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  • Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

    filed under: Cakes on August 6, 2018

    When I came across this recipe I knew I had to make it, and I was not disappointed! This Chocolate Cake Recipe is seriously rich and amazingly decadent. It’s my new go-to recipe! (But I still love the classics… my Perfect Chocolate Cake is my favorite for layer cakes!)

    The BEST Chocolate Cake

    When my friend Autumn showed me this recipe of her Grandma Evie’s I was totally intrigued. The method is completely different than anything I had ever seen! She actually calls it No-Fail Chocolate Cake. So I made it that day, thinking to myself, “How different can it really be?” Well, I was pleasantly surprised at just how AMAZING this chocolate cake is.

    Imagine my shock when I tried a piece the next day and it was EVEN BETTER. If at all possible, I recommend saving yourself a slice so that you can see just what a few hours will do to this crazy good recipe!

    This recipe uses coffee (one of my favorite additions to a chocolate cake), but you can certainly use hot (and cold, see recipe) water if you prefer to leave the coffee out.

    Chocolate Frosting

    But first, let’s talk frosting. This is a basic Chocolate Frosting done right. I used dutch process cocoa so that my frosting would be a bit darker, but you can certainly use regular unsweetened cocoa powder. (it will be lighter in color) I also added 1 tablespoon of corn syrup to my frosting in hopes that it would achieve a nice glossy sheen. I thought it worked beautifully, but then I made the frosting again the next day, did not add corn syrup, and found the frosting to still be shiny. I still can’t get over how luxurious this frosting looks and tastes!

    Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Coffee

    I have many recipes on my site for chocolate cake and most of them use coffee. Coffee will enhance the flavor of the chocolate, not overpower it. If your recipe is good (and this one is) you will not taste the coffee at all, you will only taste the richest chocolate cake you have ever had.

    This recipe utilizes brewed hot coffee in the first steps and then cooled coffee in the second part. Some recipes will call for instant coffee crystals or espresso coffee.

    You may substitute WATER for the coffee if you prefer, but the chocolate flavor will not be as intense.

    Chocolate Sheet Cake

    While I love the perfect height and frosting:cake ratio of this sheet cake, I also like this cake as a layer cake. It will make a 2-layer cake (using 8-inch rounds) and the chocolate frosting recipe below will cover that if you do not use too much between the layers.

    I have not made this recipe as cupcakes ( I love my Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe) but if you do you will want to fill each liner 2/3 full with batter and bake for 16-22 minutes at 350°F. Start checking at 16 minutes as you do not want to overbake the cupcakes. Cool and frost with chocolate frosting recipe. If you want to pipe pretty designs on the cupcakes you can add a bit more confectioners sugar for a thicker consistency.

    4.96 from 23 votes
    Chocolate Cake Recipe
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    35 mins

    Grandma approves... and the kids beg for the last piece!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: chocolate cake recipe, chocolate frosting
    Servings: 16 pieces
    Calories: 450 kcal
    Author: Amanda
    Chocolate Cake
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup strong coffee
    • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups (192g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113g) salted butter, warm but not melted
    • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup (100g) packed brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup cold coffee
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Chocolate Frosting
    • 3 cups (384g) confectioners' sugar
    • 6 tablespoons (90g) Dutch Process cocoa powder
    • 6 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
    • 3-5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Chocolate Cake

    2. Place all ingredients in the first part into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until they are fully incorporated, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. It should be a little thick and similar to custard.

    4. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together.

    5. Add 1/2 cup warm butter, sugars, eggs, cooled coffee, and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix with a hand-held mixer until fully combined. (or stir by hand) 

    6. Add the chocolate mixture from the FIRST PART to the ingredients from the SECOND PART. Stir by hand until all ingredients are well combined.
    7. Pour onto a prepared (sprayed or lined with parchment) baking sheet (I used a 10x15in baking sheet). Smooth out the batter and gently tap on the counter. 
    8. Bake in a 350°F oven for 16-22 minutes, or until the center no longer appears wet and an inserted toothpick is removed with a few crumbs.
    9. Allow to cool before frosting.
    Chocolate Frosting
    1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with heavy whipping cream. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more whipping cream or sugar.

    Recipe Video

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    Credit to Autumn and her Grandma Evie for an amazing cake recipe!!

    OMG!!! What a delight! I just made this and it was wonderful! I plan on making it for the holidays too!!
    Thank you!!!!

    Can this be made into a layer cake, or is it too crumbly to cut in half?

    The best chocolate cake recipe ever thanks for sharing

    Hi! I’m definitely going to make this! Question…how do you get the frosting to look like the photos? At the end of the video the frosting is much darker, almost the same color as the cake. I really like the contrast in color in the photos. Thanks!

      The frosting naturally darkens as it sets. 🙂

    R we supposed to use milk coffee or black coffee??

    How can I adjust this for 2 12 inch round cake pans???

    I made this cake today to take to a friends dinner. I did it as a layer cake and had to make additional frosting but that’s no problem. Everyone LOVED the cake. Nothing but rave reviews!

    Will this come out great to use fondant on, and strong enough to stack on a vanilla layer?

    I followed the instructions step by step and it turned out as a real success!!! I only cut down a bit on the sugar. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe. Much love from France

    Awesome and best chocolate cake.

    This is wonderful! You have done an excellent job explaining the reasons to do the little things I’ve always wondered why. Thank you!

    I tried this recipe without the frosting but the cake came out bland and kind of lacking sweetness too! I used strong dark coffee could it be because of that?

      The chocolate cake was bland? Have not ever heard that with this recipe. Maybe you forgot to add the sugar?

    I just made this on a whim and it is absolutely delicious. I didn’t have enough whipping cream for the icing, so I used the two-ish tablespoons I had on hand and added about 1/2 a cup of sour cream. It was perfect. I am going to print this and put it in my favorite recipes binder in my kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Don't Pass on Dessert!