The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

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There’s a reason I call this the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe: it’s so good restaurants have asked me to start making it for them! This moist homemade chocolate cake is made completely from scratch and has incredible chocolate flavor.

A slice of chocolate cake in front of a whole cake

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is the kind of chocolate cake everyone should have in their recipe collection. An easy, one-bowl chocolate cake with the perfect crumb that’s covered with a simple homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.

Growing up, I was more of a vanilla or other fun flavor kinda girl. I think it’s because store-bought chocolate cakes just do not compare to homemade. They never really seemed worth it to me.

But this cake turned me into a chocolate cake lover. The first time I made it, it opened up a whole new world of chocolate. I literally cannot stop eating this cake whenever I make it. It is so moist and tasty, it should be illegal.

A slice of chocolate layer cake on a plate

What Makes this Cake So Good?

I know there are so many chocolate cake recipes out there, but this one seriously is a must try. After testing many chocolate cake recipes, this one is hands down the best. Here’s why:

  • It’s easy to make. Only one bowl!
  • Uses simple, easy to find ingredients.
  • Has rich chocolate flavor with a moist, fluffy crumb.
  • Is covered is an easy chocolate buttercream frosting. This adds even more chocolatey richness!
  • Is drizzled with chocolate ganache. Even more chocolate!

How is this Recipe Different from Other Chocolate Cakes on My Site?

If you’re familiar with my recipes, then you’ve probably seen several variations on chocolate cake. This is my original chocolate cake and is still my favorite to this day. It’s my go-to. In fact, I’ve made it for both of the twins’ birthdays thus far. It always receives a ton of compliments. That said, I definitely have more than one chocolate cake recipe! Here is how they differ:

  • My Easy Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe was created after getting quite a few comments from people who were confused about the low baking temperature of this cake. So the newer version is baked at 350 degrees, eliminating the confusion. As a result of the changes made in that recipe, it’s not quite as tender as this original version. But it can be handy if you need a more sturdy cake for something you’re decorating. Both of these chocolate cakes use oil, which I think works really well in chocolate cake especially. It adds great moisture.
  • My Chocolate Piñata Cake uses butter instead of oil simply because some readers prefer the taste of butter and I aim to please! Plus, as far as sturdiness goes, butter based cakes are generally much more sturdy. That’s why this version of chocolate cake holds up much better to having holes cut into it and being filled like a piñata. 🙂

So to recap, the main differences between this recipe and my others is that this one is the most tender and moist, it uses oil instead of butter and it is baked at a lower temperature (which means it also takes a little longer to bake).

Frosted chocolate cake on a stand with chocolate ganache drizzled on top

What You’ll Need

You only need basic ingredients to make this gorgeous chocolate cake recipe. Here’s what you’ll need. (You can find ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.)


  • flour
  • sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • eggs
  • buttermilk
  • vegetable oil
  • vanilla
  • hot water


  • butter
  • shortening
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • water/milk


  • semi sweet chocolate chips
  • heavy whipping cream

And of course, you can also add sprinkles to your chocolate cake! Everything tastes better with sprinkles.

Looking down at a frosted chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

How to Make Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake is also made with oil, instead of butter. It’s makes SUCH a moist cake! Additionally, I often make this cake with dark chocolate cocoa. It gives the cake an even more rich chocolate flavor. That said, regular cocoa works too and is also wonderful.

One thing to note is that this chocolate cake has a very thin batter. And no, it’s not a typo – it’s a slow-bake cake and bakes at 300 degrees.

So, here’s how you make it:

Step 1: Make the Cake

  • Prepare your pan & preheat the oven. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  • Bake. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  • Cool. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

A slice of chocolate cake on a plate

Step 2: Make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I usually make the chocolate frosting while the cakes cool. Here’s how:

  • Beat the butter and shortening together in a stand mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sugar. Slowly add 4 cups (460g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and half of the water or milk and mix until smooth.
  • More sugar. Add another 5 cups (575g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Mix in the cocoa powder. Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
  • Add remaining water or milk until the frosting is the right consistency.

Step 3: Frost Your Chocolate Cake

Once cakes are cool, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.

  • Frost the first layer. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  • Frost the second layer. Add second layer of cake and add another cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  • Add more frosting. Frost the outside of the entire cake to finish things up. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake.

Decorated chocolate frosted cake on a cake stand

Step 4: Make the Chocolate Ganache & Add More Frosting

Technically you could just stop right here. By this point you’ll have an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting! But if you want to go a bit fancy, this chocolate ganache is an easy way to do it.

To make the chocolate ganache:

  • Add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
  • Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

That’s it. Just two steps! Then you add the ganache to your chocolate cake:

  • Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then pour the remainder of the ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly. I like to use a squeeze bottle for drizzling around the edges. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
  • Allow the ganache to firm up a bit
  • Pipe the remainder of the frosting around the top edge of the cake and pipe a border around the bottom. I used Ateco tip 844.

Step 5: Sprinkles and Serve!

Add a few sprinkles to the cake, if desired, then serve. Sprinkles are totally optional of course, but why not?

How to Store Homemade Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake can be stored for 3-4 days on the counter. It should be well covered under a cake dome if possible.

You can also store it in the fridge to extend its shelf life to 4-5 days, but the frosting will harden. When I store a frosted cake in the fridge I usually place the cake in fridge uncovered until the frosting hardens (about 2 hours). Then I cover it with saran wrap. When you are ready to have some chocolate cake, simply cut a slice and warm it in the microwave (if desired) for about 15-30 seconds. The frosting will soften right up and you’ll have warm chocolate cake to enjoy.

Recipes that Use this Chocolate Cake as a Starting Point

This chocolate cake recipe is so simple and easy to make, in addition to being delicious, that it has actually become the base for many other flavor combinations I’ve made and it’s always a hit! Nutella Chocolate Cake anyone? Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake? Mint Chocolate Chip Layer Cake, Turtle Chocolate Layer Cake, Red Wine Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Oreo Cake and more chocolate cake recipes. All made with this one easy chocolate cake as a starting point.

A slice of chocolate cake next to a fork

This is Quite Possibly the World’s Best Chocolate Cake

I made this moist chocolate cake for my niece’s birthday last year. When it was served, one of the moms asked my sister-in-law where she’d gotten the cake. She pointed at me and the mom came over to ask me about it. Turns out she has two restaurants in Atlanta and was curious if I’d be interested in making cakes for her restaurant.


Pretty neat, but I actually said no. However, this chocolate cake is THAT good! Make it and you just might be asked to bake for a restaurant. And whether you want to actually do that or not, don’t you want to be the one with a cake that’s so could you could bake for a restaurant? You know you do. 😉

Read transcript


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Best Moist Chocolate Cake image

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This is the Best Chocolate Cake recipe! Moist homemade chocolate cake made completely from scratch. This is the kind of chocolate cake everyone should have in their recipe collection!




  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water


  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
  • 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (114g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 45 tbsp (60-75ml) water/milk


  • 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Sprinkles


Make the Cakes

  1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  3. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
  6. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Make frosting while cakes cool. Beat together butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Slowly add 4 cups (460g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and half of the water or milk and mix until smooth.
  4. Add another 5 cups (575g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
  6. Add remaining water or milk until the frosting is the right consistency.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Once cakes are cool, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
  2. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  3. Add second layer of cake and add another cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
  4. Add final layer of cake on top and frost the outside of the cake. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
  2. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Finish Cake

  1. Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then pour the remainder of the ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly. I like to use a squeeze bottle for drizzling around the edges. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
  2. Allow the ganache to firm up a bit, then pipe the remainder of the frosting around the top edge of the cake and pipe a border around the bottom. I used Ateco tip 844.
  3. Add a few sprinkles to the cake, if desired, then serve. Cake is best when well covered for 3-4 days.


This recipe calls for hot water. You don’t have to use hot water – the cake will still bake fine – but the hot water allows the cocoa to “bloom”, which brings out a richer chocolate flavor in the cake.

Keywords: best chocolate cake, birthday cake


This post contains affiliate links.

You might also like these chocolate cake recipes:

Moist Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
Easy Moist Chocolate Cake
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
Homemade Chocolate Whipped Cream

This simple Moist Chocolate Cake recipe is completely homemade and incredibly moist from using oil instead of butter! It's easy to make and the best moist chocolate cake you'll ever have!

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Recipe rating

  1. Abbigail Hassan

    I really really miss baking your cakes i have to be dairy, soy and egg free due to babies allergies is there a way to swap out the buttermilk and egg in this recipe 😫

      1. Abbigail Hassan

        Thank you suppose all that’s left to do is try, oatmilk and chickpea water here i come! 😅

  2. Nikki

    This is my go-to for chocolate cake. Everyone always compliments me and loves how delicious and moist it is!

    I need to make a giant sheet cake and triple the recipe. Do you have any recommendations on baking time and if I keep the temperature the same?:)

  3. Alexa

    I will this recipe and have made it a few times, Can I use the recipe to make cupcakes? How many cupcakes do you think it would make?

  4. Macayla G

    Hi Lindsay, I wanted to make this cake for my sister’s high school graduation because she loves chocolate cake and I love baking so I wanted to impress her with my baking skills lol, but I was wondering if I could use 3 9 inch baking pans instead of 3 8 inch ones, and if I did, would it change the tallness of the cake drastically enough to not be able to apply the “drip” effect.

  5. Morgan Halton

    is there anyway you can use this recipe for a sheet pan cake? Like 13x9x2? I am doing a number cake and this is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.

  6. Alejandro Brinker

    Hi Lindsay, I wanted to tell you that I did make this cake. I have to say, I really did enjoy it so much that I wanted to use this recipe for a chocolate mousse cheesecake, however when I was trying to stack the mousse, it made a huge mess and the cakes literally stated to fall apart. So I have a question for you. Since this recipe makes a very tender cake, do I have to be extremely gentle with it? But otherwise, fantastic recipe.

  7. Manuri

    Hi,I have 3 quetions.

    (1)you have mentioned flour 2 cups and sugar 2 cups.but in grams its different.Is it a mistake or what?i’m bit confused.can you please tell me.

    (2)what can i use instead of buttermilk?

    (3)can i use melted butter instead of Oil?then what is the quantity?

    1. Lindsay

      1) Volume and weight measurements between two different things are not the same. By volume, they are both 2 cups. By weight, they are different.
      2) Regular milk.
      3) No, it won’t work the same with butter.

    1. Rena

      How can I adjust the amounts to have it made in a 9×13 pan ? It was way too much batter for 9×13. It was the very best chocolate cake I ever had. Thank you so much for posting these recipes.

  8. Hailey

    This looks delicious, do you know if this recipe will work as cupcakes instead? Also, how long do you think I should bake it as cupcakes and how many cupcakes do you think this recipe will make? Thank you ahead of time!

  9. Shirley B

    I love this recipe but struggle a little with it in high altitude. Any suggestions on how to adjust the recipe so that the center doesn’t fall?

  10. Anna

    Hello! Oh wow! I love your recipes! Thank you for sharing! Your cakes come out perfectly EVERY time!

    Out of curiosity… can I freeze this cake?

    Thank you x

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear that! As far as freezing, you can definitely freeze individual layers. I don’t typically freeze entire cakes, but you could try it. And you can certainly cut the final cake into slices and freeze it that way.

  11. Dana

    This recipe looks delicious! I plan to make it for my son’s birthday, but I’d like to know how long you mix it with the hand mixer? The instructions just say “mix well” ; does that one minute, two minutes? I don’t want to overmix and have the cake fall. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      You just want to mix until things are well combined. Once that happens and there’s not a bunch of lumps or streaks, you can stop mixing. There’s no preset amount of time. And with this cake you can actually just use a whisk. It comes together incredibly easy.

  12. Rukshaar

    Hi Lindsay, I love your recipes have made a couple of them, chocolate cakes are my fav.. did the strawberry buttercream frosted one, the tiramisu bialys poke and made more and they all have turned out fantastic! Your frostings too have been the best for me specially the cream cheese.. the only one that didn’t turn out runny. Thank you so much for sharing these. I’m now planning to make a candy land cake for my nieces birthday and want to ask you which recipe to use for a firm cake as I need to poke in heavy lollipops. I’m worried the cake shouldn’t split with the weight of 3-4 lollipops as they big and heavy. Please help me.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes! I typically try not to make really dense cakes, but my old old vanilla cupcake recipe is on the more dense side and you could double that to make it a cake and see how it works.

      1. Rukshaar Deboo

        Thank you so much for the prompt revert but could you help me with something in chocolate that is more firm.

  13. Kelsie

    I’ve tried your easy moist chocolate cake which is delicious!
    Which out of that one and this one would be more stable as a fondant covered layered cake?

  14. Sandie

    Great base. I made the following changes and it was a hit:
    Doubled the recipe, made a sheet cake, increased baking time by 20 minutes, reduced sugar by 1/2 cup, made it dairy free (dairy-free buttermilk), instead of vegetable oil I used 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 olive oil. The flavor was amazing. The cake was extremely moist.

  15. Emma

    I wondered if the cake will still be moist if I leave it sitting for a day before I decorate and serve it? Also I want to make it with only 2 layers how should I alter the amounts? I can’t wait to able it the cake looks amazing!

    1. Lindsay

      It’ll definitely stay moist if you bake it to David. As for making two layers, you can either divide all the batter between two pans or cut the recipe by a third.


    I love this recipe and I am thinking to give it a try for my husband bday. I have one question that I have 9 inch cake pans and will measurement will remain same for two 9 inch pans. Can I prepare the cake layers a day ahead?

    1. Lindsay

      You won’t have as tall of a cake, but it will work fine. If you want a taller cake, you could try using one and a half recipes worth. And yes, you can definitely bake it a day ahead.

  17. Selah

    Third time making this chocolate cake, it is perfection! I get excited when someone requests my chocolate cake because it means I can use this masterpiece of a recipe! My brother, who has gone to culinary school and is the family food critique asked for the recipe to make for his bake off at school. It is that good! Lol, this cake has perfect texture and is wonderfully moist! Will forever recommend this recipe!

  18. Leah

    Can you tell me how to make this cake in a 13×9 pan? I’m making it for a birthday party that 30 people will attend, so I’m trying to make it bigger than an 8” round cake.

  19. Catherine Rose

    This recipe is THE ONLY recipe I use for my chocolate cakes. I get so many compliments when I make this cake. Thank you so much!!

  20. Tanisha

    Hi! im super excited to try this recipe but i was just wondering whether i could use normal butter rather than vegetable oil and expect the same result?

  21. Michelle

    Oh yeah, and in addition to my last comment, I’ve done 1 1/2 times the recipe and it works well for 3 10” layers.

  22. Michelle

    My husband and I agree this is the best chocolate cake we’ve had. It’s moist, soft and I bake it frequently and is a highly requested cake from family. I usually use a whipped cream frosting but the cake itself is definitely a favorite. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  23. Charlotte

    This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe! I love it! Do you have a conversion guide for measurements for three 6″ tins?

  24. Margaret

    I’m going to try this recipe today but I’m a little confused with oven temperature I have a fan assisted oven so do I reduce the oven temperature by 20 degrees and cook a little longer?

  25. Lois

    Can I bake this cake in a 9×13 or a larger square pan, maybe 10×15. If so what oven temperature would I bake it at.

  26. Josette Ciolino

    I adore this cake! I have made it dozens of times, as a Bundt and layered cake and cupcakes. I get so many compliments. The darn cake stays moist for days!

  27. Paulina

    This is delicious. Definitely not sturdy enough to decorate as it started crumbling away when I was icing it, but it’s insanely delicious. I used whipping cream as I don’t like buttercream. Next time I am going to try easy moist chocolate cake to do three layer semi naked cake, hope it will be almost as good as this one.

  28. Renee

    Family and friends loved this recipe. I will definitely make this recipe again. The only change a made was I cut back on the icing sugar which was perfect for us. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  29. Amy Pezet

    Hi there! I love this cake, but I need to make a 6inch version of it. By how much should I reduce the ingredients?

    1. Paulina

      I made it in 6 inch tins. Just increased cooking time by 5 minutes and the cake was super tall. It’s difficult to convert to 6 inch as only two eggs.

  30. Allycia Aligour-mohammed

    Made this recipe. It was really moist. Definitely making this again. My children loved it

  31. Geetanjali Tung

    Wow… This looks super delicious! My mouth is watering here literally… I am making this for sure!

  32. Mikaylah

    I just finished making this cake and I am so excited! It turned out beautifully thanks to all of your tips! I’m new to cake making and have had some fails, but this turned out perfectly! Thank you so much. I wish I could post a picture! I followed all of your tutorials for the cake, buttercream, and ganache. I can’t thank you enough. 

  33. Dawn

    Oh my goodness!!!  This is better than delicious!  I made this for the family for Valentine’s dinner…it was the biggest hit!  My daughter in law said, you could sell that, it’s that good!  I laughed since you said you were asked to make them for a restaurant!  Thank you for the fantastic recipe!  It’s a keeper!


    Lindsey, i have tried many of your recipes in the past and i need to make a 12×18 sheet cake and need to alter your Chocolate cake recipe…how do i do that?

    i have to make it this thursday

  35. Tami

    I have to say I was a skeptic, not on the taste but the cooking time. 30 minutes at 300 degrees, no way! But YES!! It totally cooked in that timeframe and perfectly. However I didnt have 3, 8″ pans only 2 so I split between the two and made mini cupcakes. If I split between 3 pans I would have had very thins cakes. They rose but then shrunk after cooling. The cake is extremely soft, moist, perfect texture and it taste good, it wasnt the best cake for me.

  36. Karen

    Hiya, I’m making this cake, but 30 minutes in and it is super liquidy in the middle still. Do I just keep adding time?

  37. Porter

    HI! This recipe was delicious and moist, however, when I made it, the layers turned out extremely thin, about half of what it was supposed to be. Just curious about what happened. We live in the Dominican Republic, so it is very humid here. Could that have been the problem? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Humidity could possibly have something to do with it. I’d also check that you used baking soda and not baking powder.

  38. Lisa

    Thank you for this recipe. I baked this cake exactly as you directed for my son’s birthday, and we three who ate it agree it’s the BEST chocolate cake ever – moist, flavorful, and perfect in texture. I used your easy vanilla buttercream frosting instead of the chocolate buttercream icing, and I had just enough coverage for this cake, plus enough for the middle layers. You helped bring extra joy to my son’s birthday weekend – thanks again! I am putting this recipe in circulation in my personal cookbook as my only go-to chocolate cake recipe, even above and beyond those I’ve used for years from Martha and Betty.

  39. Christy Sloat

    I finally did it! First and most importantly, this truly was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted, and the chocolate buttercream frosting was heavenly. This is coming from someone who is not a fan of any frosting so I normally scrape it off. But THIS frosting…i couldn’t help but eat right along with the cake. Not only was it delicious, but it was the perfect complement to such a moist cake.

    For the recipe, just a few things I learned the hard way in hopes that it will help someone else. First, I agree with the others who commented that it took longer to bake (closer to 45-50 minutes at 300). But that was not big deal, I just kept checking it with the toothpicks until it was done.

    Second, this cake is SUPER MOIST like Lindsay says, so it’s a total pain to frost. I managed to get there eventually, but just trying to do the crumb coat made me want to throw the cake at the wall several times. Use a LOT of frosting and a light hand with the spatula when spreading. It mike look like a mess but you can always cover it with the next layer. Take your time and be patient.

    Third, the Wilton #789 tip that Lindsay recommends for frosting the sides of the cake is an absolute MUST. I thought I could get away with using the angled spatula and turntable and boy was I wrong. Thankfully I had made two cakes (longer story involving the oven temp on the first cake), so I experimented with frosting the first cake (which I gave to my neighbors), saw the error of my ways, and ran out to purchase the suggested icing tip for frosting the second cake, which was for my husbands birthday. It was still a chore, because the cake is so moist, but without this frosting tip it was not only impossible, but horribly unattractive!

    Fourth, the other tool I could not have done this without was the Ateco Decorating Comb, which Lindsay also recommended (for frosting a smooth cake). Regardless of how smooth you want your frosting to be, without this tool, I think it would be extremely difficult to frost THIS moist of a cake using this type of frosting.

    The last tool I wish I would have purchased was the cake lifter. I probably wouldn’t use it for all cakes, but for this one, again because it is SO moist, it would have made things so much easier. Thankfully, I did purchase some of the cardboard rounds, so I was able to improvise with those and only managed to crack one layer (not bad!)

    Please keep in mind that I am a total beginner here. So the more seasoned bakers may know some other tricks to avoid needing all the tools, but I felt like they were a tremendous help.

    Lindsay – I hope you don’t mind my tips for any other beginners. I don’t want them to get frustrated and give up because this cake is amazing and so delicious. I wish I could upload a photo because it looks like something from a magazine! It came out beautiful and delicious. I posted it on my FB and I had more comments about how beautiful the cake was than “tell your hubby happy birthday” LOL! And most importantly, he loved it! We’ve been together 23 years and this was the first cake I ever made for him from scratch. He said it was well worth the wait!

    1. Lindsay

      Your tips are great and it’s great to hear that my tips were helpful ultimately. So glad you enjoyed the cake!

    1. Lindsay

      If you’re using two layers, the time is probably similar, actually. If doing three layers, it’d be less but I’m not sure by how much.

  40. Alex

    Baked this cake this afternoon and just had to comment! I used hot coffee instead of hot water but otherwise followed this recipe exactly and it is SO THICK, RICH AND MOIST. I used 6” cake pans that are about 3” deep and filled half full. I ended up having to almost double the cook time before they were cooked through to the centre but it was worth it. They are so dense and delicious – almost the texture of a flourless chocolate torte or a brownie. I will definitely be using this recipe again!

  41. Christy Sloat

    One last question Lindsay…. I made this cake today, but I got confused reading the beginning of the post when you said you had changed the temp to 350 (you were talking about your other chocolate cake!). I realized my mistake about 15 minutes into the baking time and turned the oven down to 300 to finish it out. My husband’s birthday is tomorrow so I have time to re-do if you think the consistency will be off. Should I re-do or leave it? They seem to have come out ok and right around the time you said 30 minutes (not all pans were done at the same time because I think one had more batter than the others…oops). Please advise?

      1. Christy Sloat

        No worries! I decided since I had enough ingredients to give the first one to my neighbors and make a second one (at the right temp!) for my hubby’s birthday, just in case! I gave the details below in another post with some tips I learned as a beginner and trying this recipe BUT it ended up coming out amazing. First cake (temperature oops) was tasty but did not hold up well to handling or frosting! Second cake was a bit of a challenge to frost because it is so moist but came out beautiful (like magazine beautiful) and was the most delicious cake that I (or my family) has ever eaten!!!!!! Thank you so much for your responses and for sharing this recipe in the first place.

  42. Christy Sloat

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m getting ready to attempt this recipe for my husbands birthday and I had one question. This may sound dumb, but I notice that you use a hand mixer for a lot of your videos. Is there a reason, like is it better to use the hand mixer or can I use my Kitchen Aid mixer? Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      I use my kitchen aid when baking but often use the hand one in videos because it’s easier to show. Both work just fine.

  43. mobasir hassan

    Truly appreciate the way you have made this delicious cake. I am not a baker but you described everything so nicely that really helped me to make it. Though it was not as beautiful as yours for my first try, i hope next time it would be better. Thanks for the lovely treat.

  44. Emma

    If I just want a 2 layer 8 inch cake should I just use 2/3rds of the cake batter and the frosting and use the same amounts for ganache/drip? It looks so good. Wish i has seen this recipe this morning after 2 failed chocolate cakes. I have done a third one but so full from trying the first 2 I haven’t even tried it lol

  45. Shahnaz Walford

    I would like to adapt this recipe for a 2 layer 10 inch cake how do I adjust the quantities? 

    Thank you 😊 

  46. Rylee

    This is hands down the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever tried. For the past year I have tried soooooo many recipes and none of them have been as good as this one! I halved the recipe to create just one cake because my cake tin is bigger and it works a treat. Thank you!

  47. Denise

    I am a first time baker of cakes and chose yours to make I am so sad. I followed the directions completely, measured sifted, etc.
    Toothpick came out clean, took them out to cool. noticed some sinkage in the middle but thought i could fix that. once I turned them out onto a rack to complete cooling, they started crumbling and one cake split in half. I am afraid to frost it but still going to do what I can. All of my ingredients were fresh and I used the wet strips on the outside of the pan to decrease the dome. Your recipe calls for baking sode and wondering if it should have been baking powder? I don’t know what went wrong.

    1. Lindsay

      Sinkage could be if they were a little under baked or if the oven was opened too early at some point during baking.

      There is no baking powder in this recipe. But it is a very tender cake so you do have to be careful when taking it out of the pans. If you’d like to try a slightly different version that does use baking powder and baking soda, you could try the cake layers in this cake.

  48. Tiana

    I always get worried when I come across a cake/cupcake/sheet cake recipe that calls for vanilla extract in the frosting. The reason is because I once tried a vanilla sheet cake recipe and it was a disaster. The frosting tasted of vanilla extract and was really yucky. The smell gave me a headache. 2 tsp of vanilla in the frosting of this cake recipe seems like a lot. Will it ruin the chocolate flavor and give me a headache?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Lindsay

      It sounds like youmay be very sensitive to vanilla extract, so I’m not sure that I can really answer that for you. However, vanilla extract helps cut down on the bitterness that cocoa can add to things. So I personally think the vanilla flavor enhances and makes the chocolate flavor better. But again, it sounds like maybe you have a sensitivity to vanilla extract so that’s up to you. You can leave it out if you like.

  49. John

    I am looking for recipes for my “Pre Christmas munch box” which we give out to friends and family. I wanted a chocolate cake to be one of the four things that go in the box. I tried a few different recipes but this one received five stars from all of my “testers”.

    I made up cupcakes and filled them with home made raspberry jam and they were an amazing taste sensation. The chocolate in the recipe and the jam were such a contrast.

    The cake is light, moist and delicate (Too delicate not to be supported by a cupcake case) and very morish all round.

    This will be my go to recipe from here on in. Thank you Lindsay

  50. Yuna

    Hello Lindsay,
    Is there some type of typo in this recipe or something? Because 9 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting is INSANE. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’m afraid I’m going to get diabetes or something.

    Thank you,

    1. Lindsay

      Nope, no typo. A standard decorators buttercream has 4 cups of powdered sugar to every cup of butter. You can certainly reduce the amount if you prefer, but it is correct.

  51. Michelle K

    What a delicious chocolate cake! Took approx 10 minutes longer in the oven for me.   I mixed it up a little and decided to make a mocha icing (using espresso) and brushed each layer with the leftover espresso prior to icing.   A tasty treat to welcome December!  As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of using that next time I’ll  brusha coffee liqueur over the cake prior to icing 😊😋

    Thanks for an awesome recipe that I’ll definitely use again! 

  52. Lynny Nicole

    I made this cake for my dads birthday which is in thanksgiving, cake out really delicious! took a bit longer in the oven than it said on the directions though, but overall it came out good

  53. Stacey Jones

    For the frosting, do I use softened butter or cold butter? Thank you for your time! I can’t wait to make this soon!

  54. Hannah

    Hi! I made this cake over the weekend. I followed the recipe closely, but I must have done something wrong at some point. It came out so crumbly! It still tasted delicious and moist. But it fell to pieces when I took it off the cooling racks and frosted it. It looked a hot mess. But tasted great. Any ideas where I went wrong? I tried scanning all the comments to see if anyone else had a similar issue but couldn’t seem to find an answer.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say. It’s a very tender cake so you definitely have to be gentle with it and wait until it’s cool before moving it around too much.

  55. Holly

    Just wondering what type of sugar you use in the cake? I’m from the UK so not sure if it needs to be caster or granulated? Thanks!

  56. Anamar Cora

    So this is basically like the Hershey’s chocolate cake but uses buttermilk instead of milk. I’m going to try this to see how it comes out. I would recommend to anyone making this cake to use half water and half strong brewed coffee or you could actually us all coffee. You always use coffee when baking with chocolate-believe me it will make all the difference. I can’t wait to try the frosting-haven’t seen a recipe like this for chocolate frosting sounds delicious

  57. Reena

    Hi! Absolutely love all your recipes 😍. I have tried soo many of your recipes and all the time it becomes a hit. I have fan assisted oven so the oven temperature mentioned in the recipe has change or I can use the same temperature? Please help
    Thank you 😊 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure about different types of ovens. But if other recipes have turned out well for you, I’d think it’s be fine to keep it the same.

  58. Dina

    Hi again! I was reading through all of the comments and I noticed you mentioned you used a 9 x 13 pan for this recipe.   I was wondering If I read that right and if so,  about how long you baked for.  TIA

  59. Alysia

    Hi Lindsey,

    I was planning to make a mini tall cake with a 6 inch cake pan. I haven’t made a tall cake before so this is going to be my first time. Do you think I can use this recipe (measurements) to make a mini cake (around 4 layers) or do you think it would be too much? 

    Thanks!! x

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t used it as a 6 inch cake so it’s hard for me to say. My understanding is that people have done that before and it has worked out well, I’m just not sure how many layers they did etc.

      1. Zaynah

        Hi Janet! I absolutely love your recipe and use this for my cakes that I decorate. I love the quantity as i can make 3 layers from it in one go! Do you think if i remove the cocoa, i can make vanilla cakes with this same recipe? Really looking for something that will make the same amount only in vanilla 🙂

  60. Charlotte

    Hi Lindsey ,
    I have realised I’ve order the wrong size tins I was wondering how long will I have to cook each cake for if there were in 24cm tins instead of 20cm ?? 

    Thank you 

  61. Donna Bay

    I made this cake this weekend. It  tastes very rich and good, and it stacked and cut perfectly. But, we felt it was almost too moist, kind of wet. My question, I always use King Aurthur flour, and per their website a cup of KA weighs 120g, so I added 240g instead of the 260g from your recipe, so wondering what brand of flour you use?  I know different brands can be different weights. Wondering if I just didn’t have enough flour or maybe I should have baked it longer. I made 3 8” layers for 33 min. Thank you. You make make beautiful cakes! 

    1. Lindsay

      I use the grams measurements that are listed in my recipes, so those are the ones you’ll want to follow, regardless of the brand of flour. I’ve used many different brands with the same gram measurements with this cake and 260g is correct.

  62. Dina

    Hello!! I’d really like to make this cake in 3, 9” round pans… do you think 1 1/2 this recipe will work? 

  63. Stephanie

    Looks delicious! Would it be good with whipped cream frosting instead of the chocolate frosting? and if I were to make it a two layered cake – do I leave it longer in the oven or better change the quantities?

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, it’d be fine with whipped cream. And if you do two layers, you’d need to bake the layers a little longer.

  64. Pamela

    Hi Lindsay, You are the ROCK STAR of cake making! I am making a three tiered wedding cake, 8″, 6″ and 4″ and using the wooden dowels between layers to support the cake. I am going to use your vanilla, lemon and this chocolate cake. I was going to make your vanilla cake for the bottom layer, but now am thinking it should be this chocolate cake. My question is…… this cake strong enough to support the cake and be the bottom layer? Please advise.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoy the cakes! I don’t do a lot of tiered cakes, so I’m not sure my advice is the best, LOL. That said, this is a very tender cake so it’s not going to hold weight. But if you’re supporting the top cakes with dowels, I would think it’d be fine. The cake shouldn’t need to support the weight.

  65. Ellie Kardani

    Hi there, so i noticed this days 2 cups of sugar for the cake, but it says 418 grams. When i put two cups, it’s near half that amount. Is it a typo or is it 418 g of sugar? 

    1. Lindsay

      2 cups of sugar is 414 grams. If you’re only getting half of that, then I would try remeasuring or checking your measuring cups because that’s really off. Either way, I use grams and the 414g is correct.

  66. Ash

    I tried the cake recipe part and I got to say, you’re right! Its the best moist chocolate cake ever! Everyone who tried the cake said its wasn’t sweet, delicious and super MOIST!

    I had to bake slightly longer (about 50mins each) for three 8” round tray as the cake was baked at 300°F (148°C) instead of 350°F (I only saw this after I reread your post while the cake was baking, so it was too late for me to crank up the temperature slightly).. But all the 3 layers turned out so so so perfect! No humps and such! Perfect flat layers!

    I am a seamstress and not a baker unlike my mom..& i baked this without her help..
    It has always been a dream for me to bake for a wedding..
    And guess what?
    I got the green light by a future bride & groom to bake their two tier wedding cake this October using this exact recipe!!!

    You’re an angel!
    Thank you very very very much for this recipe!

  67. Sara

    Hi. i really want to try this recipe. However, I only have one 8×3-inch pan. Is it okay to make the full recipe and put all the batter into my pan then bake it? Won’t it overflow? Thank you!

  68. Christina Maddox

    Hi Lindsay – question I read your notes on leveling the layers so after you make the cut do you throw out that extra cake (the dome) that you just cut to make the layer level? Thank you for explaining.

    1. Lindsay

      Typically I either throw those away or my husband and I take a fork to them , lol. But I’ve heard some people say they make cake pops with it.

  69. Marina Zandegiacomo

    Hi Lindsay. I’ve been asked to make a 2 tier tall drip make with a semi naked finish. Do you think this recipe would be sturdy enough for the weight or would a more dense cake hold better?  I was going to put in dowels but don’t want e cake to collapse due to the height and weight?  Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I’m really not sure I’m the best person to ask as I don’t stack cakes. I would think that if properly doweled, any cake would be fine.


    I have made this recipe many times, always a hit. My daughters husband sister is fond of chocolate cake, but I have not been able to deliver then we moved 600 miles away
    She is very ill almost lost her a few times
    So I am keeping my promise, sending the layers and icing to my daughter so she can do it and give it to her

  71. Angela

    Hello, i have made this cake but i don’t know why the texture is quite dense. Maybe i do over mix?
    in this recipe the baking soda is 2 teaspoon? how if i use only 1 teaspoon?
    And i don’t have a buttermilk so i make from milk and give a little lemon juice.

    1. Lindsay

      The only other time I’ve heard someone say this cake was dense, they also tried to use lemon juice and milk to replace buttermilk. While that substitution may work in some cases, it doesn’t seem to work well in this cake. If you don’t have regular buttermilk, just use regular milk – no lemon juice.

  72. Lizzy

    This recipe looks so amazing! My 8 year old and I usually do box cakes but decided to give your recipe a try. The first time, it just didn’t rise so we made it again and the same thing happened. It tastes delicious and is super moist and decadent, but just didn’t rise much. Can you please let me know what we may have done wrong? We followed the directions exactly but our buttermilk was low-fat – could that be the problem? I didn’t notice until just now. Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really hard to say from a distance what could have been the issue. With such a simple method, it sounds like maybe it has to do with an ingredient. Is your baking soda fresh?

  73. Janina

    This is the best chocolate cake!! I love the taste of both the cake and frosting !! I didn’t have buttermilk and also used 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream as a sub and it was great! I did not have parchment and just greased and floured my pans . They did not pop out like I wanted but I made it work! I didn’t have 8” pans so I used two 9” and had them in the oven at 300F for 35-40 mins instead. This recipe is just perfect!! Thanks Lindsay!! 

  74. Trudy

    Hi, I made this cake today but I was disappointed because it was anything but light. It was quite dense and did not rise as much during baking. I did not have buttermilk so used a substitute with lemon juice and milk. Could be the reason for it turning out heavy and squidgy. 

    1. Lindsay

      That’s the first I’ve ever heard of someone having this turn out dense. Normally people say it’s too light and tender, if anything. If the milk is the only change you made, then I’m guessing the lemon juice didn’t agree with things. You can actually replace the buttermilk with regular milk and that works well. No need for lemon juice.

  75. TracyK

    Can i replace oil with butter and how much please? Or half half? As the slices just fall apart as its delicate with the oil

  76. Tom Farnsworth

    So Lindsy, I have made your cake, as cupcakes about a dozen times now… I really love it. My oven has a faulty hunt. the temp drops almost 100 degrees before it returns to stability… I’m considering replacing the control board, but the problem may be in the board design. What brand stove do yo recommend?
    In the Croatian recipe, it seems to me the oil was heated not the water and the total cake volume may have been larger.

    It’s cherry season so I’m serving the cupcakes as deconstructed black forest… to give it a chance to compete with cherry pie.

    Thanks again for the great recipe.


    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe. As for recommendation, I have had GE profile appliances and KitchenAid and while I love the KitchenAid countertop appliances, I haven’t loved the major appliances (oven, microwave, fridge). I always loved my GE profile ones though and will probably replace my KitchenAid ones soon.

      1. Tom Farnsworth

        So L.,
        As per your suggestion I have tried tweaking the recipe. I increased all the liquids to 250 mls from 240 mls and increased the baking temperature to 350 deg for about 28 minutes. I bake cupcakes so I can not swear how a cake would respond… but this made a significant improvement. The cakes rose higher and were even moister. I personally use PC EVO olive oil for this sort of thing. The natural emulsifiers improve the behavior of the batter, it’s cheap and there is no stale olive oil taste. I am going to continue to slowly increase the oil content as I remake this great recipe. I’ll tell you how it turns out.

        Kitchen aid has declined in quality ever since Hobart sold the brand. I gave away my kitchen aide food processor. It continually jammed. I use a Cuisinart with which I am totally satisfied. KA’s stand mixer is ok but very noisy and really heavy. The old model was better but I gave mine to my son and it disappeared in a divorce. I personally use an old sunbeam stand mixer that I got at a thrift store for $3 It’s light and quiet and does a great job for anything short of bread.. For even smaller jobs I use an immersion blender that I got for $1.50 at the same thrift store. My Kitchen aide is displayed on a shelf like a trophy moose head… Once living but now just a decoration.

        The one brand name appliance I find irreplaceable is My Vita Mix blender .

  77. Maxine

    The BEST chocolate cake I’ve ever had! I was nervous about the batter ( thin – but exactly as you described in recipe) but it turned out perfect. 

  78. Crystal

    I tried this last week and it was a hit!!! Thank you much 

    I’d like to make this recipe using tulip cups, do I still bake at 300F and for how long? 

    I’ll be halving the recipe as a trial run but these are amazing 

  79. Elena

    “Cake is best when well covered for 3-4 days”, you mean is better to do it 3-4 days before to eat? or that we can store it for 3-4 days if something left?
    Sorry my english is not ver good.

    Your recipes and uour work are amazing, thanks

  80. Brandy

    Hi Lindsay-
    I always love all your recipes! I’m looking for a chocolate cake recipe for a birthday cake to be baked in a dinosaur shaped tin. I was wondering if you think this cake would be good for that or if it might fall apart from being to moist? Thank you for the help!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear that! I don’t really make any shaped cakes, so I’m not sure. But if you’d like to try a chocolate cake that’s a little more sturdy, you could use the cake from this chocolate cake. It’s very similar, but just a little more sturdy.

      1. Brandy

        That is the other recipe I had looked at! Thank you for the input on which is sturdier. I’m sure they are both delicious.

  81. ANA

    THE recipe is awesome taste is amazing. LOVe the moist ness in the cake. But the cake is too moist to handle. What am I  doing wrong. THe edges are just too fragile. 

  82. Tom Farnsworth

    Thank you so much for including the metric volumes and weights in your recipe. I never quite know what 1 cup means, especially when used with some weights.. so I can’t uniformly use the wrong 1 cup… and of course we all know that 1 cup of flour is who know what even if you know what cup is being referenced.

    I chose your recipe because you use the largest proportion of vegetable oil that I could find. I am trying to replace an old country recipe given to me by a Croatian lady decades ago. She was a fabulous cook and the recipe was stapled in the back of one of my favourite cook books. It was sadly claimed by life’s entropy. Her recipe had 2 cups of vegetable oil and hot water but no butter milk that I can recall. It produced a 3 layer cake, but may have been a bit larger in overall size. This cake had the most amazing property of improving with age…. It never got stale…. just fudgier, so I could make it ahead for the long ago fledged kids birthday parties. To your recipe’s credit, the cake was gone so fast I can’t comment on it’s keeping properties.

    I have just made this recipe for the second time. The first instance was still gel after 30 minutes so I threw a piece of foil over it increased the oven temp to 350 for 10 more minutes and all was fine. I am using a relatively new higher end GE oven. My oven thermometer says the oven heats to 300 degrees on the button, and I have never noticed anything strange about the hunt.

    I made cup cakes this time and set the temperature to 310 degs and the product was done in 32 minutes. I am at 168 feet above sea level. I wonder if yo have thought about experimenting with a higher proportion of cooking oil considering the possibly favourable results.

    Thanks for the recipe.


  83. sara


    I’m from Slovenia. I would like to bake this cake for my grandma for birthday. But here in Slovenia we do not have this hersheys cocoa. Can I use 100% cocoa powder or chocolate powder? 

    Thank you so much for help

  84. Melissa

    This cake is delicious!! Do you think it would work for a tiered wedding cake? I can’t decide if it is dense enough to be stacked. 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask. I’ve made only two tiered wedding-style cakes and it was about 8-9 years ago. I did use this cake for one of the layers for one of them though. For me, it was fine. But it’s certainly not a dense cake, if that’s what you prefer to work with.

  85. Adriana

    Thank you for the recipe! Made this cake For the first time today for Mother’s Day, Best chocolate cake ever, my family loved it 
    I will be making this cake again forsures 10/10 

  86. Meenu

    Just 5 star!! I am tempted to try this out for my daughter’s birthday. Thank you for the share.

  87. Shannon

    OMG! I haven’t even finished decorating the cake. We’ve only eaten the part that was trimmed off the top, and this is the best cake I’ve ever made, possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten. So moist!. I also added coffee instead of water. I did have to add more baking time, and then turned the oven up to 325 until it was done.

  88. Jane Pickering

    I made this cake yesterday for a Birthday and it was a great success! I did how ever, make one small change to the recipe….. In stead of adding just boiling water at the end, I added strong brewed coffee to add a deep, rich flavour. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much for sharing !

  89. Raneem

    HI, if I will bake it in 3, 9 inch pans by how much should i increase the batter and baking time? i want it to be the same height as yours, thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard for me to say how to get it exactly the same height, but I’d try maybe 1 1/3 times, or possibly 1 1/2 times.

    1. Lindsay

      You can freeze the layers before frosting them, if you’d like. Just be sure to wrap them well and thaw them in the fridge.

  90. Sam

    Hello Lindsay

    Omg, one of the best chocolate cakes recipe Ive ever made, so easy so moist so tasty.  This is one recipe i want to use as my go to.  I tried printing the recipe but for some reason i wasn’t able too. The light gray font was not visible on the paper.  is there a way to darken the font so that I can print the recipe.

    Thank You so Much for a awesome recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      The font isn’t a full black, but it shouldn’t be so light that it doesn’t print. I might check your printer settings and cartridge. I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake!

  91. josie

    this cake recipe is incredible!! i’ve never been able to achieve a perfect chocolate cake (which is my baking shame tbh) but when i say this cake is shop-bought/bakery level chocolate cake, i mean it. so light and fluffy but really rich in flavour! i made a larger cake and cupcakes, both lovely, and paired with coffee buttercream and put some coffee granules in the hot water.

    honestly the best cake, i never need to look for a new chocolate cake recipe again. thank you!!

  92. Jubemi

    My go-to Chocolate cake every time. Husband and Sons love it. I just realized I’ve been using this recipe for over 2 years but I’ve never dropped a review which is unfair. This is absolutely the best chocolate cake recipe. Full of flavor, moist, and perfect with Greek yogurt or icecream.
    Off to whip up a batch now. God help us during this quarantine.😀

  93. Ira GL

    Hi! THIS CAKE WAS SO GOOOOD! It was so moist, very chocolatey rich yet still was not too sweet! I had to improvise with the buttermilk by using evaporated milk and calamansi juice though, but still it was sooooo good! Thank you so much! ❤️

  94. Monica

    Hello! I made this cake and came out delicious. My question is how come it doesnt have baking powder? Is the baking soda enough to make it rise? I had seen other recipes before with baking powder and no baking soda but never the orher way around, this is the first one. 

    1. Lindsay

      Different recipes use different things. It all depends on the recipe and the texture that the person who made the recipe is looking for. It also can vary based on ingredients and they how they react together. I’m glad you enjoyed the cake!

  95. Anum

    This cake is absolutely yummy, not to mention really easy to prepare. If I wanted to make this a classic white/yellow cake, can I just omit the cocoa powder? 

    1. Lindsay

      Not exactly. I have a vanilla version that I shared as part of this recipe, if you want to check that out. That said, I prefer oil based chocolate cakes, but when it comes to vanilla, I tend to like butter based ones. If you’d like to try something like that, you can try my favorite moist vanilla cake or this yellow cake recipe. I hope that helps! So glad you enjoyed the cake!

  96. Kat

    Truly the Worlds Best Chocolate Cake!  I’ve made it several times woth rave reviews..the latest I put toasted peacans on one layer and chopped chocolate covered pretzels on the second tier….yum.

    1. Lindsay

      They are both very moist cakes and quite similar. At the end of the day, I typically use this one because it is my favorite. The other one is just slightly different and has some baking powder in it. It’s also baked at 350° instead of 300°. It’s a touch more firm. This cake is super tender. You really can’t go wrong with either though.

  97. Thars

    Hello Lindsay,

    No matter how many times i try, i always end my burning my cakes. I wanted to try out this cake.
    What if i have 3 square pans of 20 x 20 cm, 4 cm height. Can i still do the exact receipe?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really familiar with pans in centimeters. 4 cm doesn’t seem very tall. And from what I can tell, the size is a little smaller than the ones I use. As long as the pans are tall enough so the batter doesn’t overflow, I would think it should be fine. They would probably just need longer to bake.

  98. Tiyana L Clabaugh

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous recipe with us! My cakes are currently in the oven. Quick question for you: Can I use Half and Half for the genache instead of heavy cream?


    1. Lindsay

      I’ve honestly never tried it to say from experience. But I’m not sure that it would set up properly because it has different amounts of fat.

  99. Heather

    Love love LOVE this! I made it for a friend’s birthday this weekend and it was a huge hit! I also love how you put the cups and grams measurements in your recipes, makes it so much easier with my food scale. I love your site!

  100. Kim

    Omgosh. My family has this recipe for Chocolate Cake. It has always been called Aunt Nells Chocolate Cake and we actually have 2 versions of the recipe. One is for a larger cake and one is for a 9×13 pan. Our recipe has been passed down for more than a century. Everyone loves this cake. I think it’s because of the buttermilk and hot water. It came to me from my mother, and her mother and her mother and so on.  I’m making it tomorrow because a friend is visiting and it’s his favorite cake. 

  101. Sharlene 😎

    Hi, Lindsay! I was wondering if I could replace the hot water for 1 cup of fresh brewed coffee instead, while adding the vanilla? I’ve had experiences where adding coffee to chocolate REALLY brings out the chocolate flavor. I’m going to make this recipe for my coworker’s birthday. She LOVES chocolate.

  102. Jan

    Hi! The cake is very, very moist, so moist in fact that it almost broke removing it from the pan. I noticed that the recipe is almost identical to Hearsley’s chocolate cake recipe, the only difference being that your recipe has double the amount of oil and a little extra flour to compensate. Still, very good, hoping it won’t break when I fill and frost it!

  103. Evelyn

    Thank you for the recipe… There is no better chocolate cake than this one. If it was for my kids I would have to probably bake one every two days… Really really good. 

  104. selma

    hello, first of all Merry christmas.

    I was just wondering can i use butter instead of oil and how many grams of butter?

      1. Carla Young

        Thank you so much for answering my question and so QUICKLY!!!!!
        I have made this recipe twice before and it was EXCELLENT!!!!! I just didn’t remember what kind of flour I used. I will make a note of it on my printed recipe! 

  105. Shun Laksh

    The Cake looks so Amazing… Am going to try tomorrow. I have a doubt. Will the hot water cook the eggs in the batter?!

      1. Shun Laksh

        Thank you. I Tried the recipe for my kid’s birthday. It turned out Excellent. Thank you for the amazing recipe!!!

  106. Amy Jo

    As of now I’ve made this cake about 4-5 times after finding this recipe a couple of months ago! It turns out perfect every single time! Everyone loves it & it’s such an easy recipe to make. I have made it in 8” pans & I’ve also made it in 10” pans. I did a 3-layer 10” cake. For anyone wondering…this recipe fits perfectly in ONE 10” round cake pan. I made the recipe 3 times in a row because I didn’t have enough room in my oven for 3 10” cake pans all at the same time. I will say the first time I made it I was worried because it’s a very thin consistency cake batter but popped it in the oven & prayed it would come out resembling cake & it did! Thanks for posting this recipe! It’s awesome! 

    1. Vanessa

      Hi Amy Jo, thanks for sharing your experience with the 10″ pan, do you recall how long you baked the cake for? And at what temperature?

      Thanks a lot Vanessa

  107. Sienna

    Did the pictures for this recipe change? I swear when I first saw this page, the chocolate cake itself was darker and the frosting was super dark, nearly matching the cake, almost black looking. Unless you have another cake that I am mixing up with this one.

    I could have sworn that was how the picture of the cake looked.

    1. Lindsay

      The photos have changed, but the recipe is the same. The only difference being that I used regular cocoa in the one in the pictures this time instead of dark cocoa. Either will work.

  108. Judi James

    i used two Wilton 8″ round pans and increased the bake time since that’s all I had. The top did turn out to be a little bit gooey, but i just removed that thin layer and it was perfect. I will be buying a third pan because this will be my new “go-to” recipe for all my chocolate cakes!!

    My 87 year old mom can’t stop raving about this cake, and my sister said it’s the best cake she’s ever had. She even went as far as to suggest that I think about starting a cake business!

    Thank you!!

  109. Julie

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m making this cake for Thursday,  so I’ll be frosting it Wednesday night. What are your thoughts on making the cakes Tuesday  night?  Just wrap in plastic wrap after they cool and refrigerate? I’ve read it’s also easier to frost cakes right from the refrigerator and some suggest a simple syrup too. I want them to remain moist and am torn about doing everything Wednesday night.

    Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      Making the cakes the night before would be more ideal, but Tuesday should be fine. You could refrigerate them, just wrap them well.

      As for working with them cold and using a simple syrup, I think that’s a personal preference. I rarely work with my cakes cold and prefer them room temperature. I’ve also never used a simple syrup. You could certainly try it though.

  110. Chris Wenzel

    This was the best chocolate cake I have ever made. So moist and tasty.  Very simple to make. And the frosting was so light and fluffy for a buttercream. Will be making this cake over and over again. 

  111. Collette

    Sorry another question!! Do you think this would work well in a tin shaped as a number 1? It’s 35cm x 19cm’s? 

  112. Sarah

    Hi Lindsay,

    your recipe and all the reviews sound so amazing I’m going to make this cake for a family 40th birthday party. I’m in England where we don’t have baking soda- we either have bicarbonate of soda or baking powder- don’t suppose you know how much of each I would need to use?
    Also you mention 2 cups of sugar in the main cake recipe- is this castor sugar or granulated sugar or another kind like demerara or brown? Lol sorry for all the questions but I haven’t got time to do a trial run and I don’t want to mess it up! Thank you 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I *think* bicarbonate of soda is the same thing. I hope so because I’m not sure of another substitute. And the sugar is granulated white sugar.

    1. Lindsay

      I really don’t work with fondant at all. I’m probably not the best person to ask. But this is a very soft cake, so if you’re looking for something more dense that holds its shape super well this may not be the best one.

  113. Divya

    Hello! Thanks for the recipe it sounds amazing but we don’t eat egg, what would you recommend is the best replacement for egg? 

    1. Lindsay

      I have never worked with egg replacements, but I’ve seen various egg replacement options on the baking aisle in the grocery store.

  114. Lin Cline

    I made this cake last night and it was totally AWESOME! I did use coffee in place of the hot water. I liked the idea that I didn’t have to use a mixer for the cake and my mixer was ready for the frosting without cleaning up. My only comment, and I don’t think it’s so bad, is that it did not dome and after it cooled, I could start stacking and filling. I had seen another recipe that had the same cake with just more ingredients. Less is better if it taste this good. I did have a fair amount of frosting left and I actually put a cup of frosting between each layer. I’d love to share a picture but it won’t let me. Thank you

  115. Brie Brown

    Another winner! Just finished cutting into and eating this delicious cake! All three of the guys at my house are Literally licking their plates. May the Lord continue to bless and inspire you, as you bless and inspire so many others! Thank you, Lindsay! 

  116. Madel

    Hi. Will this cake stay moist for two days. One day without frosting. How would you recommend storing it before icing it?

  117. Hannah

    This recipe sounds amazing and possible my new go-to!!
     I do have a question for you. In the recipe you used a unsweetened cocoa powder, but if using a dutch processed cocoa powder, would you use the same ratios? Dutch processed cocoa is a lot more rich than regular unsweetened cocoa. 

    Thank you!!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t ever used a full Dutch processed cocoa powder before. I’ve used one that is half and half and had success, but I’m not sure about full Dutch cocoa.

  118. zee

    Love your insta page and your website!
    I wanted to bake a cake for my hubby’s birthday (the first one we’re celebrating together since we’ve gotten married! Still newly weds) using recipes from your website.
    Are there any cake pans you recommend me purchasing? Advice on both circular and rectangular pans to invest in would be appreciated 🙂

  119. Brianne

    Hi there!
    Amazing cake. This is definitely my new go-to chocolate cake recipe. Easy to make, and so moist and delicious. Great texture! I made it this past weekend, and used coffee instead of water. Then I made a Kahlua espresso buttercream and hazelnut praline crumble to go in between the layers. It was incredible and everyone loved it!

    My question for you is this- I love this recipe’s simplicity and moistness. Could this be a building block for any cake? If I were to replace the cocoa powder with a little extra flour, and replace half the water with lemon juice with some lemon zest, would that work for a lemon cake? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. If you’d like to try a vanilla version, you can find that here. As for lemon, that’s a little more complicated. The acidity makes a big difference and that is unlikely to work for this cake. If you’d like to try a lemon cake, I have a few options. This one is currently a favorite.

  120. Lola

    Hi, could you please tell me how to make the icing less sweet without compromising on the volume/ amount of frosting?

    1. Lindsay

      That’s actually really hard to do. Reducing the powdered sugar naturally decreases the volume of frosting. If you decrease the powdered sugar, you’ll need to increase the other ingredients to add additional volume for the same amount of frosting.

  121. Christon

    Wow. This recipe has me at a loss for words. It was so incredibly delicious and perfectly moist! The frosting and ganache really added depths of chocolate flavor and the cake was fluffy and rich! I will never use another chocolate cake recipe! This one is unbelievable. Trust me, you need this in your life if you haven’t had it already. Thank you thank you Lindsay!!!

  122. Maniecel


    Can I make this chocolate batter to make marble cake? Cause it’s  thin one. Can I make a swirl once I combine with vanilla?

    Thank you,

  123. Kelly smith

    Hi. What you mean by shortening for the buttercream I’m not from America so put shortening on England is lard. Os this correct for something completely different. Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve never worked with lard, so I’m not entirely sure. If you’re not sure what to use, you can just use an equal amount of butter to replace the shortening.

  124. Emma

    I just tried using this as a bday cake covered with fondant. Its a very soft & light cake, it was tricky to carve & ganache. But my family don’t like the usual heavy buttery super sugary traditional bday cake with butter cream. So I gave this a go. It went down well filled with 50/50 dark & milk ganache 😋

  125. Lucky Cedarlane

    I just make this cake (the 3) this morning and they are cooling now. LOOK AMAZIG, Smell Great . for a birthday cake filing with Strawberry cream cheese frosting made with fresh strawberries. thought it was to watery ,but no cam out NICE ! can not wait to taste it (good from the moist crumble in the paper), Just an fyi, I sifted the flour, sugar, coco powder and did it all in my stand mixer in order in the recipe Dis NOLA BOY livin in NYC is SO HAPPY WIT DIS Recipe !

  126. Faye Wong

    Hi lindsey,

    will the chocolate ganache melt the buttercream? because when I tired pouring the ganache over the cake last time it melted the buttercream. Also what can i use instead of buttermilk? Thank you so much!!!!!

    1. Lindsay

      The buttercream should be plenty thick enough and not melt. I’ve never had that happen before. If you are concerned about it though, you could chill the cake for a little bit before adding the ganache. You can replace buttermilk with regular milk.

  127. Marcia Morrison

    First, I rated the recipe 4 stars instead of 5 because when I made the frosting as written, it was very stiff. I had to add several Tbsps of milk in order to reach a spreadable consistency. Once I did that, the frosting was fine.
    Now on to other comments:
    I made this cake for a family birthday this week. I always make a half recipe (or half of a box mix); that way there are 6 to 8 servings without much left over. Therefore I cut this recipe in half and baked in 6″ pans instead of 8″ pans. I checked them in the oven at 30 mins. The center was underbaked, so I added another 15 mins then took them out to cool. Just today, while writing this review, I realized that I’d put the batter in *two* 6″ pans. If I’d used *three* 6″ pans, I think the recipe’s bake time of 30-35 mins would have been about right. The texture was dense but moist.
    I let the cake site overnight, and frosted the next day. I had no trouble with the cake staying together as I moved the layers into position. I suspect waiting a day between baking and frosting may have helped.
    Because one of the guests needs diabetic-friendly foods, I did make one change. I substituted erythritol for regular sugar in both the cake and the frosting. I think it was more successful in the cake. The powdered erythritol I used in the frosting, in place of regular powdered sugar, gave the frosting a taste I didn’t care for. Next time I’ll try a different frosting and a different sugar substitute. (Also, that much erythritol can cause digestive disturbances, which I can attest to.) Another note: the layers came out flat instead of domed, which was fine for assembling the cake, but might have been from the cake not rising as much as it should have. That might have been due to the erythritol as well.
    The cake was well received by the people at the birthday party. I expect I’ll try this one again.
    [Technical note: the “life love & sugar” site was very slow today. I wasn’t able to complete this review online because the site kept freezing while I was typing. I got around that by typing this elsewhere, then doing the copy /paste thing.]

  128. Connie

    I haven’t made the cake yet but it looks delicious.  Can I use coconut oil (melted) for the oil in the cake?  Thank you.

  129. Andie

    Hi Lindsay! I love all of your recipes, ESPECIALLY the cheesecakes! I’ll be making this cake for a graduation party this weekend, but have actually never traveled with a cake (I usually just make them at home and have people over). Any advice on assembly and then traveling with a cake? I would appreciate any and all advice!!!! Thanks so much! 

    1. Lindsay

      You could refrigerate it before traveling with it so that it stays a little more stable. I also like to a put a little piece of that sticky stuff you put under rugs to keep it in place underneath the cake board to keep it from moving around while I drive. Other than that, just drive carefully. My husband has said it’s never scarier driving than when he’s driving me with a cake, LOL.

  130. Rose Gonzales

    Hi Lindsay,

    I tried this recipe last night and the cake was so good. Good thing I found your page and I saw your recipe for Vanilla Buttercream frosting that can hold in a humid environment. Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    With this very moist and soft cake, can i use this in making 2 tiered cake (10″ and 8″ with 4 layers each) with the Vanilla buttercream with a naked cake design? Can it hold for a day? Do I need to freeze it first before assembling it to avoid crumbs?

    Thank you so much!

  131. Emma

    Hi Lindsay. Approximately how many cups does this recipe make? I hoping for it to make around 6 cups. Thanks in advance.

  132. Linda k.

    Wow I’m new to your site but I can tell you everything looks amazing. I can’t wait to try this cake with a chocolate frosting recipe that I have that is awesome. I’ve been looking for a nice moist cake that is deserving of the frosting I make and I think I found it. This cake looks awesome and with all the great reviews you got I can’t wait. Everything you make looks amazing. You should be proud. Please keep baking! Lol

  133. Susan Som


    Can this cake be covered with fondant? Can i make the cake in advance and how many days in advance can i make it wnd it still tasye good?

    1. Lindsay

      I really don’t have a ton of experience with fondant, so I’m not sure I have the best advice. When I did work with it a bit, I found most cakes were fine if I used chocolate ganache on them. If I used buttercream, the corners often didn’t stay nice. This is a very tender cake. This cake lasts very well for 3-4 days, assuming it’s well covered – even better if it’s frosted.

  134. Laura Smith


    This cake looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! What would you recommend doing to the recipe for 3 9″ cake pans? Thank you so much!

    1. Lindsay

      I’d reduce the baking time – try checking it at about 25-ish minutes, then add a little more time, if needed. The cake layers will be a little thinner.

  135. MARY E SGRO

    I am the WORST BAKER in the solar system, hands down. But that doesn;t stop me from trying to better myself(lol I made this today and only changed up the hot water with a cup of plain hot columbian coffee! Baked it in 9 X 13 GLASS PAN for 50- 55 minutes @300. this cake came out perfect!!!!! BUT TASTE WAS LIKE HOLY WOW!!!!! MOIST, PERFECT FLAVOR AND OMG, LIKE AUNTIE USED TO MAKE! I even made homemade buttercream frosting, THANKS FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE!

  136. Nate

    I’ve made this cake a few times already, and it is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever made by far. I used coconut oil (warmed up just a tiny bit to get it to liquefy) instead of vegetable oil, and it worked so well and was so rich! THANK YOU!!!!

  137. Sharmaine

    I made this for my friend’s birthday yesterday and it turned out so delicious! Substituted the cup of hot water for Jamaican coffee and loved the extra hint of flavor it brought out 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Carolmartine! I was actually just in the middle of responding to your email. Check your inbox. And yes, that’s correct. 🙂

  138. Rohan

    Hello mam, do you have eggless recipes for cake-cupcakes. Would you love to share. I use your recipes and i try to just take eggs and make but not happening . Any advice you can give me. As i am going to star my business from home with your recipes which i love the most and people too. But when i do eggless its just comes too bad comparison of egg recipes of cake and cupcakes. Can you please help me out

  139. Julie Vanderwaals

    I made the cake this morning for my daughter’s 50th birthday on Wednesday. When I took the cake out of the oven, I left them on the side for 15 mins, I then released them from the cake tins, and left them for a further 6-7 mins.

    So I made the ganache/icing, so put one half of the cake on a plate, then the cake started to crack on the top for a bit, any way, i put the ganache on one half of the cake, then added the second cake on top, it too started to crack on the top of the cake, I did get a bit anxious, so I continued completing it all.

    I’m afraid my cake didn’t finish as it looked on the page, …. your’s was nice & smooth, mine a bit ‘wobbly’

    The actual cake is lovely, ..just my icing is not the best.!

    Many thanks for the recipe, I’m sure I will do better next time!

  140. Julie Vanderwaals

    This cake looks amazing. It is my daughter’s 50th birthday, and I am going to make it. I pray it comes out as is in the pic.
    I’m a little concerned how one member made this cake, and said her cake sunk in the middle, I don’t want this to happen!
    Any suggestions on help with this cake will be a great help to me, but need it asap, as I am making the cake tomorrow!

    1. Lindsay

      The best bet is to follow the recipe. I would also recommend not opening the oven too soon before the cake sets, that may make it sink. I hope you enjoy!

  141. Sandy Brown

    I would give this recipe 10 stars!!! I bake a lot and this is the best chocolate cake I have ever sunk my teeth into. I made it for my husband’s birthday and it is a winner, he loves it too. I made it as you listed with the exception of adding 1 tsp. of baking powder, i used buttermilk powder instead of buttermilk and I baked it in 3 9-inch pans. I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder also. I had to bake it for 4-5 additional minutes. I filled and frosted it with chocolate whipped cream frosting, which is perfect for this cake. My husband and I don’t like very sweet frostings. The cake is lighter than air, it really melts in your mouth, it is so moist and chocolaty. Thank you for posting this recipe, it is the only chocolate cake I will bake now.

  142. Deborah

    How it is that The Best Moist Chocolate Cake requires no baking powder only baking soda, and the Easy moist chocolate cake has both baking powder and baking soda?
    When I made the Best moist Chocolate cake it did not rise to a nice height.

    1. Lindsay

      They are different recipes with slightly different textures. Baking powder is not required for a cake to bake properly, especially not a chocolate cake. A lot of chocolate cakes only have baking soda because of the way it interacts with the acid in the cocoa. The cake should rise just fine, I’m not sure why it didn’t. I’m sorry you had trouble.

      1. Debra

        No worries. Thanks for the reply. The cake taste good, maybe I will use two pans instead of three pans the next time.

  143. Sally Geevarughese

    I made this cake for my cousin’s birthday this week. She specifically requested a triple layer chocolate cake so this recipe was perfect. I completed it with a lavender colored marshmallow fondant and lots of sprinkles and the end result was a hit with the entire family. They all raved about how delicious and the moist the cake was!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  144. Merideth

    I have been making this cake for years. This is basically the Hersheys dark chocolate cake and I see a couple substitutions that you made. Instead of milk. You use buttermilk. You increased and decreased the baking soda  and baking powder. You did change the frosting slightly. So, give credit where credit is due. I have this in my Hershey’s cookbook.
     This Hersheys dark chocolate cake is absolutely delicious.  If you want the original recipe. Go online and look up her shoes especially dark chocolate cake

  145. Oona Bond

    Hi Lindsay!
    Your chocolate cupcakes are my go-to recipe – they are incredibly easy to make and taste divine. Now I want to make it in the cake form but I have a question – I only have 2 cake tins but I really want to make 3-tier cake. Will the batter hold while the first batch is baking or should I make it in 2 batches (2/3 and 1/3)? Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoy the chocolate cupcakes! And yes, the batter should be fine while you bake the first 2 layers.

  146. Nicole Guerrero

    Hi there! This looks like a to die for chocolate cake!! How could this recipe be adjusted for 3 6″ rounds?

  147. kinga

    Hi, how does this recipe compare with your chocolate mousse cake which I have made and everyone loved? Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      They are actually fairly similar cake recipes, but I’d have to say that this one is my favorite ever. 🙂 It’s even more moist and tender.

  148. Debbie

    Hi Lindsay, You have been so helpful in the past and I made this cake for my daughters birthday and everyone loved it. So thank you. But I have been asked to do a cake for an adoption celebration and I wanted to use this cake, they want a two layer sheet cake the sizes are for the bottom 12″ and for the second layer 10″ my question is how much cake batter would I need for that size cake? I have made sheet cakes before but not layered and not that big. I am hoping it turns out well for them such a great celebration. I hope your still reading older questions I need to find out as soon as possible they want to pick up the cake Dec 7th.

    1. Lindsay

      Hey Debbie, I’m sorry but it’s been years since I’ve made cakes that size and I truly don’t remember. I hope the cakes turn out great! Adoption is such a great thing!

  149. Lyn

    I made this chocolate cake several times and I got rave reviews. I’m not a professional baker, I’m just a beginner but I followed your recipe to a T and it was amazing! The cake was so moist. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I wish I can post pictures here so you can see the cakes I made with your recipe, then you will be proud of me being only a beginner. 😀

  150. Ticia

    Hi! I’m drooling over this recipe and will be making this cake for Thanksgiving….I’ve been craving something very chocolatey and light. Any recommendations for a lighter frosting like whipped cream or chocolate mousse? I’ve never made a cake with either before but this recipe sounds like it would go great with light frosting.

  151. aya

    so the water should be boiling when adding? or it’s fine just lukewarm? what makes the difference ? please help thanks

  152. Debbie

    HI Lindsay, as you know I love and use a lot of your recipes sweet lady. I used your moist chocolate cupcakes for Halloween. Everyone loved them. Now my daughters birthday is this Friday and I am making her cake she said she wants the chocolate cake I used in the cupcakes is this the same but in cake form? I want it to be very dark like the one in the photo. Also dark frosting as I am doing it as a mirror cake she hasn’t ever saw one, so I thought I would make her one. I have done the mirror glaze on frozen mousse, but never on cake they say you can use it on buttercream cakes that have been frozen 2 hours. Could you use this cake and your buttercream listed here to freeze it 2 hours after putting it on the cake, before putting on the mirror glaze or would it effect the texture and taste of the buttercream? Thank you for always helping your cakes are beautiful love them all.

    1. Lindsay

      Sorry for my delay, Debbie. This is the same cake as the moist chocolate cupcakes. The cake in the photos is especially dark from using the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. Freezing it for a couple hours should be just fine. I’ve never made a mirror cake, but so fun! I hope she enjoyed it!

      1. Debbie

        Thank you Lindsay, she loved the cake and it turned out beautifully. Such a wonderful recipe I can very well see why the lady wanted you to make them for her business. This cake is so delicious, everyone loved it. Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes.

  153. Sofia

    Hi Lindsay. I want to make this cake for my sons first birthday…for the adults, I have a smash cake already planned for the birthday boy. Question. If I was to bake this in a 9 inch pan one layer at a time, what would be the cook time? Thank you. Can’t wait to try it out!

  154. Ashley

    I made this cake last weekend and it was fantastic. I made it for a birthday party and it was a big hit!! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!!! 

  155. Sara

    Hi Lindsay!
    To bake this in a 9×13 for my daughter’s birthday party, would you recommend these exact measurements? Or, should I 1.5 the recipe?  I think doubling it would be way too much…

  156. Kev

    Aaaaaand I have a new go-to chocolate cake recipe.  WOW.  

    Easy to prepare but anything-but-basic results!  The moist, tight crumb is perfection and the depth of chocolate flavor is on point.  P.S. Chocolate cake has never been a #1 go-to for me…I’ll typically pick anything over chocolate unless it’s a brownie.  THIS cake is a shining STAR, though.    

    Took a chance and added a bit of instant espresso to the boiling water but, I doubt it even needed it.  Only other additions: raspberry preserves on top of the icing between the layers AND I opted for your vanilla buttercream instead of chocolate (no shame in the shortening game, either!)    

    The result was a beautiful “black & white” cake topped with fresh raspberries.  But the star was undoubtedly your perfect chocolate cake recipe.  Readers, look no where else.  THANK YOU Lindsay.  

  157. Kendra

    Love, love, love this cake!! It’s turned my family into dessert snobs – nothing measures up! One question though – I tend to have a hard time getting the frosting to stick to the cake, particularly on the sides. Any suggestions?

  158. Beth

    Hi love the recipe your chocolate cupcakes vanished in a day! Just a quick tip which might stop people from having my disaster with this recipe… use a cake pan that doesn’t have a detachable base! It went everywhere!!

  159. Anne Seely

    Hi! I recently made the cupcake version of this cake and LOVED it! I loved the fudgyness of the frosting, so so yummy. I was planning on making the cake version when I realized that its a different frosting recipe. Can you use melted chocolate chips in this too? Maybe the fudgy frosting is a better piping consistency? I’m not questioning you, I’m just curious! Thank you 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Either would be good, honestly. And both are great for piping with. The fudgy frosting is just a new one that I’ve been enjoying. You can find the measurements I use for a full cake on this raspberry chocolate cake, if you’d like to use it with this chocolate cake.

    2. Jolene

      Hi there, I baked the cake according to your recipe but it still doesn’t set and I have to bake it longer, may I know why ? I have an oven thermometer as well !

  160. Louisse

    Hi Lindsay, first time to see Your blog and really loves to try this recipe. But i have some concerns regarding on storing the cake (i mean the cake + the frosting). i really dont much any time to make this. We will celbrate my uncle’s bday on Saturday and i am planning to do it on thursday. Would it be the same taste, consistency, etc. after 48 hrs in the refrigerator? What are Your recommendations for storing it? Thank you very much!

  161. Erin Beardall

    This looks absolutely delicious! Do you have any high altitude tips for this recipe? Thank you so much. I want to make this for my birthday!

  162. Monica

    Hello! Love this recipe and excited to try it out! Quick question…if I made the cake layers a day or 2 in advance, would you recommend i refrigerate them until ready to assemble? Also, do u refrigerate the cake after doing a crumb coat?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Lindsay

      I personally wouldn’t refrigerate them, I’d just keep them in an airtight container. And I don’t usually refrigerate after the crumb coat. I honestly only refrigerate cakes when truly needed – like with certain fillings and frostings. The cold tends to dry out the cake.

  163. Christopher

    Hi! First, thank you for sharing your recipe. I attempted to make it for Father’s Day. It tasted amazing, and was very moist. My only issues were that my layers seem to bake too thin(almost like a brownie), and it stuck to the pan. Also, the layers broke upon removing them from the pan. I was able to reassemble 2 of the layers, and hide my mistakes with frosting(haha), but the 3rd layer crumbled beyond repair, and I decided to throw it in a bowl, cover it with ice cream, and eat it myself. I must admit that this was my trial run of making this cake, and I’m planning to bake it again for an upcoming dinner party. I wanted to get advice on where I could have gone wrong, in regards to the layers baking too thin, and the cake crumbling? Does the quality of the baking pan affect the way a cake comes out? I’m asking because this was the first time using the particular set of cake pans that I used. Again, the cake tasted amazing, and I’m sure my issues were the result of something that I did wrong. 

    Thank you for your help! 


    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, I’m not exactly sure what would cause that. Did you open the oven much during baking? That lets out heat and can cause the cake to fall. The cake pan itself might have an effect, but seems unlikely. I use light colored Wilton cake pans.

  164. silvana

    hi Lindsay !!! My name is Silvana and I’m from Argentina. I ended up here because a friend tagged me on your famous baileys and chocolate cake????. I was reading the recipe but I have a problem: here the buttermilk doesn’t exist. what can I do? thanks????????????

  165. Amanda

    I would prefer not to use vegetable oil, can I replace with butter or coconut oil? Would the measurement remain the same?

  166. Bobby

    I made this cake for my son’s 25th birthday. He LOVES chocolate! I’m going to tell you this is, without a doubt, the best cake i have ever made! Its soo moist and tender and VERY chocolatey! Thank you so much for the recipe and i also enjoyed your vanilla cake recipe that i made for my family picnic!

  167. Sandy


    I made this over the weekend. I baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Came out beautifully, but it cracked. No big deal, until I tried to frost it. It fell completely apart. I had to throw in all into a trifle bowl and call it dessert. What happened? Great cake just didn’t hold together.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s definitely a tender cake, so you want to be careful with it. I know the recipe is listed at 300 degrees though, not 350. I personally find that baking it at 350 changes the texture of the cake, which could have contributed to your problem.

      1. Sandy

        Thanks! I’m going to try it again at the correct temp. Hubby loves it! Says it reminds him of a SuzyQ, back when they were good! HA!

  168. Ryan G.

    I tried making this cake using the metric measurements the first time and found the sugar and flour measurements (especially the flour) completely off. The flour was supposed to be 300 grams according to another conversion site, yours says 260 but when I measured it the conventional way (cups) it measured in grams at 341 grams. So I was wondering when you measure and convert do you check or do you use a conversion tool. My first attempt was pretty runny even before I added the hot water. The sugar was a bit off too. I loved the cupcake recipe which is why I wanted to give this one a go.

    1. Lindsay

      The measurements aren’t off. If you look at a number of conversion sites, they rarely show the exact same measurements as another site, so comparing my numbers to theirs will be different. People also measure cups differently all the time, which is why weight is more accurate. I use the metric conversions myself just as they are written every time I bake this cake and they are correct. The batter for this cake is VERY runny.

  169. Ashwini

    Hi Lindsay.. I live in South Africa and Dark Cocoa powder isn’t easily available.. if I use normal unsweetened cocoa powder must I adjust the quantity of sugar used?

  170. Lynn

    Just wanna say your recipe is amazing thank you so much. Since I saw the recipe I’ve done the cake thrice and just this week i replaced the chocolate frosting with a light whipped cream frosting and it was soo delicious. Love it.

  171. Faye

    Hi Lindsay can i use normal coco powder instead of Hershey’s dark coco powder? And i want to use fondant to cover the cake, will it work? And would it have a weird taste?

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, regular cocoa is fine. Fondant should be fine on the cake and taste would depend on the fondant you choose to use.

  172. Marilyn

    Hi Lindsay! I would love to try out this brilliant recipe of yours, but is there anything I can substitute for the buttermilk as I can’t find buttermilk here in my place.

  173. Yullia


    Greetings from holland!! Haha

    I have found your site just yesterday,and i though ohhh nooo(in a positive way):):).
    But i can not believe that you look so good and you make all this sweet and beautiful things haha..

    I want to make a cake for my sons 3 birthday…
    I wanted to buy a chocolate cake that i lovee…but then i thoughd why not making my own…then in the birthday pics are my own cake also hahaha,,a bit different then buyed….butttt what ibwant to ask…

    1.i have only normale dutch cacao..its written 100% cacao unsweetend…its verry dark.and because i didnt knew what is dutched and regulsr cacao ,so i have looked on google…and i still dont understand one thing because there was written something like that the cacao that i have that i must better use baking powder instead of bakingsoda…something with ph sour or something…so what do you reccomend just stick with your normale recipe and use backingsoda or backing powder?
    2. In the recipe there is written 1 cup buttermilk…
    I dont know if its the same like ‘ karnemelk’ in dutch but i thing it is…like a little bit sourerly milk …but we only have it in liquid…not powder…because i have read in the comments that you used poweredly buttermilk? Or am im wrong? What must i do with that? Use 1 cup liquid buttermilk?anddd euhhh

    The cake spring or how do you say that ,the thing where ypu put the batter in…there is writting 8inch and i have looked it up and there was that is 20,something cm is that writ yes?

    Can you please please answer my questions because i want to make it on sundag or saterday

    I hope it will workk because the picture plus al the good comments make me want it so bad hahaha…
    I hope i will make more from your site ,but i hope that i wont me 200 kilo haha becausr its lookk soooooo nicee and delicious hihihihi

    Greetings andd thumbs up for you beautiful site.


    1. Lindsay

      You can use 100% unsweetened cocoa, that’s fine. Still use the baking soda. And liquid buttermilk is fine. I use the powder, but they are interchangeable. 20cm sounds about right for the pan size. I hope you enjoy it!

  174. Joe

    Hi and thanks for this awesome recipe, it really stands out and sounds perfect. Im going to bake it tomorrow but I’m feelin like goin big here. To fill three 9” rounds would you recommend 1 1/2x or 2x the recipe? Also should I leave the temp @ 300 and increase baking time a little bit? Thanks so much

    1. Lindsay

      I’d say 1 1/2x and yes, leave the oven temperature as is. You’ll probably need to bake a little longer, just keep an eye on it.

  175. Gaby

    Hello I have a question that nobody has ever answeared me. I would like to know why my cake never looks like yours all even and each layer equal. Mine is more like a dome. Thin in the edges and up in the center? ???? help!

    1. Lindsay

      The majority of cakes will bake with a little dome on top. To get the cakes flat, they have to be leveled with a sharp knife.