Best Ever Chocolate Cake


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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!

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting being served from the baking pan

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….

Ingredients to make chocolate cake ready to be mixed

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!

Chocolate cake baked in a 9x13 pan

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!

A frosted chocolate cake in a 9x13 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!

4.8 from 5 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
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
This simple chocolate cake is better than boxed! Once you try this cake, you may never turn back!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease and flour your baking pan (see size information in the notes below) or line your muffin pan with paper liners for cupcakes.

  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 2/3 full and bake 22 to 25 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 248, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 301mg, Potassium: 138mg, Carbohydrates: 39g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Protein: 2g, Vitamin A: 80%, Calcium: 43%, Iron: 1%

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

Keyword chocolate cake

Original recipe from Hershey’s!

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A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is on a white plate with a fork taking a bite out of it.

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This is the best chocolate cake recipe! It uses cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate making it easy and quick to put together. Making this for our next birthday celebration! #spendwithpennies #chocolatecake #dessert #childhoodfavorite #easydessert

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About the author

Holly

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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!

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