If you bake a decadent chocolate cake for my birthday, I will probably be a tad bit disappointed. I know. “80% ” means little to me. I’d rather take a fruit-based cake instead. Or even a plain and simple pound cake. But. I have my moments. I sometimes crave a small square of good, dark chocolate or a really, really good chocolate cake. No fuss. And I want it fast!

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake

For times like those, this is a brilliant recipe for several reasons–one, it needs no fancy equipment; you don’t need to pull out any sort of mixer. Two, it contains no butter so no waiting for a refrigerated block of butter to come to room temperature. Which, basically means that this cake gets done almost as soon as you want it, and leaves you with less guilt. DO I need to give you more reasons to try this immediately?

This is a great cake to eat by itself with a dusting of cocoa or icing sugar, or with a slathering of Nutella as I have done or layered and finished with ganache.

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe (No butter)

(Makes one 6 inch cake; simply double the quantities for a larger cake)


  • 1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown muscavado sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup thick buttermilk (or 1 and 1/2 tbsp. natural yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp. water)
  • 1/4 cup warm (not hot) coffee–instant or espresso
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
  2. Using a wire whisk, mix all the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder).
  3. Place the oil, egg and buttermilk together in a jug. Mix briefly.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix slowly to ensure there are no lumps.
  5. Add the coffee and mix once again to combine well.
  6. Pour into a greased and lined 6 inch round tin.
  7. Bake for 30-35 mins. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Invert, slather with Nutella or dust with cocoa or icing sugar. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream/ice cream.

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake1