I’ve been sick for five, going on six days this past week and I’ve enjoyed it too much. Unabashedly staying home writing, reading, watching too much TV, and crafting for five days straight, save for a few short trips around the block or to the grocery store, is pretty much my dream life. To eliminate the risk of becoming one with my blankets and couch and the fact that I feel mostly better today, I decided to descend upon reality and take more risks: sensory overload from the outside world, fresh air, and interaction with other humans. Needless to say, I survived, and the holiday season will be upon us soon in full force of overindulgence, reminiscent of those glorious five days when I was too sick to leave the house. Until then, simple pleasures will fuel the next couple weeks of an unseasonably warm December (in the Midwest, anyway). One of those pleasures is cake. Straight up chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, no frills.
This recipe is modified from my chocolate malt cake recipe. It’s plain chocolate cake, super fudgy, no unanticipated anomalies. You could add peppermint extract and Candy Cane Joe Joe’s to be festive, but save that for the end of the month and just eat chocolate cake.
Makes 2 layer 8 inch cake
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons almond milk
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment rounds and grease the sides with margarine or cooking spray. Set aside.
Pour the canola oil, sugar, almond milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar together in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Stir until just combined.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually sift into the wet ingredients, stirring after each addition. The batter should be thick and pourable.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-32 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool before attempting to remove the cakes.
In the meantime, make the frosting. Cream together the margarine and shortening in a stand mixer or with hand beaters. Gradually add the powdered sugar and cocoa, stirring as you go. Mix until completely incorporated, then add the almond milk. If the frosting is too soft or liquid, add more powdered sugar. Beat the frosting for 6-8 minutes. Add more powdered sugar or almond milk to adjust the flavor and consistency of the frosting if necessary.
Remove the cakes from the pans. Spread frosting atop one layer and place the second layer on top. Frost the sides and top of the double layer cake, piping on a border or adding chocolate and candy for decoration if you wish.