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 542 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. 1670

    Melissa says

    Robyn this is a great recipe – it is now my go-to recipe for everyone as everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing it’s really appreciated! :)

    • 1671

      sami says

      I’m baking this cake as I’m posting this comment…my batter was runny(and I followed word for word of the recipe)!
      And added it to two pans and as we speak it is over flowing…….what did I do wrong? HELP??!

  2. 1672

    Joey says

    Hi Marlene G,

    For this recipe, you mentioned two 9 inch cake pan. Did you mean I need to prepare 2 round 9 inch cake pan? And this ingredients will make 2 cakes in total? Can you clarify pleasE?


  3. 1674

    Diana says

    Hi, just made this wonderful rich, moist cake for a work pot luck September 2014. I was so impressed and happy how this cake turned out. This is my first attempt at making a cake from scratch! I had huge compliments on it. I used the butter cream frosting that was posted with this recipe which went perfectly. I did however add a touch of cream cheese that gave it a silky more fluffy texture. Love this cake-it really is the best chocolate cake ever. I can’t wait to make it again! Thank You, Robin!

  4. 1675

    Bianca says

    I just made this cake for a birthday and it tastes amazing! It’s the first time I’ve ever made chocolate cake and I was so impressed! Everyone loved it! And the chocolate butter cream icing was also a big hit!

  5. 1676

    Melissa says

    I made your chocolate cake and chocolate and vanilla frostings for my son’s 1st birthday. What a hit! I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan, but I’m a fan of this! Recipes are going in my cook book to be made for years to come!

  6. 1677

    Marie says

    Finaly found a chocolate cake reciepe that is just perfect!! Love it , kids love it, hubby love it . I did it yesterday with the kids ( because it is just so easy to make ) and they ask if we could make another one today…… Feel like saying yes!!! Thanks sooooo sooooo much for that wonderfull reciepe.

  7. 1678

    Janine Reid says

    Made this cake yesterday, it is truly heavenly-dense, rich and sooo more’ish. My new favourite chocolate cake. I used caramel treat in between the cakes and buttercream on top and the sides. My family have nearly demolished it. Definetly better the next day. Thanks for all your divine recipes!

  8. 1680

    Jessica Stuchel says

    Now I am looking for a mocha cake, what do you think about using a cup of boiling coffee or half water and coffee at the end????

    • 1681

      Me says

      I made this cake by not by adding the expresso powder to the dry mix, but instead to the boiling water as I only used instant coffee and wanted to ensure it dissolved well. I think it would work to double the instant coffee (or expresso powder) and add it to the water at the end to give a mocha flavour

  9. 1682

    Carol says

    The claims about “The Best Chocolate Cake…Ever” is absolutely correct. The Best Ever!! Although, I did have one of my 9″ pans overflow…I’m assuming I beat TOO much air into it. Although it fell slightly in the center, I went ahead and filled in the center with more buttercream frosting YUM and served it to 14 guests for my husband’s 60th birthday. Compliments abounded! (next time I’ll make it a 3 layer cake to assure that it doesn’t overflow)

  10. 1683

    Giselle says

    Trying this recipe for the first time. Is the batter supposed to be so liquid? I’ll see how it turned out in about 30 mins.

  11. 1684

    Debbie from Canada says

    I just finished taking this cake out of the oven. All I can say is WOW!! I mixed by hand using a medium whisk. I used one bowl for dry ingredients and one for wet and combined then added boiling water. I agree with other comments about batter being runny…I must admit I was a bit concerned but the cake turned out beautiful. I now understand how my mom / grandmom would “whip” up a cake. Thank you so much for a simple basic easy recipe. Nothing like going back to the basics of a tried and true recipe. Can’t wait to try icing and then the cake. :) I absolutely love recipes that you can just go to the cupboard and have it in the oven in 10 min. love it …love it.

  12. 1686

    Patricia Palm says

    I need to make a chocolate cake for this weekend, what if I can’t find espresso powder? What can I use as a substitution? Thank you in advance for your time,


    • 1687

      Patricia Palm says

      Is the batter supposed to be runny! I just put it in the oven anyway, hoping for the best. A response would be greatly appreciated.

    • 1689

      Patricia Palm says

      Okay, made this cake last weekend and it was a huge hit. This is by far the best chocolate cake I have ever had. Best chocolate cake iced with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache; doesn’t get any better than that. Made it for a BBQ and the cake was gone within 15 minutes. Thank you Robyn for sharing this awesome recipe. Will try the best white cake ever next.

    • 1691

      cookies says

      I used a bit of real espresso (maybe quarter of a small cup?), while reducing other liquid ingredients just a bit to keep the consistency.

  13. 1692

    Elsie says

    Hi Robyn,

    I’ve made this cake many times and yes it is the best cake ever. I want to make it for a vegan friend this week who is pregnant. Do you think I can sub the following and still get very similar results: sugar for coconut sugar, milk for coconut milk, eggs for applesauce? Any advice would be SUPER appreciate it!!!!

    Thank you!


  14. 1693

    Robert says

    HI there,

    Thank you for this cake recipe. I tried this out as I wanted a moist chocolately cake.

    I just have a few questions:

    1. We could all taste salt in the cake. Not overpowering or unpleasant but we could taste it. Should I be using half what the recipe states as I used salt that I ground up in my salt grinder – this may be a stronger salt?
    2. My cake rose beautifully in the oven, but when I took it out it flattened like a pancake! From research I read that I may have beat the cake mixture for too long. Would this be the cause for this cake recipe or is there something else that would cause it to collapse?
    3. My sister said that while the cake was nice, it was tasted more cocoa than chocolately. I did not taste the cocoa exactly, but I know what my sister meant. It wasn’t quite right the chocolately taste.
    4. While it was the moistest and softest cake that I have baked so far (mine usually come out as hard as bread), it still wasn’t as moist and squishy as it looks in the photo. Should I reduce the cooking time which I cooked to the exact recipe, or is this because the cake flattened after taking out of the oven?
    5. In your recipe, you state two cups of sugar. Should that be actual sugar or should that be castor sugar. I put castor sugar in as I thought that is what you meant.

    Otherwise it was a lovely cake. Thank you. I just need to improve my baking skills.

  15. 1696

    Laura says

    Trying this recipe now and looking forward to the results!

    I was wondering about the role of baking soda here – does it need an an acid to activate it? Which ingredient is acting as the acid?

    Thank you!


  16. 1697

    Riley B says

    I’m a 17-year-old chef that just started up a catering business a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve had about 6 orders for this cake, just within the small group of people who’ve heard about me! It’s so good that even my grandmother (British, LOVES chocolate, addicted to rich, very good desserts) said it’s the best chocolate cake she’s ever tasted–and she bakes a LOT! Thank you SO much for sharing!

  17. 1698

    Santa says

    The recipe is amazing! There was nothing to add more, nothing to take out. It was soft, sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious! Great job. I have a new favourite recipe! Thank you for sharing this.

  18. 1699

    Renee says

    Love this cake. Tried it for my daughter’s 3rd Birthday and it was a hit!!
    Had a request to make it again, wondering if anyone has tried it with fresh cream between the layers? Does it work?
    Think I will have to try it ;)

  19. 1700

    Margie says

    I would like to make this today. Can I substitute espresso powder with real ground espresso? Don’t know if this will make a huge difference.
    Thanks, Margie

  20. 1701

    Kirsten says

    The BEST! Just made it for the second time in two months and Everyone loves it! Easy as anything! Moist and delicious. The frosting is perfect – not too sweet. This is a new traditional birthday cake for us. Thank you :)

  21. 1702

    Katie says

    This truly is the best chocolate cake recipe ever! It is just like a mud cake but better! It is so simple and so perfect!

  22. 1705

    Ernesta @Baking Secrets says

    Hi. Can you make 4 layers out of this batter? Is it possible to cut every sponge in two pieces?

    • 1707

      Amaya says

      Yes! Since finding this recipe I have made cakes shaped like a cellphone, a anime creature, a wine bottle and today I’ll be making a Barbie cake… brilliant recipe to manipulate and shape ^^

  23. 1708

    Joanne says

    I love this recipe and it’s always a big hit, but I always have too much leftover (and I don’t like keeping sweets in the house). Has anyone tried halfing it?

  24. 1711

    Allison says

    My husband is very particular about his chocolate cake, and he loves this recipe! I substitute hot chocolate powder for the espresso powder because I don’t like coffe flavour.

  25. 1712

    Yelena says

    This IS the best chocolate cake recipe that I’ve ever tried. Thank you so much Robyn, I have been sending this link to every baker I know :)

  26. 1713

    Katrina says

    This is the best chocolate cake I have ever made. I make and decorate cakes to sell from my home under the cottage laws, and tried this recipe recently. It’s become my most popular cake. Thank you for sharing.

  27. 1715

    madelyn says

    Another happy customer! lol. The others reviews are not exaggerating. This is by far the best chocolate cake recipe and the frosting is to die for. I’m so glad I found your website. Thank you so much for sharing all these fabulous recipes.

  28. 1717

    tamara says

    I made this as a bundt cake. No icing needed, it’s fabulous. I didn’t have espresso powder so I just substituted a cup of strong coffee (boiling) instead of the boiling water.

  29. 1719

    Wheel says

    OMG !! BEST CAKE EVER !! I made my own frosting that im use to but i got really good compliments and im making it again for a even this time im gona double the layer

  30. 1720

    Lisa says

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe ever! My family loved it. I was searching on-line for a MOIST cake recipe, and found it. I will make this cake again and again and share the recipe with family and friends!!

    Thank you!!!

  31. 1721

    Sasha says

    Best chocolate cake ever!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve been waiting so long to find one this good.

  32. 1722

    Sel says

    Hi Robyn,
    Can I feeze this cake? I am planing to make this for my daughter’s birthday, and was wondering if I can make it in advance and freeze it?

  33. 1724

    Melinda says

    Robyn, I must say that I personally don’t like chocolate cake, but after following your recipe, I’m in love! It is 1:22am in the morning and just finished baking it after coming home from the gym. I made it for a coworker of mine who just turned 40 yesterday; in which I’m also interested in. Well, he is interested in me too, but we are taking it slow for sure! He doesn’t know I made him a cake; but not just only a cake…his favorite is chocolate cake!
    It came out so moist and I can’t wait to bring it to him at work today. I’m going to layer the chocolate butter cream frosting in a few hours; I’m just waiting for the cake to cool down.
    Oh Robyn, one more thing, I added a little twist to it. Instead of regular milk, I combined almond milk and sweetened condensed milk. Omg, you have to try it!

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I will let you know how he likes it!
    *Crossing my fingers

  34. 1726

    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!

  35. 1727

    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

  36. 1728

    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.

  37. 1729

    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.

  38. 1730

    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.

  39. 1731

    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.

  40. 1732

    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!

  41. 1733

    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.

  42. 1735

    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!

  43. 1737

    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!!!

  44. 1738

    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?

  45. 1739

    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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