Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

4.83 from 23 votes

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A moist Dark Chocolate Cake recipe that is perfect for pretty much any occasion. Rich, and decadent, it will satisfy all chocolate lovers.

This moist Dark Chocolate Cake recipe I’m sharing today is based on my perfect chocolate cake recipe and my easy chocolate frosting recipe. So, I basically smashed those two together but used specialty dark chocolate cocoa powder in place of the regular cocoa powder. That stuff is SO good and it’s what gives this cake such a dark and rich appearance.

Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

This dark chocolate cake is not for the faint of heart. It is very rich. BUT, I like it so much because the super sweet frosting balances out the not so sweet cake. Don’t get me wrong, the cake is plenty sweet, just compared to the frosting {and subsequent chocolate chips and chocolate syrup}, it seems not-so-sweet. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Dark Chocolate Cake

Now, if you have an amazing chocolate cake recipe you’d like to use in place of mine, feel free! Just be sure to use that dark cocoa powder. You can sub it in 1:1 for regular cocoa powder.

  • Almond Milk and Vinegar – or use regular milk plus vinegar. Used for moisture and the vinegar is used to help activate the baking soda for rising. (If you use Almond Milk in the cake it’s vegan!)
  • Canola Oil – hello more moisture and texture.
  • Granulated Sugar – for sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract – for flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour – for the structure of the cake.
  • Dark Cocoa Powder – I got mine from Fred Meyer, which is a Kroger store. Sifted.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder – these are our leavening agents!
  • Salt – just a pinch!

For the Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • Softened Butter – I usually use salted butter!
  • Dark Cocoa Powder – I got mine from Fred Meyer, which is a Kroger store. Sifted.
  • Powdered Sugar – to sweeten and give structure.
  • Vanilla Extract – for flavor.
  • Milk – depending on how you like your frosting, you’ll use a different amount of milk. More milk means it will be looser, less milk, and it will be stiff.

For the Garnish

  • Chocolate Syrup – such as Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – feel free to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate morsels if you REALLY love dark chocolate.

No Eggs?

That’s right! This dark chocolate cake is not supposed to have any eggs in it, so I did not forget to add that in! NO EGGS IN THE RECIPE 🙂

Dark Chocolate Cake

How to Make Dark Chocolate Cake

This cake recipe is like all others out there, start with simple ingredients, make the batter, bake. Let it cool. In the meantime, whip some delicious sugary frosting together. Then assemble! For full recipe details, check out the recipe card below!

  1. Preheat oven. Line round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip oil and sugar together until combined. Stir in vanilla. In a measuring cup, stir almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside to curdle. In a different bowl, stir all dry ingredients together until evenly mixed. Alternate mixing in wet and dry ingredients to the batter starting and ending with dry.
  3. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs after being inserted. Cool, then remove cakes from warm pans to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  4. After dark chocolate cakes are cooled, make a batch of chocolate frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

{Be sure to whip the dark chocolate frosting well, scrape the sides well and use room temperature butter.}

  1. Whip butter and cocoa together until smooth in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  2. Scrape sides and whip again until fluffy and smooth.

Assembly

  1. To assemble, stack baked cakes one on top of the other, filling with frosting. Using remaining frosting, cover the entire outside and top of the cake.
  2. Drizzle chocolate syrup down the sides of the dark chocolate cake and top with mini chocolate chips.
Dark Chocolate Cake

9×13 Pan

To bake this Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe in a 9×13 pan, spray glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean once inserted. Cover top with frosting, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

To bake dark chocolate cupcakes, line 24 muffin tins with paper liners, fill 2/3 of the way full and bake 15 minutes. Make a stiffer frosting by using less milk. Pipe it on, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

More Chocolate Cakes to Try!

And as usual, click the print icon below to get this dark chocolate cake recipe immediately. Yum yum!

Have a great day, friends!

4.83 from 23 votes

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

A moist Dark Chocolate Cake recipe that is perfect for pretty much any occasion. Rich, and decadent, it will satisfy all chocolate lovers.
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

for the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk + 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar, or regular milk plus vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder heaping
  • pinch salt

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder sifted
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup such as Hershey's
  • 1-2 cups mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whip oil and sugar together. Stir in vanilla. In a measuring cup, stir almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside to curdle. In a different bowl, stir all dry ingredients together until evenly mixed. Alternate mixing in wet and dry ingredients to the batter starting and ending with dry.
  • Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs after being inserted. Cool 15 minutes, then remove cakes from warm pans to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  • After cakes are cooled, make a batch of chocolate frosting.
  • Whip butter and cocoa together until smooth in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Scrape sides and whip again until fluffy and smooth, 20-30 seconds. {Be sure to whip it well, scrape the sides well and use room temperature butter.}
  • To assemble, stack baked cakes one on top of the other, filling with frosting. Using remaining frosting, cover the entire outside and top of the cake.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup down the sides of the cake and top with mini chocolate chips.

Notes

Sweetness. The cake might seem to be not very sweet. Don't get me wrong, the cake is plenty sweet, just compared to the frosting {and subsequent chocolate chips and chocolate syrup}, it seems not-so-sweet.
No Eggs. This cake is not supposed to have any eggs in it, so I did not forget to add that in! NO EGGS IN THE RECIPE!
9x13 Pan. To bake this Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe in a 9×13 pan, spray glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean once inserted. Cover top with frosting, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. To bake dark chocolate cupcakes, line 24 muffin tins with paper liners, fill 2/3 of the way full and bake 15 minutes. Make a stiffer frosting by using less milk to pipe it on, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 761kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate cake recipe, moist dark chocolate cake recipe
Polaroid photo of granola bars

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45 Responses
    1. Lauren

      The frosting wouldn’t have to be adjusted but the baking times would. The cakes would be thinner, so you’d bake them less time. Other than that, it should work.

  1. Debbie Donahue

    Ok, I’ll admit that I love Christmas and I start listening to Christmas music in October! (But just don’t tell my Husband!????) This cake looks amazing!! I’m going to make it for Christmas this year????????????????????❤

  2. Laurelyn

    Wow, that looks amazing! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! I hope to become a chef someday or at least start my own food blog after I finish high school. (I’m 16) Your blog is a pretty good example of what I hope to accomplish. Thank you for making such an awesome website!

  3. Cindy B

    I would love to make this, I’m thinking of doubling the recipe for a bigger cake, I also love that you use dark cocoa powder, adding this to pin, thanks.

  4. Crystal

    What a super delicious recipe!! You can never go wrong with chocolate…it’s my favorite!! Can’t wait to make this! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  5. Gemma Parenti

    This looks amazing!! Two of my four kids have birthdays this week (right before Christmas!) and I am going to make this for sure! Thanks for all of your amazing recipes. You have never let me down!!

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  7. Shirley Noah

    I am interested in making your chocolate Cake Extreme but need to know if you think adding bananas would help or ruin the cake?

    1. Lauren

      If I were to substitute some banana in this recipe, I would mash 1 very ripe banana and add it in in place of half of the canola oil. SO, the variation for you would be: add in 1 mashed banana + 1/4 cup canola oil (instead of 1/2 cup canola oil as the recipe states). Hope that helps!

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  10. Jen

    1 star
    Made this for my sons 16th birthday. So disappointed. Doesn’t make enough batter for 3 layers, especially with no eggs in the recipe. Layers were very thin.

  11. Rachelle Coleman

    5 stars
    Lauren, I need you to know this is THE BEST chocolate cake EVER. I have only used it as cupcakes and I always double it. People think I should start a business every time I make these. I paired it today with a white chocolate buttercream and again a hit! Thank you!!!! I just want you to know how amazing you are 💖