How to Make the Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

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chocolate cake with ganache

Chocolate cakes are divine. They are a staple of any top-notch baker. Knowing how to bake them can make you a star at family get-togethers. When you pull out a plate with your cake, you’ll be met with applause and praise.

The trick is knowing how to make the perfect chocolate cake that will earn you accolades. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate cakes are not hard to make. Once you have a reliable recipe, you are good to go.

We have a simple but reliable recipe to guide you in making the most amazing chocolate cake ever. We’ll cover the cake, frosting, and some frequently asked questions regarding the recipe. Check it out.

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake Recipe

the most amazing chocolate cake with chocolate chip toppings


You’ll start by gathering the ingredients you’ll need. These are common cake ingredients that you likely already have at home. The size of the cake you want to make will determine the quantity of ingredients you will need. Here is a simple list of ingredients you need without measurements.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Warm water
  • Vanilla extract

Step-By-Step Instructions 

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius. While you wait, grease your cake pan with baking spray. If you don’t have baking spray or other non-stick sprays, you can butter it lightly and dust it with some flour. Then, line the base with parchment paper.
  • Next, mix all your dry ingredients, including flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. You can sift the powdered ingredients to remove lumps. Mix until they are well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients — eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and warm water. Mix thoroughly. The warm water may make the mixture a little runny, but there is no cause for alarm. It will make the cake moist after baking.
  • Pour the cake batter into the pan you have greased. About 3 cups of batter should go into a pan if it is a standard  9” by 13”.
  • Ensure there are no bubbles in the cake batter before you put it in the oven.
  • Once your oven has heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, put the pan in.
  • While it bakes, prepare the frosting.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes before pulling the pan out. You can check the level of doneness by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done.
  • Once your cake is done, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool. It should be cool enough to remove from the pan after 10 minutes.
  • Frost the cake.

Frosting is optional. You have plenty of other topping choices. One of our favorites is a liberal dusting of powdered sugar. The taste is out of this world. However, frosting is the classic go-to topping for an amazing chocolate cake.

Top It with the Best Buttercream Frosting

making buttercream frosting

Now that you have gone through the cake-baking process, it is time to top your chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. While you can always use store-bought frosting, making it from scratch is the perfect compliment to a freshly made cake. Follow this simple recipe for a delicious homemade topping.


The ingredients are mostly standard, but you can make some changes depending on the result you want. Try this if you desire a simple buttercream frosting for your chocolate cake.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Softened cream cheese
  • Buttermilk 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Melt the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Mix the two in a bowl or stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Mix until all is well combined.
  • Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and milk to make it spreadable.
  • Spread the frosting over the cakes and use it to assemble the cake layers
  • Next, decorate the cake with chocolate chips if you’d like for extra flair.
  • Refrigerate the cake if you don’t plan to eat it immediately.

There it is — a simple recipe for bringing together your moist chocolate cake recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Other Frosting Options

Buttercream frosting is almost synonymous with chocolate cakes, but some prefer other frostings. You may also want to try another type of buttercream frosting apart from the cream cheese buttercream. Many frosting recipes are available, and you can find another one that interests you.

You have the plain chocolate buttercream, which does not include cream cheese. You can also go for whipped chocolate ganache, sweetened condensed milk frosting, ermine frosting, or chocolate fudge icing.

You also do not have to settle for chocolate-flavored frosting. Consider using vanilla or strawberry for some flavorful contrasts. Also, think about who you’re serving and what their preferences might be.

How Can You Get Your Frosting Darker?

Many beginners wonder how expert chocolate cake bakers achieve the tantalizing dark frostings they use. However, the trick is not hard to master. You only need the right recipe. Most professional bakers use top-brand dark cocoa powders to achieve the coveted dark look on their frostings.

Don’t forget that quality cocoa powder is one of the essential ingredients in making a great chocolate cake. Of course, you can attempt cutting back on some ingredients, but you should never cheat on your cocoa powder quality.

Cool Modifications You Should Know

layer of chocolate cake

There are no rules to making chocolate cakes. All is fair in love and desserts. You can make some adjustments to the recipe without deviating from the essentials. Check out some regular modifications while still using the same chocolate cake recipe.

Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?

Another modification some people make while baking chocolate cake is using milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate. The latter is the most preferred option by professional chocolate cake bakers because it gives the dark look and flavor desired in chocolate cakes. However, some prefer milk chocolate for its sweeter taste.

The benefits and downsides of each are clear. Dark chocolate is notoriously bitter, with only a few types having a sweet aftertaste. However, it is the best for achieving a perfect chocolate flavor for your cake without stressing yourself. Of course, you can always add as much sugar as you need to achieve the level of sweetness you desire.

On the other hand, milk chocolate is sweeter but slightly dilutes the chocolate flavor in the cake. The chocolate flavor is already diluted from the butter, cream, and sugar. Using milk chocolate will only make you lose more of the desired chocolate flavor. The sweetness may also be too much when added to the buttercream.

Warm Water or Coffee

Many people use warm water when mixing their chocolate cake batter. However, some have been experimenting with coffee, and the result has been exciting. To do this, add some instant coffee powder instead of warm water.

Warm water gives your cake batter a good texture that will ensure the dessert comes out of the oven moist. Warm water is also easier to regulate than coffee, so many people go for it. 

However, coffee is a perfect addition if you want to deepen the rich chocolate flavor of your cake. You will not taste the coffee, but it will elevate the cake’s flavor. You can also use it instead of vanilla extract for the cake and the frosting.

Oil or Butter

Oil is the first choice for many people when making chocolate cake. However, it is not the only option. For example, you can choose to use butter instead of oil and still get a good result. The texture may be slightly different, but it does not affect the quality of the cake in any way.

Most people use regular oils like vegetable, coconut, or almond. If you want to follow that trend, you can use any oil that you prefer, including sunflower oil. However, you can try using melted butter if you want to do some experimentation.

Eggs or Yogurt

Eggs are part of every cake recipe, but you can do without them. For example, when making your moist chocolate cake, you can leave out eggs and add yogurt instead. A cup of plain yogurt works in the same capacity as four eggs. So, if you only need three eggs, add ¾ cup of yogurt to your flour mixture.

Apart from yogurt, there are several other alternatives to eggs that you can try out next time you make chocolate cake. For example, you can use a cup of mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce instead of four eggs. You can also mix a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of baking powder in place of one egg.


A large slice of chocolate cake is the perfect dessert if you love sweets. However, like most desserts, cake is not the most nutritious food. On average, one large slice contains 767 calories, 119g of carbohydrates, 8g of protein, 91g of sugar, 3.7g of iron, 33g of fat, and 105mg of cholesterol.

It also has 21g of saturated fat, 668 mg of sodium, 383 mg of potassium, 825iu of Vitamin A, 5g of fiber, and 95 mg of calcium. 

Like all sweets, you should eat cake in moderation. It’s always nice to treat yourself, but make sure you have a well-balanced meal before dessert!

How to Store Homemade Chocolate Cake

After removing your chocolate cake from the oven, it can last up to four hours at average room temperature. However, you must store it in the refrigerator if you want it to last longer. Refrigerated chocolate cakes can last up to four days. Freezing it will increase the lifespan, but you will have to thaw it before eating it, which can take some time and compromise some of the taste and consistency.

Despite that, you should store your homemade chocolate cake correctly to prevent it from spoiling before you are ready to eat. If you will eat the cake completely in a few days, refrigerating it is enough. However, freezing your chocolate cake can make it last up to one month.

To freeze chocolate cake properly, you should wrap each layer separately in a zip-top freezer bag after cooling. Then, place them in the freezer and freeze the frosting individually. When you are ready to eat it, remove the cake and the frosting from the freezer and leave it to thaw with the wrapper.

You can thaw your frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. Once it is completely thawed, you can frost your chocolate cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a chocolate cake lover, you may have struggled to make the perfect cakes to match those sold in stores or cafes. So, you may have some questions on how to get closer to your dream of baking a fantastic chocolate cake. We have answered some of the most common questions. Read further to get answers to any questions you may have.

Can I make this dairy-free?

You can make this recipe dairy-free by using white vinegar instead of buttermilk. There are also dairy-free options for frostings that you should check out before you start the process. For example, you can use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy. 

Similarly, you can make your chocolate cake recipe gluten-free. All you need to do is substitute the cake flour or all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour.

Which chocolate cake tastes the best?

Chocolate cake recipes have been evolving over the years, with some of them gaining immense popularity for their unmatched tastes. Top chocolate cakes tagged “must-have” for every chocolate lover include chocolate truffle cake, sour cream cake, Ferrero Rocher cake, lava cake, fudge cake, Oreo cake, and Belgian chocolate cake.

If you try any of these, you’ll understand exactly why they’ve become famous.

Can I use this recipe for other types of cakes?

Yes, you can use this chocolate cake recipe for other types of cakes. You will only need to add and remove some ingredients to achieve the required balance for the cake you want to make. Standard options for this recipe among bakers include bundt, sheet, and German chocolate cakes. Some also use it for chocolate cupcakes.

What kind of cocoa powder should I use?

There is no doubt that cocoa powder is one of the essential ingredients in making chocolate cake. For this reason, you should buy quality cocoa powder from top brands to achieve your cake’s desired taste, color, and flavor. 

For example, you can get good and affordable cocoa powder like Hershey’s Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa powder, Guittard Chocolate, or Callebaut Chocolate.

What three cake flavors go well together?

Chocolate cakes go with almost any cake flavor. Thus, combining a rich and dark chocolate cake with a light and fluffy vanilla cake would be a hit. However, the most popular cake flavor combinations are chocolate, orange, and red velvet. Each of these cake flavors tastes amazing on its own, but combining all three will give you an exquisite taste you won’t be able to forget.

Final Thoughts

Making the most amazing chocolate cake is not as difficult as it may seem. The most important thing is to get a recipe you can work with and follow. You can make some changes along the way, but be sure substitutions will not ruin your cake.

You can quickly search online to know what ingredient to substitute for another. You should also be ready to share your recipe with others when they compliment the taste of your chocolate cake.



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