Cake · Desserts

Mix-In-the-Pan Chocolate Cake

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So, you  think you can’t bake? Think again, my friend. Run, don’t walk, straight to your kitchen, because you are about to make the best cake ever! 

One of the things I love about this cake, aside from the fact that it’s freakin’ delicious, is that it’s foolproof. You don’t need a mixer, or eggs, or milk. It doesn’t care if you’re having a bad day, if it’s humid or cold, if you’re not perfect at measuring. It doesn’t even care if you forget to preheat the oven, like I did this time. It always comes out the same: light, fluffy, moist, and so chocolatey! 

I have a confession to make, though: I don’t actually mix this in the pan anymore! Once I got a dishwasher & didn’t have to worry about another bowl to wash, I found I prefer to mix the batter in a bowl & then pour it into the pan. I just find it harder to stir something in a square pan – sometimes either I’d end up with a little pocket of flour in the corner, or I’d worry I’d stirred too vigorously & disrupted the grease so the cake would stick. But without a dishwasher, I’d go back to the pan in a heartbeat, & call those occasional little glitches “charming.” 

You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

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1½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

⅛ tsp espresso powder or coffee extract (optional)

dash salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp vinegar

1½ tsp vanilla

6 Tbsp olive (or other) oil

1 cup water

Preparation:

1.) Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan.  In the pan, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder if you’re using it. (If you want to do it my way with the bowl, just combine the dry ingredients in a bowl instead). You really only need a spoon for this, I just like playing with whisks. I switch to a spoon for step 4.

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2.) Make 2 large nests in the flour mixture. In 1st nest put oil; in 2nd put baking soda.

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The baking soda nest looks too big, but it’s not. The oil looks really dark in its nest.

3.) This is the best bit: Remember science class “volcanos?” Add the vinegar to the soda nest, & watch it bubble up.

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science class!

4.) Add vanilla (& coffee extract if you’re using it) to the water in the measuring cup, and pour over all.

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5.) Stir, don’t beat, until mostly smooth. It will be just a little bit lumpy, & look too runny to ever become a cake. If you used a bowl to mix it, here’s where you pour it into the pan.

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6.) Bake at 300° F for 25-30 minutes. This is usually pretty dependable. I needed a bit longer today since I neglected to pre-heat the oven, so I stuck a toothpick in, about halfway to the center, after 25 minutes. And then twice more, (every 5 minutes) until the toothpick came out clean, indicating the cake is done. The center of the cake will be gently domed. If the center is still slightly sunken, it’s probably not done yet.

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nowhere near, almost there, done

Allow to cool fully before frosting. Particularly good with Orange Buttercream Frosting.

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Mix-In-the-Pan Chocolate Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Mix-In-The-Pan Chocolate Cake


Ingredients


1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
⅛ tsp espresso powder or coffee extract (optional)
dash salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vinegar
1½ tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp olive (or other) oil
1 cup water

Directions


1.) Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan.  In the pan, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder if you’re using it. (If you want to do it my way with the bowl, just combine the dry ingredients in a bowl instead).
2.) Make 2 large nests in the flour mixture. In 1st nest put oil; in 2nd put baking soda.
3.) Add the vinegar to the soda nest, & watch it bubble up.
4.) Add vanilla (& coffee extract if you’re using it) to the water in the measuring cup, and pour over all.
5.) Stir, don’t beat, until mostly smooth. It will be just a little bit lumpy, & look too runny to ever become a cake. If you used a bowl to mix it, here’s where you pour it into the pan.
6.) Bake at 300° F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted toward the center comes out clean. The center of the cake will be gently domed. If the center is still slightly sunken, it’s probably not done yet. Allow to cool fully before frosting.

6 thoughts on “Mix-In-the-Pan Chocolate Cake

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