Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

China-China Chocolate Cake

Holiday dessert needed? I’ve got you covered!

I’ve said before that I’m not a baker. I’m not. If you see a baking recipe on Travel*Food*Cool, you’ll know in advance that it’s pretty darn easy to make – and chances are the dessert contains booze, because, hey, why not?!

What’s better than chocolate cake? Chocolate cake that is pretty darn easy to make! This cake is really simple to make. When I first came across this recipe, it was touted as “Easiest Chocolate Cake“. It also looked like it made a massive amount of cake. Since most of the time it’s just me, and I was only having a few people over, having a giant cake wasn’t in the cards. I cut the recipe in half. I also decided that I wanted to use Bigallet China-China (pronounced Shee-na Shee-na) in it because chocolate and Amaro are a great combination. Since we already went down the Caffé Coretto road (missed it? Read it here) – who doesn’t like as little extra something in their coffee? – I put a little coffee in also.
This is a great recipe if you have people coming over and are a little short of time. You can make it the day before (or the morning of) and glaze it later. If you want a dairy free dessert, omit the glaze, as there is no milk or butter in this recipe! The glaze gives the China-China a lovely sheena-sheena!
This recipe is modified from the Organic and Chic recipe by Sarah Magid. This recipe can be doubled (it was in its original form). If doubling, use two round 8″ or 9″ pans or 24 cupcakes.
Want another easy holiday dessert? Check out last year’s Christmas for New Year’s.
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes + 10 sitting + cooling time; Serves: 8 – 12 people (this is a very rich dense cake) or 12 cupcakes

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour (if doubling the recipe, use 2 1/4 cups flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp  white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup China-China (general list LCBO, Ontario people)
  • 2 tbsp Frangelico (you can also us switch this to a chocolate or coffee liqueur or use extra China-China)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cold coffee
  • China-China ganache glaze (recipe below)
What you do:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter (or use non-stick spray) and flour one 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or place liners in 1 muffin pan for 12 cupcakes. Set aside.
Butter and flour your baking pan
  • In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt – together. Set aside.
China-China Chocolate Cake
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
Dry ingredients sifted together
  • In a medium bowl, mix the vanilla, oil, vinegar, China-China, Frangelico and coffee. Whisk well.
Add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, China-China, Frangelico and coffee into a bowl
Whisk well
  • Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. The mixture will be quite wet, but this is okay.
Slowly whisk the wet into the dry
Whisk in a little bit at a time
Whisk together, but be careful not to overmix
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Pour the batter into your pan
Batter in the pan, now put it in the preheated oven
  • Bake about 25- 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. (For cupcakes, the baking time is approximately 20 to 25 minutes) [ELIN’S TIP: do NOT open your oven door 10 minutes early as your cake will fall. It is still really good, but not as tall as you would like.]
China-China Chocolate Cake
Out of the oven (the 2nd time)
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Slide a knife along the edge to make sure nothing has stuck to sides of pan.
China-China Chocolate Cake
Slide a knife around the edge to make sure nothing is stuck to the sides
  • Invert onto a wire rack to cool.
China-China Chocolate Cake
Invert onto a wire rack to cool
  • When cool, flip onto serving plate.
When cool, flip onto a serving plate
  • Cover with China-China ganache glaze (recipe follows)

  • Enjoy!!!!

  • Serve!

  • Don’t forget to scoop up that extra glaze!


  • Holiday dessert, made easy!

  • China-China Chocolate Cake!


China-China Ganache Glaze (modified from Add a Pinch)

What you need:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk or dark)
  • 1/2 tsp China-China
  • 1/2 tsp cold coffee
  • pinch salt

What you do:

  • In small saucepan over medium-low heat, add cream and butter.
Add cream and butter to small saucepan
  • Stir, cooking until butter is melted and cream is heated through, but not boiling.
Cook until butter melts and cream is heated through (but not boiling)
  • In a bowl (I used a pot with a lip to make it easier to pour) add chocolate chips, salt, China-China and coffee
In another saucepan, add chocolate chips, salt, China-China and coffee
  • Pour heated cream/butter over chocolate mix
Pour the heated cream/butter over the chocolate
  • Let sit approximately 5 minutes to soften chocolate
Let it sit approximately 5 minutes to soften chocolate
  • Stir until incorporated
Stir until incorporated
  • Pour China-China ganache glaze over the China-China chocolate cake

China-China Chocolate Cake
Pour over the top of the China-China Chocolate cake (this is the one that fell during baking and had the overly zealous China-China Ganache Glaze waterfall)
  • Let it spill over the side (I like being a little over-zealous with my waterfall)

  • Enjoy!!!!

4 thoughts on “China-China Chocolate Cake”

Tell me what you think!