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Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake is a classic, easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe that has been beloved for generations.

This moist, rich chocolate cake uses Hershey’s cocoa and a few simple ingredients to create a decadent dessert perfect for any occasion.

Top with homemade chocolate frosting for the ultimate chocolate indulgence.

Slice of Hershey's Chocolate Cake, Close-up shot showing moist cake and chocolate frosting
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We all know Hershey’s is known for chocolate.

So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that they put their minds to work on what might be one of the best chocolate cakes. 

You can find this Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe right on their cocoa powder box. Odds are good that you have it in your cupboard somewhere. 

I’m going to share this recipe with you, along with a few simple tricks to make it even better!

Hershey's Chocolate Cake Ingredients: Sugar, Flour, Hershey's Cocoa, Baking Powder, Salt, Eggs, Milk, Oil and Vanilla

Ingredients for Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

For this recipe, you will need:

  • White sugar – Use white instead of brown sugar to keep the crumb light and tender.
  • All-purpose flour – This recipe is set up for all-purpose, so using anything else will affect the final result.
  • HERSHEY’S Cocoa – This cocoa powder is just the right amount of bitter and sweet, without being overpowering.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – Mixing the two will give the best rising power. It should also prevent a domed middle.
  • Salt – Use salt to enhance the flavors of everything else.
  • Eggs – Try to use room temperature eggs, so they incorporate easier.
  • Milk – Adding milk will keep the crumb soft and increase the cake’s overall shelf life.
  • Vegetable oil – Be sure to use a neutral oil and nothing flavored, such as peanut oil.
  • Vanilla – Use high-quality vanilla. Even in chocolate cake, you can taste the difference of a good vanilla extract or paste.
  • Boiling water – Adding boiling water will activate the baking powder and soda to make the crumb light and enhance the cocoa for a deeper flavor.

For the frosting, head over the Hersheyland for their yummy “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting.

How to Make Chocolate Cake

Follow these steps to make Hershey’s chocolate cake:

1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9-inch baking pans. 

2. Make the batter. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. 

Then, add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then, stir in the boiling water. 

3. Bake. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Bake them for 30 to 35 minutes until done. 

4. Cool, serve, and enjoy! Let the cakes cool in their pans and then on a wire rack. Once they’re cool, frost, slice, and serve them. Yum! 

Sweet Homemade Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake

If you follow the recipe, you’ll have a sure-fire hit with this cake. But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Freeze the cakes overnight. Since this cake is so soft, frosting it can be a challenge. You can mitigate this by freezing the cooled cakes overnight before frosting them. They’ll firm up, making icing them much easier.
  • Use room-temperature ingredients. They’ll incorporate better than cold ones.
  • Use unsweetened cocoa. The sweetened kind will make your cake far too sweet. For a richer flavor, use unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder instead.
  • Use parchment paper. I ALWAYS recommend using parchment paper in your cake tins. It will help you avoid any unwanted sticking disasters and make clean-up simpler.
  • Substitute coffee. Want to boost that chocolate flavor? Try using hot coffee instead of water.
  • For a moister cake. Substitute buttermilk for the plain milk. It’ll also give you a richer flavor.


Not in the mood for a layered cake? Try one of these variations instead:

  • Cupcakes. Follow the recipe as directed. Line a cupcake tin with liners and bake the cupcakes for 22 to 25 minutes.
  • Single-layer cake. Use a 9 x 13-inch pan greased with cooking spray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bundt cake. Grease and flour the Bundt cake pan. Then, bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for at least 15 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack.
Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling

How to Store

This versatile cake is perfect for making ahead of time. You can also store the leftovers for quite some time. Here’s how:

To make ahead. Make the cake up to 24 hours ahead of time. You can store it in the fridge or freeze it for easier frosting. Wait until immediately before serving to add the icing.

To store. Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

To freeze. It’s best to freeze the cakes BEFORE icing them. Let them cool fully. Then, wrap each one in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze them for up to 3 months.

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More Delicious Cake Recipes

Still need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try one of these other yummy cake recipes:

Heaven on Earth Cake
Earthquake Cake
Paula Deen Pound Cake
Blueberry Dump Cake
Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe is indulgent, rich, and so easy! Learn how to make it, plus, get tips for the best chocolate cake.


  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 cup boiling water


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 9-inch baking pans with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Carefully stir in the boiling water. Then divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  • Serve with chocolate frosting and enjoy!


  • Use hot coffee instead of water for a boost of rich flavor.
  • Make it a sheet cake using one 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • For cupcakes, fill the muffin liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

14 thoughts on “Hershey’s Chocolate Cake”

  1. Hello Kim, what frosting did you use for this cake? The one recommended by Hershey’s looks darker than yours. Yours looks much better!

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Heather, I typically use the Hershey’s recipe, which is included in the post! But you are welcome to have fun and experiment with different frostings.

  2. If you like a super rich deep dark chocolate cake, the original recipe from more than 50 years ago, was called Hershey’s Black Magic Cake and used 1 cup of boiling strong black coffee instead of boiling water. Soooo good you will love it!

  3. Dear Kim,
    I love your posts and your recipes are the best. One question, do you consider high altitude? I live in Denver, Colorado and there are proportions to be considered and adjustments must be made.

    • Hi Purnell, for this cake, here’s how to adjust the directions for high-altitude:

      Sugar: Reduce by 2 tablespoons to 1¾ cups.

      Flour: Increase by 2 tablespoons to 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons.

      Liquid (Milk): Increase by 2 to 4 tablespoons to 1 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons.

      Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Decrease each to 1 teaspoon.

      Oven Temperature: Increase the oven temperature to 365 degrees F. Higher temperatures help set the structure of the cake before the gases formed by leavening agents escape.

      Baking Time: Start checking the cakes for doneness 5 minutes earlier than the recipe suggests, as the increased oven temperature may speed up the baking process. High altitude can cause faster baking, so it’s crucial to monitor closely to avoid over-baking.

      Cooling: Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for up to 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack. The structure of high-altitude cakes can be more fragile, and this extra time helps the cakes set.

    • Hi Laura, yes, you can use this recipe for cupcakes! Here are the directions:

      1. Make the batter using the same method.

      2. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners (standard 2 ½ inch size).

      3. Fill liners ⅔ full with the batter – use a pitcher or ice cream scoop to prevent spills.

      4. Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

      5. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


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