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 586 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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    • 1814


      Hi Lindy,
      In a previous comment, another Coloradan listed her high-altitude adjustments for the recipe. I hope that helps. If you have trouble finding it, please let me know and I’m happy to help!

    • 1815

      Lindy Vizyak says

      I did not find the high altitude adjustments. I plan to make this cake for Thanksgiving.


    • 1816


      This is courtesy of Kory from September 2013:
      “This cake is phenomenal! My problem was that it was falling in the middle every time I made it- I’m at high altitude.

      I finally experimented with high altitude adjustments today and it came out PERFECTLY. I added 1/4 c. flour, decreased sugar by 1/3 c. and added an additional egg yolk. Baked for 35 min and it is delicious! Perfect consistency and deliciously moist.

      So FYI for other mountain people!”

      I hope that helps!

  1. 1820

    Stacy says

    I am about to make this cake for a birthday celebration, but I am planning on omitting the espresso powder. I am wondering if I can just omit or do I need to replace it with something else? Excited to taste this cake, it sounds awesome!


  2. 1823

    Susan says

    Beautiful light, cake, easy to work with. I made it for a Baby Shower (with a raspberry buttercream frosting!), and for my family… To rave reviews. I personally couldn’t eat it due to a gluten-allergy, but the aroma was delightful. I will def make this again, thanks!

  3. 1825

    Kellee says

    Love the recipe! I cut the frosting in half since we like to go lighter on frosting here and still had plenty to cover the cake. We’re in love with it and it’s chocolate taste does not disappoint!

  4. 1826

    Katie says

    Hi, do you think this recipe will work to make birthday cakes that need to be cut/shaped into different designs or is it so moist that it would just fall apart? Sounds so delicious!

  5. 1832

    carly says


    Used this recipe to make my partners birthday cake in august and it was the best chocolate cake we have tasted. i am wanting to use the same method to make my daughters 1st birthday, i will be using an 11inch giant cupcake mould, how much extra ingredients would i need for that size please? I’m desperate to use this recipe.


    • 1834


      Hi Leisa,
      This cake recipe does not use butter, but uses vegetable oil for a more moist chocolate cake. I hope that helps!

  6. 1835

    Rory says

    I love using this recipe, I use it all the time. Also I am always pushing people to this website. I do have a question about this recipe, I want to make this recipe again but with gluten free flour. Can I do an even substitute or should add something else in it?

    • 1836


      Hi Rory,
      It really will depend on the flour you are using. Check on the bag to see if it says you can use as a one to one substitute for all-purpose flour, and if so, you are good to go! If not, it should provide the necessary adjustments you’ll need to make. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! xo

    • 1837

      pc says

      I make this cake using Kate Chan’s flour blend.(glutenfreegobsmacked) Be sure you use Authentic Foods rice flour in your blend. Use cup for cup in the recipe. No one will know it is G F

  7. 1838

    Kaye says

    I have to say I really loved this! made this yesterday at home after my sick son asked me to bake brownies but instead of brownies, I decided to make this for the first time and he is now this cake’s number one fan! He was begging me to take a slice to school this morning but I told him to wait til he is home from school later today.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. 1839

    Safari says

    This recipe is flawless!!! Made it multiple times and everyone has asked for the recipe:) I reccomend it for anyone anywhere!:D

  9. 1840

    Catie says

    Hi Robyn! I am going to be making this cake for my daughters birthday tomorrow. Could you tell me the reasoning for adding boiling water to the batter? Thanks so much!

  10. 1843

    Lillian says

    Since I have other desserts to make for Christmas can this be made a couple weeks ahead and thawed out Christmas eve frosted and let sit out on the counter I would also like to put a Rasberry filling between the layers

  11. 1844

    Ramina says

    I’m going to make the cake for my bf bday, which is tomorrow. Is it ok if I make a cake today and put it in fridge fro 24hrs before presenting?

  12. 1845

    Tina MY says

    Finally…found the most moist choc cake I’ve ever baked so far…I even use cookies flour…thank you Robyn
    ❤ Tina, Malaysia

  13. 1848

    Jessica says

    I made this cake for daughters 3rd birthday and it was everything I hoped for! I am making it again today for my mother-in-laws birthday. Perfectly moist and delicious but still stands up well to decorating. The frosting is also something special!

  14. 1849

    Nkechi says

    Is it liquid or powdered milk used? i want to use liquid milk. And pls what are the exact conversions in grams and ml. can you kindly send to my mail box.thanks..lov your cake & recipe.

  15. 1850

    Jasmin says

    Hi Robyn,
    I intend to bake a smaller cake, either 6″ or 7″inch.
    How should I adjust the amount then?

    Also, as for the milk, are you referring Full Cream Milk or just fresh milk?

    I look forward to your reply. Thanks and cheers!

  16. 1851

    christina bortignon says

    this recipe looks amazing and i am trying it this afternoon! do you think the cake layers are thick enough to cut in half to make 4 thinner layers? or should i add another half of everything?

  17. 1852

    shaz says

    Shaz from NZ here, just wanted to say thank you soon much for this recipie! I have made this about 20 times already, my go to recipe for chocolate cake – always get rave reviews for it. I had started to add a pint of raspberries and dark choc chunks to the mixture gives it a nice tartyness to it :)

  18. 1853

    Anu says

    I made this cake for my son’s birthday party. And added a teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon instead of espresso.
    Absolutely delicious.
    Thank you for sharing.

  19. 1855

    Dina says

    hi I love the recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}
    I tried it and it is a hit everyone loved it!!!
    please is there a gluten free version of it?
    the added milk and boiling water make it so moist!!
    Thank you

  20. 1857

    jazz says

    most incredible cake i have ever made and so easy for me (college student = lazy) to do! I’m about to try it with a layer of oreo cookies whaduppp

    • 1858


      I’m glad you enjoyed it and can’t wait to hear how you like it with the Oreo layer. It’s out of this world that way!

  21. 1859


    You most definitately are from the south! I have got to pull out some of my older recipes I have from the women on the southern side of our family. I rarely make form scratch cake or cake at all due to the fact I would most likely pass out from sugar overload (diabetic) but here’s another special dish to make for the family coming in! Merry Chirstmas! Linda

    • 1863

      Stephanie says

      Just type the measurements in the google search bar. It will automatically convert it for you. Saves the author from having to rewrite the recipe.

      example: How many grams in 1 stick of butter. 113g

  22. 1864

    Stephanie says

    Ok… so I never leave comments after I make a dish from a chosen recipe… However, today… is a different day. This cake is absolutely phenomenal!!! I mean it in every sense of the word. My only concern was that whopping 1 cup of boiling water that made my batter alarmingly liquidy. All my red flags went off and I hesitantly added maybe two to three more tablespoons of flour to give it the cake batter consistency. I am not saying you should do this.. maybe I freaked out for nothing, but my cake came out WONDERFUL. This is an awesome cake!

  23. 1865

    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!

  24. 1866

    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

  25. 1867

    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.

  26. 1868

    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.

  27. 1869

    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.

  28. 1870

    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.

  29. 1871

    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!

  30. 1872

    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.

  31. 1874

    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!

  32. 1876

    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!!!

  33. 1877

    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?

  34. 1878

    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

  35. 1880

    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. :-)


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