I have been searching for a great chocolate cake recipe for years. For my 18th birthday, my mom made an amazing chocolate cake. It was perfect. It was everything that a chocolate cake should be. Unfortunately, the recipe didn’t seem to survive past that day. Losing that recipe was a tragedy. It set the bar for chocolate cake in my eyes. It took me almost a decade to recreate that perfect chocolate cake. I tried at least a dozen recipes and none of them lived up to my expectations. Until now.
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?
I’ve created a video to walk you through every step of making this cake, including the frosting. I have my own cooking show on YouTube. Sure, I gave it to myself, but it’s still awesome. Be sure to check out my youtube channel and subscribe!
TIPS AND TRICKS AND FAQ
Q: Can this recipe be made into cupcakes?
A: Why yes it can! They are baked at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes and this recipe makes about 36 cupcakes. You should check out my peanut butter filled cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache.
Q: Can I make this recipe into only two layers?
A: Yes you can, 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. But no, I won’t do the math for you. I truly believe that the most amazing chocolate cake must be 3 layers.
Q: Do I have to use buttermilk? What is buttermilk? Is there a buttermilk substitute?
A: Yes, 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.
Q: Do you have a substitute for eggs?
A: There are numerous options for substituting eggs in baking recipes. You can always try using one of those.
Q: Can I use a different pan size?
A: You are certainly welcome to try, but you’ll need to adjust cooking times and be careful as to how much you fill the pan. This recipe is written for 9-inch round pans, which is a standard size and is meant to be eaten as a 3 layer cake.
Q: Can I use a different frosting?
A: You certainly can! The frosting recipe included here is my favorite go-to, but I also often use a whipped chocolate ganache which I’ve included in my chocolate cupcake recipe. You are also welcome to use any other frosting recipe that you like.
Q: Won’t the hot water cook the eggs?
A: No. It won’t. You aren’t using boiling water and you shouldn’t.
Q: Can I substitute coffee for the hot water?
A: Yes you can. I simply don’t prefer the addition of coffee to my chocolate cake.
Q: What kind of cocoa powder did you use?
A: 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.
Q: How did you get your frosting so dark?
A: I used half Hershey’s Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa powder to achieve the dark looking frosting.
Q: Can I make this recipe gluten free?
A: Use gluten free flours at your own risk. Not all gluten free flours are equal and most don’t work as a straight forward substitute for all-purpose flour. I have not tested any gluten free flours in this recipe as I do not have Celiac’s disease.
The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake Recipe
Are you looking for my White Cake Recipe?
- butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1½ cups warm water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 7-8 cups powdered sugar
- about ¼ cup milk (as needed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. (see cooking lesson below)
- 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 until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it 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!
- 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.
butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan
450 grams all-purpose flour
650 grams granulated sugar
155 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
17 grams baking soda
8 grams baking powder
11 grams salt
4 large eggs
350 ml buttermilk
350 ml warm water
115 ml vegetable oil
10 ml vanilla extract
Bake at 176 degrees celsius in three 23 centimeter pans
This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on February 26, 2013