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
- 2 1/2 cups (560g) butter, room temperature
- 9 cups (1035g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (114g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4–5 tbsp (60-75ml) water/milk
- 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Make the Cakes
- Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
- Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add vanilla to hot water and add to mixture. Mix well.
- Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the Frosting
- Make frosting while cakes cool. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
- 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.
- Add another 5 cups (575g) of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
- Add remaining water or milk until the frosting is the right consistency.
Assemble the 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.
- Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
- Add second layer of cake and add another cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
- 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
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 941
- Sugar: 101 g
- Sodium: 496.6 mg
- Fat: 49.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 127.7 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 38.1 mg
Keywords: best chocolate cake, chocolate birthday cake, chocolate layer cake