One Bowl Chocolate Cake

June 24, 2011

one bowl chocolate cake

One bowl. Fast. When it comes to cakes, these words are music to my ears! One bowl chocolate cake.

I don’t know about you but a chocolate cake craving is one of the worst to endure. And the last thing I want to do is to wash heaps of dishes, switch on the appliances and cream butter. Oh gawd, creaming butter is the worse in winter because it never gets soft enough and then when I attempt to cream it with my psychotic electric beaters, my kitchen gets pummelled with butter projectiles. And no joke, I have a block of butter that has been sitting out for a week and it’s still not soft! This is why I LOVE this recipe oh so much.

one bowl chocolate cake

Just looking at this cake in all its awesome slabness brings on waves of nostalgia. Even the icing to me is old school (seriously when was the last time I made chocolate icing with icing sugar?). And if the mood takes you, there’s absolutely no need for cake tins, cake stands or cake plates. If you wish, bake this cake in a shallow tray or pyrex dish, dump the icing on when it has cooled then just grab a fork and dig in. Forget the overly rich, fudgy, dense counterparts, get your face into this old-fashioned, crumbly, moist beauty.

one bowl chocolate cake

This is a no-fuss everyday cake that can be whipped up quickly even at your laziest and just in time for the 4pm blues (after looking at it and tasting it, The Captain now lovingly dubs this the Sara Lee cake. Love it!). It’s the ultimate quick bang chocolate cake for one of those devilish moods, instant gratification guaranteed.

one bowl chocolate cake

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 150g unsalted butter
  2. 220g brown sugar
  3. 100g good quality dark chocolate
  4. 50g Dutch-processed cocoa
  5. 160ml milk
  6. 3 large eggs, room temperature
  7. 170g plain flour
  8. 1.5 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp salt (skip this if using salted butter)
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  1. 100g good quality dark chocolate
  2. 50g unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
  3. 150g icing sugar, sifted
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1-2 Tbl of milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20-21cm square tin.
  2. In a large pot or mixing bowl over simmering water, add the butter, sugar, chocolate, cocoa and milk. When butter and chocolate has melted, remove from heat and whisk to combine. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Sift over the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then gently stir to mix.
  4. Scrape batter into tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Cake will keep for a few days in an airtight container (a quick zap in the microwave will get it all warm, melty and soft again).
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  1. In a bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate then remove from heat. Beat in softened butter (make sure it is room temp. Cold butter is bad news in this case). Sift over icing sugar and salt then beat until combined. Add enough milk until it is a spreadable consistency.
  2. Ice cooled cake and leave to set.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/

Need an alternative? Then check out this gluten-free, flourless and nut-free chocolate cake.

One year ago: Jasmine Tea Crème Brulée

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Sparki August 3, 2014 at 10:18

what is the conversion for the ingrediants…… I don’t do metric…..thx, sparki

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Citrus and Candy August 6, 2014 at 22:02

Hi, please check out traditional oven (or any website that comes up on google) for all your conversion needs.

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Sparks B August 6, 2014 at 22:17

Got it, thx so much.

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anne w November 22, 2013 at 06:40

I pinned this recipe to my Pinterest board 2 years ago – & finally got round to making it yesterday. Why didn’t I make it sooner?? It was devine! Definitely one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve made in a while. I will be sending the recipe to my Mum, who never seems to have enough chocolate cake recipes! Thanks!:)

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DT November 10, 2013 at 07:03

Made this as cupcakes with reduced sugar in the cake and frosting. Delicious! It is chocolatey, and just dense and rich enough. Thanks for sharing the recipe! This yielded 16 cupcakes for me by the way.

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Lenny October 28, 2013 at 14:08

Anddd.. I tried this recipe, too.. Always love chocolate, and this is so goood.. Will post it in my blog, too.. Love ur recipes.. I think I will try every one of it, if I have the time hahaha.. Cheers from Indonesia :)
Lenny recently posted..Bong Kopitown

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Mary October 13, 2013 at 03:39

Last night we had some family members for dinner and when my son asked what we will have for desert and my answer
“Fruit” did not appeal to him, I found your recipe on Pinterest. I made it, it was so easy and so tasty and I want to thank
you for it. Not to mention how happy I made my son, who loves chocolate and sweets! The only change I made was the
frosting, which was a chocolate ganache. Great recipe!

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Citrus and Candy October 27, 2013 at 23:11

Hehe kids will never change huh? But I’m thrilled that he enjoyed it :D

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Irene Mark October 4, 2013 at 08:40

This looks amazing and I want to make it, however I’m wondering if you have the American translation; cups, teaspoons, degrees? :)

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Citrus and Candy October 5, 2013 at 18:33
Ali W September 10, 2013 at 18:47

I just wanted to say thank you for this great recipe…………….. I have made all sorts of changes, and they ALL work. Half SR & Plain flour = higher cake that is less fudgey……. 70/30 brown sugar/caster sugar = a lighter crumb……. made in a round tin, slab tin, loaf tin………. they all work brilliantly!!! Cupcakes too!

This is now my go to secret chocolate cake recipe.

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Citrus and Candy September 10, 2013 at 18:59

I admit I haven’t tweaked the recipe that much so good to know that it’s flexible to heaps of adjustments. Thanks for letting us know! :D

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Mama Gringa September 1, 2013 at 16:43

I used the Chocolate Fudge Frosting from this recipe on the Chocolate Baileys Mudcake and it is DIVINE! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. xo
Mama Gringa recently posted..The New Suzy Homemaker

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Citrus and Candy October 27, 2013 at 23:09

Oooh yes, best of both worlds! Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it :D

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Mel July 27, 2013 at 02:32

Love love love your cake, it’s a big hit with everyone. I’ve use a fresh cream icing and its delosh. THANK YOU.

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Helen May 12, 2013 at 00:16

Sounds wonderful and just what I was looking for – I found it on Pinterest.
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Lois April 23, 2013 at 23:26

What is 150 g. 200 g. Can we talk English.

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Citrus and Candy April 24, 2013 at 02:19

g = grams (obviously). We use grams and the metric system here in Australia along with most of the world; including ironically enough, England where we ALL speak English. Cheers.

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Photo cakes January 13, 2013 at 06:32

This cake is just what I want right now… It looks so perfectly chocolaty and good. My first thing on my ToDo list for tomorrow.

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Leanne September 29, 2012 at 09:42

Hi, i was just wondering if the cake is moist but not to delicate so that i can split it and fill it. I’m going to use a a 23cm square pan so would the cooking time be similar? Also do you have any filling and frosting suggestions for me ? Thank you so much

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Citrus and Candy September 29, 2012 at 21:46

Hi Leanne, the cake is sturdy enough to make a layered cake (a good tip is to refrigerate or freeze the cake for a little bit to make it easier to cut). If you use a larger cake tin, it’ll bake faster but the cake will be much thinner so it’ll make it more difficult to divide into layers. I suggest sticking with the size of tin that I specified or make more cake batter.

For the fillings and frosting, you can pretty much use anything so take your pick (not sure if you’ve noticed but there is already a frosting recipe with the cake recipe).

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Jodi@garlicgirl September 3, 2012 at 04:53

Just one word: yum! : )

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beth July 24, 2012 at 21:48

This sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing, Would this recipe work for cupcakes?

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Citrus and Candy July 24, 2012 at 23:43

Hi Beth, absolutely these would be fine for cupcakes. Just remember to reduce the baking time :)

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Alex May 27, 2012 at 15:01

Hiya
just wondering if it would be possible to add raspberries (or any other berries for that matter) to this without ruining the consistency?
Thanks!

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Citrus and Candy May 27, 2012 at 15:12

Hi Alex, I don’t see why not! Blueberries will be perfect as well as ripe but firm raspberries (you could also lightly coat the raspberries in flour before mixing through). Just make sure the cake is baked immediately after adding the berries. Alternatively you could scatter the berries on top of the batter after you poured into the tin. Hope this helps!

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Anna March 30, 2012 at 01:04

Thank you for the recipe! I baked the cake on my blog birthday. It’s incredibly delicious and a real treat for a choco-holic like me. Here is the photo: http://anna-mavritta.livejournal.com/69126.html
Anna recently posted..Тыквенные Mac&Cheese

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Citrus and Candy May 7, 2012 at 01:24

Hi Anna, thanks for dropping by and letting me know! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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Sarah January 25, 2012 at 22:35

Hi – I just found your recipe and it looks perfect! I’ve been looking for an easy chocolate cake recipe that I can make for my little boy’s birthday -we’re going to be in a holiday house so I don’t want to pack the mixer!! I also want a good cake that is a bit denser than the ones that just use cocoa. I also have to modify it for dairy-free ingredients but with chocolate soy milk, dairy-free chocolate and nuttelex I’m sure it will turn out fine.
Sarah recently posted..January Challenge: Day 20 and 21

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Citrus and Candy May 7, 2012 at 01:23

Hi Sarah, this is definitely an easy recipe to adapt for dairy-free requirements :) And any cake recipe that doesn’t need a mixer is always a winner. I hope you all enjoyed it!

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Kimmie December 31, 2011 at 17:21

I certainly had a chocolate cake craving tonight, and I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest, waiting to be made. I am so glad I did. It is perfect. I had some caramel left from a previous chocolate cake, so I melted it and poured it over the cake. Wowsers. Thank you for sharing this yumminess with the world!!

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Citrus and Candy May 7, 2012 at 01:21

Oooh warm gooey caramel? I love your style :)

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Jo Mueller December 12, 2011 at 15:44

Do you think regular sugar will work? So. Hi Naomi, oh I LOVE Sara Lee cakes too! I certainly hope you do!
Jo Mueller recently posted..Many Cures

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Citrus and Candy December 12, 2011 at 17:55

Hi Jo, regular sugar will be fine :)

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Zahra October 30, 2011 at 05:59

aww shoot! fresh out of brown sugar! Do you think regular sugar will work?

Ugh…and all this after I went out and bought dark chocolate last night!
Zahra recently posted..Strawberry Cake

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Citrus and Candy October 30, 2011 at 13:14

Hi Zahra, not a problem at all! White sugar will still work, it’s an easy going recipe :)

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Zahra October 29, 2011 at 04:09

this looks sooo good! I want to make it now! quick question: is this bitter? like dark chocolate bitter? or does the dark chocolate just make it more decadent?

thanks!

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Citrus and Candy October 29, 2011 at 17:00

Hi Zahra! The brown sugar does it job nicely so it defnitely isn’t bitter :) I only ever use dark chocolate in recipes simply because it makes it more chocolate-y and rich and gives it a flavour that you can’t get with milk chocolate. If you’re worried about bitterness, use dark chocolate that is about 55-60% cocoa content. I use up to 70% for extra richness but bitterness has never been a problem for me. Hope this helps!

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Yamini Dwarkanath Joy October 11, 2011 at 16:27

Hey, I tried this and it was truly amazing. Thanks a ton for the recipe!

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Citrus and Candy October 29, 2011 at 03:02

Hi Yamini! You’re welcome! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it :)

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maddie October 11, 2011 at 12:20

this is such a great cake!!!! love the old-school icing, fits perfectly!! this is now my go-to choc cake recipe! thanks!!! =)

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Citrus and Candy October 29, 2011 at 03:04

Thanks so much Maddie! Glad that you love it as much as I do :D

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Sarah September 5, 2011 at 00:05

My second go at this cake is now in its final 10 minutes in the oven. This is the easiest, most visually pleasing and nicely rich and gooey choc cake I have made. As someone without an electronic mix master this recipe is a winner. Thank you!

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Citrus and Candy September 5, 2011 at 00:50

Hi Sarah, you’re very welcome and I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this cake! Thanks for letting me know :D

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Miss Kimbers August 12, 2011 at 20:52

Oooo this looks very good! I love to bake and have baked pretty much everything (I hope to slowly transform my bit of everything blog into a food blog), but I have NEVER baked a plan chocolate cake! As I write this I am baking a pistachio chocolate cake, but I feel the need to bake a plain chocolate cake!! So I shall keep this one in mind:) If I don’t bake it, I’ll come back to look at the picture Mmmmm!

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Citrus and Candy August 19, 2011 at 00:09

Thanks so much Miss Kimbers! :D

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mieke dominique July 29, 2011 at 22:41

haii.. i am mieke from Indonesia.. my cousin asked me to help her to make this chocolate cake for her boyfriend’s birthday. I love baking, actually.. but somehow i am not good at it. I have to practice a few time to get it right, sometimes never…
But, i did try your recipe, annddd.. walaaaaa.. the 1st time and it was a success..

And what i love most is that, my 2 kids love it sooo much, the only thing they remember when they opened their eyes from afternoon nap is.. your chocolate cake:P

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Citrus and Candy August 1, 2011 at 23:29

Hi Mieke, yay!! I’m so thrilled at your chocolate cake success and glad that you and your kids enjoyed it Thanks for letting me know, your comment made my day :D

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Nadine July 19, 2011 at 16:37

I saw this cake on Pinterest, and found time to make it today. YUM YUM YUM!

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Citrus and Candy July 20, 2011 at 00:11

So glad you enjoyed it Nadine! Thanks!

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Sneh | Cook Republic July 17, 2011 at 18:27

I have been on a bit of a chocolate kick lately .. actually change that to *binge*. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I baked this and OMG was it awesome. Love love love the fudge frosting(I halved the sugar content)! Thnx for a great recipe :-)

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Citrus and Candy July 20, 2011 at 00:14

Hi Sneh, so happy you enjoyed the cake! It’s fast becoming a favourite in my house because of how easy and quick it is :D

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Liza July 2, 2011 at 15:56

Seriously family friendly cake. Made it in a 20 x 30cm tin and it was ready in 20 minutes. Just in time for 3 hungry boys to devour with a glass of milk each. Bring on nostalgic cooking :) Thanks for the very good recipe.

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 01:06

Hi Liza, I’m so happy that you and your family enjoyed it! :)

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Shirleen {Sugar & Spice} June 28, 2011 at 21:01

I have the same issues when creaming butter and sugar. I’ve had it flicked up the walls, down the walls, on my hair, in my eye… I have taken to softening my butter a tad bit in the microwave (on low). It helps a bit! No need for creaming kinda cake – intriguing! I think I’m going to have to give this recipe a go. :)

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 01:17

Hi Shirleen, lol curse that cold butter!

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One in a Brazilian June 28, 2011 at 09:46

This cake looks unbelievable! I’ll have to make it soon.

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 01:19

Thanks so much :D

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Iron Chef Shellie June 27, 2011 at 23:04

I don’t think I’ve ever described a cake like this… but man that cake is sexy……

gotta try making that soon!

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 01:20

Lol wait, you’ve never thought cakes were sexy? Cakes are the sexiest dessert! :D

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Helen (grabyourfork) June 27, 2011 at 22:41

How that is one helluva shexy chocolate cake. So. Moist.

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 01:20

Thanks Helen! MOIST cakes rule :P

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Naomi June 27, 2011 at 22:10

When I first saw this cake I thought it was a Sara Lee chocolate cake – IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY! Man, I love the icing on those suckers. Can’t wait to try the recipe.

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Citrus and Candy June 28, 2011 at 00:37

Hi Naomi, oh I LOVE Sara Lee cakes too! Especially the chocolate ones. I was definitely baking this cake with the Sara Lee fairy sitting on my shoulder ;) I hope you enjoy it!

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Simon @ the heart of food June 27, 2011 at 15:37

Looks like the next best thing for instant gratification outside of ready made cake out of the freezer. Nice that it requires minimal clean-up too :)

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Citrus and Candy October 29, 2011 at 03:07

Hi Simon, minimal washing up is always a win with me. This cake is definitely a little Sara Lee-esque in the best possible way :)

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Tina June 27, 2011 at 14:40

Ohhhh I cannot wait to try this! That chocolate cake looks so beautifully moist and delicious.. wow, my mouth is watering.

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Citrus and Candy October 29, 2011 at 03:06

Hi Tina, thank yooooou! Hope you enjoy it!

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bayaderka June 26, 2011 at 08:40

Well, it looks fantastic! Definitely will try it some day.

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Citrus and Candy June 26, 2011 at 23:05

I hope you enjoy it! :D

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mademoiselle délicieuse June 25, 2011 at 23:11

AND because this slab o’ cake reminds me of school bake sales. And Top Taste packet cakes. And – the ultimate – pound cake!

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:26

Yay great minds think alike because that’s exactly why I love this cake and why it’s nostalgic to me. It’s exactly the type of cake you find at bake sales or the corner bakery (and in my lunchbox!). And SARA LEE! <3

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mademoiselle délicieuse June 25, 2011 at 23:10

Oh, Ms Candy, this is entirely my type of cake to make! Mainly due to my being lazy and also due to my (sometimes) lack of patience, both of which I use as excuses for my rustic/homely cooking/baking =p

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:27

Heh you and me both love! I love beautiful desserts but it’s easy cakes like these that I adore the most :D

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Katherine June 25, 2011 at 21:45

I must admit I do like a good chocolate cake. This recipes is super easy and almost everything can be found at home. I will be making this soon, or driving past yours to steal a slice of yours ehehe.

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:29

Hi Kath, it’s definitely worth making at home because you’ll never get an easier cake than this :) And if you don’t have chocolate, it’s still lovely with cocoa (just add milk if the cake batter is too stiff). Or in any case, next time I have an overload of cake, I’m gonna call ya! :D

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judy June 24, 2011 at 22:51

Can you possibly convert these measurements to standard? Thanks- cake looks divine!

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 02:44

Hi Judy,

Check out this website http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html for all of your conversion needs. It’s the one I use regularly. Thanks! :)

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riya June 24, 2011 at 21:45

wow… this is absolutely divine !

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:29

Thank you :D

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shirley@kokken69 June 24, 2011 at 19:26

Love the fine crumbs of the cake but I am hesitant about the icing sugar frosting… I would prefer possibly a chocolate ganache fudge..less sweet..:) but yes, this does look like one swell cake to quell a chocolate craving!

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:30

Hi Shirley, icing sugar frostings are indeed sweet but I actually reduced the amount here. Nevertheless, normally I prefer ganaches too but since I was on a nostalgic path… :)

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Steph June 24, 2011 at 18:22

Holy shizz that looks ridiculously good. It’s reminding me of that whole Sara Lee cake I ate the other week…but so much better because it’s made from scratch! Would definitely be eating this out of the tin with a fork :)

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:31

Hahaha you, me and Rita should form a Sara Lee fan club! Next time I’m making it with your awesome milo ganache! Zomg *drool*

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mademoiselle délicieuse July 7, 2011 at 21:43

I am down to my last portion of Sara Lee choc pound cake and am looking at this recipe again, thinking, perhaps I should make this and stash it in the freezer…!

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Citrus and Candy July 15, 2011 at 00:43

Lol Rita, I’ve been thinking the same thing too!

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OohLookBel June 24, 2011 at 16:01

LOVE!!!

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:31

Thanks! xx

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sara June 24, 2011 at 14:33

This cake looks sooooooooo good! Yum yum yum. :)

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:32

Thanks so much Sara! :D

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Maria June 24, 2011 at 14:29

First of all, your writing style is hilarious! I was cracking up reading this. Second, the photo of the cake is stunning and makes me crave a piece of this cake RIGHT NOW! Third, what is “icing sugar”? Is that powdered sugar, also known as confectioners sugar? I need to know because this post gives me a strong desire to make this cake.

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Citrus and Candy June 24, 2011 at 15:24

Hi Maria! You’re absolutely spot on. Icing sugar is just what Aussies call confectioners sugar / powdered sugar. Thanks for your awesome comments, nothing like chocolate to make one loopy when writing lol!

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leaf (the indolent cook) June 24, 2011 at 13:17

A no-fuss chocolate cake is exactly the kind of cake I like! :D

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:32

I’m with you there! :D Anything that doesn’t need creaming is an awesome recipe lol.

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pickyin @ LifeIsGreat June 24, 2011 at 12:20

If I were to do a one bowl cake I’d skip the icing. My go to one bowl chocolate heaven is currently cocoa brownies which just melts everything and mix. Seriously sometimes we just wanna spend 20 minutes on it and eat!

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:33

Oooh that’s why I love brownies too because it’s a one bowl dessert too. And to eat it fresh from the oven, oh baby :D

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Jennifer June 24, 2011 at 12:18

Ahh those chocolate cake cravings, I know them well! Yes it is great to be able to satisfy them with a quick but delicious recipe.

I recently discovered your site and am loving reading it! I moved back to Canada from Sydney after living there for 5 months at about this time last year. Reading your blog is a lovely way to reconnect :)

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:34

Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading! I’m glad Sydney left a good impression on you but Canada is a lovely country (that I’d love to visit myself). Any plans to return down under? :)

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joey@FoodiePop June 24, 2011 at 08:38

Thanks for this simple recipe! Even a non-cook like me can attempt it. :-)

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Citrus and Candy June 25, 2011 at 23:35

Hi Joey! I certainly hope you do! I don’t think cake recipes can get as easy as this one. Let me know how you go :)

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