How To Make A Homemade Chocolate Cake From Scratch

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Homemade Chocolate Cake Ingredients

How to make a Chocolate Cake from scratch

As I already mentioned, the moistness of this homemade chocolate cake is thanks in part to the oil used in the batter. Our other secret? Buttermilk! Yep, this is a buttermilk chocolate cake.

Any time a recipe calls for buttermilk, it makes me think its going to be a fancy recipe. But in reality, this chocolate cake from scratch couldnt be simpler to make.

Heres what youll need to make this moist chocolate cake recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Ive tested all sorts of flours but had the worst luck in a chocolate cake with cake flour.
  • Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder: Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder, but opt for an unsweetened cocoa powder, which will give a better rise. Try Hersheys or a similar brand just in the grocery store. Not crazy trip to a gourmet store needed.
  • Espresso Powder: Espresso powder is optional, but listen, as one who does not drink coffee for religious reasons I really do believe this makes a difference in the chocolate flavor.
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Yes, use both!!! Ive tried many baking powder only and baking soda only chocolate cake recipes, but it was only in using both that it worked out.
  • Salt: Salt balances the flavor of sweet and actually makes this homemade chocolate cake taste better!
  • Oil: I do not believe in using butter in this cake batter as anything with cocoa powder dries out the baked goods.
  • What Size Cake Does This Recipe Make

    You can use this cake recipe to make sheet pan chocolate cake and bake it in a 9×13 baking dish.

    You can make a double layer chocolate cake by baking this recipe in two 8 inch round cake pans.

    You can use this recipe to make cupcakes, fill the paper liners until 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    How To Make Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • While cake cools make ganache.
  • Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof mixing bowl.
  • Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over stovetop on medium heat until just simmering.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate then stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  • Let it cool until its a thicker consistency, about 30 minutes* then spread ganache over cake and slice.
  • Recommended Reading: King Arthur Gluten Free Cake Mix

    Traditional Mixing Method Option

    As we mentioned earlier in our post, you can make this same scratch Classic Chocolate Cake recipe but using the conventional method of mixing instead of the reverse creaming method.

    This is the mixing method that I use when making chocolate cupcakes also as it is a bit fluffier. You can find the traditional mixing version of this recipe here: Classic Chocolate Cupcakes

    **Dont miss our full roundup of favorite chocolate cakes, frostings, and fillings! We have so many more favorites that we would love to share with you! Hop over for the full list: Roundup of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes

    Can I Use Semi

    Classic Chocolate Cake~Scratch Recipe

    While morsels are often less expensive and easier to find, we wouldnt recommend using morsels for this recipe. Since the semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe needs to be melted, you want to use a chocolate that melts easily. Morsels have less cocoa butter than baking squares, so theres a higher chance of your chocolate clumping or burning.

    Morsels are also designed to melt slightly while retaining their shape so theyre often used for chocolate chip cookie recipes. Melting them down can be difficult because they may contain stabilizers or even wax to prevent them from losing their shape.

    Baking squares, on the other hand, are meant to be melted. They have a high cocoa butter content, which helps them melt evenly and easily. So stick with baking squares for this chocolate cake recipe.

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    What To Serve With Chocolate Cake

    Wondering what else you can serve with this delicious chocolate cake? Here are some great suggestions:

    Vanilla Ice Cream Cake and ice cream go perfectly together.

    Fruit Platter I love serving fresh fruit with my cakes. It provides a nice balance.

    Creme Fraiche A soured cream with a creamy texture. Goes great with berries and chocolate.

    Fresh Cucumber Water This cake is rich and chocolaty, so having fruit-infused water is perfect.

    Iced Matcha Tea This drink is creamy but also hydrating and good for you! Matcha and chocolate go together really well.

    Possible Variations For Chocolate Cake

    • Make it an olive oil chocolate cake. Ive made this recipe with regular olive oil in place of vegetable oil and its delicious!
    • Finish it with a different frosting. Great options are buttercream frosting such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. Or try a .
    • For a little crunch top the frosted cake with nuts such as chopped pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds.
    • Make without icing a snack style cake. You can dust with powdered sugar.
    • Serve with ice cream. Skip the ganache, serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream, bananas or strawberries, chocolate or caramel sauce and optional nuts.

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    How To Make Ahead Homemade Chocolate Cake

    The best part about making a classic homemade cake is that you can make it ahead of time. Bake the cake and let them cool completely. Then Allow the wrap in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or in a gallon zip-top freezer bag. Freeze the cake for up to 3 months.

    When youre ready to serve the cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Once its completely thawed you can frost the cake.

    Oven Variations In Baking:

    Simple Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe: How To Make Homemade Chocolate Cake From Scratch

    This recipe should take between 45-50 minutes to bake in the oven. However, the cakes doneness is more important than how long it has been baking in the oven. All ovens vary a bit from each other, running either hot or cold, fanned or not. It is best to see recipe instructions as a guide for an approximation of baking time, but dont worry if your cake is ready sooner or if it needs a few more minutes. You want to bake your chocolate bundt cake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. For a truly accurate baking experience, we highly recommend an oven thermometer.

    If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious cake recipes:

    Also Check: Baskin Robbins Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

    How To Make The Easiest Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare pan: Spray a 9 by 9 or 8 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray then dust with a little cocoa. Shake out excess cocoa.
  • Whisk dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix in wet ingredients: Add buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Whisk mixture until very well blended .
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 27 to 35 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Dessert 45 mins

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe A one bowl chocolate cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Updated with gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options!

    The best chocolate cake recipe. Ever? There are plenty of claims for the best chocolate cake recipe. I get that. But with one bite of this decadent, moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, every single person around the table commented that this was the best chocolate cake theyd ever tasted.

    So as for my house, this chocolate cake recipe now holds that honor.

    As the compliments continued, I didnt begin to tell them how easy it was to make.

    In all honesty, it is probably one of the easiest cakes Ive made in a long time, really, but I just smiled and thanked them.

    As we continued on gobbling up the cake, drinking our coffee or iced cold milk, the compliments just kept coming.

    Then the requests for the recipe started.

    Thats generally when you know that folks really like what youve made if they ask for the recipe and tell you for what event they plan to serve it.

    As a cook, that really is one of the highest compliments you can receive well, at least in my book.

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    Choosing A Buttermilk Replacement:

    Not all buttermilk substitutes are alike, so you may need to be more selective depending on the type of recipe you make. Milk with either lemon juice or vinegar will work in just about any recipe, especially breads and pastries. Its also more likely that you will have what you need on hand.

    Choose the cream of tartar option when you want that signature tangy flavor but need a looser batter or dough. Its also a good choice for cream sauces so they dont become too thick. For buttermilk pancakes, fried chicken, or meat marinades, use one of the sour cream or yogurt options.

    Why This Is The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Perfectly Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe (Homemade!)

    This is my favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe for many reasons:

    • Super moist
    • Versatile Can be made into a sheet cake, layered cake, bundt cake, or cupcakes
    • Rich chocolate flavor, but not overwhelmingly sweet
    • Easy chocolate cake recipe to make
    • It tastes good even without frosting as a chocolate snack cake
    • Tried and tested over and over and always works

    Also Check: How To Make Frosting For Cake Pops

    How To Make Chocolate Cake

    The world famous Hersheys Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe ticks all your chocolate-loving boxes: EASY, QUICK AND AMAZING RESULTS.

    TIPS: Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl first to get rid of any hard lumps caused during storage, while getting more air into the mixture.

    Then add in your wet ingredients. Just keep in mind that the cake batter is VERY thin. Dont be tempted to add more flour as this is what makes the cake super soft and moist.

    The ONLY thing you can add to this already perfect cake recipe is a couple teaspoons of instant coffee or espresso for an even deeper chocolate flavour. Of course, this is totally and COMPLETELY optional. You cannot taste the coffee flavour.

    Super-fine cake flour can be used if you have it for an even softer crumb but is not necessary.

    The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Published by Lauren on

    Looking for the most delicious homemade chocolate cake recipe? You are in luck! This homemade chocolate cake is chocolate cake perfection! This best chocolate cake recipe it is super easy to make and results in the perfect from scratch chocolate cake recipe every time.

    Also Check: Dairy Queen Rainbow Cake

    Read Also: Strawberries And Cream Nothing Bundt Cake

    How To Melt Chocolate

    This chocolate cake recipe calls for 6 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, which gives this cake that rich, chocolatey flavor! Melting the chocolate can be done in the microwave but you can also use a double boiler for better control.

    If you decide to use a double boiler, take extra care that no moisture from the steam gets into your chocolate. This may cause seizing and youll have to start over.

    How To Make Whipped Chocolate Ganache

    How to Make the Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

    Add 18 ounces chocolate chips in a bowl.

    Pour 1 ½ cup heavy cream in a sauce pan and heat up until starts to simmer. Then pour it over the chocolate chips.

    Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let it cool off completely, then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

    When ready, whip the ganache with a stand or a hand mixer until stiff peaks, but dont overmix.

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    Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time

    Yes, this homemade chocolate cake recipe can be made ahead of time. Bake and cool each cake layer and store them individually wrapped in the refrigerator for 2 days. You can also freeze each cake layer tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.

    The buttercream frosting can be made 2-3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature when ready to frost the cake.

    Chocolate Cake Recipe Variations

    This chocolate cake recipe has been the most popular post on for years it has been pinned hundreds of thousands of times, and for good reason! Everyone who makes it falls in love, and everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe. You wont be disappointed. Its still my go-to, no-fail, delicious chocolate cake recipe for every birthday, celebration, or Valentines Day.

    Ive made many variations on it since it was originally posted, and due to popular request have shared the Fluffy Chocolate Frosting recipe to go with it. Ive also made it as Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting and as Caramallow Cupcakes chocolate cupcakes filled with creamy caramel and topped with deliciously sticky marshmallow frosting. That frosting, also known as seven-minute frosting, was the way we enjoyed chocolate cake most often when I was a kid and is still probably my top choice. Another favourite way to enjoy this beloved cake is very simply with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.

    This chocolate cake recipe freezes beautifully and Ill typically make it a few days in advance when preparing for a party. Just wrap the cooled cakes well in plastic wrap before popping them into freezer bags. Freeze them until ready to use, and you can frost them while still cold . I do make sure that its at room temperature by the time its served for best texture . If you love this one, Ive got lots more cake recipes be sure to check them out!

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    Most Amazing Chocolate Bundt Cake

    This fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake is topped with a decadent chocolate ganache glaze. Its a one bowl cake thats easy to make and sure to please!

    This fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake is topped with a decadent chocolate ganache glaze. Its a one bowl cake thats easy to make and sure to please!

    We know how much you love our most amazing chocolate cake. With over 20 million views, it sure is a hit! You truly cant find a more moist and decadent chocolate cake out there. We have heard your many requests and are here to deliver a bundt cake recipe for our most amazing chocolate cake. You are going to love it!

    Some people may not quite understand the bundt cake design and why there is a hole in their cake, but bundt cakes have been wildly popular since the 1950s. Bundt cakes dont share a common recipe, and are simply all about the common shape and design. Whether youre a chocolate lover or not, were sure youre going to love the most amazing chocolate bundt cake.

    Stir Up The Cake Batter

    Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Homemade From Scratch)

    To start this cake, beat the sugar, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract until blended. You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer here.

    In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa , baking soda and salt. Slowly add this dry blend into the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. And thats it! This cake batter is a snap to put together.

    Read Also: Simple Mills Gluten Free Cake Mix

    The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever

    It was great to hear that they thought the cake was just as good after their last bite as they thought it was with their first.

    Heres another great thing about this recipe. The cake batter really can be made in a bowl without the use of a heavy duty mixer. Of course, that just makes things easier, but this is easily a recipe my Grandmother would have enjoyed making in her tiny kitchen with a whisk and a bowl. And Im sure it would have turned out perfectly, too.

    Im not going to kid you, this makes a very rich, moist chocolate cake recipe. So if you are a faint of heart chocolate cake person, this is not the cake for you.

    Based on the Old Fashioned Hersheys recipe, I sort of went a bit heavy-handed with some changes testing cake after cake until I got it just the way I wanted it, but the end result was oh so worth it. The crumbs left on the plate gave that away.

    What If I Dont Have Buttermilk On Hand

    Homemade buttermilk is really simple and quick to make if you dont have any. All you need is plain white vinegar and regular milk, preferably whole or 2%. Simply add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to reach the 1 cup line. Stir, then allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes before adding to your recipe. That makes 1 cup of buttermilk, which is how much you need for this recipe.

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    How To Make The Best Moist Cake Ever

    To me, making the best moist cake comes down to one ingredient: oil. It’s an absolute must for this recipe, and here’s why. First, oil is liquid, and is liquid at room temperature, unlike butter. This means, because science, that the cake is going to have a more moist sensation, and remains moist for longer. Because butter solidifies at room temperature, the cake, as it cools, tends to get more crumbly. Second: butter is actually 80% fat and 20% liquid . When the dry ingredients interact with the butter then, they’re mixing with both fat and water. Water + flour = gluten, meaning that you’re cake is going to be relatively tough. That’s compared to oil, which is pure, pure fat. If you want to read more about this, and how it works, check out this Bon Appetit article. And also, stop making your cakes with butter. Immediately. Chocolate cake without butter is the way to go.

    There’s a lot of info out there about using sour cream and mayo to make your cakes moist, but I haven’t found this makes a huge difference for me. It’s really all about the oil vs. butter.

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