Easy Chocolate Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Easy Chocolate Cake is indulgent and moist, made from scratch with hot coffee and cocoa powder added to the batter, ready in under 45 minutes!

This cake is the PERFECT recipe to have on hand for any celebrations, and you can top it with our homemade Chocolate Frosting, Chocolate Ganache, or Whipped Cream!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Easy CHOCOLATE CAKE

Easy Chocolate Cake is one of my all-time favorite desserts to make anytime a birthday comes around in this house. It’s incredible moist, with hints of coffee flavor which really brings out the best of the chocolate. I like to double this chocolate cake recipe and use several cake pans to make a layer cake.

I’m also making homemade frosting, which is perfect if you’re making a layer cake because you can make as much as you need. This is my go-to cake recipe because it only takes a total time of 45 minutes to make. Your friends and family will think you picked it up from a bakery!

HOW LONG CAN CHOCOLATE CAKE SIT OUT?

Chocolate cake should be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly, for 3-4 days to keep the texture quality. Use plastic wrap to help keep the slices from drying out.

HOW LONG DOES CHOCOLATE CAKE KEEP IN THE FRIDGE?

Chocolate cake will last in the refrigerator for about a week. Cakes are usually fine sitting on the counter, but have to be refrigerated when you have a high moisture or dairy part, like whipped cream.

If you use my homemade frosting, this cake can be stored on the counter. If you use buttercream, it will need to be refrigerated if the buttercream recipe used egg whites.

Chocolate Cake

HOW TO KEEP CHOCOLATE CAKE MOIST

  • Bake your desserts at the right temperature. A common issue with dry cakes is that the oven is not cooking at the right temperature. Try an oven safe thermometer to make sure your temp is where it’s supposed to be.
  • Don’t substitute high fat ingredients in this chocolate cake recipe. The fats in butter, milk, cream, or oil play a big part in adding moisture to a cake.
  • Add 1/2 cup sour cream to this cake recipe for extra moisture.
  • If your recipe is turning out dry, try substituting some of the granulated sugar for brown sugar. Brown sugar naturally has a higher moisture content, and can help add moisture to the cake.
  • Use a knife to level your measuring cup when measuring things like all purpose flour. Too much flour will dry out the cake.

HOW LONG DOES CHOCOLATE CAKE LAST IN THE FREEZER?

Chocolate cake should be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before being frozen. It will keep its best for about 6-8 months, but will be food-safe for up to a year. Many couples freeze the top of their wedding cakes for the one year anniversary.

You can make this cake ahead and freeze it for later. You can fully decorate it before freezing, too. The frosting will actually help keep moisture from getting to the cake when frozen.

Freeze the cake for an hour to let the frosting get hard, then wrap it in plastic wrap. Make sure to wrap it tightly to make sure it doesn’t get freezer burn.

Slice of Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Save Recipes
Create An Account & Save Recipes

HOW TO BAKE CHOCOLATE CAKE WITHOUT USING EGGS?

There are a lot of different ways to substitute eggs in a chocolate cake recipe. Two of my favorites are applesauce, and bananas. Use 1/2 of a mashed banana, or 1/4 of a cup of applesauce per egg in this chocolate cake recipe.

MORE CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPES

HOW TO DECORATE THIS CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • After frosting the chocolate cake, top with fresh raspberries or strawberries, sprinkles, candies, or chocolate shavings for a decorative dessert.
  • Use white chocolate frosting (or any color frosting) in a piping bag to decorate.
  • Top with crushed peppermint candies or sliced almonds for decoration. If you’re making the frosting, you can use the same (or a complimenting) flavor in the frosting, too.

TIPS FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Add a handful of semisweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or nuts to the batter if desired.
  • If you don’t want to add frosting or fondant, add a layer of strawberry topping between the cake layers, then dust with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder and top with fresh fruit.
  • Make sure your leavening agents and your vanilla extract are fresh and not expired, for the best flavor and texture.
  • Replace the vanilla extract in this chocolate cake recipe with almond or peppermint for different flavor variations.
  • The baking time may very depending on the size of your cake pans. If you put the whole bowl of batter in one pan, it may take longer to bake the thicker cake. If you make cupcakes, then this will be more like 20-25 minutes baking time.
  • Use a good quality cake pan. The metal in the pan can be the difference of a perfect cake recipe, and a cake that’s burned on the bottom because the heat didn’t distribute well.
  • You can use regular cocoa powder, or for a richer chocolate cake use dark chocolate cocoa powder.
  • Poke a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done baking.
  • Be careful not to over-mix your cake batter.
  • You can also use this recipe to make cupcakes, or crumble the cake into a large bowl and mix it with frosting to make cake pops.
  • Lighten up this classic chocolate cake by substituting the oil with the same amount of applesauce, and whole milk with 2% milk.

Frosted Chocolate Cake

Pin This

Like this recipe? Save it to your Pinterest board now!

Pin

Recipe

Save

Easy Chocolate Cake

5 from 7 votes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Easy Chocolate Cake is indulgent and moist, made from scratch and ready in under 45 minutes! 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee you can substitute boiling water
  • Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and dust with cocoa powder two 9" cake pans.
  2. In a stand mixer on low speed mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla then add it to the stand mixer on low then medium speed until just combined and finally add in the hot coffee carefully and stir it in by hand until just combined (do not turn on the mixer, it may splash on you).

  4. Pour half of the batter into each of the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes then remove, let cool completely and frost with the chocolate frosting.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings, Amount per serving: 316 calories, Calories: 316g, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 352mg, Potassium: 225mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 75g, Calcium: 61g, Iron: 2g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: easy chocolate cake
Save

Rich Chocolate Cake

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Cakes & Cupcakes Chocolate Dessert Recipes Holiday Recipes Recipe

Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. I made this cake for my son Daniels birthday. It was so moist and chocolatey. Everyone loved it and I would definitely make this my go-to chocolate cake. All the ingredients are what most have already. Thank you so much!

  2. I made this, followed directions exactly and it was a disaster, so crumbly when I took it out of the pans. So it will become cake pops instead! I live at 5300 elevation, so I’m thinking that was the problem. What would you recommend? More flour? Less liquid? I would like to make this again. Help!! and Thanks!

    1. Oh no! I’m so glad you were able to save them. I am no expert on altitude adjustments when it comes to baking. From what I can find through my research online, you may need to reduce the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon, reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons, increase the liquids (for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons). Also increase the oven temperature to 375. I hope this helps and good luck!

  3. Could you substitute some of the granulated sugar for brown sugar and still add sour cream for moisture? Would that make it too moist? Thanks!