What could be better than chocolate cake? Not much! Especially when it’s a deliciously Easy Chocolate Cake recipe – moist, rich, and made from scratch in your own kitchen.
Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe
I’m such a softie when it comes to cake! My family knows this, so when they want to give me a special treat, it’s often one of my favorite bakery cakes. So indulgent! I love when they do that. ❤️
And, maybe a bit ironically, I also turn to cake when I want to do something special for my family! Making a cake from scratch is one of my favorite ways to show them that I care. Plus, it’s delicious. For everyone. Including me.
This particular cake is… how can I say this? Perfect. Yep, perfect is the word! It’s thick, fudgy, and moist while still being light. It goes beautifully with a whipped chocolate buttercream or any other type of frosting that you enjoy. This is the kind of cake that my kids beg for on their birthdays, because it’s just that special!
What You’ll Need
Even though this cake is uber-festive, it’s made from very simple ingredients that you probably already have! So it’s also a great recipe to pull out when you don’t have time to run to the store, but you still want to make something fancy!
- Sugar: You’ll need two cups of plain ol’ granulated sugar. You can substitute raw sugar here if you’d like.
- Flour: No need for cake flour; just use 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa Powder: To make this cake perfectly chocolatey, we’ll be using ¾ cup of cocoa powder in the batter.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Using both together gives this cake its light quality, making each bite both delicate and rich.
- Salt: I typically use sea salt.
- Eggs: You’ll need two whole eggs.
- Milk: Creamy and dreamy! I use one cup of whole milk in this recipe.
- Oil: You can substitute butter if you want a richer cake, but I find that oil gives a great texture and moistness.
- Vanilla: Go for pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Boiling Water: This old-fashioned technique of adding boiling water will make the batter seem very liquid, but don’t be alarmed! The results will be amazing!
How to Make Chocolate Cake
One of the nicest things about this chocolate cake recipe is how easy it is. Unlike traditional sponge cakes, which rely on whipped egg whites for a light and fluffy texture, this easy recipe uses baking powder and baking soda to raise the batter.
- Prep Oven & Cake Pans: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, and dust them with flour. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper for easy removal.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add Wet Ingredients: Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to the bowl. Stir until just combined. Pour in the boiling water and mix until smooth. The batter will seem a little runny.
- Bake: Pour the chocolate cake batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the center of each cake round is set.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
Tips for Success
What else should you know about baking a chocolate layer cake? Here are a few tips you might find helpful!
- Trace the Parchment: To get an even circle for the bottom of your pans, just place a pan on the parchment and trace a circle around the base. Cut the circle slightly smaller than your tracing and it should pop right in.
- Toothpick Test: You can use a fork or toothpick to test the cake for doneness – just insert the fork or toothpick into the center of the cake and remove it. It should come out clean (one or two crumbs is fine, but no moist, battery clumps).
- Cool Thoroughly: When you cool the cake, really let it get to room temperature all the way through. If the cake is still warm, even just a little bit, then the frosting is likely to melt off of the cake completely, and not in a glaze-y way, but in a disappointing puddles of gunk way. (Ask me how I know!)
I love to frost this cake with a homemade chocolate buttercream, but you could also use your favorite vanilla frosting, or make a marshmallow fluff frosting. To decorate, try any of the following:
- Chocolate Curls: Drag a sharp knife across a bar of chocolate to make shavings or curls. Scatter over the frosted cake.
- Pearls: Shimmery candy pearls (find them on the baking aisle, near the frosting) look beautiful on a dark, chocolatey cake.
- Ganache: Equal parts of cream and high-quality chocolate make a lovely ganache. Cool it well, then drizzle over the cake for a fancy effect.
- Crushed Candies or Cookies: Crush up your favorite candy or cookies and sprinkle over your cake! Heath bars, Oreos, or even peppermints!
- Chopped Nuts: Go for easy chopped walnuts or pecans here. Sprinkle them over the top and press them gently into the sides of the cake.
How to Store a Frosted Cake
- You can store this cake, covered, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
- If you refrigerate the cake, cover it and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Can I Freeze This?
- Yes, you can! Freeze this cake, well-covered, for up to two months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Easy Chocolate Cake
FOR THE CAKE
FOR THE FROSTING
- 12 ounces chocolate chips, finely chopped
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 tablespoons butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the cake pans with a cutout of parchment paper for easy removal.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add two eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to the bowl. Stir until just combined. Pour in boiling water and mix until smooth. (The batter will seem a little runny). Pour batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans.
- Place filled pans in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the center is set. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; set aside.
- Place whipping cream and butter in saucepan and cook over medium heat to just a boil.
- Pour cream mixture over the chopped chocolate; whisk vigorously until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour.Remove from fridge and stir; refrigerate about 1 more hour, or until it reaches a spreading consistency.
- Spread about 1/3 of frosting on one cake layer; top with the other cake layer and spread frosting on top and sides of cake.
- Cut and Serve.
More Easy Dessert Ideas
A homemade dessert makes any meal extra special. You’ll love the recipes below!