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4.86 from 7 votes
Easy, One-Bowl Chocolate Sweetheart Cake
Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Heart Cake
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This easy, one-bowl chocolate heart cake is moist, delicious and all dressed up in Valentine 's Day clothes!

Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday foods
Keyword: Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Heart Cake
Servings: 20
Calories: 426 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 8 ounces butter 2 sticks
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
  • 1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces butter 1 stick
  • 5 tablespoons half and half or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces very soft butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Spray an 8-inch round pan and an 8-inch square pan with baking spray. Wipe with a paper towel, to ensure the entire pan is coated with spray. Spray pans again lightly and line the bottom of each with parchment paper.

  2. Combine butter, water and cocoa in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Cook on high power for 3 minutes, or until butter is mostly melted. Whisk well until smooth and lump-free.

  3. Whisk in vanilla and sugar, then flour and salt, stirring until nice and smooth after each addition.

  4. Add eggs and whisk until completely incorporated.
  5. Sprinkle baking soda over the top of the batter, then add buttermilk. Stir well.
  6. Tap the bowl several times to bring air bubbles to the surface then divide batter between prepared pans, trying to make the depth of the batter the same in each pan. The square pan will hold a little more batter (see note above in the post).
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Don’t over bake (my cakes usually take about 38 minutes, but every oven is different.) Allow cakes to cool in the pan, then turn out onto a work surface. Invert cakes so top surface faces up.

  8. To make the heart shape, place the square cake on the diagonal on a large serving platter. Cut circle cake in half and place each half touching an upper edge of the square cake. (See pictures above in the post.)

While cake is baking, make the icing.
  1. Combine 4 ounces (1 stick) of butter and the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and whisk for 1 minute or until smooth and all chocolate chips have melted. (Return to microwave for 15-second intervals if chips have not melted after stirring.)

  2. Add half and half (or milk) and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

  3. Add powdered sugar and salt. Whisk in the center of the bowl, bringing in more and more of the powdered sugar until mixture is smooth and all sugar is incorporated. If icing is super thick and hard to whisk, add a little more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until smooth.

  4. Finally, whisk in the very soft butter for about 30 seconds until icing is nice and fluffy.

  5. Frost heart-shaped cake with prepared icing, starting at the top, working icing over the edges to cover. Sprinkle immediately with nonpareils, if using. Allow cake to sit for 30 minutes before serving to allow icing to set. See tips above in the post.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and lots of tips.

Nutrition Facts
Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Heart Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 426 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 298mg13%
Potassium 126mg4%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 42g47%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 535IU11%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.