This Chocolate Cake is super soft and moist and intensely chocolaty — the perfect cake for everyone who loves chocolate. It's easy to make and perfectly suitable for beginners. By the way, have you tried my air fryer chocolate cake yet?
Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder in a medium bowl.
Mix oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla just until combined.
Then add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Slowly mix in hot water and stir just until combined. The water should be hot boiling. Please take care that you don't burn yourself. The chocolate cake batter will be very thin.
Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Therefore cut out circles for the bottoms and stripes for the sides. Spray a bit of baking spray underneath the stripes that it sticks to the sides.
Fill the cake batter into the two baking pans equally. Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate results. If you measure the pans, you can be sure that your cake layers will be equal in size and texture. Then bake and let cool.
Mix butter until soft and creamy about 2 minutes.
Sift in powdered sugar and mix until creamy and combined.
Add melted chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy.
Assembling and Decorating
Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface.
Then place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner, or serving plate. Remove about ½ cup of frosting for decoration. Spread half of the remaining frosting over the cake. Then place the second cake layer on top and spread the remaining frosting over the cake and frost the outside and the sides of the cake.
Decorate with chocolate chips and the reserved frosting. I transferred the reserved frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 32B tip and piped it on top of the cake.
Chill at least 3 hours in an airtight container in the fridge.
Expert tips for success
- For the best chocolate frosting, use just high-quality chocolate. Choose a semi-sweet (dark) chocolate of a brand you love. I love brands like Lindt, Ghirardelli, or Guittard.
- The butter for the frosting should be at room temperature. Cold butter doesn't mix well, and you would need to mix significantly longer to make it creamy.
- Let the chocolate cool down for about 10 minutes before you add it to the buttercream frosting. However, it should be still smooth and liquid though just not overly warm.
- This cake is best eaten at room temperature. Place it on the kitchen counter 15-30 minutes before serving.
Can I use natural cocoa powder?
This recipe is made with dutch-processed cocoa powder and baking powder. If you want to bake with natural unsweetened cocoa powder, then substitute 1:1. Instead of 1 tablespoon of baking powder, use 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Natural cocoa powder needs baking soda to react, and dutch-processed cocoa powder needs baking powder.
How long does it last
If you store the cake in the fridge, it will last for up to 4 days. If stored at room temperature, for up to 3 days. Always store in an airtight container.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
- Cake layers: After baking the cake layers, let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap twice. Place in freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is at room temperature, make the frosting and assemble the cake as instructed.
- Whole cake: After chilling for 3 hours, place the cake in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap two layers of tin foil around until completely covered. It freezes well for up to 2 months. Unwrap the cake and thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Single slices: Place the slices in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice until fully covered. Place in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. It freezes well for up to 2 months. To thaw, unwrap the cake and place on the kitchen counter for 1 hour.
More chocolate recipes to try
- Double Chocolate Muffins
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Triple Chocolate Ombré Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Edible Brownie Batter
- Chocolate Brownies
Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the cake: In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla just until combined. Stir in dry ingredients to combine. Slowly mix in hot water until combined. Be cautious that you don't burn yourself! The batter will be very thin.
- Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting: Mix butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in melted chocolate until creamy. The melted chocolate shouldn't be hot. After melting, let stand 10 minutes.
- Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner or serving plate. Remove ½ cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread the half of the remaining frosting over the cake. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate with chocolate chips and the reserved frosting. Chill in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Leftovers will stay fresh up to 4 days. Let cake come to room temperature before serving.
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Hey i was just wondering if you actually need 1tbsp of baking powder?? just in case.... can’t wait to try this recipe!! 🙂
Hey Sonia, yes that is correct 🙂 happy baking!
How can I make this eggless?
You can use any egg replacement you like. I hope that helps!
Me and my friend made this recipe and also your banana chocolate muffin recipe and both were so delicious!!! I've just started a baking blog called gracesmindfulbakes - please check it out if you have time!
I'm so happy that you liked it, Grace! Thanks for the feedback!
I really love your cakes! I made the ombre cake a few days ago for my sis' birthday and it was a hit! I want to make this chocolate cake for my husband's birthday soon. Is there a substitute for the dutch-processed cocoa powder? I've seen online to use 1/8 tsp baking soda for every 3T of cocoa powder? Also, I only have 9 inch pans, how much lesser should I bake these for? Thank you so much!! I've already shortlisted so many of your recipes and plan to make them asap!! I love how easy you make them and the videos are so helpful too!
I'm happy that it was a success, Kai. You can use natural cocoa powder instead. In the blog post under "Substitutions", you can read the instructions for that. The conversion from 8" to 9" pans is 1.42, so it's safe to say that you can do 1.5x the recipe to have the same baking time and hight of the cake. Hope that helps. Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm happy to hear that.
omg this is soo yummy me and my family love your brilliant chef cake I wanna give u a gold metal for this..
Thank you so so much for your nice feedback, Maghen! I'm super happy that you like it!
LOVE your blog, the recipes and the pictures are so helpful, every step is explained beautifully, your writing is so calming and makes me want to become a pastry chef❤️ Really happy I found you!
I have a question regarding this recipe... I'm from Croatia and we don't have buttermilk here, can I use regular milk?
Thank you in advance?
Annabelle, you just made my day! I'm beyond happy about your nice feedback. Thank you so much! Yes, use 1/2 cup (120ml) of milk and replace 1/2 tbsp (7ml) with white vinegar or lemon juice. You need 1/2 cup (120ml) liquid in total. Hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂
The cake looks so yummy! Can this recipe be used to make cupcakes?
Thank you so much! Yes, that is possible! Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for about 17-18 minutes. Check with a toothpick.
Do you have to put espresso powder in it?
No, you can leave it out if you don't like it.
Looks so good and yummy...im chocoholic lover! Im gonna try this and by the way can i use plain four for this recipe
Thank you so much! In this case, you're going to love it! Yes, all-purpose flour is plain flour.
I just try the recepie and coperate it into my own birtday cake recepie and it work really really well.This cahe is most moist choclate cake ever I taste
I'm happy that the cake turned out well and you liked it. Thank you for the feedback. Happy birthday!