Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

Smothered Pork Chops.
Yellow Cake.
Spare Ribs.
Chocolate Cake.
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.

Any idea what all of the above items have in common?

Well, just between you and me, they are currently on my list (among several others) of recipes I’m searching to find the PERFECT version of. The Best Of, if you will. There are many things (like Indian food and pasta dishes to name a few) that I’ll probably always try different versions of just for the fun of it, but my “search” list includes recipes I want to know are the best so I can turn to them when the time arises and know they will not fail me.

And wouldn’t you know that this week, I’m able to cross off TWO of them! The magical frosting that still visits my dreams was detailed yesterday and now today I’m letting you in on the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.

I first made this cake nearly eight months ago for my son’s birthday but wanted to make it several more times to ensure it really is the best. And it is! Hands down, it beats any other homemade chocolate cake I have ever made. Moist (unbelievably so!), dense with chocolate flavor but with a perfectly light and tender cake crumb, and with the perfect balance of sweet and rich chocolate, this cake was taken to new heights slathered in my new favorite frosting.

So perfect and so decadent and delicious, this is the only chocolate cake I need to worry about from here on out.

Actually, I probably should be worrying more about the effect of this chocolate cake on my thighs. Ignorance is bliss, I say.

One Year Ago: Oatmeal Pancake Mix
Two Years Ago: Chicken Tikka Masala

*Update (10/6/10): Several of you have mentioned that you had issues with this cake spilling over the edges of the cake pan while baking. Ugh! That’s annoying. While I haven’t had the same issues, enough of you mentioned it that I want to put a note here to watch your cakes closely. You may want to judge the batter in the cake pan by only pouring it 2/3 full and using the rest of the batter for cupcakes, just to make sure you don’t have a mess in your oven.

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

Yield: Makes two 9-inch cake layers and I’ve had great success making it in a 9X13-inch pan (I suspect cupcakes would work out great, also)

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

This cake is best made in cake pans that have sides at least 3-inches high so it doesn't overflow while baking.


  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottom of the pan and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.
  2. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed (with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.
  4. Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level. Frost as desired (I highly recommend this life-changing frosting).

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Martha Stewart Living The New Classics

331 Responses to Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

  1. Laura says:

    Hi again! I mentioned before that I was having trouble with falling cakes. Well, a few weeks ago when my daughter was looking for a science fair project, I suggested she try to figure out if she could bake a cake without a crater in the center. Never suggest cake as a science fair project unless you’re prepared to do a lot of baking! We followed the suggestions on the king arthur website that you mentioned, and tried separately changing the amount of flour, the amount of leavening, and the liquid (by adding an extra egg). I thought you might be interested in the results. The original cake was 5 cm at the edge and 3 cm in the center. Extra flour produced a cake that was 5.5 cm at the edge and 3 cm in the center. Extra egg produced a cake that was 5 cm at the edge and 2.5 cm in the center. And less leavening (1 tsp baking soda and 3/8 tsp baking powder) produced a cake that was 4.5 cm at the edge and 3 cm in the center. So for looks, the less leavening looked the least fallen, but if you cut the edges off the original, it would be the same height. 🙂 Further investigation could involve combining all the recommendations. Also, we didn’t change the oven temperature, but since the site recommends cooking at 25 degrees higher and you had so much success with your cookies on convection, we cooked them all using convection (still at 350). Finally, we did not compare the taste on all of them because I’m sending them in for her class to see and taste, but the ones we did taste were delicious! I have new admiration for you baking 14 yellow cakes – I’m calling the recipe good as is. Thanks for all you do for us!

    • Mel says:

      Oh my goodness, Laura – I loved this! What a lot of testing…and what a fun science fair project. I have a feeling I might be recommending this to my boys when they hit science fair phase at school next year. Thank you of reporting on the results! That is so interesting that it was the least amount of leavening that produced the least fallen cake. Hmmm…

      • Laura says:

        I do think cooking experiments make great science fair projects – I love the experiments you do on softened butter, chilled dough, etc! I also found it interesting that some of the other suggestions actually made the difference worse. I think it would be worth trying all the suggestions together, but 4 cakes was enough for my 2nd grader. We only did 1/2 the recipe for each one. I think her class will love trying the results!

  2. Nancy says:

    I made this recipe to celebrate a birthday this weekend. It was amazing! The cake was moist and delicious. I wanted a smaller cake, so I cut the recipe in half (just used one whole egg and skipped the egg yolk), and split the batter into two 9″ round pans to make thinner layers, and baked for 25 minutes. It turned out perfectly, and we iced it using the “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting” recipe from this website. What a delicious combination!

  3. Suzette says:

    Mel, do you think I could make this gluten free with success?

  4. Laura says:

    Amazing! But at 7200 feet, I am still having high altitude problems – my cakes all have huge craters in them. I used some of the top edge that I cut off to fill in the middles so I wouldn’t have to cut off so much. So I’m reaching out to your readers for help. I have read several websites on high altitude which suggest several variables to change (one at a time) to see what helps. Unfortunately, none of my changes so far have helped. 🙁 Has anyone tried reducing baking powder to 3/8 tsp and soda to 1 tsp? Or adding in the extra egg white? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Also, the frosting is delicious! It did take over 15 min to thicken (another high altitude problem; I have the same issue with pudding). I thought I’d mention it for other high altitude bakers. This Wyoming girl is missing Virginia right now. It’s so sad to work so hard on a cake and have it fall. But one of these days I’m hoping to report success!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura, I’m not a high altitude expert, but have you tried adding a few extra tablespoons flour to the batter? I remember doing that when I lived at 6,500 feet. You’ve probably already tried it, but thought I’d suggest…

      • Laura says:

        Yes, and that works for most recipes, like bread, cookies, brownies, etc, but I haven’t been successful with cakes. I added an extra 1/4 cup flour to this recipe, but it still caved (I could see it happening while it baked – the outside puffed up right away, but the inside didn’t). Did you have any problem with cakes when you were at 6500 ft? Really, everything else hasn’t been much problem, and I suspect I could make this into cupcakes without much difficulty. I’ve mostly tried adding flour since it seems to help with everything else, but I think I need to vary something else. The suggestion for cutting the leavening just seems to leave so little that I’m worried the cake will be flat! Thanks for your help!

      • Laura says:

        Yes, that’s what I’ve been using! They say to start by varying one thing, and I’ve only tried flour (which hasn’t worked for cakes, so I don’t know why I keep trying it). One suggestion is to change the buttermilk to sweet milk and only use baking powder, but with some of the changes, I worry that I’ll end up with a completely different cake that won’t taste as good. I’ll keep trying and let you know if I find something that works. Thanks for your help!

  5. Amaka says:


    I wanted to give this cake a go as a tiered cake 8 and 6 inch. Will this batter be enough for an 8 inch cake 3 layer or 2 layers( split into 4)? Also if you wanted to half the recipe, how do you do so with the 1 egg yolk?

  6. Ketz says:

    Hi Mel,
    Do you know if your cream cheese frosting from your red velvet cheesecake or sheet cake would taste good with this cake ?
    Thanks for letting me know

  7. Jacob says:

    Sadly it sank in the middle, though it may be because I did it all by hand, no mixer for me. However, it looks to have turned out great, and with cream cheese frosting nobody will likely notice/care. Thanks a ton for the great recipe!

  8. Molly says:

    Sorry if this has already been asked but its a lot of comments to get through: How long does it take to bake the cake in a 13×9 pan? Thanks!

  9. Christina says:

    Aloha. Would love to make this cake but am not able to connect to the actual recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Christina – I’m not sure what you mean. The recipe is printed at the bottom of the post (above the comments). Are you viewing on a phone or desktop (or other)?

  10. Debbie says:

    Will be trying this one soon . Thanks for sharing .

  11. Amanda Kitchens says:

    Hi Mel! This cake is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. My girls and I made it in celebration of my husband’s graduation from Airborne School (jumping out of airplane army stuff). He loved it, we loved it, my neighbor loved it (I snuck her a piece), everyone loved it! This is so rich and moist. I honestly didn’t think I could ever make a cake like this. Thanks so much!!! Amazing recipe and simple to follow. I have another one in the oven right now that I decided to make for no reason at all, just my chocolate craving! I can hardly wait for it to be done!

    Do you think you could have a way to save our favorite recipes? You have so many and I sometimes have a hard time finding the ones I am planning on making. I say that because I had a different icing picked out but now I can’t remember the name. Thanks!!!

  12. CeeCee says:

    Hi Mel,
    Made this cake Thursday night, and this cake is to die for!!! So good,moist, and easy to make. The Magical Frosting OMG!!! It was like eating a cloud so good, fluffy, and not too sweet. Thank you for this recipe, looking forward to making more of your recipes.

  13. Katie K says:

    I tried this recipe last weekend with an amazing coconut pecan frosting for my daughter’s birthday. Everyone thought they had died and gone to heaven! So moist and flavorful, it was a real home run! Thank you so much for sharing the results from your research. I know I can count on your website for the best , no-fail recipes every time.

  14. Ines says:

    I baked the cake today for a Father’s Day dessert. Having heard about the possible overflow of batter during baking, I used ten inch cake pans with two inch sides. The cake came out beautifully. I followed your directions and mixed the ingredients for just 3 minutes. i can’t wait to put the chocolate ganache frosting. In between layers, I will be spreading a cannoli filling (white pudding). Can’t wait to taste it!

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Hello Ines – Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. That sounds amazingly delicious. Thank you for sharing your suggestion with us. Mel will be excited to hear it worked well for you.

      • Ines says:

        It did turn out beautifully! ! I receive compliments every time I prepare this cake! Looking forward to preparing cupcakes using this recipe!

  15. Ayumi says:

    Hi Mel,
    I made this cake and frosting today. Can I just say that this was, hands down, the most awesome chocolate cake. Ever. Even the frosting was perfect! And I am not a fan of frosting. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Janna says:

    Thank you for the recipe and the frosting too. Ah-mazing, it is now my sons favorite. My son does not like cake so this is the first cake he approves. Yay, thank you

  17. Krissy says:

    How many servings does this recipe yield? I am going to try it for my daughter’s birthday party and I have to feed 35 guests! Should I double the recipe? Thanks Mel!

  18. Gracie says:

    I would love the white frosting recipe as well, how did you make it?

  19. Angie says:

    I have a question. I only have short 9 inch rounds, but I have three of them. Could I do it in 3 short 9″ rounds? Also, is this cake sturdy? I’m making a mother’s day cake and I am not very experienced with the putting together and decorating part. But I find it so much easier when the cake isn’t so crubly and unstable.

    • Mel says:

      This cake is definitely sturdy enough for icing and yes, I think it should be ok in the three 9-inch rounds with shorter sides. Just make sure not to overfill the pans so it doesn’t overflow in the oven.

  20. Kim says:


    Thanks for the time and energy on your recipes. This blog is awesome and so much thought and detail go into it! I have to say I have made this chocolate cake a few times. I messed it up Friday night. Not sure how I did, but I re-made the cake and let the one I messed up on, sit on the counter for a couple of days uncovered. When I messed up the cake its because I pulled it out of the pan too soon and it was misshapen. I wanted to throw it out but my friend kept eating it saying it was so good. Now I’m sitting on the couch eating this chocolate cake and it’s still amazing! Thank you for the recipes. This chocolate cake rocks!

  21. Quen says:

    Hi is it possible to achieve the frost’s texture just by using a whisk?

  22. Annie says:

    When I made this cake the first time it was way too cocoa-y for me and my family ( I just used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa). I also live in China where cocoa is expensive, so I decreased the cocoa to 3/4 cup and it was the perfect milk chocolate cake. So moist and delicious. Everyone said it was the best chocolate cake they had ever had! This is my go-to chocolate cake from now on. Thanks Mel!

  23. Kathryn says:

    This cake taste amazing! For some reason the center of my cake didn’t rise. What did I do wrong?

  24. Angela McKinney says:

    Have you found a best Devil’s a Food Cake that you can share; the Chocolate cake is quite dark and I’ve never been a fan of very dark chocolate cake?

  25. Mao Yebron says:

    Hi Mel, I only have cake flour available on hand, can I use that instead of the all-purpose flour?

    • Mel says:

      I’ve actually never used cake flour for this cake but I believe others have with good results (you might read through the comment thread to see for sure). The cake crumb will be a bit finer using cake flour.

  26. Ashley says:

    Hi I have to say I absolutely love this recipe. It’s delicious and easy and always moist. I’ve made it at least 5 times now and I always get this HUGE dome on top which sadly leads to waste sometimes. Is there a way to prevent such exaggerated dining? I even put it in cupcake tins. And while some bakers like rounded tips, this set pretty low in the cup and rose pretty high in the middle. So there was a lot of space in the cup.. =/

    Am I off somehow? I do weigh my ingredients and I find that I have to lower my temperature halfway through baking to make sure it doesn’t burn.. any tips please?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ashley – I’m not exactly sure what might be happening but you might try decreasing the leavening in the recipe just a little so it doesn’t rise too high (either that or try baking it 25 degrees lower).

  27. Kim says:

    Loved this recipe. It was awesome. I used it with a strawberry buttercream frosting and marshmallow fondant. It was uber moist!

  28. Erin says:

    Do you know the approx baking time for this when done in a 9×13 pan?

  29. Kris says:

    Is there a gluten free version?

  30. Tracy says:

    This recipe looks great! Do you think it would hold up to buttercream and fondant?

  31. Amber says:

    You already know this…and now I do too: This cake absolutely rocked! I have made a chocolate cake every year (a new recipe every year) for my daughter’s birthday in search of finding the perfect chocolate cake. Now I’ve found it! Search over. Everyone raved about it and the aptly named magical frosting! Even my highly skeptical, notorious-for-hating-cake Mother loved it. Thank you!

  32. Leann says:

    Hi Mel,

    Do you think it is a bad idea for me to make this recipe using Dutch processed cocoa? I have some really nice cacao rouge, but never get to use it because all recipes seem to need natural cocoa powder. Since this recipe has an acid (buttermilk) to compensate for the acid that is missing in the cacao rouge, I thought it might still turn out okay. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it with Dutch-process but because Dutch-process has a lower acidity, it’s usually used in recipes with baking powder. This recipe has both (baking powder and baking soda) but because it’s higher in baking soda, you might need to play around with those amounts if using Dutch-process. I believe some in the comments have used Dutch-process so if you read through the comment thread you may find some help. Good luck!

  33. Claud says:

    I usually just buy box cake mix because I find it more convenient and I have not encountered a recipe that I really like but after trying this I will definitely stop buying those box mix. Thank you so much

  34. Jenna says:

    This is an AMAZING cake-so moist and sinfully delicious without being too sweet and with a really deep and rich chocolatey-ness (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder with unbelievable results). I frosted it with a vanilla whipped cream (nobody in my family really likes traditional icing) and it was scrumptious, just SCRUMPTIOUS! <333

  35. Eve says:

    Please help Mel! So i need to make a cake in advance as was wondering whether it was possible to refrigerate/freeze this cake for one and a half day, would that be okay? Also, do i use the fridge or freezer to do this (i know i sound a bit slow but please humour me).



    • Kim says:

      I absolutely LOVE this cake straight from the fridge! Go for it!

      • Eve says:

        Thank you so much for your reply, yeah i decided to refrigerate it in the end and it was still good. Best cake ever (thanks Mel)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Eve – for a day and a half, I’d probably refrigerate the cake well covered and if possible, already iced. That will help it stay moist.

      • Eve says:

        Thank you! I’ll bear this in mind when i next decide to make it a day or so in advance. Best cake ever and this is from someone who isn’t really fond of chocolate anything!

  36. Heidi says:

    Hi Mel,
    I had been using recipes from your blog for a long time before I learned last year that you are Rob’s cousin!! I’m Amy’s little sister, Heidi. Anyway, I just wanted to say that my husband and I made this cake with the frosting you recommended (chocolate version) for my birthday yesterday and it was AMAZING!!! We both kept saying after every bite that it was the best chocolate cake we had ever had. It really was unbelievable! 🙂 Thanks for being awesome! I love your blog!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Heidi! I love Amy! I’ve told her and Rob several times I wish we were next door neighbors (they had the nerve to move out of state the minute we moved to Idaho!). I’m so happy you loved this recipe…that version you put together for your birthday is my absolute fave. Happy birthday!

  37. Kim says:

    Yes, this cake is the real deal. Stop looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe, because this is it people!!! I made the recipe in my normal 9 inch round cake pans (not 3 inches high) and my cake came out picture perfect. My layers rose beautifully all the way to the top of my pans without any danger of spilling over. I just love it when that happens! This cake really made my day, especially because I was making it as a birthday surprise for my sweetheart. He loved it! Thanks so much for sharing this truly outstanding recipe!

  38. jen says:

    This cake really does rock! Easy and uber chocolatey. I’ve tried a bunch of homemade recipes for my girl’s bday, and this is the winner. It’s light, moist and just sweet enough. I baked in 2 9x9inch square pans. Cakes took about 40 minutes to cook and did sink a bit in the center as they cooled. But who cares? Not I! This is THE chocolate cake for bdays in my house now.

    • heather says:

      Was very glad to see this post. Mine were not baked through at 32 minutes. Here’s hoping that the extra 10 min will help, they are in the oven right now. Have no idea why this happened as I bake quite a but. I did not see the note re filling the cake pans. Maybe just too much batter.

  39. Amber says:

    Hi Mel!! Just a quick question for ya. I’d like to add chocolate chips to this cake recipe without them sinking to the bottom. Knowing this is a thin batter, making it difficult to support the chips, would you suggest putting it in the fudge to thicken before baking and then add the chips coated in cocoa powder? Thanks a bunch!!

    • Mel says:

      I’ve never tried adding chocolate chips, Amber – but it usually helps to toss them in with a tablespoon or so of flour to help coat the chips before stirring them in. I’m a little afraid they are going to sink no matter what you do since the batter is so thin but good luck experimenting!

  40. Nisha says:

    This cake turned out wonderful. Not overly sweet. I made it with your life changing frosting. All in all it was time consuming and made a ton of dishes, but worth it! Yum!!!
    I was able to not overfill my cake pans too much and had enough batter left over to make about 10 cupcakes with it. Thanks Mel.

  41. Thank you for your recipe, you are my go to blog for fail safe recipes! I am just waiting for the cake to cool, so far so good, looks and smells great!

  42. Aurora says:

    This recipe is A-MAZING!! So moist, rich (used Droste Cocoa Powder) and not too sweet! It turned out beautifully! I even halfed the recipe to make an additional small 6″ round. SO so good! Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!

  43. Aurora says:

    Hi Mel,

    I kind of skimmed through your comments to see if this question already came up, but I didn’t see anything. Is recipe good for making and stacked/Tiered cake? Making a 6″ cake stacked on top of a 9″ cake.

  44. Daniel says:

    I made this cake, it turned out absolutely delicious and perfect, just like Mel said it would, I did make a few changes though. I added about 1/4 of a teaspoon more than the recipie stated and folded the batter by hand. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I used lemon juice and whole milk, It turned out great even though the lemon reacted with the baking soda. I also traded the vanilla extract for half strongly brewed tea and half strongly brewed coffee, I also changed 1/4 of the water for coffee.
    * the batter turned out pretty wet but the result was great
    * I put a pan of water under the cake to assure that it is baked evenly
    * I put cocoa powder in whipped cream and made a mousse to put on top of the cake, it was delicious
    I give this recipie a five out of five
    Thanks Mel

  45. Kris says:

    AMAZING! The cake and suggested frosting….both amazing. The only thing that made it better were the strawberries and grapes that my 4 yr. old wanted to decorate it with for his birthday. 🙂 Thanks to the reviews, I baked mine in three 9 inch rounds and it worked perfectly. (My rounds are only 1 3/4″ deep.) Thanks for a myriad of great recipes. I try 4 or so new recipes each week from your website and I’ve not been disappointed yet.

  46. Kerri says:

    Mel, I have to leave a comment. This was AMAZING. I made a caramel version of the magic frosting by using brown sugar (I had to add lots of powdered sugar at the end to get the right consistency, but the flavor was ridiculous) and my husband and I couldn’t believe how great it was.

    You have become my go to recipe source. I check your website before I go anywhere else and I honestly have never been disappointed.

  47. Ruby says:

    How many medium sized eggs should i use for this recipe?

    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure – you might try googling the equivalent of medium eggs to large eggs and see how many you should substitute.

  48. Nic says:

    Made this cake (1/2 recipe, in 9×9 pan) subbing a mixture of Greek yogurt & milk for the buttermilk and used hazelnut oil. Topped with Nutella cream cheese frosting. A new favorite! Thank you for posting. 🙂

  49. Britany says:

    My son was wanting a marbled cake for his birthday. I was wondering if you think it would work if I marbled this chocolate cake with your perfected yellow cake? Any experience marbling cakes? 🙂 I noticed that this cake bakes just a bit longer than your yellow cake so I’m not sure if it’d work. Help!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Britany – I’m not an expert at marbling cakes; I’ve done it a time or two a long time ago with recipes specifically intended for that. I’m not sure these two recipes together will make for a good combination – the chocolate cake has a very thin consistency whereas the yellow cake has a thicker batter. I think for marbling to work well, you should use recipes where the batter is the same consistency – does that make sense?

  50. Angela says:

    I’ve got to say that this recipe definitely deserves the title… it is truly “unbelievable”! I made it for a 3 tier birthday cake (covered with buttercream and then fondant) and it was amazing! So moist and delicious! My husband even said it was better than a box cake (he used to believe box cake was better than homemade because it’s tough to get that tender moist crumb). I won’t need to be testing it with cake flour because as is, it’s perfect. Thank you so much!

  51. Angela says:

    Hi Mel,
    I hope you get this in time but either way it’s a good question for the future:). I’m making my son’s big birthday cake tomorrow morning and was wondering if you’ve used unbleached all purpose flour (that’s what I use for most of my baking but not sue if the difference matters) or if you’ve used unbleached cake flour or a combination of the two. I’m also wondering if using fat free buttermilk matters since that’s all they had at the store (not sure if important to look at another store). Thank you so much and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Angela – I always use unbleached all-purpose flour so that should work just fine. I haven’t used cake flour in this recipe because quite honestly, it is soft and tender without it but you could experiment. I don’t know how the fat-free buttermilk will fare – I use low fat when I make it. Good luck!

  52. Angela says:

    Hi Mel, I’m so looking forward to trying your chocolate cake recipe! I’m planning to make a big tiered cake for my son’s birthday and I was wondering if you’ve ever had success with doubling this recipe (to save time) or if not, do you think it would be ok? Thank you and I’ve got to say I love your website 🙂

    • Angela says:

      I’m also wondering if you think I could use a 10×2.5 or 10×3 round pan (I like to cut one cake rather than stacking layers to ensure it’s even) or would it maybe not cook well in the middle? I realize I would likely need to use more batter but wondering if the recipe would hold up to this? Thank you!

      • Mel says:

        Hi Angela – yes, I’ve doubled this recipe before and it works great. Also, it would work just fine baking in a larger pan (adding more batter to fill about halfway) but usually if I bake in a pan larger than 9 inches I use one of those metal baking nails that you put in the center of the pan before pouring in the batter so it bakes evenly (I have the ateco brand). If you don’t have those, you might decrease the baking temp by 25 degrees so it bakes a bit longer at a lower temp.

  53. LaShonda says:

    Hi Mel, I will be making this cake for Thanksgiving and was wondering if it would turn out okay if I substituted coffee instead of warm water. I’ve seen the substitution done while using whole milk, but not buttermilk. I would like to try it but worry if the cake will turn out okay?

  54. Gessica says:

    Cupcakes worked out great!!! Thanks, Mel! They are my go to from now on!

  55. I just finished baking this cake recipe, and was watching it closely to see when or if it fell in the middle. Well, to my surprise, it didn’t, nor did it overflow over the sides. I can only tell you that I used the dry buttermilk powder, ( you add to dry cake ingredients and add the amount of water to the wet ingredients ) and make sure your eggs are at room temperature. Just for fun I may use my magic cake stripes next time. By the way I really don’t like chocolate cake, but my husband and I finished it in two days! Needless to say GREAT recipe! Thanks for sharing! Oh also the perfected yellow cake and magic frosting is also FANTASTIC!

  56. Maria says:

    Made this in 8-inch pans and totally overflowed. Oven was smoking like crazy but I kept cooking it. Wasn’t sure if it would take on the smoky taste…amazingly it did not! One layer fell apart as I took it out of pan (after cooling)…so, we ate it :-). Great taste. Trying it today in 9-inch. Find it strange in rereading recipe that it is for EITHER 8 or 9-inch and cooking time isn’t specified as different depending on size. Aren’t most recipes specific to 8 or 9 inch??

    • Mel says:

      Some are specific to those pan sizes – I’ve made this in both 8 and 9-inches with no problems; however, my cake pans are extraordinarily high (the edges are almost 3 or 4-inches high) so your comment is good timing as I’ll edit the notes of the recipe to be more specific.

  57. Andrea says:

    Umm, hello! Wowza! I made this cake for my son’s first birthday and we are still raving about it. Simply SO moist and decadent and tasty with the perfect amount of chocolate (even for the non-chocolate lovers! Which by the way is definitely not me- love me some chocolate). But I also hate this cake because I may have gained a couple pounds by sneaking more than my fair share once everyone from the partay left. Yum, so good.

  58. Sannd says:

    Hi. I’m hoping to try this and wanted to know what type of cocoa is used (Dutched or natural). Also, what kind of flour (bleached all-purpose, or unbleached all purpose … Unbleached can cause dips)? Finally, how do you measure the flour…dip and sweep, lightly spooned, of sifted into measuring cup (all are significantly different….. I usually weigh ingredients!). Thanks!

  59. Brianne says:

    what do you think about substituting butter for the vege oil?

  60. Jill says:

    tried it this weekend and it was a hit!! everybody loved it. thank you!

  61. Suzanne says:

    I made this tonight, and I seemed to have multiple issues. It sunk in the middle, almost overflowed at 2/3 filled, and I couldn’t get it out of the pan (with proper greasing/cocoa in pan and I let it cool appropriately.) It was so very crumbly. Even if I could have gotten it out of the pan, I wouldn’t have been able to ice it. 🙁 My family though it was the best tasting chocolate cake they had ever had….)

  62. Megan Lang says:

    I made these into cupcakes to practice with the recipe for my son’s birthday cake. He wanted a chocolate ice cream cake and I needed a firm cake to work with. The cupcakes were the perfect consistency the day after baking, and the ice cream cake turned out perfect as well! It was a real hit! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Now I’m curious to try making it into a white cake. I might play with it a little; the moisture content is just perfect.

  63. cakeholic says:

    Hi Mel, what is the best oils for baking? can I just use palm oil instead of others expensive oil like coconut or canola? Thank u

  64. Baerbel says:

    Hi Mel,
    I like your blog very much and it’s time to tell you!
    Thank you for this great recipe! I’ve tried on saturday (only reduced sugar) and the cake turned out wonderful! I made a cream cheese frosting and garnished with a Black Forest-Topping.
    Greetings from Germany 🙂

  65. Aubri says:

    I have made this cake probably 10 times and it fell every single time. I tried a few things on the high altitude ingredient guide from King Arthur flour, and it finally turned out perfectly! I was so excited, I screamed out loud when it came out of the oven looking so lovely! I made it in 2 9 inch rounds and split those in half, then filled all of the layers with chocolate whipped cream and then poured some ganache over the top. To.die.for. This will be my go to chocolate cake. No more mixes. Thanks Mel!

  66. Cathy says:

    Hi Mel,
    As a general rule I don’t post comments. I stumbled on to your site and have made numerous things over the past month, with good success. This cake and the associated Magical frosting turned out so wonderfully well that I feel an “atta girl” is deserved. Thank you for posting this recipe.
    Inland northwest addition: I often add frozen huckleberries to chocolate cake. Just a sprinkle on top of the frosting before serving.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Cathy! I’m so happy you loved this cake and other recipes you’ve tried. I’d die to be close to huckleberries – love the suggestion of adding them to chocolate cake!

  67. Ang says:

    Would coconut oil work in place of vegetable oil?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ang – I haven’t tried it in this cake but I’ve used it in other breads/cakes and it works great so I definitely think it is worth a try.

  68. nosh says:

    Hi ! I have made this cake 4 times now and everytime i have the same problem. The top gets crusty and i have to take off a whole layer 🙁 its such a moist and fluffy cake inside. When ever im baking it the sides bake quicker and sink a bit and middle is fine . Except the crusty layer on top. This time i made cupcakes and had no such problem. No crust. Any tip i can try to help the cake not form that hard crust . I dont over bake i think. Maybe not grease the sides of pan?

    • Mel says:

      nosh – What brand and size of pans are you using? Also, sometimes buttering the pan instead of using nonstick cooking spray can help (but usually I only notice the crustiness on the sides of the cake not necessarily the top). I am sorry it hasn’t turned out for you!

      • nosh says:

        Its a 9 by 13 inch.dark colour pan. Do you think it will help if i use the light color pan ? Which ones are better for cakes if you can let me know . THANX A LOT for all your help.

        • Mel says:

          nosh – Yes, usually light-colored aluminum pans heat more evenly and don’t darken the crust. I try to stay away from nonstick bakeware (but I use nonstick cookware like skillets all the time).

  69. Diana says:

    I made it the other day and I loved it so did the kids and everybody else. this is one that will be making all the time thanks for sharing

  70. […] recipes so you can find them over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I used Mel’s recipe for Unbelievable Chocolate Cake and Fantastic {Easy} Buttercream […]

  71. Anonymous says:

    Hi! How many cups of batter does this recipe yield?

  72. Chad says:

    My wife discovered your website and decided to compare your cake to my grandmother’s recipe. Yours is very good but not sure I’m ready to convert. I’m perhaps a bit biased. That being said, she showed me your website (she has tried a few cookie recipes) and was surprised to find out I knew you back in the days before your Internet fame. Anyway, it was fun to see pictures of you and your family after all these years. Been a few years since BYU and those crazy college years. Glad you guys are doing so well.

  73. Brinestone says:

    This has become THE cake recipe for our family. My BIL came for dinner on his birthday on Sunday, and because of the season, I tried it with peppermint buttercream frosting, which was delightful. The dark, rich flavor of the cake held up well to the minty frosting. I really can’t ruin this!

  74. Hilary says:

    Hi Mel, I was wondering how you think this would fare in a ten inch round pan… time?? Thanks so much!! I am not kidding you when I say literally every meal we eat comes from you. You are such a blessing.

    • Mel says:

      Hilary – I would start checking the cake 10 minutes before the stated time in the recipe just to be sure it doesn’t overbake. Good luck!

  75. Old Man Dave says:

    I’ve made this cake several dozen times using a glass 13×9 pan. I set the oven tempurature to 340* and bake for about 57 minutes. As soon as the toothpick comes out clean, its out of the oven. I let it sit in the pan for about 20 minutes and it pops right out of the pan when inverted without crumbling.

  76. Ainsley says:

    I’ve made this quite a few times. Each time it was in two round pans every time except for the last. I made it as a sheet cake so each slice gets more icing. Cooked for 32 minutes in a half sheet pan. Came out great!

    This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this and the frosting that goes with it! I think it tastes a lot like an Oreo together, and Oreos are one of my favorite things ever. Again THANK YOU.

  77. Mercedes says:

    This is the most awesome chocolate cake recipe I have ever used….certainly lived up to the best of category. I made this for my son’s third birthday and it was wonderful. I just made a half batch for cupcakes today, and just wanted to say it came out great, and I got about 16 cupcakes out of that. Just be careful and not overfill, I went about three quarters full and they came out perfect!

  78. angie says:

    YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM!!!! this was my first chocolate cake from scratch, so easy, so simple, so utterly unbelievable:)
    I made on small subsitution coconut oil or vegetable oil, cause it was all I had.

  79. Katrina says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to frost this with your whipped chocolate frosting!

    Two Questions: (Sorry, I’m a beginner baker)

    1. Do you think it’ll still taste good even after refrigeration; straight from the fridge? I know cold cake is usually dry and loses its moisture and fluffiness but I have to refrigerate it if I will be frosting it with whipped cream.

    2. Can I cut the sugar by 25% or will it lose its texture/moisture/etc.?

    Thank you so much, Mel! Your blog is so inspiring and mouth-watering haha 😀

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katrina – I have refrigerated this cake a lot and it seems to do quite well as long as the frosting completely covers the cake and kind of seals it in. If you can, I’d try to take it out about an hour before serving. I’ve never tried decreasing the sugar so you’d have to experiment with that. Good luck!

  80. Justin says:

    Hi Mel, One of my combine crew turned 19 today, he had to work all day harvesting we got in at midnight and I thought lets make a cake so after discovering their were not box cake mixes to Mels kitchen we went naturally. He was very happy as were the rest of the crew. You should gain a few more followers in new market, custom combiners and farm crews. We were out of eggs had to use yogurt??? I think Melissa taught me that, it worked so if I just made that up well that’s my contribution to baking… thanks

  81. Sarah says:

    The cake is good and very moist. Not in love with the frosting. The chocolate cake made with quinoa, and the whipped cream frosting, is the best chocolate cake on this site!

  82. connie g says:

    OK, my daughter & I made both the cake and frosting today. O.M.G.!! My arteries clogged a little more, but this is truly a delicious combo. The cake is perfectly moist & the frosting is not too sweet. I followed directions exactly, except for adding 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, and it was wonderful.

    Thanks so much.

  83. Vanessa Cragun says:

    I seem to be the only one that doesn’t know why the oil is separated. Is the half a cup for greasing and the 2 tablespoons for the cake?

  84. amy jelenko says:

    This cake is truly the best chocolate cake. Light, but moist. My only recco – substitute coffee for the water. brings out the chocolate flavor! Also – the magical frosting is amazing, and the lemon bars truly are perfect. thanks for these great recipes!

  85. Laura says:

    Do you have any recommendations on cooking at high elevations? I generally don’t eat/bake cake but I’m living in Colorado now and I wanted to be a good mom and make this for my daughters birthday. Just don’t want it to be flat. Thanks in advance. Looks great.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura – I’ve googled baking at high altitudes before and there are a lot of websites dedicated to it. Usually the rule of thumb is to add a few more tablespoons flour and adjust baking temperature (sometimes decreasing by 25 degrees). You might try looking online for other tips (I live at low elevation right now so I’m not an expert on it).

  86. Ashley T. says:

    Catherine & Sandra:

    I’ve covered this cake in fondant a few times and it works very well. I usually cover it when the cakes are frozen which makes it easier. Sometimes, instead of using buttercream as my crumb coat under the fondant, I use chocolate ganache. Once you get the ganache smooth (which is very easy to do), it will harden. This gives you a perfectly shaped cake to cover the fondant with. Hope this helps! Happy baking 🙂

  87. Sandra says:

    Hi mel this cake sounds very nice but I was wondering if this cake could be covered in fondant to use for a christning cake

  88. catherine says:

    Hello Mel!
    Can’t wait to try this cake combo. Do you know if this cake is sturdy enough to cover in fondant? I’ve ready that some people have had success with carving it, so I assume covering in fondant should be ok. Thank you!!

    • Mel says:

      Catherine – I’ve only ever used fondant once or twice so I can’t be 100% sure but I use this cake for all my other decorating and it holds up just fine.

  89. Ashley T. says:

    Aubri & Laurie —

    The first time I made this, mine fell in the middle too! So I asked a friend who’s a pastry chef, and she said cakes can fall if you’re overmixing them. Which I sometimes tend to do. Since then, I haven’t mixed them as long as I used to and they haven’t fallen since. Hope this helps!

  90. Laurie says:

    Mine always falls in the middle, too, but I just even it out with extra icing. 😉

  91. Aubri says:

    Mel – I have made this cake several times, but it never fails to fall in the middle. It doesn’t go all the way down to the bottom, but probably falls half way down in the middle. I use 9 inch pans (Fat Daddio Brand), and have never had a problem with a cake sinking in them before. I have used different types of cocoa and brand spankin’ new baking powder. I’ve tried baking it a bit longer…and also at a little lower temp for longer. Ug. I love it so much. It has such great flavor and texture, but I don’t feel like I can ever make it for a special event, or make it if I really need it to look pretty. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

    • Mel says:

      Aubri – that’s frustrating! I’ve never had this cake fall so I’m not sure what would be causing it to happen. Usually when cakes fall, I recommend baking for longer which it sounds like you’ve tried. It really shouldn’t fall if the batter has baked all the way in the middle – is there any way to add a few more minutes to the baking time to see if it helps? Also, while it’s baking, check (without opening the oven door – look through the window) to see when the cake has fallen – during the middle of baking or is it at the end? Or is it after you remove it from the oven? If it is falling during the end of baking or when you remove it from the oven, that’s almost a sure sign it needs to be baked longer.

  92. Tash says:

    The cake has a nice texture but against my better judgement i added the amount of baking soda and salt as it was written in the recipe and it was too much. Based on the acidic ingredients (buttermilk) and the amount of flour used, the cake is left with about 1 1/4 tsp of un-neutralized baking soda. I will give it a try again making my own adjustments.

  93. Ashley T. says:

    LOVE this chocolate cake! It’s SO moist, especially if you freeze it before decorating & eating it. I used this for a wedding cake and the guests said it was the moistest, most delicious cake. And, it’s 10 times better than any “dressed-up” box mix. Thanks so much for this chocolate cake recipe! I won’t use anything else again!

  94. [email protected] says:

    I made this yesterday for my grandson’s 12th birthday…FABULOUS. I frosted it using the vanilla magical frosting……the perfect combination!

  95. Ray says:

    Mel this is a great recipe. I made this yesterday for my husband on fathers day and we all loved
    it. It was the right amount of sweet and moist. Thank you for sharing!

  96. Army of 7 says:

    Thanks! The cake turned out perfectly with no overflow issues!

  97. Army of 7 says:

    This looks like the perfect cake for my son’s birthday this weekend. Reguarding the overflow issue, I have a question, do you use the same measuring cups for the wet & dry ingredients? I assume you use a dry scoop for the flour & a seperate cup measurement for the liquids. Just wanting to be sure before I begin. Thanks 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Army of 7 – no, I definitely use the liquid measuring cups for the wet ingredients and regular ol’ measuring cups for the dry.

  98. Nicole H. says:

    Made this cake for my 4 year old’s birthday party. It was super moist and delicious. I really could have eaten it without frosting at all but thought that would be frowned upon by other party attendees. I didn’t have any issue with it spilling in the oven and I used all the batter. Also I made the magical frosting, and while I do love butter cream frosting, it was nice that this wasn’t as sugary. I also put those butterflies from Hello Cupcake on top, it was super cute. Thanks!!

  99. Karisa says:

    I made the cake and the frosting, and man, I cannot figure out what everyone sees in this? The chocolate cake was okay, but not worth making again. But the frosting! For all the work, and raving, I expected better. Do you use unsalted butter or something? It’s like eating very light, fluffy butter! If I made it again I would for sure cut out some salt!

  100. Kim M says:

    Definitely sub the coconut oil for the vegetable oil! DELICIOUS chocolate cake!

  101. michelle says:

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday cake and it was delicious; thank you! I love using buttermilk for baked goods, too.

  102. Sarah says:

    By far the best cake I’ve ever made – and maybe even tasted ever. I love it – and so far I have only sampled the slice I cut off the top for layering! Can’t wait to cut into it and serve it at my daughter’s 1st birthday. She’s never had chocolate…and in my eyes, this cake is a perfect first taste! I was nervous the batter seemed really thin (?) – but regardless if that was normal or not, it turned out perfect! Oh …and I had forgotten to get buttermilk, so used the old milk/vinegar substitute…again, seemed to work just fine with excellent results. Thanks!!!

  103. Lisa Clark says:

    Best cake I’ve ever had and I’ve worked for two different bakeries!! Amazing!

  104. Jessie says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve never baked a cake from scratch before, but decided to make an attempt. After being informed that they usually turn out really dry, I chose your recipe from a handful I found online that claim to be moist. I had someone with much more experience helping me, and she was really surprised that it expanded so much. In fact, it kind of exploded all over her oven! However, the cake was DELICIOUS! So moist and rich, it was an absolute hit. I didn’t try your frosting, because it was a little above my skill level, but I will have to make it sometime since the cake was so good. I just made an easy chocolate butter cream frosting, which still complemented it well. Honestly, this cake would have still been delicious with no frosting at all. I’ll definitely use larger pans next time I make it though.

  105. Shannon says:

    I made it again this morning and it came out great! I used 9″ pans and had no issues…so it must have been the springform pan.

  106. Shannon says:

    I made this tonight. The batter was a little runny, but not really an issue. I decided to bake the cake in a springform pan and it started leaking a bit, so I had to line the pan with foil. I also put some of the batter in a large muffin tin, just to make a mini smash cake. The mini cake came out great. The middle of the other cake sank in the middle, and I baked it much longer than it called for. The flavor is great and the cake is moist, but I think it will fall apart when I try to frost it. I’m not sure if it’s the size cake pan I chose, or what…but I’ve never had this problem before, and I bake a lot! I’m going to give this recipe another go tomorrow and see if I can figure it out.

    • Mel says:

      Shannon – I wouldn’t recommend baking this cake in a springform pan. It really does turn out better if baked in traditional cake pans. Good luck!

  107. Diane K says:

    Oops, I didn’t realized there were two pages of comments (though I should have! if it’s so tasty!), so I found you already answered the dutch cocoa question. I’m excited to try it!

    • Tash says:

      not sure is anyone mentioned this already but if you are going to use dutch processed cocoa, you need to adjust the amount of baking soda you use.

  108. Diane K says:

    I have more dutch cocoa than regular cocoa – do you think that would be an okay substitution? Any suggestions for high-altitude baking (about 4800 ft)? I was thinking of copping out and just using my cake mix but this looks so dang tasty.

  109. Kathy says:

    This is the best cake! And unfortunately I have eaten a lot of chocolate cake to know that! I made this for daughter’s second birthday along with your magical frosting. Everyone loved it! I cannot stop taking little bites of it (which I’m sure adds up to a huge piece). I think I will have to send it to work with my husband just to get it out of the house!

  110. Jill says:

    I made this for my son’s birthday and it was so yummy!!! I made it again today in a jelly roll pan (for a science project) and I had about 2 cups of batter left. I’m baking that in the wilton ball shaped pan (also for the science project). Anyways, I just wanted to comment so that people would know how to bake it in a jelly roll pan. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  111. catherine says:

    Thank you again!

  112. catherine says:

    Mel – thank you so much for your response. I live at about 4,500 feet. I found the King Arthur’s Flour high altitude instructions that you linked to somewhere else – would you suggest that I start trying those?

    Also, I saw on your list of favorite things that you use a grain mill. Have you tried substituting any of the flour in this recipe? Or do you think that wouldn’t work?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Catherine – yes, I think the King Arthur tips could help a lot. I have never substituted whole wheat flour in this recipe. If you did want to try it, I’d suggest using whole wheat pastry flour (it has a lower protein content and subs better in cakes and lighter baked goods).

  113. Mel says:

    Catherine – do you live at a high altitude?

  114. catherine says:

    I love this recipe, but I’m having the sinking problem too. The edges are perfect and the center comes out wrinkly and sunken quite a bit (and if I cook it longer, the edges burn). I’m going to keep trying, and maybe leave out some liquid or increase the temperature?

  115. Meg says:

    Just made this for my son’s birthday tomorrow- the middle sunk, although it was done in the middle, but it tastes delicious. Hopefully I can mask the dip with lost of frosting:)

  116. Carol says:

    I made this cake and frosting for my girlfriend’s birthday this week. It was fantastic. thank you, Mel!

  117. Mel says:

    Haley – absolutely! I use canola oil all the time and it works great.

  118. Haley says:

    Look fabulous, Mel! Do you think I could substitute canola oil for the vegetable oil or no?

  119. Gianna says:

    I have made this recipe many times in a Bundt pan.
    I make the whole recipe ( have tried cutting a little bit of the water because it is SO soupy ) and prepare the pan diligently . I spray every nook and cranny with with oil , then flour pan with a mixture of white flour and cocoa powder.

    Baking time needs to be increased, I check every extra 5 minutes. Make sure you leave cake in pan on z cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing to continue cooling!!
    I still have times where some cake will stick.

    Let me tell you, the Bingo fans always look forward to this cake( with white frosting)!!

  120. Megan says:

    Do you think this would work well in a bundt pan since you can’t line it with parchment paper? Do you have any tips of how to adjust recipes for using bundt pans

    • Mel says:

      Megan – I’ve never made it in a bundt pan. Most cakes (besides the few that have unusually been great) tend to dry out in a bundt pan, in my opinion, especially if the recipe wasn’t written to use one. But you could always try it. Good luck!

  121. Mona Flores says:

    This is absolutely the best chocolate cake recipe! Thank you many times over for the chocolatey goodness, the tender crumb, the ease of making it. It’s the best and you did not exaggerate. The frosting is just as wonderful! I, the veteran of many a dense and disappointing scratch cake, salute you with my floury hand and doff my baker’s cap to you!

  122. Christine says:

    Oh and I also dyed the frosting pink for my daughters cake this year and it looked great!

  123. Christine says:

    This is the 3rd year I have used this recipe for my daughters birthday and my mom’s birthday! I make the Magical frosting to go with it to, and make the chocolate version of the magical frosting to go with my moms. It is so worth the little extra work!!

  124. Rachel Russell says:

    Made for daughter’s 9th birthday dinner and this- is-the-best-chocolate-cake-in-the-world. Paired with the mint icing from the your Andes mint cupcakes- and it was FABULOUS. Also made the chocolate mint filling from the Andes cupcakes and chilled a bit and it worked so well as a filling between the layers. Really want to try your magical frosting- but am afraid with the ‘cooking’ part . . but this was so heroic – am going to give it a go in Jan for my son’s birthday. THANK YOU!

  125. Mel says:

    Alisa – I’ve never used it with fondant (I’m definitely not a fondant expert) so I honestly don’t know. Sorry!

  126. Alisa says:

    This looks so delicious! Do you know if it’s dense enough to work with fondant?

    • Sarah says:

      The cake is surprisingly dense enough to work with fondant. I love the moist texture of the recipe and I decided to try it in a three layer cake with raspberry filling, buttercream, and homemade fondant. Usually I go with a denser cake, but it always seems too heavy when eating it. This recipe held up well to the buttercream, layers, and fondant with decorating on top of it. I did freeze it after dirty icing it and I put an additional layer of buttercream and then fondant a few days later.

  127. Gen says:

    I made the chocolate frosting with your ultimate chocolate cake. I sunstituted white vinegar plus milk for the buttermilk and used half a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips and half a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips for the chocolate flavor that was called for at the end of the recipe. It was perfect! My kids were licking the frosting right from the bowl. It turned out like the color of the wendys frosty ice cream and taste almost like it only in frosting form. My daughter even commented that its like a frosty. Thats how fluffy it is. This was so good and its now our family’s favorite cake and frosting. Thank you Mel! 🙂

  128. Gen says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Mel! Hope you had a good one. 🙂 I was looking for a cake recipe to bake for thanksgiving dessert and as always I went
    to your website for recipes that never fail me. I baked this in a 9 x 13 pan. At first it looked like it was going to overflow but it never spilled. It just puffed up but stayed in the pan. I just had to increase the baking time to 50 mins. I am not sure wether the high altitude affected the baking time or maybe because I used a glass bakeware like pyrex. Still it turned out really moist and yummy. I made it with your frosting. My kids said its the best cake ever. My husband even had two big slices! Definitely going to make this over and over again
    . Thanks Mel! 🙂

  129. Laurie says:

    I am not a cake decorator, but I have tried the icing. It is a totally different kind of icing than I was used to. The batch that I made did not work for piping even after being chilled. It was just too thick. I would not bother trying that icing again.

  130. Candace says:

    I just noticed you note on the frosting recipe that if it’s chilled for an hour or so you think it would pipe well. If anyone has tried please let me know! I am doing a train theme and am new to cake baking. I should have done more research and tried some recipes in advance.

  131. Candace says:

    This cake looks so good! I know you posted this recipe awhile, but hope you can answer a question for me.

    I am planning to make a chocolate cake for my son’s 2nd birthday party which is this weekend. Would this magic frosting work for decorating with Wilton tips? I am not an experienced baker so don’t really have a go to frosting recipe and this one sounds like it might be perfect as it does not sound overly sweet. I imagine if it would not be the greatest for decorating, I could always frost the cake with it and make a buttercream for the rest. Your thoughts are appreciated! So glad I found your blog. I will be checking it out on a regular basis for sure!!

  132. […] source: cake recipe from My Kitchen Cafe, frosting and glaze by Veronica […]

  133. Casey says:

    Have you ever used the dutch cocoa powder for this? I was just curious because that is all I have, and didn’t know if I would be ok to use that or if I would need to go buy the regular. Thank you!!

  134. Tina Kaur says:

    Hi there ,

    Ive just made this cake, and it does indeed taste amazing, the texture is great, too, however just one little problem, it crumbled and broke as I was trying to take it out of the cake pans, should I have let it cool in the pan for a bit first? : ( Any tips for next time?? The recipe is amazing!

    • Mel says:

      Tina – do you think you could have overbaked it by a bit? I think your idea of cooling in the pan for 5-10 minutes could definitely help, too.

  135. Marian says:

    I do not normally leave comments, however I just finished making this recipe into cupcakes with the “magic” frosting and they really are the BEST I have ever had! The frosting is absolutely worth the extra time! Baked them at 350 for 18-20min

  136. Amber Newkirk says:

    I have made this cake and it is so moist and soooooooo good. It tastes better than the box mixes and is just as easy to make. Thanks for the recipe.

  137. Mel says:

    Casey – I haven’t covered this with fondant but I think it would be plenty sturdy for fondant. That’s a great tip about the cake release! Good luck with your cake business!

  138. Casey says:

    Ooh I have been looking for a perfect homemade chocolate cake recipe!! I have recently started making cakes as a little side business and I’m wondering if this would be dense enough to be stacked and covered with fondant? A lot of recipes I’ve tried are way too soft and sink when I do this. Also I discovered a homemade ‘cake release’- equal parts of flour, shortening, and vegetable oil, brush it in your cake pans and your cake will fall out every time!! And it stores nicely in a Tupperware. 🙂 thank you for all of your fabulous recipes!! We live in a tiny town and a bunch of us young moms get together once a week for lunch and a playgroup and we are always talking about what Mel posted!!! We love you! 🙂

  139. Laurie says:

    This is indeed a delicious cake! I tried it as a 9×13″ today, and it took about 52 minutes. (I lost track of exactly how many times I checked and reset my timer, but it was definitely more than 47 minutes!) :o) I baked it in a glass 9×13″ pan and the finished cake is almost to the brim on the edges and even higher in the middle! Maybe all the baking soda and powder make it a super-riser? OR, just thought of this–I used milk and lemon juice to make the “buttermilk”… I wonder if people who have had trouble with it rising too much and spilling over are all using lemon juice or vinegar to make buttermilk? And it works a little like a child’s baking-soda-and-vinegar-volcano experiment?? A little extra chemical reaction rising? Hmm… now I want to buy real buttermilk and compare the rising action!

  140. Mel says:

    Monica – I don’t think that would work, although if you feel daring, go ahead and try. I’ve only ever made this as the chocolate version.

  141. monica says:

    Can this cake be made into a yellow cake by just leaving out the cocoa powder?.
    also would I still use buttermilk or can I use 2% percent milk for a yellow cake version? the formula for this chocolate cake is so wonderful, it never gets dried out, the perfect texture , crumb & moisture stays, no matter how long it stays in refrig.

  142. Mel says:

    Gianna – I’ve never used kefir so I’m not sure how it would work as a substitution. I can’t taste the flour in the magical frosting…it’s delicious. Also, I’ve never used coffee in this recipe but have seen other recipes that do so I’m sure you could try it.

  143. Gianna Robinson says:

    This recipe looks great!
    Two questions: Do you think kefir could be used in place of the buttermilk…and have you ever tried hot, freshly brewed coffee for the water? You can’t taste the coffee, however it lends such depth tot he chocolate. Amazing! I can’t wait to try the Magical Frosting as well! You can’t tell there is flour in it?

  144. Mel says:

    Linda – hmmm, to be honest, I really don’t know the exact time but I’d be willing to guess it’s somewhere between 28-42 minutes. That’s a wide range but I’d start checking on the earlier end and just keep a close eye on it.

  145. Linda says:

    This looks heavenly & I’d like to make it in the 9×13 size for my niece’s birthday. Would you happen to remember how long it bakes in a 9×13 pan? Thanks so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes.

  146. Mel says:

    Monica – I’ve never made the changes you are asking about so I can’t answer with 100% surety on how any of those things would affect the outcome. It will really come down to just testing it to see. I’ve never transferred this amount of batter to a loaf pan so you’ll have to judge how best to fill it and how long to bake it. I’m guessing 1/2 of the magical frosting recipe would be enough, but again, I’ve never made it that way so I can’t be 1005 sure. Good luck!

  147. monica says:

    questions about this choclate cake recipe: how would substituting cake flour for all purpose affect the outcome of this cake? if i need to bake this cake in a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan would I only fill it 2/3 full as I would for a standard 9 inch round cake pan? also how long would I bake it in a loaf pan does this pan conversion increase or decrease baking time? also how much frosting would I need to frost
    a 9 by 5 loaf cake? If i just make 1/2 recipe of your best cooked frosting would it be sufficient or would I have a lot left?

  148. Mel says:

    Any – try whisking the dry ingredients together very well. The cake might be slightly more dense from not sifting but it will probably still be fine.

  149. Ang says:

    Will this work if I don’t have a fine mesh strainer? If so, what do I do? Thanks 🙂

  150. Chewy says:

    I’ve made this cake several times and it’s amazing. I’ve also made it a white cake by putting 3 3/4 cups of white flour and it’s just as amazing as the chocolate!! (plus i’ve changed this recipe so to make it even better!!!!)

  151. Rachel Winkler says:

    Oh and I didn’t have buttermilk, so I substituted the milk and lemon juice after it sat for ten minutes and it was AMAZING! Best chocolate cake ever! The batter was pretty thin, but I used 9″ pans and it worked perfectly between the two. I used vanilla frosting and it was a great combo!! Thanks again Mel! Your blog is my go to cooking blog 🙂

  152. Rachel Winkler says:

    I made this tonight for our daughter Vera’s birthday party. It was fantastic! So moist and delicious. I am normally not a cake person, but for this cake, I definitely made an exception!! I got so many compliments on it and will be referring everyone to your website! Thanks for another great recipe Mel!!!

  153. Janet says:

    I’ve made this cake several times now and it is amazing! One change I made to it was to scale it down a bit so that the measurements weren’t so odd, and to prevent the spillage issue. These were the new measurements: 1 cup cocoa, 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 large eggs, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup oil and 1 tsp vanilla. If you use these quantities, you can easily make a half recipe and bake it in a square pan. You can also substitute sour milk for the buttermilk, although it won’t rise quite as high.

  154. Mel says:

    KP – I’ve never made this recipe into cupcakes (although I believe commenters above you have so you might look at their comments for suggestions). I have another great chocolate cupcake recipe that makes the most beautiful, domed cupcakes:

  155. KP says:

    I would like to try this chocolate cake as a cupcake. Do you know if it gives a good amount of volume and domes nicely for piping? I’ve made cupcakes in the past that have appeared wimpy in volume as they were almost too dense and moist.

  156. Brinestone says:

    I made this with great success with buttermilk powder, and it got me to wondering if I could mix the dry ingredients and put them in some sort of pretty container with a ribbon and give as a gift at Christmas. All they would need to add would be water (2 1/2 cups to account for the buttermilk), oil, eggs, and vanilla, which is, except for the vanilla, what you add to a store-bought cake mix, but this tastes so much better.

    I will be making this cake for the second time today to honor my four-year-old boy’s birthday. He wants it frosted to look like a construction zone. 🙂

  157. Mel says:

    Samantha – I haven’t made this into a marble sheet cake mostly because I don’t have a really great go-to white or yellow cake besides the homemade yellow cake mix. If you want a tried and true marble recipe, you might want to google a specific recipe. Good luck!

  158. Samantha says:

    I am wanting to try this recipe or the vanilla cupcake recipe. However, I am wanting a marble sheet cake. Any suggestions? The finished cake is going to be a number one shaped birthday cake.

  159. Sarah says:

    I just need to comment again. My co-workers couldn’t stop talking about the cake. I frosted it with cappuccino swiss meringue and it turned out fabulous!! Thank you so much! Everyone wanted the recipe so I printed this and shared. I can’t take credit, you know! =)

  160. sarah says:

    Hi! I just took the pans out of the oven! They smell good! Yum! The only problem I had was that one pan needed to stay longer (the toothpick came out with chocolate goo). It’s weird how the other one cooked perfect but the other one that needed extra time, the middle sank a little bit. Maybe it’s my oven.

  161. Mel says:

    Hi Bec – I’ve never tried it but I don’t see why not. Good luck if you try it!

  162. bec says:

    Hey mel ,
    I was wondering if you could make cake pops out of this chocolate cake recipe 🙂 thanks

  163. Amy says:

    I made this for the first time for my Mother In-Law’s birthday with your vanilla buttercream frosting. I have never made a chocolate cake from scratch, and now I don’t think that I will ever make boxed cake again. This is so incredibly moist and delicious. Just amazing. And I made it in a 13×9 pan. I probably had to bake it at least an additional 10 minutes. It really took a while for the middle of it to bake! Worth every minute of waiting though!

  164. Kassie says:

    I use homemade (wrap wet papertowels in aluminum foil and wrap it around the pan) bake rite strips when I bake my cakes so they bake flat. I was a little worried about the amount of batter in the pans, but with these I didn’t have any problem at all.

  165. Mel says:

    Julie – how much did the middle sink? Just slightly, like a small indent, or did it sink nearly all the way to the bottom of the pan? It’s probably too late to put it back in the oven if it sank that much but chances are you might have needed to bake it slightly longer. If it is only slightly sunk, it should be fine, especially because with a specialty pan like that, you’ll be turning the cake out to frost and the sunken part will be on the bottom.

  166. Julie says:

    I made this cake today in a Wilton Elmo cake pan. I didnt have to use all of the batter as it would have spilled over I think…although when I took it out the middleis sunk in a bit. Do I put it back in to bake longer? We live in Az and elevation is not high so thats not a factor. Help?

  167. Traci says:

    Mel, omg, Thank you for such an amazing Chocolate Cake recipe, I have never been one to bake, my gram was the baker lol but I LOVE to cook but decided to take a stab at baking when I came across your site. I made this cake yesterday and my husband raved over it!! I sent a piece over to my elderly neighbor who makes chocolate cake from scratch and she praised the cake so much, saying what an amazing taste and how unbelieveably mosit it was!!! Thanks!!

  168. Jenny says:

    I just made cupcakes with this recipe. They are wonderful! this is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe. Thank you!

  169. Strawberry says:

    This looks scrumptious!
    I want to make it, with the milk and lemon substitute for buttermilk and with the Magical Frosting recipe!

  170. Mel says:

    Kelly – I’ve made this the day before with no problems but that’s the farthest in advance I’ve made it. If it will be completely frosted and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, that will help the freshness but I would try not to make it more than two days in advance.

  171. Kelly says:

    This cake looks delicious! But I have one question, how long does the cake stay good for? I need to make and ice the cake a few days ahead of time. Do you think that would be a problem? And would you recommend leaving it in an airtight cake container in the fridge, or leave it in the fridge uncovered? Thanks!

  172. Jen says:

    mmmmm….mmmm…mmmmm! I made this cake, along with the life changing frosting for my husband’s birthday yesterday and it was THE BEST! I am a terrible cook and baker and since I’ve found your blog I’ve had renewed hope that maybe I can become better at it. In the past I’ve had to beg my husband for a compliment but since I starting making your recipes, he’s been dishing out the compliments left and right! 🙂 I always tell him it’s one of your recipes 🙂

    Anyway, back to the cake! It was to die for. seriously. Thank you so much. I think I had about 10 people tell me, “oh, that cake is SO good! did you make it??” Thank you, Thank you!!!!

  173. Mel says:

    Jessi – I don’t think you should leave out the buttermilk. If you are in a pinch you could try the substitution of 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of buttermilk called for in the recipe (mix the milk and lemon juice together and let it sit for 5-10 minutes). I haven’t tried it so I can’t guarantee the results but I know that is a popular buttermilk substitution.

  174. Jessi says:

    Mel, sorry if this question was already answered; I haven’t read all the posts! Do you think this cake would be okay if the buttermilk was omitted or if something else was substituted? I’m thinking maybe not since it calls for more than a cup. I just have never used buttermilk and do not have it on hand. Thanks 🙂

  175. Tanya says:

    I’ve never cared much for chocolate cake because it’s usually dry and a little bland. I knew when I saw your recipe that I had to try it. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa and it was amazing!

  176. Margaret says:

    After making this Chocolate Cake for hubby’s birthday, I am a fan of your website and I will use it often. The cake was fantastic!! I used the suggested frosting and it was also a hit. I used cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate chips in the frosting.
    The cake formed a “crust” against the walls of the pan which was also a hit with the fam. I didn’t want to run out for buttermilk, so I used 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp of vinegar and 1/4 cup of yogurt.
    There was too much cake batter for my 9″ round pans, so I made 10 cupcakes which were equally wonderful. ( thanks for the “over-flowing” warning – it saved me over filling the pans)
    There was too much frosting – I will cut it down next time.
    The cake is so good, it doesn’t really need frosting.
    Thanks again.

  177. Juli in VA says:

    Truly awesome chocolate cake! So moist…my family are TRUE chocolate cakeaholics & this went over VERY well. Not too dark, not too milk…Perfect chocolate flavor and texture 🙂 Baked this for an impromptu get together to celebrate my son’s birthday with grandparents! Everyone loved it, as did I. Thanks for ANOTHER great recipe Mel…

  178. Jodi says:

    I finally made this cake after seeing the recipe months ago. I LOVE this cake. In fact, I’ve made it twice in the last five days. It is AMAZING. Thank you for sharing!!

  179. Aimee says:

    Okay. The is my new ALL TIME FAVORITE chocolate cake recipe. Seriously. I have literally thrown out the others. If I’m going to make / have chocolate cake, from now until the end of time I want it to be THIS one.

    I was looking for a new chocolate cake recipe for my husband’s birthday. The epicurious double chocolate layer cake with the coffee, buttermilk, Callebaut, and chocolate-ganache frosting was my old go-to, but honestly it is SO dense and rich and thick and heavy…well, I just wanted a deep, rich chocolate cake that was moist and dark but a bit fluffier and not so dense.

    I followed your recipe exactly – including your recipe for the magical frosting, which was indeed MAGICAL and unlike any frosting I’ve ever made before.

    Let me just say that this cake and frosting knocked off many a sock at my husband’s party this past weekend, and if compliments were dollars, I’d have made a bundle.

    This is it! This is THE ONE. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the frosting recipe as well – I am utterly under its spell. I practically had to ask for complete silence just so that I could thoroughly enjoy this properly, without distraction. It’s that good.

  180. Anne says:

    Made this cake for dinner guests yesterday. Not only was it SO easy to put together, but it was so fabulous I had dreams about it! I highly recommend Penzey’s natural cocoa powder, which is phenomenal. I used 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar and 2/3 cup Agave nectar since I don’t use white sugar, and used coconut oil rather than vegetable oil (maybe coconut is a vegetable?), but those are the only things I changed, which is saying something for me! I made a chocolate cream cheese frosting from cupcakeproject which I altered by cutting the powdered sugar to 3 cups, increasing the cocoa to 1 cup, and added 1/4 cup plain yogurt. The frosting was very sweet, and the plain yogurt gave it an excellent zing. It did turn out very runny, almost like a ganache, but worked really really well with this cake. You could seriously sell this cake in a bake shop. I used 9″ rounds and the batter amount was perfect. My silicon rounds also didn’t need parchment or flour, just some olive oil spray.

  181. Deb says:

    Awesome, thanks for the advice, cake is in the oven now – batter tasted d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s 🙂 Will report back on how it all goes! Thanks so much!!

  182. Deb says:

    Hey Mel – My sister’s birthday is over the weekend and she requested “chocolate cake with vanilla frosting”…no surprise, I find that exact combo here 🙂 I’m salivating at the thought of making these. Quick question – I want to make them ahead if possible…would you recommend I freeze the cake and then make the frosting the day of, or can I make the cake and frost it and then freeze it already decorated? Thanks! Can’t wait to report back on the results!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Deb – this cake fares great being made ahead and frozen. I wrap each cake round in a double layer of plastic wrap and throw each one in a freezer ziploc bag. I take them out about an hour before I want to frost them so the chill is coming off but they are still firm. I would definitely recommend making the frosting the day of, if you have the time. I’ve never frozen the cake already frosted and I have a feeling the frosting would have a tendency to “weep” – develop bubbles of moisture on the surface – if thawed and the texture might be a little funny. Good luck! This is one of my favorite cake/frosting combinations ever!

  183. Jnl2211 says:

    That’s so strange, I’ve made this recipe at least 20 times and I’ve never had that problem. Don’t give up! This recipe is so worth figuring out what went wrong!

  184. Kelly says:

    I had the same problem with the cakes spilling over, even though I hadn’t used all the batter (I reserved some to avoid spilling over!) and had to bake the cakes a bit longer. I live at sea level. I wonder if it has something to do with the type of pans I used– foil ones rather than hard sided ones?
    Still yummy, but a big pain.

    • Mel says:

      Kelly – pans can make a huge impact on the outcome of the cake. My cake pans are at least 3 inches deep and I’ve made a note that if your cake pans aren’t that high, you might want to split the cake into 3 pans or use leftover batter to make cupcakes. But I am with Jnl2211 – I haven’t had the spillage problem ever and so it probably is due to the type of cake pans you are using. Foil pans aren’t as insulated and sometimes cause the cake to bake unevenly. Sorry for the mess!

  185. Beth says:

    Just to add …. I made this into a molded airplane shape cake for my son’s birthday but cutting and carving up (2) 9×13 cakes and it worked great for it! I frosted with my own butter cream recipe. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  186. Beth says:

    By far the best chocolate cake ever!!!! Better then any bakery or homemade cake I have even eaten. I am not an experienced baker either and it is so easy to make! I will never make another chocolate cake again! All my friends and family want the recipe!

  187. Jnl2211 says:

    I made chocolate mousse filled cupcakes with your “magic” frosting out of this recipe….heavenly!

  188. Jaime says:

    I made this into a 3 Layer cake with wonderful, successful results!

  189. Jnl2211 says:

    Also, I didn’t have buttermilk so I used 2% milk with 1 1/4 tablespoons of vinegar added…just let it sit for about 5 minutes and viola! A nice buttermilk substitute.

  190. Jnl2211 says:

    My tried and true recipe has been replaced 🙂 it turned out so moist and delicious! I do make it a bad habit to add extra oil although I know I didn’t need it. I made cupcakes and they turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
    p.s I never write reviews/comments. I just had to share my excitement though 🙂

  191. Melody says:

    I used two 9″ round cake pans, so if people are having difficult with their cakes running over, it’s probably because they’re using 8″. This recipe is *perfect* for 9″ pans.

  192. […] Cake Recipe – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  193. Shannon says:

    I just made this cake last weekend for my Husband’s Birthday. I also have the Martha Stewart book this recipe is in so I read through it too. The cake turned out to be the best homemade cake I’ve made yet!!! My Husband said this cake is way better than any other Chocolate Cakes I’ve made! We just finished the last of it today(tuesday) and I baked it Saturday and it was still moist and not at all dry!! I also made the Magical Frosting that you recommend with it and it too turned out great!! I did not have any spill over problems, I used two 8″ round cake pans ( mine are Williams Sonoma, the regular ones, not the new non-stick) and I’m pretty sure they’re 2″deep. The pans were full to the top when they baked up, but I kept watching just in case, but they baked up beautiful in those pans, about 40 in my electric convection oven. I kept checking to make sure I wouldn’t over bake them! I also used Valrhona cocoa powder for a real “devils food” chocolate flavor and also greased and dusted the pans w/it to keep the cakes a dark chocolate color. This is a recipe I will make again for sure!!!
    BTW, I’m also the gal who emailed you about the 1st Rhubarb Festival in Osceola, WI coming up the 1st weekend in June! Thanks for such great recipes and your lovely site!

  194. Anissa says:

    I made this cake a couple weeks ago. It kicked my butt. I did 2 9″ cake pans and had the overflow problem. Actually, I put only one of the pans in the oven cause it’s was my parents old ghetto oven and it wouldn’t fit two pans. And the oven door has no window. So yeah, I didn’t realize it was completely spilled over until well into the 25th minute of baking. What was even more bizarre, was how the cake was cooking. It was still soupy, except for a little around the edges and right in the center. I should have taken a pic and sent to you, cause it’s kind of unbelievable. The center had a 1/2″ thick cooked layer floating on top of the soupy batter underneath and it looked like a squiggly brain pattern. SO FREAKING WEIRD.
    I’ve baked my fair share lately and have never seen anything like it. So we split the remaining batter that was on the counter into three pans, put it in the oven and tried again. We also increased the temp on the ghetto oven. This seemed to do the trick and those three pans cooked okay.
    BUT, and it’s a big BUT, the taste of the cake that did bake correctly, was AMAZING. Hands down the best I’ve had in a long long time. So anyway, I won’t let this recipe beat me! I don’t like failing! 🙂 I’m going to try again in my more reliable oven at home and watch it like a hawk. Here’s to better luck this next go around.

  195. Heather Miller says:

    This is what my husband picked to have for his birthday tonight and it was delicious! I made the magical frosting for it and I couldn’t stop it eating it! So good! Thanks for the recipe! It was my first made from scratch cake:) and I’m so glad it turned out!

  196. Lucy says:

    This cake was so delicious. It makes a lot! I made 24 cupcakes and an 8-inch round single layer cake out of this recipe. It was so very delicious and we had a lot to share with friends! The thing that amazed me is that it is not much more work than a mix. It is all made in one bowl with beaters, just like a mix. Thanks a million!

  197. AnnetteBrunette says:

    Wow Mel, I made this cake with your magic frosting today for some friends we had over for dinner and everyone was really liked it. I normally only make dessert about twice a year because I don’t usually eat it and my desserts never turn out right, but this turned out so well, even I think I know how to bake now! Thanks again!

  198. […] source: cake recipe from My Kitchen Cafe, frosting and glaze by Veronica […]

  199. Hillary says:

    I am thinking about making this cake for my son’s 2nd birthday this weekend, but I’m making him an airplane shaped cake and it needs to be in a loaf pan. Do you think I can just increase the time and lower the temperature to make it work in a loaf pan, or should I just go with a pound cake?

  200. Julianne says:

    BEST chocolate cake ever. Made 1/2 batch two weeks ago and made one 8×8 round pan. Then made 1/2 batch tonight and made about 14 cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes for about 25 minutes (I saw someone baked theirs at 16 minutes…don’t know if my oven is off, but 25 mins was about right for us). FABULOUS. The cake and cupcakes haven’t lasted long enough to make a frosting for them, but this recipe stands on its own. AND, I think it’s a true test of a cake mix if it is even better the next day…and this one is. And so, thank you for now converting me to non-store-bought chocolate cake forever.

  201. Christine says:

    Made cupcakes out of this for my daughters birthday last month and they were wonderful! I froze half of them and used them today for my moms birthday and they were just as good!!! Thank you so much for this!

  202. Veronica says:

    I made like my fourth one of these in the last month yesterday for a birthday cake order (I use it as a base for my mocha crunch cake), and it got rave reviews. I like that it makes a little extra batter b/c I always have enough leftover to make a 4″ cake or a few cupcakes for my husband and I to enjoy, even if I’m making the cake for an order. 🙂 This cake is just perfection-thanks again for sharing it.

  203. Leticia W. says:

    Made the cake for the new year with ganache as the topping (will try the magic icing later this month) and it came out of the oven in a perfect shape, was moist and rich without being overly sweet. I served a freshly warmed slice from the oven with the melting chocolately ganache on top and 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream to my husband (who is very picky) and he enjoyed the whole ensemble. I now have a recipe that I consider to be my favorite….thank you for sharing this awesome find.

  204. […] Cake: Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe ***Makes about 30 large muffin sized cupcakes*** To Prepare: Preheat oven to 350˚F and line or […]

  205. Nicole C says:

    Thank you for a delicious cake! this is probably the best chocolate cake i have ever had, my husband agreed (and he doesn’t even like cake)!
    mine did fall a little in the middle, but this is probably due to high altitude (live at 7500 ft). i used a similar frosting to the one you recommended and all was delicious!

    • Mel says:

      Nicole – that’s great that this cake was a hit with you and your non-cake-loving husband. I think you may be right about your cake falling due to high altitude…

  206. Charlotte says:

    Made this cake and frosting last night for my husband’s birthday and it was divine! I love the texture (and taste!) of the cake. That frosting is so weird to make and I was surprised by the outcome. It looked funky as I was adding in the butter and just like magic it comes out white and delicious! I have tried so many homemade frostings and this is the one, my search is over. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Charlotte – I agree that the frosting is crazy – you wonder if it will ever come together! I’m so glad the cake and the frosting was a hit!

  207. […] by Veronica Miller, with help from this recipe, and The Cake […]

  208. Veronica says:

    I’m doing a happy dance, Mel! Thank you so much for sharing this. I truly did NOT think I could ever replace my cake mix cakes b/c even the best scratch cakes were still not better and they were so much more work! This one is a little more work, but worth it b/c it’s better than the cake mix cakes! I waited to comment until the day after just to make sure it stayed moist after storing 24 hours and it’s still perfect. Score!

    • Mel says:

      Veronica – I’m so happy this cake lived up to your expectations! It’s hard to trump those darn cake mixes but I’m thrilled this stayed moist a day later and that you loved it!

  209. grace says:

    wowza. i’m hesitant to admit that chocolate cake is close to the bottom of my list of desserts-i-must-consume, but it’s on there. and with that frosting, well, it automatically moves up. 🙂

  210. Emily says:

    i made this cake WITH the AMAZING {!!} frosting yesterday for a big family bday celebration. oh my, it was divine. thank you for sharing.

  211. Mel says:

    Naomi – thanks for your notes on adapting these to cupcakes. I’m glad you loved these and hope your baby does too!

  212. Naomi says:

    I just made this as cupcakes for my baby’s birthday tomorrow and had to sneak one. Oh wow. I don’t know why I am surprised but these are so good. Beyond anything I have ever eaten! Just wanted to add that I cooked my cupcakes for 16 minutes and the recipe made 36. Thank you for sharing everything you do!

  213. Brye says:

    OH MY GOODNESS MEL!! I will link to my blog when I get the post up but this cake was AMAZING!! and I don’t usually say that. It wasn’t over sweet. It wasn’t too crumbly. It was the perfect birthday cake and the frosting!! Heaven. I had to send some of the cake with the inlaws because I would have eaten all of it! Thank you so much. I love your blog and have tried tons of your recipes and I love them!! I also made the skillet chicken with mexican green rice and it was a huge hit!YOU ROCK!!

    • Mel says:

      Brye – I’m so happy you were ecstatic with the result of this cake. I loved it for all the reasons you did – not overly sweet but so moist and rich. Glad you liked the skillet meal, too. Your in-laws are awfully lucky to get the leftovers!

  214. Brye says:

    I think I need to buy taller cake pans. I have the ones that i got for my wedding with the normal shorter sides and as this baked i was so nervous it would bake over. It did a little and the middle sank so tonight i am headed out to get taller cake pans and try the cake tomorrow but it’ll be yummy to snack on tonight!! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Brye – I actually just updated the recipe after I saw your comment. I didn’t have issues with the cakes baking over but I have heard from several who have so thanks for adding your feedback. I hope the cake ended up turning out ok!

  215. Kristen says:

    Made them into cupcakes. YUMMM!!!! Wish I had had time to make the magic frosting so went to my fall back of homemade cream cheese frosting. DIVINE anyway! I usually doctor up my cake mixes and while I love them, you can tell this is soooo much better! Rich, but not too rich, and super moist. This is definately now in the pile as a staple. Thanks once again for not letting me down! Words can not describe how you have changed my life. I thought I was a good cook, but you have just made my life so easy. I get requests for my recipes all the time and now I just refer them to your blog. I haven’t had a bad thing yet.

    • Mel says:

      Kristen – so glad that you loved this recipe! I can’t wait to try it as cupcakes like so many others have done. Thanks for your kind comment!

  216. Anna says:

    Now you have me doubting my favourite chocolate cake recipe.
    I’ll have to make this and compare, but I’m sure this recipe won’t let me down.

  217. You’ve convinced me that I need to try this next time I’m looking for a chocolate cake recipe! Beautiful pictures!!

  218. Carlee says:

    ok! So this IS the best chocolate cake!! It was a huge hit. My mother and mother-in-law both said it is their new favorite cake! Thanks!!

  219. Ava says:

    Oh my! I just made this cake and it is so good! I didn’t use your icing because I was in the mood for cream cheese, but next time I will!

  220. Gina Colby says:

    Making this right now, into cupcakes. I used powdered buttermilk because it stores in the refrigerator so much longer than the regular stuff. I’ll let you know the verdict when it’s done. 🙂

  221. I love baking with buttermilk, makes it so moist. I will put this on my cakes to try list 🙂

  222. Carlee says:

    What are the odds? I came to your website to see if I could find a great cake to make for my daughter’s birthday today. And immediately staring me in the face is this beauty. Thanks! I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

  223. Elizabeth says:

    Mmmm, I know this cake is good because I have a version of it on my site too..although mine has coffee instead of water. SO GOOD! So moist, so light and fluffy and rich in flavour. Yep, this one is a keeper! As for that frosting, I have heard of this “cooked” frosting before but never made it…maybe it’s time to switch up my old standby frosting for this one?? Cake seaon is here, so it’s on my list!

  224. I’m not a chocolate cake fan, but I just wanted to leave a quick comment and let you know that that is a beautiful picture! Just perfect! 🙂

  225. Kelly says:

    Ooooo, you’re killing me Mel! As sad is it sounds, I’ve never had a homemade chocolate cake that compares to the specific brand of cake mix that I mentioned in my comment yesterday either. I’ve been cutting back a lot on processed foods, though, so it would be great if this recipe compares! I will definitely be trying this soon. And regarding your disagreement from yesterday, I’m sure I’ve just had a LOT of bad homemade frostings – if I knew you in real life, I bet you could change my mind 🙂

  226. Mandy says:

    I have that cookbook and don’t believe I have ever made a thing out of it. :/ I have used the MS baking handbook more times than you can imagine. Looks like I need to christen her blue book and give this recipe a go. Will do the icing as well, I am super picky abt icing. I usually scrape it off so I HOPE this one lives up to the rave review yo have given it. I need an amazing recipe. Thanks for the wonderfulness of your blog. 🙂

  227. Veronica says:

    I am sooo happy that you did all the work to find the perfect cake and now all I have to do is use the recipe! I’m so excited to add another “best” to my recipe collection. It certainly looks perfect and I will be trying it out next time I need a chocolate cake!

  228. Oh my this looks soooooooooo rich and heavenly!

  229. Jeanette says:

    Made this tonight with your magical frosting ( i made cupcakes though) . It was so yummy!

  230. Suzanne says:

    I am also looking for the best yellow cake, preferably with a spectacular chocolate frosting with the bumps in it…don’t know what the bumps are, but they are always so good. My research thus far has been typical ingredients: butter, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, vanilla, and the only varying factor being milk or buttermilk. I’ll be checking in to see what you come up with.

  231. Anything with cream cheese has got to be good and this one looks fantastic!

  232. Diane Riedel says:

    This looks so delicious! I’ve printed out the recipe to team with the frosting recipe you supplied yesterday. I can hardly wait to make this. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  233. Beth says:

    Mel, you are killing me! I made the buttermilk cinnamon rolls the other day (delicious) because I had some buttermilk left that was about to expire. I still have enough to make this chocolate cake, so I clearly need to make this as well. I need to either stop going to your blog or stop buying buttermilk (I’ll choose the latter).

  234. Katy says:

    Of course, now I MUST make this cake and the frosting. I have been craving cake for a while so I think I must no longer fight the temptation and enjoy 🙂

    I do the same thing, look for the best, and once I find it I stop experimenting. I have a “favorite” chocolate cake, but I could be persuaded there is a “best.” Will certainly try this.

  235. LinC says:

    Looks yummy! Did you use regular cocoa or Dutch processed cocoa (sometimes called extra dark)?

  236. there is something to be said about a classic moist chocolate cake made from scratch!

  237. I thought the common thing between all those dishes was Southern classics! I’m so excited to see all these perfect recipes! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  238. Mindy says:

    Looks delicious! I love that you are searching for PERFECT recipes. I’ll be checking back to see if you find them. 🙂

  239. Jeanette says:

    that looks delicious! i can’t wait until you find the best cream cheese coffee cake! 🙂 oh, and i agree with “Kim in MD”

  240. Ah! I want a huge slice of this.

  241. Kim in MD says:

    I couldn’t wait to see what cake you made to go with that frosting! This looks TO DIE FOR! I love that you are on the hunt for “the best” recipes. I always think there is a better recipe , and I spend so much time looking for new ones and testing them. From now on- if you say it is “the best”, that will be the recipe that I turn to! Thanks for doing the research for me, Melanie! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Anna Maria says:

      Hi Mel,
      I’ve tried a few of your recipes on our large family of 9, and various friends. For the most part, A-OK. However, I have to say, as a very traditional baker of cakes from scratch, the unbelievable chocolate cake was good–equivalent to the Hershey’s cocoa cake recipe, but many people expressed the wish that I had used buttercream frosting, and really did not care for the texture or undertone of the white frosting you raved about. Incidentally, it turned out fluffy and all, but, it just seemed heavier than buttercream, and more sugary, less buttery. Our vote is still for basic buttercream! Thanks for the time and effort you put into your website, you are an inspiration!

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