Do viral three-ingredient chocolate cake recipes really work? We test some

12 July 2020 - 00:04 By
Our rendition of The Cooking Foodie's three-ingredient chocolate Oreo cake. Our Food editor added a dark chocolate buttermilk icing and decorated it with crushed Oreo biscuits.
Our rendition of The Cooking Foodie's three-ingredient chocolate Oreo cake. Our Food editor added a dark chocolate buttermilk icing and decorated it with crushed Oreo biscuits.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

Does a three-ingredient chocolate cake recipe really work? This new baking trend sounds almost too good to be true. Stirred by the plethora of these sorts of recipes on YouTube, I tested a trio that caught my fancy and rated the results.

THREE-INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE OREO CAKE

The baker: The Cooking Foodie

The viral recipe: A chocolate cake that's made with just three ingredients: crushed Oreo biscuits, baking powder and warm milk. There's an optional two-ingredient icing — a ganache — that's made with dark chocolate and cream.

WATCH | How to make The Cooking Foodie's three-ingredient Oreo chocolate cake

What The Cooking Foodie says about this cake: Soft and fluffy, it's the easiest cake in the world.

My take on this cake: Of the three cakes I tested, this one came out tops and was surprisingly good. Dark and moist, it isn't as sweet as I expected. The Cooking Foodie said you can use any icing you like, so I opted for a dark chocolate buttermilk icing and a sprinkling of crushed Oreo biscuits for decoration. The recipe works like a charm and is very yummy. The only downside is shelling out for three packets of Oreo biscuits.

Rating: 9/10

Our rendition of the One Pot Chef's two-ingredient chocolate cake. Our Food editor added a pinch of salt to the original recipe to stabilise the egg whites. She also topped it with fresh raspberries to balance the richness of the cake.
Our rendition of the One Pot Chef's two-ingredient chocolate cake. Our Food editor added a pinch of salt to the original recipe to stabilise the egg whites. She also topped it with fresh raspberries to balance the richness of the cake.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

TWO-INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE CAKE

The baker: David Chilcot aka the One Pot Chef

The viral recipe: A chocolate cake made with just semi-sweet dark chocolate and eggs, which are separated into yolks and whipped whites. It's suggested that you top it with whipped cream, icing or your favourite dessert topping.

WATCH | How to make the One Pot Chef's two-ingredient chocolate cake.

What the One Pot Chef says about this cake: It's a thick, dense, moist and chocolate cake.

My take on this cake: If you add a pinch of salt — as I did to stabilise the egg whites — in theory this is a three-ingredient cake, but that's just nit-picking. It's rich, dark, squidgy and very chocolatey. More of a pud than a cake, it needs a thick splodge of cream and the sharpness of seasonal berries to balance the richness. Looks can be deceiving. It's not as big as it appears on the screen and on cooling it shrinks back, giving it a wrinkly look. You need an electric whisk to whip up the egg whites.

Rating: 8/10

Our rendition of Simply Cooking's three-ingredient Nutella cake. We added a garnish of chopped toasted hazelnuts and reduced the amount of flour used in the original recipe.
Our rendition of Simply Cooking's three-ingredient Nutella cake. We added a garnish of chopped toasted hazelnuts and reduced the amount of flour used in the original recipe.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THREE-INGREDIENT NUTELLA CAKE

The baker: Jason Pinder of Simple Cooking Channel

The viral recipe: A chocolate cake that's made with just three ingredients: eggs, Nutella and self-raising flour. It's topped with extra Nutella.

WATCH | How to make the Simple Cooking Channel's three-ingredient Nutella cake.

What Pinder says about this cake: This is really, really simple, so so yummy.

My take on this cake: For Nutella fans it has all the hallmarks of a good cake. I found it a bit tricky to gauge if the cake was cooked as the Nutella is fairly runny, but don't be fooled as it sets on standing so my version was overcooked and very dry.

The recommended cooking time was 35-40 minutes — which was too long. Rather opt for 30 minutes, especially if you take up my suggestion which is to reduce the original amount of flour by 20g to 160g.

I had high expectations for a yummy, gooey cake. With this one, however — although the aroma of nuts and chocolate was irresistible — the flavour and texture didn't match the high expectations.

Rating: 6/10