One bite of this Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Cake with Bailey's Buttercream (shh... no one else needs to know it's a one-bow, now-mixer, 10-minute hands-0n recipe) will have you smitten, it's moist, tender and SO delicious!
Just a little warning... well, perhaps it would sound better to call it a promise. If you're a chocolate lover, this Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Cake with Bailey's Buttercream, in addition to being insanely easy, might very well be the most ridiculously delicious cake you ever encounter!
When I was thinking about creating a new chocolate cake recipe, I looked at lots of different options but, when I remembered our recipe for The BEST, Easiest Chocolate Cupcakes... EVER, I knew I didn't have to look any further. The name says it all, they really are the BEST and easiest chocolate cupcakes. I surmised that the recipe would also work well for a cake so all that was left was to crank up the oven, mixing bowls and ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, I love that this easy chocolate cake recipe doesn't call for anything fancy. If you've got flour, sugar and basic baking ingredients, you're good to go! The recipe does call for buttermilk but there's an easy sub for that made with regular milk and a splash of vinegar.
In an ode to St. Patrick's Day, which we're celebrating this month, I've included a splash of Irish Cream liqueur in both the cake and the icing but that could be subbed with other liqueurs or simply a little extra buttermilk in the cake and half and half in the icing to make it a simple (but oh-so-delicious) chocolate cake.
Other options would be a splash of mint extract in the icing or a scatter of salted, toasted walnuts or pecans as crunchy addition. You could also slice this cake in half, horizontally and add a layer of strawberry or raspberry jam.
Don't want to bother with making an icing or perhaps you're just conserving calories... skip the buttercream and serve the moist, delicious cake with a shower of powdered sugar and a spoonful of sliced, fresh strawberries. Add a tiny splurge with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a mint sprig for a simple but beautiful dessert!
Do delicious cakes have to include butter?
Okay, so I bet you're wondering if a cake can really be that good WITHOUT butter. I'm a huge fan of butter for baking but this cake honestly doesn't need it. It's fantastic; super moist, not too heavy and loaded with great chocolate flavor!
Of course, there IS butter in the icing which makes it smooth, creaming and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
I don't want to bore our regular readers so I'll keep this part short. However, if you're new to The Café you probably aren't aware that we have an entire collection of ridiculously easy recipes which are beloved by our readers. You can read more about these easy recipes in this post and see the whole collection here but my ridiculously simple explanation of these recipes is "they make you feel like a kitchen rock star with MINIMAL effort on your part!".
EVERYONE needs a fabulous, super easy, one-bow, no-mixer chocolate cake recipe in their arsenal. This is the one you want. It will take you less than 10 minutes to put together and, not long after that, you will have the most intoxicating chocolate aromas wafting through the house.
Make this Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Cake with Bailey's Buttercream ASAP, invite some friends and celebrate. Whether it's St. Patrick's Day, another special occasion or simply and ordinary day that you want to make extraordinary, this cake will deliver deliciousness!
Café Tips for making this Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Cake
- Hershey’s cocoa works fine in this recipe, but if you want to try a deliciously gourmet cocoa powder, this Callebaut cocoa powder is quite amazing!
- This batter rises nicely and produces a lovely tall cake but you will need an 8-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall. Most newer cake pans are that tall - if your pan is older and isn't 2 inches, use a 9-inch pan instead.
- I absolutely LOVE this muffin pan. The cups are slightly taller than the average muffin pan which helps yield beautiful high-domed muffins and cupcakes.
- I have made this recipe for a layer cake. I tripled it for a three-layer cake with 8-inch pans. If you use 8-inch pans, make sure your pans are at least 2 inches tall, otherwise, use three 9-inch pans.
- If you're in the market for new cake pans, I love these textured, easy-to-clean baking pans.
- I'm also a huge fan of these pre-cut parchment paper circles. You can purchase them in different sizes to fit your pan. They save lots of time when baking cakes and ensure that your cake slips out of the pan seamlessly. There's nothing worse than going to the trouble (not much with this cake) of baking a cake to have half of it stick in the pan.
- The instructions for this cake call for prepping the pan by spraying it with baking spray. Baking spray is not the same as nonstick cooking spray as it has flour incorporated into the spray in addition to oil. It's ideal for cakes, cupcakes and muffins ideal as it helps all of your baked goods to release from the pan without a hitch.
- I like to use a whisk for this Easy Chocolate Cake recipe. A good whisk is not expensive and is an essential kitchen tool. I really like these OXO whisks.
Thought for the day:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments,
and His paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations, and ideas for variations.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons cocoa I use Hershey's most of the time
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup neutral flavored oil (options are canola, grape seed, sunflower, safflower, avocado, corn, vegetable or a light, mild-flavored olive oil)
- 1 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur Bailey's or a generic brand - we love the Irish Cream from Costco
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup hot tap water
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 4 tablespoons butter (I use salted butter - if you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)
- 2 ½ tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
- 2 tablespoon half and half maybe a bit more
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar maybe a bit more
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside. (Note - an 8-inch pan makes a tall, pretty cake. However, if your 8-inch pan does not have sides that are, at least, 2 inches tall, use a 9-inch pan.)
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-large bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, oil, egg, Bailey’s, vanilla and hot water. Whisk well until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean OR until an instant thermometer, inserted in the center of the cake, reads 200-210˚F.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook on high power for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave for 10-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted.
Add the Irish Cream, half and half and vanilla extract and stir until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and stir until completely incorporated. The icing should be smooth and spreadable. If it seems too thick, add a bit more half and half. If too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
Transfer the cake from the cooling rack to a serving platter the way it is on the rack - in other words, the flat bottom of the cake will be the top.
Pile the buttercream onto the center of the cooled cake and spread with an offset knife or table knife to the edges, swirling the icing decoratively, if desired.
Slice and enjoy!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn't have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.