The Queen of Cakes: Chocolate Cake

The Queen of Cakes: Chocolate Cake

A pillar among traditional desserts, everyone loves a piece (or three) of chocolate cake!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 11/2 cups flour
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 3/4 cup at room temperature buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable/ canola/sunflower oil
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 60 g melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp buttermilk

Follow these steps:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Take a knob of butter and press it with your index and middle fingers onto the round cake pan to cover its surface entirely.

Do the same with another round cake pan of the same dimension (if you don’t have another you can repeat all the steps below twice).

In a large mixing bowl sift together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and Cayenne Pepper. In another medium bowl combine the liquid ingredients: the buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in whole eggs.

Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth and homogeneous, it will take about a couple of minutes.

Lastly, divide the batter equally among the two cake pans or weight if you want to be strictly precise (each pan should weigh about 385 grams).

Put in the oven and let it bake and rise. Never open the oven, or the cake will stop rising and will fall inwardly.

After 25 minutes, try to put a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake and get it out: if it comes out dry and with just a few crumbs attached the cake is ready.

Don’t overbake, or the cake will be too dry. Let the cakes set for a minimum 15 minutes in pans, then turn them onto a rack to cool completely. 

For the frosting:

Put the chocolate on a bain-marie and while it is melting, place butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Add the melted chocolate, vanilla and cayenne pepper, and beat to incorporate all ingredients. 

Sift in the icing sugar and stir to incorporate that too. Add the buttermilk 1 tbs at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.


Set one of your cooled cake layers on a cake stand or serving platter. Cover with just less than half the total frosting, and swirl to the edges with a spoon or a dessert spatula (if you have one).

Put the second cake layer on top and repeat the frosting swirls with the remaining frosting. Enjoy!

Fancy hint:

Try the spicy Red Kampot pepper or the Cayenne one with this cake for a delicious spicy flavour that will exalt the chocolate taste!

For a more strong pepper taste, you can also use the Voatsiperifery Pepper.

Finally, the Japanese Sancho or any other Szechuan pepper can confer to this cake a unique fruity taste!

Types of pepper used in this recipe:

Other types of pepper you can use with this recipe:

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