Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Glossy Chocolate Icing

I made this cake for my son Christopher's 17th birthday. It was DELICIOUS.

I was a little concerned about moistness at first because the recipe, which I found in 
"Cuisine at Home", called for a cooking time of 35 to 40 minutes. I checked it at 30 minutes 
and it was done. In fact I would have pulled it out a few minutes earlier, 
but it turned out really well. Easy to make too.

I frosted it with "Glossy Chocolate Icing" which I found in the same magazine.
Really really good. A definite "go to" if your craving chocolate cake.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee and vanilla in a measuring cup. 
Add it and whisk until just combined. (FYI: I hate hate hate coffee. Works wonders in the cake!)

A few lumps are ok.

Pour it into your pans and bake. 

For the icing, melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt.

It will look really grainy, like this.

Gradually stir in the cream, sour cream and granules mixture and blend until smooth.

Cook it until it's nice and hot, and the sugar is melted. Do Not Boil!

It will look like this. Yum!

After the icing is cooled and thickened, the only thing left to do is frost your cake.

And just like that...deliciousness!!!!!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Glossy Chocolate Icing


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cups hot water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Glossy Chocolate Icing
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the center. Spray two 8" round cake pans with nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee granules, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined- a few lumps are ok.

Divide batter between the two pans, then bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35- 40 min. *My cooking time was 25-30 minutes.

Cool cakes for 15 minutes on a rack, then invert them onto the rack. Leave upside down (this flattens domed cakes) until completely cooled before frosting them.

To make icing:
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mixture will be thick and grainy.

Combine heavy cream, sour cream and instant coffee granules in a large measuring cup, mixing until smooth. Gradually add cream mixture to chocolate until blended and smooth. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and hot to the touch. DO NOT BOIL.

Take mixture off the heat, and add vanilla. Cool at room temperature until spreadable, 2-3 hours. (Icing may be chilled until completely cold, then warmed gently in microwave until spreadable. Heat at high power in 20 second intervals, stirring well after each interval.

I gotta say, this was so easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think.



  1. This is a wonderful almost "Instant" cake. I found this recipe on Google and was liking the idea of not having to fire up my big KitchenAid and creating the ensuing dust cloud and cleanup afterward. My sister had just asked me why I hadn't made anything chocolate in a while. It was late and this seemed like the perfect thing for a quick and easy. Delicious!!! This is a wonderful cake! I noticed there has been no comments and felt someone needed to spread the word. As I poured it in the pans I realized I had not put any eggs or milk in and freaked out. I quickly re-read the recipe and yes I had done it correctly. My sister has been into the cake twice in so many hours and loves it! The frosting is divine. I'm amazed at the moisture and texture even in the absence of buttermilk or eggs. This is a great go to recipe anytime your in a hurry or just anytime. I did use Espresso powder instead of regular coffee and love the richness and boldness it added.

    1. Thank you! It is one of the favorites around here. I've made it for my son on his birthday for 2 years now, and he loves it. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Menina, parece divino vou fazer e te conto...tomara que dĂȘ certo, beijinhos
    Ana Beth

  3. This is a follow up about this great recipe. I had to make a big cake for a huge birthday party and chose to make this again, doubling the recipe to make a 12" layer cake. I made a peanut butter cream cheese frosting and topped it with chopped Reece's Peanut butter cups, and outlined it with mini-cups and put a border of halved full size Reece's cups at the base. It was a total hit and people are still raving about it. Use this recipe as it is or do a different frosting if you choose.

  4. My cooking time was the same as yours. I was afraid the icing wasnt going to set but it did several hours later (I'm impatient). The cake is super moist but the icing is the star for me!

  5. hello, I stilll new in baking. I wanted to try your recipe coz it looks so moist. just asking the recipe does not require for an egg? thanks

    1. Hey Grace, welcome to the wonderful world of baking :) This cake is really moist and it does not take an egg. Enjoy!

  6. omg thank youu sooo much for the wonderful recipe.i tried yesterday for my hubby birthday nd i was ausum .i have been searching for frosting for soo long this is the best recipe love u thnx agaiin.i want to sahre my cake pics.

  7. I made this cake and frosting and it is FANTASTIC! I made a post about it and linked back to this page on your blog!

  8. Do you refrigerate your cake after you have frosted it?

  9. Hi,

    The cake looks yummy!! I am trying this in a couple of days. I wanted to know if you use normal sugar or castor sugar.

  10. Frosting and icing is diff right? Will th chocolate harden like icing?

    1. Your right, it is different. I think this would be better named frosting. It does not harden like icing but stays soft.

  11. can i add more heavy cream to make it a thinner constancy like a pour over? will it still hold up?

    1. I think it would. It just won't be as thick on the cake. Let me know how it turns out.

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