Chocolate Espresso “Stress” Cake
How do you deal with stress? Some run; some do yoga; some read; I bake. Whenever I am really stressed, I find baking to be therapeutic. I don’t know exactly why, but something about creating the perfect cake, cookie, bread, brownie or pastry helps me get out of my brain. Maybe it’s because I know that with just a few hours in the kitchen, I can whip up almost anything. Or maybe it’s because I like taste testing the fruits of my labor. Who knows.
For the past couple weeks, my work schedule kicked my butt. So, I spent last weekend baking up a storm. It was a spur of the moment decision to make this chocolate “stress” cake, so when I found that I didn’t have all the ingredients I would usually need to make a cake, I had to improvise.
After I already started making the cake, I found I didn’t have two crucial ingredients — milk and butter. I rarely buy milk these days (I’m trying to cut back on my dairy intake), but not having sticks and sticks of butter in the fridge and freezer was very unlike me.
The lack of appropriate ingredients didn’t stop me though. I just improvised a little by swapping the milk out with almond milk and the butter with coconut oil. And though I thought the cake would turn out fine (or even just “okay”), I found (somewhat surprisingly) that the addition of almond milk and coconut oil enhanced the taste. Consider a lesson learned: sometimes you need to leave your work/life stress at the door and just bake with what you’ve got on hand. If you’re lucky, the baking fairies throw you a bone and you’ll whip up something beyond delicious.
- 2 Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 3/4 Cups Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Espresso
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Espresso
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients — flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso.
- Add the wet ingredients — almond milk, vegetable milk, eggs and vanilla extract — and mix on medium-high until combined. Turn the stand mixer on low and add the boiling water.
- Grease two nine-inch pans. Divide the cake batter evenly into the pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a cake. Let rest for five minutes before taking out of cake tins and cooling completely on a rack.
- In a stand mixer using a whisk attachment, combine melted coconut oil and cocoa powder and mix until the cocoa powder has no lumps. Add espresso and mix thoroughly.
- Alternate mixing one cup of powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk until all the powdered sugar and almond milk is added. Add vanilla extract.