Best Ever Chocolate Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Chocolate Cake is a deliciously decadent dessert that has been a staple on our table for as long as I can remember! This easy recipe makes a rich and delicious cake that is perfectly tender and moist. 

Top it with the best ever Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, a drizzle of Easy Caramel Sauce or simply whipped cream and strawberries for the perfect dessert!

Lifting a piece of Simple Chocolate Cake out of baking pan with a spatula

Remember Gramma’s famous chocolate cake recipe that brought the whole family to the table after Sunday dinner? Or sold at a church bake sale? Or was enjoyed with a fresh, cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day?  Hershey’s famous chocolate cake recipe is one I’ve enjoyed pretty much my entire life. Simple. Delicious. Perfect.

Enjoy this easy to make chocolate cake anytime you feel an urge for something rich and sinfully divine!

How to Make a Chocolate Cake

Making this easy chocolate cake takes just a few simple steps!

  1. Choose your pan size: Preheat the oven and prep your cake pans. You will want to check the recipe notes below for more information on what type of baking pan you want to use or for “bite-sized” portions try making cupcakes!
  2. Combine dry ingredients: Whisk the mixture to incorporate all of the ingredients (and whisking means no sifting required).
  3. Add wet ingredients: Beat with a hand mixer until the batter is well mixed!
  4. Add boiling water: Slowly add boiling water to the batter – it will seem thin at this point, but that’s okay! It’s going to bake into a light, fluffy, spongy chocolate cake! Mmmmm….

Chocolate cake ingredients in a glass bowl before mixing together

How to Bake a Chocolate Cake

The time needed to bake homemade chocolate cake can depend on the size/shape of the baking pan you’re using!

  • 9×13 pan – 35-40 minutes
  • 8″ round pans – 30-35 minutes
  • Cupcakes – 22-25 minutes.

If making cupcakes, line the pan with paper liners and fill wells 2/3 full.

How to Tell if a Cake is Done

  • A great way to check if a cake is done is to insert a wooden toothpick into the cake and if the wooden pick comes out clean, it is ready.
  • If you don’t have a toothpick, gently press on the cake and it should spring back. If the cake leaves an indent of a fingerprint, it needs a few more minutes.

Remove them from the oven and allow to cool either on a rack or on a kitchen towel on the counter. You will want to make sure they are fully cooled before moving onto decorating your cake or cupcakes. This keeps the icing from melting and sliding off! We’d hate to waste any delicious frosting!

Overhead shot of Chocolate Cake in a baking pan next to a bowl of chocolate frosting

How to Decorate Chocolate Cake

Homemade frosting is easy and honestly the best (this chocolate icing is my fave).

If you’re in a hurry, one can of frosting will cover a sheet cake or be enough for cupcakes, but two cans are needed for three layers (8” round).

We love changing the flavor of this recipe just by changing the delicious frosting we top it with!

Sprinkle on multi-colored sprinkles or chocolate jimmies. This is the best chocolate cake recipe for birthdays, so get some fun candles and celebrate someone special! They will love this yummy birthday treat!

Overhead shot of Simple Chocolate Cake in a baking pan

Got Leftovers?

If you can’t finish it in one sitting, no worries! Chocolate cake will keep covered at room temperature or sometimes you can put it in the fridge for a cold, tasty treat with a glass of milk at the end of the day!

To Freeze Chocolate Cake: Of course, this cake freezes beautifully but there’s never any left to freeze in my house!

More Amazing Cakes You NEED!

Lifting a piece of Simple Chocolate Cake out of baking pan with a spatula
4.93 from 230 votes
Review Recipe

Best Ever Chocolate Cake {Hershey's}

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This simple chocolate cake is better than boxed! Once you try this cake, you may never turn back!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and flour your baking pan (see size information in the notes below) or line your muffin pan with paper liners for cupcakes.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer on medium for about 2 minutes. Gently mix in boiling water. Note: Your batter will seem thin, it's ok.. it's supposed to!
  • Pour into pans and bake. Cool on wire racks.

Recipe Notes

9x13 pan: 35 - 40 minutes
3 layers (3 x 8" round cake pans) 30 to 35 minutes
Cupcakes: Line with paper cups. Fill ⅔ full and bake 22 to 25 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 248, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 301mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword chocolate cake
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Original recipe from Hershey’s!

A slice of Chocolate Cake on a white plate, with a bite being scooped up with a silver fork, with a title
A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting being served from a baking pan with writing
A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting being served from a baking pan with a title.
A piece of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting being served from a baking pan, and chocolate cake fresh from the oven ready to be frosted, under the title.
About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Hi my cake didn’t cook for a long time. I used a different pan but cooked it for longer, it fit perfectly in the pan too.
    Is that normal?3 stars

  2. This is my go to chocloate cake recipe…Simple ingredients..excellent moist tasting cake…WOW! .My family loves it…as my 34mth son says.”this is soo yummy in my tummy”..i sometime add chocolate chip diced up in it…but i love the hot water coffee idea….I made this cake last week Sunday and now this Sunday…..

  3. I’ve made this tons of times with great success as a chocolate cake. It’s the best! My question is: how many cupcakes does the recipe yield? Thanks!5 stars

  4. Wonderful recipe! The whole family loves it and it is so easy to make. Like other people have said, I put in a cup of boiled coffee instead of water to increase the taste of the chocolate. This is the third or fourth time I’ve made this cake and it is a hit every time! Thank you very much for this recipe5 stars

  5. My cake fell instantly. I read the review about expired baking soda and I don’t have that, as well as I never opened the oven at all till the end. I found out that it can be too much baking powder and soda to how much flour there is. Won’t be trying this again2 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that Theah. What size of pans did you use? Did you use boiling water? Is it possible that you overmixed the batter?

    1. I’ve not tried the recipe with butter, but you could try it with the same amount of melted butter. Let us know how it turns out for you Theah!

    1. Hi Simran, it will make 24 or more cupcakes depending on how full you fill the cupcake tins. Enjoy!

  6. Haven’t used this recipe yet, but I’m so excited! I’m using this to make a 3-4 tier cake for Mother’s Day. I was wondering how many cakes this recipe will give me.5 stars

    1. As mentioned in the notes, this cake will make 3 layers (3 x 8″ round cake pans), so it seems perfect for your Mother’s Day cake!