This Chocolate Cake for Two is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This cake is perfectly moist, chocolate-y with the most decadent crumb. On top, are piped out roses, topped with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
When I think of “romance tips,” I think of those taglines on the front of womens’ magazines. I remember being like twelve always reading them and being curious what it meant to use your tongue in such and such way and what “surprising him” really meant. I sort of can’t believe I was sort of allowed to read those magazines at that age and not allowed to watch rated R movies but whatever.
As an adult, I can now say the one thing you should do to infuse romance into your relationship is not any of those things (I mean, I’m sure they work) but the real thing is to laugh. And a lot. Not like just a chuckle here and there but like really laugh. Laugh so hard tears are rolling down your face. And talk about everything and anything all the time, which most likely will lead to more laughing. And nothing is more funny and more unexpected than pantsing your bf/gf when they least expect it.
Another sure fire thing to do is eat cake. Especially rich, decadent chocolate cake. This cake is intended for two people but if I’m being honest, it’s a little much for two people to finish all of it in one sitting. It’ll definitely result in cake for breakfast. Never a bad thing.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR TWO
- This cake (minus the frosting), is a one-bowl chocolate cake. Blessed!
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. We have the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and instant espresso powder.
- Pour in the buttermilk, warm water, eggs, olive oil and mix.
- This cake batter will be super runny. It might be alarmingly runny but don’t worry–that’s what ensures it to be oh so good!
- Bake it! I baked this cake in two 6-inch pans. You can also bake this in a 8×8-inch pan or a 9×9-inch pan.
- When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, remove them from the oven.
- You want to cool the cake in the pans for 5 to 7 minutes. Then invert them onto cooling racks and let them come to room temperature until you smother on the frosting!
WHAT MAKES THE BEST CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Ok, so I have some theories on chocolate frosting. I think chocolate frosting needs melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate. And I think heavy cream–and then beating the frosting for a full two minutes–makes the frosting super light and fluffy.
Those are the two tricks!
These roses look more complicated than they are, but the only thing you’ll really need is a closed star tip. You just start in the center and go around in a circle. The first time I did this was a few weeks ago. To practice, you can do it on a sheet of parchment and then simply add the frosting bag to the piping bag.
If you need some visual video help, I love Cupcake Gemma on Youtube. This video she shows you how to do all sorts of designs, including a heart. SUPER EASY!
This is a naked cake so really minimal effort minus the whole roses on the top.
And everything chocolate is always made a million times better with a little sprinkling of salt.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR TWO
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon, buttermilk
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon, warm water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Flaked sea salt, for topping
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 6-inch cake pans. This batter is sticky so I also lined the bottoms with parchment. I highly recommend this. You don’t want to bake the whole thing up and have it stick. Set the pans aside. See below for link in the *notes* on baking cake layers flat. I do this every single time and it’s SO helpful.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. Next, crack in the egg, pour in the buttermilk, warm water, olive oil and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. The batter will be thinner than cake batter that you’re probably used to—that’s ok!
- Divide the cake batter amongst the two cake pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Clean out the bowl you used to make the cake and dry it thoroughly. While the cake is cooling, use it to make the frosting.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
- Add all of the ingredients to the the cleaned large bowl or the bowl of the stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the butter, powdered sugar, melted chocolate, cream or milk and vanilla extract. Beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one last time, just to ensure everything is combined.
TO DECORATE THE CAKE:
- Add a few tablespoons of frosting to the center of one of the rounds of cake. Smooth it around, until it reaches the edges. Add a pinch of salt all around. Place the second layer on top. Since I was going for a “naked cake” look, I added more frosting to the seam of the two cakes and smoothed it all around. Neat is not the goal! Add the remaining frosting to piping bag with a star tip attached. In the center of the top layer of cake, pipe out a rose by starting in the center and going all the way around twice. Complete the cake by adding smaller roses around the center rose. Don’t be shy to practice on a piece of parchment first and then simply add the frosting back to the piping bag—no waste!
- Top the cake with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt.
Baking Flat Layer Cakes:
To Make this Cake Ahead:
You can freeze these cake layers up to 3 months ahead. Bake the cakes, allow them to come to room temperature and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
The frosting can be made up to 3 months ahead. Make the frosting, transfer to a freezer-safe container and transfer to freezer.
To keep in the fridge: make the cake layers up to 2 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Frosting can also be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Equipment and Tools: