The Perfect One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream recipe

After testing so many chocolate cake recipes over the years, I’ve come really close to perfection only to miss the mark on the essentials of a good chocolate cake: moistness, fluffiness, and great chocolate flavor. You know, the kind with the slightly sticky crumb that just melts in your mouth and almost makes your eyes roll back in your head because it’s just that good. While my chocolate cakes of the past have been acceptable, this one I’m about to share is the absolute best I’ve ever had. No joke. It’s moist, decadent, and makes me so giddy I want to shout it from the rooftops!

one bowl chocolate cake recipe
chocolate cake recipe from scratch

The best part of this chocolate cake recipe is that it’s about as easy as a cake mix. It’s a one-bowl cake, meaning you basically put all the ingredients into one bowl (in the right order, of course) and whip it up into the smoothest chocolate cake batter ever. There are absolutely no complicated steps to this cake, which makes it super failproof and the perfect go-to chocolate cake recipe for your repertoire.

This cake is ultra-moist due to the vegetable oil base and the addition of buttermilk. I always make the buttermilk from scratch instead of buying it, because it’s so easy to transform whole milk into full fat buttermilk, and whole milk is something I always have on hand. Just mix it with white vinegar (exact recipe below), let it sit for about 15 minutes, and voila! Perfect buttermilk every time.

easy chocolate cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

You can pair this chocolate cake with almost any buttercream, but I’ve chosen to pair it with my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe to really enhance the chocolate flavor. In the past I’ve paired it with cherry, raspberry, almond, salted caramel, and vanilla buttercreams and those pairings have been super tasty.

buttercream rope border with sprinkles

The rope border on top of this cake was created using Wilton Tip 1M to pipe rosettes on top of one another around the edge of the cake. Then I topped it all off with one of my favorite sprinkle mixes ever – Rainbow Road by SprinklePop. I think sprinkles are the perfect finishing touch, but you can decorate however you’d like.

Here’s a video I made to show you all the tips and tricks for making this chocolate cake recipe (below). For more recipe videos like this one + tons of cake decorating videos, head to my YouTube Channel and be sure to click the Subscribe button so you never miss a new one!

Update 2019: I’ve changed the measurements in the recipe below to make exactly enough batter for three 6-inch cake pans or two 9-inch cake pans. I always do triple 6-inch layers when making cakes (I like ‘em tall!), and since I get so many questions on how to convert the original recipe into three 6-inch layers I thought I’d just do the math for you. So same great recipe, with the most requested amount of batter! 

easy chocolate cake recipe by sugar and sparrow
5 from 23 votes
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Perfect One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

A moist, decadent chocolate cake that is so easy and quick to whip up, it’ll become a forever go-to. Top it with chocolate buttercream for the best chocolate cake ever. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups (265g) all purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 Cups (340g) white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 Cup (60g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch Process)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup (240ml) full-fat buttermilk*, room temperature DIY recipe in the notes
  • 1 Cup (240ml) hot water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6-inch or two 8-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with cooking spray and fitting the bottoms with a wax paper or parchment cake circle. 

  2. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir on low for 30 seconds to fully combine them. Add the vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and mix on low until just combined. With the mixer still on low, add the hot water in a slow stream, then turn the mixer to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. The batter will be very thin. 

  3. Pour into prepared cake pans no more than 2/3 full and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting with chocolate buttercream or frosting of your choice.

Recipe Notes

DIY Buttermilk recipe: add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to a jar and top it with 1 Cup of whole milk. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes before using in the recipe. 

Make ahead tips: this cake can be made ahead and stored at room temperature, covered tightly in plastic wrap, for up to two days. Alternatively, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months before thawing to room temperature. 

Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or by tagging me on Instagram! I love to see your creations and hear your feedback.

168 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried it with the chocolate buttercream and it was delicious! Of course not as pretty as yours but my daughter already requested I make it for her birthday… Which is in October

  2. 5 stars
    I made cupcakes with this recipe this weekend. Best chocolate cake recipe ever! Only problem was my cupcakes were pretty sticky on top even though they were completely baked. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • Hi Lisa! That’s awesome this recipe worked out as cupcakes! I have never made it as cupcakes so I’m not sure why they turned out sticky on top. The only thing I can think of is that this cake is meant to be super moist. I’ll test it as cupcakes and see if I get the same result.

  3. Chad E Peterson

    5 stars
    Another great recipe. I did the caramel apple cake last week and this one yesterday. Both were awesome, I liked the caramel apple better, my wife preferred this one. Both cakes cooked up perfectly. For this one it did dome up and had to cut off about 1″ to level it off, maybe I had too much flour. This chocolate cake is a good medium density, not too light and not too dense. My wife and kids are excited to see which one I will do next week. Thanks for the great recipes.

    • Thanks Chad!! So happy to hear you’re loving the recipes! I think the doming might be solved using cake strips around the pan to help the cake bake more evenly, but I never use cake strips and always just trim off the dome to make my cakes level. Can’t wait to see what you’ll try next and thanks for all the wonderful feedback 🙂

      • Hi,
        I am an amateur baker. Totally inspired by your blog. Would love to try your chocolate cake recipe.
        I have a doubt- my oven is rather small & can fit only one pan at a time. Would you suggest that I divide the recipe and prepare batter from scratch twice over or is it alright to make the batter as is ( one shot) and then let half of it sit on counter while the first batch bakes?
        So, basically what I want to know is that is this the kind of recipe where the batter just needs to go into the oven immediately after mixing or an hour’s delay in putting in oven wouldn’t matter?

        Thank you!

        • Hi Priti! Excited for you to try this recipe and thank you for the kind words. You can definitely make the batter and leave it out (covered) at room temp while the first layer bakes.

  4. 5 stars
    I did this cake already twice in last ten days. It really is perfect, very moist, soft and easy to do. Thank you for this recipe! Love from the Czech republic 🙂

    • That is so wonderful to hear, Klara! I’m so happy you’re loving this recipe!! Love from Portland as well 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness…sounds unbelievable. I wonder, I wonder if there is an amazing GF recipe??? As always, most amazing cakes ever Whit

    • Thanks so much, Ann!! I have yet to try making gluten free cake but I’ll totally let you know if I do!! 🙂 love you!

  6. I would like to make this cake but only have two 9″ cake pans. Will the measurements work?

    • Hi Kristin! This recipe will definitely work with two 9 inch cake pans with the measurements as is. Just make sure to fill the pans no more than 2/3 full and check them at 45 minutes to see if you need more time. Let me know how it goes!

    • Hi Donna! If you one-and-a-half the recipe (using 5 eggs) it should be perfect. Doubling it will work too but you’ll definitely have enough extra batter for a few more cake layers.

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! With the same batter, I was able to make 1 round cake and about 15 cupcakes! The cupcakes just need 17 mins in the oven and they rose up. I had no issues with it.

    And they are moist and delicious, this recipe is a keeper!

    I did make the mistake of using cold milk for the buttermilk, so my milk didn’t curdle at all, I still put it in after the 15 min wait and it was fine.

    So thank you so much for this lovely and easy recipe!

    • Hi Tina! I am so happy to hear that you love the recipe AND were able to make some cupcakes with it as well! I have yet to try making cupcakes with it but now I can’t wait 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Is there a way to rate this recipe more than five stars?! This was my first scratch made chocolate cake. I usually doctor up chocolate cake mixes because they’re fool proof and always moist, but this recipe is a game changer. I was skeptical at first because the batter was super watery, but the end result was perfection. This recipe yielded 44 cupcakes (using a 3.4 tbsp batter scoop). For me, it took 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. They were the most moist and tender cupcakes I’ve ever made. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • YAY!! I am so happy to hear that, Cat! I felt the same way having been used to relying on cake mixes for so long. I was so happy to finally create a chocolate cake recipe that’s about as easy as a cake mix + tasty as can be, and I’m elated to hear that you’re loving it too!!

  9. Alison Clark

    5 stars
    Hi I made these cakes today ready to decorate tomorrow but they seem quite heavy , is this normal ???

    • Hi Alison! They might feel heavy due to how moist they are, but how is the crumb? Is it soft and fluffy? Sometimes cakes can become dense if you overmix the batter, but this cake is meant to have a fairly fluffy, yet sticky crumb.

  10. Oh my goodness yes! I have tried my fair share of chocolate cake recipes, and I’ve finally found the winner! It’s moist, has the perfect texture, and great flavor! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Planning to make this in 6” cake rounds. I’ve been having a problem where my cake is sinking in the middle in these small pans. It’s cooking too fast on the sides! And then sinking! Any thoughts ?

    • Hi Katie! If your cake pan is repeatedly making your cake recipes sink in the middle, I would get some baking strips for the sides of the pan. They will make your cake bake more evenly. The sinkage might be from something else though, a few culprits are: oven temperature is too hot (even if it says it’s the right temp), too much rising agent (baking powder/soda) in the recipe, using baking powder thats over six months old, and overmixing the batter. This chocolate cake recipe has been tested a ton, so it shouldn’t sink unless there are other factors like the ones mentioned above. I’d suggest getting an internal oven thermometer just to make sure the oven isn’t running too hot + check that your baking powder is fresh + try baking the cake with baking strips just in case. You can find baking strips at your local cake decorating shop or online here: https://amzn.to/2ElNRB6 And PS I hope you love the chocolate cake recipe!!

    • Hi! I followed this recipe and used two 8 inch pans but for some reason even though I followed the measurements exactly I barely got to 1/3 filling for each tin, which was disappointing! I read a few posts that said they had heaps of batter leftover – any thoughts on where I went wrong?

      • Hi Lyn, that is a puzzler! How deep are your 8 inch pans? Mine are 2″ deep and when I make this recipe I’m able to fill them about 2/3 full.

  12. 5 stars
    Finally I found a very good cake, thank you for a great recipe! I baked it for my 11 birthday daughter and everybody enjoyed it

    • Thanks, Jibi! The buttermilk helps to add extra moisture, and I’ve got a DIY buttermilk recipe in the notes section (just add white vinegar to whole milk). If you don’t have white vinegar on hand I’m sure you could just use whole milk and be totally fine 🙂

  13. Lorraine F

    I used 3 round 6×2 inch pans and had lots of batter left over…im thinking to half the recipe next time. Or am I using the wrong cake pans?

    Fantastic cake, even better recipe than he last one I tried. And that one was pretty darn good too. Thank you!

    • Hi Lorraine, so happy you are loving the recipes! I use the same size pans and fill them 2/3 full and I do remember having a little extra batter left over. It’s hard to get the amount of batter exact in recipe writing and I’m still learning! If you half the recipe, your cake layers won’t be as tall but if you’re ok with that, I’d say go for it! Just be sure to lessen the baking time to accommodate thinner layers.

  14. Hi!! I just wanted to say that I have done it 4 times already and it is an amazing recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! I did it with the DIY buttermilk cause they dont sell that in Mexico. I also added a little less water, around 1 cup only and it stayed an hour on the oven (not sure if this is do to my oven temperature). It performs great everytime and is my new go to chocolate cake. Cant wait to try more of your recipes 🙂

    • Hi Maria! I am SO happy to hear that you’re loving the recipe! Thanks so much for letting me know, that totally makes my day! 🙂

  15. Vicky Adjei

    Just tried this recipe! A mouthful of awesomeness!! The only lil problem was that I could feel bits of the granulated sugar in the cake. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Vicki! So happy you love the recipe. The only things I can think of about the granulated sugar: 1) the hot water wasn’t hot enough or 2) the batter wasn’t mixed enough at the end of the recipe. If there were granules of sugar in the final cake it would mean that they hadn’t melted/fully incorporated. Next time, try boiling the water and then taking it off the burner for about a minute before pouring it in at the end and make sure you mix for the full 2 minutes at the end.

  16. Hi, I want to try out your recipe as i’m trying to find the most perfect moist soft chocolate cake ever for my friends birthday party. I just wonder how much ml of vegetable oil you mean with 3/4 cup and also the ml of hot water. As living in Belgium we don’t use cup measurements. Thx ahead for a quick response 😉

    • Thanks for catching that, Elke! I will add the ml measurements to the recipe for the vegetable oil and hot water!

    • Hi Kellianne! I’m not exactly sure how many cups of batter this recipe makes, but it’s enough to fill three 6 or 8 inch pans 2/3 of the way full. I hope that helps!

  17. I’d love to replicate this for my daughter’s birthday! How did you get the sprinkles so perfect?

    • Yay, Becky! This will make a great birthday cake! For the bottom part of the cake, I pour sprinkles into the palm of my hand and gently press them onto the cake. Then, I place the sprinkles one by one on the top two thirds of the cake by pressing them onto my finger and touching them to the cake. This video shows the same process on a different cake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hWwaFvcYHY&t=3s

  18. Philisha Naidoo

    Good day
    i love this recipe , however if i dont have a stand mixer , can we still beat this by hand and for how long ?

    • Hi Philisha! You can totally use a hand mixer for this cake recipe. Just follow the same speeds and timing in the instructions and you’ll be good. Let me know how it goes!

      • 5 stars
        Hi whitney..so glad I found your recipe. Just made this yesterday for my baby girl’s birthday and it turns out amazing. It was my first time to make my daughter her birthday cake and this recipe works so well and i used your white chocolate butter cream recipe as well for the frosting… everyone loved it. Really made my day..

        • Hi Eva! I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe as much as I do and it was a hit with your guests. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know and happy birthday to your daughter!!

  19. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! For me this recipe yielded two 6″ cakes, one 7″ cake, a tray of mini cupcakes, and a ramekin of cake, so it was a lot more than expected, but better more than not enough I suppose.

    I was wondering how long this cake lasts in the fridge though. I have enough cake domes and icing (from your provided buttercream icing recipe) to make cakepops, but wanted to make sure the cake was still okay. Thank you!!

    • Hi there! So happy you love the recipe! It yields a lot of cake batter (enough for three 8-inch layers!) and I’m working on paring it down for smaller cake sizes. For storing the cake, it’ll last up to two days wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp or you can store it in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for up to two months. I prefer either of those methods as opposed to the fridge just because if the cake isn’t frosted the refrigerator will dry out the cake more quickly. Let me know how the cake pops go!

      • Thank you for the info! The cake pops were very well received. Gonna have to make them again! <3

  20. Sue Wright

    My daughter made this cake and raved about it. She made it in three 6″ pans, however I have 8″ pans. Will the amount of batter best fit in 2 – 8″ pans, or can I bake it in 3 – 8″ pans?

    • Hi Sue! So happy your daughter loved this recipe! I’m sure you will too. It makes quite a lot of batter, enough for three 8 inch pans! Just make sure you fill them no more than 2/3 full and you’ll be good.

  21. The Best!
    Whitney, I’ve tried many – too many – chocolate cake recipes, with no success. But this recipe is the bomb! The crumb is chocolatey, delicious AND tender. To die for. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. And for your beautiful cake decorating ideas which are so unique and inspire me.

    • Hi Carol! So happy you love the recipe and thanks for the kind words! I feel the same way about this chocolate cake recipe, it’s one of my very favorites. Glad it’s brought you chocolate cake success too!

  22. Hi Whitney! I’m planning on using this recipe for my daughters 3rd birthday cake – I was wondering if the cake is easy enough to cut in half to fill with buttercream? I only have an 8/9” round tin (not 100% sure which) so was going to just do a two layer cake… will these measurements suffice? Thank you! Excited to try 🙂

    • Hi Claire! This recipe makes quite a lot of batter, enough for three 8 inch cake pans. The layers can be easily cut in half for filling with buttercream, but if you do it that way the layers will be about 1 inch tall instead of 2 inches tall. Alternatively you can just bake the cake layers in two intervals to have two 8-inch layers and the layers will be taller. Does that make sense? I hope you love the recipe!

  23. 5 stars
    Would this work for a 13×9 cake pan? I’ve made this recipe twice now and it’s the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve tried Ave that my family and friends love. I’m needing it for a take along cake in a disposable pan

    • Hi Tricia! I’m so happy you love the recipe! I’ve never tried it in a 13 x 9 pan but I’m sure it will work. I would bake at 350 and check it at 40-45 minutes to see if it needs more time.

  24. Could you use black cocoa mixed with black gel food color to make a black cake?? I know the flavor will be a little different….

    • Hi Breanna! I’ve never tried baking with black cocoa but I hear it’s amazing. It’s definitely worth a try (let me know how it goes if you do!). You could either use black cocoa or use regular cocoa and add a few drops of black food color gel to make the cake black.

  25. Wish me luck I’m about to attempt this for my daughter’s birthday will post the outcome

  26. This cake sounds wonderful. I have to make a chocolate cake for someone with a dairy allergy, would I be able to substitute soy or almond milk when making the buttermilk?

    • Hi Diane! From what I’ve read online, soy milk is the best substitute in cake recipes because of the high fat/protein content. I’ve never tried it myself but it seems like it works great! Let me know how it goes if you try it.

      • I can’t wait to try this!! Going to make this for my daughter’s 3rd bday, although with your white buttercream recipe for the frosting. Not going to do a dry run though so wish me luck!;)

        Do those 5 ounces also include the sprinkles piled on top of the cake?

        I’m obsessed with your website and cakes, so pretty and so glad I came upon it!

        • Thanks for the kind words, Sara! I’m excited for you to try these recipes! And yes – the 5 oz of sprinkles should be more than enough for placing on the sides and then piling on the top of the cake.

  27. 5 stars
    OMGosh! I thought I had a great chocolate cake recipe but mine didn’t even hold a candle to this one. Heavy, dense, just sweet enough. My new favorite. People rave about it everywhere I take it. Now, if you just had a vanilla or almond version 🙂

  28. 5 stars
    Hey Whitney,
    Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ve tried it several times and it’s absolutely perfect each time! It’s my go-to chocolate cake now – pretty quick and easy to make and totally delish <3 It's completely different than what we're used to here in Poland – the most common base for b-day cakes is usually a kind of soft sponge which is also great, but it's super soft and too delicate for any cream heavier than whipped cream and mascarpone. 🙂
    I've used yours with mascarpone-based chocolate cream and swiss meringue oreo buttercream (not a huge fan of a regular buttercream), and it's brilliant. I've actually got it in the oven at the moment for my b-day party tomorrow 🙂 Gonna use a truffle cream and blackcurrant preserves for the filling, and powdered milk buttercream for decor. Hoping for a decadent elegant result 🙂

    Lots of love from Poland!
    Aga

    • I’m so happy to hear that you’re loving this recipe, Aga! It’s one of my absolute favorites too. Pairing it with truffle cream and blackcurrant preserves sounds like a dream!

  29. 5 stars
    This is the best and easiest recipe I’ve ever tried.. thankyou so much for this.. my husband and kids loved it!

  30. Stephanie

    Hey!
    Do you have a richer mud cake recipe or could I add chocolate to this? I tried this today and it’s amazing however I’d just like it a little richer. The texture and level of moisture is unreal. Thankyou

    • Hi Stephanie! I’ve actually never made a mud cake before, so I don’t have any advice for turning this recipe into one. I have tried adding hot coffee instead of hot water and the taste was more rich – the chocolate flavor was amplified without it tasting like coffee. But feel free to add melted chocolate and experiment and let me know how it goes!

    • Benazir Raziq

      Hi Whitney,
      Can I use Coconut oil instead of Vegetable oil? Can I half the receipe to try for the first time? I don’t have kosher salt so planning to add Iodine Salt. Will it work? Or should I eliminate salt? Thanks In Advance.

      • Hi Benazir, although I have never personally tried it, I’ve heard that coconut oil can be used as a substitute for vegetable oil in baking. And iodized salt will be fine (all salts are pretty interchangeable in baking). If you want to half the recipe, that’s totally fine!

  31. Stephanie

    Oh thank you so much! I am making a cake for a family wedding and they’ve requested a mud cake but I just love your recipe and mud cakes are so heavy! I’ll try the coffee – what is the measurements? Thanks heaps!

    • Same measurements as the hot water, just use strong coffee as a straight substitute for the hot water. Hope you love it!

  32. Thankyou so much! Will try it this weekend! I’m hoping to make a vanilla or white choc buttercream to ice it in the naked style. Will try your recipe as well.

  33. jeannine frenzel

    5 stars
    This cake is “Perfect!” I baked it for a birthday girl, and the guests LOVED it! Whew! I would definitely double the frosting recipe to add the beautiful swirls for the top. This recipe is a keeper.

  34. Angie Brotzel

    5 stars
    This cake is absolutely delicious. I used two 9 inch pans. I am not the most experienced baker, and this recipe was so simple and easy for me. I brought it to a family dinner, and everyone loved it. I look forward to trying cupcakes with this recipe.

  35. Why don’t you use cake flour in this recipe? Is it ok to use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?

    • Hi Sarah, I don’t recommend cake flour in this chocolate cake recipe because it simply can’t withstand fine cake flour. Cake flour is a super fine ingredient, and since this chocolate cake already has cocoa powder in it (another VERY fine dry ingredient), those two ingredients together usually result in a flimsy cake. Trust me though, this cake recipe has a perfect crumb as-is. I hope you give it a try!

      • I made four cakes for my daughter’s first birthday party (we have a huge family). I did two of you vanilla cakes and two of these chocolate cakes. They were awesome! Everyone was impressed (you made me look like an awesome baker). I made your vanilla buttercream and your raspberry buttercream (except I used freeze dried strawberries instead of raspberries). They were so good my husband and I decided we should always have cake on hand. Now I bake a cake, we each have a slice and I freeze the rest for a treat on weekends. They freeze beautifully and taste just as good as if it were fresh. Thank you for sharing you baking secrets!

        • That makes me sooo happy to hear, Sarah!! I’m so glad you and your family have been loving these recipes! Totally makes my day 🙂

  36. Your cakes are amazing! I’ve made both the cake and buttercream. Would you recommend getting it ready now or leave separate and build tomorrow (birthday party is tomorrow). Thank you!

    • Hi Stephanie! I always fill and frost my cakes a day ahead just to save on the stress of making a cake the day of, but it totally depends how much time you have the day of the party. Once you frost a cake it stores beautifully in the refrigerator overnight and preserves all the moisture inside the cake, so it ends up tasting perfect next day.

  37. Hi, I want to make this recipe,but don’t have white vinegar at hand,Can I use lemon to make buttermilk?Thank you.

  38. 5 stars
    Love, love, love this one! It’s one of my favorite go-to recipes. I usually put some raspberry jam in the middle to give it an extra punch. It always gets devoured immediately

      • Yes, it combines perfectly with the tangy raspberry jam! Just a quick question: how to adapt the recipe if using Dutched cocoa?

        Thanks!

        • Hi Maja, so happy it pairs well with raspberry jam! Unfortunately I don’t recommend using Dutch process cocoa because it has been alkalized with potassium, meaning the acidity gets neutralized. It upsets the chemistry of the leavening agents, so my only recommendation is to get natural, unsweetened cocoa to use.

      • Benazir Raziq

        Hi Whitney,
        I did half the receipe and made the most moist chocolate cake!!That’s a big hit! I used melted butter as a substitute for vegetable oil. In this case do I need to alter any other ingredient quantity?Thanks for the wonderful recipe

        • I’m so happy to hear that you loved this cake recipe, Benazir! You shouldn’t need to substitute anything else in the recipe.

  39. Hi Whitney! I’m so excited to try this recipe for my son’s birthday. He’s requested a cookies and cream cake, and your chocolate cake sounds like it will pair deliciously!!!
    I have reduced fat buttermilk. Do you think it will work alright?

    Thanks so much!!

  40. Heather Cunningham

    5 stars
    This cake was so tender and delicious!! I combined recipes to make filling and a glaze for a cookies and cream cake – and it was a big hit! This is definitely and keeper.
    I had enough batter to make 2 – 8 inch rounds.

  41. I have an electric fan oven – if I convert 350F to celsius it is 175 degrees – do you think I should reduce the temperature by 20 degrees to compensate for the fan? Many thanks x

    • Hi Sharon! From what I have read on the internet that is correct. Fan assisted ovens must be reduced by 20 degrees celsius to mimic a conventional oven’s temperature. I have never baked in a fan assisted oven before though, so I am just going based off what I’ve read.

    • Hi Terrah, for this recipe you should definitely use all-purpose flour. Since chocolate cake has cocoa powder in it (also a very fine ingredient), using cake flour would mess with the chemistry of the cake recipe because it’s too fine.

  42. Carolyn Kotler

    I do not have 6” cake pans. Can I use 8” pans?
    Thank you.
    Carolyn

  43. 5 stars
    This is probably one of THE best chocolate cakes I have ever made/tasted. I love all your recipes! <3

    However, I have made it twice and both times I have had trouble stacking it to decorate. It's so light and fluffy that my cake has been collapsing on itself. Which isn't a problem when it comes to taste just when it comes to presentation.

    Any idea what I may be doing wrong? Maybe I should make the cake the day prior to decorating? Thank you so much!

    • So happy you love this recipe, Dani! Are you making sure the cakes are completely cooled before stacking them? I usually let mine cool for a minimum of two hours and ideally, overnight. That’s the only thing I can really think of that would make this cake collapse or crumble. Another tip: once the cakes are completely cool, be sure to fill and crumb coat the cake, then stick it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to let the crumb coat set firm. That will give your cake the perfect amount of structure for the final frosting.

  44. I want to make this into a 3 layer 8-inch cake, and since I need to 1 and 1/2 the recipe how much eggs would that require?

    This looks delicious can’t wait to make it

  45. Hi,
    I am totally smitten by your recipes & the pictures.
    I am an amateur baker & would be thankful if you could help me out. My oven is small & cannot fit more than one cake pan at a time. So, my question is can I mix the batter all at once & then bake one by one? Meaning to say that, while one layer is getting baked, the prepared batter for other layers would be sitting out on the counter.

    Lots of love & best wishes from India 🙂

    Thanks!!

    • Hi Priti! Thanks for the kind words. You can definitely leave this batter out at room temp (covered loosely) while the other layers bake.

  46. Hello!! I can’t wait to make this cake but I cannot find natural cocoa powder. Could you please help me with the measurements if I were to use my dutch process cocoa?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Line! I haven’t ever tried this recipe with Dutch Process Cocoa, so I can’t say for sure how to alter it. From a quick Google search, it seems like you can substitute the all-natural cocoa powder with an equal amount of dutch process, but then replace the baking soda in this recipe with twice the amount of baking powder (dutch process cocoa powder has a negative reaction with baking soda). Seems like following that rule would require you to use a lot of baking powder.. but you can try using an equal amount of dutch process cocoa + a total of 5 tsp baking powder (omit the baking soda) and see how it turns out. Let me know if you do!

  47. Hi, I’m planning to make this cake this week and am beyond excited. It sounds delicious! I’m only wondering, what are your thoughts on adding espresso powder to the batter? thanks!

    • So excited for you to try this recipe, Isa! Instead of adding espresso powder to the batter, I recommend dissolving it in the hot water (or just using hot coffee in place of the hot water) to add a little bit of coffee flavor!

  48. SUSAN Lehner

    5 stars
    This is cake is my go-to–always turns out great!
    Question: Does this updated recipe (that calls for 2 cups flour) make three 6″ rounds and two 9″ rounds that are 2″ tall?

    I have the prior version printed out…the version that calls for 3 cups flour…
    How many 2″ tall 6″ (or 8″) rounds did that version make?

    (I am trying really hard to measure the batter in my pans so that the layers will be 2″ tall, or a bit higher to allow for leveling.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Susan! So happy you love this recipe! It’s the same exact recipe as before, only reduced the amount of batter it makes because I kept getting complaints that it made too much. So the recipe you have printed out is the same, it just makes four 6″ rounds or three 8″ rounds instead of the amount that this recipe specifies 🙂

  49. Hello! This recipe looks delicious. I am
    Planning to make it this weekend but I do not have a stand mixer. I will have a hand mixer/electric whisk though. Will I need to change the recipe? Many thanks!

    • Hi Jen! No need to change the recipe at all, it’ll work just fine with a hand mixer. I hope you love it!

  50. Hi! Your chocolate cake looks amazing! Can i use this recipe to make a 4 layers 6 inches cake about a height of 10 inches? Is the sponge stable enough for a tall cake? Thanks

  51. Benazir Raziq

    5 stars
    Hi! Me again!
    Can I use any cake pan size for ur recipes or Should I use only the mentioned cake pan size?

  52. Nancy Lekanides

    Would you please tell me how many cups of batter this makes? I have to make a rather large cake this weekend and want to have enough to fill. Thanks.

    • Hi Nancy! I don’t know the exact cup measurement for the batter in this recipe, but I’m guessing it’s around 7.5 cups. The way I figured that out is a box cake mix yields 5 cups of batter and it would take 1.5 of those to fill three 6-inch cake pans 2/3 of the way full (which is the amount this recipe yields). What size cake are you making? Knowing that will help me figure out how best to multiply this recipe to accommodate your large cake.

    • Hi Tasnim! This recipe is written for three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans. What size are your pans?

  53. Hi Whitney, could you please tell me which brand all-natural cocoa powder you use please?

  54. 5 stars
    After reading a million chocolate cake recipes I used this for my son’s 19th birthday cake last year. He loved it and has requested it again this year, so glad I saved the link!!

    • Yay, Revonda!! That makes me so happy to hear. Glad you found your way back to this recipe again and happy birthday to your son!!

  55. Deb Holloway

    I would like to make 3 layers using 9″ pans that are 2″ high. Should I increase the batter by 1/2 of the original recipe? If so, how many eggs would I need?

    • Hi Deb! Yes, I would multiply the ingredients in this recipe by 1.5x to get the perfect amount. You’d need 3 eggs. Be sure to fill the pans no more than 2/3 full.

  56. Hi
    Sorry if someone has asked already(skimmed through the comments and didn’t really see) but can you recommend adjustments for altitude of 3500ft?

  57. Hey
    I want to make this cake but I want to know if I can leave out the baking soda and replace it with more baking powder? Whenever I use baking soda it gives my cakes a weird taste.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lucia, unfortunately doing so will throw off the chemistry of the cake since the baking soda is partly responsible for making the cake rise properly. I’ve never had a problem with this recipe tasting like baking soda.. is it possible that your baking soda is expired?

    • Hi Kaye, if you’re just making two 6 inch layers and you want exact measurements, you’ll need to multiply every ingredient in this recipe by 2/3 (or .66667). Hope that helps!

  58. Rose Mendis

    I really enjoyed your recepie for many reasons. It’s so so good for numerous reasons. So soft and moist and a good one. One bowl really deserves for it is less cumbersome. I have been looking for a real perfect chocolate cake and now I have found one Thank you so much.
    But I would like to know if I could substitute melted butter for vegetable oil and use less cocoa powder in this recepie. as it aggravates gastric problems.

    • Hi Rose! So happy you love this recipe as much as I do! I have never tried subbing in melted butter, so I can’t say for sure how that would turn out. I would keep the cocoa powder the same amount, since it’s important for the chemistry of the cake. You are certainly free to experiment with this recipe and see if it can be altered to your liking!

  59. Courtney Havrilla

    Hi Whitney! I just stumbled across your blog when searching for a space cake to do for my niece’s birthday. I want to give your chocolate cake a try and do a marbling effect with vanilla cake. Can I use 1 C of strong brewed coffee in place of the hot water? I tend to see coffee used with chocolate cake since the flavors work so well together.

  60. I want to make 2 -8″ layers in 3″ cake pans. What were the original measurements, please? I think I need that amount of batter. Thanks.

    • Hi Stephanie! This recipe should make enough batter for two 8 x 3 inch layers as-is. If you’d rather make the original recipe amount, just multiply each ingredient by 1.5 and you’ll be good to go.

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