s really only one recipe that counts. In my opinion, it’s better than any restaurant or bakery chocolate cake. It’s better than box mix or even a fancy butter cake. When Hershey’s called it “perfect,” they weren’t lying. Bonus points for being ridiculously easy to make.
This cake is moist and so light I can hardly believe it. It’s exactly the right amount of chocolaty and perfectly sweet. The frosting is amazing. It’s creamy and smooth and deep. When you start to make it, you’ll worry that you don’t have enough, but once you whip it up at the end, it expands perfectly. I used all the frosting and felt like it was just right.
I had no reason to make a chocolate cake other than the fact that I just really wanted one. I’m trying to be better at that. Giving myself what I want if it’s within reason. A little bit of deprivation can make a reward seem so much sweeter.
This Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake is everything.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 and grease two 9-inch round cake pans.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix on medium for two minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the boiling water with the mixer on low. You batter will be very thin. It's cool.
- Pour your batter evenly into your two waiting pans and bake for 30 minutes. Whatever you do, don't overbake this cake. It will still be good, but it reaches peak awesomeness when there's plenty of moisture left.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Add your butter and cocoa powder to a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. It'll look chunky. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. It's going to be super thick, but don't freak out. Next beat in the cream and vanilla, then turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for about two minutes. Your frosting will expand and become smooth.
- To assemble the cake, place your first layer on its final destination and spread about a third of the frosting on top of the first layer. Place the second layer on top and frost the sides of the cake first, covering completely. Add the rest of the frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly.
- Slice, eat, and just try to live inside the perfection.