This is the BEST chocolate cake! It gets made in one bowl and is everything you want a easy homemade chocolate cake to be: chocolaty, moist and decadent. Whipped vanilla buttercream is the cherry on top! This recipe is really easy for bakers with no experience and for kiddos. This cake is based on the original recipe from Hershey’s. They have created some top shelf chocolate cake recipes over the years!
Give me a simple, classic recipe any day of the week! This old fashioned moist chocolate cake is definitely that! Simple, and to the point – hard core chocolate cake for true chocolate lovers! I’m a big fan of the combination of vanilla buttercream on an easy chocolate cake but if you prefer a chocolate buttercream you can use this recipe.
Need more proof? Check out the comments!!!
“This cake is sooooo delicious! My husband suggested I go into the cake baking business after enjoying his slices! 😉” – Stacey
What Makes This The BEST Chocolate Cake Recipe?
For true greatness a chocolate cake has to be bursting with chocolate – a chocolate lover’s fantasy cake.
It also needs a dense, moist texture. It should not be so dense that it is a brownie – just good and thick and almost on the fudgy side.
Finally, I want a frosting that adds a little something to the cake instead of detracting from it.
My Secret to the Best Chocolate Cake…
This is my version of perfect classic chocolate cake. And I believe I have done it very well… My secret (don’t you love that I tell you all my secrets?) is just a hint of almond flavoring in the cake and the frosting. It is just enough to give an extra layer of flavor to the chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the plain flavor of chocolate, but adding a little something else can give it a lot of depth and quality.
The whipped vanilla buttercream on top is also simply divine. Hang unto this recipe for your favorite cookies and other treats. It is easy and amazing.
HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT CAKE
Have you ever tried baking a cake and gotten a big old hill? There are two things you can try:
- Buy a good quality cake pan! This helps with heat distribution for even baking.
- Try wrapping your cake pan! I have a tutorial on it here. When I wrap a cake it always rises fully level! This trick has gotten me through 10 years of baking – I love it!
Love Chocolate Cake? This Black Magic Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is another chocolate cake home run!
MORE CHOCOLATE CAKES TO LOVE
- Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Vanilla Mousse Filling
- Better Than Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix
- Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
- Wacky Cake (Depression Cake – No Milk or Eggs)
The Best Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
For The Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk can sub 2%
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract see note for substitution options
- 1 cup boiling water
For The Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup salted butter room temperature
- 8 cups powdered sugar (this is a 32oz bag)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract see note for substitution options
- 7 Tablespoon whole milk can sub 2%
- Tip: A great cake is baked in such a way that it rises flat and doesn't need to be leveled! The sides and bottom will be more tender and the entire cake is taller and more fluffy. See the full tutorial here.
To Bake The Cake
- Put oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter the sides of two 9-inch round baking pans and line with a circle of parchment paper. Flour or use cocoa powder to dust the sides of the pans, tap out excess.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and almond extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, stir in boiling water ( note that the batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Use a knife or metal spatula to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Flip cakes unto to wire racks to finish cooling. At this time, gently peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and discard.
To Make The Frosting
- Put all the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until combined, scraping sides and bottom as needed until the frosting comes together.
- Turn the mixer to high and beat for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides and beat an additional 2 minutes on high.
- Frost the cake and serve with coffee or vanilla ice cream.
- Cake Cutting Tip: Use a sharp knife to cut the cake. Try wiping it on a clean, damp cloth between cuts. A clean knife makes a more tidy and pretty slice of cake. Use a cake server to lift pieces of cake off your serving plate.
Almond extract is a great option in chocolate. It has an almost cherry flavor and brings out the chocolate flavor beautifully. However, not everybody is a fan and you certainly don't have to include it! The extract can be left out of both the cake and the frosting. You can either leave it out all together or you can replace it with vanilla if you want a stronger vanilla flavor in the cake or the frosting or both. Tips on Cake Frosting When the cake has cooled it takes me about 30 minutes to make the frosting and frost the cake. A more casual frosting job will take less time. To smooth the frosting on easily plan to frost the cake as soon as you make the frosting. Also try smearing just a little down all around the sides and top of the cake to make what is called a “glue layer.” Don’t worry about getting crumbs in it. Put your clean frosting over the glue layer for easy but polished look.
MirlandrasKitchen.com is written to share great recipes. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline, we are not registered dietitians and the values provided here should be considered estimates – not exact scientific data.
This recipe was posted in February of 2017 and updated with new content in May of 2020.