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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
Ingredients

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
Instructions

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.
Notes
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: https://thestayathomechef.com/chocolate-cupcake-recipe/

Nutrition

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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Alison
May 4, 2020 8:40 am

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 »

Aditi
May 5, 2020 2:17 pm
Reply to  Alison

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
May 10, 2020 8:36 am
Reply to  Aditi

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.

Bol
May 22, 2020 3:36 am
Reply to  Aditi

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

Celine
May 30, 2020 9:02 pm
Reply to  Aditi

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

Carolyn
September 10, 2020 7:46 am
Reply to  Aditi

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.

Mrudula
October 3, 2020 9:38 am
Reply to  Aditi

Hii Aditi. I also had the feeling that the sugar was. Bit too much. So for a cup of flour I used 3/4th sugar. It came out perfect.

Wendy
May 7, 2020 4:28 am
Reply to  Alison

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

Olga
May 13, 2020 3:54 pm
Reply to  Wendy

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!

Zanib
June 1, 2020 9:57 pm
Reply to  Alison

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

October 12, 2020 8:32 am
Reply to  Zanib

Another quick frosting recipe – equal parts melted chocolate chips and sour cream – glossy, yummy, and holds swirls – great for slathering on cupcakes!

K Davis
June 7, 2020 1:09 pm
Reply to  Alison

How long did you bake the cupcakes?

Mary Ann White
June 17, 2020 7:13 am
Reply to  K Davis

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?

Vilma
July 18, 2020 8:53 pm
Reply to  K Davis

45 minutes

rick
July 24, 2020 2:25 pm
Reply to  K Davis

35 minutes

July 25, 2020 3:25 pm
Reply to  K Davis

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

Geri Karen Enos
June 18, 2020 6:48 pm
Reply to  Alison

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

July 1, 2020 6:22 pm
Reply to  Alison

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

Anna
July 10, 2020 10:39 pm
Reply to  Alison

How much sugar did you use?

Barbara Dewey
July 18, 2020 9:12 am
Reply to  Alison

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.

Victoria Wiseman
September 26, 2020 12:20 pm
Reply to  Alison

this was the best cake i have ever made my family loved this i love being hands on with baking and crafts this really put it over the top for me! and i´m only 14!!!!

Karlee
May 4, 2020 1:43 pm

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!

Elizabeth
May 7, 2020 12:03 pm

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

L J
May 10, 2020 3:56 am
Reply to  Elizabeth

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 »

4kidsandacat
May 27, 2020 6:42 am
Reply to  L J

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.

Kenny
May 10, 2020 4:23 pm
Reply to  Elizabeth

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

Jeff
October 7, 2020 9:41 pm
Reply to  Kenny

Nope don’t worry, when I was making this I thought the same thing as you but when I baked it it came out perfectly

Elle
May 11, 2020 8:51 am
Reply to  Elizabeth

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

Anna Biebrich
May 4, 2020 3:21 pm

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
June 10, 2020 9:01 am
Reply to  Anna Biebrich

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

Ann Austin
August 7, 2020 11:25 pm
Reply to  Julie Richards

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

July 25, 2020 12:20 pm
Reply to  Anna Biebrich

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

August 26, 2020 9:47 am
Reply to  Margie

29 minutes instead of 35

Maria
October 7, 2020 12:08 pm
Reply to  Anna Biebrich

How many cupcakes did you get out of this recipe?

Kailey
May 5, 2020 2:18 pm

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!)

Elise
June 2, 2020 2:51 pm
Reply to  Kailey

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.

Amy
June 11, 2020 10:20 am
Reply to  Kailey

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.

Julia
April 30, 2020 8:22 pm

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!

Susan
May 3, 2020 7:12 pm
Reply to  Julia

Hi Julia, how much sugar did you reduce by?

Poonam
May 25, 2020 9:30 pm
Reply to  Julia

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

Marites
May 28, 2020 11:49 am
Reply to  Julia

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

PKNG
June 7, 2020 1:41 pm
Reply to  Marites

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.

Lea
August 6, 2020 5:10 pm
Reply to  Marites

30 min 176 C

August 26, 2020 11:45 am
Reply to  Julia

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

Jeannie
October 17, 2020 7:34 am
Reply to  Julia

Did you use two 9 inch pans. Due to the pandemic, I am thinking of making my own birthday cake, don’t usually bake since I have been dieting forever. I only have two 9 inch pans, don’t want to but an extra pan. Did you use the frosting recipe? If so, did you cut the amounts?
Thanks
Jeannie

Lew Lew
May 5, 2020 7:16 am

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!

Sarah
May 10, 2020 12:24 pm
Reply to  Lew Lew

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.

Maggie
May 10, 2020 9:12 pm
Reply to  Lew Lew

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

ShayK
May 11, 2020 6:25 pm
Reply to  Lew Lew

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

May 12, 2020 9:21 am

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!

Sharyn
May 12, 2020 7:39 am

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

Ganesh
May 3, 2020 10:16 am

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

Thanks for your recipe
Ganesh
Auroville international Township
India

Leah Lou
May 2, 2020 12:45 am

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

Valerie
May 1, 2020 10:37 am

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 »

Thaynara
May 21, 2020 10:53 am
Reply to  Valerie

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.

Kate
October 22, 2020 12:39 pm
Reply to  Valerie

I also only have 8″ round cake pans. What temperature did you set it at and how long did it take you to bake it?

Thank you!

Nisah
April 30, 2020 11:51 pm

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.

Sheila Wilson
September 5, 2020 11:44 am

Just a quick “shout out” to see your recipes have become a staple in our home. You have made the “Covid lockdown” laughable and bearable by sharing your wonderful recipes and hacks. Thank you so much! We appreciate all you do.

Dee
June 19, 2020 12:14 pm

This chocolate cake is the best I have ever made and eaten! Oh my gosh it is so moist and full of chocolate flavor. I cut the recipe in half as there is only me and I used the buttermilk substitute made with milk, lemon juice and cream of tartar. It came out perfect. The half recipe made a pan approximately 7″ x 12″ and it baked up to the rim. If you want a chocolate cake that you can’t stop eating
then this is the one! I didn’t even put any frosting on it and it was awesome!!

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