There is so much I love about chocolate cake, starting with the fact that I’m sure it’s the first cake I ever ate, the kind of cake my mom always, always baked on our birthdays as children, and later, carted to us across the country (literally) in her double decker Tupperware cake carrier when we moved far from home.

Too often, I find the kinds of chocolate cakes at birthday parties or events spongy and bland, not chocolaty enough to satisfy, not toothsome in the way I believe a cake absolutely should be. Not so this cake, which comes to us from Odette Williams, a writer, baker and simple cake maker I first discovered through her charming children’s apron (and now, bibs!) brand years ago: OW. Her new book, Simple Cake, debuts in the world today and it is a true gem—a really special breed of a baking book—honest and heartfelt and beautiful and full of love.

I’m giving away a copy over on my instagram today, so go enter to win (easy—all you have to do is leave a comment), and skip on down for the recipe, below. Please come back to learn more about Odette and her lovely family this week in HOW THEY LIVE. xo

SIMPLE CAKE by ODETTE WILLIAMS #cakebook #cookbook #cakerecipes #modernbaking #easybaking

Chocolatey Chocolate Cake

reprinted with permission from SIMPLE CAKES by Odette Williams

This cake is pure celebration and my chocolate go- to. Not too rich but ridiculously moist, it is decadent without being overly sweet. It’s almost impossible to mess up and so easy to make; it gives Betty Crocker a run for her money. If you have a whisk and two large bowls, you can pull this off. Since the batter is very runny, avoid using a springform pan, which can leak. This cake is a slight adaptation of my dear friend Simon’s recipe. He effortlessly cooks for thirty people without breaking a sweat, and everything he makes tastes delicious— including this cake. There’s also an added bonus: the final product has some serious shelf life— it will keep fresh for days, and it freezes well if you would like to bake it ahead of time. 


1 3⁄4 cups (225g) all- purpose flour

1⁄2 cup (45g) unsweetened Dutch- processed cocoa powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 1⁄2 cups (300g) granulated sugar 

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (240ml) whole milk

1⁄2 cup (120ml) grapeseed oil or any mild- flavored oil

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 cup (240ml) boiling water


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10 by 3- inch round pan with butter, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper. (I’ll let you just grease, line the bottom of the pan, and lightly flour the sides if you’re feeling lazy.)

Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift.

Add the sugar and whisk until combined.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla together.

Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.

Carefully pour in the boiling water and stir until combined. (Watch the little ones with the hot water!)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed.

Remove from the oven and let the cake stand for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the cake to gently release. Peel off the parchment paper from the sides. Invert the cake, peel off the bottom piece of parchment, and cool on a wire rack.


Check out Odette’s book or sign up for her newsletter to receive her delicious Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream recipe!

Makes: 10 x 3-inch round cake

Preparation: 20 minutes

Try these other pan options

Two 8- or 9- inch round pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

12 by 8- inch or 13 by 9- inch rectangular pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 

10 to 12 individual ramekins (grease and fill halfway). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 

24 cupcakes  (fill liners no more than halfway). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

**This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.**  images belong to SIMPLE CAKE by Odette Williams, and should not be pinned or posted without attribution. **