The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}

The best chocolate cake recipe. Ever? There are plenty of claims for the best chocolate cake recipe. I get that. But with one bite of this chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, every single person around the table commented that this was the best chocolate cake they’d ever tasted.


The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from


So as for my house, this chocolate cake recipe now holds that honor.

As the compliments continued, I didn’t begin to tell them how easy it was to make.

In all honesty, it is probably one of the easiest cakes I’ve made in a long time, really, but I just smiled and thanked them.

As we continued on gobbling up the cake, drinking our coffee or iced cold milk, the compliments just kept coming.

Then the requests for the recipe started.

That’s generally when you know that folks really like what you’ve made if they ask for the recipe and tell you for what event they plan to serve it.

As a cook, that really is one of the highest compliments you can receive – well, at least in my book.

It was great to hear that they thought the cake was just as good after their last bite as they thought it was with their first.

Here’s another great thing about this recipe. The cake batter really can be made in a bowl without the use of a heavy duty mixer. Of course, that just makes things easier, but this is easily a recipe my Grandmother would have enjoyed making in her tiny kitchen with a whisk and a bowl. And I’m sure it would have turned out perfectly, too.


The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from

I’m not going to kid you, this makes a very rich, moist, and absolutely luxurious chocolate cake recipe. So if you are a faint of heart chocolate cake person, this is not the cake for you.

Based on the Old Fashioned Hershey’s recipe, I sort of went a bit heavy-handed with some changes testing cake after cake until I got it just the way I wanted it, but the end result was oh so worth it.


The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from


The few crumbs left on plates gave that away.

One of the ingredients that really made this chocolate cake recipe come to life, in my opinion, was the addition of espresso powder in both the chocolate cake and in the chocolate frosting.

If you’ve not tried a bit of espresso when baking with chocolate, you really should.

The espresso works to elevate the flavors in much the same way as vanilla extract and I now think of it as an essential part of my spice cabinet.

Espresso powder is easy to find at the grocery store or even online if your grocer doesn’t stock it normally.

Believe me when I say, it is very much worth the effort to have just for those times you are baking with chocolate!


The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from


So my friends, if you have a chocolate lover in your midst, make them this cake. If they’ve had a bad day this is certainly something that will brighten it for them. If they’ve had a great day, then this chocolate cake is a great way to celebrate with them!

It just needs to happen.


Let me just say again, this chocolate cake + this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe = the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!

And here it is.

4.8 from 387 reviews
The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate Cake with decadent chocolate frosting that will quickly become your favorite!
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. For the cake:
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  7. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Do let me know how you like it.

If you are looking for cupcakes from this recipe, I’ve shared my recipe for the best chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting for ya.

Robyn xo



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About Robyn

A seventh generation Southern wife and mom who loves to share simple, fresh, and scrumptious recipes the whole family will enjoy.


  1. 1271
    Kyle Bushor says:

    The first bite I took I heard an applause and Ava Maria in the distance and began to cry like an incessant little girl on how good this cake was.

    10/10 Will Bake again.

  2. 1272

    Thank you so much for this… I wanted to take the time to thank you and let you know how much we love this!
    As a caterer and baker… This is our go to recipe for chocolate cakes… It is the BEST Chocolate cake recipe by far! We have taken your recipe and revised it to make it gluten., and it’s perfect every time!

    Two Moms Catering

  3. 1273

    Just wondering, can you leave the mixture in the fridge over night?

    • 1274

      I have baked this cake with great success although not iced and tasted as yet. My question is does this cake freeze well?

  4. 1275

    hey robyn. this is the first ever time i have ever baked in my life but i think i am going to bake this for a start(the best choclate cake recipe){Ever}.i think this is a gooood cake. therefore i am going cook this for my whole entire famliy.

    great cake by the way……..


  5. 1276


  6. 1278

    I would love to try out this chocolate cake recipe but I am not sure what adjustments I would have to make for being at a high altitude (above 5000 feet).

    • 1279

      I would like a suggestion for this as well. I’ve made this cake twice now; today will be the third. The first time it overflowed the sides terribly and was low in the middle to I just cut and pasted to make it even. Still tasted delicious and you’d never know from looking at it. The second time I made it in 3 layers to keep it from overflowing, which helped but didn’t totally solve the problem. Any suggestions?

  7. 1280

    Will try this recipe today :)

  8. 1281
    Brenda Estep says:

    I will be making this cake today! It looks wonderful! Read all the comments… I’m in!

  9. 1282

    I was wondering, can I leave the other half of the batter and bake it afterwards because I only have a small oven which only allows one baking pan (9″inch) at a time? Will be trying this recipe for my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary tomorrow! Thanks!

  10. 1283

    i only have one tin, how do i bake this with one tin?

    • 1284

      Hi May,
      I would recommend that since you only have one baking pan, you bake the layers separately. Just pour about a third of the batter into the prepared baking pan and then once that layer has cooked and you’ve turned it out onto a wire rack for completely cooling, wash the baking pan and begin again with the next layer. Alternately, if you have a large rimmed sheet pan you can use this version of the recipe –

    • 1285

      PEEERRRRFFFEEEECCCTTT CAAKEE. my family don’t like cake much but after dinner, it was all gone. i was ecstatic, still is actually.

  11. 1286

    can you taste the espresso powder? im thinking of making this for my soon to be sister in laws wedding but in cupcakes with your chocolate buttercream. Is the cake light and fluffy and fudgy? sorry for so many questions but I want them to turn out great!

  12. 1287

    Oh WOW!!! With so many posts out there about the greatest, best, most wonderful chocolate I was skeptical. I made this cake and the frosting for a coworkers birthday today and it was FANTASTIC!!! I covered the sides in mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for some added flare! Thanks for the recipe!! Its a keeper for sure!! :)

    • 1288

      Ohhhh, I love the idea of adding the chips to the sides. It sounds like it was a huge hit. Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

  13. 1289
    Jenny Ooi says:

    With all that review, i can’t wait to bake it for my mum in law’s birthday. Can anyone confirm how many gm is 3 sticks of butter pls. Tq

  14. 1291

    I made this yesterday and frosted it with your Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

    It was amazing! We try to eat Paleo, but occasionally I’ll make a non-Paleo dessert – and this was well worth it!

    My family was visiting yesterday, and everyone kept having “just one more piece” more than once. My dad said, “I need to get away from this cake because I can’t stop eating it.” lol

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. 1292

    Hello Robyn, this cake is absolutely delicious. Do you have a vanilla/yellow cake recipe this moist also?

  16. 1293

    Butter milk? Semi-skimmed?

  17. 1294

    Has anyone tried making this cake in a bundt pan?

  18. 1295

    very good, i had to tweek it a little because something isnt right with my oven. in stead of 1 cup water I put a 1/2 cup coffee because i didn’t have the espresso powder. so I guess it was a hole different recipe. lol it also took 45 min to cook not 35 and that was with cutting the water in half. :(

  19. 1296

    I would like to make this cake this coming easter. I can’t find espresso powder anywhere, can I substitute it with 1 cup of coffee and remove the 1 cup boiling water?


    • 1297

      You can omit the espresso powder if you are having a hard time finding it. You may find other substitutions that others have made in the comments. I believe some have replaced the boiling water with boiling espresso. Hope you love it!

  20. 1298

    sorry for my weak english.
    i have question.
    egg in batter won’t get hard when we add boiling water?
    thanks for your recipe

  21. 1300
    Constance says:

    Very nice cake. I tried baking it in a 9×13 rectangle. Will need to double the recipe since it only filled halfway, so the cake is only 1 inch thick.

  22. 1301

    Hi. I have a question does the flour need to be sifted before or after being measured? or does it even matter in this recipe?

    thnx in advance.

  23. 1303

    how should i adjust the amount of ingredients if i only want to make 2 or 4 servings?

    • 1304

      You could half the recipe and make only one layer or 12 cupcakes. That is still more than 2 or 4 servings, but you could always wrap any additional cupcakes tightly and freeze them for later use. :)

  24. 1305

    Just tried this recipe for my brother in law and its so moist my kids have almost eaten 1 completely. Cant wait to try the frosting. Thanks for sharing. I reduced the time to 20mins since I am in the tropics.

  25. 1307

    Hi Robyn

    I have just moved in to a new house and it has fan forced oven. I am just wondering what temperature I should use for this cake as I do not have oven manual or never used fan forced oven before. As I can see in the oven there is no heating coil at the bottom. I have heard that I should reduce the heat than a normal conventional oven when bake in fan forced but Just wondering how to adjust the oven to get the temperature bottom of the cake as it has only top heating plus fan thing.

    • 1308

      I would recommend trying to find a manual for your oven through the manufacturer. That generally tells you exactly what you’ll need to operate your particular oven correctly. For a fan force or convection type oven, you can reduce the temperature by 25º F and cook for the same time as in the recipe (although I do check a little early when baking convection) OR you can reduce the cooking/ baking time by 25% and use the same temperature in the recipe (again, I check a little early for baking). I hope that helps you somewhat! Good luck!

  26. 1309

    I tried this cake when I had family over. My sons don’t really care much for sweets but no one could stay out of it. I added a layer of strawberries with seeds removed in the middle and replaced the espresso power and the cup of boiling water with a cup of espresso. upper easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. I can’t wait to try this on my church group :D Does anyone know how to make it gluten free?

  27. 1310

    Hi, Robyn!
    I am about to cook this marvellous cake for my husband’s birthday. I wanted to ask. In my country we don’t measure in cups, could you please tell how much is it in gramms – flour, sugar, milk, oil…

  28. 1311
    Linda Agahigian says:

    My batter seemed thin, is it supposed to be???

  29. 1313

    Can you taste the espresso? Making this for my daughters 1st bday and Easter. My family does not drink coffee or like the taste of coffee.

  30. 1314


    I am currently baking the cake, as I type ! I note your recipe says bake for 30 to 35 mins but after 35 mins my batter is still wobbly, what has gone wrong ? The outer cake is fine just the centre. I followed the recipe religiously. Obviously I will now bake it for longer but was wondering what went wrong ?

    • 1315

      Hi Saema,
      I would recommend wrapping the edges of the cake pan with aluminum foil and letting the cake bake longer until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Various things can change baking times, different ovens, types of pans, where the oven rack is situated, etc. I hope that helps!

    • 1316

      to all you bakers with cake not cooking in the time stated, and having to cook longer. PLEASE don’t wrap in foil or anything until you go out and BUY a oven thermometer. Any of you that watch food network and watch Alton Brown gave the best advise. I DISCOVERED besides having to get rid of my older oven because thanks to my thermometer that you leave in the oven my oven was off by 50 degrees, thermostat could be adjusted so hence the new oven. But I also know your even supposed to check a new one. My new oven was off by 25 degrees, I made my adjustment by having to lower the temp to get it to where it needed to be according to my recipe. Checked my oven thermometer and discovered the temperature climbed even had dropped too low! So please before you go and start messing with the recipe GO OUT AND BUY A OVEN THERMOMETER. It amazes me THAT no one figures out if your cake is co0king longer then it should or cooks to fast leaving the outside getting to done and inside not finished THAT NO ONE THINKS GEE! MAYBE MY OVEN TEMP IS OFF!! JUST BECAUSE IT IS SET ACOORDING TO RECIPE IT DOENST MEAN THATS THE ACTUALL TEMP!!! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR GO TO WAL-MART AND BUY ONE AS I DID, YOU MIGHT HAVE AN AHHHHHH MOMENT!!!

  31. 1317

    I made this cake today for my family and we loved it. This really is the best chocolate cake ever! Thanks so much

  32. 1318

    Thank you so much for sharing! This has become my “go to: chocolate cake recipe. My whole family loves it!! I have made it numerous times for different occasions, and everyone raves about it. It’s so good with your frosting, and it’s also good with just a bit of powdered sugar. Again, thank you for sharing this, if a cake could change lives this would be the one :D

  33. 1319

    I was just wondering, would 1 tsp of instant coffee work as a substitute for espresso powder?

  34. 1320

    This recipe looks wonderful. I need to make a 2 layer sheet cake (18×25) and I’m wondering if it can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled okay. Also, I want to freeze the cake prior to decorating, and I’m wondering if you’ve frozen this and how it holds up.
    Thank you

  35. 1321
    Elizabeth says:

    This recipe is the BOMB. Love it. Thank you :)

  36. 1322

    Great cake. Substituted one cup of hot espresso instead of hot water and espresso powder. It worked great. Thanks for this great recipe!!

  37. 1323

    This cake is delicious! I haven’t made a chocolate cake for so long but made this for the family lunch. Everyone loved it! The coffee addition is superb. I don’t use instant powder so brewed a nespresso instead. Perfect, 10/10!

  38. 1324
    Saema Valls says:

    Hi Robyn,

    Oh my goodness ! I love baking and believe me I have baked many a cake, some disasters and some great ones but your chocolate cake is the best cake I have ever baked. I have to say I did keep the cake in longer and was worried that everyone else managed to bake it well but I muffed it up but I have to tell you, it was good the same day that evening when I tasted it, the next day the cake was so amazing it was better than restaurant / cafe standard. I am so impressed I am making it again this Thursday night for my nephews birthday oh and did I mention I am baking it for my work colleagues tomorrow as well ! I am very very impressed and will so religiously follow your website and your recipes. P.S. I have made so many buttercreams and they always taste grainy the chocolate buttercream was so smooth and tasty, I am speechless (evidently not as I have written such a long message) but I just had to share. I wish I was standing before you as I would kiss your hand for making such a divine dessert ! Thank you so much. P.S. I was wondering if you also have the same moist cake in a non-chocolate version and can these cakes be iced, like a birthday cake ?

    Thank you Robyn.

  39. 1325
    Zane Blane says:

    Omgosh!!! After searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe, I made this cake thinking, “yeah, sure…sure it’s the best” So, I made it..and the chocolate frosting as well. Thinking of it as just another failed attempt in my search, I froze it to use later. That was 3 months ago and let me just tell you that I used it to take to yesterday’s resurrection dinner as a chocolate tower of death cake and …let me just say that I WILL NEVER USE ANOTHER CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE AGAIN!!! I am going to print this and put in my arsenal!! Thnak you and God bless you for sharing!!

  40. 1326
    Sam McCrea says:

    Hello Robyn Stone,

    Your cake recipe looks very exciting but I have one question. Being that it is the day after Easter, I just came home with pounds upon pounds of bargain-basement chocolate and I’d like to start making chocolate cakes from scratch. If I were to use your chocolate cake recipe but remove the cocoa and the espresso powder but put in melted chocolate in their stead, how much chocolate would you suggest I use? 6 ounces? 8 ounces? Or would you simply not recommend doing this?

  41. 1327

    Could I halve the recipe to just make one cake?


    • 1328
      Ben Dover says:

      dear sophie:

      the recipe IS for just one cake…or at least that’s all I could get out of it…instead of halving the recipe, make all the cakes the recipe will yield, keep what you need, and give the rest of it away…as good as the cake is, SOMEONE will surely take it…hope this helps…

      *signed* ben d.

  42. 1329
    Charlotte says:

    Hands down the best cake I’ve ever had. SO easy to make. I am a notoriously bad baker so my family was hesitant to try it at first but the entire cake was completely finished by the end of the night and everyone was raving about how good it was! Thanks for making me look like a pro! Will definitely definitely be using this again!

    • 1330
      Charlotte says:

      Oh I forgot to mention that I left out the espresso powder since I didn’t have any and it was still amazing

  43. 1331

    Have you ever cooked this on a fluted Bundt pan? If so how long did you cook it? I usually do 40 mins in a Bundt.

    • 1332

      Hi Helen,
      I’ve not made this in a bundt pan. I’m not sure why not though now that you ask! Please let me know how it works if you do! That would make it so much easier to make when we are camping!

  44. 1333
    portia boesen says:

    Very nice moist cake; just the way how I like it. Thanks for sharing; I like your pic of the cake; its a keeper!

  45. 1334

    awesome, frosting bit runny, i must of added too much liquid, wasnt as pretty as youre, but best choc cake ive ever tasted x

  46. 1335
    Netta Hartin says:

    It is the best chocolate cake ive ever baked. THank you for sharing this recipe Top of my list. The hot water keep it moist love it, the colour is dark chocolate, i will make 3 morr for fathers day now. See what my families will say.

  47. 1336

    This cake recipe is delicious, but problem with frosting. I believe there is a mistake with the amount of butter, maybe 1 1/2 sticks as oppposed to 1 1/2 cups? It was too runny and I had to add about 3 more cups of sugar to get it thicker, but it was still a tad runny, but did not want to add more sugar because then it would be too sweet.

  48. 1337

    I followed the recipe of the cake word for word. I tried only the cake. It turned out super yummy.Thanks Robyn for the wonder recipe.

  49. 1338

    I made a half recipe of the icing today because I made the cake in a 9 x 13 pan…the texture was perfect. When I make the icing, I don’t melt the butter. I just use softened butter (very soft room temp) and it has turned out fine.

  50. 1339

    Hi Susan,
    I just finished using this frosting recipe, and the directions of using melted butter seemed strange to me, like it’d make the frosting too runny. After reading your review and others’, that was confirmed! Instead of melting the butter, I just used softened/room temp butter, and the consistency turned out perfect! Smooth, thick and creamy, definitely NOT runny!

  51. 1340

    How long did you bake the cake in the 13 x 9 pan??

  52. 1341
    melanie allen says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe Ive made alot of chocolate cakes and this is by far the best EVER I made it exactly how it looks in the pictures you put up for my daughters birthday and everyone was asking for the recipe and my kids loved it so much I think Im going to make it just because I cant get enough myself:) Thank you again for sharing the best recipe ever!

  53. 1342

    Thanks so much, Melanie! Happy birthday to your daughter! I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  54. 1343

    Hi ^^,
    I can see so many great comments about your amazing recipe here that i can’t wait to try it out for my best friend. I am just wondering how much grams is your 2 cups of all-purpose flour and sugar and is it ok to use Dutch processed cocoa?

    Thank again for sharing and i can’t wait to bake it!!!


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