Hello everyone! With Valentine’s quickly approaching it’s time to get our priorities straight. This holiday of love can mean roses, champagne, sweet cards, and fun treats for friends…but like I said, priorities! Yes, CHOCOLATE. Do we here at Simply Southern need a holiday to take part in this indulgence? No way, it’s safe to say chocolate is a yearlong necessity for both me and Rebecca but with Valentine’s upon us we now have the perfect excuse to make the cutest, most delicious Chocolate Heart Cake! This recipe is my go to – it’s a super easy two bowl situation and is absolutely foolproof! (non-bakers fear not) Galentine or office Party? Dinner with the fam? Because you are a chocaholic like myself and just want a big ole chocolate heart cake? Any and all situations…this cake is the way to go! Let’s get started with our ingredient list…
For this cake you will need:
(recipe adapted from I am Baker)
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder (I use Dutch processed, which you can find at World Market)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken (I leave mine on the counter for 30 min to an hour to take the chill off)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed, hot coffee
1 – 8×8 square cake pan
1- 8” round cake pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray each pan with vegetable or canola oil and line the bottoms with parchment, set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your standing mixer, sift together your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). *I use the spoon and level method– spoon the flour or cocoa powder into your measuring cup past the brim and then level it off with the straight edge of a knife or spatula* Whisk all your dry ingredients together so they’re well combined. At this point, you can attach your bowl to your mixer along with a paddle attachment if using a standing mixer.
In a separate medium bowl combine your buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla – whisk to combine. Gently pour and stir (or put mixer on low/ medium-low) the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula then add your hot coffee, pouring slowly to prevent splattering. The batter will be on the thinner side, don’t worry – it’s supposed to be and it is about to become a moist, delicious cake. Fill up your pans, making them as level with each other as possible and pop those babies in the oven. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 30 minutes in their pans then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Square and circle = heart. I use a serrated knife to level my two cakes if need be but if you’re not comfortable doing that that’s A-Okay…swirly icing is about to solve any level issues. Place your square cake, corner up so that it is now a diamond. Cut down the middle of your round cake, aligning the straight edge of each half along each side of the diamond and voila! You have yourself a heart cake.
ICING – I didn’t include a specific icing recipe because there are oh so many tasty directions you could go with this – vanilla buttercream, chocolate buttercream, cheesecake frosting…cherry, raspberry, or strawberry buttercream to add a little valentine color OR store bought. You just whipped up a fantastic cake from scratch, no one needs to know Duncan Hines took care of the icing. Whatever you decide upon, have fun with it – dreamy swirls, star tipped piping bag, etc.
TOPPINGS– Make it your own with sprinkles, candied or edible flowers, toasted coconut, or a simple sprinkle of sanding sugar.
This cake is such a fun and easy way to get that obligatory dose of chocolate in on Valentine’s Day (while impressing all your loved ones with your creative baking skills!). I hope you enjoy making and eating this cake as much as I did!