The BEST Chocolate Cake Recipe topped with a Rich and Creamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! The perfect cake for parties, birthdays or just because! This is the ONLY chocolate cake recipe you will ever need!
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the best chocolate cake
This is my all time family favorite Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe. It gets requested for everyones birthday because it’s just that good! My husband who was never a fan of cake loves this recipe! It’s super moist, chocolatey and soft. This is my go to dessert for parties, birthdays or just because. The cake is perfectly moist and is topped with a rich chocolate buttercream. Perfect for chocolate lovers! This moist chocolate cake recipe turns out perfect every time. You will never need another Chocolate Cake recipe after you make this one!
This chocolate cake is so moist thanks to my secret ingredient: coffee! Strong hot coffee creates a rich luscious cake and amplifies the chocolate flavor!
ingredients for chocolate cake
- Flour: This recipe calls for all purpose flour however you can substitute equal parts gluten free flour to make this a gluten free chocolate cake.
- Sugar: I use a mix of granulated sugar and light brown sugar for extra softness and flavor.
- Cocoa powder: I recommend using good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. I like using Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder however Dutch processed dark cocoa powder can be used for an even richer / bitter chocolate taste.
- Baking powder and Baking soda: Act as leaveners for the cake.
- Salt: Adds flavor to the cake and balances out the sweetness.
- Milk: I use 2% in this recipe.
- Canola oil: I prefer oil in this cake instead of melted butter. It produces a moister cake with better crumb. You can substitute melted coconut oil in place of the canola oil if you prefer!
- Eggs: They make the cake rich and fudgey. Make sure to bring your eggs to room temperature for a smooth batter.
- Vanilla: Adds the perfect amount of flavor to the cake.
- Hot coffee: Strong hot coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor and creates a silky batter! If you aren’t a fan of adding coffee simply substitute warm water instead.
how to make the best chocolate cake
- Combine dry ingredients: Start by combining flour, both sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients: With a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix in milk, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Make batter: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Pour in the hot coffee (Batter will be thin)
- Bake: Divide between two 9 inch round cake pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool: Allow the cake to cool for 15-30 minutes in the pan before inverting and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Frost: Spread the chocolate buttercream between the layers and top with chocolate chips and shaved chocolate for decoration!
- Serve: with a tall glass of milk or with a side of ice cream (my favorite!)
- Store: At room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days!
Now 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!
How to make chocolate buttercream frosting
Simply add butter to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy and lighter in color, 2-3 minutes. 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. Set aside until you are ready to frost the cake. The frosting can be stored up to a day in advance in the refrigerator.
Why is there coffee in the cake? Can I omit it?
This best chocolate cake recipe calls for strong hot coffee to be added to the batter at the end. This creates a nice silky batter as well as emphasizes the chocolate flavor in the cake! You can also substitute espresso powder if you don’t have coffee on hand. I typically use instant coffee mixed with warm water. Don’t worry you cannot taste the coffee in this cake. If you are not a fan of coffee you can just use hot water instead!
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes! The cake can be baked, cooled then stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. The frosting can be made a day ahead and left in the refrigerator.
how to store this cake?
The cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. The cake will be good for up to 3 days.
how to make chocolate cupcakes
This simple chocolate cake recipe can be made into 24 chocolate cupcakes. Simply reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- To make this cake eggless substitute 1/4 cup of apple sauce per egg. Alternately substitute 1/4 cup mashed banana. Cake will be done sooner is you substitute the eggs so just keep an eye on it.
- This cake can be made into a 13 x 9 pan. Simply cut the recipe in half and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cake is set.
- Don’t over bake your cake. I take it out when a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
Here are more cake recipes to try!
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
- Amazing Carrot Cake
- Easy Everyday Chocolate Cake
- Marble Bundt Cake
- Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Chocolate Pound Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
products i used
The BEST Chocolate Cake
The Best Chocolate Cake
The Best Chocolate Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & flour two 9 inch round cake pans. In a large bowl combine flour, both sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add in milk, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Pour in the hot coffee (Batter will be thin)
- Divide between the prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake completely before frosting.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days!
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Add butter to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy. 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.
- Set aside until you are ready to frost the cake.