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Best Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

There’s nothing quite like the rich, indulgent taste of this moist chocolate cake recipe.

Its luscious chocolate flavor and tender crumb will make you crave it for days. 

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Just the thought of this recipe is enough to make your tastebuds dance with anticipation! 

Moist and Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Imagine sinking your fork into a slice of a moist and fudgy cake.

The aroma of chocolate fills the air, and its soft, velvety texture melts in your mouth. 

Treat yourself and your loved ones to the ultimate chocolate indulgence with this moist chocolate cake recipe.

Moist Chocolate Cake

This one-bowl chocolate cake is incredibly moist thanks to the blend of oil, milk, and boiling water.

The fats in the oil, the protein in the milk, and the temperature of the water all work together.

They produce a cake that’s rich, tender, moist, and delicious. 

As an added bonus, this is a one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, meaning it’s quick and easy to prepare with minimal cleanup. 

You’ll love indulging in a heavenly chocolate treat.

But you’ll also be able to enjoy the convenience of a fuss-free baking experience!

Moist Chocolate Cake Ingredients - Flour, Granulated Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Espresso Powder, Salt, Eggs, Milk and Vegetable Oil

Ingredients

For The Chocolate Cake

All-Purpose Flour

The foundation of any cake recipe. No need for fancy flour here, just some good-old all-purpose flour does wonders.

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As with all cake recipes, be sure to measure the flour accurately for the best results.

The best way to do this is with a kitchen scale.

Granulated Sugar

It’s not just to sweeten the cake, but to help with moisture, too.

Don’t lessen the amount of sugar in the recipe as it will make the cake dry.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

We’re baking chocolate cake, after all! This is where the cake gets its primary flavor, so be sure to use premium-quality cocoa powder.

I prefer Dutch Process cocoa powder because it has a more intense chocolate flavor.

But natural cocoa powder will work just fine, too.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda

As chocolate cake is an oil-based, and therefore dense, cake, you need the help of two leavening agents to help the batter rise.

Espresso Powder

This is the secret ingredient that makes this cake ridiculously chocolatey!

Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate like no other, making them a match made in heaven.

I use espresso powder here, but you can also use instant powdered coffee mixed with boiling water (which you’ll also find in this list).

Salt

To balance out the sweetness and bring out the chocolate cake’s flavor even more.

Eggs

For binding the ingredients and adding richness to the chocolate cake.

Milk

Every cake recipe needs a liquid ingredient to saturate the dry components.

I like to use milk here because it adds an element of richness to the cake. You can also buttermilk or sour cream.

Vegetable Oil

The key ingredient that makes this chocolate cake incredibly moist. 

While butter does add more flavor, a “moist maker” that stays liquid at room temperature will keep the cake moist at all times.

Use fresh, neutral-flavored oils like canola, sunflower, and my personal choice – corn oil.

Vanilla Extract

A must-have in any cake batter.

Boiling Water

Hot liquid helps dissolve sugar and any lumps that may be present in the batter.

More importantly, it activates the baking powder and baking soda, helping the cake rise right away.

For The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Butter, Softened – For a rich buttercream frosting. I like to use salted butter because it complements the sweetness of the chocolate well.

Powdered Sugar, Sifted – For sweetness and also to help create a smooth frosting.

Cocoa Powder, Sifted – So your frosting tastes like chocolate.

Vanilla Extract – To enhance the overall flavor of the frosting.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate – I like to use dark chocolate here, as the frosting will be already mighty sweet from the powdered sugar.

Let your melted chocolate cool to room temperature first before making the frosting.

Hot chocolate will cause the butter to melt, resulting in a runny frosting.

Sweet Homemade Chocolate Cake

How to Make Moist Chocolate Cake

1. Prep.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 round cake pans with parchment paper.

If you don’t have one, grease the bottom and sides of the pans with butter or non-stick spray, and then coat them lightly with flour.

This’ll keep the cakes from sticking to the pans.

2. Combine the dry ingredients.

Add the sugar to a large bowl. To it, sift in your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso, and salt.

Sifting the dry ingredients will keep your batter from forming large lumps.

3. Add the wet ingredients.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Pour the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla into the well and mix them all together just until well combined.

Don’t overmix the batter!

Once incorporated, stir in the boiling water. Expect the batter to be very thin. 

4. Bake the cakes.

Pour the batter evenly into the lined or greased cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

You know they’re done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with some dry crumbs.

Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

5. Make the chocolate buttercream frosting.

Beat butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder until the mixture is creamy.

Gently stir in the melted chocolate and be sure it’s cooled completely. Stir it until it’s well combined.

6. Assemble the layer cake.

Place one of the cakes on a cake board. Pipe or spread some of the frosting evenly on top of the cake.

Place the second cake on top, and coat the top and sides completely with the remaining frosting.

Let your one-bowl chocolate cake chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.

7. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

Sliced Homemade Moist Chocolate Cake

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake

  • Measure the flour accurately. Adding too much flour to the batter will yield dense and rubbery cakes. Use a kitchen scale for best results. Or fluff the flour with a spoon and level it off with the back of a knife.
  • Use room temperature ingredients to ensure they incorporate easily with each other.
  • Don’t skip the espresso powder as it significantly enhances the chocolate’s flavor. Don’t worry, it won’t make your cake taste like coffee.
  • Don’t trust chocolate cake recipes that use butter! The key to incredibly moist chocolate cake is oil.
  • Opt for a fresh, neutral-tasting oil such as vegetable oil so that it doesn’t affect the flavor of the cake. My oil of choice is corn oil, as it keeps the cake moist for days – even when chilled.
  • Don’t overmix the batter, or your cake will be dense and dry.
  • Line your cake pan with parchment paper for easier cake release.
  • Some ovens run hotter than others, so it’s best to check the cake for doneness as early as 25 minutes in. The cake is ready when the toothpick comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.
  • Place a cake strip around your cake pan to keep the cake from developing a dome on top.

Variations

  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake – Use an equal amount of gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose. 
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake – Use either almond milk or coconut milk instead of regular milk.
  • Egg-Free Chocolate Cake – Use 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce instead of eggs.
  • Chocolate Cupcakes – Ladle batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Citrus Chocolate Cake – Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the batter for a nice hint of citrus.
  • Try a Different Frosting – To me, nothing beats chocolate buttercream, but feel free to experiment with other frostings like chocolate whipped cream and cream cheese frosting.

How to Store

To Store

Place the cake in a cake carrier and store it at room temperature for up to 5 days or refrigerate for up to a week.

To Freeze

Double-wrap the unfrosted cakes with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Place them in freezer-safe containers and freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Thaw them in the fridge overnight or for 1-2 hours on the counter before frosting.

Best Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

Servings

24

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

157

kcal

This moist chocolate cake recipe is one for the record books! Made with simple ingredients you have in your pantry, this is one of the best cakes you’ll ever make.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 2 cups 2 granulated sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups 1 3/4 all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon 1 espresso powder

  • 1 teaspoon 1 salt

  • 2 2 eggs

  • 1 cup 1 milk

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons 2 vanilla extract

  • 1 cup 1 boiling water

  • For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 butter, softened

  • 2 cups 2 powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cocoa powder, sifted

  • 2 teaspoons 2 vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (9-inch) round pans with non-stick spray or butter, and lightly coat them with flour.
  • Add the sugar to a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. To it, pour in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat the ingredients just until well combined. Mix in the boiling water.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then flip them over onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the chocolate buttercream frosting. Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until it’s light and fluffy.
  • While continuously beating, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder until it’s creamy. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
  • Pipe or spread 1/3 of the frosting over one cake. Place the second cake on top, and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Chill chocolate cake before serving. Slice and enjoy!
Moist Chocolate Cake

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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 :)

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