★★★★★

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you’re looking for the most amazing Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, look no further. This from scratch recipe is perfect. Rich and fudgy and easy to make!

Creating cakes from sratch is easy and delicious. Try my Coconut Cake for a sweet white cake twist, or give this classic Yellow Birthday Cake a try for your next birthday!

Slice of chocolate layer cake being removed from cake plate with a spatula.

Devil’s Food Cake from scratch

Do you ever just get a craving for chocolate cake and chocolate frosting? I do, like all the time! (sure I love a good Lemon Cake, but chocolate is always in need).

Buying cake mixes, like Devil’s food cake mix, is cheap and convenient, but until you try making one from scratch, you’ll never understand the taste difference!

Today’s recipe is going to be the best chocolate cake you’ve ever tasted!

Why this Recipe Works

There’s no doubt this cake is phenomenal. Here’s why:

  • Super moist (don’t be hating on that word)!
  • A soft crumb that is firm enough to layer and frost.
  • Easy to make and follow recipe directions
  • No fancy decorating skills required.
  • Covered in the creamies chocolate buttercream frosting!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make the most amazing chocolate cake recipe.
  1. Chocolate- you’ll notice today’s recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder. Do not use a dutch processed cocoa.
  2. Brewed coffee- the hot coffee enances the chocolate flavor while adding moisture to the cake, without giving it a coffee flavor. Use water if you need to substitute.
  3. Milk- using whole milk or buttermilk gives this cake a rich flavor and soft crumb.
  4. All-Purpose Flour- unlike my white cake recipe, today’s recipe needs the all purpose flour which gives the cake more structure with the cocoa powder. Make sure to learn how to measure flour correctly!
  5. Butter- I always use unsalted butter in my baking, because brands vary with the amount of salt in their sticks of butter. If you must use salted butter, omit the extra kosher salt from the cake batter.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make a chocolate cake.

Combine Dry Ingredients- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine Milk and Coffee- in a measuring cup, combine the brewed coffee with milk, and set aside.

Make the cake batter- In a mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs. Alternate additions of dry ingredients with the coffee mixture, beating after each addition. I usually do 3 additions.

Bake Cakes- Pour cake batter into greased and floured 9- inch cake pans (or use my homemade cake release). Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove and cool for ten minutes IN the pan, then cool completely on a parchment paper lined wire rack (this keeps the cake from sticking).

Frost the Cake- Make my homemade chocolate buttercream frosting and spread evenly over the cakes.

Slice of chocolate layer cake on a white plate with a bite removed and soft crumbs exposed.

Tips and Tricks

  • Grease and flour your pans so your cake is easy to remove. You can use shortening and flour or a baking spray for this. Distribute grease evenly throughout the bottom and sides of the pan. If using a spray, spray liberally. Add another layer of flour to ensure extra protection between the cake and the pan. Just grab a spoonful of flour and dust it gently over the pan. Then line your pans with parchment paper.
  • Use Wilton Bake Even Strips for even baking. These strips help your cake bake evenly with no crowns or cracked tops. They’re great to use for layer cake recipes.
  • Swap out coffee for an equal amount of hot water if you prefer. The coffee doesn’t change the flavor, it just enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • Top this tasty cake with a Cream Cheese frosting for a tangy twist!
  • Need cupcakes? Try our delicious Chocolate Cupcakes recipe! Try our Chocolate Bundt Cake if you’re craving a sweet bundt recipe.
  • Got leftovers? Toss a slice of cake into your milkshake and make a delicious Cake Shake!
Whole chocolate layer cake with three slices cut and one being removed with a spatula.

Recipe FAQs

How do you store Chocolate Cake?

Store this chocolate cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days for best taste. If there’s still cake left after 5 days, you can freeze it!

Can I freeze Chocolate Cake?

Make the chocolate cake as directed and enjoy a slice. Then you can freeze the rest of the cake by wrapping each slice in parchment paper and sliding into a freezer bag. You can freeze chocolate frosted cake for up to three months. When you get another hankering for some chocolate cake, thaw it at room temperature and enjoy!

How do I get a moist and fluffy chocolate cake?

Cream butter and sugar together to trap the air, which expands during baking creating a fluffy cake!

Why is it called devil’s food cake?

The term devil’s food cake apparently gets it’s term from the reddish color that occurs when combining the baking soda with baking powder with the unsweetened cocoa powder!

Why did my cake sink in the middle?

Assuming your cake was checked for doneness, it’s normal for chocolate cake to sink slightly in the middle. Cocoa powder is not structurally strong enough to hold up the amount of moisture in this cake. Adding more flour would create a dense cake. It’s okay for some sinkage while it cools!

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Yield: 16 servings

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

If you're looking for the most amazing Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, look no further. This from scratch recipe is perfect.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup brewed hot coffee
  • ½ cup whole milk

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together hot coffee and milk. Set aside.
  3. In mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Slowly add in dry ingredients alternating with the coffee/milk mixture (about 3 additions of each).
  4. Pour cake batter into two prepared pans (2-9inch round cake pans, lined with parchment paper and greased and floured). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on parchment paper lined wire racks before frosting.
  5. For the Frosting: In mixing bowl, beat butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Add in powdered sugar, cocoa, extract and heavy cream and beat for 3-5 more minutes until desired consistency.
  7. Frost cake and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Chocolate- you'll notice today's recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder. Do not use a dutch processed cocoa.
  2. Brewed coffee- the hot coffee enances the chocolate flavor while adding moisture to the cake, without giving it a coffee flavor. Use hot water if you need to substitute.
  3. Milk- using whole milk or buttermilk gives this cake a rich flavor and soft crumb.
  4. Butter- I always use unsalted butter in my baking, because brands vary with the amount of salt in their sticks of butter. If you must use salted butter, omit the extra kosher salt from the cake batter.
  5. Why did my cake sink in the middle? Assuming your cake was checked for doneness, it's normal for chocolate cake to sink slightly in the middle. Cocoa powder is not structurally strong enough to hold up the amount of moisture in this cake. Adding more flour would create a dense cake. It's okay for some sinkage while it cools!
  6. STORAGE: Store Chocolate Cake in a covered container (or cake plate with dome) at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or freeze the rest of the cake by wrapping each slice in parchment paper and sliding into a freezer bag. You can freeze chocolate frosted cake for up to three months. When you get another hankering for some chocolate cake, thaw it at room temperature and enjoy!
  7. Use Wilton Bake Even Strips for even baking. These strips help your cake bake evenly with no crowns or cracked tops. They’re great to use for layer cake recipes.
  8. Need cupcakes? Try our delicious Chocolate Cupcakes recipe!
  9. Try our Chocolate Bundt Cake if you're craving a sweet bundt recipe.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 43gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe. You’ll love this decadent, from scratch cake.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 11, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. This looks out of this world delicious and so yummy! My daughter and hubby are big chocolate lovers, and this is oerfect for them! Can’t wait to give this a try!

  2. Been making this buttercream frosting for years. My Mom made it when I was a little girl. We use vanilla flavoring instead of almond.

  3. There is nothing better than chocolate cake!!! We’re so glad you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We loved having you!! Please come back next Saturday and share more of your great recipes! -The Sisters

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