One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

July 18, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

Every week, we’re unearthing Heirloom Recipes — dishes that have made their way from one generation’s kitchen to the next. Today: Heidi Sze of Apples Under My Bed shows us how to make a simple, tasty treat from her childhood that stands the test of time.

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The pages that comprise my mother’s scrapbook cooking journal are worn and splattered–they tell the story of a keen, self-taught cook. Skipping into the kitchen as children and seeing mum’s book open on the bench, we knew we were in for a treat. This book is filled with recipes from friends–Mrs. Beashel’s banana cake, Aunty Sue’s Cornish yeast buns, and a local chef’s porcini risotto–and clippings from magazines. Then there are those well-leafed-through pages and bookmarked family favorites, which mum revisited again and again to feed us. The page with the recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cake opens with familiar ease.


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This cake sparked my childhood baking initiatives. It is a simple, efficient, and terribly forgiving recipe; it’s perfect for a hungry little girl fighting her brothers and father for the chance to lick the bowl and beaters. I was never quite capable of getting every drop into the cake pan, so I always left a rather generous amount of rich mixture in the mixing bowl. (My love of baking may very well have arisen out of a desire to have the leftover batter all to myself.)


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Regardless, this is a favorite recipe that has been passed down in our family. Because of its simplicity (one bowl, one mixer, one cake pan, voilà), I could make it all by myself from a young age. And it would always work fabulously, no matter how soft the butter was or how much mixture I ate along the way. On reflection, this surely instilled an inflated sense of skill, but perhaps that’s the key to kitchen success — fearless passion and an eagerness to taste as you go. I would bake this cake whenever I got the chance. For school snacks, we’d serve it plain and without icing. For my brother’s birthday, however, it was coated with icing and jelly snakes and chocolate buttons — just to make sure he knew how much I loved him. (Not enough to let him lick the beaters, though. That’s the cook’s privilege, right?)


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I hold this recipe, the chocolate cake from my childhood days, dear to my heart. It was a real treat to make it again for a tasty trip down memory lane. These days I quite fancy an elegant icing, a rosemary-infused or crème fraîche mixture, perhaps. I’m not sure my younger self would agree, but surely she’d be up for tasting the mixture.


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One Bowl Chocolate Cake (Makes one cake, approximately 10 slices)

  • 1 2/3 cups flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


  1. A Nice Day for Baking – Hints – MCS Gal

    […] One-Bowl Chocolate Cake ( […]

    August 15, 2014 at 11:51 am
  2. Jeanne R

    Cake turned out dry, but okay. I poked holes through the top of the cake and poured the icing through. That was a good idea. I probably won’t make this cake again.

    July 25, 2014 at 5:39 am
  3. willie turner

    like Larry responded I can’t believe that a stay at home mom can get paid $8067 in four weeks on the computer . take a look at the site here

    M O N e Y KIN. Com

    July 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

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