Black magic chocolate cake

When I was little, my friend’s mum used to make the most delicious chocolate cake. It was a Betty Crocker packet mix. I’m usually not a fan of packet mixes. They always seem to have a bit of a strange aftertaste that home-baked never does. Betty Crocker devil’s food cake however is the exception to the rule. It is rich and moist and fabulously delicious. This recipe for black magic cake reminds me of the Betty Crocker mix but even better. It’s so easy to make and going to be a regular in my repertoire.


There aren’t too many ingredients in this cake and once you’ve measured them all out, pretty much all the work is done.

Dry ingredients

Tip all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt)  into the bowl of an electric mixer (or a big bowl if you’re using a hand-held mixer).

Add wet ingredients

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl (eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla) and place it on the mixer.


Beat the ingredients on medium speed for two minutes or until the batter is nice and smooth.

Liquid batter

It will form a very liquid batter which is what makes this cake so deliciously moist.

Ready for baking

Pour the batter into a greased and floured tin. I would recommend using quite a large tin or two smaller ones and sandwiching them together. The thinness of the batter makes it a bit tricky to make into cupcakes. Bake the cake at 160C fan-forced for 35-40 minutes making sure you check for doneness using a cake tester. As I was using a pretty deep tin, mine took about 50 minutes.

Resting – oops a cake explosion

I also learned that springform tins aren’t the best choice for this recipe. There was  little leakage. It didn’t hurt the final product but it would have been better to use a regular tin. Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 10 minutes after baking.


Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Black magic chocolate cake

While the cake is cooling, make the icing by beating together the melted chocolate, margarine (you could use butter), icing sugar, vanilla and milk until it is light and fluffy. I found this icing a little too sweet even for my sweet tooth. I think next time I would consider using cream cheese in place of the margarine.

Black magic chocolate cake

Spread the cake with the icing. Enjoy!

Black magic chocolate cake

Black magic chocolate cake

Black magic chocolate cake



  • 1 3/4 cup plain (AP) flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong black coffee cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used milk with lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 60g (2oz) melted chocolate, cooled
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) fan-forced and grease a 20x25cm cake pan then flour it well. You can also use two 20cm round tins and sandwich the finished cakes together.
  2. Place all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients (eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla).
  4. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat it all together for about two minutes. This can be done using a hand-held mixer too.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin or tins.
  6. Bake the cake for 35 - 40 minutes but check it after 35 minutes. I used a very deep tin so mine took about 50 minutes to cook. The cake is cooked when a tester, inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cake in the tin to rest for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cake is cooling, make the icing by beating all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
  9. Spread the cooled cake with the icing and serve it up.

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