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This Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe is such a moist fudge-like dessert. As easy to make as a box cake, but this homemade treat tastes much better!
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This simple and easy chocolate cake recipe is the perfect one to have at the ready for any occasion. It’s perfect for birthdays, celebrations, potlucks, or just sweet tooth Sunday nights. The basic cake batter pairs beautifully with our chocolate buttercream frosting, and you can decorate it all sorts of ways. With a moist yet light texture, rich yet mild chocolate flavor, it’s truly the best chocolate cake and SO easy to make!
Ingredients in Easy Chocolate Cake
The best part of this chocolate cake recipe is how easy it is to keep the ingredients on hand. I always have the makings for this homemade chocolate cake recipe in my kitchen just in case I need to whip up a dessert for a friend, neighbor or my family. Here’s all you need:
- Flour – two cups all purpose flour, sifted to make the cake layer even and light
- Sugar – two cups white granulated sugar
- Cocoa powder – three quarter cup of your favorite cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder works great.
- Salt – one teaspoon kosher or table salt
- Baking powder – one teaspoon
- Baking soda – two teaspoons
- Vegetable oil – half a cup, regular vegetable or canola oil
- Buttermilk – one cup. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of regular milk, and bam! Buttermilk.
- Eggs – two whole, large eggs
- Vanilla – one teaspoon of your favorite vanilla extract
- Hot water – one cup hot to boiling water.
Steps to Succulent Cake
- First, select the type of pan you like to use. I baked this cake in a 9×13 inch pan, but you can use cupcake pans, 9-inch cake pans, square or round cake pans for a layered chocolate cake. Spray your pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Next, in a large bowl or a standing mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Then in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
- Using an electric mixer and paddle attachment, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixing bowl on high speed until just combined.
- Now comes the secret ingredient: hot water! Slowly add the hot water while whisking on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. The batter will be thin, and that’s okay! Trust the process.
- Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting.
Icing on the Cake
To frost this cake, I use our fabulous chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. But you can use your favorite chocolate frosting, a chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting or our yummy peanut butter frosting. If you’re using a white frosting, consider using a crumb coat (a thinner layer of frosting) before adding the top coat of frosting so the chocolate doesn’t show through.
Variations and Decorations
This moist chocolate cake recipe is truly a blank canvas where you can take flavors to all kinds of different levels.
- Make this a Black Forest cake with a can of cherry pie filling on top with whipped cream.
- Top with a dusting of powdered sugar or espresso powder.
- Decorate with sprinkles, nuts, fresh fruit (raspberries are a favorite!) or toasted coconut.
- Serve with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fudge cake is thicker, more dense and more of a brownie-like texture. Regular chocolate is a more delicate, fluffy, and lighter texture.
If your cake isn’t fluffy, you could be over mixing your batter, or using old leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda.
To keep cake extra moist, avoid overbaking, maintain the right baking temperature, and frost the cake right away. Store frosted cake in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Store leftover cake in the freezer covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Thaw on the counter until room temperature, then serve.
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How to Make this Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
Easy Chocolate Cake
- Electric Mixer
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 9×13" pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
- Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixing bowl and combine using electric mixer.
- Slowly add the hot water while whisking on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. The batter will be thin.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 28-32 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool completely in pan before frosting. *
- Frost with our Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
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