Easy Chocolate Cake

This easy chocolate cake recipe yields a rich moist chocolate cake made in a 9 x 9 pan with a simple ganache frosting. It’s the perfect dessert for any occasion or even just a weekday!

Love delicious and simple dessert recipes? Then you’ve got to try my chocolate brownies and my double chocolate loaf cake!

two slices of this Easy Everyday Chocolate Cake on white plates

Easy Chocolate Cake

If you are looking for the best chocolate cake look no further! This easy chocolate cake from scratch is perfect when you are craving something sweet and are short on time. This recipe is similar to my Best Chocolate Cake Recipe. I add coffee to the batter to amplify the chocolate flavor. I also like to use good quality cocoa powder. It makes all the difference!

This chocolate cake turns out perfectly soft and moist thanks my secret ingredient: vinegar. When you add a small amount of vinegar to the cake batter along with baking soda it causes the baking soda to react. The reaction produces a fluffier softer cake!

This recipe is reminiscent of the original hershey’s chocolate cake that everyone loves! Super rich, chocolatey and comes together in minutes. This recipe can also be made in cupcakes or in a 10 inch cake pan or 11 x 7 pan.

I top the easy homemade chocolate cake with a simple ganache made by whisking heated cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips together until smooth. Pour on top of the cooled cake, and enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache in a clear bowl with a hand mixer

Ingredients For Easy Chocolate Cake

  • Sugar: I use a combination of equal parts brown sugar and white granulated sugar. This gives the cake the perfect amount of sweetness to bring out the chocolate flavor and keeps it moist.
  • Baking soda: Is the leavener in this cake. It is also used along with the vinegar to make the softest cake ever!
  • Vinegar: Along with baking soda causes a reaction that makes the cake fluffier and softer. An easy tip that makes all the difference!
  • Vanilla: Adds the perfect amount of flavor to the cake.
  • Oil: I use 1/3 cup of vegetable oil in this recipe. Canola oil, coconut oil or even melted butter can be used in it’s place.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: I always recommend using high-quality cocoa powder when possible, especially in simple recipes like this easy everyday chocolate cake where it really stands out.
  • Salt: Also helps to bring out the flavors in this cake. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Flour: We like to use all purpose flour in this recipe versus cake flour. Gluten free flour can be substituted to make this cake gluten free.
  • Coffee: Nothing goes together quite as well as chocolate and coffee. This easy chocolate cake recipe is made super moist and rich from the cup of strong coffee added to the batter. The coffee flavor isn’t strong. Rather, it compliments the chocolate and elevates that flavor; similar to the vanilla extract.

How To Make Chocolate Cake From Scratch

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients — flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda — in a large bowl. Set aside.

mixing dry ingredients for chocolate cake in clear bowl

Then, in a separate medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients — both sugars, vanilla, vinegar, oil, and coffee — and whisk until smooth.

pouring coffee into wet ingredients for chocolate cake

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined making sure not to over mix. (It’s OK to see streaks of the dry ingredients.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting with the ganache. (Details on how to make it below.)

pouring ganache on top of cooled chocolate cake

Once the cake is frosted, place it in the fridge for an hour or so before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

slicing into squares

How To Make Chocolate Ganache

I top the Chocolate Cake off with a simple Chocolate Ganache. The ganache is super easy to whip up. To make the chocolate ganache melt semi sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream in the microwave until smooth and melted. You can also cook the ganache over a double boiler. Allow the ganache to cool for about 2-3 minutes. Spread on top of the cooled cake and place in the fridge to allow it to set. This makes it a lot easier to cut the cake!

Toppings

Feel free to decorate the cake with your favorite sprinkles before placing it in the fridge to set. This will helps the sprinkles to adhere! I like to change up the sprinkles due to the season. Pink sprinkles for valentine’s day and red and green for christmas!

You can also add shaved chocolate or crushed up oreo’s on top!

adding heavy cream to semi sweet chocolate chips

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container or in the pan covered with plastic wrap or foil for up to 4 days. Press plastic wrap to the exposed parts of the cake to prevent it from drying out.

Freeze this cake and ganache separately or by the slice in airtight containers or plastic bags to enjoy for up to a month! Wrap slices securely in plastic wrap before packing to freeze.

Cake on a white plate with a fork and the hand mixer in the background

More Cake Recipes To Try

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Easy Chocolate Cake

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 9

Easy Chocolate Cake. A rich chocolate cake made in a 9 x 9 pan with easy ganache frosting!

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coffee

Ganache

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream warmed

Instructions

Images:

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
    In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  • In a medium bowl combine both sugars, vanilla, vinegar, oil and coffee.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined making sure not to over mix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting with the ganache.
  • Once the cake is frosted I find it easier to cut when the ganache has time to harden a bit so I put it in the fridge for an hour before slicing and serving.

Ganache

  • Whisk chocolate chips and warmed heavy cream together until melted.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Thank you Braun for sponsoring this post. All opinions and text are my own!

Nutrition Facts
Easy Chocolate Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 264mg11%
Potassium 268mg8%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 209IU4%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baking, Chocolate, Chocolate Ganache, Easy Chocolate Cake, Easy Desserts