Friday Night Chocolate Cake


Searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe is like searching for that classic white shirt or that amazing pair of jeans. You’ve got to try many before you get to (drumroll please …) the one!


This cake does not disappoint and has been my go to recipe for the last 4 years. I am not even interested in glancing at other chocolate cake recipes anymore. It’s such a light and moist cake.


Look at that crumb. And all you need to do is simply throw everything into a bowl, mix it together and stick it in the oven.

Food Chemistry:
Instead of baking powder, the raising agents in this cake are:

  • the acid in the buttermilk and cocoa powder which react with
  • the alkali agent, bicarbonate of soda.

The bicarbonate of soda is activated when it comes in contact with an acid and liquid.  The by-products are carbon dioxide, water and a neutral salt. The released carbon dioxide first dissolves in the liquid. When the liquid is saturated, the carbon dioxide turns into air bubbles which expand. Towards the end of baking, these bubbles set. You now have a well risen baked product.

Maziwa mala is a great buttermilk substitute. However, if you do not have mala, please do not substitute with plain milk. Instead, into the cup of milk, pour in a Tablespoon of vinegar and give it 5 minutes to curdle. Its all about the acid.


This is also as “healthy” as a chocolate cake is going to get, since it calls for cocoa and not chocolate.


To bring out the chocolate flavour, an overlooked but important ingredient is salt. So do not ignore this humble but game-changing ingredient.


According to, “Coffee and chocolate share many of the same flavor characteristics, and coffee amplifies some of the darker taste elements in the chocolate without adding much discernible coffee flavor.”


Yummy Chocolate Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar (if you want it sweeter)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (do not substitute with milo or drinking chocolate)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mala/buttermilk/yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee or boiling water


Preheat your oven to 170ºC/350ºF. Grease and flour the cake tin.

In a large bowl, whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Make a well in the centre.

Into the well, add the 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of mala/buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter or oil, 1 Tablespoon vanilla. Combine the wet ingredients in the centre, and then slowly incorporate it into the dry ingredients.

Finish by pouring the 1 cup of hot water or 1 cup of hot coffee. Do not overmix. It smells so good already!

It is a pouring batter. Pour into your greased and floured tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Halfway through the baking time rotate the tin front to back. (Rectangular cakes cook faster than round).

Dust icing sugar or frost with this simple chocolate frosting: The Chocolate Icing Recipe You Need.



10 Comments Add yours

  1. DaleAnn says:

    I’m going to try this as soon as it cools down enough to turn on the oven. Would sour cream work instead of buttermilk, do you think?

    1. Hey! Are you having a good summer? Thanks for following my blog 🙂
      I’ve never tried sour cream, but I think it should work! Pics pls when you do bake it. Milk and a tablespoon of vinegar is also a substitute for buttermilk.

  2. alifemoment says:

    Such an interesting recipe, love the photography!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Hope you try it out!

      1. alifemoment says:

        I definitely will ☺

  3. crispiness says:

    ”I am not even interested in glancing at other chocolate cake recipes anymore”…. I am so glad to hear you say that! …and there I was about to give you…oh well… guess you’re not interested! 🙂

    1. That’s a different recipe!! Chocolate chill is totally not the same 🙂

Leave a Reply to alifemoment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *