A couple months ago a local restaurant we loved, called The Majestic Cafe, closed their doors after several successful years. Their menu was based on the idea that “standards” , i.e, pot roast, meatloaf, BLTs and the like – could be just as fabulous as fancier fare if made with top quality ingredients and the same amount of care. They had a menu comprised of nothing particularly earth-shattering; just really well-prepared American Kitchen food. Among the offerings was a chocolate cake. When they closed I kicked myself that I hadn’t asked for the recipe and my sister-in-law and I have been trying to replicate it since then. This recipe is pretty close, and I’m calling it Majestic in honor of the many wonderful meals with friends at The Majestic Cafe.

A moist, dense chocolate. Sinful in the very best way.

The recipe I adapted this from calls for 2 – 9 inch cake pans; I sometimes use smaller diameter, deeper pans so that the finished cake is taller. No reason; I just like that look.


1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup milkPerfectly chocolate cake

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 Tbl vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 – 2 tsp espresso crystals (this plays off the chocolate and makes it richer; if you love coffee, feel free to add a little more to achieve a noticeable coffee undertone.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour 2  9 inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and mix for a couple minutes.
  3. Stir in the boiling water and pour into pans (the batter will be thin.)
  4. Bake 22 – 25 minutes until it tests just done with a toothpick.
  5. Remove to rack; cool completely, and then frost.

Frosting (start with the smaller amounts of each ingredient and and if you need to up the overall amount or thicken or thin the frosting. I eyeball this part usually, but either way it’s a super rich chocolate frosting:

1  – 1 1/2 stick butter

2/3  – 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

3 – 4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

1-2 tsp vanilla

Throw it all in a bowl and mix it up. Careful the powdered sugar doesn’t puff up in your face! It will look dry and then all of a sudden take on that rich frosting feel.

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