Frosted Chocolate Cake
The best part about this cake is that it will take you no more than 10 minutes to get it in the oven. Then, 45 minutes later, you can be eating cake (okay, 60ish, if you want icing because you'll have to cool the cake). The worst thing about it is that the smell will bring out your family and neighbors and you'll probably have to share.
We've made this with frosting and without. We've topped it with sliced bananas, with berries, with toasted nuts, and with sweetened coconut. We've added Maldon's salt and cayenne. We've topped it with pretty much every kind of chips-and cream icing. Just try it once and it will be your go-to as well.
Chocolate Snack Cake Pan Cake
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour (yes, you can use white wheat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa or unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar, cider or white
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water (or skip the espresso powder and water and use 1 cup coffee)
optional toppings: sliced bananas, chopped toasted nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or use butterscotch, white chocolate or peanut butter chips)
1/4 cup (113g) half-and-half or brewed coffee (cold)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square or 9" round pan that's at least 2" deep.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
If you're adding any, sprinkle any of the toppings over the batter.
Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it's wonderful with a big glass of milk.
Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat the chocolate chips with the half-and-half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake. For a non-dairy icing, substitute 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (or water) for the half-and-half.
Store cake, well-covered, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.