Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

Skip the box. You will absolutely adore this very easy chocolate cake recipe!

A yummy slice of frosted cake, using this easy Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Friends, meet my new favorite super easy Chocolate Cake Recipe! It is lush with homemade chocolate goodness. But not heavy … just right. I know you will love it too!

If the spirit moves you, top it with deliciously creamy frosting and chocolate curls. Although it really requires nothing except a fork.

You can create this cake as a small 6-inch layer cake, as I did, a slightly larger 8-inch layer cake, or a sheet cake. Decisions, decisions.

A slice of frosted cake, using this easy Chocolate Cake Recipe.


Below are answers to our most common cake questions.

How far in advance can you make a cake?

Serve the cake within 3 days of making it, or freeze it. If not freezing, allow to cool completely, wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap, and keep on the counter, unfrosted, at room temperature.

If you freeze it, place the plastic-wrapped layers into gallon freezer bags. Freeze for up to one month. Defrost the cake a day or two before you want to serve it. Then, remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator without unwrapping it. Be sure it has completely thawed before you begin frosting.

How can I make a gluten-free cake?

Substitute the all-purpose flour with the same amount of a gluten-free flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill or another “cup for cup” brand of gluten-free flour.

What’s the best gluten-free flour for cakes?

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is the most popular pick. Bob’s™ has created a unique 1-to-1 blend of gluten-free flours, starches, and xanthan gum, making it easy to transform traditional cakes into gluten-free treats.

How do I make chocolate curls?

If you want to do it properly and learn by tempering the chocolate to achieve the best possible shiny look, read this. To temper without a thermometer with a shortcut, watch this. Lastly, if you want to do it as fast as possible and you don’t mind a slightly duller chocolate look, read this.


After making and enjoying the delicious basic recipe, come back and try these minor tweaks. See what you prefer!

Espresso Powder

The addition of espresso powder in chocolate cake and chocolate frosting elevates and enhances the chocolate flavor. But don’t worry; the chocolate cake will not taste like coffee.

Espresso powder can be found at the grocery store and is even easier to find online. (affiliate link)

The winner in America’s Test Kitchens testing was Civilized Coffee Espresso powder. (affiliate link)

The reviews with this espresso powder claimed it tasted just a bit better than the rest of the brands, with more pronounced chocolate flavors. “buttery and warm,” like a “fresh-brewed” cup of coffee.

You can also make your own homemade espresso powder from this recipe.

Three cake pans in the oven, using this easy Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Hot Coffee

Replace the hot water with freshly brewed hot coffee to enhance the chocolateyness. You can use caffeinated or decaf coffees.

Cooking Oil

For a healthier alternative, try substituting avocado oil for vegetable oil.

I know this may sound a little silly since we are talking about chocolate cake, but it’s an easy replacement that does not alter the taste and is better for your health.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

And here it is, the luscious topping for your cake: an amazing chocolate buttercream. It’s incredibly creamy and smooth.

This frosting is also perfect for decorative piping. It keeps its shape for even the most detailed designs.

Chocolate Desserts

Below are more delicious chocolate recipes to try!

Brownie Pudding
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars
Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Healthy Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate and Sea Salt
Toffee Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle

This cake would be divine following a flavorful meal of sun dried tomato pasta or a steak and potatoes recipe.

Without further ado, here is the yummy from-scratch chocolate cake recipe. File under family favorite. Everyone will love its simplicity and flavor.

Love this Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe? Leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating & a review in the comments section further down the page. I love hearing from you!

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A delicious slice of frosted cake, using this easy Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • Author: Cindy Munson
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x


This is an incredibly moist, delicious one-bowl homemade cake that’s super easy to make. Enjoy!




13/4 cup all-purpose flour

11/2 tsp baking powder

11/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup cocoa

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 c milk

1/2 cup oil (vegetable or avocado)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c boiling water


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine

2/3 c cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 c milk



Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in the boiling water. The batter will be thin. Pour into three 6″ round pans, two 9″ round pans, or a 9×13″ pan (greased and floured, or use cake goop!)

Distribute the batter evenly between cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees.

18-25 minutes for 6″ pans
30-35 minutes for 9″ pans
40-45 minutes for 9″ x13″ pans

Or leave them in the oven until the cakes are baked through. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. It’s done if it comes out clean.

Cool cakes completely in their pans on a wire rack.


Melt butter in the microwave, then stir in cocoa. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the vanilla, then alternate adding the powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed until you reach desired consistency. Add more milk if needed.

Frost and assemble when completely cool.


Store the cake at room temperature on the counter. Store under a cake dome or similar to keep it fresh.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chocolate cake, 6 inch cake, birthday cake, chocolate cake recipe

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If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to help you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to You! 💕

4 comments on “Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

    1. Since it’s super concentrated, a little goes a long way. Depending on your preferences, the cake will only need about ½–1½ teaspoons. I would start small for the first time. You will love the cake without espresso powder, too. 😃

  1. Skip the box and make this instead!! This cake is so delicious. You will take such pride in making it from scratch!! The recipe is very approachable and easy. 🙂

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