An Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe for All of Your Celebrations!

This easy chocolate cake recipe is quite possibly the easiest and most delicious cake you will ever bake! It all comes together in one bowl and it has less sugar and oil than other chocolate cakes too, thanks to the addition of California prunes.

{{ The recipe for this Easy Chocolate Cake recipe and the post that goes with it was made in partnership with California PrunesWe received compensation and product in exchange for it. Opinions are always our own. Thanks for your continued support! }}

 A 2-layer, iced version of our Easy Chocolate Cake recipe. It is frosted with chocolate icing and the sides are coated in chocolate sprinkles.

What ingredient keeps this cake so moist?

It’s prunes!!! Because of their natural sweetness and moisture content, you can reduce sugar and even oil in most of the baking recipes you make with CA Prunes or prune puree.

I swear this cake just gets better as it sits and it’s down right delicious straight off the cooling rack!

Want to know how easy it is to incorporate prunes into your recipes?

Over the last year I have cooked and baked my way through more prunes than I can count and I’ve found 2 easy ways to prepare them so that they can easily blend in to almost any baking recipe.

A slice of chocolate cake plated in the foreground and the rest of teh decorated cake is on a cake stand in the background.

The Dice & Soak method

This is the method for preparing prunes for baking that we use when making this chocolate cake recipe and honestly it is the method that I use the most!

All you have to do is finely dice the amount of prunes you want to include in your recipe.

Then pour boiling hot water over the prunes and allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes then drain completely.

Prunes absorb a lot of water, so the draining step is super important. Simply pour the water and prunes into a strainer and then set the strainer back over the bowl you soaked the prunes in. As you complete the rest of the steps in the recipe the water will all drain out.

Prune purée method

Ok, this is more of a recipe than a method, but if you are looking to replace the oil and/or sugar in a recipe this is the way to go! 

8 ounces pitted prunes + 1/4 cup hot water

Combine the prunes and water in a blender. Pulse to combine, then blend until a paste consistency forms, scraping the sides if necessary. Store the purée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. 

Close up of chocolate sprinkle decoration on chocolate cake

How to make this Easy Chocolate Cake recipe in advance and how to store it for best results.

This cake is best stored, wrapped on the counter at room temperature. Do not freeze the cake layers as this causes the gluten free cake to dry out. Trust me on this one!

Both the cake and the chocolate frosting can be made ahead. Allow the cakes to cool completely, wrap them well and store them at room temperature for up to a day before frosting.

If enjoying unfrosted, this cake will keep on the counter for up to 4 days. The longer you store the cake this way the more moist it becomes, but this can be problematic when icing so remember, if you are planning to decorate the cake you shouldn’t store it longer than 24 hours before you decorate..

Often times we eat this cake without the frosting, like a snack cake, but if I want to make more of a celebratory cake this is how I do it.

  • To frost the cake, simply remove the cake from its wrapping. Slather on a thin crumb coat first to completely cover the cake. Then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and continue to frost with the remaining chocolate icing until the entire cake is covered and no crumbs are showing.
  • Smooth the icing with a palette knife or icing tool.
  • Decorate the sides of the cake with sprinkles to hide any imperfections!
Chocolate icing for the chocolate cake recipe

A word about my chocolate icing recipe….

This is my favorite chocolate icing recipe and it makes just enough to ice this 2-layer cake! If I am baking a chocolate dessert that requires chocolate icing, this is my go-to and now it can be your go-to chocolate icing recipe too!

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or extract
  • pinch of coarse kosher salt
    • Beat the softened butter on medium speed for 2 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until nice and creamy.
    • Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and beat for 1 full minute.
    • If the chocolate icing is too thick add a bit more milk or if it is too thin add a bit more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency for icing this cake.

Looking for more baking recipes that showcase prunes?

A close up of The Most Delicious Snack Cake cut into 8 squares.

The Most Delicious Snack Cake

This gluten free snack cake recipe calls for basic pantry ingredients, only needs one bowl to mix, and uses less sugar than traditional snack cake recipes thanks to the help of prunes! Plus, it bakes in about half the time of other popular snack cake recipes?

Slices of Weekend Coffee Cake Crumble on a serving platter next to a cup of coffee

Weekend Coffee Cake Crumble

Transport your tastebuds to your favorite coffee shop with our gluten free Weekend Coffee Cake Crumble recipe! This cake is easy to make and packs a HUGE flavor punch from the addition of vanilla beans, cinnamon, and ginger.

A slice of Chocolate Covered Prune Fudge Cake on a plate in front of the rest of the cake on a cake stand

Chocolate Covered Prune Fudge Cake

This decadent, fudgy chocolate cake is naturally sweetened and grain free, but your tastebuds will be none the wiser! Each bite is like a little slice of chocolatey heaven for your tastebuds!

A slice of crepe cake being lifted up from teh cake on a cake server

Chocolate Crepe Cake

Grab your blender and get ready to impress when you serve up our easy to make Chocolate Crepe Cake! This no bake cake is a mile-high showstopper with layers of chocolate cream filling sandwiched between thin chocolate crepes.

If you’ve made our Easy Chocolate Cake recipe I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Follow @THISMESSISOURS on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERTIKTOKYOUTUBE, or PINTEREST to see cooking demos, behind the scenes recipe tests, and peeks into our day to day life on our homestead.

Print

Easy Chocolate Cake

A 2-layer chocolate cake with chocolate icing, decorated with chocolate sprinkles is in the background while a slice of the cake is plated in front with a few Californian prunes on the plate.

Don’t forget to rate the recipe with a STAR rating and let me know what you think about this Easy Chocolate Cake recipe in the comments below. I just love hearing from you. Your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: dessert
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

For the chocolate cake 

5 prunes, finely diced

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water, plus more for soaking prunes

For the chocolate icing

1 cup salted butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 tablespoons whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or extract

pinch of coarse kosher salt

Instructions

Bake the chocolate cake 

Soak the finely diced prunes in boiling water to cover. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round pans and coat the insides lightly with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, gluten free all purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until completely combined.

Drain the prunes and add them to the mixing bowl as well as the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides then stir in the boiling water with a spatula. The batter will be thin.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and cool the rest of the way on the cooling rack.

Make the chocolate icing 

Beat the softened butter on medium speed for 2 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until nice and creamy.

Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and beat for 1 full minute.

If the chocolate icing is too thick add a bit more milk or if it is too thin add a bit more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency for icing this cake.

Notes

This recipe yields 2 (8-inch) cakes. 

5 prunes finely diced equals approximately 1/4 cup.

This recipe was tested with King Arthur Flour gluten free flour blend. If you use another flour blend that doesn’t have xanthan or guar gum you will need to add 1/3 teaspoon to the dry ingredients.

 

Keywords: gluten free chocolate cake recipe, easy chocolate cake recipe, one bowl chocolate cake recipe, chocolate cake

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