This chocolate cake is super moist and so decadent. It’s also incredibly easy to make and the best chocolate cake you’ve ever tasted!
This chocolate cake is so good it will immediately become your go-to recipe as soon as you try it. Seriously!
It’s wonderfully moist and decadent and has all the chocolate flavor you could dream of.
It’s completely chocoholic approved (card carrying chocoholic here) and all our taste testers – friends and neighbors – have been raving about it.
So if you love chocolate cake then I just know you will love this cake. And if you DON’T love chocolate cake then this is the cake to turn all that on its head and turn you into a raving fan.
How To Make Chocolate Cake From Scratch
Full instructions and measurements can always be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- It’s really so simple to make this cake. Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
- Sift some all purpose flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and instant espresso powder (optional) and mix in.
- Then mix up some homemade buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring jug and then adding milk up to the 1 cup line and letting it curdle into buttermilk. You can also use real buttermilk if you happen to have some on hand, otherwise the homemade version works great!
- Add the buttermilk, some oil, eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix into a thick batter.
- Then add a cup of boiling hot water from the kettle to the batter and whisk it so that you now have a thin batter.
- Divide the batter between your two prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the cake pans before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Decorate with some chocolate shavings and it looks as good as it tastes.
Why Use Buttermilk In Chocolate Cake?
The buttermilk is acidic so it reacts with the baking soda and causes the cake to rise beautifully. It also creates a wonderfully moist cake with a tender crumb.
You can make your own homemade buttermilk like we did, or you can use real buttermilk if you happen to have some on hand. Either way will work great in this recipe.
Why Use Coffee In This Recipe?
We added a little instant espresso powder to this recipe as the addition of coffee really intensifies the chocolate flavor.
You won’t taste coffee in the final result, all you’ll notice is a wonderfully rich chocolate flavor.
However, if you don’t like the idea of mixing your coffee and your chocolate cake, then you can leave it out.
But if you’re good with the coffee then you can use instant espresso powder like we did or you can replace the instant espresso powder with any other instant coffee powder. Another option is to use a cup of hot filter coffee instead of the hot water. You can do this instead of or in addition to the instant espresso powder.
Make It Dairy-Free
It’s really easy to make this cake dairy-free. All you have to do is make homemade buttermilk using soy milk or almond milk instead of dairy milk. It works perfectly well and you won’t know the difference in the end result. Soy milk tends to work better than almond milk as it’s thicker and richer, but you can also use almond milk if you have an issue with soy.
Make It Egg-Free
You can make this cake egg free by replacing the eggs with 6 tablespoons of applesauce. It’s as easy as that and works great in this recipe.
Make It Gluten-Free
To make this cake gluten free use a gluten free all purpose flour blend. Something like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour will work well. Don’t use a single type of flour like almond flour or coconut flour or rice flour, that will not work. Make sure it is a blend that is meant to replace regular all purpose flour in a recipe.
How Long Will It Keep?
It will keep covered at room temperature for 3-4 days or covered in the fridge for 7 days. This cake is also freezer friendly!
Can You Make Cupcakes From This Recipe?
This recipe will make 24 cupcakes. If you want a perfect 12 cupcakes then check our out chocolate cupcakes recipe.
What Size Cake Pans Will This Recipe Adapt to?
You can also make this recipe in three 8-inch cake pans for a triple layer cake. Everything else remains exactly the same including the baking times. The frosting makes enough to frost all three layers.
You can also make this in a 9×13 quarter sheet pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and instant espresso powder.
- Mix the homemade buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring jug and then adding room temperature milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line and letting it curdle into buttermilk.
- Add the buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir it into a thick batter.
- Add the hot water and use a hand whisk to whisk it into the batter. You will now have a thin batter and this is perfect.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes before transferring them to wire cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
- Instant espresso powder is optional. It won’t make your cake taste like coffee at all, but it does deepen and enhance the chocolate flavor.
- You are welcome to use real buttermilk if you happen to have some on hand. But if you don’t then you can make the homemade version and there will be no difference in the final result.
- You can use vegetable oil instead of canola oil if you prefer.
- Nutritional information is for 1 slice of 12 and is for cake only. The chocolate buttercream nutritional information can be found on that separate recipe.
- Recipe adapted from Hersheys.