Best Chocolate Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
September 5th, 2018
4.76 from 78 votes
4.76 from 78 votes

This Best Chocolate Cake recipe makes for the most flavorful, moist, and tender chocolate cake you've ever tasted! Everyone LOVES it and you don't even need a mixer to make the batter.  Download my free Buttercream guide here!

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Loaded with chocolate flavor and just the perfect balance of sweetness.
Texture: Crazy moist, tender, and fudgy with the silkiest and creamiest frosting ever!
Ease: The cake batter is crazy quick & easy. The frosting is a little more involved, but totally doable.
Pros: Best ever chocolate cake… need I say more?!
Cons: Nope, none.
Would I make this again? Of course, this is already my go-to recipe.

I have a confession to make. I’m not a big cake fan. As a professional baking blogger I know this is basically heresy.

But I just find the majority of cakes out there to be either dry and bland, sickly sweet and artificial tasting, or so light in texture that I would rather have a brownie.

Best Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on a cake stand

But not this cake.

Oh no, I could eat this cake weekly… for eternity!

When this best chocolate cake comes out of the oven, the tops of the layers are actually shiny and slightly crackled almost like a brownie. That’s how fudgy it is.

Rich slice of the best chocolate cake recipe with a fork taking a bite

The cake batter itself is so crazy easy to whip up. You don’t even need a mixer for the batter. That allows you to focus your energies on the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which truly takes this cake to another level.

You could totally have fun and get creative with flavors and fillings here as well. Maybe add some orange zest to the cake & frosting, some raspberries or jam to the filling, or some salted caramel for good measure?

But sometimes there’s nothing better than pure chocolate indulgence. You’ll want to go totally Matilda on this cake!

Learn how to make the BEST Chocolate Cake:

I hope you make this chocolate cake from scratch for someone special soon!

By the way, if you’re looking for a special BIRTHDAY CAKE recipe this one is my fave.

Silky smooth chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the Best ever chocolate cake!

How to Make the BEST Chocolate Cake – Recipe Tips

What kind of chocolate is best in chocolate cake?

We can’t make the best chocolate cake without paying attention to the chocolate ingredients! The cake contains both bittersweet chocolate AND Dutch-process cocoa powder for as much chocolate flavor as possible.

The frosting uses melted chocolate for the most intense and pure chocolate flavor possible. I like to use semisweet, but feel free to use milk or bittersweet chocolate. Just make sure you’re using the highest quality chocolate you can.

Do I have to use Dutch-process cocoa powder?

I do recommend you stick with the Dutch-process cocoa as it actually works differently on a chemical level compared to regular natural cocoa. You can learn more about the differences between cocoa powders here.

So why am I using Dutch-process cocoa with baking soda for this recipe? Shouldn’t it be baking powder? The Dutch-process cocoa has more fat than most grocery store natural cocoa powder products, so it’s actually used for flavor and moisture in this specific recipe. The vinegar in this recipe activates the baking soda. Do not substitute.

You can find Dutch-process cocoa at many gourmet food stores, like Target, Whole Foods, Sur la Table, and Williams-Sonoma. I actually order a big container on Amazon because it’s such a great value!

If you can’t find it, you can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder, just remove the vinegar in the recipe completely.

Why is there espresso powder in chocolate cake? Can I omit it?

You may have seen a few chocolate cake recipes that utilize hot water or even hot coffee. When the hot liquid is combined with the cocoa powder, it helps to dissolve and ‘bloom’ the cocoa powder to bring out as much flavor with as few cocoa lumps as possible.

In this recipe, I use a combination of hot water and instant espresso powder. The espresso simply enhances the chocolate flavor without actually tasting like coffee.

Alternatively, you could use strong hot coffee for the same effect. I never have coffee on hand so for me, espresso powder + hot water is easier and cleaner. If you don’t like coffee or espresso, just use hot water and omit the espresso powder completely.

How to Make a Chocolate Cake Moist:

The ingredients below all help to create a moist, tender, and fudgy cake.

Oil vs. Butter in Chocolate Cake

This recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of melted butter. Oil creates an ultra moist texture and open slightly spongy crumb. Cakes made with oil feel more “moist” because the fat is a liquid at room temperature so it coats the tongue. Be sure to use fresh vegetable oil. Give it a sniff before using to make sure it doesn’t have any off flavors.

Feel free to use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil!


This recipe uses a combination of granulated and brown sugars, which creates a cake that’s flavorful, moist, and fudgy. Brown sugar is my hygroscopic, which basically means it draws and attracts moisture more than granulated white sugar. I also like the slightly complex butterscotch flavor it adds.


The more whole eggs a cake recipe has, the richer it’ll be. Since the egg yolk contains most of the fat in an egg, it also lends richness to cakes. Adding an egg yolk to this recipe also helped increase the fudge factor. Be sure your eggs are at room temperature so they blend into the batter smoothly.

Can I bake a chocolate cake without eggs?

Eggs are a critical part of this particular recipe. If you replace them with a substitute you’ll likely end up with a texture that’s much less rich and fudgy. However, if you can’t have eggs then my friend Gemma has a great tutorial on replacing eggs in baking recipes.

Why use sour cream in chocolate cake?

This also adds such a lovely richness and balance of flavor to cake. It helps make the cake more tender and fudgy. Be sure to use full fat sour cream that’s at room temperature.

Can I substitute the sour cream?

Full fat plain Greek yogurt also makes a fine substitute if you don’t have sour cream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

This recipe uses my all time favorite frosting: Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It is a little more advanced, but the result is a frosting so silky, smooth, creamy, and not-too-sweet that it’s 100000% worth the effort. The ingredients & directions are included in the cake recipe below, but I also have an entire step-by-step tutorial on how to make chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream here.

I think the best part about this buttercream frosting is how easy it is to work with. It literally just glides right onto the cake effortlessly. Since it is so silky, though, it’s not the best frosting to use for any super intricate cake decorating.

If you don’t want to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream, you could use make a double batch of this dark chocolate buttercream instead.

How to Make Cake Ahead of Time

Cake layers:

You can wrap unfrosted un-cut cooled cake layers completely in several layers of plastic wrap. Place inside a freezer bag. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.


Frosting can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm frosting in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and stir until creamy again before frosting cake.

Frosting can also be transferred to a ziptop bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge overnight then rewhip in the stand mixer until light and smooth.

Do I have to keep chocolate cake refrigerated?

Since frosting acts as a protective seal that keeps the cake moist and fresh, frosted cakes can be stored at a cool and dry room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover with a cake keeper to keep the frosting intact. Don’t use plastic wrap, which will not only ruin your frosting but also create condensation that can cause the frosting to separate.

I personally don’t worry about keeping frosting at room temperature since the sugar acts as a preservative, but if this concerns you then just keep the cake in the fridge.

How Can I Turn This Into Cupcakes?

Lucky for you, I already have a best ever chocolate cupcake recipe here! It’s the same base as this recipe.

Bite taken out of the best fudgy chocolate cake

More Cake Recipes:

My Favorite Cake Tools

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Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

4.76 from 78 votes

How to make
Best Chocolate Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This Best Chocolate Cake recipe makes for the most flavorful, moist, and tender chocolate cake you've ever tasted! Everyone LOVES it and you don't even need a mixer to make the batter.  Download my free Buttercream guide here!


For the cake:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (57 grams) Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder*
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 (222 grams) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil*
  • 4 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and at room temperature
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cake:

  1. In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix. Batter will be thin.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  1. Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of gently simmering water. Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy and registers 150°F on a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer, about 3 minutes.
  2. Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, that’s okay. Just keep beating until it becomes smooth. If the butter becomes too warm and greasy, refrigerate the bowl for 10 to 15 minutes then continue to beat until smooth.
  3. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.


  1. Place one cake layer on a cake turntable or cake stand. Spread an even layer of frosting all of the cake layer, pushing it out over the edge just slightly. Place the other cake layer upside-down on top of the frosting so that the top of the cake is nice and flat. With an offset spatula, spread the remaining frosting evenly all over the cake, smoothing the edges. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Let come to room temperature for an hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have espresso powder, you can use 1 cup hot coffee in place of the powder + boiling water. This recipe uses vegetable oil, make sure it’s fresh and doesn’t have an off smell before using.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sarah — September 7, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Can I substitute a soy or coconut milk yogurt for the sour cream to make it dairy free? For allergies, I was happy to see the oil and not butter. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — September 9, 2018 at 8:19 am

      I haven’t tried that. If you give it a shot let us know how it turns out!

  2. #
    Allie — September 7, 2018 at 3:28 am

    When I made this, I had a lot of spillover in the oven. If your plans are full to the brim, switch to bigger pans. I used 8″ pans that were amount an inch and a half deep.

    The recipe is pretty much like Tessa’s chocolate cupcake recipe, which is always delicious. I usually add peanut butter chips to the batter for those, so next time I make this cake, I’ll do the same! I’m looking forward to it. My boyfriend said the last couple of various cupcakes I made were dry, but he took one bite of this cake and said, “That’s moist!!!”

  3. #
    Ann McDonald — September 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Tessa. Your Best Chocolate Cake recipe looks amazing and I will try it when I have company in a couple of weeks, but my husband and I aren’t big chocolate lovers. Do you have a Best (other flavor) Cake recipe that is moist, not too sweet, but delicious? Maybe lemon or caramel or plain perfect white or yellow? The frosting, too, please. The swiss butter cream looks wonderful.

    Thank you! I very much enjoy your baking show.

  4. #
    Josh — September 9, 2018 at 5:57 am

    This looks amazing! I plan on making this for an upcoming family birthday.

    Quick question – if I wanted vanilla cake instead, would I just omit the chocolate and espresso in the recipe?

    Thanks, Tessa!

    • #
      Tessa — September 9, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Hi Josh, no this recipe was specifically formulated for chocolate. I would just find a vanilla cake recipe!

  5. #
    Jamie — September 10, 2018 at 4:42 am

    I made this on the weekend. There is only a quarter left it was soooooo good. I have been hunting for a recipe for a while & have just found it. Thankyou so much.
    I put chocolate shavings to decorate. I found the Swiss meringue soft to work with so put the cake in the fridge to ‘set’. Worked a treat.

  6. # — September 12, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    The most flavorful, moist, and tender chocolate cake ever!!!

  7. #
    hotmail — September 18, 2018 at 12:47 am

    It looks so yummy and tasty. I will try doing this tommorrow. Thanks for your nice recipe

  8. #
    Bavneet — September 20, 2018 at 12:37 am

    I loved your chocolate cake and thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

    • #
      Rumana Akthar — August 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm


      Can I bake this as a tray bake? 9×13 inch pan.

      • #
        Kris — September 3, 2020 at 7:20 pm


        • #
          Madhurima — March 9, 2021 at 11:52 am

          How do I adjust the recipe to make this cake in one 8″ or 9″ round cake tin and then cut it into layers later? My oven is too small for 2 separate cake pans. Thanks very much

          • #
            Tessa — March 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm

            You would have to halve the recipe in order for that to work, otherwise there would be too much batter in the pan. You could also bake one cake pan at a time! Hope that helps.

  9. #
    Lionel — September 23, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Wow!!! It not onky looks good , taste very very good….The best ever…

  10. #
    Leena — October 6, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Hi! What brand of chocolate do you like to use for the cake and frosting?

  11. #
    Inche — October 12, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Is it better to use APF than cake flour in this recipe?

    • #
      Melissa — June 3, 2019 at 5:59 am

      AP flour has a different gluten structure than cake flour, I would recommend sticking with ap for this recipe.

  12. #
    Holly — October 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Have you tried this recipe with cupcakes instead of a cake?

  13. #
    Cinthia — November 2, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Tessa, I live in north of Brazil and it’s too difficult to find sour cream. Could I substitute for yogurt or other ingredient?

  14. #
    Tina Hailey — November 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Hi. I do not have time to search for Dutch Process Cocoa. Can I just use Hersheys dark cocoa?

  15. #
    neve — November 9, 2018 at 4:04 am

    do you have to use the white wine vinegar? whats it for?

  16. #
    Roxana — November 11, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    My oven fits only one round cake pan at a time.
    Should I split the ingredients and create two batters, each ready before cooking or can I mix all the ingredients at once and cook the two cakes separately?
    Will the batter sitting uncooked for longer affect the quality of the second cake? Thank you!

  17. #
    Waleska — November 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Tessa, does this cake hold well under fondant?
    Thank you.

  18. #
    Pete — November 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Would substituting Cake Flour for the AP make it even better?

  19. #
    Jacklyn — November 20, 2018 at 2:05 am

    This is wonderful! You have done an excellent job explaining the reasons to do the little things I’ve always wondered why. Thank you!

  20. #
    vera — December 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I Carnot uy deutch chocolate i my country

  21. #
    ruweida — December 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm the recipy it says 4 eggs plus one yolk is it only yokes..e is the whites used for icing

  22. #
    Angela — December 9, 2018 at 2:12 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I could not believe how delicious this cake was. It’s the chocolate cake of my dreams.

  23. #
    Tatiana — December 12, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Enough to die for I made it is a WOW cake nothing else to add JUST WOW THANKS of you could send me a vanilla recipe as good I’ll appreciate it thanks again

  24. #
    Olivia — December 19, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Since dutch process cocoa is alkalinized does the baking soda need two different acids (brown sugar and white vinegar) to activate or can I leave out the vinegar? Also how will the cake differ if I used natural cocoa instead of dutched?

  25. #
    Anna — January 4, 2019 at 4:36 am

    I baked your best chocolate cupcakes a while ago and absolutely loved them, so I was delighted when you released this recipe. Having baked many, many chocolate cakes in search of a go-to recipe, I have to say this one is it! The chocolate flavour is strong, one feature most recipes lack. The texture is not too dense nor too light and it is perfectly moist. Thank you Tessa for your efforts in creating the very best recipes!

  26. #
    Grace — January 11, 2019 at 7:03 am

    two questions.
    can I use dark brown sugar

    also, can this be made in a 9×13 pan. and what is the baking time.?

    thank you

  27. #
    Patty — January 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    This cake is in the oven now. My birthday is tomorrow. I made it in a Bundt pan with enough batter to make a fluted flan pan as well. It smells so good. I’m putting a chocolate cream cheese frosting on it. Please don’t be offended. Baker’s make it their own. I followed your directions to the letter. We’re down the street from you in Tucson.

  28. #
    Lisa — January 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    I just made your chocolate cake and my kitchen spells heavenly. Do you have any tips on how to cut the cake liner for the bottom of the pans a more efficient way?

    I also requested to join your Facebook group and still waiting to be accepted.

    Thank you for all your informative videos on YouTube.

    Lisa B.

    • #
      Tessa — January 16, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Hi, Lisa! You can buy pre-cut parchment rounds on Amazon or at crafting and cake supply stores. I usually just grab a stack of parchment, place the pan on top, trace a line with pencil, then cut out a bunch at once 🙂

  29. #
    Sam — January 22, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Hi, Tessa. Would you recommend this under fondant? Sounds like an amazing cake everyone will love at the party!

  30. #
    Pranisha — January 31, 2019 at 7:31 am

    The cake looks yummy, would definitely want to try this recipe. Could you suggest an egg substitute for this recipe? My mom and sis are allergic to eggs!

  31. #
    Sonia — February 11, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Looks amazing- can’t wait to make this for my hubby on Vday. If I wanted to make cupcakes instead, how would the bake time change?

  32. #
    Karen — March 4, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Hi! Looks like a great recipe! Have always wondered when using egg in frosting recipes where egg isnt really cooked, is it safe to eat? Can you get salmonella from that kind of frosting?? What cooks the egg whites? Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — March 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      The egg whites are cooked to 150°F in this recipe! Read the directions for the frosting 🙂

  33. #
    Skrem — April 7, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Made this with natural cocoa powder instead of dutch. Kept the baking soda but omitted the vinegar. Baked 40mins, came out PERFECTLY. 10/10 would recommend, this will now be my forever go-to chocolate cake recipe!

  34. #
    Carol Miller — April 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    My icing came out a little too runny. taste great, but won’t spread but will run slightly, like a drip icing. Is there any way to thicken it? Help

    • #
      Tessa — April 16, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Carol – did you see this line in the recipe? “If the butter becomes too warm and greasy, refrigerate the bowl for 10 to 15 minutes then continue to beat until smooth.” That will also help thicken it up then you can continue beating until it’s the right consistency.

  35. #
    Jacob Lewis — April 17, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Delicious… yes, this one is the best chocolate cake. This cake is suitable for any function like marriage anniversary, birthday celebration. Thank you very much for sharing with us

  36. #
    Kathy — April 20, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    My ingredients are now ready to bake this for Easter. Can i use square aluminum pan and not 8 inch round pan? Will there be any changes in texture and result of using a different pan size? Thank you

  37. #
    Fion — April 25, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Hi I want to ask if ,if I didn’t have white vinegar what should I do

  38. #
    Tash Blackman — April 26, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    My son doesn’t eat cake anymore and cut himself a slice in secret (my jaw dropped when he walked past with a plate). He said to me yesterday it was the best cake he had eaten in his whole life. He’s only 8 but I should also mention the other 14 people also devoured it too. Easy to make, deliciously moist, and will definitely be my go to from now on!!

    • #
      Tessa — April 28, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Haha! I love that!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  39. #
    Queenette — May 1, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Hello, please can this cake stay up to a week or two in the fridge when it’s plain? And how long can it also last when frosted? Thanks

    • #
      Tessa — May 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Please see the detailed instructions for how to make this cake ahead of time at the bottom of the pink box in the blog post.

  40. #
    Gloria — May 3, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I made it exactly as is. Perfect! It was a real crowd pleaser. Five stRs for sure.

  41. #
    Diana Taylor — May 22, 2019 at 6:26 am

    i made this cake yesterday and let ,e tell you it is so good amazing love it love it thanks for sharing your recipe

  42. #
    Alexa — June 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Made this for my sister’s Baby Shower, such a hit! Will totally make it again.
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  43. #
    Sandra — June 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Can this be made in a 9×13 pan. Want to make a half slab cake for decorating.
    Lots so good.

    • #
      Emily Leishman — April 29, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      Yep, it should work in a 9×13

  44. #
    Tina — June 24, 2019 at 9:00 am

    This cake is fabulous! It’s very rich, but so worth it. I am in love with the Swiss meringue buttercream and will probably never make American buttercream again. The first time I made this, the buttercream looked curdled and I thought there was no way this would work. I left the mixer to keep doing its thing and it eventually came together wonderfully. The second time, the buttercream came together right away, but it was a little soft going on the cake. Putting the cake in the fridge after a crumb coat and putting the buttercream in the fridge solved the issue. I used the egg white left from the extra egg yolk from the cake, as well as carton egg whites. It all came together and was so delicious. Thank you for this recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — June 24, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Hi Tina, thanks for sharing your experiences! I’m so pleased you’ve enjoyed the recipe.

  45. #
    SELMA DUFFY — June 30, 2019 at 6:25 am

    This is the best cake I have had ! Thank you Tessa you are the Best!

  46. #
    Kim — July 4, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Can I substitute gluten free all purpose flour for the regular flour?

  47. #
    Steve — July 9, 2019 at 12:43 am

    This was an amazing cake. The texture was just perfect and it was soo moist. The cake itself was very decadent and so rich in chocolate

  48. #
    Grace Salinger — July 26, 2019 at 5:45 am

    can this cake be made in a 9×13 sheet pan, and if so, what would the bake time be? It looks awesome, can’t wait to try it.
    Looking forward to your reply,
    Thank you,

  49. #
    betty alcock — September 4, 2019 at 12:04 am

    best choc cake ever so moist

  50. #
    Jessica — September 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Hello Tess. Please can I substitute butter milk for sour cream

  51. #
    Rodella — September 13, 2019 at 5:54 am

    When you say white vinegar could I use distilled vinegar?

  52. #
    Ankit — September 16, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Firstly I give you five-star because of your recipe. This is the best cake I have had. I made this cake yesterday, thanks for sharing your recipe.

  53. #
    Ankit — September 16, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    This is the world best chocolate cake ever I have eaten so far! Seriously! I am glad that I have made this cake for my brother on his birthday by following this recipe.

  54. #
    Supriya Kutty — September 17, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Great Post! I am fond of chocolate cakes and I usually prepare them at home. I was checking out recipe and landed here found the recive very intersting and delicious. I’ve saved it to share it with my friends and will share it after making one out from it. Thanks for sharing the post It was lovely!

  55. #
    Ritika — October 1, 2019 at 5:02 am

    It is a great recipe to bake a Chocolate Cake. I have tried cooking this cake the first time by following this recipe. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I always order online cake by Cakegift, now this time I have baked a  cake by myself.

  56. #
    Mary — October 6, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I was wondering if I can make this in an 8” square tin? This is all I have on hand (student life) and I really want to make this for a friend’s birthday!! I was wondering how this may affect baking time and stuff?
    Also can I use AP flour instead of cake flour? Kinda tough to find it here.

  57. #
    Usha Baskaran Pillai — October 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    I baked this cake last night and it’s amazing. So yummy. I had a slice and now I’m craving for more :). I skipped the expresso powder and just used boiling water and did not add the additional egg yolk. The chocolate used was not bittersweet, so the cake is a little too sweet to my liking but I will make the necessary adjustments to the sugar the next time around. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much Tessa for sharing this with us.

  58. #
    Cathy — October 11, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I was tickled to see the Guittard cocoa powder. I learned the hard way that all white baking chips are NOT the same. The only brand that I have found in local grocers that actually has COCOA BUTTER in the white chips is Guittard Choc au Lait.. The famous brand of chocolate chip cookie fame, and the famous brand from San Franscisco each sell white BAKING chips. They have NO cocoa butter in them. I made the mistake of using them for my white chocolate fudge, as well as a couple other recipes, and they are a sad imitation. They simple taste sweet, but don’t have the white chocolate flavor I crave because there is no cocoa butter in them. I use those brands often with regular chocolate chips, but I will not substitute anything else for Guittards white chocolate chips…they are awesome!! Their other chocolate chips are fabulous too…I love the milk chocolate and the extra dark chocolate chips. Yummy. (No, I don’t work for Guittard or have any family or friends who do!)

  59. #
    Tania — November 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    is this in us measurements? I am from australia, would the same measurements work for metric cups?

  60. #
    Eileen — November 15, 2019 at 10:41 am

    My family recipe is very similar. I made it today and the melted cocoa turned into flecks, did I add it to the mix before it was cool enough?

  61. #
    Tamra — November 26, 2019 at 5:43 am

    Made this today using GF flour (half Bob’s, half one-to-one). Added a little xanthan gum, replaced sour cream w/greek yogurt, using only 3/4 cup. They baked beautifully in 38 minutes. I was looking for a more-chocoately cake than one with only cocoa powder and I think I found it. Thanks for the recipe!

  62. #
    The Baking ChocolaTess — November 27, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Can chocolate chips be added to this recipe?

  63. #
    Betty — December 10, 2019 at 1:04 am

    Can I make this cake using a 9 x13 inches pan instead? Thanks

  64. #
    Sanchita — December 14, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Came out so well . Made it without the frosting. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  65. #
    Kristin — December 30, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Can I double the cake recipe and the Swiss meringue frosting?

  66. #
    Kristin — January 3, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Hello.Can I double this recipe and get the same results?

  67. #
    Judith — January 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    I followed this as best as I could, so it took a little longer than expected. I made it for a friend in need and her husband has been raving about it since! And she’s already asked me to make it again. I only has a small piece but it was delish! And I want to try it again! But this time I think I’ll make the buttercream with milk chocolate instead of semisweet.

  68. #
    Beth — February 8, 2020 at 5:57 am

    Hi Tessa – I’m confused by this recipe and hope you can help! From what I have learned, recipes calling for natural cocoa are usually leavened by baking soda vs. Dutch process cocoa powder leavened by baking powder. This recipe calls for Dutch process but uses baking soda? And I read in the reviews that if you do use natural instead, to eliminate the vinegar, which confuses me more? Help! Thanks

  69. #
    TD — February 16, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    I spent 2019 overcoming the hurdle of baking cakes period. I successfully overcame it.

    This year, I’m trying different styles of cake. What type of cake is this? I bake this successfully all the time now but don’t know what it’s classified as. Is it a butter cake? Is it a foam cake?

  70. #
    Maria — February 21, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    I made this cake for my son’s 13th birthday, and it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone loved it. The flavor was incredible and the texture was just right. It also holds up well to the weight of fondant, which not all sponges do. So whether you’re making a simple buttercream covered cake, or a more elaborate multi-tier fondant covered “theme” cake, this is the perfect recipe for you.

  71. #
    Nicole — March 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Does this frosting crust? If not, is there something I can add to make it crust to use under fondant?

  72. #
    Ivy — March 7, 2020 at 8:08 am

    This cake was so easy i made it with a baby strapped to my chest. I even messed up a few times and it still turned out delicious.

    I substituted coconut oil for butter in the butter cream because I didn’t have any unsalted butter and it turned out amazing!!! it just had to spend some extra time in the fridge before it could be finished as the warm egg whites turned the coconut oil into liquid.

  73. #
    nowzeca — March 18, 2020 at 8:45 am


    may i use hot milk instead of hot water? thank you.

  74. #
    Chia — April 15, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Was really excited to try this recipe after seeing it on instagram. Followed the exact recipe, even the rule about not over mixing. I was very disappointed. Cake turned out tough and dry. Even used dutch processed cocoa powder. There was nothing I did different. Would not recommend.

  75. #
    Kellie — April 15, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I made this cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday last month. This was the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever used. It was moist and full of flavor, the addition of the coffee is spot on! Love love love and will make it again!!

  76. #
    Aparna — April 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Tessa,

    Thanks for your recipe! This looks so great that I wanna try it. It says to use 8″ round cake pan. My 8″ is a dark springform pan. Since the batter is gonna be loose, should I worry about it leaking? My other pan is only 6″.

  77. #
    Deipti Trehun — April 21, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Truly delicious dense chocolate cake, love it, love it, love it!!!

  78. #
    Missy Cook — April 21, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Made this to celebrate my birthday! I had a chance to try it before the celebration (ate the pieces I shaved of the top of the bottom layer). Ah- mazing!!! So chocolatey and moist! The frosting is so smooth, and easy to spread. The combination of the two is heaven! Thank you for such an amazing recipe!

  79. #
    Raywin — May 2, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Made this today and it is amazing…the butter cream is to die for.

  80. #
    Miriam — May 5, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Hi Tessa,

    How much hot water is added to the chocolate cocoa mixture? Wasn’t clear from the directions on how much water is added to it.

  81. #
    Robin — May 5, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Looking forward to making for my Family- can I use whole wheat flour?

  82. #
    Bali — May 5, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    What an amazing recipe!! I used low fat yougurt and ordinary vinegar as that’s all I had. I also used double cream for the centre and a different buttercream recipe for the top but it was all lovely! Thanks

  83. #
    Mary — May 6, 2020 at 10:10 am

    I have never prepared a cake using the method you described in your recipe but I went for it. The cake was excellent. Typically I will sift together my dry ingredients and add this to the butter ( or oil in this case), egg, sugar ect. alternating adding the wet and dry ingredients at the end. Just curious if this is your usual method for mixing cakes or something you developed for this recipe?

  84. #
    Debbie — May 8, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    The cake turns good on a finished product but the texture isn’t so impressive because the vinegar reacted with the baking soda. Bubbles came out and lot of holes. I personally don’t agree with vinegar.

  85. #
    Gilda — May 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    I made this and it is absolutely moist, spongy, rich and delicious. I used 70% dark chocolate for both cake and frosting, because we love dark chocolate and it worked perfectly. I live in a very hot and humid country and the frosting is holding perfectly in partially airconed environment. Thank you Tessa for the amazing recipe!

  86. #
    Viji — May 20, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    I am from uae.. Here I am not able to get Dutch processed cocoa powder. So is hersheys cocoa powder also good

  87. #
    Ana — May 21, 2020 at 9:47 am

    love love love this recipe!! Is it possible to use this cake as a base for an ice cream cake?

  88. #
    Sara — May 23, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    That was an all day process, but it is so delicious!

  89. #
    Raunaq — May 26, 2020 at 9:53 am

    The cake was really amazing and so was the frosting I used the paddle attachment instead of the whisk when I added the butter, so I didn’t have to deal with the curdling of the butter. The texture was silky smooth and perfect.
    Thank you so much Tessa was the recipe. It was a big hit.

  90. #
    Gail — May 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    So, 5 days ago I made this for a friends birthday. Today I went to her house and there was a little left, sitting on the counter. I had a piece. After 5 days it was still amazingly moist and scrumptious! The swiss buttercream is AMAZING!! Thanks for the fabulous recipe! I will be putting it in my permanent recipe file!

  91. #
    Angel marie — June 12, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Can I use apple cider vinegar since I don’t have white vinegar?

  92. #
    Trixie — June 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

    So excited to be making this! Question, though… if the flour/sugars mixture is lumpy due to clumps of brown sugar, is it recommended to sift the mixture together? Or will it de-lumpify (scientific term ) when mixed with the liquids? Thanks!

  93. #
    Beth Anne — July 31, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    I only have 9’’ cake pans. How can I make a little more batter to fill my larger pans to accommodate this recipe?

  94. #
    Cat — August 3, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Will this cake stack well if I attempt a 4 layer, 8 inch. Or will it collapse on its self?

  95. #
    Lucia R — August 6, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    I have made this cake about 4 times and each time, nobody believes that I made it. This is actually the first ever cake recipe I have ever made in general and from your page Tessa and is so dense and moist which is how me and my family prefers them! I have def switched over to Swiss Meringue Buttercream side, as I could not stop eating it! It has so much Chocolate flavor without it being crazy sweet. This cake is def the best Chocolate cake recipe along with your sheet cake! Just depends on the mood lol. I messed up the first time using salted butter for the buttercream and i had to throw out as it was so salty 🙁 but after that I learned and followed the recipe exactly and both cake and Swiss meringue buttercream are so delicious and chocolatey!! My family and I actually stopped ordering and buying cakes from stores or bakeries all together and just hire me to make cakes using your recipes as not one of those store/bakery cakes have been as delicious as yours! Once again, thank you Tessa!!!

  96. #
    Helena — August 8, 2020 at 4:20 am

    What would happen if you used cake flour in this recipe? Thank you

  97. #
    moza — August 10, 2020 at 10:34 am

    can you explain what it is bittersweet means ??

    its semisweet ?

  98. #
    moza — August 10, 2020 at 10:36 am

    what do you mean of bittersweet ?
    its semisweet ?

  99. #
    Jennifer — August 12, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Made this cake yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. The buttercream was delicious and silky, a big hit. However, my family felt as though the cake was too dense and rich, no one could finish a piece. Overall still a very good cake but did not turn out very “cake-like” for me. It may have been my fault of course but I will probably not be making again.

  100. #
    Percilla — September 1, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Would like emails

  101. #
    Nora — September 18, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Tessa can I have the

  102. #
    Nora — September 18, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Tessa can I halve this recipe? I want to make a smaller cake. Would halfing all the ingredients achieve a smaller cake but similar in taste?
    Please advise.

    • #
      Tam — October 9, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      Tessa, I halved this recipe for a test run before my son’s birthday cake and it did just fine, great quality and taste. Half the recipe fit in a 6″ pan with 2 side cupcakes and all baked to the perfect height! And were delicious!

  103. #
    Amber — September 20, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Yes! This is the best chocolate cake. The frosting did take some extra time but it is SO WORTH IT. it was like frosting my cake with a chocolate cloud- so buttery and smooth. Amazing!!!!

  104. #
    Rachel — September 24, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Hey Tessa! I’m looking to include bourbon in a chocolate cake recipe. Is a soaking and maybe in a buttercream the best place for that? I definitely don’t want it to be overtly boozy, but the toasty and vanilla notes would be great to capture.

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. love love love the book!

  105. #
    Kaylyn — September 29, 2020 at 10:40 am

    It is a really good cake, but also very very very rich. Definitely can only eat a small piece.

  106. #
    Tam — October 9, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I just made this recipe prior to my son’s birthday to see how it would come out and it is absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to make this recipe for his birthday cake! ( I cut out the espresso, since he’s turning 2, but I might throw it back in the recipe for my birthday ;D) Thank you so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to share it with everyone and add it to my cookbook!

  107. #
    Gonzalo Herrera — October 13, 2020 at 3:24 am

    Good morning Tessa.
    Yesterday I´ve made this cake and put in the refrigerator.
    Today the cream is very hard.
    Two questions:
    1) was it correct to put in the refrigerator?
    2) How can I recover it if it wasn´t correct to put in the refrigerator.

    I´ve not cut it yet.


  108. #
    Gabrielle — October 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Absolutely amazing chocolate cake. Fantastic icing. Had a few adjustments because of my ingredients. Used plain full fat yogurt because I had no sour cream. I left off the vinegar because I couldn’t get Dutch process cocoa. The icing is definitely an “advanced” recipe. Cooking egg whites in a water bath etc…but it is a phenomenal recipe. I think I will leave one spoonful of espresso out next time. I couldn’t believe the icing has 3 sticks of butter-but it is amazing! Also, mine was done baking in 28 minutes. Truly great cake!

  109. #
    Line — October 30, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Amazing! That icing is incredible

  110. #
    Joenna — November 10, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Do you think that this chocolate cake pairs well with your peanut butter frosting from your recipe of “Chocolate Brownie Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting”????

    • #
      Tessa — November 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      That should be a delicious combination! Enjoy!

  111. #
    Miracle — November 21, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Is it 2 half cups or 2 and a half cups flour?

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      This cake calls for 1 3/4 cups or 222 grams of flour!

  112. #
    Lara — November 27, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve never made a chocolate cake that I was really crazy about until now! To me it is reminiscent of a brownie but definitely still cake. I didn’t have enough sour cream, so I used 3/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup mayo. I also did regular cocoa and omitted the vinegar per the instructions. I frosted it with mocha whip cream but honestly it didn’t even need frosting. It was fabulous just by itself.

  113. #
    Ginger Piatt — December 6, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I tried to make this cake but my batter was thick and stiff. I am not sure what I did wrong I followed the recipe exactly. The cake turned out stiff and dry. Please help I want to try again but don’t want to have the same bad result.

    • #
      Tessa — December 7, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Hi Ginger, I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out! Did you read through all of the baking tips in the pink box? I would also recommend using a scale to make sure you’re correctly measuring your flour – I have an article on how to do this here. And lastly, make sure not to overmix your batter. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  114. #
    Deshira — December 9, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I’m obsessed with this recipe. I feel like it melts in my mouth. Do you have a white chocolate version. Or can you point me in the direction of where I can learn the science so I can make one?

  115. #
    Shauna Sarjo — December 22, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I baked this cake for a friend’s birthday, when they cut into it it was very dense, tasted amazing but yeah not very fluffy at all 🙁 I followed the ingredients exactly, what could I of done wrong?.

    • #
      Tessa — December 22, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out! Is it possible the batter was overmixed? And did you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients?

  116. #
    Rachel Del Rosario — December 30, 2020 at 4:17 am

    I love this cake – so moist, soft and chocolatey!

    • #
      Tessa — December 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Yay! Glad to hear that.

  117. #
    Shaz — January 3, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    This recipe was perfect. I no longer have to look for another chocolate cake recipe. Cake was moist and so yummy. I followed the exact sand recipe but I used my own version of frosting and it was still very delicious.

  118. #
    Jessica — January 4, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Would you make adjustments for altitude? (5,000ft) thank you!!

  119. #
    Dee — January 5, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Can instant coffee be used instead of espresso powder (or liquid coffee)? If so, should I use the same amount as what’s listed for the powder in the recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — January 5, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      You can use instant coffee in the same amount for espresso powder, but the coffee flavor will not be quite as strong. You can also use liquid coffee, which there are directions for this in the pink box in this recipe post. Hope that helps!

  120. #
    SUMANTA MAHABIR — January 6, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    It’s the best chocolate cake from scratch I have tasted. I bought premium ingredients which made it pricy but it’s really good.

    • #
      Tessa — January 7, 2021 at 11:58 am

      So glad you enjoyed this cake recipe!

  121. #
    Myla — January 10, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Substitute for sour cream?

  122. #
    Tricia Chang — January 15, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Tessa, I noticed that this cake is added with sour cream whereas the sheet cake has buttermilk and not sour cream. What’s the reason for that please? Thinking of which recipe to try?

  123. #
    Similoluwa Abiodun — January 30, 2021 at 11:06 am

    I made this for my husband’s birthday yesterday and he loved it. So moist and delicious. Sweetened perfectly.
    Thank you Tessa.

  124. #
    Kelly — January 31, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    I want to make this cake but I only have 9inch cake pans not 8. Will the recipe still work?

  125. #
    Sama — February 10, 2021 at 7:43 am

    I would like to make a birthday cake from this recipe . I made cups cakes and they taste yummy. Just wondering if I can make this recipe for 2 round 8 inch pans. And can i write happy Birthday with tempered chocolate on cheese cream frosting?

    • #
      Tessa — February 10, 2021 at 2:10 pm

      Yes, I would bake in 2 round 8-inch pans are the recipe instructs! And sure, that sounds like a beautiful way to decorate the cake! Enjoy.

  126. #
    Betty Bodwell — February 20, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    So yummy! Lot of work but worth it! Couldn’t take the leftovers to work hubby and son finished it

  127. #
    Jillian — February 24, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    This looks delicious, and I’m planning to make this within the next week (for my own birthday!). I was reviewing your recipe for the best ever American chocolate buttercream, which uses high fat dutch process cocoa – should we use high fat dutch process cocoa for this cake recipe, or the more standard version we can find at the grocery store? Thanks for the advice and amazing recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — February 25, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      Happy early birthday, Jillian!! Yes, I would definitely recommend using High Fat Dutch Process Cocoa Powder. More tips for this are in the pink box above the recipe post!

  128. #
    Leslie — March 2, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Can I use canola oil instead of vegetable oil?

  129. #
    Heidi — March 9, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Can I bake this cake in a 9 x 13 pan?

  130. #
    Mia — March 18, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Please what percentage of bittersweet chocolate did you use in the cake

    • #
      Tessa — March 18, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Anything in the 70% range should work. Good luck!

  131. #
    Gail — April 3, 2021 at 10:53 am

    This cake does not fit in 2 eight inch cake pans, it blew out everywhere. Frosting it is going to be impossible. So disappointed

    • #
      Tessa — April 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      I’m sorry you had this issue, Gail, I’m not entirely sure what could’ve caused it! Make sure to only ever use pans at least 2 1/2-inches deep. Some manufacturers measure pan diameter from the outer edge vs inner edge of the pan so there can be some variance. And always only fill pans 3/4 full with batter. Do you use a scale to measure your ingredients? That’s the only other thing I can think of, that there was too much raising agent added to the cake batter.

  132. #
    Angela — April 10, 2021 at 8:00 am

    My cake was very dense and firm more like a mud cake, not sure what went wrong?

    • #
      Tessa — April 12, 2021 at 10:01 am

      I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out! Is it possible the batter was overmixed? And did you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients?

  133. #
    Jelena — April 15, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Can I make the batter ahead and then bake it the Next day? Thanks for your answer 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — April 16, 2021 at 9:32 am

      Hi Jelena, I don’t suggest making the batter ahead of time due to the leavening agents in the batter. What I’d recommend instead is to make the actual cake ahead of time–I talk about how to do that and keep it fresh in the pink box above the recipe 🙂

  134. #
    Cindy — April 16, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Amazing! Best frosting ever. A little fussy for the novice but worth every ounce of effort. From a fellow blogger, you are so good with your instructions. Thank you!

  135. #
    Angela — April 26, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    I made this amazing cake, it the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted!! The frosting is out of this world. So delicious. Gonna make it again. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  136. #
    Ruth Pulido — April 28, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    What is the mixture that is added to cakes layers before you add the frosting and then next layer?

    • #
      Tessa — April 29, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Ruth, I’m not sure what you mean, can you elaborate? First there is a cake layer, then a layer of frosting, then the second cake layer, and then the cake is completely covered in frosting. There isn’t an additional mixture added.

  137. #
    Pam — May 6, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Would this be just as good without the coffee?

    • #
      Tessa — May 6, 2021 at 11:54 am

      I talk about the espresso powder in the pink box above the recipe 🙂

  138. #
    Rachel — May 7, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Hi Tessa,

    I’ve made this cake a couple of times already, huge hit! I followed it to a tee and each time it turned out delicious, I was just wondering though how I would amend the recipe if I want it to fit a number 4 cake tin? The measurements being 13.4″ (34cm) high x 10.6″ (27cm) wide (measured from furthermost edges), also if I make the whole cake one day in advanced will the icing be fine to be on the counter top or do you recommend putting it in the fridge? It will be decorated as well with kit kats and smarties (Ill put the smarties on the morning of the party so the colour does not bleed)

    Warm regards
    Rachel x

    • #
      Tessa — May 7, 2021 at 8:35 am

      I haven’t tried that, but I always recommend using Wilton’s cake serving guide! If you plan on using this specific buttercream recipe with the egg yolk, I highly recommend refrigerating it. Just make sure you give it some time to come to room temperature the day of your party!

      • #
        Rachel — May 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm

        Thank you Tessa,
        Should I use your other buttercream recipe just to be on the safe side? It’s for young children or will the SMBC be fine, so long as it’s in the fridge? x

  139. #
    Vi — May 8, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Wow just made this cake and had it whilst it was still warm with double cream on top.

    I have only done the 2 cakes with no buttercream and it was still delicious, soo light, soft, chocolatey and not sickly at all.

    I have used regular cocoa powder so I omitted the white vinegar, used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

    And used a dark tin as that is all I have at the moment but will look into getting the lighter ones.

    Thank you very much for this recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — May 10, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Wonderful! I’m so pleased you loved this recipe and that your substitutions worked perfectly 🙂

  140. #
    Marie — May 14, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    I’m a bit confused as to why you used baking soda with Dutch processed cocoa powder. Can I use baking powder instead ?

    • #
      Tessa — May 18, 2021 at 8:59 am

      Dutch-process cocoa powder has more fat than most grocery store natural cocoa powder products, so it’s used for flavor and moisture. The vinegar in the recipe activates the baking soda, which is why I say to omit the vinegar if using natural cocoa 🙂 I would not recommend using baking powder in place of the baking soda.

  141. #
    Barbara Simmons — May 18, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    We have family members who prefer chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting. Have you ever tried this and does it still taste as good?

    • #
      Tessa — May 18, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      I’m more of a chocolate person myself, so I haven’t tried this recipe with vanilla buttercream; however, I’m sure it’d be delicious! You’re welcome to get creative with the flavors and fillings as well!

  142. #
    Kathy Euston — June 1, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    What if I made a 6” -2 layer cake?

  143. #
    Hina — June 10, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Hi Tessa! The frosting looks and sounds AMAZING! Since it contains eggs (albeit somewhat cooked) how long will the frosting keep at room temp vs refrigerated after frosting the cake. Will it be okay 3-4 days at room temp?

    • #
      Tessa — June 11, 2021 at 10:02 am

      I’ve got this question included in the pink tip box above the recipe 🙂 Enjoy your cake!

  144. #
    Kat — June 14, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Marvelous delicious cake. I have made this with the chocolate frosting and also made it with my regular vanilla butter cream frosting. A huge hit both times!

    • #
      Tessa — June 14, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Delicious! I’m so happy to hear this 🙂

  145. #
    Tobi — June 16, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Hello, I love and respect the hardworking you put into your recipes but I came across this recipe and your chocolate sheet cake recipe and got confused. I assumed it will be the same ingredients but they are not, is there any reason for using sour cream here versus buttermilk in the sheet cake version, different measurements of granulated sugar and brown sugar compared to the sheet version , different amounts of eggs …
    I just wanted to know if there is any reason with regard to taste, type of baking pans , if both recipes can be interchanged or if you have a preference.
    I know this is a lot , I over analyze a lot and that’s how I function. I am sorry

    • #
      Tessa — June 17, 2021 at 8:50 am

      No reason other than for the Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake, I went with easy ingredients for people to find and that even possibly already had in their pantry 🙂 I haven’t tested these recipes by switching out ingredients, you’d have to experiment on your own.

  146. #
    Tish — June 29, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    The cake looks divine but I’m struggling with the frosting. My whisk attachment I discovered to be missing (I know – how do you lose it?!) and am whisking by hand. Afraid the butter wasn’t fluffy enough before I added the chocolate, so the frosting is beautifully silky but not thick enough. It is chilling now to see if that will help. Will try again after I have replaced the mixer attachment!

    • #
      Tessa — June 30, 2021 at 8:53 am

      You’ll definitely want your whisk attachment for this buttercream recipe to ensure the best outcome, hope you can find it!

  147. #
    Estelle Morgan — July 8, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Hello, sounds delicious! I’d like to make a 6 inch 4 layer cake….can I double the cake reciepe?

    • #
      Tessa — July 8, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      I haven’t tried baking this recipe in 6-inch pans, so I can’t say for sure how it’d turn out. Will you be baking all four pans at the same time? How deep are your cake pans? Make sure they’re at least 2 1/2-inches deep (I use 3-inch deep pans myself to guarantee they won’t overflow). I normally suggest following cake recipes with the recommended pans to ensure a great outcome or finding a recipe that uses the pans you’d like to use.

  148. #
    Swati — July 10, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Made it for my guest. Everybody just loved it.
    I used the regular cocoa powder and skipped the vinegar. Still came out perfect… shared it with my Neighbours too amd got great compliments!
    It’s a fool proof recipe… must try!

    Just wasn’t sure about how to make the frosting… any videos? I couldn’t see the link too:( so whipped out my own frosting but would love to try this one too:)

    • #
      Tessa — July 12, 2021 at 2:56 pm

      I’m so happy everyone enjoyed your cake! If you check out the pink tip box above the cake recipe, I talk about the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting and provided a link to a step-by-step tutorial with a video 🙂

  149. #
    Esther — July 14, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Could I make this into 3, 5in round cake pans and stack them? I would have leftover batter but it shouldn’t change the taste with small pans, right? Just need to use a different heat setting and/or cooking time? Unsure what those adjustments should be however.

    • #
      Tessa — July 14, 2021 at 10:12 am

      I haven’t tried this recipe with smaller pans, so I can’t say for sure! I always recommend using Wilton’s Cake Serving Guide. Good luck!

  150. #
    Sattra Sehar — July 20, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Tessa..! Hope you are doing great.!! I just made this recipe of yours but I halved the recipe because I needed just one cake. I used a seven inch pan but the cake turned dense and rubbery at the bottom half however the upper half was fine. What could be the reason for that

    • #
      Handle the Heat — July 21, 2021 at 11:09 am

      The primary reason cakes turn out dense and rubbery is due to overmixing, so it’s interesting to hear that the texture of the cake wasn’t consistent throughout! I haven’t halved this recipe before, but I would recommend using an 8-inch pan. Do you measure your ingredients with a digital scale?

  151. #
    Rachel — July 22, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a highly rated chocolate cake recipe and I really want to try this one. I was wondering how this cake holds up as a tall cake? I’ve been wanting to make a tall 8inch cake for my birthday, about 5 to 6 cake layers. Does anyone know if this will be sturdy enough for the weight or will it fall? I use Italian meringue buttercream so it’s not heavy like American buttercream. The pictures makes it look dense, but the description says it’s soft….thanks kindly in advance!

    • #
      Emily @ Handle the Heat — July 23, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Rachel! We haven’t tried this cake with more than 2 layers, but my concern is that it’s such a moist and rich cake, I don’t know if it would be sturdy enough to hold up that many layers. Please let us know if you give it a try!

  152. #
    Caroline — July 27, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    The flavor and moistness of this cake is incredible but I have to say that the frosting was difficult to work with for me. The frosting came out a little on the oily and runny side. Not sure what may have caused this problem, but I would love some tips to make it better next time.

    • #
      Emily — July 28, 2021 at 9:53 am

      Hi Caroline! In the pink tip box located above this recipe, we actually have a link to the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream’s personal blog post, which includes a lot of tips, plus a video with step-by-step instructions. I’m happy to hear your cake turned out beautifully and hope you try the frosting out again after checking out that post. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  153. #
    Joy — August 1, 2021 at 1:28 am

    It really looks delicious. thanks for this informative blog

  154. #
    Lisa Braun — August 11, 2021 at 7:51 am

    The absolute hands down best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! I made this cake for my daughters wedding-it got rave reviews and it was still moist and delicious a week later!

    • #
      Emily — August 11, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Thrilled you chose this recipe to celebrate your daughter’s marriage with, Lisa! What an honor for us, I’ll be sure to let Tessa know it was a huge hit! Thanks for the comment!

  155. #
    Nina — August 12, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Hi, I will be making this tomorrow and I am using regular cocoa powder, so eliminating white vinegar completely as you mentioned, so does that mean eliminating baking soda as well? Or do I still add the baking soda?
    Thank you

    • #
      Emily — August 13, 2021 at 10:29 am

      Hi Nina! For future reference, be sure to check out the pink tip box above our recipes as we usually discuss ingredients like that 🙂 When using regular cocoa powder, you’ll just need to remove the vinegar in the recipe. Please let us know what you think!

  156. #
    Joanna — August 15, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Delicious flavor! But I made a couple mistakes. I accidentally put the fifth egg white in the cake and I think it made it more cakey vs fudgey.
    Also, my frosting ended up really runny. What did I do wrong? I swear I followed the directions. I ended up putting in some powdered sugar to thicken it up so I could use it. The only thing I can think is that I could have refrigerated the egg mixture after heating it with the sugar on the stove. It was very smooth and the sugar was dissolved.

    • #
      Emily — August 17, 2021 at 9:18 am

      Hi Joanna! I’m so glad your cake still turned out delicious 🙂 For your frosting, we actually have a step-by-step tutorial included in the pink tip box above the recipe. Runny Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream is usually from either using too warm of butter, not whipping the mixture enough, or from using too warm of melted chocolate. How long did you place your buttercream in the fridge to cool when you noticed it was runny?

  157. #
    Abi — September 8, 2021 at 11:48 am

    I made this absolutely delightful cake and I was wowed by how moist and decadent it was! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • #
      Emily — September 9, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      Happy to hear that, Abi! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  158. #
    Yolanda Bryant — September 14, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Have you ever tried swiss meringue buttercream with pasteurized egg whites from the carton? I’ve seen recipes using it with granulated sugar and powdered sugar. I was wondering if the result will be the same as the process you’ve listed. I’ve only made one of your recipes and it was such a hit I’ve made The Best Chocolate Cupcakes numerous times with your swiss meringue buttercream.

    • #
      Emily — September 15, 2021 at 10:54 am

      Hi Yolanda! We haven’t-some people have success with those, but it actually says on the carton not to use for whipping into a meringue. We prefer to use fresh egg whites to ensure that it’ll turn out and so we won’t waste a ton of more expensive butter 🙂

  159. #
    Mountain Lady — September 15, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve been baking for 50 years and this is now my go to recipe. I’ve found through the years that the better the cocoa and chocolate used, the better. If you’re going to go to the trouble to bake from scratch, make it worth your time.

    • #
      Emily — September 16, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      So happy to hear this recipe is your go-to, thanks for letting us know! 100% agree with everything thing you said, quality is so important!

  160. #
    afra moeen — September 20, 2021 at 5:43 am

    why your measuring cups show different grams?

    • #
      Emily — September 20, 2021 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Afra, I’m not quite sure I understand what you’re asking, can you please elaborate? Each ingredient weighs a different amount, so the amounts will vary per ingredient as well as how much is needed.

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