Last Friday night, my mom needed a birthday dessert for a friend in a hurry. While William napped I decided to whip up a fast chocolate cake with a delicious and quick vanilla icing. I found this recipe in my favorite America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. It is such a great cake that takes minimal work. This is a definite go-to for chocolate cake in a hurry.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa and water together until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack, 1 to 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve straight from the pan or turn the cake out onto a serving platter and dust with confectioners’ sugar or coat with vanilla frosting (recipe below).
Quick and Rich Vanilla Frosting
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or half and half)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Stir the cream, vanilla, and salt together in a small bowl until the salt dissolves. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Beat in the cream mixture. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, 4 to 8 minutes.