Chocolate cake is good. Chocolate cake infused with coffee is even better. And when there are two types of coffee–a rich roasted drip coffee and a healthy dose of coffee liqueur–chocolate cake is even better. Go all out and top it with a mocha buttercream or a simply dusting of confectioners sugar. Either way, you have a winner. This cake, adapted from Sweet Little Bluebird, is all that and then more.
This cake is a version of a crazy cake, meaning it contains no eggs, milk or butter. The batter can also be mixed right in the baking pan meaning no mixing bowls are required. I stumbled upon crazy cakes when we had arrived in Albania in 2011. While we were living in our house all of our household goods were making their way across the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe so my kitchen was pretty barren. The Embassy had provided us with a “welcome kit” which contained the basics needed to live until our own household goods arrived. The stash of kitchen supplies included a cake pan but no mixing bowls and an electric mixer certainly was not included. We were invited to a potluck picnic and as I struggled to come up with our contribution, I discovered crazy cakes.
Since then I’ve been experimenting with versions of crazy cakes, adding and subtracting ingredients as I have them. The basic principle behind them remains the same though;flour, sugar, a liquid, oil and a touch of vinegar. They are truly foolproof. So if you ever find yourself in transition, or in a less than well equipped kitchen, why not try your hand at a crazy cake. And even if you have a fully equipped kitchen but don’t feel like breaking out the bowls and mixers, try this cake. You won’t be disappointed. The buttercream is optional……
DOUBLE COFFEE CHOCOLATE CRAZY CAKE w/ COFFEE BUTTERCREAM
For the cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup coffee liqueur, I like Illy brand
For the buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons coffee liqueur, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a greased 9 x 13 baking baking pan.
- Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients – two small, one larger.
- Pour the vinegar in one depression, the vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression.
- Pour the coffee and the coffee liqueur over the entire mixture.
- Mix well until the batter is smooth.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the buttercream by whipping together the softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with a wire whip.
- Add the coffee liqueur, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat the buttercream for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- When the cake is completely cool, pipe or smooth on the buttercream.