This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

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This chocolate cake recipe is soft, moist, fluffy and richly chocolatey. This has become our go-to chocolate cake. It is always a big hit with everyone who tries it – grown ups and children.

The Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting is lighter in sweetness compared to traditional American buttercream which makes the cake really shine with intense chocolate flavor.

Wait until you see the next picture. CRAVINGS BIG TIME!!

If you have never tried Swiss Meringue Buttercream, learn how to make it here. It pipes beautifully and it sure tastes amazing! I call it wedding cake frosting – it’s just THAT good!

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake Recipe:

2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola or extra light olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour, *measured correctly
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup very warm/hot water

1 Recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Semi-sweet or milk chocolate bar to grate for decor

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Chocolate Cake Recipe:

Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Grease 2 (9″ round) cake pans. Grease the sides with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

1. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together 2 eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup oil and 2 tsp vanilla until smooth.

Two photos of bowls with batter for chocolate cake with Swiss meringue buttercream being prepared

2. In a second mixing bowl, sift in 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup cocoa powder. Add 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 Tbsp baking soda, 1/2 Tbsp baking powdered and 1 tsp salt and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth without any lumps, then gradually add 3/4 cup hot water while beating and stir until well combined and smooth.

Six photos of bowls with cake batter for a chocolate cake being prepared

3. Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared cake pans and bake at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes (mine was perfect at 23 minutes) or until tops are set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center. Cool cakes in pan for 15-20 minutes then run a thin spatula or knife around the edges to loosen from the pan and gently invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely to room temperature before frosting.

Two photos of chocolate cake batter being poured into two cake pans

Cooks Tip: The cake layers have a very soft crumb so it is important to let them rest in the baking pans and let them firm up slightly before transferring to prevent broken cake layers.

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

5. While cakes cool, make your frosting. We used this Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. Reserve about 1 cup of frosting to pipe roses or poofs over the top.

How to Assemble Chocolate Cake:

1. Carefully place your first layer onto the cake platter and cover with a generous layer of frosting. Gently transfer the next cake layer over the top and frost the top and sides.

2. Finely grate a bar of chocolate and pat the crumbs halfway up the side of the cake and sprinkle around the top rim of the cake. Pipe roses or puffs around the top rim of the cake.

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Make-Ahead Tip: Cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for about 24 hours. If storing longer, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving to soften the buttercream.

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 from 78 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy and richly chocolatey. This has become our go-to chocolate cake - a big hit with everyone who tries it.
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 9 " two layer chocolate cake
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup canola or extra light olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, *measured correctly
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm/hot water
  • 1 Recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
  • Semi-sweet or milk chocolate bar to grate for decor

Instructions

Prep:

  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Grease two (9" round) cake pans. Grease sides with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

How to Make Chocolate Cake Recipe:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine: 2 eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup oil and 2 tsp vanilla and beat with an electric mixeruntil smooth.
  • In a second mixing bowl, sift in 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup cocoa powder. Add 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 Tbsp baking soda, 1/2 Tbsp baking powdered and 1 tsp salt. Whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth without lumps, then gradually add 3/4 cup hot water while beating until well combined and smooth.
  • Divide batter between 2 prepared cake pans and bake at 350˚F for 20-25 min (mine was perfect at 23 min) or until tops are set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center. Cool cakes in pan for 15-20 min** then run a thin spatula or knife around the edges to loosen from the pan and gently invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
  • While cakes cool, make your frosting. We used Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting. Reserve about 1 cup frosting to decorate the top.

How to Assemble Chocolate Cake:

  • Carefully place first cake layer onto platter and cover the top with a generous layer of frosting. Gently transfer the next cake layer over the top and frost top and sides.
  • Finely grate a bar of chocolate and pat the crumbs halfway up side of cake and sprinkle around the top rim of the cake. Use reserved frosting to pipe roses or puffs around top rim of cake.

Notes

*To measure flour correctly, spoon it into a dry ingredients measuring cup and scrape off the top for an exact measure.
**Giving the layers time to rest will make cake layers most stable for transfering.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cake
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

If you are a chocolate lover, this chocolate cake recipe is for you! I hope you have a delicious week, my friends!

This chocolate cake recipe is soft, fluffy, moist and so chocolatey. How to make the best chocolate cake (step-by-step photos). Our go-to chocolate cake! | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Saadeya sohail
    November 24, 2023

    Hey natasha, what is the replacement of sour cream in this cake? I ll make this cake tonight but i dont have sour cream.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2023

      Hi Saadeya! I have not tested an alternative. The closest thing would likely be Greek yogurt.

      Reply

  • Alina
    September 28, 2023

    what other frosting does this cake taste good with? I’m not a fan of buttercreams so would like to make this with an other frosting…
    also which cake do you like better as in flavor\texture and how moist it is, This cake or your classic chocolate\coffee cake?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 29, 2023

      Hi Alina! You can use another frosting of your choice, I have plenty on my website to choose from, just use the search bar above.
      If you have never tried Swiss meringue buttercream, it’s quite different from traditional American buttercream and significantly less sweet and lighter.
      The classic chocolate cake is one of our go-to’s and we make it often. You may even enjoy that frosting more.

      Reply

  • Michelle
    April 30, 2023

    This is the BEST cake and frosting recipe! I made it last night for friends and they all agreed it was excellent. This is the cake and frosting recipe I’ll use from now on. Thank you Natasha!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 30, 2023

      Hi Michelle! That’s wonderful to hear. So glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for the review. 🙂

      Reply

  • Laura Weatherford
    April 17, 2023

    This recipe, including the icing, is AMAZING! Made everything exactly per the recipe for DSIL’s birthday and it was the “best cake he ever had!” My husband even raved over it, and he isn’t a cake eater – and he requested that I “save that recipe!” Thank you so much! I would post a pic, but this review doesn’t allow it.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 17, 2023

      Hi Laura! That’s awesome. I’m so glad to hear that it was enjoyed. If you have Instagram or facebook, you can tag me in the picture. #natashaskitchen 🙂

      Reply

  • Miluse
    February 23, 2023

    Hi i have a question how about 2 8 inch pan is it ok thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 23, 2023

      Hi Miluse, I have not tried this in an 8″ pan to advise. If you would like to alter your pan size, you can try using this guide HERE to help you.

      Reply

  • Ren
    January 17, 2023

    Hey, thanks for the recipe. Can you add powdered strawberries to the cream?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 17, 2023

      Hi Ren! I have not tested it myself but I think it could work. Let us know how it turns out if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Carol
    January 9, 2023

    Love all your recipes! Thanks! Will this cake hold a curd well between the layers?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 9, 2023

      Hi Carol. Yes, it should. I would be more concerned about the type of curd you use than the cake itself. This cake for the most part is moist but stable enough to stack. Let us know it turns out!

      Reply

  • Kathy Ustica
    November 29, 2022

    Can you make this in a 13×9” pan instead of 9” pans? I would like to make it for Christmas and can get more servings with 13×9” pan

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 29, 2022

      Hi Kathy, I haven’t tested that but I think it could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Dorina
    September 22, 2022

    Hi Natasha, can this be frozen? I was hoping I can freeze the cake layers and frosting separately and then to defrost them both to assamble?
    Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 22, 2022

      Hi Dorina, you can refrigerate up to a week and I haven’t tried freezing but I have read that you can freeze up to 2 months.

      Reply

  • Tanya
    August 13, 2022

    I made this cake recipe for my boyfriend’s birthday, and the whole family loved it! The directions were easy to follow, the cake and frosting had a good balance of flavor and sweetness, and it was moist but not too rich. I tend to end up running out of frosting for extra decorations on most cake recipes, but maybe that’s user error. You won’t regret trying this cake!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 14, 2022

      Hi Tanya, thanks for sharing! I recommend making sure that the ingredients were followed exactly as it is to get great results but good to know that your family loved it!

      Reply

  • Karthiga
    August 2, 2022

    Hi Natasha,
    I made this cake for my daughter’s 5th birthday. It was a big hit. I watched a video of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe on YouTube. I searched for a perfect cake to pair it with. I came across this recipe and it worked like a charm.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 2, 2022

      So glad you found this recipe. Thank you for the feedback. 🙂

      Reply

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