I love nothing more than spending a leisurely afternoon calmly working through the intricate steps and precise measurements of a fancier cake recipe. It’s almost a kind of meditation for me. But the opportunities for this have massively decreased since the arrival of the two munchkins. Nowadays baking is a three person job. It’s messy, chaotic and lots of fun – and it does require an altogether different kind of cake recipe.
It’s been almost two years since I shared my yoghurt cake – no scales required recipe and it has proved to be one of the more popular posts on this blog. If you didn’t catch the original recipe, I recommend you take a look, as it is the easiest cake in the world and is very versatile, so by adding different flavourings such as lemon, nuts, berries or chocolate chips you can create a completely different cake. Turning it into a true chocolate cake though, has not been as straightforward. The addition of cocoa can really dry a cake out if the quantities are not quite right. Hence, this post has been a while in the making as I wanted to get it just right. The cake had to be truly chocolatey, but I wanted to keep the simple yoghurt pot method that gives this recipe it’s charm. After a few attempts, think I’ve found it. If you want a super quick, indulgent chocolate cake without the fuss of weighing ingredients, this is for you.
Yoghurt Pot Method
This is the reason I love this cake so much. As I am vision impaired, I can’t use traditional scales. Large font digital scales and talking scales are good alternatives, but they do take a bit of extra effort. Sometimes, that is absolutely fine, but when you need cake in a hurry and you have two small children in the kitchen ‘helping’, simple is best. This is where the yoghurt pot method comes into it’s own. The idea is that you use the contents of a pot of yoghurt as the first ingredient, then use the empty pot to measure the rest of the ingredients. So once you have scraped the yoghurt into the mixing bowl, you fill the empty ypghurt pot with sugar and pour that in the bowl too, and so it continues. You may need to rinse the pot out between steps if it gets a little sticky. No scales, no measuring cups and less washing up! It’s not just for those of us who can’t see either. It’ also great for those who are new to baking, those who don’t have lots of fancy equipment, children who want to bake and lazy people who just really want cake, fast. I have altered the method and quantities slightly for the chocolate version of the cake. The cocoa powder makes the mixture a little less forgiving and I found that adding the ingredients in a particular order rather than just throwing them all in as I did in the original version, results in a much tastier cake. And really, it is still very mnimal in terms of effort!
Yoghurt Pot Chocolate Cake – No Scales Required
- 1 individual serving pot of yoghurt – approximately 125ml or 4 floz
From this point ‘pot’ referes to the empty yoghurt pot
- 2 pots self raising flour (you can use plain or all purpose flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
- 1 pot of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pot vegetable oil
- 1 pot of warm water (or warm instant coffee for a more intense flavour)
- 1.5 pots sugar (Use 2 pots sugar if you prefer a sweeter tasting cake)
- 3 large eggs
- Pinch salt
- Optional: 1 pot of chocolate chips
- Mixing bowl
- Whisk, wooden spoon (or electric mixer if you prefer)
- 10 inch cake tin, lined and greased.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/ 170C. Grease and line your cake tin
- Empty the yoghurt into a large mixing bowl and retain the empty yoghurt pot. Use the pot to measure the oil, then the sugar, adding them to the bowl as you go. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
- You may want to rinse the pot before measuring the next ingredients. Fold in the flour, baking powder (if using all purpose or plain flour), cocoa powder and salt.
- Slowly add the warm water (or coffee), mixing it in as you go.
- Mix in the chocolate chips if you are using.
- Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Now, this is the tricky bit…Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
- The yoghurt can be Greek, natural or flavoured. Dairy free coconut yoghurt is great too. Use whatever type of yoghurt you prefer, but I prefer it to be full fat. It doesn’t have to be exactly 125ml, anywhere from 110ml and 130ml will be fine.
- If you don’t have a 10 inch cake tin, you can use other types of cake tins too. Just remember to adjust your bakung times. Cupcakes will take 18-22 minutes, a 2lb loaf tin will need around 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If it’s not ready after after 45 minutes, put it back in the oven and check again every 5 minutes.
- This is not a very sweet cake, which is how I prefer it. It’s quite a grown up tasting chocolate cake. However, if you like sweeter cakes use two pots of sugar..
- As a dessert or for afternoon tea this cake goes well with cold, lightly whipped cream and a few fresh berries.
- For a child’s birthday, cover it in lashings of chocolate frosting and decorate with chocolate chips, hundreds and thousands (aka srinkles in the US), chocolate buttons, mini marshmallows or whatever treats your little one prefers.
- If it’s a ‘just because’ kind of cake, dust with icing sugar and pop the kettle on.
I hope uou enjoy this recipe and find it is quite manageable whatever your baking experience or level of vision. I have always enjoyed baking and now that I have children, it’s a pleasure I can share with them too. It’s important to find ways to keep doing what you love, even when you come up against obstacles, like vision loss. Sometimes it’s easier said than done… but then cake is such a great motivator!
If you give this recipe a go, I would love to hear what you think, so let please share in the comments. I hope to see you again soon for another VI friendly recipe.