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Chocolate Cake Recipe (VIDEO)

A decadent and moist Chocolate Cake recipe with the easiest whipped Chocolate Frosting. This always gets rave reviews and makes for a stunning chocolate birthday cake.

Chocolate makes everything better, from Chocolate Chip Cookies to Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and let’s not forget Chocolate Mousse! If you are a chocolate lover, this homemade chocolate cake is for you!

Sliced Chocolate Cake on a cake platter with chocolate frosting

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THE Chocolate Cake Recipe:

My son’s first words when he saw the cake were “Wow that look’s just like the cake from Matilda!” We watched the Matilda movie recently, but I’m betting this one’s even better because it’s intensely chocolatey and satisfies the fiercest craving for chocolate cake without being cloyingly sweet.

We combined our most popular chocolate frosting with these tried and true moist chocolate cupcakes to create the best chocolate cake. You might be surprised to see coffee in the cake batter, and don’t worry, you can’t taste the coffee in the final product, but it really amplifies the flavor of chocolate. Feel free to substitute with decaf coffee if you prefer.

Piece of homemade chocolate cake on a plate with fork

The Best Cocoa for Chocolate Cake:

We used natural unsweetened 100% cocoa or “cacao”. You can use a variety of brands such as Hershey’s, Nestle, or Ghirardelli, but be sure to use “unsweetened” cocoa.

Can I substitute with Dutch Process Cocoa?

When a recipe calls for baking soda, it is best to stick with Natural cocoa powder because it has a higher acidity level than dutch process. You should use the cocoa called for in a recipe for the right chemical reaction to happen. Learn more about all the different kinds of cocoa here.

Cocoa for chocolate cake with remaining chocolate cake ingredients

Tips for Smooth Chocolate Frosting:

The whipped chocolate cream cheese buttercream frosting is indulgently chocolatey, silky smooth and one of the easiest frostings you will make. To get the smoothest chocolate frosting, be sure to:

  • Cream together the butter and cream cheese first to prevent lumps
  • Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa since cocoa tends to clump.

how to make chocolate frosting creaming butter and cream cheeseHow to Make Chocolate Frosting sifting in cocoa and powdered sugar

How to Make Chocolate Cake:

This cake doesn’t get any easier. It’s no more complex than a boxed cake as long as you know how to measure ingredients correctly.

  1. Whisk together the wet ingredients
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients
  3. Combine wet with dry ingredients
  4. Divide into prepared pans and bake

Step by step how to make chocolate cake

How to Get Even Cake Layers:

When making a layered cake, it is important to make sure you are dividing the batter equally. Not only is this important for even heights for a prettier cake, but your layers will have even bake times. I always double check for accuracy with a digital kitchen scale. Zero out the cake pan and weigh how much cake batter is in each pan. Your cake layers will be flawless every time.

how to make even cake layers before and after baking

Swirled frosting on chocolate cake

More Chocolate Desserts (for Chocolate Lovers!):

Watch Natasha Make Chocolate Cake:

I hope this Moist Chocolate Cake recipe becomes a new favorite for you. Homemade chocolate cake is way better than Costco’s (there, I said it).

If you enjoy our videos, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel and click the bell icon so you’ll be the first to know when we post a new video. THANK YOU for subscribing! We love hanging out with you on our Youtube Channel.

Chocolate Cake slice on plate with forkful

Chocolate Cake Recipe

4.91 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cake Cooling: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Chocolate Cake Recipe on platter

A decadent and moist Chocolate Cake recipe with the easiest whipped Chocolate Frosting. Homemade chocolate cake makes for a stunning birthday cake.

Author: natashaskitchen
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $8-$10
Keyword: chocolate cake
Calories: 691 kcal
Servings: 14 slices

Ingredients

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm coffee (not hot)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup light olive oil not extra virgin

Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (16 Tbsp) room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

How to Make Chocolate Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter two 9" cake pans and line the bottoms with a ring of parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together your dry ingredients: 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 cups sugar, 2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt until there are no more cocoa lumps (a few tiny lumps are ok; it also helps to sift the cocoa before using it).

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together your wet ingredients: 2 cups warm coffee, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 2/3 cup olive oil.

  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they come together. Your batter will still be slightly lumpy. Divide equally between prepared cake pans, and bake in a preheated oven at 350˚F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

How to Make the Chocolate Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer with a large bowl), beat together 12 oz cream cheese with 1 cup butter on medium/high speed until creamy (3 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.

  2. Sift in 5 cups powdered sugar with 1 cup cocoa powder, sifting in batches as needed to ensure there are no lumps. Then add 1/2 tsp salt. Mix on low speed until well combined. Thoroughly scrape down the bowl, then increase to medium/high speed and beat until smooth and whipped (1 min).

  3. Add 2 tsp vanilla and beat on medium/high until smooth (1 min). Now it's ready to be piped onto cooled cupcakes.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 691 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 513mg 21%
Potassium 223mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 98g 33%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 71g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 14.6%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 15.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

 

 

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Erika
    May 21, 2019

    Hi Natasha!
    I plan on doing this cake today but I am not a coffee drinker so I have no idea about drip coffee taste lol. So if I buy the coffee already done at Starbucks, which would be the best option?
    Thanks! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 21, 2019

      Hi Erika, a drip coffee would work. Reply

  • Susan McDiarmid
    May 18, 2019

    this cake and the choc cream cheese icing is wonderful! I am assuming that because of the cream cheese ingredient that the cake needs to be stored in the fridge? Yes? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 19, 2019

      Hi Susan, yes we recommend keeping it refrigerated. Reply

  • Frankie
    May 14, 2019

    Wow! I made this for Mother’s Day on Sunday. Delicious! I used Canola oil and it turned out fine. Thank you Natasha. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 15, 2019

      That’s so great Frankie! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Reply

  • Marimar
    May 14, 2019

    Hi Natasha , in the recipe two cups warm coffee is strong or light flavor.
    Looks yummy
    Thanks you Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 15, 2019

      Hi Marimar, the coffee should be the strength of brewed drip coffee or you might taste the coffee in the cake. Reply

  • Nanthini
    May 14, 2019

    Hi Natasha, thank you for all your lovely recipes you share with us.
    I loved this eggless version of chocolate cake.
    I have to make 125 pieces of this cake and need your help to get the correct measurement . Please help me.
    TIA.
    Happy Baking all the followers. ❤️❤️❤️ Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 14, 2019

      Hi Nanthini, Wow! 125 is a lot of slices! This cake makes 14 slices. To make 125 slices you would need 9 cakes unless you decided to cut the slices smaller. I hope that helps! Reply

  • Gouri Cake
    May 14, 2019

    I tried this recipe this afternoon and it was easy and delicious. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 14, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that! Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Catillia
    May 13, 2019

    I made It as cupcakes and came out moist then dried up. What would you recommend? Reply

    • Natasha
      May 14, 2019

      Hi Catillia, dry cupcakes are usually due to over-baking. Make sure you are using the conventional oven mode (not convection) and follow the baking instructions in our cupcake recipe post. I hope that helps! Reply

  • jaspal bhasin
    May 13, 2019

    Loved the recipe. A bit strong on the coffee I thought (may be because I used strong coffee :)) so maybe I’ll tone that down next time. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Jaspal! Diluting the coffee will help. You shouldn’t really taste it, the coffee works to amp up the flavor of the cocoa without tasting the coffee in the finished dish. Reply

  • Pamela Byington
    May 13, 2019

    What can I substitute for coffee, just hot water? Maybe respberry soda?

    Thank you Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Pamela, coffee will provide the very best flavor. The next best thing would be water. I don’t know if it is an option for you, but decaf coffee would also work fine. Reply

  • Pamela Byington
    May 13, 2019

    Will make soon, looks wonderful. I won’t use Hersheys cocoa though, it has no flavor and hasn’t had any for many, many years. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      I hope you enjoy this recipe, Pamela! Reply

  • Olga Popazoglo
    May 13, 2019

    Looks so amazing can’t wait to try it! What kind of coffee did you use? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Olga, Drip coffee! Espresso would be fine but I would dilute it with water to the strength of brewed drip coffee or you might taste the coffee in the cake. Reply

  • Most Visited Beach
    May 13, 2019

    I love Cakes and i will try this tonight , thanks for sharing.

     Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that with us! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Tammy
    May 12, 2019

    This looks beyond delicious however, I can’t stand coffee. Do you have another recipe for chocolate cake that doesn’t include coffee in the recipe? Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Tammy, I do have a few chocolate cake recipes but this is our favorite. If it helps, you can’t taste the coffee in the finished cake but it really amplifies the flavor of the chocolate. Reply

  • Svetlana
    May 12, 2019

    Hi Natasha! I tried this cake today for Mother’s day. It was delicious. my son said he wants it for his birthday too 🙂 This cake remids me cupcakes (Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Prague Frosting). My mistake was that I used Prague Frosting for this cake. But Prague Frosting was too delicate and when I cut the cake my top layer started to slide so I had to use plastic knife and stabbed my poor cake and it looked more like zombie cake 🙂
    But flavor was yummy. Next time I am going to follow your recipe (that’s why we have instructions :D) Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Thank you for sharing your review with me Svetlana! I hope it turns out better for you next time! Reply

  • Oksana
    May 12, 2019

    Hey Natasha, could I substitute the light olive oil with vegetable oil? And also did you just use instant coffee? Because I have instant espresso and was wondering if I could use that instead. Is white vinegar also okay to substitute? If so, with what? Thanks in advance. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Oksana, That oil substitution should work. Drip coffee, Espresso would be fine but I would dilute it with water to the strength of brewed drip coffee or you might taste the coffee in the cake. I haven’t tried any other vinegar so I’m not sure how that would affect the flavor. You definitely want to make sure it’s the same % vinegar acidity. Reply

  • Ali
    May 11, 2019

    I can’t wait to make this. 5 cups of powdered sugar sounds like a lot of sugar though. Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Hi Ali, we also don’t love overly sweet cakes but this one was just right. Keep in mind 1 cup of powdered sugar is the equivalent of 1/2 cup granulated so it seems like a lot of sugar but really isn’t. You can add the powdered sugar to taste and that is how I developed the recipe early on – by adding powdered sugar until the balance was correct. Reply

  • lk
    May 11, 2019

    Was excited to try this cake.. Frosting is to die for! So yummy. Cake has no flavor at all which was a disappointment. It cocoa powder gives the rich color but nothing to the flavor. Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Hi, I’m so glad you loved the frosting. Did you possibly substitute anything in the cake? The coffee amplifies the cocoa and it’s pretty richly chocolatey in flavor. Reply

      • Gina Ann Mancino
        May 13, 2019

        Hi, I was wondering if I could use melted butter instead of olive oil. Reply

        • Natasha
          May 13, 2019

          Hi Gina, I have always made this particular cake with oil (vegetable oil would also work), but my only hesitation with butter is sometimes cakes are more firm right out of the fridge while using oil prevents that problem. If you experiment, let me know how it goes. Reply

          • Gina Ann Mancino
            May 13, 2019

            Thank You..I will let you let you no. I will 1/4 the recipe and see.

          • Natashas Kitchen
            May 13, 2019

            I look forward to your feedback Gina!

    • Maggie P
      May 13, 2019

      What can be used to substitute coffee? Believe it or not, I am allergic to coffee (a rare and truly disappointing allergy). Reply

      • Natasha
        May 13, 2019

        Oh no!! 🙁 I’m sorry to hear that! What a bummer! The recipe would still work using warm water. Reply

  • Tara
    May 11, 2019

    Love the depth of flavor that coffee adds to chocolate recipes! Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Yes! It’s amazing how it works to amp up the flavor of cocoa without tasting the coffee in the finished dish. Reply

  • Jan Karbusický
    May 11, 2019

    Hi, Natasha, 5 cups sugar??? Really? Don’t you have a mistake in the recipe? It seems too much to me. Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Hi Jan, 5 cups is correct. It may seem like alot, but it is a lot of frosting and keep in mind that 1 cup of powdered sugar is actually 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. I tested this adding the powdered sugar to taste (and you can do the same), but I landed at 5 cups as the perfect balance of sweetness. Reply

      • Jan Karbusický
        May 12, 2019

        Ok, thank You, I go make it 🙂 Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          May 13, 2019

          You’re so welcome! Reply

  • Gwen searles
    May 11, 2019

    I cannot have coffee. What is a good replacement. Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2019

      Hi Gwen, coffee will provide the very best flavor. The next best thing would be water. I don’t know if it is an option for you, but decaf coffee would also work fine. Reply

  • Uz
    May 11, 2019

    Made the cake today and it turned out AMAZING!!! Wish could send you a photo of this yummy perfection ! Thank you so much Natasha Reply

  • Annie
    May 11, 2019

    can i substitute avocado oil for olive oil?
    thanks! Reply

    • Annie
      May 11, 2019

      or would coconut oil or sunflower oil be a better substitute? i just don’t have olive oil on hand… Reply

      • Natasha
        May 11, 2019

        I would probably go with avocado since coconut oil and sunflower oil can impart a different flavor. Reply

        • Frankie
          May 12, 2019

          Can I use Canola oil instead of olive oil? I’m making it for my Mom on Mother’s Day. Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            May 13, 2019

            HI Frankie! That should work although I haven’t tested that and may alter the taste a bit.

          • Flora Santiago
            May 17, 2019

            HI,how much coffee should I put to make 2 cups? TIA!

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Hi Annie, I honestly haven’t tried that but I think it would work. Reply

  • Clarissa
    May 11, 2019

    No milk or eggs? I’m gonna try this out for sure Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 11, 2019

      You got that right! I hope you love it, Clarissa! Reply

  • Kara
    May 11, 2019

    Oh my. This looks incredible! That frosting is calling my name. I could eat it by the spoonful! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 11, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • ayda
    May 11, 2019

    Wow, it looks heavenly amazing! the coffees should be espresso or any other kind works out fine? and how about the white vinegar? can’t we use dark grape vinegar instead? Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2019

      Hi, espresso would be fine but I would dilute it with water to the strength of brewed drip coffee or you might taste the coffee in the cake. I haven’t tried any other vinegar so I’m not sure how that would affect the flavor. You definitely want to make sure it’s the same % vinegar acidity. Reply

  • Samantha
    May 11, 2019

    I am going to make for a high school band banquet tonight. You can’t go wrong with chocolate for high schoolers and this one looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 11, 2019

      You’re so welcome! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Julie
    May 10, 2019

    This looks heavenly! Can’t to wait to make it! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 10, 2019

      I hope you love it Julie! I look forward to your feedback! Reply

  • Yana
    May 10, 2019

    I am going to try to bake it in a bundt pan since I do not have regular cake pan.I am sure it will be as delicious.And will pour chocolate ganache on top. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 10, 2019

      I haven’t tested that but it sounds beautiful! I hope you love this recipe! Reply

  • Val
    May 10, 2019

    This is every chocolate lovers dream. Will be making the cake asap. As always, thanks for sharing. 🙂 Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 10, 2019

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it Val! Reply

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