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Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

This recipe for Hershey’s chocolate cake is rich, indulgent, and will impress your guests!

Boxed cake mixes may be convenient, plus, they’re flavorful, incredibly moist, and super easy to put together.

But I promise that this chocolate cake is a million times better, but it’s almost as simple to make!

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling
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Given that Hershey’s is known for chocolate, it shouldn’t be too surprising that they put their minds to work on what might be one of the best chocolate cakes out there. 

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. 

The only criticism I have is that the cake is incredibly soft, making it a little difficult to frost. But I have some super simple tricks to fix that.

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake Recipe 

If you’ve ever made a recipe from the back of a box – I’m talking about those Carnation lemon bars and Toll House chocolate chip cookies – then you know they tend to be pretty impressive. 

These companies have spent thousands (if not millions) of dollars to perfect these recipes, and it really shows!

So I knew this chocolate cake would be good. And it’s super easy to make, too!

Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed together, including the sugar, you can add most of the wet ingredients right into the bowl as one.

There’s no need to add things in a specific order or separate eggs. Just throw it all in and blend. 

The only thing that’s slightly different is the addition of boiling water, which needs to be added last and carefully stirred through to finish the batter. 

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


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 – This mixture of the two will give the best rising and should prevent a domed middle.
  • Salt – Salt is used to enhance the flavors of everything else.
  • Eggs – Try to use room temperature eggs, so they incorporate easier.
  • Milk – Milk is used to 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 – Even in chocolate cake, you can taste the difference of a good vanilla extract or paste.
  • Boiling water – Adding hot water will activate the baking powder and soda to make the crumb light and enhance the cocoa for a deeper flavor. 
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 couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Since this cake is so soft, frosting it can be a challenge. Try freezing your cakes overnight and frosting while they’re solid to prevent crumbs and breakage.
  • Always start with room temperature ingredients for better mixing.
  • If you want to boost that chocolate flavor, try using hot coffee instead of water.
  • For an even more moist crumb, try using buttermilk instead of plain milk.
  • Be sure to use the unsweetened cocoa and not the sweetened variety, as it would be too sweet.
  • For an even richer flavor, try using Dutch cocoa.
  • To check if the cakes are done, insert a toothpick into the middle. It should come out clean when the cakes are baked.
  • I would always recommend using parchment paper in your cake tins to avoid any unwanted sticking disasters.
Moist and Flavorful Chocolate Cake

Would This Recipe Make Good Cupcakes?

Yes! Hershey’s even has a guide on how to use this recipe to make cupcakes. This recipe will make 30 cupcakes.

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1. Make the batter using the same method listed below.

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. 

Frosting Ideas for Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

Hershey’s recommends frosting this cake with their “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate frosting, and it is pretty tasty – if a little sweet.

But if you’re looking for something different, try one of these great options:

When frosting, be sure to cool completely, and even freeze this cake to prevent breakage, especially if you plan to cover the whole cake.

An excellent alternative is to pipe your frosting, leaving a pretty pattern on top and no need to freeze.

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 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 F.
  • Prepare the baking tins by spraying with cooking spray or lightly coating with oil and dusting with flour. (Add a large tablespoon of flour to the greased tin and tap it around until evenly distributed over the bottom and sides. Turn the tin upside down to remove excess flour.)
  • In a large bowl, stir the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes using medium speed on a hand mixer.
  • Carefully stir in the boiling water to make a thin batter.
  • Evenly divide the 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.
Hershey's Chocolate Cake

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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 :)

6 thoughts on “Hershey’s Chocolate Cake”

  1. 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!

  2. 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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