The Best Chocolate Cake

The Best Chocolate Cake is combines cocoa and coffee to create a chocolate lover’s dream. The rich buttercream frosting makes it perfect!

We’re a family that loves to double down on chocolate. Peanut butter is a favorite, too, and my No Bake Cookies combine both with oatmeal.

But since there was a birthday, I felt like I really needed cake.

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 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. Seriously, it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted.

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!

The Best Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes


  • 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


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. 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.
  2. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin.
  3. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  4. 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.
  5. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
  6. 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.


  • 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

1,124 Responses to “The Best Chocolate Cake”

  1. Lipni Mary — September 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you for this recipe
    I tried it home and it turns out fantastic
    And my whole family loved it

    • Jamie — September 30th, 2016 at 10:49 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Lipni!

  2. Raihaan — October 9, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Hi, I tried baking this cake for the first time and it took longer to bake in the oven then it was said to. Is it suppose to be like that? or did I do something wrong because it was wet inside and I followed the measurements thoroughly.


    • Jamie — October 11th, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Hi, Raihaan! Your oven temperature may be a little cooler than mine, so you may have to bake for a bit longer. Let me know if you give it another try!

  3. Renae's World — October 14, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I was looking for sugar free chocolate cake recipe but I found this recipe and I tried it was delicious in taste. But if you have recipe for sugar free cake please share..

    • Jamie — October 14th, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      I’m really glad you liked the cake, Renae! At the moment, I don’t have a sugar free cake, but you never know! Keep checking back to see if there are any other recipes you might enjoy!

  4. Bubbles — October 15, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Hi! How much is one cup coffee? Do you weigh out the amount of coffee powder that you use? 

    • Jamie — October 16th, 2016 at 11:34 am

      The one cup of coffee is one cup of prepared coffee. You can use the leftover morning coffee in your coffee pot if you like. Let me know if you have another other questions!

  5. May jackman — October 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I am allergic to dairy,what can I substitute the buttermilk with?
    Thank you!

    • Jamie — October 16th, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Hi, May! Try combining a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup dairy free almond or coconut milk. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Swapnali — October 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Could you plz give me eggless receipe?

    Many Thanks

    • Jamie — October 16th, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Hi, Swapnali! You can substitute one mashed banana or 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  7. Christina — October 17, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Hi Jamie!

    Is it possible to use butter in place of the oil? I have used oil in cakes before, but I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong, but the cake turns out to be really oily though I use the exact measurements. :/

    And, also is there anything else I can substitute for King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa?

    Please do let me know! Thank you :)

    • Jamie — October 17th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hi, Christina! You can definitely use butter instead of oil. Melt the butter first and then measure the melted butter for the best results. And feel free to leave out the Black Cocoa…the cake will be delicious without it!

  8. Christina — October 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Thank you Jamie! :)

    Is it the same measurement as the oil, i.e, 1/2 cup?

    • Jamie — October 19th, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Yes. I hope you enjoy it, Christina!

  9. Jane — October 20, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Hi Jaime,

    Thanks for the recipe! Can this also be used for cupcakes?


    • Jamie — October 20th, 2016 at 10:07 am

      It can be used for cupcakes, but they do not dome up really well, so they’ll be a little flatter than typical cupcakes. I hope this helps.

  10. Nicky — October 20, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Hi, im looking to nake this recipe in a retangular pan. I can see you’ve mentioned cooking times when making it in a rectangular pan but i just wanted to check if any adjustments to the recipe is required? Whether anything is doubled or is it exactly the same? Thanks!

    • Jamie — October 20th, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Hi, Nicky! No other changes are needed! I hope you enjoy it!

  11. Chitra — October 22, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Can white sugar be replaced with brown molasses sugar? Just that I have plenty of it:-)

    • Jamie — October 24th, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi, Chitra! You could definitely replace white sugar with brown sugar. The taste will have more of a molasses flavor, and that may be a great thing! Let me know if I can help with anything else!

  12. Nusrat — October 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    This turned out really well!  I switched the oil for melted butter and increased vanilla to 3 teaspoons.  Nice you can put everything in one bowl. Thanks for sharing!  

    • Jamie — October 26th, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      You’re very welcome, Nusrat!

  13. Theresa — October 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Jamie,
    I made you cake yesterday for a family dinner tonight and it was a big hit. I believe made a few different recipes but this will be my guest go to recipe when I need a chocolate cake. Thank you very much for sharing your recipe.

    • Jamie — November 2nd, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      You’re very welcome, Theresa! I’m really glad you liked it!

  14. Neha Susan — October 30, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Looks good, Will surely try it. Is it possible to replace buttermilk with yoghurt ?

    • Jamie — November 2nd, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Hi, Neha! You can probably use yogurt that’s been watered down a bit. I hope this helps!

  15. Caitlin — October 31, 2016 at 12:04 am

    If you’re looking for a standout chocolate cake recipe, look no further. This cake is beautifully moist and tasty and it is sturdy enough to stack. I made two batches and layered them with a caramel buttercream filling and a vanilla buttercream naked icing. I did not need to use dowel to keep the cake secure and stacked Krispy Kremes and other sweets on top. I’ve rarely received so many compliments for a bake, so thank you for the killer recipe Jamie!

    • Jamie — November 2nd, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that, Caitlin! I’m going to have to try the caramel buttercream!

  16. Paty — November 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I made this cake for my husband’s bd, and everybody loved it, even those who are on a low carb diet. My daughter came for leftovers to take to work. My husband kept eating a piece here and there. Thank you for the recipe. It is light and delicious. and it will be my only chocolate cake from now on.

    • Jamie — November 2nd, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it, Paty!

  17. Ysna Duclos — November 16, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Used this recipe and it was delicious. I’m considering making it into cupcakes. Do you know about how much this recipe will make?

    • Jamie — November 17th, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      You’ll probably get between 24 and 36 cupcakes. I think the recipe will work just fine! I hope you enjoy it!

  18. Paish — November 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Hi, so for the coffee, is it coffee powder/grains or liquid coffee (like left over in the pot from what I had for breakfast)? Want to make this tonight

    • Jamie — November 23rd, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Liquid coffee (what you would drink) – I hope this helps!

  19. Yvonne — November 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi, I’ve used this recipe for cupcakes before and it is delishhhhhh! Seeing the batter is quite runny, can I use a springform pan for this cake? Thanks!

    • Jamie — November 27th, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Hi, Yvonne! I think you could bake this in a 10 inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan so the batter doesn’t leak out. I hope you enjoy it!

  20. Paula — November 26, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I’ve made this recipe multiple times to rave reviews. Granted, it’s for serious chocoholics, but I think the KA black cocoa takes it from excellent to a level a notch above. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jamie — November 27th, 2016 at 8:23 am

      You’re so welcome, Paula! I’m glad you like it!

  21. Katie — November 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Great chocolate cake! Super moist, even after a few days. Had a bit of an oopsie moment when I added the freshly made HOT coffee in… it was a happy ending though because the cake was still delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Jamie — November 28th, 2016 at 8:43 am

      You’re very welcome, Katie! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  22. Athena — November 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I cant wait to make this! Can i use just one 9in springform pan? Or does it have to be 2? Can i scale the recipe downif i do? 

    • Jamie — November 29th, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Hi, Athena! The recipe would work perfectly for one 10 inch springform pan, and for a 9 inch you may have a little batter left over. I hope this helps!

  23. Eddy — December 3, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Can I make this recipe into cupcakes or do you have a recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!?

    • Jamie — December 5th, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      You can definitely make these into cupcakes! Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy them, Eddy!

  24. abel kotze — December 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Add half a cup of raspberry jam to the mix!

    • Jamie — December 5th, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Sounds wonderful, Abel!

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