The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

4.96 from 47 votes

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This Best Chocolate Cake Recipe is easy to throw together, uses common everyday ingredients, and tastes amazing! You will never need another chocolate cake recipe again. Guaranteed. 

Last year for my husband’s birthday, I made him a chocolate cake. This year, I perfected that recipe for him {and you!!} so you can recreate the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe at home. Complete with an easy chocolate frosting recipe and mini chocolate chips!

chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate Cake Recipe

I originally used this Chocolate Cake Recipe for some Vegan Cupcakes. Can you believe that? No dairy products or eggs in this cake and it always comes out perfectly every time! After experimenting a little more I’ve come up with the best chocolate cake whether you’re vegan or not! One of the greatest things about this recipe is that it uses everyday ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

 For the Chocolate Cake

  • 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.
  • Cocoa Powder – sifted. Hello, people, it’s a chocolate cake! It needs Cocoa Powder.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder – these are our leavening agents!
  • Salt – just a pinch!

For the Chocolate Frosting

  • Softened Butter – I usually use salted butter!
  • Cocoa Powder – sifted. More chocolate, I know. YUM!
  • 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 Garnishing

Optional and a little messy but 10000% worth it.

  • Mini Chocolate Chips – feel free to use semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate morsels.

No Eggs?

That’s right! This 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 🙂

chocolate cake rounds

How to Make 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 to 350 degrees. Line cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly 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.

chocolate frosting

Chocolate Frosting

Once the chocolate cakes are pretty much cool, whip up a recipe of my chocolate frosting. Believe it or not, this is the most googled recipe on my site. Everyone loves this chocolate frosting and I don’t blame them! It’s seriously THE best and turns out every time.

Just make sure your butter isn’t melted or too hard. Leave it out a few hours in advance so it’s soft and at room temperature. If your butter is perfect, the frosting will turn out perfect. Also, scrape the bowl well in between mixing! That will ensure you get super smooth and creamy dreamy frosting!

Assemble

Once you have these two elements done, you can begin to get your cake making on! Don’t be scared! It’s really quite easy!

Stack your cakes together with a little frosting in the middle and then frost the entire outside of the cake too. And it doesn’t matter is the outside looks sloppy because you’re going to cover the edges with mini chocolate chips!

My little girl went nuts over the extra chocolate boost! Loves it.frosting cake

Leftover Chocolate Cake

IF you have any leftover chocolate cake, store at room temperature under a cake dome for up to 4 days. 

To make your cake last longer, store in the fridge, covered for up to 1 week.

Make Chocolate Cake Ahead of Time

What else makes this the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe? Both the cake and the chocolate frosting can be made ahead of time!

Frosting. This chocolate frosting will last for one week in the fridge as long as its in an airtight container. If you plan on using it to frost a cake, you’ll want to bring it to room temperature for 3-4 hours first and then whip it for a quick 20 seconds to get it light and fluffy again before using.

Cake. Once the cake rounds cool completely, wrap them well in plastic wrap. Then place layers into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag (this double ensures that the cakes don’t get frostbite. Freeze for up to one month.

To thaw, transfer the cake layers to the fridge, allow them to thaw overnight. Unwrap and assemble your cake!

chocolate cake recipe

9×13 Pan

To bake this 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 and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Chocolate Cupcakes

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

chocolate cake

More Chocolate Cakes to Try!

This vegan cake plus this perfectly creamy and light frosting pairs so perfectly together! Chances are you’ll love my other chocolate cake recipes too.

Print this recipe out, you guys!! It’s a serious keeper!

4.96 from 47 votes

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

The BEST Chocolate Cake Recipe is easy to throw together, uses common everyday ingredients, and tastes amazing! You will never need another recipe again. Guaranteed.
servings 12 servings
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins

Ingredients

for the cake-

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly 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 20 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. 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. Cover the edges with mini chocolate chips and serve.

Notes

9x13 Pan. To bake in 9x13 pan, spray glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean once inserted.
Chocolate Cupcakes. To bake cupcakes, line 24 muffin tins with paper liners, fill 2/3 of the way full, and bake 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 757kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chocolate cake recipe, chocolate cake, chocolate cake recipe

 

Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating




167 Responses
  1. Des

    I have been looking for a perfect chocolate cake recipe since I have been craving one lately. I think I just found it! Thank you so much!

  2. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I’m such a sucker for chocolate cake so I could sure use a slice right now at midnight! Better yet, just pass me the entire cake, please!

  3. Mimi @ Culinary Couture

    Need to try this ASAP! Perfect isn’t a word you just throw around so I know this cake must be the real deal!

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Super excited about getting a hard copy of your book!! Also, this cake definitely does look perfect. Yum!

  5. Roselyn D

    This cake looks amazing. Going to try it for my next chocolate craving! Love the mini chocolate chips along the side!!!

  6. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    5 stars
    I’m so in love with this chocolate cake. Enough said, this is absolutely perfect chocolate cake. Can I get a slice, please?

  7. Shelley Sharp

    This cake recipe sounds divine. I follow your blog, I love manner of your recipes, however I just wanted to note, out of caution…you are recommending the use of Canola. Canola is a genetically modified crop in the USA that is Round-up Ready and sprayed heavily with Glyphosate. Glyposate is dangerous. Safer oils are Sunflower, Safflower, or Olive Oil. I deep fry with Sunflower. it doesn’t leave an oily film on your tongue when used to make homemade fries. Shelley.

  8. Jenny @ BAKE

    This cake looks amazing! I was keeping an eye out for a good chocolate cake recipe for my boyfriends birthday next week! I can’t wait to make this!

  9. Julie

    What a fantastic recipe, can’t wait to try it, like today. :). I don’t have the round cake pans, though. Could I make it in a Bundt pan? What do you suppose the bake time might take?

    1. Lauren

      I’ve never made this in a bundt! I would recommend greasing your pan well and start checking it for doneness at 25 minutes.

  10. steph.a.rubesh

    5 stars
    This cake was GREAT! I was nervous when I saw it didn’t have eggs, but, I will never make a different chocolate cake again! Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. Juthika

    5 stars
    Hey Lauren,
    I made this cake for my sister’s birthday a few days back. I was shocked that such an awesome cake got baked in 10 minutes in my covection microwave. Your recipes are perfect and they always turn out amazing, thanks for posting them. Cheers!!!

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  14. Jennifer

    Lauren,
    I’m a beginner baker – and I’m just curious about curdling the milk. How long does this take? On the counter, or in the fridge? How will I know if it is “curdled” enough? Looking forward to trying this for my husband’s birthday cake!
    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer

    1. Lauren

      It only takes a few minutes to curdle. There isn’t a whole lot of vinegar added to this recipe, so there won’t be a whole lot of curdling going on, so don’t worry about it.

      1. Jennifer

        Thanks Lauren! Is the whipped oil, sugar and vanilla supposed to curdle with the milk and vinegar? (sorry for being so clueless! 😀

    2. Lauren

      There isn’t a whole lot of vinegar added to this recipe, so the milk isn’t going to curdle a whole lot, so try not to worry about it. One of the main reasons we’re adding vinegar to the milk is so it will mix in evenly to the batter so it can activate the baking soda. You can leave the milk on the counter until you’re ready to stir it into the batter.

  15. Stacy

    5 stars
    I made this cake on Thursday for a gathering, Today is Saturday, I am making another one!! This cake is AWESOME! It will definitely
    be my go to choco cake recipe!

  16. Peggy

    Regarding the curdled milk…..why not just use buttermilk? While it may be hard to find in some areas, it’s readily available in Georgia and I always have it in my refrigerator.

    1. Lauren

      I suppose you could use buttermilk…you just need to make sure you get that acid into the batter somehow to get those leavenings to work! I’ve never tried this recipe with buttermilk before, but think it would work! Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!

  17. sarah

    I am 37 weeks pregnant and craving chocolate cake like crazy – I cannot wait to get home and make this recipe. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

      1. Sarah

        5 stars
        I just need to say that this is my go to chocolate cake recipe! I am going to try the suggestion below to make a plain vanilla cake for my sons birthday party (since he can’t have chocolate yet). Amazing cake. Thank you!

  18. Harsha

    This looks great! However, if I want to use baking chocolate instead of cocoa powder, would that affect the cake in any way? And also, how much baking chocolate would I need to substitute for 2/3 cups cocoa powder?

    1. Lauren

      It would definitely change the way the recipe turns out. Chocolate has fat in it and cocoa doesn’t. Getting the perfect texture in a cake has to do with proper ratios of fat to sugar. I’d have to tweak the recipe quite a bit to get it to work correctly with chocolate. Is there a reason you can’t use cocoa powder?

      1. Harsha

        Actually no. Its just that I’ve had some baking cocoa for a while now and I wanted to utilise it. But I think I will buy some cocoa powder instead and stick to the recipe as it is. Don’t want to change anything as I already suck at making vegan cakes hahah.
        Hopefully this recipe will save my day. Thanks for posting, will try it out! 🙂

  19. Terese

    5 stars
    Made this cake yesterday (I was going to make it for Valentine’s Day, but I couldn’t wait!). It is amazing! The cake is wonderfully moist without being too soft, and the frosting is to die for! Will definitely be making this again!

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  22. Vanessa

    Hi Lauren
    I live in the UK and i’m having some trouble finding the canola oil.What substitute can I use?
    Thank you

  23. Cate

    Just checking on the liquid amounts – 2 cups milk and 3/4 cup oil. I made it and it was incredibly runny – like thin crepe pancake mix. Then it took ages to set/cook in the oven. Maybe its the Aussie measurements, but I used the same cups size for the flour as well. What should the consistency of the batter be when it is all mixed and ready to go in the tins. Any help appreciated!

    1. Raísa

      Same thing here!
      I’m a brazilian living in France and we use different systems of measure. I converted everything, I think I did it right, but the runny result chocked me.
      t’s how it’s supposed to be! 😉

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  25. Liyana

    Hi,
    Can i just convert this into a vanilla cake by excluding the cocoa powder and maybe adding an extra tsp of vanilla extract? or do you have an alternate recipe for a spongy vanilla eggless cake…
    PS: the chocolate cake recipe looks fab im definitely trying it soon.

    1. Lauren

      If you replace the cocoa powder with flour, it should make a plain cake. I’ve never done it, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  26. Liyana

    Hii,
    can i just exclude the cocoa powder and add an extra tsp of vanilla extract to make this into a vanilla cake?? Or do you have an alternate recipe for a moist and spongy eggless vanilla cake…
    PS: the chocolate cake looks fab.. im definitely going to make it soon..

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