The Best Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe – A one bowl chocolate cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Updated with gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options!
The best chocolate cake recipe. Ever? There are plenty of claims for the best chocolate cake recipe. I get that. But with one bite of this decadent, moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, every single person around the table commented that this was the best chocolate cake they’d ever tasted.
As the compliments continued, I didn’t begin to tell them how easy it was to make.
In all honesty, it is probably one of the easiest cakes I’ve made in a long time, really, but I just smiled and thanked them.
As we continued on gobbling up the cake, drinking our coffee or iced cold milk, the compliments just kept coming.
Then the requests for the recipe started.
That’s generally when you know that folks really like what you’ve made if they ask for the recipe and tell you for what event they plan to serve it.
As a cook, that really is one of the highest compliments you can receive – well, at least in my book.
The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever
It was great to hear that they thought the cake was just as good after their last bite as they thought it was with their first.
Here’s another great thing about this recipe. The cake batter really can be made in a bowl without the use of a heavy duty mixer. Of course, that just makes things easier, but this is easily a recipe my Grandmother would have enjoyed making in her tiny kitchen with a whisk and a bowl. And I’m sure it would have turned out perfectly, too.
I’m not going to kid you, this makes a very rich, moist chocolate cake recipe. So if you are a faint of heart chocolate cake person, this is not the cake for you.
Based on the Old Fashioned Hershey’s recipe, I sort of went a bit heavy-handed with some changes testing cake after cake until I got it just the way I wanted it, but the end result was oh so worth it. The crumbs left on the plate gave that away.
I’m not going to lie to you; this recipe yields a wonderfully moist, rich chocolate cake. This cake is not for you if you are a weak-hearted fan of chocolate cake.
Based on the Old Fashioned Hershey’s recipe, I kind of went a little far with certain tweaks, testing cake after cake until I had it exactly how I wanted it. However, the end result was so, so worth it. That was evident from the crumbs on the plate.
You’ll Need :
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk room temperature
1 cup hot water
2 large eggs room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
8 oz good quality dark chocolate chopped, melted, cooled*
chocolate curls or sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350F, grease two 8″ round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
Bake for 45 mins or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.**
Place bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins). Or registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.***
Add cooled melted chocolate and whip until smooth.
Place a layer of cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approx. 1 cup of buttercream and spread evenly. Place second layer on top and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20mins.
Place 1 cup of frosting on top and spread evenly. Smooth the sides and flatten the top, then use a large offset spatula to do a swirl pattern on top.
Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip, pipe rows of frosting around the cake, starting at the bottom. Apply even pressure as you rotate your turntable. Continue working your way up the cake to the top, making sure the seams all align at the back.
Decorate the top with chocolate curls, pearls, and flakes if desired.