Chocolate Craving Cake

filed under: Cakes on September 30, 2015

Chocolate cravings cannot be ignored! This perfectly proportioned cake will definitely satisfy every single craving! If you love the chocolate version, don’t miss my White Snack Cake! You may also love my Best Chocolate Cake (sheet cake) and find your favorite recipe on my 50 Best Cake Recipes list!


Chocolate Craving Cake

I wanted a chocolate cake. No, I needed one. But I didn’t want to make a huge cake or get out special cake pans. I just wanted the most decadent, rich chocolate flavor without a whole lot of fuss. This cake fits the bill! Paired with a chocolate frosting that is nothing like I have ever imagined!

Chocolate Craving Cake!

How to Make a Chocolate Cake

First, I recommend reading through the ingredients and making sure everything is out and ready. The eggs and milk should be room temperature so getting them out of the fridge ahead of time will solve that for you. (Same with the sour cream in the chocolate frosting recipe.)

Make sure dry ingredients are sifted and measured properly. When measuring flour, get out your container or bag. Open it and use a fork to stir it, or sift it, loosening it up. Spoon the flour into a dry measure cup then use the back of a knife to level the cup off. (Or you can measure your ingredients on a scale.)

Use the proper tools. You can use a hand-held mixer (or even stir by hand) but make sure the ingredients are fully mixed and incorporated before moving on to the next step in the recipe.

Use the best quality ingredients if you are able! Dark cocoa’s or high-quality cocoa, fresh eggs, and good quality vanilla make a difference! Feel free to upgrade to all organic ingredients. When it comes to substitutions though, I do recommend making the recipe as-is first, then altering it to make it yours, including adjusting with High Altitude Baking Tips.

Chocolate Craving Cake in a Pan

Why Warm Water in Chocolate Cake?

Many chocolate cake recipes include coffee, but this recipe does not. You still need the moisture that coffee would bring, but can achieve the necessary results by using hot water instead.

Another reason that you want to use warm water when making a cake recipe is that it will help to even the baking process. You don’t want to add cold cake batter to a hot oven.

Warm water will also help bring eggs within the recipe to room temperature if they have been refrigerated. As I mention often, eggs should be at room temperature before adding to the cake batter.

Got a craving? I've got you covered. The best chocolate cake!

Chocolate Frosting (Read this before making!)

You will notice that there is no added sugar in the frosting. It is meant to complement and contrast the sweet cake! It is NOT very sweet on its own. If you prefer a sweeter frosting I recommend halving this Chocolate Buttercream recipe.

Make sure you prepare your dish well! I love using GOOP (Homemade Pan Release) in this recipe.

If you plan on serving your cake right in the pan as I did, try my tips for baking a level cake.

This is one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  It’s moist and fudgy but still has a light cake crumb.  It’s got a depth of flavor and a distinct rich deep chocolate essence.

4.9 from 105 votes
The BEST cake for your chocolate cravings!
Chocolate Craving Cake
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Small in size but not in flavor!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cake, chocolate craving cake
Servings: 9 slices
Calories: 315 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (63g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup (100g) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (55g) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118g) warm water, (can use coffee instead)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper and spray sides and bottom. If using a metal baking pan, heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of stand mixer.
  3. Add in egg, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix on low until incorporated. When mixed in increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in warm water and gently stir- batter will be very thin.

  5. Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then continue cooling on a rack until room temperature.
  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each heating, until they are fully melted.
  2. Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir by hand until frosting is well combined and fluffier.
  3. Spread over cooled cake.

Recipe Video



Seriously decadent chocolate cake that satisfy's every craving...

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  • Joann says:

    Love your recipes.

  • Cindi says:

    Mine baked in 25 minutes…didn’t bother with the specific details…just threw it all together and it came out fantabulous…thank you!
    Just what I was “craving”

  • Bob LeDoux says:

    Was having a chocolate cake craving and like magic I saw this recipe on Facebook. I made this yesterday using coffee to replace the hot water and it came out perfect. Easily the best tasting chocolate cake ever!

  • Bernice B. says:

    I came here for the frosting recipe, and it didn’t disappoint! I used semi-sweet chips, and it should be noted that the frosting sets up pretty quickly and firm. I had doubled the recipe for a 13×9 cake, so I added 3T. whipping cream and about 1 c. powdered sugar to give it a little sweetness and whipped it with my mixer. Wow, this is so stinkin’ good!! I make cupcakes for weddings/showers/anniversaries and am always looking for new and yummy things, and this is on par to be a filling for my cupcakes, so light and beautifully creamy!

  • Taza says:

    Easy recipe, & smells lovely in the oven! I only had semisweet chocolate chips, so I added about 2 tsp agave nectar to the frosting mix, & used plain Greek yogurt vs. sour cream. Can’t wait to taste it!

  • Kathy says:

    I so look forward to this cake. But it has been 45 minutes and it is still liquid in the middle. I followed the directions to the letter and would like to know what I did wrong

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Your oven may not be at 350°F and it may need more time. Every oven is different. Just bake it until a toothpick is inserted and removed with a few crumbs.

  • Laverne E Nelson says:


    If I use coffee instead of water, do I use the same amount of coffee as water?.

  • Carolyn says:

    I made your cake for my chocolate lovin’ hubby & he loved it. Perfect size for the two of us 😁

  • Catherine Jackson says:

    One of my favorite chocolate cake recipes

  • Cynthia Riegle says:

    Excellent cake!!!!

  • Nickogene Antioquia says:

    Ohh it tastes so good! I just made it last night for our dessert. So easy to make, thank you for the recipe! Love from the Philippines. ❤️

  • Gabi says:

    Love🤎 Love🤎 Love🤎

  • Ruth Ann Pacaldo says:

    Hello Good day I love your receioe, Can ask brownies receipe…

  • Lisa Jaworski says:

    What do I add for high altitude? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Lisa! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Here are some high-altitude baking tips you could try. I hope they help and have a great day!

  • Betty says:

    Always use self rising flour so I can omit using salt, baking powder, and soda, turns out great every time

  • Kevin says:

    Do you ever read or edit your recipes? Written instructions clearly state to line AND spray pan, yet the video neither shows nor mentions lining the pan. Really frustrating for us inexperienced bakers when you don’t follow your own instructions.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hey Kevin! Always follow the written recipe. The video was one that I hired another company to produce for me years ago (I do everything in house now) and I can’t help if they didn’t follow directions. If you followed the directions in the recipe it should be perfect. 🙂

  • Carlotta Weathers says:

    Delicious 😋

  • Wayne says:

    Sorry, but cannot send you a photo of this brilliant cake – it never lasts long enough. The best cake I have tried and everyone agrees. Thank you for the recipe!!!