Often, our search for the one turns out to be fruitless. We dabble here and there, but end up settling for second (or third) best. We spend our lives with a muted version of the one we really want. Sure, it’s good enough. But is it really what we have been longing for? Are we really satisfied? Are our needs really being met?
Friends, there is no need to settle, because I can introduce you to the one. The one who will restore your faith and hope. The one who will give you comfort in times of need. The one who will be the hit at the party. The one who will steal your heart.
I met the one quite a few years back, before I was gluten-free. I too, had settled for something that was inferior, thinking that my needs would really never be met. But I decided to set out again, in an effort to find the happiness I deserved. And it took some time, but I did find true love. On the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box. It was love at first bite.
I’ll be the first to admit our love became a bit obsessive. I wanted it all the time. It was so easy to be passionate about a cake I could make from scratch in less than five minutes. I took it everywhere. It played a starring role at all of our birthday celebrations.
But then I found out I had celiac disease. I was terrified that the one I loved so much would leave me. That I would never be able to experience another love, another relationship, like I had shared with the one. But after I made the cake for the first time, using Cup4Cup flour, I realized that ours was a love that would stand the test of time. In sickness and in health. With regular flour or gluten-free flour. ‘Til death shall us part.
In time, I experimented with using other gluten-free flour blends (like mine). They work well…but admittedly not quite as well as Cup4Cup, which lends such a moist and tender crumb to the cake. Though the recipe is perfect as it is on the box (as my friend Tamar pointed out, box recipes are usually the best tested recipes in the world), sometimes I like to mix it up a little. Usually I add hot coffee in place of the boiling water. Sometimes I add a little cinnamon and cayenne to make a Mexican chocolate cake. But however you make it, even if you have never had success with a homemade cake recipe, you can have success with this one. Because it truly is the one.
This rich, one bowl, chocolate cake has been my go-to recipe for years. It originally came from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder box, but I've adapted it to be gluten-free. I think you'll find this cake to be the one you've been looking for.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups Cup4Cup (235 grams) or other light gluten-free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit of your blend has it)
- 3/4 cup good quality cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1/2 cup butter (or dairy free stick butter substitute of your choice), melted and cooled slightly
- 2/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with gluten-free cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar, flour, xanthan (if using), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Carefully whisk in the hot coffee. The batter will be runny.
- Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
- Make the frosting. Whisk the melted butter into the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Alternate adding the sugar with the milk while beating until the frosting is smooth and glossy and a spreadable consistency. If the frosting seems too thick, add a splash of additional milk. If it seems too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Frost the cooled cakes as desired.