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The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake is full of moist, chocolatey perfection. This is the chocolate cake you’ve been dreaming of!

A slice of Moist Chocolate Cake layered with chocolate frosting with a bite taken out with a fork

I have been searching for a great chocolate cake recipe for years. I have found it. My search has ended. I now have THE recipe. If you have ever seen the movie Matilda you will surely remember the scene where the boy is forced to eat the most delicious looking chocolate cake ever. I feel just like that boy when I eat this cake. It is my Matilda chocolate cake for sure.

This cake is moist and has the perfect crumb. I cannot imagine making a chocolate cake using any other recipe. It is so easy to make and puts doctored cake mix recipes to shame. I’m eating a piece of the cake as I’m writing this, drooling all over my keyboard. It is insanely delicious. A decades search was worth the wait. Every…decadent…bite. Who wants cake?

Most Amazing Chocolate Cake on a cake stand, a slice on a plate in the foreground layered with chocolate frosting

What is buttermilk? Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

Buttermilk is necessary for this recipe. It has to do with the way it interacts with other ingredients. Buttermilk is the liquid leftover after churning butter. Check out my more in depth post about how to make buttermilk substitute.

Can I make this a dairy free chocolate cake recipe?

Yes! Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to almond or soy milk. Let stand 5 minutes and use in place of the buttermilk. For the frosting, use a dairy free frosting option.

Can I make this a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe?

Yes! Use “Cup for Cup” gluten-free flour blend in this recipe in the same amounts.

Can I make this an eggless chocolate cake recipe?

Yes! There are several options that work well when substituting for eggs in this recipe.

  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt per egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar+ 1 teaspoon baking powder whisked together per egg
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana per egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce per egg

Can I make this recipe into only two layers? Can I make this recipe in a 9×13 pan?

Yes you can, for both you’ll need to divide the recipe by 2/3rds. I realize that there are 4 eggs in this recipe so that’s the hard part. Just use 3 eggs.

What kind of cocoa powder did you use?

I used Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder in order to use a brand that is most widely available to my readers. I’m also fond of using higher quality cocoa powders like Ghiradelli’s or cocoa powders from specialty chocolatier shops, but those are pretty pricey. I don’t recommend using cheap store brands.

How did you get your frosting so dark?

I used half Hershey’s Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa powder to achieve the dark looking frosting.

A fork takes a bite out of a slice of the Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my other amazing cake recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on February 26, 2013

A slice of Moist Chocolate Cake layered with chocolate frosting with a bite taken out with a fork
The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake is here. I call this my Matilda Cake because I swear it's just as good as the cake that Bruce Bogtrotter ate in Matilda. Moist, chocolatey perfection. This is the chocolate cake you've been dreaming of.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

  • butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • about 1/4 cup milk as needed

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
  • Divide batter among the three pans. I found that it took just over 3 cups of the batter to divide it evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
  • Frost with your favorite frosting and enjoy!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results
  • Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  • Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add milk as necessary to make a spreadable consistency. The frosting should be very thick and will thicken even more if refrigerated.
For metric measurements, click on the metric tab.  Bake at 176 degrees celsius in three 23 centimeter pans
*Coffee can be used in place of the warm water. 
**For Cupcakes:


Calories: 767kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 91g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cake

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Ok so I don’t usually comment on things like this but I just have to! After watching every baking show on Netflix and Amazon Prime I decided to try my hand at baking. I made this chocolate cake a few weeks ago after finding the recipe through Google as a surprise for my family and they absolutely LOVED IT! We finished off the entire cake in a couple days and kept going back for second helpings. I tasted the buttercream frosting as I was going and used less sugar than the recipe called for and it was perfect. I hate… Read more »


Hi, I want to make this cake for son’s 6th birthday. Can you share how much sugar you ended up using in the cake and frosting? To your point i would hate to see the cake go to waste if it ends up being super sweet.

Charlotte Harrod

I also do less powdered sugar in the frosting. Just do half of the sugar and go from there. It’s all a taste preference, so taste it and see how sweet you want it. I use about half of the sugar recommended in the recipe for the frosting.


I used 5 cups of sugar powder but you can use less.


I’ve made this cake twice, its amazing. I cut down the sugar in the cake by half a cup, just nice, bitter sweet. As for the frosting, you can taste it as you gradually add in the icing sugar, stop when you get the desired sweetness. I’ve also replace milk with bailey’s, amazing. For the cake, I’ve added caramelised raspberries in between the layers too. Best thing about this cake is, the texture is so moist and fluffy, even after storing it in fridge for several days, its texture doesn’t change


I used about 7 cups of powdered sugar you won’t have the correct consistency if you don’t. This is NOT a super sweet cake or frosting. You need this much to cover the cake because it is sooo big! I did reduce the sugar in the cake to 2 1/2 cups though just because I like a less sweet cake. But if you add all 3 cups it will still be amazing.


Hi Alison, how long did you bake your cupcakes for?


I divided the batter into a giant (6 muffins) tin for 30 minutes, and a loaf pan for 1 hour.
Cake was moist and delicious and went fast!


Hello, hope you are doing good…. i just wanted to ask about that Chocolate ganache recipe you used because i was also thinking to make cupcakes out if it… but with way lesser sugar so I thought to give ganache a try…. plus need to ask for how long u baked the cupcakes Obviously Its not Going to be 30 to 35 so wanted to know the exact time… thanks in advance

K Davis

How long did you bake the cupcakes?

Mary Ann White

Can someone tell me if this recipe can be made into a sheet cake? If so can you tell me the temp., and for how long in the oven?


45 minutes


35 minutes

standard sized cupcakes take about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Geri Karen Enos

You said you used less sugar for the frosting.. how much did you use? Thank you

we call this our chocolate wonder cake, my father-in-law had this recipe years ago .


How much sugar did you use?

Barbara Dewey

My husband’s birthday is August 6, and I thought I’d bake it for him. I’ve enjoyed this site since I first ran across it. I think it’s dynamite. And I’ve also been baking all my life, as well as being an overall great cook.


5 stars
This was so much fun to make! I loved every single bit. I’m only 14 years old and the recipe was quite easy to make. In total, it sould take about two hours I’d say to make if it’s your first time ever making a cake. My family LOVES it! The cake is so rich in flavor. I added 5 cups of powdered sugar instead of 7-8 and it turned out great!


5 stars
Made once before and it was amazing. Come to make it again. Try to change it to metric but doesn’t change. Can anyone help? Has anyone got the recipe in metric


I just used google as I went along, 8 oz = ~226 grams, (1oz – 28 grams). I wasn’t super strict with the measurements and it didn’t fail me so you should be fine! Edit: I clicked on metric, then on the [Print] and most of the measurements came up as metric Chocolate Cake butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan 3 cups all-purpose flour 3 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 4 large eggs 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 1 1/2… Read more »


I had to do the same (looked it up on Google). Haven’t tried it yet but I’m pleased to see it worked for someone else. Clicking metric and then print still brought up imperial measurements for me, not metric.


Hey, I’m not that great at baking, so how thick is the batter supposed to be? Mine has a slightly thicker consistency than water and I’m not sure if I’m doing this right


It’s in the video description! You have to scroll down a little 😉

Anna Biebrich

Absolutely amazing recipe! I’ve made it three times in one week lol… I made it into cupcakes twice and a cake once! It is absolutely amazing would definitely recommend! I didn’t use the icing recipe, I ended up making a coconut buttercream recipe instead which turned out amazing! But the chocolate cake is the best I’ve ever had and everyone who has tried it has loved it!

Julie Richards

Mine came out dry. I am confident I didn’t overbake. But maybe I did? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Ann Austin

Mine did as well. I was wondering if I could cut some of the water and replace it with a bit more oil…?

How long did you bake the cupcakes for At 350 degrees?

29 minutes instead of 35


5 stars
Would you recommend storing this cake in the fridge or on the counter for long-term storage? I’m trialing making it as a wedding cake but will need to make it a few days in advance. Do you think it would stay more moist being stored in the fridge or on the counter? I’m storing it in a cake carrier. Thanks! (Love this recipe btw. I made it for a retirement party a few months ago and it got rave reviews!)


Not sure if I am too late but this cake stays moist I use cling wrap on each layer and an airtight cake carrier for the big cake I made. That was how I stored it before stacking. It was just as moist 1 week later as the first day.


I often bake ahead for bake sales. I have made as may as 100 cupcakes in a day. Also some cakes. When cool just put item in the freezer. The day before take it out and ice it frozen . Works every time for me.

Lew Lew

5 stars
Cake was delicious. I do have a question about the icing. You said 1 1/2 cups of butter but in the video you only used 3 half sticks. So should it really be 1 1/2 sticks of butter instead of cup? I am not trying to be rude at all. I am new at baking and only recently found out that 1 stick of butter only equals a 1/2 cup lol. I thoroughly enjoyed your cake. You have gained a new fan!


It looks like she is using the shorter 4 oz sticks which would make since that she used 3. The butter I buy is a 1/2 cup but looks like a half stick just thicker. If that make sense.


Hi! Actually, one stick of butter is half a cup. So 1.5 cups of butter is the same as three sticks of butter.


Three 1/2 cup sticks of butter equals 1 1/2 cups.


5 stars
I made this cake with two layers instead of 3 and it came out great! It has a nice balanced flavor. I put a little less sugar in the frosting than required and it came out just the way my family likes it. My parents keep asking me when I’m going to make it again!


Hi Julia, how much sugar did you reduce by?


How did u divide the baking pwdr for two layers? Thanks


How long did you bake it for 2 layer cake?
Can i make it 2 layer cake in 9” spring form? Thank you.


Cake batter will most likely leak out of a spring form pan. I wouldn’t risk using it and having to clean our my oven.


30 min 176 C

hi, I am going to make this for my grandson birthday and also want to make two layers. Did you use bigger pan than 9 inches? if yes what size did you use? and how long did you bake it for? Thanks

5 stars
So far I’ve made soooo many cakes and some were ok but this one was absolutely amazing. Moist, creamy, held its shape, and soooo yummy. Best recipe out there!


5 stars
This is no joke! It is incredible. And I love the alternatives given. Soooooo chocolaty, rich and moist.


Excellent recipe.
I got the best cake at the end.

Thanks for your recipe
Auroville international Township

Leah Lou

5 stars
This cake was amazing i made it for my coworkers birthday and everyone loved it. Thank you


I made this last night and it ended up being 5 layers because I used 8 inch pans putting 3 cups in two pans and 2 cups in the last pan. I cut the 3 cups layers in half and the 2 cup ended up being the same height as the halves. (Warning, the mix will not be thick but that’s how it should be)The icing was so delicious, I could have had it with a bowl of ice cream instead. I made it for a friend’s birthday and I added chocolate shavings to the side because I am not… Read more »


Hi Valerie. how tall it was the individual cakes? I need to make a square cake, using 7.6″ pan…. I am not sure how to divide the batter, as I will need 3 to 4 layers.


5 stars
Yes I tried this too, it was sure the best premium choc cake ever…first time baking a choc cake and I am proud of myself.

Susan Q

5 stars
I made this cake yesterday & it was amazingly delicious. I love the flavor of the cocoa powder. I used professional bakers European cocoa powder. The cake was not fully baked at 350 for 30-35 mins. It took a lot longer to bake. I also cut down on the confectioner sugar,. It was way too sweet for my taste buds. I used only 1 2/3 cups.


4 stars
Love it, however 3 cups of sugar against 3 cups of flour looked so much and sweet for me, i used 2 cups of sugar instead and result is amazing

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