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 |


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 488 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. 1544

    Robyn says

    Best Chocolate cake I’ve ever made from scratch and it was the best I’ve ever had! Thanks for sharing Robyn

    • 1545

      Susan Gallagher says

      Made this cake yesterday and used butter milk instead of milk and it was awesome!!

    • 1546

      Anne says

      Any idea how to convert to high altitude?? Want to make it ib Colorado.

      Great cake!


  2. 1547

    Haley says

    If you’re looking for the perfect chocolate cake, search is over–this is it! I made this recipe as cupcakes with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting topped with a little of the extra espresso powder. Perfect texture and simply amazing flavor

  3. 1549


    You’re right! It IS the best ever! I haven’t baked a cake from scratch for ages but decided to make it for my husband’s birthday today. I made a couple of substitutions/additions for him specifically. He is a big fan of chocolate and orange (so am I frankly) so I added a tablespoon of Orange extract to the frosting. I also used coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil. It is the moistest cake ever and sliced like a dream! This will be my new GO TO recipe for chocolate cake. Thank you!

    P.S. He loves it too!

  4. 1550

    Patricia Poole says

    Please could you send me the conversions from cups to metric. I can’t wait to start baking your choc cake. thank you

  5. 1552

    JoAnn Rowland says

    This is the first I have heard of espresso powder. Can I just omit it if I don’t have it without affecting the flavor too much?


    • 1553

      Bianca says

      Yes you can!! I just discovered this recipe last month and have already made it a handful of times without using the expresso!! This recipe is deliciously EVIL!!!

    • 1554

      Brian says

      If you don’t have espresso powder you can substitute the cup of boiling water for a cup of strong boiling coffee.

  6. 1555

    Melissa says

    This chocolate cake recipe seems to have a lot of liquid in it. 1 cup of milk plus 1 cup of boiled water? Is that correct.
    It looks delicious but I am baking one currently and it doesn’t seem to be firming up at all.


    • 1556

      Brenda says

      I was thinking the same too….. “too much liquid” as I was pouring in the boiling water. I actually doubled this receipe, so adding the 2 cups of water seemed a bit much, but all it went in. It’s actually in the oven now. Smells divine. I made a couple of substituions. I ran out of vanilla yesterday so I hadded half the amount of Almond extract. We also don’t use vegetable oil, so I used Peanut Oli. We shall see how it turns out. Oh, and I tripled the espresso powder – just because – I love coffee flavored anything….Again, we shall see! I’m also using a different frosting receipe.

    • 1557

      Carla says

      I had the same problem with the amount of liquid. Unfortunately my cake never did firm up even after an hour of baking and wasn’t even edible as a desert with icecream. I am in Australia and am wondering if our flour is different.

  7. 1558

    Kylie says

    This cake was YUM! It was the first time I have made a chocolate cake from scratch. As others have said it makes a lot if mixture. Next time I might do ¾ of the recipe to make just one cake and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    The only changes I made were to use ½ castor sugar and ½ brown sugar as I didn’t have regular sugar, but it was still perfect. Super moist, and keeps well for a few days. Will definitely add to my recipe book!

  8. 1560


    I jusy made this cake for my daughter’s 1st birthday, was so delicious i had pretty much everyone asking me for the recipe. ofcourse then i had to blog about it :) Really is the best chocolate cake ever

  9. 1561

    Nicki from NZ says

    I made this 2 weeks ago and took some to work….gone! Took it last week for a fundraiser bake sale and gone!!!! Now people want your receipe! Will I share??
    New Zealand loves your cake too!

  10. 1562

    Mal'Lee says

    How many times have I heard, the best curry, the best roast , the best cheese cake. So, I was sceptical, but it sounded nice, and certainly simple to make, so I tried it. Oh holy mother Mary, it is gorgeous. It’s a pain, because I’m on a diet, how I would love a slice for morning tea, afternoon tea, and desert. I told hubby it was awful, otherwise it would be gone in a day or two. However, I must not be selfish, I will share it with him.
    Thank you Robyn for sharing this with me & thee here in beautiful Vanuatu.

  11. 1563

    Gina says

    Im making cupcakes for my nieces 1st birthday and I’m just drooling over this recipe! Have you tried using it for cupcakes?

    • 1564

      Sherry says

      I’ve made cupcakes with this recipe and got 24…mine were done at exactly 16 minutes.
      Best chocolate cake recipe ever!

  12. 1566

    maggiemae says

    this was my first attempt at making a cake from scratch. I was looking for frosting, and found this cake. It seemed doable for my limited baking skills. I was surprised though when I got to the end, poured the water in and saw how thin and runny it was. I was afraid I had messed it up. I kept re-reading the recipe to see where I might have gone wrong. I compared it to the Hershey recipe thinking a measurement was off. On theirs they noted the batter would be very thin, so I baked it anyway and it turned out great. Very moist and light. Eveyone loved it! No more box chocolate cakes for me.

  13. 1567


    I hardly ever comment on blogs, but just stumbled upon yours while looking for the best birthday cake recipe and this one was a complete hit, so I had to spread the love.
    Made it last week for my husband’s birthday, with dulce de leche in the middle and vanilla frosting and it was AMAZING.
    I have half the recipe in cupcake liners in the oven as I type just because I’m still craving for more of that chocolaty deliciousness.

  14. 1568

    Corrine says

    Oh my GOSH. I’m 14, and i’ve been wanting to do a scratch recipe for so long now! I made this cake as a test for my dad’s birthday cake for tomorrow, and everyone at my mom’s house loves it! The icing just pulls everything together. Wasn’t able to find espresso powder, but next time I make this, I’ll add it. :) Still absolutely delicious! :D

    • 1569

      Cynthia says

      Heyyy Corrine :) I had to reply, cuz I’m 14 too (yeaaaaaah), and I LIVE for baking. I’m a vegan who LOVES to bake, who takes non-vegan recipes and makes them vegan (and no one would know the difference :P) I’m baking this cake (vegan-style) this afternnon for no reason, other than I want cake. :D I hope it’s great, It’s awesome to see another teen girl cook!!!

  15. 1570

    Teresa says

    Can I use 1/2 cup melted butter instead of oil? I need to hurry up and make this for my mother in laws b-day tomorrow. Don’t want to run out to store.

  16. 1571

    hbq says

    i was wondering if i could blend some coffee beans and use that powder instead of espresso powder cause its not really available to me atm???

  17. 1572

    Shonda says

    Hi Robin! I’m just getting into baking, and I needed an impressive cake for a special birthday,,, I’m so glad I chose your site to find it. The cake and chocolate buttercream icing were perfect! I added fresh raspberries and shaved chocolate to the filling and on top for a garnish and it was amazing. Thank you !

  18. 1573

    Christi says

    Man I took a gamble on this cake after reading all the great reviews. I made it for the first time for my son’s Baptism. We had 15 people coming. SCORE! It was a hit! So moist and delicious! I could not find espresso powder so I left that out, but it was so good anyway! This recipe is a keeper!

  19. 1574

    Jennifer says

    I made this cake a couple of months ago for my youngest daughter’s birthday. Now my oldest daughter wants a chocolate cake for her birthday and of course this will be the one we will have; however, she wants a strawberry filling. Do you have any recipes/suggestions for a good strawberry filling?

  20. 1576


    Hi Robyn!

    I made your chocolate cake recipe this weekend for a food shoot on my blog (I’m an aspiring food photographer) and it was DELICIOUS!!! I’m not the neatest of bakers, but I’m learning… and the shoot was a lot of fun for me. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It really was the best tasting cake recipe that I’ve made…and that frosting… (!!!)


  21. 1577

    Tabz says

    We used this as a baby shower cake, it was baked 3 days in advance, and now a week later it’s still moist and very yummy. Everyone loved it and were impressed by the moistness as most chocolate cakes end up day by the day after baking.

  22. 1578

    Nadia says

    I dont usually leave comments on anything. But i made this last night for my nephew’s birthday with a few adjustments (cake flour, whole milk and a splash of white vinegar) absolutely amazing. My kids were up until mid night eating the left overs. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  23. 1579

    Shari says

    This looks amazing! I love espresso in chocolate! I”m definitely going to make this saturday for my roommates birthday. I live in Denver, CO, is there any reccomendations for this in higher altitude? I appreciate any knowledge you have if not thanks anyways!

  24. 1580

    Clare says

    This chocolate cake tastes amazing, I made it just today. Do you think I could leave the baking soda out as I think it makes the cake taste a but funny..atleast I think that’s what it was?

  25. 1581

    Theresa says

    This recipe is just perfect! I made it for a birthday party and everyone there loved it!
    I couldn’t believe how good it tasted when I had my first bite! This cake tastes just like my favorite chocolate cake (which is a vegan one)!

    I am from Germany and I live there! So Germany loves your recipe too!

  26. 1582

    Q says

    I absolutely love this cake. It is sooooo easy to make, which is quite dangerous (lol)! I also followed this recipe to make a yellow cake and let me tell you it was DEVINE! What I did was use 1 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup coconut oil and 2 3/4 cup flour. I followed everything else and it was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing! Happy baking peeps :)

  27. 1583

    Bella says

    I recently made a chocolate cake and the icing have 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar in the icing and the rest of the ingredients and method was fairly similar to yours. The icing that i made tasted just like chocolate sugar and I am wondering that if the 5 cups of confectioners sugar in your recipe will do the same or if it will have the same sugar texture?

  28. 1585

    Cake lover says

    I have only made ready-to-bake chocolate cakes so far. Came across this recepie yesterday and made it.. WOWWWW!!! Its super moist and suppeerr yum. I made only half of the quantity you have mentioned here. Problems I encountered (Listing for others who are gonna try your cake):

    a) First batch: I used a silicon bakeware and I did not grease it (as it said non-stick). Bull shit! Half my cake stuck to the pan I and happily scraped the bowl clean :P

    b) Made the second batch in a borosil bakeware (I bake in a microwave -convection oven) and.. ALAS! I forgot to grease it ;( ;( I just took the cake out of the oven so not sure about the damage

    I used instant coffee powder as I did not have expresso . I’m so much in love with this cake that I might not leave any for my husband.

    P.S: Please keep posting such lovely recepies. Hugs and kisses to you ! :*

    Cake lover!

  29. 1586

    Raje says

    Hi Robyn,

    I want to bake this cake for a dinner party happening tomorrow. I was wondering if I can use a 10X13 rectangular pan for the above recipe. This is going to be my first baking experience. I would welcome any tips for a newbie to look out for!

  30. 1587

    Samantha says

    I made this today and it turned to be a success. I replaced the milk with buttermilk, using 1 tbsp of vinegar. The cake turned out moist, chocolatey and with the perfect balance of sweetness. Anyways, I stumbled onto your site about a week ago, and can I just say that you have amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try. Keep up the great work. :)

  31. 1588

    Ira says

    Hi Robyn!

    I was looking for a simple chocolate cake a few weeks back for a last minute birthday party. I do not regret one bit that I stumble upon your blog. This chocolate cake is yes, the best EVER! I lost count how many times I made this recipe! Friends and family love love love it. One slice or one cupcake wasn’t enough! I made cupcakes and brought it to work last week. Now, they are bugging me to make some more. Lol! I’m never a fan of buttercream but your recipe made me fall in love with it!

    Today, I finished baking the white cake. Wow! Ok I’m beyond words. I have a cake order on Sunday and they’re requesting for a rainbow cake. I’m so gonna use this recipe.

    Thank you so much Robyn! You’re my hero!


  32. 1589

    Carrie says

    I made this for my sons 11th birthday….HOLY YUM! I can speak for the crowd it fed and say this is definately the BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER

  33. 1590

    Tbell says

    I don’t like chocolate cake, but was asked to bring one to a family function. I chose this recipe to get some practice and my husband and I absolutely love it. The cake is so good that I don’t even need icing. Can’t wait til the rest of my family gets to try it!

  34. 1591

    Lara Rooney says

    Hi there,

    I made this cake and the buttercream frosting for my husband’s birthday yesterday. We had a party with a number of friends and I looked for an easy cake recipe. This was perfect! It was easy to make, it tasted yummy and the buttercream frosting was awesome!!! I had some of the frosting left in a bowl and as people saw it – kids and adults – they all wanted to try some! The frosting was also easy to spread. The cake looked beautiful and I was complimented on how nice it looked:) Thanks very much for sharing the recipes.

  35. 1592

    Kimberly says

    This was THE best chocolate cake ever!! I love to bake but whatever reason don’t normally make chocolate cakes so I didn’t have many expectations for this but I was so pleasantly surprised. My favorite part about it was that I already had all the ingredients at home. Because I didn’t have any expresso powder I substituted the boiling water with coffee and it turned out great. I made it this weekend but I predict I’ll be making another one this week. Thanks so much! :-)

  36. 1593

    Becca Jane says

    Love this recipe thanks for sharing. I just recently got myself a giant cupcake mould and turned this int a giant chocolate cupcake with two layers of chocolate ganache. It was a hit. Looking forward to pairing in with different frostings. Might try your nutella or peppermint one next. FYI adding an additional half batter (x1.5) was the perfect amount for the giant cupcake mould.

  37. 1595

    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!

  38. 1596

    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

  39. 1597

    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.

  40. 1598

    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.

  41. 1599

    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.

  42. 1600

    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.

  43. 1601

    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!

  44. 1603

    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!

  45. 1605

    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!!!

  46. 1606

    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?

  47. 1607

    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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