Everyone needs one reliable chocolate cake recipe for all kinds of chocolate cake projects. And this dreamy chocolate cake is just for that; It's so moist, tender, and perfectly chocolatey... It's honestly the best classic chocolate cake I've ever had.
📌 Table of Contents
📌 Why we love this chocolate cake
- It is as moist as you can get! I added liquids to the maximum level before losing the fluffiness.
- It's fluffy yet rich: The cake is not too dense yet very tender.
- It's perfectly chocolatey, but that flavor is not overpowering.
- And the best part is that it is so easy to make! You basically need to mix, mix, mix... and the batter is done! You can also make it by hand with a whisk and spatula.
🧁 You can also use this recipe for cupcakes or other smaller pans.
📌 You'll learn essential baking tips such as:
- How to make homemade buttermilk
- The difference between baking soda and baking powder
- The purpose of adding vinegar
- How to check if the chocolate cake is baked enough
- How to store chocolate cake properly
... and so on.
Let's get started! 🙌🏻
📌 What's In Chocolate Cake?
- Granulated sugar
- It helps to create a moist & soft texture.
- All-purpose flour
- Cocoa powder
- I like to use dark, high-quality cocoa powder. Any regular cocoa powder works.
- Baking soda
- Baking soda reacts to acid (cocoa powder and vinegar for this sponge) and helps to create a fluffier cake with more volume. That is why it is often used for chocolate cake recipes.
- Baking powder
- Baking powder reacts to moisture and heat and helps to create a fluffier texture. It's often added more for white cakes, butter cakes, etc.
- It helps to enhance the amazing chocolate flavor.
- Whole milk
- Use regular whole-fat milk.
- White Vinegar
- If you don't have white vinegar, you can use any other regular vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and even lemon juice!
- The vinegar acid reacts with baking soda and helps create a fluffier cake with more volume.
- It helps to create a soft texture.
- I used olive oil as a healthier option. You can use any regular oil, such as canola oil.
- Vanilla extract
- You can omit it if you like or add a different flavor.
- Unsalted butter (melted)
- It gives a richer texture.
- Hot water
- Use hot simmering water.
- Butter (soft) or oil to coat around pans
📌 How To Make Chocolate Cake
- Mix whole milk and vinegar to make buttermilk and set it aside.
- Apply a layer of soft butter around the pan and attach a cake liner to the bottom.
- Mix all the dry ingredients.
- Mix all the wet ingredients. The buttermilk should be ready by then.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients until smooth.
- Heat water and butter. And add to 5.
- Pour into pans. (540 g | 19 oz each for 3 layers)
- Bake at 350 F | 176 C for about 30 minutes with 3 8" pans until the center bounces back gently or a toothpick comes off clean.
- One batch of this recipe makes 1 8" cake (2 - 4 layers) or about 24 regular cupcakes.
- Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk, don't worry! You can make it by mixing milk and vinegar. Wait for 5 - 10 minutes until it curdles completely. That is why I always start with it first.
- I recommend sifting flours when you have time, but you can still make the delicious chocolate cake even if you don't. This recipe is pretty forgiving!
- Water and butter: Pay close attention, especially toward the end, so the water does not boil to prevent the liquids from evaporating too much. Once it looks simmering gently, remove it from the heat. I usually start heating the pot before mixing the wet and dry ingredients.
- You can do 2 - 4 layers as you like. Just know that baking time changes depending on how big the pans are and how thick the batter is. I do not recommend pouring it too deep in one pan (although possible) since the finished cake gets heavier due to the weight.
- Try not to open the oven door until the end: The cake loses some volume when opened too early.
- The cake is VERY soft and fragile while it's hot. Try not to flip the pan vigorously. Wait until it cools down, or flip it very gently.
The finished cake batter:
Cakes in the oven:
Cooling on the rack:
📌 Bake As Cupcakes
Bake at the same temperature for 16 - 18 minutes for regular-size cupcakes.
📌 Uses For Chocolate Cake
Use this cake for many occasions, such as:
- Classic buttercream chocolate cake
- Loaf cake
- Sheet cake
- Mousse cake
- Birthday cake
- Wedding cake
... and so on. Enjoy it in many shapes and sizes!
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
Wrap tightly with 2 layers of plastic wrap so the cake does not get dried. Ideally, do not stack many layers together so that the cake does not get squished with the weight.
Store in a fridge for up to 5 days or a few months in a freezer.
There are 2 ways:
* Touch the center of the cake gently: If it bounces back VERY gently, it's ready!
* Insert a toothpick into the center and see if it comes off clean. (You might see small pieces of crumbs. As long as it is not wet, the cake is ready!)
📌 VIDEO: Watch How To Make It!
Watch this video to learn how to make this chocolate cake visually and have a deeper understanding of all.
Don't forget to subscribe if you liked it😉
To learn how to make the delicious chocolate buttercream I used for the whole cake and cupcakes, watch the video below:
In the video, I'm sharing how to make 2 kinds of chocolate buttercream, with cocoa powder and melted chocolate, using any plain buttercream. I'm sharing the difference between the two in the video. Pick whichever you like! I used chocolate buttercream with melted chocolate this time.
📌 How To Frost A Cake
Check out this post to see all my tips for frosting a cake professionally.
📌 Other Chocolate Recipes
📌 Printable Recipe
📥 If you loved this recipe, please share your feedback on this post! I always love hearing how you enjoyed it with your friends and family.
Moist Chocolate Cake
- Small pot
- Baking pan of your choice! (I used 3 8" pans.)
- Parchment paper or cake liner for pans
- 14.1 oz Granulated sugar 2 US cups
- 7.6 oz All-purpose flour 1 ⅔ US cups
- 3.5 oz Cocoa powder ⅔ + ⅙ US cups
- 2 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 10.5 oz Whole milk 1 ¼ US cups
- 0.7 oz White Vinegar 4 tsp
- 3.5 oz Egg 2 eggs
- 4.4 oz Oil ½ US cup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 oz Unsalted butter ½ US stick
- 10.5 oz Hot water 1 ¼ US cups
- Some Butter (soft), oil spray for pans
- Mix whole milk and vinegar to make buttermilk.10.5 oz Whole milk, 0.7 oz White Vinegar
- Apply a layer of soft butter all around the pan or spray oil and attach a cake liner on the bottom.Some Butter (soft), oil spray
The Cake Batter
- Mix all the dry ingredients.14.1 oz Granulated sugar, 7.6 oz All-purpose flour, 3.5 oz Cocoa powder, 2 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Mix all the wet ingredients until they are evenly mixed.3.5 oz Egg, 4.4 oz Oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Mix wet and dry ingredients until the batter looks smooth.
- Heat water and butter in a pot until the water starts simmering. Pour about ⅓-1/2 of it into 5 and mix well. Add the rest of the water and butter and mix until the batter looks even.2 oz Unsalted butter, 10.5 oz Hot water
- Pour into pans. (540 g | 19 oz each for 3 8")
- Bake at 350 F | 176 C until the center bounces back gently or a toothpick comes off clean. 3 8” pans: for about 30 minutes. Let them cool completely before you frost them.
How to store it:Wrap tightly with 2 layers of plastic wrap so that the cake does not get dried. Store in a fridge for up to 5 days or a few months in a freezer. Do not stack many layers together so that the cake does not get squished with the weight. ** For best results, measure ingredients with a scale. All recipes are designed with weighed ingredients using grams/ounces. Cup measurements are provided for your convenience. **
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