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It all started with my Chocolate Malt Cake, which is the single best chocolate cake I've ever made or eaten. That recipe went mega viral, and hundreds of people recreated and loved it just as much as I do. However, I also kept getting hundreds of messages from people who couldn't get their hands on Ovaltine, sour cream or cream cheese, and wanted to know how the cake could be simplified.

So I began the process of creating a simpler version of that chocolate cake which used the most basic ingredients but was as close in texture and flavor as possible. When I finally got the recipe right, it was mind blowing! This cake is SO incredible, soft, and unbelievably easy to make.



1 cup all purpose flour (130g)

3/4 cup granulated sugar (165g)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil (65g)

*1/2 cup buttermilk (120g) -- use 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tbsp vinegar to make your own

1 tsp instant coffee (can be reduced to 1/2)

1/4 cup boiling water (60g)

1/4 cup cocoa powder (25g) 


1/4 cup cream (60g)

75g chocolate of choice (I used milk chocolate)



Pre-heat your oven to 350F (conventional) and prepare a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and butter / oil

If making your own buttermilk, mix 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tbsp vinegar, stir, and set aside

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Sift the ingredients to make sure there are no lumps

Break in the egg, and add the vegetable oil and buttermilk. Use a whisk to gently mix until the ingredients come together

In a smaller bowl, mix boiling water with cocoa powder and instant coffee, and whisk until you get a shiny mix. This step blooms the cocoa powder and brings out its lovely chocolatey notes

Add the bloomed cocoa powder mix to the cake batter, and gently fold until combined

Pour the batter into the prepared pan

Bake at 350F for about ~20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached

Wait 10 minutes and then turn out the cake onto a wire rack


Bring the cream to a boil, and pour over the chopped chocolate. Cover and rest for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then mix until you get a shiny ganache. Rest for another 5 minutes so the ganache thickens slightly

Pour the ganache over your cake, and you're ready to dive in!


You can make your own buttermilk by mixing 1/2 cup whole milk with 1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. It will look clumpy, don't worry

Make sure you don't over mix the batter, as that will make it tough

You can also bake this cake in a 8x8" or 9x9" square pan. If you want to make a 9x13" sheet cake, double the quantity and adjust the time as needed