The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (2023)

There’s a reason I call this the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe: it’s so good restaurants have asked me to start making it for them!

The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (1)

Table of Contents

  • Homemade Chocolate Layer Cake
  • The World’s Best Chocolate Cake?
  • What Makes this Cake So Good?
  • How is this Recipe Different?
  • Notes on Ingredients
  • How to Make Chocolate Cake
  • How to Store a Frosted Cake
  • Recipes that Use this Cake as a Starting Point
  • Get the Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Layer Cake

This is the kind of chocolate cake everyone should have in their recipe collection. An easy, one-bowl cake with the perfect crumb that’s covered with a simple homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. This moist homemade cake is made completely from scratch and has incredible chocolate flavor.

I literally cannot stop eating this cake whenever I make it. It is so moist and tasty, it should be illegal.

The World’s Best Chocolate Cake?

I made this cake for my niece’s birthday last year. When it was served, one of the moms asked my sister-in-law where she’d gotten the cake. She pointed at me and the mom came over to ask me about it. Turns out she has two restaurants in Atlanta and was curious if I’d be interested in making cakes for her restaurant.

Whaaaaaat?!?

Pretty neat, but I actually said no. However, this cake is THAT good! Make it and you just might be asked to bake for a restaurant. And whether you want to actually do that or not, don’t you want to be the one with a cake that’s so good you could bake for a restaurant? You know you do. 😉

The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (2)

What Makes this Cake So Good?

After testing many chocolate cake recipes, this one is hands down the best. Here’s why:

(Video) How to make the Best Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • It’s easy to make. Only one bowl!
  • Uses simple ingredients.
  • Has a rich chocolate flavor with a moist, fluffy crumb.
  • Is covered is an easy chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • Is drizzled with chocolate ganache.
The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (3)

How is this Recipe Different?

If you’re familiar with my recipes, then you’ve probably seen several variations on chocolate cake. This is my original chocolate cake and is still my favorite to this day. It’s my go-to. That said, I definitely have more than one recipe! Here is how they differ:

  • My Easy Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe was created after getting quite a few comments from people who were confused about the low baking temperature of this cake. So the newer version is baked at 350 degrees, eliminating the confusion. As a result of the changes made in that recipe, it’s not quite as tender as this original version. But it can be handy if you need a more sturdy cake for something you’re decorating. Both of these chocolate cakes use oil, which I think works really well in chocolate cake especially. It adds great moisture.
  • My Chocolate Piñata Cake uses butter instead of oil simply because some readers prefer the taste of butter and I aim to please! Plus, as far as sturdiness goes, butter based cakes are generally much more sturdy. That’s why this version of chocolate cake holds up much better to having holes cut into it and being filled like a piñata. 🙂

So to recap, the main difference between this recipe and my others is that this one is the most tender and moist, it uses oil instead of butter and it is baked at a lower temperature (which means it also takes a little longer to bake).

Notes on Ingredients

  • This cake is made with oil, instead of butter. It makes SUCH a moist cake!
  • Additionally, I often make this cake with dark chocolate cocoa. It gives the cake an even more rich chocolate flavor. That said, regular cocoa works too and is also wonderful.
The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (4)

How to Make Chocolate Cake

One thing to note is that this cake has a very thin batter. And no, it’s not a typo – it’s a slow-bake cake that bakes at 300 degrees.

So, here’s how you make it:

Step 1: Make the Cake

  • Prepare your pan & preheat the oven. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  • Bake. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  • Cool. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Step 2: Make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I usually make the chocolate frosting while the cakes cool. Here’s how:

  • Beat the butter in a stand mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sugar. Slowly add 4 cups (460g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and half of the water or milk and mix until smooth.
  • More sugar. Add another 5 cups (575g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Mix in the cocoa powder. Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
  • Add remaining water or milk until the frosting is the right consistency.

Step 3: Frost Your Cake

Once cakes are cool, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.

  • Frost the first layer. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  • Frost the second layer. Add second layer of cake and add another cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  • Add more frosting. Frost the outside of the entire cake to finish things up. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake.

Step 4: Make the Chocolate Ganache & Add More Frosting

Technically you could just stop right here. By this point you’ll have an amazing cake with chocolate buttercream frosting! But if you want to go a bit fancy, this chocolate ganache is an easy way to do it.

To make the chocolate ganache:

  • Add the chocolate chips to a medium-sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
  • Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

That’s it. Just two steps! Then you add the ganache to your cake:

  • Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then pour the remainder of the ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly. I like to use a squeeze bottle for drizzling around the edges. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
  • Allow the ganache to firm up a bit
  • Pipe the remainder of the frosting around the top edge of the cake and pipe a border around the bottom. I used Ateco tip 844.

Step 5: Sprinkles and Serve!

Add a few sprinkles to the cake, if desired, then serve. Sprinkles are totally optional of course, but why not?

(Video) How to Make the Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (5)

How to Store a Frosted Cake

This cake can be stored for 3-4 days on the counter. It should be well covered under a cake dome if possible.

You can also store it in the fridge to extend its shelf life to 4-5 days, but the frosting will harden. When I store a frosted cake in the fridge I usually place the cake in the fridge uncovered until the frosting hardens (about 2 hours). Then I cover it with saran wrap.

When you are ready to have some cake, simply cut a slice and warm it in the microwave (if desired) for about 15-30 seconds. The frosting will soften right up and you’ll have warm chocolate cake to enjoy.

Recipes that Use this Cake as a Starting Point

This recipe is so simple and easy to make, in addition to being delicious, that it has actually become the base for many other flavor combinations I’ve made and it’s always a hit!

  • Nutella Chocolate Cake
  • Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
  • Turtle Chocolate Layer Cake
  • Red Wine Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate Oreo Cake

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The BEST Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe! (6)

Recipe

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

★★★★★4.9 from 135 reviews

(Video) Super Moist chocolate cake | How to make super moist Chocolate cake | easy cooking with das
  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This is the Best Chocolate Cake recipe! Moist homemade chocolate cake made completely from scratch. This is the kind of chocolate cake everyone should have in their recipe collection!

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • 2 1/2 cups (560g) butter, room temperature
  • 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (114g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 45 tbsp (60-75ml) water/milk

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

Make the Cakes

  1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  3. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla to hot water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  6. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Make frosting while cakes cool. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Slowly add 4 cups (460g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and half of the water or milk and mix until smooth.
  4. Add another 5 cups (575g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
  6. Add remaining water or milk until the frosting is the right consistency.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Once cakes are cool, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
  2. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  3. Add second layer of cake and add another cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  4. Add final layer of cake on top and frost the outside of the cake. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
  2. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Finish Cake

  1. Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then pour the remainder of the ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly. I like to use a squeeze bottle for drizzling around the edges. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
  2. Allow the ganache to firm up a bit, then pipe the remainder of the frosting around the top edge of the cake and pipe a border around the bottom. I used Ateco tip 844.
  3. Add a few sprinkles to the cake, if desired, then serve. Cake is best when well covered for 3-4 days.
(Video) Best Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

Notes

This recipe calls for hot water. You don’t have to use hot water – the cake will still bake fine – but the hot water allows the cocoa to “bloom”, which brings out a richer chocolate flavor in the cake.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 941
  • Sugar: 101 g
  • Sodium: 496.6 mg
  • Fat: 49.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 127.7 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 38.1 mg

Keywords: best chocolate cake, chocolate birthday cake, chocolate layer cake

Categories

  • Cakes and Cupcakes
  • Recipes
  • Recipes with video
  • Sweets and Treats

Enjoy!

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(Video) Super moist chocolate Cake with perfect chocolate ganache

FAQs

What is the secret to super moist cake? ›

How to Keep Cake Moist
  • Use cake flour. Making a moist cake starts with the cake mix. ...
  • Avoid overmixing. ...
  • Maintain the right baking temperature. ...
  • Avoid overbaking the cake. ...
  • Soak the cake. ...
  • Add moisture between the cake layers. ...
  • Frost the cake right away. ...
  • Store the cake properly.
Dec 20, 2021

Why is my chocolate cake not moist? ›

The ratio of wet to dry ingredients determines a cake's moisture level. If there's simply too much flour and not enough butter, a cake will taste dry. On the other hand, if there's too much milk and not enough flour, a cake will taste too wet. Finding the right balance between wet and dry ingredients is key.

Is chocolate cake better with oil or butter? ›

The texture of cakes made with oil is—in general—superior to the texture of cakes made with butter. Oil cakes tend to bake up loftier with a more even crumb and stay moist and tender far longer than cakes made with butter.

How do you make a moist baked cake? ›

2. Formulate a cake soak: You can make a cake soak using simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water), evaporated milk, buttermilk, or a liqueur. With a wooden skewer or toothpick, pole holes in the cake. Then use a pastry brush to blot the liquid over the surface of the cake layers to moisten the cake.

Which ingredient makes cake soft? ›

Cake flour, which is more finely ground and contains less protein than its all-purpose counterpart, is a major contributor to how soft and the overall weight of a cake. Since cake flour has less protein, less gluten is formed. Without all of that gluten, the cake becomes less dense, airy, and smooth.

What can you add to cake mix to make it moist? ›

  1. Add More Eggs. To get an extra rich and moist cake, stir in two extra egg yolks along with the eggs the recipe calls for (save the egg whites to make these delicious meringues). ...
  2. Walk Away from Water. Water tastes like, well, water! ...
  3. More Fat, More Flavor. Most box cake recipes call for vegetable or canola oil.
Sep 1, 2020

What does a moisturizer ingredient do to a cake? ›

Cream is commonly used in baked goods to: Increase moisture absorption. Provide lactose which gives browning reaction upon baking.

Is milk or water better for cakes? ›

Should I use milk or water in a cake? First, it's always best to use what the recipe calls for, otherwise, milk is usually a better choice over water. Milk contains things that water doesn't, like sugar and fat, which can also help with the taste and texture of the cake.

Should I use milk or water in cake mix? ›

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. Egg WHITES: Not adding the yolks to the cake makes the cake fluffy and whiter!

Should I use milk instead of water in cake mix? ›

Yes, you can substitute milk for water when preparing SuperMoist cake mixes, however, the cake may be slightly drier than if prepared with water. Also keep in mind that milk will add calories and change the nutrition slightly.

What causes a cake to be 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.

Does refrigerating cake dry it out? ›

Refrigeration dries sponge cakes out. It's that simple. Even if you refrigerate a cake in a perfectly sealed container and only for a short amount of time, it will dry out.

How do you soak cake layers? ›

By easy, I mean easy: Poke your loaf cake or layer cake (with a skewer, cake tester, or toothpick), then use a pastry brush to coat it generously with simple syrup, which will soak into the crumb through the channels you just created. That's it: You've successfully completed a “cake soak.”

What causes a cake to be 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.

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