It looked as if it rained candy sprinkles in my kitchen. The rainbow-colored specks of sugar were everywhere. On the counter. On the floor. In the sink. On Stanford’s wet, cold nose. On my finger smeared with thick chocolate buttercream frosting.

It was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting kind of day. In our household, chocolate cake means only one thing: a celebration. It could be for the silliest reasons like the return of The Walking Dead or Top Chef but it could also be for victories, both big and small, like Jun-blog getting mentioned in two world-class food magazines. The first came in October in Food from back home and the second was a sweet mention in the December issue of Feast from Australia. I know, this is thrilling news.

Food MagazineThe unexpected news came in the form of tweets from friends, Emilie and Cherrie, who first spotted the shoutouts. They snapped quick photos of the magazine and sent them along in a tweet filled with pride and excitement. As soon as I heard about the mention in Food, I hurriedly telephoned my mom and told her the good news. She stormed out of the house after our quick chat and bought copies of the magazine. The next thing I knew, I was reading an email from my sister telling me that my mom was in tears while reading the short feature.

“Filipinos are very proud of their cuisine, but Jun Belen took his love for Filipino food to a whole new level. … In every entry, he shares stories about his family, growing up away from his motherland and the native dishes he has come to love.” — Food, October 2011

“Philippine-born, San Francisco-based Jun Belen quells his homesickness with a blog about his homeland’s food. … Jun’s job as a photographer and stylist makes for a blog that is both interesting and beautiful.” — Feast, December 2011

This may not seem like a big deal for some but you have no clue how much this means to me. It is a much welcomed pat in the back and I am thankful. Truly thankful not only to Food and Feast but, more importantly, to you, my dear friends.

And so Dennis and I celebrated with chocolate cake like we always do. My go-to recipe for chocolate cake for life’s chocolate-cake-moments comes from the back label of a can of Hershey’s cocoa powder — my mom’s cocoa powder of choice. The recipe is quick and simple and the cake is rich and delightfully moist. The recipe is for a 6-inch cake, which can be easily doubled to make a heftier 9-inch treat. Add candy sprinkles to make it more fun.


Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Recipe adapted from the back label of a Hershey’s cocoa powder can, makes one 6-inch one-layer or multi-layer cake

For the chocolate cake, makes one 6-inch one-layer or multilayer round cake

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 6-inch round pans.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat by hand or use a mixer until fully blended, about two minutes. Stir in boiling water. Note that the batter will be thin. Pour the batter equally into the pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes. Remove from the pans and allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.

For the chocolate buttercream frosting

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter and cocoa in a medium bowl. Blend by hand or use a mixer. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk and beat gently until smooth and spreadable. Stir in vanilla.


Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

  • Leah

    Congratulations, Jun! Love the blog and the stories. Keep them coming.

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen

    Congratulations, Jun ! Such mentions are so WELL-DESERVED ! We are all so proud of you. May you have many more victories and milestones to celebrate! Love the story about your Mom running out to buy all the copies of the mag. That’s what a Mom does, it’s so heartwarming. And oh my goodness, this chocolate cake absolutely is the perfect way to celebrate ! I love this recipe !  Thanks for sharing it.

  • Nancy

    Many, many congratulations, Jun! You deserve the cake. Now come over and bake it for me. I’ll make up an occasion!

  • Trish

    This my go to choc. Cake recipe! Super moist and very easy! I will have to try the this frosting! I thoroughly enjoy your blog!!

  • Anonymous

    Now if only those wonderful pictures come alive as we see them.  I can taste that slice of chocolate cake now (just a slice, calories you know). 


  • Jun Belen

    I know, just a slice.  That’s why I just made a 6-inchcake.  I swear I have gained 15 pounds since starting the blog.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Sigh.


    Congratulations Jun.  You are definitely one of the best Filipino Food bloggers  here in the US.  I am so proud of you as a Filipino and more proud(er) to be one of your #berks haha.  Truly well desserved… I applaud YOU!

  • Lisa

    Huge congrats Jun! I think chocolate cake is just the best (and such a classic) way of treating oneself. I haven’t made one in too long, this has inspired me to now find a good reason to celebrate something myself and bake it!

  • m.

    this is great!

  • samanthafoodgeek

    Congratulations Jun! It’s so exciting! I’m happy to see that your audience is growing. Great chocolate cake too! I like that the source was the back of the Hershey box! Cheers to you!

  • Lori

    Fabulous news! Congrats! What is it about chocolate cake? So simple, yet one of the best desserts around.

  • Barb @ WishfulChef

    Congratulations Jun! I love everything about your blog. You make Filipinos everywhere proud   I want a piece of that cake, mmm!

  • Authenticsuburbangourmet

    Congratulations – that is certainly a big deal and I glad that you were jumping up and down!  Well deserved.  I bet you and Dennis enjoyed every bite of that divine chocolate cake.  Have a great evening!  Lovely photos!!

  • Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    This is a HUGE deal, Jun, and just the start of many more well-deserved recognition coming your way. You are doing so much to show that Filipino food is as visually appealing as it is delicious tasting. Your words and photography create wonderful portraits of food of all kinds! 8-D

  • Bambi

    Wow!  Mouth watering photos!  And that cake just looks divine!  I want it now!  Congratulations on being featured in the mags. Its quite a recognition.  The SBS Feast magazine featured some Filipino dishes in the same issue too. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh, congratulations Jun! What awesome, awesome news. Lots of hugs! And seriously, this cake of yours…let’s just say I felt like leaping into my laptop for a bite. Or more. Looks so decadent, so rich, so good. :-)

  • Vanillabean

    Awesome! You actually baked it! :D

  • Jill

    It is a BIG DEAL!  Congratulations, Dear!  God bless you!

  • Kaitlin

    Congratulations!  How very exciting :)   I like that this recipe is a favorite because of your mom’s cocoa preference.  It gives me the warm fuzzies :)

  • The Teenage Taste

    Oh my gosh, I don’t think chocolate cake has ever looked more deliciously tempting. Great recipe/photos!

  • Rachel Conners

    This looks so yummy!
    Can’t wait to try it, it looks so cute, delicious and chocolate-y!

  • Karly

    Looks amazing!

  • OysterCulture

    That is such awesome news about the recognition and so well deserved.  I am so happy for you!!!

  • Rachel Caballero

    Congratulations! I just discovered your blog, and it is beautiful.  Your photos and recipes inspire me to be proud of my Filipino heritage and it’s unique cuisine. Thank you so much.

  • Rachel Caballero

    Your blog is beautiful; it inspires me to keep Filipino food culture alive here in Canada. Congratulations on the recognition, it is well-deserved!

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Rachel! I hope you’ll keep on coming back here for more!

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Lou Ann!  The features were so wonderfully unexpected!

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Jill!

  • Shannon

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve just made it… cakes are in the oven, I used 8-inch cake pans – hope it still works! Now to prep the frosting :)

  • Jun Belen

     I hope it turned out great, Shannon!

  • Anonymous

    your cake looks fabulous and very delish.. I love to bake.. From Mamon to French Macarons..
    I love your blog…
    I have not been to Cebu City (my home town) since 1987…

  • cake chocolate recipe

    cake so delish. i like your site

  • kathy

    Love this recipe, made it and family loved it.

  • Corinne Serion

    So happy to stumble upon your site.  A happy accident, hehe. Can’t wait to try this into cupcakes! =) Love the pictures and your Mom is the sweetest! =)

  • Pingback: Jun-blog’s Saveur Nomination and How to Make Cassava Cake | Jun-Blog

  • chris keirnan

    sounds delicous :)  

  • Bitobritannia

    Wonderful, my 6year old daughter and I just made 2 small 6 inch double layer cakes and they were so moist, spongy and wonderfu. The frosty was delicious. Thank you so much!

  • Minnie

    Found your blog site while looking for a little cake recipe for my son who’s turning one on the 3rd. I will definitely try this recipe. Coming from a kababayan, am sure this would be hit with the familia. I can’t wait to try the empanada and other Filipino recipes! Thanks for your hard work and wish for your continued success! Mabuhay and take care!

  • Jun Belen

    Minnie, thank you so much for writing and for the kind compliments to the blog. Please do come back and try the recipes. Stay in touch.

  • Jun Belen

    Kathy, I’m so happy to hear your family enjoyed your cake.

  • emily

    I need some advice on this recipe!
    I’ve made this cake 3 times… once last week, and twice tonight… twice tonight because it fell the first time… but then it fell the second time too. I’m making this cake for a birthday party and I really want to use this recipe because it’s so yummy! But it keeps falling! I’m so frustrated… I bake all the time and my cakes never fall. But I’ve never made one using boiling water. When I made it the second time I made sure the double check my measurements, and double check the recipe, but it still fell. My baking powder is a little old, could that be it?

  • Jun Belen

    Your baking powder may be old. Here’s a simple test to check if your baking powder is still good to use:

    Also, make sure the oven is preheated and avoid opening and closing the oven door while the cake is baking. Keep the oven door shut to keep the temperature constant.

    I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes. We’ve made this cake many, many times and it always turns out good.

    Good luck, Emily!

  • emily

    Thank you so much… I’m going to test my baking powder. I’ve never had a problem with cakes falling so this has been a mystery to me. I’m going baje them again this afternoon. My mom’s birthday party is tomorrow and I’ve got to get it right for the party! :)

  • Jun Belen

    Good luck, Emily!

  • emily

    thank you! I accidentally replied to a comment above.. I didn’t mean to.
    I tested my baking powder and it is fine, but I also bought new just to try.
    I do have a question though- I just noticed in the ingredient list it says 1 egg, but where it says to add these ingredients to the batter, it says “eggs”… should it be more than one egg? Or just a typo?

  • Jun Belen

    The recipe calls for just one egg.

    Another thing to note is that the recipe is for a two-layer 6-inch cake. If you are baking a two-layer 9-inch cake then you should double the recipe. Here’s a link to the original Hershey’s recipe for a two-layer 9-inch cake.

  • Saya Robinson

    Thank you so much for recipe, made my friend a yummy birthday cake!

  • Jun Belen

    You’re welcome! Looks so good!!

  • Munifah Mus

    I’m so happy I found this blog!! Great presentation.. I ll definitely try this recipe((: Hope it turns out good. Thanks for sharing! ((: