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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Making a loved one a cake for an upcoming birthday? Opt for this one-bowl chocolate cake!

Not only is it insanely moist and fluffy, but it’s a cinch to make as well.

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Because all you’ll need is one bowl, clean-up has never been a breeze. It’s the easiest way to impress your family and friends.

Slice of Layered Chocolate Cake

Make your loved one’s birthday extra special with this homemade chocolate cake.

It’s the perfect way to show them how much you care. 

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Yes, this chocolate cake only calls for one bowl. But just because it’s a snap to make doesn’t mean it’s mediocre! 

This recipe results in one of the best cakes you’ll ever have. Decadent, chocolaty, moist, and fudgy, it’s everything you can ask for in a cake.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Ingredients: Sugar, Flour, Cocoa Powder, Eggs, Milk, Vegetable Oil and Vanilla Extract

How Do You Make a One-Bowl Chocolate Cake?

The promise of this recipe is that you can prepare the entire batter in just one bowl. Here’s how.

First, preheat your oven. You’ll bake the cake to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Grease two (9-inch) round cake pans with oil or butter, lightly coat them with flour, and shake off the excess.

Alternatively, you can also just line the cake pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift and stir the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Sifting the ingredients will prevent lumps.

Then, beat in the wet ingredients: the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.

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Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed or until the wet and dry ingredients have combined. 

Last, stir in the boiling water. The water will help dissolve lumps, giving you a smooth batter.

Don’t worry that it’s too thin, as that’s how it’s supposed to look. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 35 minutes. 

To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cakes.

If it comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs, the cakes are ready.

If it comes out with wet batter sticking to it, bake for 2-3 minutes and check again. 

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

That’s it! Easy, right? All that’s left is to frost your cake.

You can use any frosting, but for me, nothing beats a simple chocolate ganache – a mixture of equal parts melted chocolate and heavy cream.

Sweet Layered Chocolate Cake

Tips for the Best Cake 

  • The flavor of the cake will rely on the cocoa powder, so you’ll want to use one of excellent quality. Any of these brands are tried and true: Bensdorp, Valrhona, Ghirardelli, Callebaut, Hershey’s, and Guitard.
  • Measure the ingredients accurately, especially the flour. Adding more than specified will yield a denser cake. Be sure to use the spoon and level method: use a spoon to transfer the flour to the measuring cup, and level it with the back of a knife. 
  • Use room temperature ingredients, particularly the eggs. Cold eggs won’t incorporate well with the rest of the ingredients. If you forgot to take them out of the fridge, just submerge them in lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
  • For a deeper chocolate flavor, add coffee to the batter. Don’t worry, the cake won’t taste of coffee at all. All coffee does is enhance the flavor of chocolate like you wouldn’t believe! 
  • While this chocolate cake is outrageously delicious and moist, it’s not complete without the frosting. Here are some options:
    • Chocolate Ganache – my number one choice. This frosting is decadent and fudgy, but more importantly, it’s so easy to prepare. Just microwave equal parts cream and chocolate chips and stir!
    • Buttercream – there are different types to choose from – American, Swiss, Italian, and French. Each of them delicious and perfect for cake decorating.  
    • Toasted Meringue a mixture of whipped egg whites and sugar. It’s an ideal option if you have a kitchen blowtorch.
Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cake

What Makes a Cake Moist and Fluffy? 

A good sign of quality chocolate cake is its texture. If it’s not moist and fluffy, it’s not as good!

To ensure chocolate cake success, use these key ingredients.

First and foremost: oil. If you don’t have oil on hand, forget it! 

Where most cakes call for butter, chocolate cake recipes require oil.

This non-negotiable makes your chocolate cake ridiculously moist and fudgy. 

Any vegetable oil works, but my preference is corn oil.

Out of all the ones I tried, corn oil yields the moistest chocolate cake that stays moist for days, even when refrigerated.

Next are your leavening agents.

You’ll use equal parts baking powder and baking soda for this recipe to give the batter just the right amount of lift. 

Next up: an additional egg yolk. While it’s not required, it helps in making the chocolate cake extra rich and fluffy.

The fourth ingredient is buttermilk. It functions similarly as milk does, only it makes the cake extra moist. 

Pro-tip: if you can’t get ahold of buttermilk, here’s a hack: mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of milk.

Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture curdles. Voila, you now have your very own buttermilk!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 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 salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup 1 milk (or buttermilk)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons 2 vanilla extract

  • 1 cup 1 boiling water


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (9-inch) round baking pans with oil or butter and lightly coat with flour.
  • In a large bowl, sift and stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Stir in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until mixture is combined. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pans. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
One-Bowl 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 :)

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