The Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe is paired with a Perfect Chocolate Buttercream. It is moist and flavorful!

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Chocolate Cake on Cake Stand

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

What makes this recipe the best? First off, it is inspired by Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe which is the same recipe my grandma used. They added coffee to their cake which does magical things to chocolate. Second, this is truly a MOIST and flavorful chocolate cake. Is there anything worse than dry cake? Nope. You will never have that problem with this recipe!

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

This is the recipe I use, Chocolate Buttercream, but it is a large amount. If you don’t plan on piping on embellishment, you can cut the recipe in half.

The Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream on White Cake Stand

Coffee in Chocolate Cake?

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.

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

Buttermilk in Cake

I prefer to use store-bought buttermilk for this cake, but you can absolutely use homemade. I have a post on How to Make Buttermilk should you want to make your own! I like the sour cream method for this cake.

Overhead of Chocolate Cake with Rosette Frosting

Can I Make This Into Cupcakes?

Full transparency: 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.

Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe with Pieces Missing on Cake Stand

Can I Use a 9×13 Baking Dish?

Yes, you absolutely can. Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick is removed with crumbs, but no wet batter.

Piece of Chocolate Cake on Plate with Raspberries

Can This be Gluten-Free?

I am often asked how to make this recipe gluten-free. I recommend a good quality gluten-free flour that can be used interchangeably with all-purpose flour. (A 1:1 blend) This recipe is best when gluten is used, but will still taste delicious with gluten-free flour.

Chocolate Cake on a Plate.

How to Freeze Chocolate Cake

I don’t recommend freezing with frosting on.

  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan fully.
  • Place a layer of plastic on top of the cake and then place a cutting board or cooling rack on top.
  • Flip the cake over. Remove the pan.
  • Wrap the plastic up over the edges of the cake and then add another large piece and wrap it again as tightly as possible without crushing the cake. Make sure that none of the cake is exposed in the freezer as this can cause freezer burn.
  • Now wrap it in a layer of foil. Label and date the cake. The cake will freeze well for 1 month and should be fine for up to 3 months.

More Chocolate Cakes

The best recipe you will ever try!
4.98 from 85 votes

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
This rich and decadent chocolate cake has been around for decades and is always a crowd-pleaser! Perfectly moist, rich, and flavorful.

Ingredients

  • cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (90g) good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (112g) vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (237g) freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into two 8-inch round prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).
  • Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

    1. It’s in the instructions above.
      Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick is removed with crumbs, but no wet batter.

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