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 the homemade chocolate cake 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 homemade 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: How to make homemade chocolate cake from scratch

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.

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.

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.

And just like that, the homemade chocolate cake batter is ready to go. Pretty easy, right?

Step 3: Prepare pans and bake that moist homemade chocolate cake

Now take a couple of 9-inch cake pans and take some butter or shortening and using your 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. If you desire, you can also cut out a round piece of parchment paper and put it on the bottom of the pan.

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

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 4: Make the chocolate butter cream frosting

Now time to make the yummy chocolate buttercream frosting to go with your moist homemade 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 frosting being mixed with a white hand mixer.

Step 5: Frost that cake

Time to frost the homemade chocolate 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 homemade buttercream frosting sitting on a parchment paper lined cake stand.

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 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.

Can I make cupcakes from this homemade chocolate cake recipe?

Sure! This will make about 24 cupcakes. Follow the recipe as directed. Spray the cupcake pan with cooking spray or use paper cups. Fill each cup two thirds full. Bake at the same temp, 350 F/176C for 18 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

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

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

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4.94 from 30 votes

Moist Homemade 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: Matt Taylor

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 cake flour or all-purpose flour 240g
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar 400g
  • 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. (240mL)
  • 1/2 cup oil canola, vegetable, coconut, etc. (120mL)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 10mL
  • 1 cup very hot water 240 mL

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 (600g)
  • 1/2 cup milk whole, 2%, 1%, skim, etc. (120mL)
  • 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 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 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 9x13 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.

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. 
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.

Check out my other website 101 Creative Dates for fun date ideas. Food and dating go hand in hand!

96 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best chocolate cake recipe hands down! Came out absolutely perfect! Yes I was sketched after I added the hot water it made it super runny! But it came out amazing! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • So happy you tried it, Mandie, and liked it! You are so very welcome. 🙂

    • 5 stars
      Easily 5 stars
      I made this a few days ago for my mom’s birthday. it was the best homemade cake recipe I ever made. Even the frosting was delicious. Usually with other cakes we scrape the frosting off but this made you want to clean your plate. And its not even too sweet like most cakes. Its moist, chocolatey and delicious. The napkin trick was a success too. I was able to decorate the cake without being messy. Even my dad who tends to stay away from sweets for health reasons couldn’t help himself when it came to this cake, every one loved it. I doubled the cake recipe and got 3 layers and 1 dozen cupcakes. I left the frosting recipe as the same and it was enough for everything.

      This is now my go-to recipe

  2. Indra Joseph

    Great receipe

  3. 5 stars
    This was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, hands down!! It was so moist it didn’t even need the frosting. Thanks!!

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