Easiest chocolate cake EVER

Sometimes you need chocolate. This is a daily occurrence for me (as witnessed by the ever-present bar of chocolate in my desk at work), but occasionally when I’m at home on the weekends, I find myself without even the tiniest crumb of chocolate.  How this could happen I don’t even know, but I have, I’m ashamed to admit, even dug into my baking chocolate stash (in my defense, I do get the good stuff for baking).   The baking chocolate doesn’t quite cut it sometimes, though.  So, if I have a little extra time (just 45 min. or so) and I can contain my chocolate craving for a little while, I make (drumroll, please) the CHOCOLATE CORNELL CAKE.  Yum.  This cake is by far the easiest chocolate cake I have ever made, and I always have the ingredients on hand.  No butter or cream, either, so it’s easy to justify making it for yourself!  Flourless chocolate cakes are perfectly delicious, but let’s face it – unless you have guests to help you wolf down all of that buttery, chocolate-y intenseness, you are going to find yourself a bit thicker around the middle the next morning (because you know you can’t just leave it sitting on the counter all by its lonesome luscious self).  So, in comes the Chocolate Cornell Cake to the chocolate craving rescue.

I have also jazzed this cake up for birthdays (since it’s much easier to make than a fussy genoise) by slicing it into 3 layers, slathering homemade whipped cream between the layers,  sprinkling strawberries over the whipped cream, and spreading ganache liberally over the entire thing.   So easy, and so good.

This cake can also be easily halved, doubled, tripled, or whatever else might be needed to satisfy your personal chocolate craving.  And the best part by far?  No eggs means lots of spoon-licking (as well as happy vegan friends).  The chemistry behind this cake is all based on the fun explosiveness of baking soda and vinegar.  Remember those volcanoes in elementary science class?  This cake is a volcano cake!!  It’s also a delicious batter and I always leave some extra in the bowl to enjoy while the cake is doing its thing in the oven.   Enjoy, chocolate lovers!!!


Chocolate Cornell Cake

3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 rounded Tbsp. cocoa
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 cups cold water

Sift first 5 ingredients together.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat until smooth.  Bake in a greased and bread-crumbed 13″ x 9″ pan at 350˚F for 30-40 min.  (This can take longer depending on your oven – just bake it until a cake tester comes out clean).



  1. julieinberlin | 17th Nov 09

    I HIGHLY disagree with your first sentence 😉 Not everyone neeedddsss chocolate in their daily life, or even life at all (okay, okay, this might only be me…). However, they DO need your AMAZING apple-cheese cake you made for my birthday a couple of years ago. Please post that recipe!! And, clearly, the blog is loverly! I can’t wait to see what else you post and eat 🙂

  2. Matt | 18th Nov 09

    Yeah! You got things going! I can’t wait to check out this recipe. I’ve been thinking about things that I could bake for my blog and now I have some chocolate cake to try. Of course, I’ll link to your blog when I write about my baking experience. I don’t know how to deal with julieinberlin– she doesn’t like chocolate?!?

  3. foodandfuel | 18th Nov 09

    You are correct – Julie does not like chocolate!! Everyone else always wanted super-rich chocolate cakes for their birthdays but I had to come up with something else for her (actually, it was fun to try something different besides a chocolate cake!). She’s special, alright 🙂

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