This decadent chocolate cake is made by making two simple cake layers with the easiest and most chocolaty chocolate frosting. This cake is a moist, fluffy, and rich cake that is not too sweet.
This is the best ever chocolate cake ever. I’ve been searching for the best one-bowl chocolate cake recipe for so long and found it and can’t wait to share it with you!
If you like making layer cake as much as we do, check out our black forest cake, best ever chocolate cake, super moist carrot cake, strawberry jam cake, and our Nutella cake!
Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
Flour– we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, self-rising flour, and cake flour will work great as well.
Dutch cocoa powder– we like to use Dutch-process cocoa powder for our cake because we like the deep and rich chocolate taste, but the natural cocoa powder will work great as well!
Baking powder and baking soda – to help the cake rise.
Granulated sugar– we like to use granulated sugar, also the most common sugar used in baking. Caster sugar will work great as well.
Vegetable oil – we used vegetable oil for this recipe. canola oil will work great for this recipe.
Eggs- To give the cake a good structure. Make sure you’re using room-temperature eggs.
Buttermilk- gives the cake extra moisture. You can make your own buttermilk if you don’t have one on hand. Simply mix a cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Hot coffee- make a strong hot coffee, you can use espresso, or instant coffee, both will work.
Vanilla extract- Vanilla extract Is an essential ingredient for cake.
Salt- We used kosher salt for this recipe. Salt doesn’t give the cake a salty taste, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.
For the chocolate frosting:
Butter- make sure you are using room temperate butter.
Powder sugar- is known as confessional sugar. For a smoother buttercream, sift it before adding it to the butter.
Cocoa powder- we used Dutch cocoa powder. You can use natural cocoa powder as well.
Dark chocolate- melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop (bain-marie) and let it cool completely so it won’t melt the butter.
How to make even cake layers
Our biggest tip to make even cake layers is to use a scale and cake strips. Weigh the cake batter and divide it into two even pans.
Then use cake strips to make sure your cake layers bake evenly and don’t develop a dome on top. Cake strips give you an evenly baked cake with a flat top.
For the cake:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 (350f) and prep two 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
Step 2: Into a big bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a whisk until combined.
Step 3: Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Mix well until combined. Add the kosher salt and the hot coffee, and mix well until the batter is smooth.
Step 4: Divide the mixture into two 8-inch baking pans, we suggest using cake strips for even baking. (weight the batter for better results) and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Tip: Let the cake cool completely before frosting so the frosting won't melt off the cake.
For the chocolate frosting
Make the chocolate buttercream: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add half of the powder sugar and the cocoa powder and carefully mix until combined.
Add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
Melt dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate and let it cool completely to room temperature. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and mix until well combined and smooth.
Pipe a small dollop of the frosting on the surface that you will frost on. Lay the first cake layer over the frosting dot.
Pipe ⅓ of the frosting on top of the cake layer and spread an even layer.
Top with the second cake layer and frost the cake.
For decoration, smooth the sides of the cake (it shouldn’t look perfect) and make wave motions on the top of the cake for a rustic look.
- Don’t skip the coffee in the cake, you can’t taste the coffee, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Use cake strips! Cake strips give you even and perfectly baked cake layers. Click here for the amazon link.
- Cool the melted chocolate before adding it to the chocolate frosting! This step is a must, if the melted chocolate will be hot, it will melt the butter and the chocolate frosting will be ruined.
- Use room temperature ingredients. It is important that you use room-temperature ingredients like eggs and butter. This step ensures that your mixture mixes into a homogenous mixture and bakes perfectly. you don’t want to place cold batter into the oven.
- Measure your flour correctly! When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it with a measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour with a spoon to create as many air pockets as possible, and spoon it into your measuring cup. Finally, level it with a back of a knife.
- Don’t overmix the batter, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour. This step ensures you have a moist cake and not a dense and dry cake.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper! This step helps the cake to bake evenly, and it makes sure that your loaf cake will release easily from the pan.
- Be patient! I know it’s extremely tempting to frost this cake as it is pulled out of the oven, but let the cake cool for at least 1 hour so it will be more firm and won’t crumble up, and prevent the frosting from melting.
No! you can’t taste the coffee. Adding the coffee simply enhances the chocolate flavor. So, don’t skip the coffee on the cake!
This cake will last up to 4 days in the fridge. Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. This cake tastes amazing the day after.
Yes! This cake bakes great as a sheet cake or a cupcake! Make sure you change the baking time.
We like to use Dutch prosses cocoa powder, because it gives the cake a deeper rich chocolate taste, and natural cocoa powder will work! It’s just a personal preference.
This cake will last up to 4 in the fridge. Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. This cake tastes amazing the day after.
Freeze this cake after it cooled completely in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months, some people find the cake tastes better after freezing it.
our tip is not to freeze it decorated or covered with frosting, because it can ruin the decorating on the cake, we suggest freezing the cake and decorating it when you defrost it.
If you’re not looking to impress anyone with your decorating skills, it’s absolutely okay to freeze the cake with the frosting on.
Egg-free- to make this cake egg-free, replace the eggs with ⅔ cup of applesauce.
Dairy-free- to make this cake dairy-free, replace the buttermilk with almond milk and replace the butter in the frosting with vegan butter.
Zest- lots of people like the orange and chocolate combinations. If you do, add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to this cake to add a zesty orange flavor.
Frosting- Use your favorite chocolate frosting like dark chocolate frosting, stabilized chocolate whipped cream frosting, chocolate cream cheese frosting, etc.
Make it ahead
You can make this cake ahead by freezing the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap each cake layer with a few layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to frost and assemble the cake, make the frosting, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream and assemble the cake!
Cake strips- to make perfect baked cakes with even tops.
8-inch cake pans- to bake the cakes in.
Mixing bowls- best glass mixing bowls.
Whisk set- our favorite copper whisk set.
More chocolate recipes:
Double chocolate banana bread- This double chocolate banana bread is filled and topped with chocolate chips, extra moist, and melt in your mouth delicious.
Best fudgy brownies- These fudgy brownies are made from scratch brownies are loaded with chocolate chunks, and take under an hour to make. These brownies are fudgy, rich in chocolate flavor, have a crinkly top, and are gooey on the inside.
Chewy double chocolate cookies- These double chocolate cookies are chewy, soft, have slightly soft edges, and are loaded with chocolate flavor and chocolate chips!
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Best One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- Cake strips to make perfect baked cakes with even tops.
- 8-inch cake pans to bake the cakes in.
- Mixing bowls best glass mixing bowls.
- Whisk set our favorite copper whisk set.
For the cake:
- 3 cups Flour
- ½ cup Cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 2 cups Granulated sugar
- 3 Eggs
- ¾ cup Vegetable oil
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 cup Hot coffee
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
For the chocolate frosting:
- 340 g Butter
- 2 cups Powder sugar
- ½ cup Cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 100 g Semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180 (350f) and prep two 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
- Into a big bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a whisk until combined.
- Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Mix well until combined.
- Add the kosher salt and the hot coffee, mix well until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the mixture into two 8-inch baking pans, we suggest using cake strips for even baking. (weight the batter for better results) and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Make the chocolate frosting: into a large bowl add room temperature butter and mix with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add half of the powder sugar and the cocoa powder and carefully mix until combined.
- Add the other half of the powder sugar and mix until smooth.
- Melt dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate and let it cool completely to room temperature.
- Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and mix until well combined and smooth.
For the assembly:
- Pipe a small dollop of the frosting on the surface that you will frost on. Lay the first cake layer over the frosting dot.
- Pipe ⅓ of the frosting on top of the cake layer and spread an even layer.
- Top with the second cake layer and frost the cake.
- For decoration, smooth the sides of the cake (it shouldn’t look perfect) and make wave motions on the top of the cake for a rustic look.
Made this cake for the first time in December and it was a hit!! Made 14.5x11.2 for 30 min and it was perfect!
Quick question, when do I put vanilla in when making frosting??
Hi I know your recipe calls for buttermilk, but I could get sour cream and I did use sour cream in another chocolate cake that I had baked before, so if buttermilk is out of reach,can you use sour cream instead?
Hi! You can make your own buttermilk instead. Simply mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 20 minutes. Hope this helps!
Perfect recipe.. could you please share a red velvet , honey cake and Mozart cake .. thank you
Will do it in the future! I do have a honey cake recipe on my website https://richanddelish.com/moist-honey-cake-recipe/
Can I use hot water instead of coffee?
You sure can!
Hi. Can I substitute the buttermilk with other ingredients?
Hi! You can substitute it with whole milk and a tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar per cup!
Will be making this weekend for daughter in law birthday cake
This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on! so simple to make and is so moist and flavorful. Not too sweet too.
Thank you. 🙂 Will try to make this soon.
Hi. Thanks for this recipe. I would like to try it but can you please include the amount of dark chocolate (melted) for the frosting? It is not included in the recipe.
Hi June! you will need 100 grams of cooled melted chocolate for the frosting. Hope you like it!