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 fudgy, moist, decadent, and makes me so giddy I want to shout it from the rooftops!
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. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can easily make it from scratch using whole milk. Just mix it with white vinegar (exact recipe is in the notes below), let it sit for about 15 minutes, and voila! Perfect buttermilk every time.
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.
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 2022 – Two things: 1) I realized that you can absolutely make this recipe by hand instead of using a mixer! That makes it an even easier one bowl cake. Exact instructions are in the notes of the recipe below. 2) I prefer using hot coffee in this recipe (enhances the chocolate flavor big time!), but you can absolutely use hot water as an alternative.
Perfect One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 Cups (265g) all purpose flour
- 1 2/3 Cups (340g) white granulated sugar
- 2/3 Cup (60g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 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 coffee or hot water
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour into prepared cake pans no more than 2/3 full and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting with chocolate buttercream or frosting of your choice.
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.
Caryn Ogle says
Can’t wait to try it!!
Yess! Let me know when you do!!
The cake looks delicious! I was wondering if I can pair this with vanilla buttercream?
Hi Sal! This cake is one of my very favorites and it pairs wonderfully with vanilla buttercream. I hope you get a chance to make it soon!
I made this cake for my daughters birthday and oh my word! The cake was absolutely delicious! It was really domed up when I took it out of the oven but I used a serrated knife to cut it off and enjoy that part with custard lol. I used your vanilla buttercream recipe and it was perfection! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe it was an absolute hit!
Yay, Sal! I’m so happy to hear that and I’m glad you found a way to enjoy the trimmings from the domed top 🙂 Thanks so much for letting me know it was a hit!
Jenny Maquignaz says
Got them baking at the moment. Thanks
Hooray!! Let me know what you think, Jenny!
I’m going to try this recipe next week woop woop! Xxx
Can’t wait for you to try this one, Ellie! It’s my absolute fave 🙂
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
Yay, Elsa!! I am so happy to hear that you and your daughter loved the recipes!! That totally makes my day 🙂
Looks so awesome.
What tip did you use to pipe the top of the cake?
Thanks so much, Antonia! I used Wilton tip 1M to pipe rosettes on top of one another to create a rope border.
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.
Thank you! I’m anxious to hear if you get the same results.
Chad E Peterson says
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 🙂
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?
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.
Gloria Dilger says
Just finished baking three six inch cakes. The domes are massive, and I used cake strips. Any clue what went wrong? Heat too high, beat too long…
Hi Gloria! I don’t think you did anything wrong, my cakes always bake with a dome on top and I use this technique to level them: https://sugarandsparrow.com/level-and-torte-cake-layers/. Hope that helps!
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 🙂
Ann Menke says
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!
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!
Thanks so much for your help! I’ll be sure to let you know.
Donna Oliphint says
I want to make three 8″ layers. Should I double the recipe?
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.
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 🙂
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!!
Alison Clark says
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.
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!
That’s so wonderful to hear, Katlyn! I’m SO happy you love the recipe!!
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.
Hey! What of I just want one layer.
What measurements should I use?
Hi Sade! For one 6-inch layer, you’ll want to make 1/3 of this recipe. A recipe scale calculator like this can help with the math: https://www.inchcalculator.com/recipe-scale-conversion-calculator/
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
That makes me so happy to hear, Roxana! So glad you love the recipe!!
Jibi ben says
Lovely presentation. Can I use milk instead of butter milk ?
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 🙂
Lorraine F says
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.
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! 🙂
Vicky Adjei says
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.
Vicky Adjei says
.kk, great! Thanks!
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!
How many cups of batter does this make? Thanks!
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!
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
Philisha Naidoo says
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!
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!!
Can I just ask does this recipe make enough batter for a 2 or a 3 layer 8inch cake? It seems to say different things in the comments. Thank you
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
Yay!! So happy the cake pops turned out perfectly!! I’m gonna have to try them some time!
Sue Wright says
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.
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!
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!
Thank you! Makes sense! Will report back
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.
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.
Wish me luck I’m about to attempt this for my daughter’s birthday will post the outcome
Yay, Maya! Hope you love it!
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.
Can you tell me how many oz of sprinkles to order to replicate? Thanks!
Hi Kelly! I used about 5 oz of the Rainbow Road sprinkles by SprinklePop. Here’s the link, just be sure to choose the 8 oz option so you have enough: https://amzn.to/2VP5ZKI
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.
Tami Hons says
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 🙂
So happy you love this recipe, Tami! Thanks for letting me know! Have you tried my vanilla cake recipe yet? It’s a crowd fave as well: https://sugarandsparrow.com/vanilla-cake-recipe/
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!
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!
This is the best and easiest recipe I’ve ever tried.. thankyou so much for this.. my husband and kids loved it!
So happy to hear that, Santhi!! I’m glad you love this recipe as much as I do 🙂
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 says
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!
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!
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.
jeannine frenzel says
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.
So happy the recipe was a hit, Jeannine!
Angie Brotzel says
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.
So happy you love this recipe as much as I do, Angie! Glad it was a hit!!
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 🙂
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.
Hi, I want to make this recipe,but don’t have white vinegar at hand,Can I use lemon to make buttermilk?Thank you.
Hi Andrea! You can definitely sub lemon for the white vinegar and get the same result.
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
Oooh raspberry jam filling sounds amazing with this cake! Gonna have to try that. So happy you love this recipe!!
Yes, it combines perfectly with the tangy raspberry jam! Just a quick question: how to adapt the recipe if using Dutched cocoa?
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.
Hi, I cannot seem to find it here. It’s all Dutched…
Found it, works a dream
Benazir Raziq says
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.
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!!
Hi Heather! This chocolate cake recipe pairs so well with cookies and cream buttercream that I actually used it for my Oreo Cookies & Cream Cake recipe here: https://sugarandsparrow.com/oreo-cake-recipe/ you can use reduced fat buttermilk for this cake and it turns out just fine. Excited for you to try this recipe!
Heather Cunningham says
Thanks so much!! I’ll report back!!
Heather Cunningham says
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.
Yay, Heather! So happy this recipe was a hit!
Sharon Thompson says
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.
Terrah Todd says
Should I use cake flour instead of all purpose on this recipe?
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.
Carolyn Kotler says
I do not have 6” cake pans. Can I use 8” pans?
Hi Carolyn, you can certainly use 8-inch pans! This recipe makes enough for two 8-inch layers.
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.
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
Hi Angel! 1.5 times this recipe would equal 3 eggs. Excited for you to make this!
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 🙂
Hi Priti! Thanks for the kind words. You can definitely leave this batter out at room temp (covered loosely) while the other layers bake.
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!
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!
SUSAN Lehner says
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 🙂
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!
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
Hi Joshna! I would 1.5x or double the recipe to make a cake with layers that tall. Usually when I make a triple layer 6 inch cake it ends up being about 5.5 inches tall, so you’ll need an additional few layers to stack it to 10 inches tall. The sponge is stable for stacking, but for a cake that tall I would recommend using this method for stability: https://sugargeekshow.com/news/cake-decorating-basics-easy-double-barrel/
Benazir Raziq says
Hi! Me again!
Can I use any cake pan size for ur recipes or Should I use only the mentioned cake pan size?
Any pan size will do, but the baking times will need to be adjusted for other pan sizes.
Nancy Lekanides says
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.
can I put the mixture in only two pans???
Hi Tasnim! This recipe is written for three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans. What size are your pans?
Hi if I’m looking to make 2–10 inch cakes do you recommend doubling recipe?
Hi Bianca! Yes – for two 10 inch cakes, you’ll want to double the recipe. I’m not sure about the baking time for that pan size since I’ve never baked this recipe in a 10 inch pan before, but I would check the cakes at 40 min and go from there. Enjoy!
Hi Whitney, could you please tell me which brand all-natural cocoa powder you use please?
Hi Shari! I use Hershey’s cocoa powder: https://amzn.to/33iRQel
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!!
Deb Holloway says
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.
Sorry if someone has asked already(skimmed through the comments and didn’t really see) but can you recommend adjustments for altitude of 3500ft?
Hi there! I actually don’t know how to alter cake recipes for high altitude, so I can’t say for sure how to adjust this one. BUT I did find some general rules of thumb for converting recipes to high altitude here: https://food52.com/blog/24630-high-altitude-baking-adjustments-guide hope that helps!
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.
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! How much of the recipe should I use for 2 6″ cakes? Thank you! 🙂
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!
Rose Mendis says
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!
Courtney Havrilla says
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.
Hi Courtney! You certainly can sub in coffee for the hot water. Just make sure it’s hot coffee!
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.
I wanted to ask if I could make this recipie ahead of time.
Hi Matt! You certainly can make the cake layers ahead – the info on that is in the notes section of the recipe 🙂
The chocolate cake was so moist and good! I made the buttercream also but I messed it up somehow as it was too soft. Didn’t matter I still enjoyed both! Thanks so much for the recipe!
So happy you love these recipes, Shamaine!
Usually I don’t leave reviews on websites, but I have to for this one. This cake recipe is the best I’ve ever baked! I am a very avid baker, and I have tried several recipes, but none have ever been as good as this one!
Wow, Mara! I am so flattered! Thank you for taking the time to review this recipe and share how much you loved it 🙂
Can I bake each separate layer in a tall 6 inch cake pan, or is it best if I bake all the batter at once and then divide it using a cake leveller?
Hi Meera! You can bake each layer separately if need be, but I do recommend getting three shorter pans if you often make triple layer cakes. I have never baked this recipe in a tall cake pan before so I am unsure how to adjust the oven temperature or baking time for the recipe, but if you’re used to baking recipes in a tall cake pan feel free to try it!
Hi Whitney! How come you do not sift the all purpose flour for this cake? Is it better not to sift it for chocolate cake?
Hi Julianna! In my experience with this recipe, sifting doesn’t make enough of a difference to add as a step. I think it has something to do with the cocoa powder acting as a softener already, which is why you don’t typically see sifting as a step in most chocolate cake recipes. Hope that helps!
Thank you so much for all the tutorials! I’m baking my first Cale this weekend for my 37th birthday! Quick question, can I use cacao powder instead of cocoa? I just always read that it’s healthier, but I don’t know how it holds up in baking.
Hi Michelle! I’m so excited for you to make this cake to celebrate your birthday! I’ve never baked with cacao powder before, so I’m not sure how to alter this recipe to substitute it in. After some Googling it sounds like cacao powder tastes more bitter and is very absorbent, which means upping the sugar and increasing the liquid in a recipe, both of which could throw the chemistry of this specific recipe off. You can feel free to experiment with this recipe as a base if you’d like to use cacao powder, but I would recommend sticking with cocoa powder with this one since it wouldn’t be a straight substitution. Happy early birthday and I hope that info helps!
Currently in the oven!! I am a little nervous since I accidentally added the hot water right in with all the wet ingredients. Is this ok? The batter is thin as described! So excited to see it and try it.
Hi Rosie! So excited for you to make this cake! I have never added the hot water in with all the wet ingredients before, but hopefully it turned out ok for you. Let me know!
Seriously the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever used! It’s 110% a keeper!
Thank you so much for this recipe! I have literally been trying different chocolate cake recipes for YEARS and not a single one has been a keeper. This one is!!! I haven’t written a recipe on a recipe card in two decades but I’m going to write this one down right now so I can always find it! Same with you buttercream! Smoothest cake I’ve ever frosted!!
Yay, Darcey!! It makes me so happy to hear that you love these recipes as much as I do! Thank you for taking the time to let me know 🙂
alexis garcia says
SUCH a goo recipe. It was sooo moist my boyfriend asked that i make it again. I do have a few questions. How can I adapt this recipe to get 4 6 inch layers that are 1-1.5 inches in thickness? As well as 4 8 inch layers. Lastly could I add chocolate chips to make it like a chocolate chocolate chip cake.
So happy to hear that Alexis! To make four 6 inch layers instead of 3, you have two options: 1) make 1.5x the recipe (multiply each ingredient by 1.5) and you’ll have more batter than necessary, or 2) make the recipe as is and divide it between four pans. You should end up with layers that are at least 1 inch tall. I would decrease the baking time to about 30-35 minutes since the layers would be smaller. To make four 8 inch layers, just double the recipe. You can add chocolate chips, but I would add mini chocolate chips (about 1 cup) and coat them in 1 Tbsp of flour before folding them in at the end so that they don’t sink. Hope that helps!
alexis garcia says
Thank you!! I will definitely be adding in some chocolate chips for another time that I make this
I just made this in 2 x 8 inch pans and it came out VERY cracker on top. Hoping that when I cut it flat the cracks will only be on the top and not all the way through. Any ideas as to the cracking please?
Hi Selina! A cracked cake typically means either the oven temp is too high or the pan is placed on an incorrect rack (too high up in this case). I recommend getting an oven thermometer to make sure the internal temp matches what’s on the oven display, and placing the cake on a rack in the center of the oven. Even still, a cracked cake top is rarely ever a problem once the cake is leveled/torted. Hope that helps!
have you ever used powdered buttermilk?
Hi Kathy! I have not tried powdered buttermilk, so I am not sure how it would work in this recipe. You are welcome to try it!
I did make this with the powder buttermilk and it came out great. Your buttercream frosting is fantastic. I’m practicing cake decorating with your tutorials.
Yay! Thanks so much for the update, I’m so happy to hear it worked and that the recipe is a hit!
I was wondering why you have mentioned not using Dutch Process Cocoa Powder for the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe. I prefer to use this but I also like the look of your recipe so would it be ok to use Dutch Process?
Hi Lizzy! The reason why you’ll need to use natural (aka non-Dutch Process) cocoa powder with this recipe is because Dutch Process is treated with an alkalizing agent to lessen its acidity, which neutralizes the leavening agents in this recipe. In other words, it cancels out the ingredients that make this cake rise and won’t bake properly. Hope that helps and that you have access to natural cocoa powder – I use Hershey’s brand and it should be available at your local grocery store.
I would have crashed ahead with the Dutch Process Cocoa
Have loved making some of your cakes so far! For some reason I’m not able to see any of the comments on any posts anymore…
I am planning to make this cake this weekend but using 5 inch tins and just checking if I would need to adjust the cooking time at all? Thanks!
Hi Elonie! There was a temporary issue on the tech side of things that hid the comments, but it has since been resolved (phew!). I’ve never tried this recipe in a 5 inch tin before, but my hunch would be to check the cake at 30-35 minutes as it won’t take as long to bake. Hope that helps!
Mohammed Omer says
my cake is cooking right now just a another 30m 🙂 i can not wait.
Yay, Mohammed! Hope you love this recipe!
I made this chocolate cake recipe at cupcakes and it made 24 standard size cupcakes. Paired it with the ruby chocolate buttercream which is delicious!
Amazing, Hannah! Thanks so much for sharing and I’m happy you loved this recipe!
victoria drinkwater says
Can i use lowfat buttermilk instead of full fat?
Hi Victoria! Lowfat should be totally fine.
Christine Musselman says
I want to make a 6″, 3-layer cake. Can you please give the recipe? I know it isn’t the same as for 8- or 9-inch recipes. I would appreciate it if you could send it to my email address. Thanks!
Hi Christine! This recipe makes enough for a 6″ three layer cake as-is. No need to alter it at all!
Coqui Selva says
Whitney, Hi i did the recipe exactly you explain in the post
However, muy 3 cakes (6) resulted, very ,very little, not tall. . I am very sad. What can I do?. Would you help me.
I want them tall, Like yours.
Your recipe, is original, or, you converted the measures??
Thank you so much. I was very happy when I baked, but the results were very bad. What can I do???.
Hi Coqui! Sorry to hear that your cakes didn’t seem to rise – I’ve never heard of that happening with this recipe. Assuming that you haven’t substituted any ingredients, here are a few things to check for next time: 1) be sure to use NON dutch process cocoa (aka natural, unsweetened cocoa) as this recipe calls for it. If you used dutch process, it will affect the rise of the cake negatively 2) check to see that your baking powder is fresh. It expires every 6 months, and if it’s expired it will not allow the cake to properly rise 3) make sure that all your ingredients are room temperature except for the hot water. The video embedded in this post might be very helpful to watch before your next attempt. Hopefully this helps and you’re able to try again soon!
This recipe and your response to my question about how to transfer the frosted cake made my family’s Christmas Eve special, even during covid. Thank you! A follow up question. I’m looking to make this again in a larger size. Your intro says this batter works for two 9” pans but the recipe says 8”. Which works best for the baking time in the recipe?
Thanks for catching that, Amy! The baking time specified is best for two 8″ pans or three 6″ pans. This recipe will work with 9″ pans, but the baking time would be more like 30-35 minutes for those (less time because the batter won’t be as deep). Hope that helps!
This recipe is fab! Lovely crumb to it but my only concern is it collapsing on itself. I did the 4 layer 6 inch version for a birthday cake and i’m so worried about the bottom layer. It’s so light that I don’t think it can support the weight of the rest 🙁
So happy you love this recipe, Nicola! It should be totally fine as a four layer cake but if you’re concerned about the weight you can always support the cake by making it into a double barrel (here’s a video to show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wi6IRWItnI&t=135s).
Rebecca Drescher says
This recipe is amazing!!! I just made it into this basket design, with homemade white chocolate succulents on top and a lot of sprinkles-HUGE hit. Thank you thank you, will def be making this again 🙂
Yay, Rebecca! That makes me so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit 🙂 The design sounds beautiful!
I just made this cake to celebrate my parent’s wedding anniversary. The whole family loved it! It was delicious! The cake was moist and had just the right amount of sweetness.
Yay, Amy! So happy to hear that this recipe was a hit for the whole family!
Aashka Bhandari says
I made this cake thrice using your recipe and it turned out so perfect!! Thanks so much!
Can you also suggest what can I do to substitute eggs in this recipe?
I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe, Aashka! I’m not sure how to substitute the eggs in this recipe BUT I have a great Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe that is egg-free and so tasty it truly rivals this one. It’s also one-bowl! https://sugarandsparrow.com/vegan-chocolate-cake-recipe/
Can this recipe be used for the middle tier of a 3 tier cake?
It sure can, Uzma!
This cake is amazing!!
I used two 8” pans and sliced each one to get 4 layers total.
It came out perfectly moist, not too sweet and it didn’t colapse at all!!
I used vanilla buttercream to cover it and topped it with a chocolate drip for my dad’s birthday. He absolutely loved it.
I’m so happy I found your blog and will definitely make this cake again.
Yay, Ingrid! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit for your dad’s birthday! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know and for the kind words about my blog 🙂
Naznin Khanom says
How tall is the 3 layer 6 inch cake when made and assembled
Hi Naznin! It’s about 5 1/2 inches tall when assembled.
Not sure what happened but it didn’t work for me at all sadly.
The cake was SO dense and heavy and was inedible.
I used the recipe for three 5 inch pans and had to bake for 45 minutes before the toothpick came out clean. It tasted fine but the texture was really unpleasant.
No idea what I did wrong 🙁
So sorry to hear that, Cindy – I’ve never heard of this cake turning out like that. Did you substitute anything? And were you sure to use very hot (just boiled) water at the end?
Followed the recipe to the letter. No idea what happened. Will have to try again and figure out what I did
Awesome recipe. Easy to follow and taste is 100%!
Thanks so much, Anne! So happy you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do!
Hi there. I have made this recipe a number of times and it has become my fave for chocolate cake. I want to use it for a 10 inch (2 inch deep pans) 3 layer cake and I am wondering if doubling the recipe should suffice. I usually have a little batter left over normally.
Hi Zara! I’m so happy you love this recipe as much as I do 🙂 since a 10 inch pan needs about 6 Cups of batter to fill it 2/3 full, you’ll actually need to triple this recipe to make three layers. That’s if you want the layers to be 2 inches tall. If you don’t mind them being shorter, you could probably get away with making double or 2.5x the recipe. Hope that helps!
I want to make this into 3 8” layers. Should I double the recipe? It was such a hit last time I made it.
Hi Kathy! To make three 8-inch layers, make 1.5x the recipe to have the perfect amount of batter (multiply each ingredient by 1.5). You can double the recipe instead, but you’ll have enough batter for four 8-inch layers.
I am planning to make this cake for my friend’s birthday next week and just wanted to know a few things.
Can you make the cake bigger (wider) and have more layers? Like 4 eight inch layers? And what would you have to do to the recipe?
What tins would you suggest to use? Ones that the bottom comes off, or ones that are just normal?
And I am also planning to frost the cake in chocolate buttercream after, and am wondering about how to get the layers completely straight in order for that to work. What would work best to make all the cakes straight and not domed?
Thank you so much.
Hi Lewis! Yes, you can make four 8-inch layers with this recipe if you double it. I usually use cake pans that are one piece (not removable bottom tins) because the batter is so thin. To make the cake layers level, here is the method I use: https://sugarandsparrow.com/level-and-torte-cake-layers/ I hope that helps! And if you need more info on how to build a cake from start to finish you should check out all of the posts in my Cake Basics series here: https://sugarandsparrow.com/category/cakebasics/
Can you use hot coffee instead of the water? I know the coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.
You sure can, Kathy! Hot coffee is a wonderful substitute for the hot water in this recipe.
Malini Ghosh says
Hi-how did you do the decoration with the sprinklers?
Hi there! Here’s a tutorial for how to add sprinkles (different cake, same technique): https://sugarandsparrow.com/decorating-cakes-with-sprinkles/
I hate to be a pain…if I 1.5 the recipe it looks like it’s 397 1/2 grams flour;510 gr sugar; 90 gr cocoa;3 tsp baking soda; 1 1/2 tsp baking powder;3/4 tsp salt; 3/4 cup oil;3 eggs; 2 1/4 tsp vanilla; 11/2 cup buttermilk; 1 1/2 cup hot water… does this sound right? Do you recommend using a food scale? I just got one.
Thank you for your wisdom
Hi Kathy! Your measurements are correct and you can feel free to round up when there’s a half gram (for ex: 397.5g can be rounded up to 398g). Just so there’s no confusion here are the measurements for 1.5x this recipe: 3 Cups (398g) flour, 2.5 Cups (510g) sugar, 1 Cup (90g) cocoa, 1 Tbsp baking soda, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, 3/4 Cup oil, 3 eggs, 2 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 Cup buttermilk, 1 1/2 Cup hot water. Enjoy!
Thank you. This is exactly what I needed…this cake is so good…making it again for a family birthday celebration
Kinari Patel says
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! Delicious and less washing up! whats not to love!?
I would like to know however, what the measurements would be to make 1x 6″ inch layer. I made the recipe previously and have 2 layers frozen but I used the 3rd, I would like to make just 1 layer to make up the height
Yay, Kinari! So happy you love this recipe! I’ve never tried making just one layer before, and the math gets kindof complicated (you’d need to make 1/3 of the recipe, so basically divide each ingredient by 3 to get the amounts). I would recommend just halfing the recipe and making two layers to save yourself the math headache.
This has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe! For my husband’s birthday I subbed the cup of water for a cup of coffee and Wowee! Thank you so much for sharing!
Yay, Laura! I bet it’s amazing with the coffee!
Mallory A. says
After searching and searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe, I’m so pleased to say I my search is over! This is it! It is one-bowl perfection! The buttermilk adds an unexpected twang that emphasizes the chocolate flavor perfectly! I’ve made it, and the complementing chocolate buttercream, twice so far, and everyone always loves it!
I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe as much as I do! Thanks, Mallory!
Hi Whitney! I’ve used this recipe 3x this year to make orders for 6” cakes, and it is always a hit. It comes together so easily and bakes like a dream, too! I have a request to make a double layer half sheet cake next month and would really love to use this recipe again. I’ve never baked a cake that large before and was wondering if you had any tips on adapting this recipe for that size of pan (I got a 9x13x2). Thank you for your time!
Yay, Jordanne! I’m so happy to hear that you love this recipe as much as I do. Here’s info on how to bake my layer cake recipes as sheet cakes: https://sugarandsparrow.com/sheet-cake-recipes/ hope that helps!
Oooh, perfect! Thanks so much.
Hello i love to make this cake, im going to make it rn, im just anxious because im only 12 but i have good experience with cakes but im only asking if it will work on a two 4inch?
Hi Mansoureh! I would halve the recipe to make less batter for two 4 inch tins. Be sure to fill the pans no more than 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!
This cake is amazing!, Thank you. Everyone loves it.
Can I use this recipe for 24 cupcakes?
Hi Gina! I’m so happy to hear this recipe is a hit! You can certainly make this recipe as cupcakes and I believe it makes 24 (if not more). Just be sure to fill the cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full and bake them at 350 for 15-18 min. Enjoy!
Thank you, I will be making these cupcakes next week for a retirement party
I’m looking to use this recipe but on a slightly larger scale and could use some help! I’m baking for 30 people and ideally it’ll be 3 layers and 10″ round. Is this possible or am I completely out of my mind?!
I’d deeply appreciate any help you can give me!
How can I get 4 6 inch layers? Di yoh know the measurements?
Hi Sade! To make four 6 inch layers, I would make 1.5x the recipe to keep the math simple. You’ll end up with a little more batter than you need, so be sure to fill the pans no more than 2/3 full. If you need exactly four layers though, you’ll need to multiply the recipe by 1 1/3 (1.333333).
I made this today but all 3 of my cakes came out with a massive point/pyramid on top which I had to cut off so the remaining 3 slices are a lot smaller than I’d hoped for making the overall cake smaller and I have a lot of wastage. Do you know why?
Hi Melanie! It’s normal for cakes to rise more in the middle than on the sides. A few suggestions if you want to bake the cakes more evenly though: 1) check to see what kind of oven you have. If it’s a fan-assisted oven, you may need to decrease your oven temp by 25ºF to bake the cakes more evenly. Those get much hotter than conventional ovens, making the cake rise/bake too quickly 2) if you have a conventional oven, check to see that the internal temperature matches what’s on your display. You can do this with an oven thermometer. If the oven is too hot it will make the cake rise/bake more quickly 3) regardless of oven type, be sure to place the cakes on the middle rack. They will bake more evenly there than anywhere else. 4) if you want super flat cakes, try baking with strips like these: https://amzn.to/3tQehVs Hope that helps!
The recipe is just perfect! Never had a more moist decadent chocolate cake before
That’s amazing, Anjana! I’m so happy to hear that!!
Seattle gal says
I have made this recipe twice and it was a hit both times. I had 3 6″ cake pans so after the first time, I realized I had excess cake batter. Second time, I made my 3 tier 6″ cake, 8 cupcakes and 6 cake pops from the recipe for my 4 years old grand niece party. Everything turned out amazing. The cake is moist and delicious. I used coffee instead of hot water and I think that just brings out the chocolate flavor. My nieces said the cake pops were more tastier than the ones they buy at Starbucks.
Not only is this a one bowl recipe, you can make 3 different items for variety. I wish I could send a photo to show how pretty everything turned out. Thank you.
Yay! I’m so happy you loved this recipe and it was so versatile for you! I’m shocked at how much you yielded from the batter – I usually just make those three 6×2 inch layers! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know it was a hit 🙂
Kayleigh Joyce says
Hello, can I ask how deep are your 6″ pans? Just trying to work out how much mixture to use as 2/3 full can be quite different depending on how deep the pan is?
Also, how high is each cake when baked? I’ve just done a different recipe (not yours) and each cake is only 2cm which makes quite a disappointing height cake when stacked. I’m not using buttercream to stack, just some cherry conserve as making for a person who doesn’t like buttercream. Thanks in advance
Hi Kayleigh! My pans are 2 inches tall. This amount of batter can be divided equally amongst 6 x 2 inch pans and the layers end up being close to two inches tall. Hope that helps!
Jane Hall says
Hi, wanting to make this cake but in a 4inch x 3inch deep cake tin, can you tell me the measurements for this please? Thanks x
Hi Jane! I would half the recipe for a cake pan of that size and fill it no more than 2/3 full (you may have more than enough batter). I’ve never baked this cake in a tin that size before, so I’m not sure what the exact baking time will be but I would check it at 30 minutes and go from there. Hope that helps!
I love this chocolate cake recipe… I want to make it with 4 layers 8” pans… if I double the recipe, how many eggs?
Hi Whitney, I‘m from Germany so I‘ll try my best that you understand my bad english 🙂
Thanks for your amazing recipes.
I‘ve tried this recipe today with a 6inch (15 cm) cake pan but the cake batter is only enough for two pans and even then, the finished cake layers are veryyy thin. Don‘t know what I did wrong? 🙁
Hi Lea! The only thing I can think of is somewhere along the way you decreased the measurements. I always have enough batter to split between three 6-inch round pans and end up with three layers that are 2 inches tall. Are you going by Cup measurements or metric?
Edith B. says
This recipe is aptly named. It is perfect.
It came together breathtakingly easily and tasted as though I’d spent all day on it.
Be diligent in greasing your pans! It is the moist crumb that’s promised, so if you don’t grease aggressively, it’ll cling to the pan.
It was a positively dreamy cake, not too sweet, strong chocolate flavor, ideal texture. And I was able to make it the day before without issue!
This will become a regular in your rotation, I guarantee it.
Yay, Edith! I’m so happy this cake is a go-to for you now! Thanks so much for letting me know how well it went 🙂
I have made this cake before quite a few times and it is the best cake ever!!!!
I was wondering can I substitute something else for the buttermilk? I was thinking coffee or water? Would this work?I
Hi Aoife! I’m so happy you love this recipe as much as I do! The best thing to sub for the buttermilk is going to be something with more fat than coffee or water. I’d suggest whole milk or making the DIY version of buttermilk described in the recipe notes.
Made this and it came out perfect! Did not have kosher salt so I used a pinch of sea salt…did not have baking soda so i subsituted with baking powder(1:3 ratio)… I have saved the recipe for future use!
Yay, Maria! I’m so happy this recipe was a hit and that’s brilliant to know the baking powder substitution worked!
Hi Whitney! This recipe is so yum!
I always seem to do something wrong with chocolate cake recipes.. Everytime they come out so soft and crumbled (not dry very moist), the sides, top and bottom just crumble off in chunks and trying to buttercream just tears. (I have no issues with any other flavoured cake – vanilla. Etc it’s literally just chocolate cakes?!) any idea why this could be? It’s
Hi Ash! I’m not sure what might be happening there. My first thought is that the cake is either slightly undercooked or simply too hot to handle. Cakes tend to be more fragile when they’re not fully cooled. Did the cake crumble after you let it cool completely? Or at what point did that happen? If your buttercream is tearing the cake, that might be an issue with the consistency of your buttercream being too thick. Here’s a post on buttercream consistency just to make sure: https://sugarandsparrow.com/buttercream-consistency/
I made it again today and left it to cook a few extra minutes. The pick was coming out clean though.
And I let it cool completely to room temp.
Coming out of the pan, the edges and bottom just fall off.
The cake appears to be cooked well, it’s very fluffy and yum! But the edges and bottom are so fragile/soft and fall away. It happens on all my chocolate cakes 🙁 but I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong
That’s really interesting! So are the edges getting stuck to the pan when you remove the cake then? I usually let the cake cool for about 5 minutes before removing it from the pan and letting it cool completely to room temp on a wire rack from there. If the edges and bottom are getting stuck to the pan here are some tips for preparing your cake pan: https://sugarandsparrow.com/preparing-cake-pans/ unless you’re making ingredient substitutions that’s the only thing I can think of!
I ran out of plain flour, can I use cake or all purpose instead? 🙂
Hi Ash! All purpose flour will work but cake flour won’t be strong enough to bind this cake together.
I have made this cake numerous times and it’s always so moist…my husband’s favorite…this time I want to make it today,Saturday, and crumb coat, fill, frost Friday and Saturday. Will it still be as wonderful if I freeze it today? I’m anxiously awaiting your book…
I’m so happy this recipe has become a family favorite, Kathy! This cake freezes wonderfully and stays moist when thawed, so I think your timeline will work great. Here’s some info on how to freeze and thaw the cake layers if you need it: https://sugarandsparrow.com/making-cakes-ahead/
Precious Johnson says
Hi Whitney, do I need to double the chocolate frosting for the 6 inch 3 layer cake? or is the 3 cups of frosting enough?
Hi Precious! Yes – I would double the frosting recipe for a 3 layer cake.
Michelle W says
Hi Whitney was just wondering about the egg’s, it say’s 2 egg’s to add to the recipe is it large or medium sized egg’s and would the vanilla buttercream icing work as well as the chocolate one or would I be better sticking to the chocolate one thank you for any input on this xx
Hi Michelle! It’s two large eggs. I’ll add that in to the recipe. And vanilla frosting tastes amazing with this cake! Enjoy!
Michelle W says
thank you the cake turned out perfect x
Yay! That makes me so happy!
Whitney, this recipe was fantastic. Oh my. It had a sort of loose crumb but I used a 1-to-1 gluten free flour blend and a baking powder substitution (baking soda + cream of tartar) because I forgot to check my pantry so maybe that’s why. Regardless, it tasted amazing with the cream cheese buttercream. Made it for my daughter’s unicorn birthday party and one of the three year old guests said it was the best cake ever. Even my very particular husband said it was good! Yay!
Yay, Kate! I’m so happy this recipe was a hit with gf flour! Also, I didn’t know you could substitute baking powder with baking soda + cream of tartar! I’m going to have to try that. Thanks so much for letting me know the cake was so loved!
Holly T. says
I’m officially hooked on your recipes. This was the BEST chocolate cake and my family couldn’t stop eating it. I’ve been trying out a few of your decorating techniques and you sure do make it easy for a beginner. I’m making your peanut butter cake next and I’ll be ordering your book ASAP! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talent with the world!
That makes me so happy, Holly!! Glad the chocolate cake was a hit and I’m so excited for you to get my book!!
I LOVE THIS RECIPE – well I love all of your recipes! Quick question, I bought your book because duh you’re the best but notice that it calls for salt instead of kosher salt like this version. Is there a reason for this? THANKS <3
Hi Char! I’m so glad you’ve been loving my recipes and my book! The book version calls for salt because truly any salt will work, I just use Kosher salt because that’s all I ever have and that’s why this blog version has it listed in the ingredients. I should probably update the blog version to generic salt 🙂
Thank you so much for the recipe. This is the Best chocolate cake. I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe without coffee in it because it tastes funky. I made your cake today and it was delicious, moist and had the best chocolate flavor. Definitely will be my new favorite recipe to go to.
Yay, Irina! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit!
I really wanted this to work but I ended up creating 3 volcanoes. I’m guessing my oven was too hot. I had it in 160c fan forced. Also my baking pans may be 8 inches. It’s about 20cm. We are metric down under. So it rose in the middle and not much in the sides. How hot should the coffee be? Like just boiled? I tried to cool it a little. Going to give it another crack tomorrow night. Determined to get it right. My eggs are 600g. I might use 3 instead of 2.
Hi Sandi! Even with the centers risen, how did the cake taste? It sounds like your reduced temperature (to account for the fan forced oven) is correct. The coffee should be just boiled. Let me know how your second round goes! This cake does tend to rise slightly in the middle instead of baking flat and I always just level the tops before filling and stacking. You could also try baking strips like these to help the cake bake more evenly: https://amzn.to/3JswNcX