• The Perfect Chocolate Cake

    filed under: Chocolate Cakes on November 10, 2013

    The Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe paired with a Perfect Chocolate Buttercream then decorated with simple rosettes. This is the perfect cake!

    Grandma's Classic Recipe!

    No matter how you decorate this chocolate cake recipe with chocolate buttercream it will taste delicious!

    The Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream


    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!

    The Best Ever Chocolate Cake and Best Ever Chocolate Buttercream



    I used two 8-inch pans for my cake, but you can also use 9-inch pans. If using 9-inch, you will want to decrease the bake time by up to five minutes. And don’t forget to use GOOP to prepare your pans… it is the BEST!

    Do you have to have coffee in this perfect chocolate cake recipe?

    1. No, you cannot leave it out.

    2. I mean it.

    Ok, ok, so you can if you want. But here is what the coffee does… it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. The cake does not taste like coffee at all… it simply tastes more rich.

    If you simply must not use coffee, you can substitute hot water.

    Chocolate Rosette Cake with the BEST chocolate cake recipe!


    How to Make a Chocolate Cake

    First, I recommend reading through the ingredients and making sure everything is out and ready. The eggs and buttermilk should be room temperature so getting them out of the fridge ahead of time will solve that for you. (Same with the butter in the chocolate buttercream 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. For instance, this recipe used a stand mixer. 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.


    Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe


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


    NO FAIL Chocolate Cake! This is the recipe people will ask for again and again!

    Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

    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. This recipe is best when gluten is used, but will still taste delicious with a gluten free flour.

    Double Chocolate Cake Recipe

    One of my favorite ways to jazz up this cake is to add chocolate chips to it. My favorite option? Mini chocolate chips! They add the perfect texture and bursts of chocolate. One fun trick when doing this is to add a semi-sweet or dark chocolate chip. For instance, if you are using standard cocoa powder (as the recipe is written) then add semi-sweet chips. If you are using a dark cocoa powder or dutch process, try adding milk chocolate chips.

    Chocolate Wedding Cake

    Folks often ask if this is like bakery chocolate cake, or if it can be used in wedding cakes. Yes and no. The flavor and consistency are very similar to a bakery chocolate cake except that it is MORE moist in my experience. Can you make a wedding cake with this recipe? Well, that really depends on the type of wedding cake you are making. The highest I have ever stacked this cake is 4 layers, so I cannot speak its’s durability beyond that. If you are covering this chocolate cake recipe with fondant it may not stand up because of the moisture level.

    The Perfect Chocolate Cake

    The best recipe you will ever try!

    • Prep Time:15m
    • Cook Time:40m
    • Total Time:55m
    • Yield: 12 slices


    • 1 3/4 c (210g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. McCormick pure vanilla extract
    • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1/2 c (112g) vegetable oil
    • 1 c (240g) buttermilk (room temperature)
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 3/4 c (90g) good unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 c (400g) granulated sugar
    • 1 c (237g) freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)


    1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
    2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
    3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With 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 at 350°F, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).
    4. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

    I made my cake in two 8-inch round cake pans and then divided each layer in two. This made for a 4-layer chocolate cake.

    The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


        • 2 c unsalted butter (4 sticks) at room temp.
        • 7 1/2 c powdered sugar (or one 2lb bag)
        • 1 c good quality cocoa powder
        • 1 tsp. table salt
        • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
        • 1/2 c whole milk or heavy cream


        1. ***THIS RECIPE IS FOR A CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ROSE CAKE. You may need to halve this recipe if you are not making buttercream roses!***
        2. Place room temperature butter and vanilla into a stand mixer and beat at medium-high for about three minutes. You want it to appear lighter and fluffier.
        3. While butter is in mixer add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to a bowl and mix with a whisk. (sift)
        4. With mixer off, add in one cup of the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. Turn mixer on to low and then slowly add in remaining powdered sugar mixture, one cup at a time.
        5. With mixer still on low, add in milk. Turn mixer to medium high and blend for at least two minutes.
        6. Frosting will appear very light, but it will darken as it sets.

        This best ever chocolate cake recipe was originally published on my blog in 2010 and is from The Barefoot Contessa who adapted it from Hershey’s.

        I always forget #2!


        I want to share with you 3 AMAZING TIPS for making the perfect chocolate cake recipe.

        1. Room Temperature Ingredients. I say this all the time, but it really is important in baking. To quickly warm up eggs, place them in hot water for a minute or so. To heat up milk or buttermilk, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.
        2. Sift together all dry ingredients. Cocoa is notoriously lumpy and you do not want lumps in your cake. Make sure you sift all dry ingredients at least twice.
        3. Do not open the oven door until cake is almost done. The cake needs to be mostly set before opening the door or the cold air could make it collapse.

        Once you get your chocolate fix be sure to try the Perfect White Cake!

        If you are planning on making a chocolate rose cake as well, here are some posts to help you along.

        Original Rose Cake – Photograph Tutorial

        Rose Cake Tutorial on Youtube

        The Perfect Birthday Rose Cake

        Royal Wedding Rose Cake

        Gender Reveal Rose Cake

        Neapolitan Rose Cake (one of my favorite cakes of all time!)

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


        Can I used the same recipe for cup cake bake at 320 degree fahrenheit for 20 mins.

        How can I cut down the quantity of ingredients to bake in smaller amounts?

        This cake is delicious!! Thank you for sharing. I’ve made it many time, it is always a hit. Especially, paired with peanut butter frosting!!!!

        So delicious. I’ll make your cake recipe.

        I just made this cake and man is it good, however, it was very crumbly. almost TOO moist. I live in a high elevation, maybe more flour or did I not let it cook long enough? Also, it puffed massively, spilled over in my oven and caved in the center. Im not sure what I did wrong. I used 8in rounds and followed the recipe very carefully. Like I said TASTY, but not pretty… ???

        Hi! I would apareciate your advice. Can i make the buttercream days before the day i am planning yo use it ? Yo sabe time the day of my event. Also, if i frost cupcakes with it, do they have to be refrigerated? If the event is at 14:00 hrs , Can i frost in the morning and leave they at room temp?

        Can I use the gloriously delicious chocolate cake recipe to make cup cakes? How long should they bake and at what temperature? I see a comment below from “Anthony” about baking cupcakes at 320 degrees F for 20 minutes. Is this your recommendation? Thank you very much for sharing your yummy recipes!

        What tip did you use to make the roses on the side?

        I made your chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday. It truly is the most moist cake ever, and I’ve baked quite a few that always seemed to turn out too dry. Thank you. My family loves it!

        Can I use cake flour, instead of AP flour?

        Have you ever used this recipe for cupcakes??

        OMG Chocolate Desserts indeed! Wow, this looks amazing!

        I tried your recipe today. Was interesting to see that not much flour but double the amount of sugar. I thought it was going to be very very sweet but it turned out absolutely marvelous- not sweet at all, very moist and tasty. My kids ate most of the cake before I had a chance to ice it.

        Don't Pass on Dessert!