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. The Best Chocolate Cake recipe with decadent Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that will quickly become your favorite! //

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever. The Best Chocolate Cake recipe with decadent Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that will quickly become your favorite! //

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.


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 703 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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  1. 2377


    I have made this for the past two years for my sons birthday, and will be making it again next week for his 4th Birthday. Hands down the best chocolate cake ever (and I have been baking since I was 15). This recipe will stay in my family for years to come!

  2. 2379

    Crystal says

    Omg. I just made this for my husbands birthday and it was really the best ever. I usually hate chocolate cake but I have been eating more of this than anyone else in the house. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 2381

    Nina says

    I was seriously craving a nice, rich, moist chocolate cake for ages when I stumbled upon this recipe. Oh boy, was it decadent or what! This is by far the best chocolate cake I’ve tried, and I do bake often. Kudos to you, Robyn, for sharing this fantastic recipe. The boyfriend, who does not have much of a sweet tooth, probably ate more of the cake than I did. The recipe is very easy to follow, and the cake turned out great – fluffy and moist (the espresso really brings out the chocolate flavor). I’m not sure whether it has anything to do with my oven, but towards the end, the top of my cake burned a bit, although it wasn’t baked all the way through in the center. I just covered it with a tin foil and baked it for a while longer. For the frosting, I took 2/3 of all the ingredients, and still had some left after I finished frosting the cake. And yes, the cake tasted even better the next day. Thanks for the recipe, Robyn! I’m going to try my hands at a few more.
    Greetings from Germany

  4. 2382

    Jacque says

    Hi. I haven’t read through all the comments but can I double or even triple this recipe and make a successful cake? Thx

  5. 2383

    Irene says

    Divine :) Have tried so many different recipes and this one is definitely, without question the best! Thanks so much for sharing. No if you’ll excuse me I have to pop off to make it again for dessert tonight!

  6. 2384

    Casper Larsen says

    Hi Casper from Denmark here, i was wondering if you can make the cake without the espresso powder?

    It because i want to make it for my family, and there are some small children amoung, but will it ruin the taste in it ?

    I want to make it, for sunday, so pleas give me a quick answer :) it looks so good

    Kindly regards

    • 2385

      Kimiya says

      Casper, here is something from another (earlier) post that might help you:

      “Just made this icing to put on my son’s 6th birthday cake. I omitted the espresso, and added a splash of orange extract. I also added some salt to cut the sweetness a bit. It is delish!! I gotta pin this for next time.”

      If you make the frosting, some have noted that the butter should be softened to room temperature, not melted.

  7. 2386

    Fernandez says

    Mad this cake for Granny’s birthday it was by far the BEST cake I have ever made an ate!!! Thank you for sharing it with us. The receipt was easy to follow.

  8. 2387

    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!

  9. 2388

    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

  10. 2390

    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.

  11. 2391

    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.

  12. 2392

    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.

  13. 2393

    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.

  14. 2394

    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!

  15. 2395

    Carol says

    My frosting was perfect with 3 sticks of butter and I didn’t add any more powdered sugar. I didn’t allow my butter to get too soft or melted.

  16. 2396

    JAy says

    Perhaps you melted your butter too much. The butter should only need to be at room temperature – that means when you cut through it, it still has it’s form but it’s easier to cut through.

  17. 2397

    Tracy says

    Susan wrote: ” I believe there is a mistake with the amount of butter, maybe 1 1/2 sticks as oppposed to 1 1/2 cups? ” — but a 1/2 sticks of butter equals 1 1/2 cups. Each stick of butter amounts to a half cup of butter.

  18. 2399

    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!

  19. 2402

    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!!!

  20. 2403

    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?

  21. 2406

    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

  22. 2408

    Bekah says

    To those commenting about the “melted” butter…the recipe doesn’t say to “melt” it. You are just supposed to let it soften to room temperature. If you don’t have time for it to soften on it’s own, you can take it right out of the fridge and microwave it for about 10 seconds tops. Another good trick for butter in icing is to whip the butter by itself for a loooong time, at least 6-7 minutes before adding the sugar. That little trick always makes the fluffiest buttercream icing.

    Robyn, my cake is still in the oven but I’ll let you know how it turns out…I’m always on the search for a good chocolate cake recipe. :-)

  23. 2412

    Carissa says

    I also thought the batter looked runny, but it turned out perfectly baked. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. My husband is a chocolate cake connoisseur, and he was shocked at the fact that it was a scratch cake. Haha!

  24. 2413

    kkhadija says

    OMG!!! this cake turns out to be absolutely AMAZING!!! i’m making this cake on everyone’s birthday…my teacher’s, my friend’s…!

  25. 2417


    ‘Oh my heavens!! I made the cake today for my daughter’s 38th birthday. Did not have the expresso powder and almost substituted instant coffee, but didn’t after reading the comments of those who did. Everyone flipped over the cake and said it was better than any really expensive gourmet cake they had ever eaten. Now my son-in-law has requested it for his birthday next month and since he is an avid coffee drinker, I will take the time to get the expresso powder and see how that does. And I only had 2 sticks of butter so I adjusted the icing recipe accordingly and it was fabulous and made plenty as I used a 9×13 pan.

    Texan through and through!!

  26. 2419


    Just responding to Tracy,

    1 1/2 sticks of butter does not equal 1 1/2 cups. Each stick of butter equals 1/2 cup, therefore 1/2 stick equals 1/4 cup,
    so 1 1/2 sticks equals 3/4 cup butter.

  27. 2420


    I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Carissa. Isn’t it amazing how great that scratch cake tastes. And no one would ever believe how easy, too!

  28. 2421

    Tammy says

    Sorry… can you tell me the weight for each stick of butter? In Australia, we don’t have “sticks of butter”. If each stick is equivalent to half a cup then one and half sticks will be one and half cups. Correct? I don’t see how 1 and half sticks equals three quarters of a cup of butter if you say one stick is half a cup?? half + half + half = one and half…. Am I missing something here?

  29. 2422

    Grace says

    To Tammy: One stick of butter equals half a cup. Thus, half a stick equals a quarter cup. 1/2 a cup plus 1/4 cup = 3/4 cup.

  30. 2423

    Maureen says

    from the joy of website When a recipe contains baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does most of the leavening. The baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe plus to add tenderness and some leavening


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