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Deliciously Moist Chocolate Layer Cake (Sally's)

12 servings


4 hours

total time


This recipe makes 1 layer cake:

110g (7/8 cup) all-purpose flour

31g (1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

175g (7/8 cup) granulated sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp table salt

60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

120ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk (with 1 tsp vinegar)

120ml (1/2 cup) hot coffee

For buttercream:

145g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

210g confectioners’ sugar

33g unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or dutch process)

1.5 - 2.5 tbsp (45-75ml) double cream, at room temperature

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Weigh out 120g freshly boiled water, then stir in 2 tsp instant coffee. Set aside.

In a small bowl, weigh out 123g soy milk and add 1 tsp vinegar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg. Weigh out 55g oil and add 1 tsp vanilla.

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4. Cut a circle of baking paper for the cake pan, and grease the pan.

In a large bowl, whisk 110g flour, 31g cocoa powder, 175g sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp table salt.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add 120g hot coffee, and whisk until the batter is completely combined. Batter is thin.

Pour into the cake pan. Bake for 23-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake may sink slightly in the middle.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

Make the buttercream

Beat butter, then add sugar, cocoa powder, 3 tbsp double cream, vanilla extract and salt. Add more sugar or cocoa if too thin, or cream if too thick.


2024-02-06 - I rewrote the recipe to make it clearer, and halved the ingredients for 1 layer cake.

12 servings


4 hours

total time
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