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 637 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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    • 2036

      Zee says

      Hi all, really looking forward to trying this receipe today but can anyone please tell me the measurements in grams? Is 1 cup flour = 225g, is it the same for sugar and cocoa? Many thanks!

      • 2037

        astrid says

        No, that is not the same ammount. I think it will be less sugar en more cacao. You can find lists on the internet that will give you the right measurements.

    • 2038

      Deanna says

      When I make this cake, I use whole milk and skip on the espresso powder (because of my children). I also use homemade peanut butter frosting that ironically leaves the cake tasting like a giant Reeses cup.

      I think that it would work with 2% also.

  1. 2039

    Becky says

    I’m normally not the type to leave comments on blogs, but this time I have to… Your recipes are DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for sharing them w/ the world :-D

    • 2041

      Mary says

      I will have to work on mine but, the taste makes up for my chocolate crumbles.
      I couldn’t stop snacking on the cream!!
      So glad that I used this recipe instead of another.
      Thank You for Sharing This Perfection!!

    • 2042

      Louise Bailey says

      Myself and my entire family agree. I usually don’t leave comments but I made this cake today exactly as you instructed and my family of 6 can’t stop raving. My very picky husband even said ”there’s something special about this cake”. It was for my daughters birthday and I’m SO glad I found your recipe!

  2. 2044

    Quintana Erwin says

    I would like to know if it would change the flavor to bad if I didn’t have espresso powder?

  3. 2045

    Anne says

    Is it okay to use instant coffee instead of espresso? And since I will use instant coffee will it be better to mix it already with the boiling warter? Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

    • 2046

      jay says

      I made 2 batches last time – one with instant coffee and one with espresso. I mixed both in warm\hot water before adding to the batter. I can tell you that the one with the espresso tasted SOO much better!!

  4. 2047

    Abby says

    “I think that the cake would have tasted wonderful if only I had put the cocoa in it. I accidentally put cinnamon in instead of cocoa. It still tasted really good but some of the things I mixed with the cinnamon made me not feel really good. I think some mixture of cinnamon with other things makes me feel good. I think next time I will try it with the right ingredients.” My young daughter made this cake and posted this comment.

    • 2048


      Hi Abby,
      I absolutely love that you made the cake and that you left a comment! I do hope that next time you use the cocoa rather than the cinnamon as it definitely would make for a better tasting cake! xo

  5. 2058

    Lara says

    I made this last March for my son’s Birthday party & everyone loved it, including me who isn’t usually that in to cake. Another year, so another party, and I’m going to make this again! Best of all, I love how it is so easy to mix by hand, because last year my mixer broke about a week before I had to make this. So that makes this TRULY the best chocolate cake ever, because the prep is easy as well!

  6. 2059

    Rani says

    Hi Robyn,

    I’m planning to make this cake for my son’s first birthday. (not that he’ll be having any, but the adults will love it I’m sure!). My question is, will it be ok to cover it in sugarpaste so I can decorate it with fondant animals? Will it collapse?



    • 2060

      Kristina says

      I’m not the author of the recipe; but I am a cake decorator – I can’t imagine this cake would not be able to hold a covering of fondant. Most scratch cakes are more firm and dense than a cake mix. Good luck!

  7. 2061

    Delila says

    One of the best chocolate cakes EVER! The first time I made this cake my family loved ever since I have been continuing to make it and perfecting it. People have told me that it’s the best cake they have ever tasted. I make it for everyone occasion and we all just devour it! Thanks! The only additional comment I would have is that personally I find that the butter cream frosting recipe makes x2 the amount of frosting then needed, other than that its superb.

  8. 2062


    I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday, and am thrilled to report this cake totally lived up to its name. This was the most moist cake I’ve ever tasted and the chocolate flavor really came through. I was also happy with how easy this cake was to make – simple. This is a keeper! Thank you so much!

  9. 2063


    Honestly, a great recipe. Simple, straightforward and easy. I made this cake with the Perfect Chocolate Butter cream frosting for my Mom’s birthday. I’m not a cook. I like to bake but hey, let’s face it, I’d rather be working on my motorcycle or restoring a vintage car. For an old guy with a penchant for sweets and a few basic ingredients this cake was a hit. Everyone loved it. I was a little concerned when I put the chocolaty-looking watery batter into the cake pan (13 x 9) but I was certainly surprised by the incredible cake that came out of the oven. Next time I’ll do 9 inch rounds (when my sister-in-law returns them, hint hint Samantha!) and do the full recipe for the butter cream instead of cutting it in half for a 13 x 9.

    Thanks again for taking me away from using something as boring as a cake mix! I don’t think I’ll ever go back.


  10. 2065

    Rochelle says

    Hi! Just got this in the oven, couldn’t resist the looks of that picture!! I did make some changes hoping for the best. I used hot fresh brewed coffee instead of water, buttermilk instead of milk and coffee emulsion instead of espresso powder since I didn’t have any. Let’s see how it turns out, I don’t really like coffee but I know how wonderfully it enhances the chocolate flavor!

  11. 2066

    Sandy says

    I made this cake yesterday. By far the best cake I’ve ever made. My husband and family raved about how good it was. I will be making this cake again and again.

  12. 2068

    RosieA says

    fantastic result. Inexpensive, quick and easy to make. Superb results. Will definitely use it again. My friends all loved it. I also made cupcakes as well as a big cake with this recipie and they were moist with a fabulous taste. Very rich flavour.

  13. 2069

    Poonam says

    Hi Robyn,
    Thanks for the recipe. It’s definitely a must try for every baker. My cake turned out good but didn’t look like yours though :) The cake was slightly dense and not ‘bread’ types. How to get the perfectly baked (bread type) fluff? I baked on 180 deg C for 30min and it was unbaked. So i baked another part at 200 deg C for 35 min and that was good.
    Somehow i could feel some sugar granules here and there. I used castor sugar. Any tips for that?

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes…

  14. 2072

    Kathy Rowe says

    This is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever taste or even better, the easiest I’ve ever made. I bake often always looking for a great dessert. Especially chocolate. This is an awesome recipe.

  15. 2074

    Chey says

    Ms. Robyn, The Best Chocolate Cake EVER is really the best chocolate cake ever!!!! LOVE the cake….and with your chocolate buttercream recipe….well… absolutely perfection! My son’s birthday is today. Chocolate cake and frosting is his absolute ALWAYS birthday cake request. This cake (with chocolate buttercream) is THE best I’ve ever made for him yet! And those enjoying cake this evening agree! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to “add a pinch” emails and acquainting myself with your site.

  16. 2076

    paira says

    OMG!!!! what a cakkkkeeeeeee. I just made it for my bf’s birthday last night and we both loved it so much and almost wanted to finish the whole cake in one go. deliciousss! and the espresso powder… oh my,,, made it taste so rich and good!
    I would definitely cook this recipe again and again in the future and the only thing I would change would be the frosting maybe, i found it to be too sweet.
    but overall I have 2 words : easy-making, YUMMY! (it really deserves to be called the “best” )
    thank you for sharing your recipe.

  17. 2078

    Katerina says

    This is my first time leaving a comment after trying a recipe from a website… Wow, this cake is truly amazing! I made it yesterday for the first time and it turned out great, really. Everyone loved it! I really enjoy baking and making this cake was such a pleasure.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  18. 2080

    Jessica says

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I found this fantastic recipe on Pinterest for my sons birthday…..3 years ago! This is my go to recipe for chocolate cake. My family and friends just rave about it whenever I make it. Thank you for sharing!

  19. 2084

    Genvieve says

    Awesome cake recipe, Robyn — thanks for posting it! I love that you can make it all in one bowl. I used olive oil and unsweetened soy milk and no espresso powder (I didn’t have any on hand), and the layers came out moist and delicious. In my tiny convection oven, which tends to be slow, it took 40 to 45 minutes to cook. For anyone trying this recipe for the first time: The thinness of the batter may surprise you, but keep the faith — it bakes up beautifully.

  20. 2086

    Janet says

    You’re bit kidding – this cake is moist and just the right amount of chocolaty sweet. Will be my go to chocolate cake!! Thanks for sharing!

  21. 2087

    Linda Kinard says

    I baked the Best Chocolate Cake {Ever} this past Friday evening and the entire thing was eaten by this morning! It was absolutely the best chocolate cake I’ve ever baked or eaten. Since I didn’t have espresso powder, I brewed some strong coffee and used it in both the cake and icing.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. 2089

    Diana from Richmond says

    I made this cake for my dad’s retirement party. it is… O-my-God-what-is-this-heaven-in-my-mouth good! Wow! I’ve made a lot of chocolate cakes but they all pale in comparison! This baby is going in my personal collection! When I made it, I forgot the boiling cup of water but it still came out wonderful! It was dense but not dry, rich but not over-powering… The frosting was the real winner for me! Its unbelievable! I had some left over and used it as strawberry dip- OMG!
    Thanks so much for posting this! Its an awesome recipe!

  23. 2092

    Marie says

    I never leave comments on internet – this is my first “recipe” one anyway.

    I just wanted to say : “I LOVE YOU ROBYN!” :)
    You changed my life. Forever.

    And the life of those I’m baking for.

    And just to add more to this comment, you must know I live in France – not exactly the worse place to live if you love cakes and pastries. And still, your recipe is the best ! I will keep it and it will definitely stay in the family until the end of time :)


  24. 2094

    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!

  25. 2095

    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

  26. 2096

    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.

  27. 2097

    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.

  28. 2098

    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.

  29. 2099

    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.

  30. 2100

    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!

  31. 2101

    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.

  32. 2102

    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.

  33. 2104

    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!

  34. 2106

    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!!!

  35. 2107

    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?

  36. 2109

    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

  37. 2111

    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. :-)

  38. 2113

    Angel Burnett-Ashwin says

    i think the frosting recipe has been changed as the first copy i printed out did say melt butter and pour into the bowl of stand mixer. printing for the second time over a year later “Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined” but no biggie though coz i just used butter at room temp. :D have a fabulous day from New Zealand 11.03am 08.01.15

  39. 2115

    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…!


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