An easy chocolate cake recipe that requires no special mixing method or ingredients. This chocolate cake is super moist, decadent and delicious! Makes two 8"x2" round cakes with fudge frosting and a chocolate drip.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Published: March 18, 2021Last Updated: By:Elizabeth Marek
This easy chocolate cake recipe is not only easy to make but makes an incredibly moist, fudgy, and decadent chocolate cake that is sure to please even the pickiest of chocolate lovers! Best part? You only need one bowl and 10 minutes to mix! If you love my death by chocolate cake but want less fuss, this is the cake for you!
What’s In This Blog Post
- Easy Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- How To Measure Ingredients
- How To Make Easy Chocolate Cake Step-By-Step
- Easy Chocolate Frosting
- Tips For Decorating A Cake
- How To Decorate A Chocolate Cake Step-By-Step
Easy Chocolate Cake Ingredients
No fancy ingredients here but some people ask me about substitutions.
This recipe calls for hot coffee which intensifies the flavor of the chocolate. It doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee at all. If you don’t want to use coffee, you can substitute a dark beer like Guinness (heated) or just hot water.
I’m using Hershey’s cocoa powder for this recipe because it’s a natural cocoa powder that is a little acidic. That acid reacts with the baking soda and actually tenderizes the gluten and makes the cake extra moist.
If you don’t have Hershey’s cocoa powder or want to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder like Cocoa Barry extra brut (which is not acidic), then replace the baking soda with baking powder.
The oil in this recipe all makes the cake extra moist, if you want your cake to be even more moist, you can add an extra ounce of oil. Oil-based cakes always stay softer than butter-based cakes but they are a bit more delicate.
How To Measure Ingredients
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I like to measure my ingredients using a scale. It’s faster, cleaner, and more accurate than using measuring cups BUT for some of my easier and beginner cakes like this one, I also include the measurements in cups because honestly, the cake is so forgiving you don’t need to be super accurate.
When measuring flour with cups, it’s important to spoon the flour into the cup then level it off with a knife. Do not pack your measuring cup or you could end up with too much flour which will make your cake dry and hard.
How To Make Easy Chocolate Cake Step-By-Step
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and prepare two 8″x2″ cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release. I love cake goop because you can make it yourself, it lasts forever and is much cheaper than buying a commercial pan release.
- Place your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir for a few seconds to combine.
- Now we’re going to add in our eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and mix our batter on medium speed for 2 minutes. This mixing is not only combining our ingredients together but it’s also developing the cake’s structure.
- Once you’re done mixing, add in your hot coffee. Mix that up until it’s just combined.
- You can see the batter is very liquid and that is normal. Divide the batter evenly between two 8″ cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
- Let your cakes cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes then flip them out onto a cooling rack to fully cool down before frosting. I like to put mine in the freezer for 30 minutes to flash cool them so I can frost them right away.
Easy Chocolate Frosting
- First, we need to make our ganache. Go ahead and measure out your semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. The reason I’m using mini chocolate chips is that they are easier to melt. If you can’t find mini chocolate chips, you can chop up regular chocolate.
- Then heat up your heavy cream. I microwaved mine for about 1 minute but you can also heat on the stovetop as well.
- Pour your hot cream over the chocolate and let sit a minute or two then whisk until smooth. Let this cool before adding it to your buttercream.
- Sift your powdered sugar and cocoa powder together to remove any lumps
- Cream your softened butter until smooth, then start adding in your powdered sugar mixture. Then add in your salt and vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy
- Fold in your cooled ganache until everything is combined. Frosting will be soft.
Tips For Decorating A Cake
You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to decorate a cake but it helps to at least have an offset spatula, bench scraper, and turntable. You can find inexpensive cake decorating sets online or at cake decorating stores.
If you need more information on how to decorate a cake for the first time, you can follow my easy tutorial on how to make your first cake.
How To Decorate A Chocolate Cake Step-By-Step
- Trim the domes off the tops of your cakes with a serrated knife so they are flat.
- Put some frosting between the layers and smooth it out with an offset spatula so the frosting is flat. You can even add in some nuts or candy like I did or just leave it plain.
- Place your second layer of cake on top.
- Then cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting. This is called the crumb coat and it seals in the crumbs of the cake so they don’t get into the final layer of frosting.Chill your cake in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding the final layer of frosting.
- Frost the cake in your final layer of buttercream and smooth out the sides and the top. I use a bench scraper to smooth the sides and clean up the top edges with the offset spatula. Put the cake back in the fridge to chill while you make the ganache drip.
- Heat the chocolate for 1 minute in the microwave. Add the cream and heat for one more minute. Let everything sit for about 5 minutes then stir until smooth.
- Make sure your cake is cold and your ganache drip has cooled to 90ºF (barely warm to the touch) before dripping or it will run down the side of the cake.
- Start by adding the drips to the outside edge then fill in the top with the rest of the ganache and smooth it out with your offset spatula.
- Next, I add a swirl of buttercream around the top border using a 1M piping tip.
- All that left to do is add our candy and cookies on top and we’re done!
Can this recipe be used for cupcakes
Yes! I did a little test batch with some leftover cake batter and they rose up beautifully. I only filled the cups about halfway. Some overflowed because I filled them too much. Did not stop me from eating them though!
Can you freeze this cake?
Absolutely! You can wrap your cakes in plastic wrap and freeze your cake layers right after you bake them and lock in the moisture so the layers stay super moist. Just defrost and stack like your normally would.
You can also freeze fully decorated cakes. Wrap them in plastic wrap before freezing and then when you’re ready you can defrost the cake in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.
Can you make this chocolate cake gluten-free?
Yes you can! You can substitute a nice gluten free flour mix like Cup4Cup or Bobs Red Mill gluten free baking mix.
Can you make this chocolate cake dairy free?
The great thing about this cake is that you can easily switch out the milk for almond milk, soy milk, or even coconut milk! You can even make the chocolate drip dairy-free by using a bar of dairy-free chocolate and water instead of cream. Check out my water ganache recipe for more information.
Can you make this chocolate cake egg-free?
There are a lot of commercial egg replacers out there but so far I like the King Arthur egg replacer the best. If you don’t have that, you can use 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce or one mashed banana in place of the eggs.
Can you replace the oil?
Yes! If you want to use melted butter instead of oil you definitely can and sometimes I do
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Easy Chocolate Cake
An easy chocolate cake recipe that requires no special mixing method or ingredients. This chocolate cake is super moist, decadent and delicious! Makes two 8″x2″ round cakes with fudge frosting and a chocolate drip.
4.98 from 107 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Author: Elizabeth Marek
Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 10 oz AP flour 2 cups
- 14 oz granulated sugar 2 cups
- 4 oz natural cocoa powder like HERSHEYS 1 cup
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 8 oz buttermilk room temperature – 1 cup
- 8 oz hot coffee or hot water – 1 cup
- 4 oz vegetable oil 1/2 cup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- 6 oz unsalted butter softened
- 10 oz powdered sugar
- 1.5 oz cocoa powder
- 1 oz milk
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 oz heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz heavy whipping cream
Easy chocolate cake instructions
Heat oven to 350ºF and prepare two 8” cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low 5 seconds just until combined.
Add in the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl.
Turn the mixer down to low and add in the hot coffee and mix until just its just combined.(Video) EASY MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pans.
Bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pan for about 15 minutes (or until the pan is barely warm to the touch) then invert onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Fudge Buttercream Instructions
Heat the cream until just steaming and pour over chocolate (or microwave your milk and chocolate together for 1-2 minutes until steaming) Let it sit for 5 minutes and whisk until smooth.
Place the softened butter in the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until smooth
Sift the cocoa powder and sugar into the butter and continue whisking. It will by dry and crumbly at first, keep going until smooth
Add in the milk 1 Tbsp at a time. Then vanilla and salt. Whisk on high until fluffy.
whisk in the cooled ganache. Frosting is swill be softt. Chill for 20 minutes if you want it firmer.
Chocolate drip recipe
Heat the cream until just steaming and pour over the chocolate (or microwave your milk and chocolate together for 1-2 minutes until steaming) Let it sit for 5 minutes and whisk until smooth. Transfer to another bowl and let cool to 90ºF before piping onto the cold cake.
You can freeze your layers by wrapping them in plastic wrap and then freezing them until you need them. Freezing your layers locks in moisture so they don’t go stale.
If you want your cakes to be super moist, you can add an extra ounce of oil
To make your easy chocolate cake recipe egg-free, use a commercial egg replacer like King Arthur egg replacer or sugar free applesauce instead of the eggs.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 416kcal (21%) | Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 23g (35%) | Saturated Fat: 15g (75%) | Cholesterol: 51mg (17%) | Sodium: 272mg (11%) | Potassium: 253mg (7%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 35g (39%) | Vitamin A: 400IU (8%) | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 57mg (6%) | Iron: 2.5mg (14%)
- Use Buttermilk Instead of Milk.
- Add Vegetable Oil.
- Use Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix.
- Use the Right Recipe.
- Don't Overbake.
- Bake in Sheet Pans Instead of individual Cake Pans.
- Use a Simple Syrup or Glaze.
Oil – this is an oil-based cake. Although I LOVE BUTTER, oil makes cakes ultra moist since it is liquid at room temperature. Plus, with this intense chocolate flavoura and the sour cream, you won't miss the butter.What makes a cake more moist water or milk? ›
The extra yolks add the density and moisture you'd find in a bakery cake! Milk: Add MILK, not water, when your box mix calls for liquid. The milk adds density, fat and, most importantly, extra flavor to your mix.Which ingredient makes cake soft? ›
If you want your cake to be spongy and fluffy, sift the flour and baking soda before adding them to the mixture. Particular cakes also make use of a special cake flour rather than the all-purpose flour. The cake flour helps to keep the cake soft.Is it better to use oil or butter in cakes? ›
Vegetable oil contributes moistness far more reliably, a result of the fact that oil remains liquid at room temperature while butter solidifies. Liquid contributes to the sensation of moistness, and therefore cakes made with oil often present as moister than their butter-based counterparts.What makes cake soft and fluffy? ›
Creaming Butter & Sugar. Whisking butter and sugar together is one essential tip to make the cake spongy, fluffy and moist. Whisk butter and sugar for a long until the mixture becomes pale yellow and fluffy because of the incorporation of air. The process is known as creaming.Why do you add coffee to chocolate cake? ›
Coffee simply enhances the flavor of chocolate. In this cake, it deepens that rich, chocolatey flavor. If you are really opposed to using coffee, you can swap it out for water.How do I make cake mix better? ›
- Use milk instead of water. ...
- Add extra eggs. ...
- Add sugar and flour to the dry mix. ...
- Use coffee instead of water for chocolate cakes. ...
- Sour Cream is perfect for adding moisture and rich flavor. ...
- Pudding adds moisture and flavor.
Because emulsifiers hold water and fat together, adding extra egg yolks to the batter enables the batter to hold extra liquid and, consequently, extra sugar. This helps create a moister and sweeter cake that will still bake up with a good structure rather than falling into a gooey mass.Should you beat eggs before adding to cake mix? ›
Beating the eggs before adding them to the batter is very important. This step is often skipped though because many people think it is a waste of time. They just crack the eggs right into the batter and go about mixing. I want to encourage you though not to skip the step of beating the eggs when a recipe calls for it.
1Replace Water with Dairy
Just replace the water with the same amount of milk, or a little bit more buttermilk (because buttermilk is so viscous, you need to add more liquid than the recipe calls for).
Your cake is tough
Toughness in cakes is caused by over-mixing, or the wrong type of flour. Solution: Mix your cake according to the recipe. There is a function to the order in which ingredients are added to create the right texture. As soon as you begin mixing flour with a liquid and a fat, gluten is developed.
Milk is a nutrient-rich white fluid secreted from the mammary glands of female mammals. In baking, it moistens batter or dough, and adds protein, color and flavor to baked goods. The most common form of milk in baking is non-fat dry milk (NFDM), which is dehydrated skim milk.What happens when you add extra butter to cake? ›
Too much butter can make the cake greasy and leave you with a runny consistency. Alternatively, you can put your cake in the oven for a few extra minutes to reduce the moisture.What happens if I dont add oil to my cake? ›
It is known as baking cake without oil for a recipe that requires oil, then it comes out dry and dense. There is a chance for substitution depending on the recipe.How much butter do I use instead of 1/2 cup oil? ›
1/2 cup of liquid cooking oil equals approximately 2/3 cup of butter.What is the best oil to bake cakes with? ›
Choosing a vegetable oil is the best option for baking moist, delicious baked goods. Canola oil, the most common vegetable oil used in baking, doesn't add a strong flavor. It allows your cake's flavor will shine through while still achieving a moist texture.What are the 3 types of cakes? ›
Thus, cakes are either: SHORTENED (BUTTER OR OIL) CAKES or UNSHORTENED (FOAM) CAKES. Chiffon cakes make up the third category, but here they're included with unshortened(foam) cakes. Three basic types. High ratio of eggs to flour and fall into three categories.How can I make my cake rise higher? ›
Add a leavening agent to the flour. Most cakes will call for a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. These create the bubbles you need for the cake to rise. If the flour you use is self-raising, it already has a leavening agent in it.Should you level a cake when it's hot or cold? ›
Leveling works best on a completely cool cake; a warm and fragile cake will shed a mountain of crumbs as it's sliced. It also depends on having the right tool for the job—not a senseless, unitasking cake cutter, but a nine- or 10-inch serrated knife.
Add Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
The simplest way to accentuate the chocolate flavor in your baked goods is to add a teaspoon or so of espresso powder or instant coffee granules.
To not overpower the chocolate flavor, I'd recommend subbing in only up to a cup of coffee; so if a recipe calls for two cups of water, use one cup of coffee and one cup of water.How much coffee do I add to cake mix? ›
Dissolve 1 tablespoon coffee in 1 1/4 cups water. Make cake batter as directed on box, using coffee mixture in place of the water. Bake and cool as directed.What goes well with chocolate cake? ›
A chocolatey cake is wonderfully met with a sweet, mild vanilla filling or frosting. Tart, bright fruits such as orange, lemon, or raspberry can work a wonderful contrast with chocolate.What do you eat with chocolate cake? ›
What to Serve with Chocolate Cake? 7 BEST Side Dishes
- 1 – Milky Coffee. ...
- 2 – Fruit Salad. ...
- 3 – Iced Americano. ...
- 4 – Fresh Orange Juice. ...
- 5 – Green Tea. ...
- 6 – Red Wine. ...
- 7 – Fresh Cow Milk.
When it comes to baking, substituting butter for oil is simple. Most cake mixes call for oil, but butter will bring in amazing flavor. To substitute butter for oil in baking just melt the butter, measure it, let it cool, and add it as you would the oil.What does adding pudding to cake mix do? ›
Put some pudding in the mix: Add a small box of pudding mix in with the cake mix. (Don't make the pudding.) The mix adds additional flavor, moistness, and a denser texture.Why does my cake come out dry? ›
A dry cake is usually the result of one of the following pitfalls: using the wrong ingredients, making mistakes while mixing the batter, or baking the cake too long or at too high a temperature. Once you understand how to avoid the common cake-baking blunders, you'll bake a moist cake every time.What happens when you add extra butter to cake? ›
Too much butter can make the cake greasy and leave you with a runny consistency. Alternatively, you can put your cake in the oven for a few extra minutes to reduce the moisture.What makes a cake dense vs Fluffy? ›
Why is my cake dense and soft? A cake that is overly dense typically has too much liquid, too much sugar or too little leavening (not excess flour, as is commonly thought). A cake that bakes too slowly takes longer to set and may fall, causing a dense texture.
Adding 6 to 9 ounces of sour cream or 1/4 cup mayo to cake batters will add moisture. Alternatively, you can also add a small box of sugar-free dry pudding mix or 8 ounces of plain yogurt. I've also had luck with adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the batter to add moistness.Which is the best flour for cakes? ›
|Cakes||Self-raising flour (or plain flour with baking powder)|
|Crumpets||Strong flour AKA breadmaking flour|
Thus, cakes are either: SHORTENED (BUTTER OR OIL) CAKES or UNSHORTENED (FOAM) CAKES. Chiffon cakes make up the third category, but here they're included with unshortened(foam) cakes. Three basic types. High ratio of eggs to flour and fall into three categories.Does freezing a cake make it more moist? ›
Nothing dries out cake or other breads/baked goods faster than the fridge. It's a killer, better to leave in on the counter. BUT freezing is different, it STOPS, rather than slows and so your cakes will stay not dried out and still taste amazing when it thaws (without losing all that steam).Why do cakes sink in the middle? ›
Too much leavening agent like baking soda or powder can cause a cake to rise too high too quickly. The gas from the leavening agents builds up and escapes before the cake bakes through in the center. This causes the center to collapse and makes your cake layers sink in the middle.How can I make my cake rise higher? ›
Add a leavening agent to the flour. Most cakes will call for a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. These create the bubbles you need for the cake to rise. If the flour you use is self-raising, it already has a leavening agent in it.What happens if you add too much sugar to a cake? ›
Excess sugar could weaken a cake structure so much that it collapses. A successful recipe balances adding enough sugar to tenderize and sweeten, but not so much to make the cake collapse.Can you double the ingredients for a cake? ›
How do you double when baking? For most baking recipes, you can simply double the ingredients. Eggs, flour, sugar, butter, even vanilla extract, can be doubled for almost any recipe you make. Just times the amounts by 2 – and be sure to do it for ALL the ingredients (don't forget!)How do you moisten dry chocolate cake? ›
All you need to do is brush a little milk or cold water over the cake. Then, place in a preheated, medium heat oven (around 350F/175C) leave for around for up to 20 minutes or until it crisps.What to add to a cake mix to make it more dense? ›
You can try any of the following: adding a 1 oz. package of pudding (any flavor that complements the cake's flavor profile), adding 1-2 egg yolks (along with the eggs called for on the box), or substituting milk for the water called for on the box.