The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

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This is the best homemade chocolate cake recipe! Super easy to make and incredibly moist! This cake has a fluffy texture and a perfect chocolate flavor. We’ve been making this recipe for years; it always turns out to be incredibly moist and delicious.

The perfect slice of homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

This cake has a beautiful chocolate flavor, and its fluffy texture makes it perfect for any occasion. My mother-in-law passed this recipe to me years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. She initially got this recipe from the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box, and it’s a classic we always make!

This delightful cake is versatile; it can be made as a sheet or layered round cake. The process is quick and easy—mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and then combining them with a mixer. I use boiling water to help create that tender, moist texture that we all love in a chocolate cake.

Topping the cake with creamy homemade chocolate frosting makes every bite a perfect treat. Feel free to experiment with other frostings to fit your preferences. Still, one thing’s for sure—this cake is ideal for all chocolate lovers!

Super moist chocolate cake with frosting and milk.

Why This is The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

Incredibly moist texture: This cake’s moistness makes every bite enjoyable and leaves you craving more.

Versatile: You can create a sheet cake, layered cake, bundt cake, or even cupcakes using this recipe.

Rich chocolate flavor: While the taste is indulgent, it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.

Simple to make: This easy homemade cake recipe is perfect for beginners and experts.

Even without frosting, It’s scrumptious and can be enjoyed as a chocolate snack cake.

Tried and tested: I’ve made this moist chocolate cake recipe multiple times, which always produces excellent results.

Oil, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and baking soda and baking powder in small bowls.

Shopping List and Ingredient Notes

Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need for this scrumptious chocolate cake, easily found at your local grocery store:

Granulated sugar: White sugar is excellent for sweetening and adding the perfect texture.

All-purpose flour: Provides structure and a light, tender texture. I use King Arthur Flour for this recipe. The flour helps provide structure and form to the cake. It also helps give the cake a light, tender texture. Make sure to measure flour your flour when baking correctly. Remember to measure your flour accurately.

Unsweetened cocoa adds an intense, rich chocolate flavor to the cake. Try Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa or Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa. You can use unsweetened dark cocoa for an even richer chocolate flavor. The cake will have a deep color as well.

Baking soda and baking powder: These leavening agents help create a moist, fluffy cake with an even texture.

Milk: Contributes to texture and moisture. Both whole milk and 2% work well.

Eggs: Offer structure and stability. Organic eggs are preferable when possible.

Vegetable oil or canola oil: This chocolate cake recipe is made with oil to give the cake extra moistness and a fluffy texture. You can use vegetable or canola oil, as both have a neutral flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients in the cake.

Vanilla extract: Enhances flavors; use pure vanilla extract for best results.

Boiling water: Helps incorporate cocoa powder and maintain a moist, tender cake.

liquid ingredients in a measuring cup and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Recipe Variations

I’ve discovered several delightful ways to customize a chocolate cake. For instance, you can:

9x13 baking sheet and cake batter in a mixing bowl.

Make Ahead

The best part about making a classic homemade cake is that you can make it beforehand. Bake the cake and let it cool completely. Then, Place the wrap in plastic in an airtight container or a gallon zip-top freezer bag. Freeze the cake for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Once it’s completely thawed, you can frost the cake.

Simple chocolate cake recipe with creamy chocolate frosting.

Storing and Freezing

Storing chocolate cake is pretty simple. You can store it in the fridge or freeze it.

Storing Leftover Cake: Wrap the chocolate cake leftovers tightly with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight sealed container. Doing this lets the cake maintain moisture and keeps it delicious for days. 

Freezer: Wrap the cake in plastic as soon as it cools. Storing the cake in the freezer will help keep the moisture content in, and it’s how professional bakers store their goods as well. It’s best to freeze this cake without frosting.

The cake will thaw quickly, so that’s good news for anyone who wants to consume it from the freezer. The frozen cake also makes an excellent base for icing.

Moist chocolate cake cooling on a cooking rack with a bowl of chocolate frosting.

Cocoa Powder vs Extra Dark Cocoa Powder

There are a couple of options to consider when using unsweetened cocoa powder. I recommend going with the classic Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

However, if you’re interested in a more intense chocolate cake—both in flavor and appearance—you might want to choose Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. This will result in a cake that is so dark it’s almost black! It’s perfect for those looking for a darker and richer chocolate experience.

Fluffy chocolate cake.

More Sheet Cake Ideas

I came across some fantastic sheet cake recipes that are both simple and delicious. Here are a few of my favorites!

This is my favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe, and I can’t wait for you to try it. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I promise it’s the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll need!

You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

homemade chocolate cake

The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

Savor the rich, moist goodness of homemade chocolate cake. Perfect for any occasion. Easy recipe for a delightful treat.
4.79 from 37 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Eden


Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk, whole or 2%
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • The oven temperature should be 350 degrees.
  • measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, use the fitted bowl for the dry ingredients.
  • In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, add all of the wet ingredients except the boiling water, which gets added at the end. 
    liquid ingredients in a measuring cup and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Slowly add the wet and dry ingredients with the paddle attachment and mixer on low speed. Scrape down the bowl's sides and bottom to ensure everything is mixing. Turn the mixer to medium speed for about 30 seconds, then back to low.
  • Slowly add the boiling water with the mixer on low. The batter will have a liquid consistency, and that's how you want it to be.
  • 9×13 baking pan is perfect for this cake. Oil it well and use some parchment paper on the bottom so the cake will be easy to remove. 
    9x13 baking sheet and chocolate cake
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the cake has risen in the center. 
    chocolate cake


Use whole, organic ingredients when possible. It does make a difference in the flavor and outcome of the cake.
Oil and grease your pans well; use parchment paper for easy removal. 
Mix well, but do not over-mix. Keep the mixer on low most of the time, and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. 
If you want to make a dark chocolate cake, try Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder.
Pair this cake with our creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. 

Gluten-Free Option

To create a delicious gluten-free chocolate cake, I replace the regular flour with Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Although the texture might slightly differ, my cake still turns out good!
Always remember to use room-temperature ingredients for the best results.
Set the timer for 10 minutes less, as baking time will vary depending on accurate oven temperature and location.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
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This recipe is from Hershey’s Cocoa Powder.

the best chocolate cake recipe graphic

22 thoughts on “The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe”

  1. Very moist cake, turned out well , nice and fluffy. Great cake for celebration decorating. I decorated with a pool theme. Will use recipe again. Thank you

  2. This is the best chocolate cake recipe-it’s the original Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe that’s always been on the back of the cocoa container!

  3. 5 stars
    Topped it with peanut butter frosting and chopped peanut butter cups. We were in heaven, it is so moist and delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    There is seriously nothing better than homemade chocolate cake! This is so light & fluffy & the frosting is creamy & delicious!

  5. Thanks for the recipe.

    I made this last night and am really happy with the result. I hesitated on making this cake due to the lack of specificity of 3 ingredients. The amount of cocoa powder intrigued me and it did produce a more pronounced flavor. The cake was very good and I will make it again.

    However, the aforementioned issue should be addressed:

    2 cups flour: What kind of flour? All-purpose, cake flour?

    2 cups sugar? What kind of sugar? Granulated, caster, dark brown, light brown?

    1 3/4 cups cocoa powder? What kind? This makes a huge difference. Dutch processed cocoa versus natural cocoa.

    I used dutch process and the texture and flavor were good.

  6. A cup of boiling water in the batter self? That seems interesting…I should try it at the end of this month. Hope it comes out nice.

  7. The reason that I love this cake so much, is that it is really moist and dense – the recipe does not include any baking powder, but rather buttermilk and a small amount of baking soda. It delivers big time on the wow factor as well.

4.79 from 37 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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