I’ve been trying and testing for a long time… and I’m pretty darn sure this one is the best… a classic. It’s the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe.
I don’t like chocolate. And I’m not super hip on chocolate cake either (remember… I’m a Vanilla Girl through and through, blah blah blah). But I know a good cake when I try it, and this one turns out to be a good cake! I’ve got a good thing going at my house because both my son and my husband are CRAZY about chocolate, so they are the perfect taste testers for me. And they totally tell me the truth if they don’t like something either, lol! Turns out, they thought this cake was the best chocolate cake ever!
I ended up using the White Frosting Recipe that I shared with you yesterday for this cake. A good amount is spread onto the first layer, then the other layer is laid on top. At this point, it looks like a Suzy Q– do you remember those that were made by Hostess back in the day??
I opted to do a crumb coat on this cake since the cake is tender and moist. Crumb coats are easy to do, and you do them so you don’t have little bits of chocolate crumb floating around on your frosted cake. All you do is spread a light layer of frosting all over the cake (as shown) and then refrigerate it until it’s kind of firm. Then you can take it out and use the rest of your frosting to cover the entire cake. And it will look totally perfect and white… with no floating chocolate crumbs – yay!
And there is my beautiful, perfect, best, classic chocolate cake recipe. I couldn’t have been happier with the way it turned out- and my boys were just over the moon that I had chocolate cake in our kitchen! Sprinkles are, of course, optional. But it would make a pretty cute birthday cake, wouldn’t it?
Here are a few more cake recipes you might like to try:
- Molten Chocolate Cake
- Old Fashioned Sugar Cake
- Hersheys Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
- Perfect Vanilla Cake Recipe
- Easy Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Double Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling
Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water (hot tap water is fine)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. I like to use the Pam Baking Spray and line them each with a round of parchment paper too.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the buttermilk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Then mix in the dry ingredients a little at a time until all is mixed well. Add the vanilla and the hot water, and continue to mix until the batter is well-incorporated and smooth. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean. Set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes, then gently turn over onto racks to cool the cake layers completely before frosting.
- Frost when cool, or wrap in plastic wrap until ready to frost (cake layers can be made one day ahead).
- Nutritional information does not include frosting.
- *For high altitude (above 5,000 feet), reduce sugar by 1/4 cup, reduced baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon, and add an additional tablespoon of hot water.
- *I like to use bake even Cake Strips to ensure that I get nice flat cake layers. They work great.
- *Here are a few frosting recipes on RecipeGirl.com that you might want to use for this cake: White Frosting, Chocolate Frosting, Wedding Cupcake Buttercream, or Chocolate Buttercream.
what kind of frosting did you use?
I used this one: https://www.recipegirl.com/classic-white-frosting-recipe/
After making the wedding cake with fabulous results I figured this would turn out just as well. I was disappointed. The cake was not moist but crumbly and actually not very tasty. I expected much more. Not sure what I could have done differently. Did not have buttermilk but made mine with milk and vinegar..maybe that was the
problem?? Will probably try it again hoping for better results.
Oh no! I’m not sure what happened. If you want to try one that is similar to the wedding cake recipe… you might like to try this one (you can make it into a cake): https://www.recipegirl.com/chocolate-wedding-cupcakes/.
I am trying to make several layers in advance. Do you think this will freeze well? I frequently freeze your wedding cake recipe- it works great!
Probably! I’d wrap each layer with plastic wrap before freezing.
This chocolate cake is……the best chocolate layer cake recipe I’ve ever found. Delicious, bakes nice and level on top which saves me much of the leveling process afterwards, consistently bakes perfectly. I just adore it! Thank you for sharing it! I’ve baked it in so many different sizes. One full recipe fits nicely into my 12 inch pans as well!
Can I use regular salted sweet cream butter instead of unsalted? I’m excited to make this cake! ?
Yes, I’m sure that will be fine.
I loved this recipe everyone really loved the cake.
love the sound of this receipe but can I use margarine instead of butter?
I can’t recommend it because I don’t use margarine… so I’m not sure!
Hi could you put a cheesecake layer in the middle of this type of cake
sounds like a good plan to me!
I would like to try this recipe with a sugar sub. I was wondering what ingredient ratios would be needed for a larger quantity too.
I’m not familiar w/ using sugar substitutes, so I’m afraid I can’t be of help here. You might try googling and see what advice you find
How hot is the hot water?
Just regular hot tap water is fine. As hot as you can get it!
The texture of this cake looks perfect! If only I could sink my teeth into it now! Chocolate cake is like the best thing ever.
This looks yummy. Did you use natural or Dutch-processed cocoa?
Thank you for all your trials – I can’t wait to attempt to make this one day!
I’ve got boucoup chocolate cake recipes. About 70% of them claim to be the best. So I keep baking and baking chocolate cakes and so far, every one of them is the best (for that day!!!)
I’ll try this one now and see how it comes out. I’m practically certain that it will be the very best of the day. (insert Muttley snigger here)
I’m always looking for a better recipe than the last, so I’m up for trying this chocolate cake recipe, Lori! It looks scrumptious!
I love everything about this! I need to make this now!
Beautiful cake Lori! I am a vanilla girl too but my husband is a total chocoholic so I am always on the hunt for new chocolate cake recipes 🙂 That is the most perfect looking slice I have ever seen – just gorgeous! Pinned!
I’m definitely a chocolate girl but I do like vanilla too. This cake looks great and so moist.
I am always on the hunt for a new chocolate cake recipe! This looks perfect, Lori!!!
Looks so tasty! I love a good chocolate cake!
Oh my that looks and sounds heavenly!!! I can’t wait to try it this weekend!!! Any suggestions on what to substitute the buttermilk with for someone that is allergic to milk? I want the cake to maintain moisture, flavor… Thank you!
You can sub any non-dairy milk soured with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
I’m not sure how you can’t be a chocolate fan! Your cake looks delish, that cut slice is striking! No crumbs!
Looks delicious! I appreciate your husband’s and son’s taste!
Nailing a chocolate cake recipe feels so good. Yours certainly looks perfect!
This cake looks absolutely perfect, Lori! Love the crumb! It looks like it would melt in your mouth! Pinned!