No one can resist this rich, chocolatey, decadent homemade chocolate cake!
With its moist texture and rich chocolatey flavor there is so much to love about this homemade chocolate cake. Adding a touch of coffee to the batter is the secret to a deep and rich chocolate flavor.
To make it even better, top it with a delicious chocolate buttercream frosting.
Homemade Chocolate Cake Made Easy
- This chocolate cake recipe, inspired by Hershey’s, is a must-try.
- A splash of espresso or coffee is the secret to a rich chocolate flavor, but don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like coffee.
- You can make it in a different cake pans such as a 9-inch round layered cake or a 9×13 pan.
- Prepare it ahead of time, and bake and freeze for up to 3 months. Simply thaw, frost, and serve.
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
Batter – The base of this chocolate cake batter is made with sugar, all-purpose flour, eggs, and oil. A neutral flavored oil, such as vegetable oil, is recommended. Baking soda and baking powder are also added to the batter to give the cake a nice rise without affecting the flavor.
Chocolate – Cocoa powder is added to the batter to give the cake a rich chocolate flavor. Adding coffee or espresso to the batter enhances the chocolate flavor without adding a coffee taste to the cake.
Buttermilk – Buttermilk is acidic and it is added to the batter for flavor and to give the cake a tender crumb and a better rise. If buttermilk is not available, a buttermilk substitute can be used instead.
How to Make Chocolate Cake
- Whisk dry ingredients together per the recipe below. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking pans. Bake until a toothpick comes clean from the center
- Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
How to Frost a Layer Cake
- To frost this chocolate cake, pipe frosting onto the top of one layer of cake, then top it with the second layer of cake.
- Give the cake a ‘crumb coat’ by lightly frosting the cake with a thin layer of frosting. Once the crumb coat is complete, chill the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and add the rest of the frosting.
Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake
- For the best results, measure flour by spooning it into the measuring cup instead of scooping it.
- Let eggs come to room temperature before using so they whip up faster and fluffier. Avoid over-mixing and over-baking. This cake should have little pockets of air and a moist texture.
- For an extra chocolatey filling between the cakes, use homemade chocolate ganache.
Storing Chocolate Cake
A fully frosted chocolate cake can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 1 day uncut, however, keep it out of direct sunlight and heat sources.
The sliced cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Did you love this Chocolate Cake? Leave a rating and a comment below!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup hot espresso or brewed black coffee, or water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Creamy Chocolate Frosting Recipe or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and flour or cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat in eggs, buttermilk, espresso, oil, and vanilla on medium speed for two minutes. The batter will be thin.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared 9-inch pans.
- Bake the cakes for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from the center.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 mins, then loosen sides with a knife. Remove from pans and cool on a rack for 1 hour.
- Place the cooled cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Spread or pipe a thick layer of frosting over top for the filling layer.
- Top with the other cake layer and spread a thin coating of frosting over the cake (this is the crumb coating). Chill for 30 minutes, and then add the final coating of frosting.
- The batter will seem very thin, this is expected.
- Swap for a 9×13 pan and bake for 40 minutes.
- Feel free to replace the frosting with your favorite chocolate frosting recipe.
- Cake can be made in advance, stored in the refrigerator, or at room temperature for 1 day
- Frosting may thicken when chilled but can be softened by leaving the cake at room temperature for a few hours
- Sliced cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days
- Unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months
- 6-inch cake pans can be used to make a 4-layer cake
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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