Best Chocolate Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
September 5th, 2018
4.77 from 81 votes
4.77 from 81 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!

Sugar

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.

Eggs

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:

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.

4.77 from 81 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!

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Assemble:

  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. #
    Stephanie — November 13, 2021 at 8:43 am

    This cake was amazing. If I bought this in a good pastry shop I would believe it. I made it on a kids birthday and adults and kids loved the cake.
    I think I did something wrong with the batter, because it wasn’t as fluffy as I imagined. It had more of a brownie structure. However, it did not matter, it was spectacular!

    • #
      Emily — November 15, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Wow, what a compliment! So glad you enjoyed this recipe! This chocolate cake is actually supposed to be like a brownie in texture! The tops of the layers are shiny and slightly crackly, and it’s a pretty fudgy cake. Happy it was such a hit 🙂

  2. #
    Renee — November 8, 2021 at 3:55 am

    This is such a delicious chocolate cake! For 3 9inch layers would you recommend 1.5x or 2x the recipe? Thank you!

    • #
      Emily — November 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      We haven’t tried that! We recommend using Wilton’s Cake Serving Guide, linked HERE. Hope that helps!

  3. #
    KRISTIN REAUME — November 6, 2021 at 4:19 am

    did you change this recipe? this is my favorite choc cake recipe and i make it all the time. I pulled up the recipe this morning and its definitely different than before…….

    • #
      Emily — November 9, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Kristin! Nope, this recipe hasn’t changed at all! What did you think was different?

      • #
        KRISTIN REAUME — November 9, 2021 at 4:32 pm

        the one i normally make has buttermilk, oil, 3/4 coco pwdr, and 1c of fresh brewed coffee thats added at the end. Im so confused because i have made the choco cake listed above but could have sworn it was under a double choc cake recipe.

  4. #
    Sharyn Frisbie — October 21, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    If this cake were baked in an 18×13″ rimmed baking sheet (thin) could it be rolled to use a the cake in a buche de noel?

    • #
      Emily — October 22, 2021 at 8:50 am

      We haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure! Please let us know if you give it a try!

  5. #
    Doreen — October 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Hi dear, possible to use melted butter instead of veg oil???

    • #
      Emily — October 6, 2021 at 9:17 am

      Hi Doreen! Please check out the pink tip box above the recipe for more details on oil vs. butter in chocolate cake 🙂

  6. #
    Leisha — October 4, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    I made this recipe with an alternative sugar, for my best friends birthday. She didn’t know it was alternative sugar.
    She loved it, she said it was the best she had ever had. She eats a ton of cake, so it made so happy. He husband ate it and liked so much he ate several more pieces. He’s not a cake person.
    I’m so happy, I found this recipe. I have shared this with my friends and family. Thank you so much!!

    • #
      Emily — October 5, 2021 at 10:59 am

      Amazing! So happy to hear this recipe was such a hit with your friends, Leisha! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  7. #
    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.

  8. #
    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!

  9. #
    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 🙂

  10. #
    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 🙂

  11. #
    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?

  12. #
    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!

  13. #
    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!

  14. #
    Joy — August 1, 2021 at 1:28 am

    It really looks delicious. thanks for this informative blog

  15. #
    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!

  16. #
    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!

  17. #
    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?

  18. #
    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!

  19. #
    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 🙂

  20. #
    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.

  21. #
    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!

  22. #
    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.

  23. #
    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 🙂

  24. #
    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!

  25. #
    Kathy Euston — June 1, 2021 at 3:11 pm

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

  26. #
    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!

  27. #
    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.

  28. #
    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 🙂

  29. #
    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

  30. #
    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 🙂

  31. #
    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.

  32. #
    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. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  33. #
    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! Canigetthatrecipe.online

  34. #
    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 🙂

  35. #
    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?

  36. #
    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.

  37. #
    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!

  38. #
    Heidi — March 9, 2021 at 9:18 am

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

  39. #
    Leslie — March 2, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Can I use canola oil instead of vegetable oil?

  40. #
    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!

  41. #
    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

  42. #
    Sama — February 10, 2021 at 7:43 am

    Hi,
    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.

  43. #
    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?

  44. #
    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.

  45. #
    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?

  46. #
    Myla — January 10, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Substitute for sour cream?

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