Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe (No butter)

If you bake a decadent chocolate cake for my birthday, I will probably be a tad bit disappointed. I know. “80% ” means little to me. I’d rather take a fruit-based cake instead. Or even a plain and simple pound cake. But. I have my moments. I sometimes crave a small square of good, dark chocolate or a really, really good chocolate cake. No fuss. And I want it fast!

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake

For times like those, this is a brilliant recipe for several reasons–one, it needs no fancy equipment; you don’t need to pull out any sort of mixer. Two, it contains no butter so no waiting for a refrigerated block of butter to come to room temperature. Which, basically means that this cake gets done almost as soon as you want it, and leaves you with less guilt. DO I need to give you more reasons to try this immediately?

This is a great cake to eat by itself with a dusting of cocoa or icing sugar, or with a slathering of Nutella as I have done or layered and finished with ganache.

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe (No butter)

(Makes one 6 inch cake; simply double the quantities for a larger cake)


  • 1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown muscavado sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup thick buttermilk (or 1 and 1/2 tbsp. natural yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp. water)
  • 1/4 cup warm (not hot) coffee–instant or espresso
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
  2. Using a wire whisk, mix all the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder).
  3. Place the oil, egg and buttermilk together in a jug. Mix briefly.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix slowly to ensure there are no lumps.
  5. Add the coffee and mix once again to combine well.
  6. Pour into a greased and lined 6 inch round tin.
  7. Bake for 30-35 mins. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Invert, slather with Nutella or dust with cocoa or icing sugar. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream/ice cream.

Best 1 Bowl Chocolate Cake1


Comments (10)

  1. Swati July 16, 2013 at 5:55 am

    U make something as simple as this look so pretty.. Love..

  2. chinmayie @ love food eat July 16, 2013 at 6:10 am

    The main reason why I like Vegan cakes is that I don’t have to wait for the butter to get to room temperature! I never have so much time (or patience ;))!

    Will have to try this recipe. I might make it eggless by using flax seed eggs though.

    LOVE the close up shots of the Cake 🙂

  3. Tadka Pasta July 17, 2013 at 1:11 am

    We’re always ready to try new recipes for chocolate cake and this one looks like a winner!

  4. Vishakha July 17, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I’ve been eyeing this cake from the moment I saw it. Beautiful shot of the cake and so tempting that I just might make it!:)

  5. Archita Ray July 17, 2013 at 3:06 am

    very nice and esy recipe .what is the quantity of water used?

  6. komal July 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    looks great. can’t believe it only uses 1 tbsp of oil!

  7. Cooking Classesin Mumbai July 31, 2013 at 5:57 am

    looks so yummy…its hard to believe that butter is not used..I wanna try it…lets see how soon…but really it looks like an easy recipe and less in calories and high on taste…thanks for sharing…


  8. Sajitha August 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I really like this space so I am very sad to say this recipe did not work for me at all. I am not saying it tasted bad. It was like a piece of tasteless bland cake. I followed the recipe to a t. So not what one expects from a recipe that has ‘Best’ in its heading. If ones looking for a quick cake, one should go for the 5 minutes mug cake which is not even 1/4th this effort and tastes really good. 🙁

    • admin August 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Sajitha! Perhaps you could share with me some more details of what went wrong for you and I could try and fox it? I have made this cake several times since I posted it and it has been quite a hit on its own or filled with caramelized nuts and ganache and things like that. But I’d be very keen on trying it your way and fixing what could have possibly gone wrong.

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