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sliced chocolate cake view of inside layers

Chocolate Cake Recipe

This tender and moist chocolate cake is surprisingly easy to make, and such a joy to eat! This recipe features layers of outrageously soft chocolate cake made from scratch and a dense and rich chocolate fudge frosting. The best part? You only need one bowl to make the chocolate cake! This recipe is a revamp of my one-bowl chocolate cake - this post features all new photos, more detailed instructions, and a modified recipe.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12 people (approx.)

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (120g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240mL) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) vegetable oil, or any neutral flavored oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 cup (240mL) hot black coffee * see notes

For the chocolate fudge frosting:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) cocoa powder
  • 6 cups (800g) powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (3 sticks / 340g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 10 to 12 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9 inch) round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper circles. Lightly dust the sides of the pans with cocoa powder, and tap out any excess. Set aside.
  • Make the chocolate cakes: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla into the well. Whisk the wet ingredients in the center to break up the eggs roughly, then gradually work your way out the the edges to mix in the dry ingredients. Whisk until it just combines into a thick batter. Take care not to over mix.
  • Pour your hot coffee into the thick batter, and whisk right away to combine. The batter should be very thin at this point - that's what you're looking for!
  • Pour the chocolate cake batter into your prepared cake pans. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in the pans, then turn onto a wire rack, peel off the parchment paper, and set aside to finish cooling completely to room temperature.
  • Make the chocolate fudge frosting: Sift your cocoa powder and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add your butter in, and cut the butter into the cocoa powder and sugar until the pieces are about the size of a pea. You can do this with a fork, pastry cutter, or electric mixer set to low speed. The mixture will be crumbly.
  • Add your salt, vanilla extract, and 5 tablespoons of milk, and mix to combine. Gradually beat in more milk until you have a smooth and spreadable frosting (it should take about 10 to 12 tablespoons of milk in total).
  • Layer the cake: Place one of your cooled chocolate cakes onto your serving platter, and spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the top. Layer your second cake on top, and use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

* Make sure to use coffee that is strongly brewed. I like to just make my own by dissolving 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder in 1 cup of boiling water.
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