The BEST Chocolate Cake

The BEST Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! The perfect cake for parties, birthdays or just because!

super-moist-cakeThis post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of KitchenAid. All opinions and text are mine.

Happy New Year’s Eve! Let’s celebrate with this AMAZING Chocolate Cake! This is my all time favorite Chocolate Cake recipe. Super moist, chocolatey and soft this is my go to cake for parties, birthdays or just because.

I used Kitchen Aid’s Precision Press to make a strong cup of coffee to go in this cake. Rich, smooth and full bodied. The fresh brewed coffee brings out the chocolate flavor in the cake.

super-moist-chocolate-cakeKitchen Aid’s Precision Press has an integrated timer and scale that makes it simple to measure brew time and the precise ratio of coffee grounds to water all within the carafe to achieve a full flavored and full bodied French Press brew.

moist-chocolate-cakeNow for my favorite part of any cake: The Frosting. This chocolate buttercream frosting is fluffy, chocolatey and rich with just the right amount of sweetness.

The perfect topping to this chocolate cake!

cakeamazing-moist-chocolate-cake

The BEST Chocolate Cake

  • 4.9
  • 17 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
The BEST Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! The perfect cake for parties, birthdays or just because!

Ingredients

The Best Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oill
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong hot coffee

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 ½ - 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

The Best Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter & flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, both sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. With a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add in milk, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low.
  6. Pour in the hot coffee (Batter will be thin)
  7. Divide between the prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake completely before frosting.
  9. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Add butter to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy.
  2. Add in cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Beat until thick and creamy. If frosting is too thick add more milk. If it is too runny add more powdered sugar.
  3. Set aside until you are ready to frost the cake.

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Comments

  • Cindy T

    Cake looks great but a couple of things are left out. What temp do you bake the cake and how much cocoa powder is in the icing?

    • Hi Cindy! I am so sorry about that you are right. The temp is 350 and you will be adding 3/4 cup of cocoa powder for the frosting. I have updated this in the recipe as well. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention!!

      Thanks!

      Kelley

      • Cindy T

        Thanks Kelley! Also please add to the directions when to add the salt and vanilla to the cake batter. Being a baker, I figured it out, but someone inexperienced might leave them out. Getting ready to make the icing. So excited!!!

        • What would I do without you Cindy!? Will update now thank you! Hope you liked it!

          Thanks again,

          Kelley

          • Cindy T

            Kelley, We are all chocoholics in my house and I have many winner recipes but this cake is definitely going into the rotation. Very moist. Very nice crumb. Very delicious !!!

          • why don’t u reprint the recipe so i can print it out& not have anything left out thanks billy please email me thanks billy

  • It looks so good!! I’ll defiantly give it a try! I hope it turn out as good as yours :p thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Lisa

    Looks delicious. One question…Dutch process or natural cocoa? Thank you!

  • This is such a gorgeous cake, Kelley! Chocolate cake is my favorite kind and that frosting looks so perfect!

  • Erika

    HOLY MOLY, this really IS the best chocolate cake ever! 😮 Baked this for my fathers birthday, but as cupcakes, and wow I had to really exhibit some self control or else I could have eaten them all!! 9000/100 thank you for this recipe!

  • ellie

    Does the frosting stay soft or does it get that hard crust to it? I am planning on making this for my fathers birthday and he doesn’t like “crunchy” frosting … Although I think that last comment was influenced by my son.

    • Hi Ellie!

      The frosting will stay soft unless you leave the cake uncovered after frosting it. I suggest frosting the cake and then covering it in a cake container. The frosting will stay soft and creamy. It is amazing!! I hope you and you Father enjoy!

      Thank you,

      Kelley

  • Paula K Nicholas

    My family doesn’t like the taste of coffee. Will this cake have a coffee taste.

    • Hi Paula,

      You cannot taste the coffee. It just helps to bring out the flavor of the chocolate. You can always substitute hot water in place of the coffee. I have done this before and it works well!

      Thanks,

      Kelley

  • Patricia Stark

    This sounds simply scrumptious! I’m wondering if this could be made in a 9×13 dish which would be easier to handle to transport to my water aerobics class. I would want to frost the top only, so should have plenty of frosting for that. Just a thought….. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you! I have not tried making it in a 9 x 13 pan before so I am hesitant to suggest it. I did a little research and it seemed like they are somewhat similar in size but not exact. I imagine it would change the cooking time as well. Let me know if you try it and how you make out.

      Thanks so much!

      Kelley

    • Anjuli

      Hello,
      I’m planning on trying this cake tomorrow for a birthday and was wondering if you tried the cake in the 9×13 pan and, if so, how it turned out? I need a cake to feed 12 people so I thought that would be better than the layer cake. Thank you!
      Anjuli

      • Hi Anjuli,

        I have not tried making this in a 9 x 13. I will say I have made this cake for about 12 people before and it works perfectly (Just don’t make the slices too big!)

        Thanks!

        Kelley

    • Hi Victoria!

      Yes you can replace it with some espresso powder in the cake batter. I would do 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.

      Thank you!

      Kelley

  • Cmac

    Can this recipe be halved, I’m hoping to make a small 6 inch round cake .

    • Hi!

      If the recipe was halved it would only make 1 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake. Unfortunately this recipe halved would not work for a 6 inch cake.

      Sorry about that!

      Kelley

      • Cmac

        Thanks for your quick response, while I require a recipe for a mini cake, I will definitely try this recipe when I need a larger cake it sounds delicious.

  • Maria Olu Egbuniwe

    Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for posting this.Looks yummy.
    I’d like to bake a larger cake for my dad’s upcoming birthday.How many spoons of coffee can I put in the I cup measurement of coffee?
    Thank you
    Maria

    • Thank you Maria! I would check the specific coffee instructions to see how much should be added per cup. I think it’s usually about 1-2 tablespoons for 6 fluid ounce. For this recipe I usually use instant coffee and add it to the water (I just follow the instructions on the package). If you are hesitant about the coffee you can always substitute 1 cup of hot water instead. I hope this helps.

      Thank you!

      Kelley

  • Michelle

    Hi,

    Do you buy chance have a frosting recipe similar to this one that is not buttercream base but whipped cream or cream cheese? Something that will hold well.

    Thanks!

  • Judith Archer

    I know this is going to be a hit! My daughter’s 34th birthday is tomorrow and this is exactly what she requested! I’m so glad to have found you, Kelley.

      • Judith Archer

        I’ll let you know how it turns out! I’ll even send you a pic!
        And thank you for the birthday wishes. (She’s also a new mom with a 13 week old pink bundle of joy.)

        • That would be wonderful! Congrats to your daughter and her new baby girl. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you!

  • Judith Archer

    By the way, I chose Michigan Cherry coffee. (My favorite.). I am a true southern lady, with 2nd daughter living in Michigan who often spoils me with this coffee. 😊

  • Elizabeth

    Wow…Cake turned out beautifully….and soooo light and moist.Thank you for sharing.

  • Kathy

    Am making this as I read the comments…I will give my 2 cents when I eat it tomorrow. As for now, batter my was only enough for 2 – 8″ cakes. I’ll let you know how we like it. 😊

  • Hi Kelley! Cake looks AMAZING!!! I am planning on trying this recipe for an out door birthday party in June. Where I live its usually hot around this time. How well does this icing hold up in humid temperatures? Can I substitute the butter or half of butter with vegetable shortening?

    • Hi Keisha,

      Thank you so much! I have not served this cake outside so it is hard to say how long it would hold up for. However your suggestion of using shortening with the butter is a great one. This will help the frosting from melting as fast. I think if you use some shortening in the frosting, keep it in a cooler if possible and only keep it out for only a couple hours it should be fine for your party!

      Thank you & enjoy,

      Kelley

  • Jes

    Hi There –
    I’m planning on making this cake this weekend for a birthday but I’m worried about making everything too early. I’m planning to bake the cake Thursday and serve it on Saturday. You mentioned I can store the cakes in an air tight container but is that too long for the frosting to sit? Wondering if I just need to plan around making the frosting day of.

    Thanks for your help! So excited to begin baking more!

    • Hi Jes,

      The cake will still be good after 3 days in an airtight container. Personally though I would make the cake on Thursday and make the frosting the night before and frost the cake the night before if possible.

      I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy!

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • J T

    This truly is the best Chocolate Cake we have ever had; we made this on a Saturday using our Kitchenaid and ate on Sunday. Adding the coffee is genius! We used Gevali coffee! Next time though we are going to decrease the amount of cocoa in the frosting!

  • J T

    Delicious! Used our Special Edition Kitchen aid for the second time and this came out wonderfully!

  • Tania

    HI looks absolutely scrumptious ! Can’t wait to try it. It’s unlikely that I will find canola oil here…what can I use as a substitute? Thanx .

    • Thanks so much Tania! I would try using applesauce or greek yogurt. I am not certain about how much to add. I would try using 1/3 cup of either apple sauce or yogurt instead of a full 1/2 cup.

      I hope this helps. Let me know how you make out!

      Thanks,

      Kelley

  • Denise

    If I replace the hot coffee with hot water, will it taste the same! Or just as good?

    • Hi Denise,

      Yes water will be just as good. Coffee just accentuates the flavor of the chocolate. (You can’t taste the coffee)

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Laura Walters

    I baked this cake for my mom’s birthday and it was really good. My mom said it’s the best chocolate cake she has ever had. It was my first attempt at baking a cake from scratch. Thanks for the great recipe. I will be making it again in a few weeks for my brother’s birthday!

  • Geeta

    Hi, As I sit here writing this comment my cake is in the oven. This is the second time I’m making this cake. I did however change a few things but it turned out great anyway. I used 1/3 cup coconut oil instead of 1/2 cup.
    Very nice cake.
    Thank you.

    • Tamara Pullin

      Geeta, Can you tell me how this cake came out with the coconut oil? I don’t use canola oil so I would replace it with coconut oil too. Also, did you use the refined or unrefined? Is there a reason you only did 1/3 compared to the 1/2 cup that the recipe calls for? I am sort of new to the coconut oil thing so any advice is appreciated.

  • Joyce

    Hi Kelly,

    Is it possible just use one bake pan and cut it into half after it cool?

      • Joyce

        Hi Kelly,

        But if I half the recipe wouldn’t the cake only be “half tall” ? I want to make a construction cake for my son’s birthday. If I use the original recipe but in only one 9 inch cake pan, how long do you think I will have to bake it?

        Thank you

        Joyce

        • Hi Joyce,

          The full cake batter will be too much to fit into 1 9-inch cake pan. This recipe makes enough for two 9-inch cake pans.

          Thanks,

          Kelley

  • Allison

    I made this recipe for a birthday and it was a big hit and was wondering can you use this recipe for cupcakes as well? If so how long should in bake and should I keep the same temperature oven?
    Thanks,
    Allison

    • Hi Allison,

      The cupcakes can bake at the same temperature 350 degrees. The cooking time should be only 15-20 minutes.

      Thanks & Enjoy,

      Kelley

  • Aris

    Cake recipe was flawed!!! Made this for my cousins birthday, I followed the instructions exactly, and it came out dense and fudgy. The texture was disgusting and disappointed us. Do yourself a favor and use your own recipe; don’t waste your ingredients.

    • Hi Aris,

      This recipe is a family favorite of mine and has been made over two dozen times in my household. I have never had any negative reviews of this recipe. Are you sure you did not miss a step?

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Kathryn

    One of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted …many of my guests at our family birthday party said the same! (Aris …don’t think recipe is flawed!)

    • Hi Randi,

      It should be a 1 to 1 ratio. So you can melt butter and measure out 1/2 cup (same amount of oil in this recipe). I have not done this so it is hard to say for sure how it will work. Let me know how you make out!

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Lexi Arce

    Hi! This cake looks great? I’m wondering if it’s dense enough to frost without it crumbling and falling apart? Or would I need to place in the fridge over night and frost in the morning? Thanks!

    • Hi Lexi,

      You can frost this cake right after it cools. It won’t fall apart and crumble. No need to place in the fridge overnight.

      Enjoy! Thank you!

      Kelley

  • Olivia Marshall

    Hi!
    Just a quick question: could I use vegetable oil instead of canola oil? If it will alter the texture of the cake then I can go out and get some, but I have vegetable oil on hand and thought if it didn’t matter then I’d go ahead with it
    Thanks!

    • Hi Olivia,

      You can definitely substitute vegetable oil for canola oil in this recipe. Thanks & Enjoy!

      Kelley

  • Shasha

    Hi …can I substitute vegetable oil for canola oul ?..or if I use butter instead of oil…does it will effect ?

    • Hi Shasha,

      You can use either vegetable oil or melted butter to replace the canola oil. It should not effect the taste.

      Thanks & Enjoy!

      Kelley

  • Shasha

    Hi Kelly…here there’s only one type of brown sugar..we don’t have light brown sugar..If I substitute regular brown sugar is it okay ?

  • Shasha

    Just now put the batter in to the oven…in anothe 1 hour like my fiance and his mom is going to visit me 😊😊😊😊 hope my cake will be okay!!!!

  • Melissa

    This looks so good!
    I’ll definitely try it.
    However, I always find it difficult to change every single US measurement into a metric, as teaspoons and tablespoons vary in size.. Is it possible to include metric measurements in a separate tab on your recipes? (it would be super helpful to Asian and Europeans!)

    x

      • Michelle

        Hi, I make this cake all the time and everyone loves it, I usually bake mine in a bunt pan for approximately 40 minutes give or take, then instead of a frosting I use a dark chocolate ganache and it is to die for…my daughter has made cupcakes and filled them with dulce de leche and then ice with ganache!

    • Alexis

      This is so true!
      I love reading your recipes – all the consistencies sound so perfect, and the pictures say it all – moist, fluffy, rich in flavour.
      However, metrics is exactly what I use (here in Europe) and it’s very difficult to convert it from US measurements.
      Maybe whenever you re-make an old recipe, you could select the ‘g’ or ‘ml’ option on your scale and edit the recipes with an extra tab as Melissa’s mentioned 🙂

      Thanks again for being so awesome with everything you make Kelley!

      xx

      • Hi Alexis!

        Thank you for the kind words. I will definitely keep that in mind! I would love to accommodate you guys!

        Thanks,

        Kelley

    • Hello,

      Are you replacing the coffee with the water? If so you would want to use the same quantity (1 cup).

      Thank you!

      Kelley

  • Kayla Santiago

    I’m making a cake for my best friends daughters sweet 16 this weekend, We love chocolate cake and based on all the great comments, this one will be delicious! However, I’m doing a big cake. 4 layer 8″ bottom tier and 4 layer 6″ top tier. Since your recipe bakes a 2 layer 9″ do you think I should triple the recipe? Or more? 3.5x? Also, do you think I’d have a problem baking each tier in just two pans and cutting them in half to get my 4 layers, or would it not bake right? Thanks in advance! I can’t wait to try this cake and get started baking it!!

    • Hi Kayla,

      You can double the recipe and then cut each layer in half. That would get you 4 (1-inch tall) layers of 6 inch cake and 4 (1-inch tall) layers of 8 inch cake. You may have a bit of batter left over. How many people are you planning to feed with this cake?

      Thank you!

      Kelley

  • Scott Johnston

    I made this cake yesterday and it was fantastic. My children have requested I make it for their birthdays. Thanks for posting!!

  • Rebekah Cleary

    I wanted a more fluffy of a icing so I added 1 egg white to the icing mixture which added an amazing lightness to it! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Bringing it to a friend’s house tonight for both of our families to enjoy together.

    • Hi LaKeisha!

      I typically use instant coffee. It’s easier for me and I don’t have a coffee maker. Any strong coffee with work.

      Thanks & Enjoy!

      Kelley

  • Eleni C

    HI there: I am new to baking cakes and this one was a BREEZE and DELICIOUS. I followed the recipe. The batter smelled good *before* it went into the oven. I made for my friend’s birthday and it was a hit with the whole family! Thank you!

  • TC

    This is basically Ina’s Beatty’s Chocolate cake, subbing 1 cuo of sugar for brown sugar and using 1 cup milk instead of buttermilk. I prefer this frosting recipe for the sake of ease and not having to melt chocolate.

  • Daniel glynn

    I make this make almost once a month. I like to slice a piece of it and heat for a few seconds and put a scoop of ice cream on it. But everyone love the cake by itself. Thanks for the recipe. I think I want to add some filling next time

  • I made this cake this evening and for some reason, one layer fell slightly in the middle. I put it on the bottom and filled the dent with icing to level it out. The other layer did not fall. Any idea what I may have done wrong? No one else seems to have experienced this.

    • Hi Coya,

      That is interesting that only one of the layers fell. There are a number of reasons a cake can fall: Overmixing the batter, opening the oven door too much, incorrect oven temp or expired leavening agents.

      It is hard to pin point exactly. Hope you enjoyed the cake even though one of the layers sunk a little!

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Christine N

    I made this cake and the frosting this past weekend for my husband’s bday and it was a hit! I made it in a 9×13 cake pan and it came out moist and delicious! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  • Eliza

    If I wanted to use the extra batter for cupcakes how long would I cook it for?

    • Hi Eliza,

      The cupcakes can bake at the same temperature 350 degrees. The cooking time should be only 15-20 minutes.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Nicole

    Just made this… absolutely delicious so good thanks for such a great recipe!