slice of chocolate cake

BEST Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is the only chocolate cake recipe you need! Skip the box and make my Best Chocolate Cake recipe. This cake recipe makes a layer cake, a sheet cake, or 24 cupcakes!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 664kcal
Author Dorothy Kern


For the Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups 347g granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup 63g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups 310g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 119 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup 237 ml hot water
  • 1 cup 237 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml vanilla extract

For the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup 85g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups 565g powdered sugar
  • 1 cup 227g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon 15ml vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons 75ml milk (use regular milk for best results)


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake pans with liners or grease and flour cake pan(s).
  • Whisk together sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk oil, eggs, water, buttermilk, and vanilla in a large measuring cup or bowl.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Batter will be thin.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake as directed, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting:

  • Add powdered sugar and cocoa to a very large bowl. Whisk to combine and get out any lumps.
  • Pour in unsalted butter and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer until crumbly, then add vanilla and salt.
  • Add milk and mix until frosting is smooth and the desired consistency. Use immediately.
  • Bake Time:
    24 cupcakes: 13-16 minutes
    Two 9-inch rounds: 28-35 minutes
    9x13-inch pan: 35-40 minutes


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 566mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 73g