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.

 

Chocolate Cake Recipe | AddaPinch.com

 

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.

 

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 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!

 

 

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.

Promise.

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 468 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!
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

 

 

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DISCUSS

  1. 1481

    Erin says

    I used this recipe to bake a cake for my father-in-law’s retirement. My husband, who has been a lifelong, avowed cake-hater, sat at the dinner table and muttered, “Oh my God, I think I like cake now.” I think it’s one of the better cakes I’ve tasted, but not “the best ever”. It did hold up quite well to the decorating task, however, and I would use this recipe again. Thank you, Robyn!

  2. 1482

    Alisha says

    This cake was seriously the best cake ive ever had in my life. I made it for some of my coworkers and they all loved it.. if i wanted to make a bigger serving sized cake whats the best way to go about it? the cake is so perfect the way it is i dont want to mess anything up in the process.

  3. 1484

    StephanieDay says

    I googled “best chocolate cake recipe” and found this. I made it yesterday for my husband’s birthday. It is literally the best chocolate cake that not only have I made, but that I’ve tasted. And the buttercream frosting… Well, I wasn’t disappointed to have to lick the mixer paddle myself. Phenomenal!! Thank you!

  4. 1485

    Susy Golden says

    I totally screwed up and didn’t put in the two cups of boiling water BUT the cake came out great, none the less. It was a dense and chocolaty cake. This recipe is a keeper for me but the next time I will put in the boiling water.

  5. 1487

    WIsconsin Mom says

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and decadent! I made this for my daughter’s 5th birthday party and everyone at the party who had the cake loved it. Even my husband, my biggest and most honest critic, fell in love :). It does end up a very rich cake, so to eat one slice is really pushing it in the calorie zone, but you don’t care. it’s that chocolate that you save your calories for the month for, haha. I loved it. I used the chocolate frosting recipe you had, too and it was the perfect combination. I consider myself an experienced cook and a novice baker, and this made me look like an expert!

  6. 1488

    Megan says

    Another glowing review, my family is hooked on this cake recipe now. It truly is the best chocolate cake EVER and I’ve eaten alotta cake.

  7. 1489

    Rebecca says

    I made the cake recently. We took a bit figuring out what expresso pdr was… I used instant expresso coffee and dark chocolate pdr.
    Well the cake got stellar reviews from everyone! My husband who says Dr Seuss is his personal Dr and recommends chocolate for every ailment. He’s 70 and says he hasn’t had a cake like that since he was a little boy and his grandmother made them. He’s been telling everyone about the cake. Guess thats what ill be making for gatherings on a regular basis.
    In fact I’m about to put another cake in the oven now. Thank you!

  8. 1490

    afifa ashraf says

    omg i love this recipe !!!!! havent eaten any other cake since i had this recipe !!!!!! it is super easy and even if i make half the serving it is perfect !!!! thank you sooo much

  9. 1492

    Damita says

    I have baked all kinds of cakes for home and for sale, but for whatever reason I’ve never baked a chocolate cake mayb its because i eat it but wont say i looove chocolate cake…

    Then a friend rerquested one for his Birthday and it hit me… I don’t have a recipe lol so i hit the net and came across this site…. I doubled the recipe so i would have at home to taste…

    It isss thhhe best chocolate cake … Moisttt softt delicious on its own even better with frosting an excellent treat…needless to say the birthday boy and guess at the party enjoyed it too… Thanks for sharing

  10. 1493

    Jessica Taylor says

    I made this cake for my birthday and it was the most delicious cake I’ve ever made! I did use duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and grape seed oil instead of vegetable oil. The cake was incredibly dense and moist–perfect! I am wanting to make this cake for someone who is gluten intolerant. Do you have any suggestions for how to go about doing that?

  11. 1494

    Tina says

    Thank you for what looks to be a fabulous recipe. Just a couple of questions Robyn. I live in Australia – does all-purpose flour refer to ‘plain’ or ‘Self Raising’ flour?? Baking Soda… is this the same as bi-carb soda? I cant wait to give it a go :D

    • 1495

      Deb says

      Hi Tina,
      I too live in Aus. All purpose is plain flour & yes, baking soda is bi carb.
      I make this cake ALL the time and it is definitely worth making :)

    • 1496

      Amy says

      Hi made this for my daughter’s birthday. made it in a 7 in or 180cm round tin. Turned out fabulous. Used self raising flour, baking powder and sodium bicarbonate. Did not have espresso powder so dissolved 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder in a litle water and used half of that in the cake mixture and saved d other half for the icing. Also used a little less than 1 cup of boiling water as the batter looked quite runny. Had to add another 15 to 20 mins to the baking time though. All turned out well. Just sliced the cake into 2 halfs and spread with chocolate butter icing. Cake was very moist. This recipe is definately a keeper! Thanks.

  12. 1497

    Kanchan MARATHÉ says

    I tried this recipe for the first time, taking a chance, as I was baking for my sister’s birthday. The cake turned out superb, and the whole family LOVED it! This truly is the best chocolate cake recipe! Thank you so much! :)

  13. 1498

    Genevieve Haack says

    I doubled this recipe and somehow managed to forget to add the oil! Yet somehow it still turned out delicious! The cake is so good you can’t screw it up! Its super most and yummy! I made it with the buttercream frosting.

  14. 1499

    Gareth says

    Cooked it for the first time. It was for a dinner party. I rushed it and it still came out amazing. It’s delicious. Leftovers still moist 2 days after.

    Cooked it for a second time for the ladies at work. Came out even better.

  15. 1500

    Bekah says

    I’ve been looking high and low for the perfect chocolate cake recipe and I’m hoping this is it! Do you have any idea how I could convert it to use 6-inch (by 3-inch) cake pans? Thanks!

    Bekah

  16. 1501

    Lorenda says

    Hi Robyn

    I am definitely going to try this recipe. I actually do have two very good chocolate cake recipes that I tend to alternate between (one using sour cream and the other with oil), but I am keen to try yours now.

    I love your website, which I only discovered yesterday.

  17. 1502

    Gabby says

    Do you think it will taste alright without the expresso? I couldn’t find it at any grocery store.

  18. 1504

    Katie says

    This recipe is seriously wonderful! I’ve made it many times over the last year and it just gets better. Thanks for changing my mind about chocolate cake! I was never a fan before I found this recipe.

    A note for others- I prefer to cream the butter in the icing rather than melt it. It’s really up to you though. I think it’s easier to work with.

  19. 1506

    Camille says

    I’m not a huge fan of cake but this was soo good. I made 2 9″ rounds and cut them each in half and layered them with a chocolate mouse then frosted with buttercream frosting. I didn’t use expresso powder, didn’t have any. I also used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and added some mini chocolate chips to the batter.
    Gonna make this into cupcakes today and add some mint flavoring to make mint chocolate chip cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday.

  20. 1507

    Peppa says

    Does anyone know if you can use butter instead of the oil? Will it still turn out ok?

    Thanks

    • 1508

      says

      I do not recommend substituting butter for the oil in the recipe. The oil makes the cake more moist and tender.

  21. 1509

    Ciara says

    Made a gluten free version of this today by substituting all-purpose flour cup for cup with Better Batter GF flour. I also baked it in a 9×13 pan at 350 for about 45 minutes. Turned out beautifully! So tasty. Thank you for the recipe!

  22. 1510

    Beulah Liebenberg says

    Although I love cooking just about anything interesting, I am not so confident with baking. I tried your best (ever) chocolate cake with my 9 year old daughter and it is amazing, simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing. We will make it again for our other daughter’s 2nd birthday soon.
    Beulah Liebenberg (Vermont, South Africa)

  23. 1511

    Maddie says

    Hi Robyn, I was wondering if I could use this recipe for chocolate cupcakes instead of the cake? Would I need to change anything?

  24. 1512

    Laura B says

    I made this with the buttercream frosting and it was delicious!!!! Will make again and again!

  25. 1513

    Ella says

    By far the most delicious moist chocolate cake I have ever tried! I followed the recipe exactly, except for the addition of espresso powder (didnt have any), and it turned out perfect! Paired with the reccommended buttercream frosting this cake is amazing. Thank you!

  26. 1514

    Nicole says

    Hi! I’d love to try this but using an two 8 inch or 6 inch pans.
    What would I need to alter in the recipe or cooking time? Thank you x

  27. 1515

    Nelle says

    Hi Robyn, ive had a disaster of a night, cake due on saturday morning and i spent all day baking a chocolate cake recipe which was only tested today. 5 batches later and i still have no cake. I have never had a decent chocolate cake that doesnt crack in the middle, sink in the middle or burn on the edges. I am so distressed i hope this recipe works! :(

  28. 1516

    Fay says

    What should the batter look like… Because mine was runny. I baked it in a 9×13 pan and the finished cake only came halfway. It is still cooling off so i still don’t know how it looks inside and how it tastes. Thinking of the runny batter, I am not so confident i did it right although i followed the recipe word for word.

  29. 1517

    says

    amazing fun to make but really all of it spilled out but its ok i hope it rates really good though…. i already know that the frosting is amazing i tried it..!!!nice :)

  30. 1518

    Celia says

    I think I baked it for a bit over 35 mins and it was still amazing! I always manage to mess up when I bake a cake and you can seriously not wrong with this! I halved the recipe so maybe it didn’t turn out as good as it could have.

  31. 1519

    teemo says

    This is really the most amazing chocolate cake ever.!! The best I have ever tasted ! Its a shame I did not know it before.The whole world must taste it. Thanks alot for this recipe. I give you 10 out of five stars.

  32. 1520

    says

    This must be an amazing recipe, seeing so many people have tried and reviewed it. Thank you for sharing – what a lovely gift to the whole world. :D

  33. 1521

    Brenda Bryett says

    Please please help I have a 4 tier wedding cake to make and the bottom tier is a 12inch by 3inch round chocolate cake. How much do I need for the ingredients and how long to cook it for and what temperature does the oven have to be.

    I hope you can help me

    Brenda

  34. 1522

    says

    I stumble with your site, while I was doing a search for a sugar cookie recipe, well I did it and now my kids are really happy. I surf a little bit more your site an saw this recipe that I will definitely do for my husband birthday on July 28.

    Greetings from Germany!

  35. 1523

    Kirsty says

    I don’t typically leave comments, but I enjoyed this recipe so much that I feel I should! I decided to make the recipe into cupcakes as I was taking them to my office for my birthday. It made 24 cupcakes, and they turned out SO well. I even left the second batch in the oven for a few minutes longer than I should of and they still turned out fantastic. I was worried about the consistency of the batter, I bake a lot and I’ve never seen a batter than runny, but have faith as it does all turn out fine!

    I’ve bought cupcakes from famous stores in London since making these, and am proud to say that mind were better! Yum!

  36. 1524

    Kayla says

    Incredible!! I took it a step further and added almond extract. It is a favorite of mine when baking anything chocolate.

  37. 1525

    Chloe Valcourt says

    I am a kid and I made this cake for a competition and I’m not sure if everyone is going to like the coffee taste, for right now 5 stars with high hopes but I will get back to you with my final review.

    • 1526

      Johanna says

      Chloe, how did you go in your competition?
      I made this cake and I don’t think it tasted too much like coffee.
      Hope you liked it! Keep baking sis! X

    • 1528

      says

      You can omit the espresso powder if you do not have it on hand. However, I would recommend that if you ever are able to try the recipe with it, do! As for the vegetable oil, you can replace with about 3/4 of the amount melted coconut oil or the same amount of melted shortening. Hope that helps! xo

  38. 1529

    Ann-Marie says

    Like someone else I googled ‘best chocolate cake ever’ and am so glad I did as it is!! The whole family raved about it and what I love the most is it’s so easy. I also had some fails in there, it’s a runny mixture and putting it in a spring form pan wasn’t the greatest idea and some of it leaked out (don’t have 2 pans). I had to open the oven and move it, plus I forgot I was on fan force so the top was completely cooked and the middle runny! Turned the oven right down and cooked it heaps longer, all the time thinking I was making a hash of it but it turned out perfect and I will definitely make it again. Thanks!!

    • 1530

      says

      Hi Ann-Marie,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! It sounds like you went through a lot to make it the first time! LOL! I definitely do not recommend a springform pan for the recipe, specifically for the reason you mentioned – the batter is extremely thin! Glad it turned out in the end for you!!! xo

  39. 1531

    Jules says

    I’m really confused about the praise for this recipe. This was a complete disaster. I did everything as directed and once you add the hot water, the batter becomes just thick soup. There’s also too much batter for two single 9 inch cake rounds. The first attempt resulted in it pouring over the sides and getting all over my oven. I left it in for 40 minutes and part of the insides were still liquid.
    The second attempt I just deleted the added water because one comment said it just made it dense. No, it makes it a brownie. And I STILL had to add another 20 minutes of cooking time in order to get it cooked all the way through.
    It still tastes good so kudos there, but putting “best” in the title is a stretch of the imagination.

    • 1532

      says

      I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. Yes, once the boiling water is added, the batter becomes extremely thin. However, the water is necessary to this recipe. I would definitely not recommend omitting it. I generally always use two 9-inch baking pans and am not sure why it would have baked out of yours. Again, sorry it did not work for you. xo

    • 1533

      Alyson says

      Everybody should know that individual ovens can vary and you do need to use some common sense about how full you fill your pans as it’s to be expected that cake will rise. If you fill the pans up too much you can end up with a mess so if there’s too much batter for your pans just leave some out and adjust your cooking time accordingly. I wonder maybe if you forgot the step of beating on high to add air to the batter? Or perhaps inadvertently left out one of the leavening agents? That could be part of the reason why yours was denser than you expected.

  40. 1534

    Melissa says

    I made this cake for my Mom’s birthday last weekend. It was so quick and easy to make!
    The end product was absolutely delicious! My cousins and I had lots of fun icing the cake and then decorating it with colourful sweets.

    The frosting was also so yummy – I think the bulk of it never made it to the cake but rather eaten straight out of the bowl! Thank you for such a great recipe – it is already a family favourite!

    • 1535

      says

      I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it and I love that you shared the cake for such a special occasion as your Mom’s birthday! xo

  41. 1536

    Johanna says

    Dear Robyn,

    Just letting you know that you’ve just delighted everyone in Wagga Wagga Base Hospital operating theatres.

    Well, at least those who could grab a slice within the two seconds it took to disappear. A delicious cake which was simple to prepare. Will be making it again.

    Thanks!

  42. 1537

    Alyson says

    This is a PHENOMENAL recipe. Absolutely perfect, moist and decadently chocolate-y. I made cupcakes with it for my daughter’s birthday. Espresso powder is not, however, easy to find and most grocery stores don’t carry it. Starbuck’s hadn’t even heard of it (yes, I looked everywhere!). LOL! Sur La Table does carry it in local stores though and fortunately it can also be ordered online. It’s absolutely worth it to track it down because the flavour it imparts is wonderful. Thanks for the great recipe, this one is going in my family book (with all due credit, of course!)!

  43. 1538

    Sevi says

    I made this cake it turned out beautifully I made a Ganash icing and it went down very quickly lol by my three kids and hubby

  44. 1539

    Katherine says

    Hi Robyn,

    I just wanted you to know how much I love this recipe! It’s perfect as is, or with adaptations; this weekend I made it for my father’s birthday with some chili incorporated into the cake batter for a little extra interest. I’ve used your recipe twice with perfect results, and I really appreciate its simplicity – and the accompanying icing recipe.

    Best,

    Katherine

  45. 1540

    Ann says

    Hi Robyn,

    Is it possible to bake this cake in one cake tin, rather than two? If so, what size would you recommend.

    Cheers from Australia,

  46. 1542

    Jami says

    Can anyone who has tried this recipe tell me if it would work in a shaped Wilton pan? Same question for the chocolate buttercream frosting. Both recipes sound amazing, but my almost-four-year-old might be devastated if Darth Vader was all broken or melty! ;)

    Thank you!
    Jami

  47. 1543

    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!

  48. 1544

    julia says

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

  49. 1545

    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.

  50. 1546

    Susan says

    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.

  51. 1547

    Saradha says

    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.

  52. 1548

    Donna says

    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.

  53. 1549

    Sarah says

    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!

  54. 1551

    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!

  55. 1553

    Lisa says

    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!!!

  56. 1554

    Ange says

    Hi Robyn,

    I’v not tried this recipe before but am in need of a fool proof, moist chocolate cake and the reviews are great!

    I’m wondering though, do you think it’s suitable to use for a 2 tier cake? I’m wondering if because of how moist it seems to be that the bottom layer might not be able to hold the top layer without breaking and with our refrigeration?

  57. 1555

    niy says

    I made this cake yesterday and it was a huge success, it was moist and tasty. I decided to take a slice to my mother and her neighbor, and they loved it. My mother called later that evening and said that since I was watching my weight, I should bring the rest of the cake to her. The next day we delivered slices of the cake to a few elderly neighbors who don’t cook often, and they were delighted. Thank you for helping me spread the joy. Can’t wait to tell you how they respond to the white cake. Thanks Marlene G

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