The Best Chocolate Cake

by Jamie on October 11, 2011

Post image for The Best Chocolate Cake

We’re a family that loves to double down on chocolate.

For birthdays, we have to do it up right by making my version of cake bliss. But, as you may have caught on at some point by reading MBA, I have a little bit of a multi-tasking problem.

My family enjoys watching me flit from one thing to another like I’m their own personal reality show for entertainment. They love to point out when my missing spatula can be found at the computer desk, or my phone in the pantry, and helpfully letting me know that the oven timer has dinged at least 15 times.

I also like to do things in excess – you know a little mound of frosting will never do in this household. I need to swirl on a pile of it on top, and then top it off with ganache just for the fun of it. So when I organize birthday parties – I of course go a little overboard.

I started my chocolate cake adventure by baking this cake – twice. Twice because I was mixing it while on the phone. Only to realize after it had baked that I left out a full cup of sugar and all of the vegetable oil. I think you can imagine how well that turned out: i.e., not at all.

I quickly whipped it up again, this time focusing my full attention on the process. The cake turned out beautifully and I quickly frosted it while preparing the other gazillion components of the meal.

After all the feasting, no one had room for cake – in fact, we left for the night without busting into song over 37 lit candles. So – a cake that was never meant to be blogged is here today simply because I made too much food (aaaand we’re right back to doing things in excess).

This cake is dark, moist, rich and incredibly decadent. Green Mountain Coffee’s Vermont Country Blend blended amazingly well with the cocoa to create the most intense and delicious chocolate cake that I have ever tasted. It’s the perfect sort of cake for a birthday or a Tuesday. Make sure to enjoy it with a very large glass of ice cold milk!

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The Best Chocolate Cake

October 11th, 2011

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time:

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee (I used Green Mountain Coffee’s Vermont Country Blend)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Frost as desired. I used a simple and delicious Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life. One batch was perfect for this layered chocolate cake.

Notes:

- The Black Cocoa from King Arthur Flour is optional - it simply provides a great depth of flavor and color to the chocolate cake.
- This cake also pairs beautifully with a simple chocolate ganache.

Recipe adapted from Hershey's Black Magic Cake


{ 529 comments… read them below or add one }

Teresa September 24, 2014 at 2:35 am

I tried this recipe the other day for a carved custom cake. It was amazing. Then I used the trimmings for cake pops and they were the best I’ve made.
Have you tried this recipe for cupcakes.

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Jamie September 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

I’m so glad it worked for you and it will work for cupcakes as well. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

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christine November 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm

What frosting did you use for your cake pop

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Shakirah Walid September 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm

hi.. wanna try this soon.. I live in Srilanka and can I know what is buttermilk

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Jamie September 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

You can add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a scant cup of milk and allow it to set for a few minutes to use as a buttermilk substitute. I hope this is helpful.

-Jamie

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African Kaya October 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm

you can also use fermented/ sour milk if its available

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Ellie Wendt September 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

This is without a doubt the best ever chocolate cake recipe. I will follow any other
recipe other that this one for chocolate cake. Its moist and rich. it was a huge hit with my family.

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Jamie September 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Thanks so much, Ellie! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it.
-Jamie

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Craig October 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Hi, silly question maybe as I don’t do any baking, but is the coffee diluted with water or a cup of granules?

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Jamie October 3, 2014 at 10:51 am

I used brewed coffee, I hope this helps!

-Jamie

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christine October 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Hi jamie how do you make 1 cup coffee. How many teaspoon of coffe doni need to put. I dont really drink coffee.

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Jamie October 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Christine,
2 tablespoons for about 8 ounces of water should work for 1 cup of coffee. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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christine October 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

Jamie i forgot to ask abt the coffee cold hot or warm

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Jamie October 6, 2014 at 10:59 am

Christine-
Room temperature would be best. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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Ida October 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

hi Jamie

I am trying this recipe right now. Just need to know that do I also use the whisk attachment when I add in the eggs, buttermilk etc?

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Jamie October 10, 2014 at 10:21 am

Ida-
The whisk attachment should work. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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Anne October 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm

i just put these cakes on wire racks to cool. They puffed up quite a bit in the oven but have now fallen very flat on the racks. Did I do something wrong? I’m thinking about making half the recipe again to get a third layer just so it’s a bit taller.

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wylief October 13, 2014 at 4:33 am

Hi,
What can substitute in for the coffee? I’m not a big fan of coffee. Thanks for any help .. :)

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Jamie October 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

Wylief-
You can just use water in place of the coffee.
-Jamie

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Cheryl November 19, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Just an FYI – You don’t taste the coffee. Coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

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Alyson October 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Does the cake taste quite a bit like coffee? Was planning on doing a mint chocolate filling and wondering if the coffee flavor is at all overpowering?

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Jamie October 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Alyson-
The coffee just enhances the chocolate flavor, I don’t think the coffee flavor is too strong. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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Alyson October 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Yes it did! This cake was a HUGE hit. Thank you so much!

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Jamie October 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

Alyson-
Thanks for visiting!
-Jamie

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Amy October 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I was just wondering if a single batch be adequate for a 9×13 cake or if I will really need to make two layers?

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Sarah October 18, 2014 at 10:36 am

How long would you bake these for regular size cupcakes? I’ve made this cake several times for special occasions and it is always a hit!!!

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Jamie November 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Sarah-
I would recommend checking them at around 20 minutes. I hope this helps.
-Jamie

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Amanda October 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Tried this recipe exactly and it was super moist and delicious. I was nervous about it being very thin liquid batter but it baked wonderful. The coffee flavor was very little and not overpowering. I will continue to use this recipe, thanks!

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Jamie October 20, 2014 at 10:05 am

Amanda-
I’m so glad the recipe was a success for you. Thanks for visiting.

-Jamie

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Amanda October 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thank you for this lovely recipe! Hope my mom loves this! I changed the coffee for a local soda companies ginger beer soda. So far so good! I used my 9″ cake pans but they are only one inch tall and aaaaalmost ran over the edge. Maybe add a note about how tall the pans should be ;)

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Amanda October 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Update: the cake has just runneth over. Glad I put down foil! Lol. I wanted to add that I used the warm milk lemon juice substitute whenever I need buttermilk. Seems to work well for me. This bad boy is going to be covered in a pumpkin buttercream frosting!

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Jamie October 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Amanda-
I’m sorry to hear that your cake baked over! It sounds delicious with the pumpkin buttercream. Thanks for visiting.

-Jamie

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Jamie October 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Amanda-
Thanks for stopping by!

-Jamie

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Grace October 26, 2014 at 10:19 am

The only oil I have in the house is olive and coconut! Can I use coconut oil?

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Jamie October 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Grace-
I have not tried substituting the coconut oil but I think it would work. Let me know how it turns out if you do.

-Jamie

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Jennifer October 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Your recipes are wonderful! My husband is a foodie and very particular. He loooooves this chocolate cake recipe I used for cup cakes. I love your tips also. Thanks so much!

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Jamie November 1, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Jennifer-
I’m so glad the recipe worked out well for you. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

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Miriam November 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Hi Jamie,
I have not tried your recipe yet but will definitely do so! From all the great reviews I’ve read, this is a must! I am a huge fan of Giant’s Grocery Food Store cakes and I’ve been looking for a recipe that I can do myself. So far only your cake recipe and picture has looked amazing and caught my attention! Thank you for sharing it!
– Miriam

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Jamie November 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Miriam-
I hope you have the chance to try this cake. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

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Jeena November 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

Is it okay if I put in less than 2 cups of sugar?

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Jamie November 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Jeena-
You can use less sugar but it will yield a different sweetness to the cake. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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Jeena November 5, 2014 at 5:37 am

Thank you Jamie. Going to try it out now. :)

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Jamie November 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
-Jamie

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Debbie November 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I made this cake a couple of weeks ago, and had to come back here to comment. The cake was delicious – I will definitely make it again.
I didn’t have black cocoa, so added in 2 tablespoons of regular cocoa. I have since ordered some black cocoa from KAF, and will try this recipe again as soon as I get it. Yay for having to bake this again!
The batter was really runny, so I went overboard on buttering, lining with parchment, buttering and then flouring the pans. No sticking after all that. I baked for the full 35 minutes, and could probably have gone another minute or two.
I made the frosting with room-temp brewed coffee instead of milk/cream and upped the amount of sugar a bit. Super yummy on top of a super cake.
Thanks again for the fab recipe!

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Jamie November 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Debbie-
I’m so glad the recipe worked for you. Thanks so much for visiting.

-Jamie

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christine November 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Where i can i buy king arthur flour dark cocoa

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Jamie November 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I purchased mine online directly from King Arthur – I hope this helps.
-Jamie

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Dilini November 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

This cake is awesome. I made this cake for my son’s 3rd birthday party. It came out really well. Kids and grown-ups loved it equally. It was also super easy, moist and soft. I used the chocolate frosting referenced in the recipe with almond frosting. It was a wonderful combination. Thank you so much.

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Jamie November 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Dilini-
I’m glad the recipe worked so well for you. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

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Marilyn November 20, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Hi there,

Could you tell me How many C o F

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Jamie November 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

Marilyn-
350 Degrees F would be 176.667 C. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

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Shannon November 23, 2014 at 7:47 am

This really is THE BEST chocolate cake ever. I made this one time for a family reunion and I could hardly get out the door that day without people wanting the recipe. I’m asked to bring it every year for every occasion. I make the butter cream frosting using almond extract instead of vanilla. I think it compliments the cake incredibly well. Thank you so very much for the recipe!

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Jamie November 24, 2014 at 10:57 am

Shannon-
I’m so glad the recipe was such a hit for you. The almond extract in the buttercream sounds wonderful. Thanks for dropping by.

-Jamie

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Julie November 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

If you haven’t tried this recipe, do it this holiday season. I use this recipe for every occasion. It is simply THE BEST chocolate cake.

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Jamie November 28, 2014 at 9:26 am

Julie-
I’m so glad the recipe works for you. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

Reply

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