Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe

My Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe is by far the best chocolate cake you will ever have. This recipe is so easy, and always turns out perfect! I’m breaking WHY this is the best cake and how to get perfect results every time!

My Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe is THE BEST!

I know you’re always on the hunt for the best chocolate cake recipe. And I will let you know, I have made a LOT of chocolate cakes over the years. You’ll find so many chocolate cake recipe on this site, like my Ridiculous Cake Cake if you are looking for an ultra fudgy chocolate cake, or my Sunday Chocolate Cake if you want a cake recipe to make in a 9×13 pan…and SO many others in between!

But this is my GO-TO recipe when I’m looking for a chocolate layer cake, because not only is it easy, with very little prep time, it’s very soft, and packed with the perfect amount of chocolate flavor. You can see by the pictures the texture is ultra moist. It literally melts in your mouth!

Perfect Chocolate Cake topped with chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache

Simple Ingredients Only For This Chocolate Cake Recipe!

You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen now to make this cake. Everyday ingredients are just one reason this is the best chocolate cake. If a recipe is too finicky or calls for unusual ingredients I find myself not wanting to go to the trouble of baking it. But here’s some of what you need for my recipe:

  • Granulated Sugar: Definitely use granulated sugar in this recipe as opposed to brown sugar. The fine texture of the sugar is part of what keeps the texture of the cake so light.
  • All Purpose Flour: Don’t worry about using cake flour in this recipe, all purpose works just fine.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: I use Hershey’s brand most often, but most brands will be great. If you choose a Dutch Process or Dark Cocoa Powder the flavor of the cake will be slightly more chocolatey, and the color will be a little darker.
  • Vegetable Oil: You can actually use any type of light oil in this recipe if you don’t have vegetable oil, like Canola Oil, Grapeseed Oil, or even a Light Olive Oil!
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: I like to use a combo if both baking soda and baking powder. I have found that using both gives the best rise on the cake, without being overly domed!

Can I add Chocolate Chips To This Cake Batter?

For my recipe you can add mini chocolate chips to the batter for a little extra chocolate flavor. Just make sure to coat them in flour so they don’t all sink to the bottom! I got this trick from one of the boxed chocolate cake mixes that I have used in the past!

How Can I Amp Up The Flavor of This Chocolate Cake?

An easy trick to make the chocolate flavor more intense is to use a Dark or Dutch Process unsweetened cocoa powder, like I mentioned above. Dutch Process cocoa powder has a smooth, bittersweet chocolate flavor, a lot like an Oreo Cookie!

Another great way to amp up the chocolate flavor is to use coffee in place of the water! You can’t really taste the coffee flavor, it will just intensify the chocolate. This trick is use a lot in baking chocolate cakes and brownies.

The BEST Chocolate Cake Recipe ever!

Which Frosting Should I Use On Chocolate Cake?

I have SO many chocolate frosting recipes here on my site, and they are all fantastic! The great thing about chocolate cake, is it is pretty great with most frostings, just like vanilla cake! I used my Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting in the the photos shown, but here are some others that would be fantastic:

Can I Make This Chocolate Cake Recipe Into Cupcakes?

Yes! This cake recipe works perfectly when turned into cupcakes. Just fill your liners 2/3 full, and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the centers are set!

Looking for other chocolate cake recipes? Here are a few:

  1. Lunch Lady Chocolate Cake
  2. Skillet Chocolate Cake
  3. Wacky Cake
  4. Earthquake Cake

Perfect Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield Yield: serves 10 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Oven
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


The softest and best chocolate cake recipe ever!



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup very warm water


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2, 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Cut 2, 9-inch rounds of parchment paper and place in the bottoms of the pans. Spray again with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined.
  3. With the mixer still on low, add in the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Turn mixer up to medium and mix for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer back down to low and slowly add in the hot water. Mix for an additional minutes until combined.
  4. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Store airtight for up to 3 days at room temperature

Nutrition Information:

1 unfrosted slice
41.5 g
509.7 mg
7.5 g
62.2 g
5.5 g
43.3 mg

Keywords: cake, chocolate cake, recipe, easy, frosting, cake recipe, cookies and cups

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The BEST Chocolate Cake

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Leia bradley
May 8, 2022 2:03 pm

Have you ever used buttermilk instead of milk?

Susan Sylvia
Mar 5, 2022 9:39 am

This is identical in every way to Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate cake recipe.

Jan 12, 2022 2:31 am

Cake recipe is amazing..
thanks for sharing

Nov 13, 2021 8:28 am

Perfect indeed

Hannah Johnston
Mar 14, 2021 9:02 am

This is a wonderful recipe! The cake came out perfect and so soft. Thank you
Nov 4, 2020 2:23 am

it’s very yummy i can’t wait for it…

Oct 25, 2020 8:17 pm

As someone that has never before been able to make a chocolate cake that isn’t at least a little dry, I have to say this recipe is awesome! Adding the water at the end made me a little nervous given how thin the batter got, but it turned out perfectly. A+

Sep 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Hello Shelly,
Will this recipe work on a 3D cake mold? I’m worried it won’t hold up 😀

Thank you!

Sep 12, 2020 11:57 am
Reply to  Shelly

I’ll try your recipe once I have the mold and update you 🙂

Aug 26, 2020 1:03 pm

Love it

Amy Austin
Jul 28, 2020 6:38 pm

If I wanted to use this recipe for a checkerboard cake, do you think it would hold up? Thanks!

Apr 29, 2020 3:44 am

Can I use 6 teaspoon of baking powder as substitute for 1.5 teaspoon of baking soda?Should I grind sugar?

Apr 23, 2020 5:23 am

Made it 3 times now. The first time was amazing but not so great since- help!
Thank you for the recipe Shelly. I made this a month ago and it was absolutely perfect, however since then, even though i’ve followed the recipe to the T, it’s just not moist. I used sunflower oil instead of vegetable as that’s all i had, but that worked the first time. the second two times It has felt quite thick. I feel so sad, i’ve ended up throwing it away 🙁

Any idea on what I could be doing wrong?

Mar 27, 2020 5:56 am

Could you please provide metric measurements?

Mar 10, 2020 8:55 am

Perfect chocolate cake recipe!I can’t thank u enough Shelly. May God bless u more

Tessa L
Feb 28, 2020 7:59 pm

I used melted margarine instead of vegetable oil and it still had an amazing light, moist texture! Great chocolate flavor on its own, no need for frosting, which is perfect for my dad who (for some odd reason) dislikes frosting. Awesome recipe, Shelly, thanks so much!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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