One Bowl Chocolate Cake

July 21, 2014

I’ve been itching to share something with you. A couple of things, actually.

One, this recipe for a one bowl chocolate cake is really great. It means a lot to me. This is the childhood cake I mentioned when speaking about that lovely almond olive oil cake. I was obsessed with it as a child. It was my thing. And I’m finally sharing it with you, which is exciting in itself.

Two, this recipe was featured on Food 52, a site I’ve been fangirling over for yonkers. It means a lot to me. I’m super keen to share more Heirloom Recipes with you, as, let’s be honest, food + family + family history + home are all the things that make me happy, that make me want to cook and write.

Here is the link to my post on Food 52 and a few more pictures from the day I made this beloved cake. Quite befittingly, I spent the day at my parents’ house, my childhood home. Wearing my most favourite apron and pulling out all of mum’s prettiest bowls, I sifted and folded, following the instructions in this much cherished cookbook. Ben took photographs and my grandparents visited for an afternoon slice, my family reaping the benefits of my eagerness to share. This is why I blog. I just want to share. To cook and write about it. I was so happy. With my one bowl chocolate cake, my heirloom recipe and my family.

I feel my posts have been a bit pensive of late, a little moody. There has been so much greatness happening in my life, but greatness is often packaged with…well, lots of other things. My loved ones have lost dear, dear loved ones, which is always fucked. There’s been a few health things, too. Nothing drastic in the scheme of things but enough to make us stop and enough to make us frustrated. And with that comes a little stress on top of what can, at times, be a lot of stress as two self-employed folk. Plus we are moving (great!) so our house looks like a bomb has hit it (less great). I don’t function well when I can’t step through my house without knocking over piles of…something (why do I have so much stuff?) But I don’t have time to be super organised as we are both juggling a few really exciting opportunities. There’s much much greatness, friends, but, as I said, it’s a package. Thank goodness for this space to ramble and my kitchen, even if I cannot find my plates in amongst the boxes. My cooking, this blog, these words tend to reflect how I feel when I’m most relaxed. Energetic and challenging days encourage more sincere rest than usual, and it is during these restful times, mug of coffee by my side and woollen blanket on my lap, that these words come. Thank you for joining me for the ride. And now, cake.

P.S. it was years since I had made this recipe and man, the cake is just as good as I recall. I thought I was so good at baking when I was younger, beating this beauty up whenever I felt like creating and sharing and excelling in the chocolate department. But maybe it was the recipe. Maybe. Probably. It doesn’t matter. Either way, it means a lot to me.












This cake. My family. Thankful and full.





Heidi xo


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  • Thalia @ butter and brioche July 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    that cake looks so delicious.. i am so craving a slice right about now. love it, thanks for sharing the great recipe!

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:33 am

      You’re so welcome! x

  • Kate July 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    So glad you posted this recipe as was wanting to do some cooking with Amelia today and your blog popped up on FB. We are currently watching the oven with your cake cooking!!!! We will keep you posted on the taste!!!!!

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Thank you so much, lovely. You two are just the sweetest! I loved the picture 🙂 x

  • Jane July 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    This cake has just come out of my oven and it smells amazing! Maybe I can have dessert before dinner today?
    Thanks for sharing this gorgeous recipe Heidi!

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Oh brilliant!! super happy x

  • Libby Beats July 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Sending positive vibes your way. Thank you for your lovely blog. I always enjoy reading it. I love both the food stuff and the parts of yourself you so generously share.

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thank you, Libby, that’s really nice of you to say x

  • Louise July 21, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing this cake with us Heidi! I saw your post this morning and by midday the cake was out of the oven, just in time to share with an old friend in celebration of her birthday. I made a small modification – 1 cup of milk and I added about 2/3 cup of black currant jam to the batter (mixed in with the eggs, to loosen it). Topped with a dusting of icing sugar and served with a choice of creme fraiche or double cream (everyone took a dollop of each, it was a birthday celebration after all!). Delicious, thank you again.

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Oh Louise, what a rad idea, blackcurrent jam!!! So, so good. Thank you so much for letting me now, how special x

  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life July 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I hope the road eases for you soon Heidi. These difficult times are all the more reason to retreat to the kitchen with the ones we love and bake up some more memories, mingling the old and the new and serving it with a side of love.
    I have such fond memories of my own Mum’s one bowl chocolate cake (it’s a Mum thing, right?) and I can’t wait to try your version.

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Well said, Amy 🙂 Thank you for your words x

  • Department of Wandering July 23, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Sending you lots of love from the other side of the world, Heidi. Good things are coming your way–I’m sure of it! Hopefully that cake made you feel a little better. Damn it looks good! xox

    • Heidi July 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Hehe it was just the thing, thank you, lovely x

  • Jetpepper July 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    The photos in this post are so special! There seems to be a real sense of love, caring and a timeless continuity captured in each one. And the collection of the well-loved bowls and recipe book adds to this. I can’t wait to make it! I am sorry things have been heavy of late and hope life becomes a bit more restful soon xx

    • Heidi July 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you for such a sweet and thoughtful comment x

  • laurasmess July 28, 2014 at 12:05 am

    My childhood home has long been sold but the memories that went with it will always remain. I love recipes like this, dearly loved and easily devoured in the warmest of company. The pictures of you and your mum are beautiful. So glad that you got to share quality time! Xx

    • Heidi July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Thanks, lovely. It was such a blissful & delicious day x

  • Heidi July 30, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I was mesmerized by your story. My girls 8 & 5, wanted to make something on their own so I gave them this recipe (inspired by your story of being in the kitchen as a child). They loved every moment and we loved the cake. It will be one of our favorites. Thank you for sharing! (me, also Heidi)

  • Nisren January 24, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Gosh I love your blog Heidi! I love your ramblings, I seriously do! Mariam made this cake today, I decorated and assembled – it was fabulous! As I was reading this post, I realised there’s an heirloom cake in our family just like this, except it was chocolate marble. Everything I read here reminded me of that cake, I learnt to make it at such a young age too, the batter was bloody amazing (sharing it with 3 other siblings wasn’t) and it was just one of those effortless cakes!

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