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4.53 from 19 votes

The Best Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

This is the BEST chocolate cake!  The cake batter is very simple - it only takes one bowl to make it. The final result is 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! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chocolate cake, homemade chocolate cake, chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, easy chocolate cake
Servings: 12
Author: Mirlandra Neuneker

Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or other high quality cocoa or dark cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk can sub 2%
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. 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 a 32oz bag
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract see note for substitution options
  • 7 Tbsp. whole milk can sub 2%

Instructions

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.

Notes

What if I don't like almond extract? 
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.