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 moist homemade 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.

Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools

Moist homemade chocolate cake on a white plate on a wooden table.

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

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 9x13 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

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

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.

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.

Homemade chocolate cake batter being mixed in a large glass bowl on a table.

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 moist chocolate cake

Now take a couple ofΒ 9 inch cake pansΒ 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.

Freshly baked chocolate cake in cake pans on wire racks

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. πŸ™‚

All right the frosting is ready to go.

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

Step 8: Frost that homemade chocolate cake

Time to frost the homemade chocolate cake now using aΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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 homemade 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.

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

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

How long does homemade moist chocolate cake last?

Freshly baked homemade chocolate cake will last for about 7 days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also wrap it with foil or plastic wrap which will help prevent it from drying out. Or you can store unfrosted cake that way as well.

What is the best way to freeze this chocolate cake?

Homemade chocolate cake can be frozen as well. The best way is to take your frosted cake and place it on a freezer safe pant, unwrapped and uncovered in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours. Once frozen place it in a freezer bag or wrap it with plastic wrap really well. It will last up to 12 months in the freezer.

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4.9 from 19 votes

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 9x13 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 aΒ whiskΒ 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 ofΒ 9 inch cake pansΒ 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 9x13 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 yourΒ 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. πŸ™‚ All right our frosting is ready to go. If using a 9x13 pan you may want to reduce the frosting by half.
  • Let's frost the cake now using aΒ 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. πŸ™‚ Remove the parchment paper and then chill the cake to let the frosting set, or it can be served right away.

Video

How to Make Chocolate Cake | Easy Amazing Homemade Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

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.Β 
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. πŸ™‚ 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

Chocolate Cookies

Classic French Macarons

Moist homemade chocolate cake pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

56 Comments

  1. Plz tell me substitute of e.gg I’m vegitarian

  2. Can I use pancake mix i stead of all purpose flour?

    Will it still tastes good without the vanilla extract?
    Please advice~

    • Hi Victor, I haven’t ever tried making a regular cake with pancake mix. Pancake mixes have other things than just flour in them, like sugar, salt, and baking soda/baking powder. While the ingredients are close to the same, the amounts are different, and it is too hard to tell. But you can always experiment and find out. πŸ™‚ The vanilla extract is optional, it just adds flavor and enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT!!
    Chocolate Cake Recipe!!! I hadn’t made a homemade cake since my G’ma passed away!!!
    This recipe is my favorite.
    Living in Arizona & Minnesota my two favorite places. Thank you Matt.

    I made the buttercream frosting & whipped cream frosting from my other recipe.
    My boyfriend loves the cake.
    Thank you for the most awesome chocolate cake recipe.

    We love chocolate.

  4. The cake sounds like it would make a beautiful wonderful chocolate lovers mouth water I intend to make the cake for my honey bunnies when he gets home.

  5. 5 stars
    This cake was amazing! Absolutely delicious and super easy to make. It’s a keeper!

  6. Hey what if I have only one pan? How can I safely store the batter for a second round?

    • Hello! You can store the batter in the fridge while the other pan is baking. πŸ™‚

      • 5 stars
        Kia Ora Matt,
        Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it’s truly amazing. My wee ones loved it and asked for more each time πŸ˜‚
        I am delighted to come across with your super awesome recipe and the super clear instructions as well.,😍

  7. 5 stars
    Hi again Matt! I figured out the problem. I have one of those measuring spoons that slides to different measurements. The markings have washed off. I had it just a bit too wide. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I made a trifle out of it. Holy yummmm!!!!! πŸ˜€

  8. 3 stars
    *Sigh* Mixed this cake up following the recipe exactly. Was so excited as the batter is delicious. They rose over the top & on to the bottom of my oven. The batter on the bottom of my oven is burning & causing a horrible smell in my kitchen. πŸ™

  9. looks delicious! I especially love the pics of your frosting – really buttery indeed!

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  10. 5 stars
    CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!!!!I live for these, any day, every day. I want to have one of these.

  11. Subhashish Roy

    5 stars
    Wish I could get down to making it myself. I love chocolate cake and it looks so enticing. Love to have it.

  12. I love a great homemade cake recipe. I can tell how moist this cake is just by the photo!

  13. The cake looks delicious! After looking at the ingredients I realized that I have everything on hand to bake this for my family. I love when recipes use common ingredients.

  14. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious. I love how moist it was. Your directions explaining the purpose behind every ingredient and what was best really helped me a lot! Thanks.

  15. I am a huge fan of homemade chocolate cake. I made one recently that used chocolate milk. It was so good. I can’t wait to try this one!

  16. 5 stars
    I want to eat your Homemade Chocolate Cake. It looks so moist and yummy. I hope to make it soon.

  17. I haven’t made a cake in awhile. I’d love to try this chocolate cake recipe.

  18. 5 stars
    Oh wow! I can already taste it. I can really see how moist that cake is just in the pictures.

  19. 5 stars
    I do love a nice fresh cake! A piece of moist chocolate cake is just what the dr ordered sometimes, with really cold milk.

  20. 5 stars
    Delicious cake! Wonderfully rich, moist, and perfect for the holidays or birthdays or…tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

  21. 5 stars
    I haven’t made this yet, but I already like it! I can’t turn down a piece of chocolate cake!

  22. 5 stars
    This cake is my jam! I love the simplicity, and, above all else, CHOCOLATE!

  23. 5 stars
    This is my kind of cake – chocolate overload. Plus it was so easy! Thanks!

  24. 5 stars
    Such a simple and moist chocolate cake recipe.

  25. 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

  26. 5 stars
    I made this moist chocolate cake for my friend birthday. It turns out very yum.

  27. 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. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 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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