Fluffy Double Chocolate Cake

Chocolate lovers (everybody?), this one’s for you. Today, we’re kicking off a month of easy desserts with this decadent vegan cake made with coffee and coconut cream. Jerrelle Guy, author of the awesome cookbook Black Girl Baking, based this recipe on her mother’s favorite dessert. Here’s how she makes it…

Fluffy Double Chocolate Cake
From Jerrelle Guy’s Black Girl Baking

For the most part, I like my cakes unembellished, served underneath a dollop of cold whipped cream. Hand me my cupcake with a swirl of buttercream taller than the cake itself, and I will scrape 95 percent of it off and into my napkin. I’m sure I got this attitude from my mother, who wasn’t into decorated cakes either. She craved simple devil’s food cake, baked from the box, warm, with a large scoop of nearly melted vanilla ice cream. She kept an army of those boxes in the house with only half as many containers of chocolate frosting. I decided to keep this icing fluffy, cold, thin and just sweet enough.

Fluffy Double Chocolate Cake
Makes one 9-inch layer cake

You’ll need:

For the cake:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2⁄3 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk (see below for vegan version)
1/2 cup neutral oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee

For the icing:
1 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips, melted
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 can of full-fat coconut cream (preferably A Taste of Thai), chilled in the fridge overnight

Preheat the oven to 350F. Have two 9-inch oiled cake pans lined with parchment nearby, and place a metal mixing bowl in the freezer to get icy. To make the cake, stir together the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and fold them together gently to combine until almost completely blended, being careful not to overmix, then pour in the hot coffee, whisking to combine. Divide the batter between the oiled cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then flip them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the icing.

To make the icing, in a small cup, mix the melted chocolate and coconut oil together until silky. Let it cool to room temperature if the chocolate is still hot. Remove the coconut cream from the fridge and, being careful not to shake it, flip it upside down and then open the can from the bottom. Discard the unsolidified liquid, keeping the thick cream at the top, then scoop the thick coconut cream into the cold metal bowl. With an electric handheld beater, beat the coconut cream until fluffy, then slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate, continuing to beat until the cream gets stiff. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes or until you’re ready to ice the cakes.

When the cakes are completely cooled, place one of the cakes upside down on a cake stand or large serving plate so the top is completely flat. Spread one-fourth of the icing over the top, then add the other cake on top of the icing. Finish icing the top and sides with the rest of the chocolate icing. Top with fresh berries if you like and slice and serve, or place the cake in the fridge to set the icing.

If you want to make vegan buttermilk, you’ll need:

1 tbsp acid, like lemon jucie, lime juice or vinegar
1 cup plant-based milk (thicker versions like oat or flax milk work best)

When you want something dairy-free, it’s really simple to make a buttermilk stand-in. Add 1 tablespoon of acid per 1 cup of milk called in the recipe, and allow milk to sit and curdle for about 5 minutes. Then proceed with the recipe. You can use this trick with regular milk, too.

Thank you so much, Jerelle! Your new cookbook is awesome.

P.S. More recipes, including chocolate banana bread and chocolate pavlova with berries.

(Reprinted with permission from Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Jerrelle Guy. This series is edited by Stella Blackmon.)