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


{ 623 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherie March 23, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Hi thanks for this recipe! If I were to make a kid-friendly version, can I go without coffee, instead substitute with water or chocolate milk?

Reply

Jamie March 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Cherie-
You could substitute hot water with no problem. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

Reply

chelsy March 24, 2015 at 1:40 am

i have made this cake once before and loved it! now i want to make it again but i want to make it with coconut four. do you think it will workout?

Reply

Jamie March 24, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Chelsy-
I’m glad you liked the recipe. I haven’t tried it with coconut flour, so I’m not sure if it will work or not. Let me know how it goes if you try it. Thanks for visiting.

-Jamie

Reply

cheryl April 4, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I made this version the regular way, with and without coffee, and I used a gluten free flour called (cup 4 cup) and it turned out wonderful. I do cupcakes for craft shows and some people want gluten free and I can not tell the difference.

Reply

Jamie April 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

Cheryl-
I’m so glad you had success with the recipe and I appreciate you stopping by with your GF tips!

-Jamie

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Chloe April 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Chelsy – coconut flour will NOT WORK in place of regular flour in this recipe unless you make other major alterations. Coconut flour is very absorbent, and most recipes using it have a very large number of eggs and a very small overall quantity of flour. I once read somewhere that you can use 1/4 cup coconut flour for each full cup regular flour and then add some eggs as well…the total number of eggs in the recipe should equal one egg for every ounce of coconut flour used. (If there are 2 eggs in the original recipe, those are for the first two ounces coconut flour.)

Reply

Dawn May 10, 2015 at 6:44 am

Coconut flour is very different! You should try experimenting with the coconut flour to get a feel for it. You’ll need more liquids and more eggs

Reply

Mayra March 24, 2015 at 10:36 am

Hi Jamie,
Ive just discovered your site and I would like to try out some recipes, I like to be exact when baking, how much is a cup in your recipe? thanks!

Reply

Jamie March 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

Mayra-
1 cup is 8 ounces. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

Reply

preety@cookurplate March 27, 2015 at 6:29 am

Looks delicious.

Reply

Jamie March 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

Preety-
Thanks for visiting.

-Jamie

Reply

jess March 28, 2015 at 3:12 am

Hey, just wondering what can I substitute with king Arthur flour? What is it anyway? We don’t have king Arthur flour in australia

Reply

Jamie March 30, 2015 at 11:49 am

Jess-
King Arthur Flour is a brand in the US, I am referring to the Black Cocoa from King Arthur Flour, which is optional – it simply provides a great depth of flavor and color to the chocolate cake, you can substitute any cocoa powder that you have available. I hope this is helpful.

-Jamie

Reply

Carina March 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

Hi! I want to try this recipe but I can’t find the KingArthur Flour? what can I substitute for that, is it really different with all purpose flour? It’s really looks delicious and I really want to try it for my niece’s birthday.

Reply

Jamie March 30, 2015 at 11:46 am

Carina-
King Arthur Flour is a brand in the US. I am referring to the Black Cocoa from King Arthur Flour, which is optional – it simply provides a great depth of flavor and color to the chocolate cake. You can substitute with cocoa powder that you have available.
I hope this helps.

-Jamie

Reply

Rachael March 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Hello, I found this recipe and have made it at least twice! It’s amazing!! I want to make this with a white frosting for Easter. should I make it with butter-cream frosting, or white chocolate frosting or something else??
Thanks!

Reply

Jamie April 1, 2015 at 11:02 am

Rachael-
I think buttercream would be delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by.
-Jamie

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Rachael April 1, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Thanks so much!

Reply

Arwa yousuf April 2, 2015 at 1:42 am

I cup of coffee is mentioned. Does it mean a while cup of water or 1 tbsp of coffee powder dissolved in a little quantity of hot water.. Pls rpl fast my ingredients r waiting to b mixed up

Reply

Jamie April 6, 2015 at 11:32 am

Arwa-
It is for 1 cup of brewed coffee. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

Reply

Priti April 2, 2015 at 7:10 am

Superb cake and recipe. Whenever I am lazy for making a cake I always order cakes from Monginis online cake shop, Next time I will try this cake. Thanks for the recipe.

Reply

Jamie April 6, 2015 at 11:32 am

Priti-
Thanks so much for stopping by.

-Jamie

Reply

Amanda Tippett April 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm

I have made this recipe a dozen times & LOVE it!! I want to make cupcakes out of it….do you know how I would need to modify this in order to do that?

Reply

Jamie April 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

Amanda-
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. To make cupcakes, you might need to adjust the cooking time. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

Reply

Anna April 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm

SO good and rich. Followed the directions exactly (except used Hershey Special Dark cocoa when it called) and it was amazing. Very rich, very moist. I would make it again. For what it’s worth, I added the coffee in when it was hot, a little at a time (to avoid splashing) while the mixer was running. Excellent recipe, thank you:)

Reply

Lourdes April 15, 2015 at 7:05 am

I love this cake! I do it yesterday, the next time I will do it with butter instead of oil. I replace half of sugar with black sugar (this is for a cake more moist). Although this cake is already moist isn’t? thank you!

Reply

Jamie April 15, 2015 at 10:13 am

Lourdes-
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by.

-Jamie

Reply

sungyu May 2, 2015 at 10:55 am

how much is a teaspoon / tablespoons in your recipe
1 teaspoon = how much is a ounce ?
1 tablespoons = how much is a ounce ?

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour = 6ounce ( is it right?)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder = 6ounce ( is it right?)

Reply

Jamie May 4, 2015 at 8:46 am

Sungyu-
1 teaspoon is 0.166667 ounces, 1 tablespoon is .5 ounces. 1 and 3/4 cup flour would be 14 ounces, 3/4 cup is 6 ounces. I hope this helps.

-Jamie

Reply

Colleen May 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie.
This cake right here. You got me with the picture. I made it about 3 years ago. After the first bite, I took a bow. I was the only one in the room, but some things deserve that moment of recognition. It is now my go to for chocolate cake. I recentlhy used this recipe to make homemade Ding Dongs as a gender reveal for work. Folks said it was the best thing I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing this recipe and the enticing photo. Be well and keep baking.

Reply

Jamie May 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

Colleen-

I’m so glad that the recipe has worked so well for you. I really appreciate the feed back and kind words. I’m so glad you stopped by.

-Jamie

Reply

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