All Things Chocolate, Cakes, Desserts

Homemade Chocolate Cake

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Let them eat cake! I love chocolate and I love cake, so naturally I enjoy eating chocolate cake. This homemade moist chocolate cake is really easy to make and tastes so yummy. Frost it with some homemade chocolate buttercream frosting and you are left with a chocolate cake to die for. If I can do it you can do it, let’s get baking! For more chocolate recipes go here.

Brown wooden table with several glass jars holding chocolate cake ingredients like eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla extract.

Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools

Let’s gather together all of the ingredients and tools first. For this chocolate cake you will need the following:

Chocolate Cake Batter

  • Cake flour or all-purpose flour. Using cake flour results in a more tender texture as well as a finer crumb, and cakes made with cake flour often rise easier. With that said all-purpose or plain four works just fine too.
  • White granulated sugar. Of course, we want our chocolate cake to be sweet, so we will add some sugar. Sugar also serves other purposes while baking.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. I generally use the Hershey’s brand of unsweetened cocoa powder but you can use whatever brand you can get ahold of. Don’t confuse this with any chocolate powder, like the kind used to make chocolate milk, they are different.
  • Baking powder. The baking powder helps the cake rise and it will help to lighten the texture of the cake.
  • Baking soda. The baking soda will also help the cake to rise and result in a more tender crumb.
  • Salt. Salt is used to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Milk. I generally use 2% milk but you can use a variety of milks from whole milk to skim to even almond milk. The milk helps to make the cake moist and tender and adds a bit of flavor.
  • Oil. I usually use canola oil but vegetable oil and other oils like coconut will work too. Some oils will alter the flavor of the cake slightly so just be aware of that.
  • Eggs. Eggs also act as a leavening agent in the cake as well as help to add texture and flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract. Vanilla extract is added to enhance the flavor of the cake.
  • Very hot water. The hot water helps to bloom the cocoa powder which helps to unlock the cocoa powder’s flavor. It also helps to make the chocolate cake moister. Also used filtered water unless your tap water tastes really good. Here in Phoenix, Arizona the tap water is horrible tasting.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

For the homemade chocolate buttercream frosting you will need the following:

  • Unsalted butter. You may use salted butter too if you like. The butter will add flavor, texture, and body to your frosting.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is what gives it the chocolate taste, mmm chocolate.
  • Powdered Sugar/Confectioner’s Sugar. The powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s or icing sugar, is the main sweetness element for the frosting.
  • Milk. Again we will add milk to give our frosting the consistency that we want. Use your favorite kind of milk.
  • Vanilla Extract. Again as with the cake, the vanilla will add flavor to the frosting.

Tools

For the tools you will need:

  • 9-inch cake pans. Although you can also use a 9×13 inch pan too if you like.
  • Cake spatula. Spatulas that are designed for cakes are very handy for frosting cakes.
  • Whisk
  • Bowls
  • Cooling rack
  • Spatula
  • Hand mixer or wooden spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Pedestal. Pedestals that rotate make frosting cakes so much easier and they are a great way to showcase that awesome cake.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. or 176 C. Then mix together in a large bowl the cake batter dry ingredients with a whisk or a sifter. You want to make sure to break up any cocoa powder clumps that might be in there.

Man mixing a large glass bowl of cocoa powder and other ingredients with green whisk.

Step 3: Blend in wet ingredients

Now add your milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Switch to a wooden spoon or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients. The batter will be very thick at this point.

Step 4: Add hot water to finish chocolate cake batter

Lastly, add in your very hot water slowly, while the mixer is on low until it is all incorporated, your batter will be kind of runny which is good. Use a spatula to scrape the sides. The hot water will “bloom” the cocoa powder which will result in a chocolate flavor that is more rich and tasty.

Step 5: Prepare pans and bake that cake

Now take a couple of 9 inch cake pans and take some butter or shortening and using our fingers push it all around the pan coating it, then take about a tablespoon of flour and place that in the pan, move and tap your pan around until the flour coats the pan, then tap out the excess flour. The pans are ready to go. You don’t want your cakes to stick, so don’t skip this step, even if you have a nice non-stick pan, it is still a good idea to prep the pans. Next using a cup, distribute the cake batter evenly between both pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 F (176 C) until when you poke the center with a toothpick it comes out clean.

Step 6: Cake release from pans

Now let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes. Then using your cake spatula, move around the edges of the cake, to help release it. Then turn the pan over and let the cake come out. Let the cake cool on the racks for another 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 7: Homemade Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Now time to make the yummy chocolate buttercream frosting to go with your homemade moist chocolate cake. First in a large bowl cream together your softened butter with your cocoa powder, using a mixer. Then add your vanilla extract, next add about 1 cup of your powdered sugar at a time, then mix, then add the sugar, etc. until it is all incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Now add about 1/3 of the milk, and see what kind of consistency you want.

If you want the frosting thicker, leave it like this, if you want it a bit thinner, add another 1/3 of the milk. You may not need all of the milk. It just depends on how you want your frosting. 🙂 All right the frosting is ready to go.

A large bowl full of homemade chocolate cake batter being mixed with a white hand mixer.

Step 8: Frost that cake

Time to frost the cake now using a cake spatula, or butter knife, etc. A little trick I learned on how to keep your cake board or cake pedestal from getting messy near the base of the cake is you add four strips of parchment paper, set in them in such a way that you have an open square in the middle. Then place a dollop of frosting there, this will act like glue and hold your bottom layer of cake in place. Add the first layer of cake, then frost the top, add the next layer and cover the whole thing. 🙂 You may want to wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and chill them in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before making the frosting and frosting them. They tend to turn out nicer when you do that.

Chocolate cake covered with chocolate buttercream frosting sitting on a parchment paper lined cake stand.

Step 9: Serve it up!

Now we want to remove the parchment paper by gently pulling them away. At this point you may want to chill the cake in the fridge, to let the frosting set, but it isn’t necessary, you can serve right away if you want. Time to enjoy your homemade moist chocolate cake.

Do you love cake like me? You can find more cake recipes here.

Large chocolate cake on white cake stand and man holding a slice with metal cake spatula.

Homemade Chocolate Cake Video Tutorial

Now it is time to watch those steps in action by checking out the video tutorial. 🙂

Homemade Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

Do you like chocolate cake? Then you have got to try this homemade moist chocolate cake recipe. Frost it with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting and you have one amazing bite of cake. I love eating cake and this is one of my favorite chocolate cakes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cocoa powder, easy
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 611kcal
Author: In the Kitchen with Matt

Equipment

  • 2 9-inch cake pans (or use a 9×13 inch pan)
  • cake spatula
  • Whisk
  • Bowls
  • cooling rack
  • Spatula
  • hand mixer or wooden spoon
  • parchment paper

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 256g
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar 450g
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 75g
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 8g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 7g
  • 1 tsp. salt 5g
  • 1 cup milk whole, 2%, 1%, Almond, etc. (250mL)
  • 1/2 cup oil canola, vegetable, coconut, etc. (118mL)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 10mL
  • 1 cup very hot water 236mL

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened (340g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 100g
  • 5 cups powdered sugar confectioner's, icing sugar (625g)
  • 1/2 cup milk whole, 2%, 1%, skim, etc. (125mL)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 10mL

Instructions

  • First let's preheat our oven to 350 degrees F. or 176 C. Then let's mix together our dry ingredients with a whisk or a sifter. We want to make sure to break up any cocoa clumps that might be in there.
  • Now let's add our milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. At this point we want to switch to a wooden spoon or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients. The batter will be very thick at this point.
  • Lastly we will at our very hot water slowly, while the mixer is on low, until it is all incorporated, your batter will be kind of runny which is good. Use a spatula to scrape the sides.
  • Now let's take a couple of 9 inch cake pans and we want to use some butter or shortening and using our fingers push it all around the pan coating it, then take about a tablespoon of flour and place that in the pan, move and tap your pan around until the flour coats the pan, then tap out the excess flour. The pans are ready to go. You may also use a 9×13 pan. We don't want our cakes to stick, so don't skip this step, even if you have a nice non-stick pan, it is still a good idea to prep the pans. Next, evenly distribute the cake batter between both pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 F (176 C) until when you poke the center with a toothpick it comes out clean.
  • Next we want to let our cakes cool for about 10 minutes. Then using your cake spatula, move around the edges of the cake, to help release it. Then turn the pan over and let the cake come out. Let the cake cool on the racks for another 20 to 30 minutes. To help with frosting, after they have cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours to over night.
  • Now time to make the yummy chocolate buttercream frosting. First in a large bowl cream together your softened butter with your cocoa powder, using a mixer. Then add your vanilla extract, next add about 1 cup of your powdered sugar at a time, then mix, then add the sugar, etc. until it is all incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Now add about 1/3 of the milk, and see what kind of consistency you want. If you want the frosting thicker, leave it like this, if you want it a bit thinner, add another 1/3 of the milk. You may not need all of the milk. It just depends on how you want your frosting. 🙂 All right our frosting is ready to go. If using a 9×13 pan you may want to reduce the frosting by half.
  • Let's frost the cake now using a cake spatula, or butter knife, etc. A little trick I learned on how to keep your cake board or cake pedestal from getting messy near the base of the cake is you add four strips of parchment paper, set in them in such a away that you have an open square in the middle. Then place a dollop of frosting there, this will act like glue and hold your bottom layer of cake in place. Add the first layer of cake, then frost the top, add the next layer and cover the whole thing. 🙂 Remove the parchment paper and then chill the cake to let the frosting set, or it can be served right away.

Notes

These nutritional facts are based on 16 slices as well as if you use ALL of the chocolate butter cream frosting. There are about 295 calories in the cake slice by itself without any frosting. 
Nutritional facts for homemade moist chocolate cake

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. 🙂 If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few other recipes you may like:

Easy 3-Ingredient Fudge

Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Restaurant Quality French Fries

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I will definitely try this again as my family adored this cake as well x

  2. 5 stars
    I made this moist chocolate cake for my friend birthday. It turns out very yum.

  3. Russell Cherry

    5 stars
    This is my wife’s favorite chocolate cake of all time! I found the recipe on instructables. Whenever I want to make her extremely happy I make this cake. Only difference is I use a 9X13” pan and cut the frosting recipe in half. Thanks!

    • Thanks Russell! So glad you like the cake and keep making it. 🙂 🙂 Good idea with the frosting. Maybe I should edit this to include the different pan size. I am sure people will ask if they can make it in a 9×13 pan.

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