How to Make Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a must-have recipe for anyone who loves to bake. It is easy enough to make for any occasion and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


Butter keeps cakes soft and tender by coating the flour molecules in fat, which prevents them from forming tough gluten. This recipe replaces the butter with cooking oil for a moist crumb without sacrificing flavor.

Basic Ingredients

There are a few key ingredients that make up the base of any chocolate cake. These include flour (granulated, brown or powdered), cocoa powder, sugar and leavening. Unsweetened cocoa powder accentuates and deepens the chocolate flavor. It can be natural or dutch process. Sugar sweetens and adds moistness. Granulated or brown sugar are both a bit more complex than white sugar, and they add a slight nutty-sweetness to the batter. Leavening is achieved with baking soda, which reacts with the acidic cocoa and buttermilk to help the cake rise. Buttermilk also adds tenderness to the crumb. Sour cream or milk and lemon juice are good substitutes if you’re out of buttermilk, although they won’t have the same effect as the acidic buttermilk does on this recipe.

Lastly, salt helps balance the sweetness of the cake and enhances overall flavor. Vegetable oil keeps the cake moist and soft without weighing it down, so feel free to use any neutral oil that you have on hand. I’ve even used olive oil a few times and it was delicious!

Preheat oven to 350oF and prepare 2 8-x-1 1/2-inch round cake pans by greasing and flouring them. You can also line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle for easier cleanup.


Throughout the years, bakers have been adding countless variations to chocolate cake. Many of these cakes use a mix and can be prepared by anyone who knows how to use a bowl, a mixer, and an oven. Some cakes also feature special toppings, fillings, and frostings.

These scrumptious desserts are sure to delight any chocolate lover. They are also a great choice for birthday parties and other celebrations.

For example, a s’more cake combines the flavors of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers to make a dessert that’s irresistible. It’s topped with toasted pecans for an extra-crispy, delicious texture.

Another popular variation is to add a tangy ingredient like lemon or sour cream to a traditional chocolate cake recipe. This makes the cake more refreshing and lighter. A classic lemon pound cake, for example, is a delightful treat for guests and family members who love to enjoy light, fruity treats with their chocolate.

Some recipes replace the eggs in a cake with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, which acts as a leavening agent. This results in a moist, fluffy cake that can be made quickly and easily. The recipes for 7UP Pound Cake and Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes are examples of these types of cakes.

Raspberries are a great complement to chocolate because they have a pleasant, tangy flavor that offsets the bitterness of dark chocolate. You can make this type of cake by cooking down fresh or frozen raspberries to concentrate them and then using them as a filling and topping on your chocolate cake.

Baking Time

The amount of time needed to bake a cake varies depending on the oven temperature, the type of cake, and the size of the pan. The best way to determine when a cake is ready to be removed from the oven is by using a toothpick or cake tester. This should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

When the cake is finished baking, let it cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cakes are cooled, they can be frosted.

For a richer chocolate flavor, you can add a couple teaspoons of instant coffee or espresso powder to the recipe. However, this is completely optional and will not affect the texture of the cake. For an extra moist and fluffy cake, you can also use sour cream in both the frosting and the batter.

For the best results, it is important to bring all ingredients to room temperature before beginning to bake. This includes the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. It is also a good idea to bring the milk and vegetable oil to room temperature. This will help the cakes rise well. The eggs should be at room temperature when they are added to the batter. This will help the cake to bind and create a smooth texture.


You can decorate your cake before serving with flowers, sprinkles or a simple icing. You can also make the cake ahead of time and freeze it, but be sure to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting it. The best time to make this chocolate cake is the day before you intend to serve it.

You will need to have a couple of pans, a metal spatula and a turntable on hand. While the recipes in this guide can be made in a pinch, if you have the tools you will be able to achieve better results.

The key ingredients in this recipe are granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar to sweeten the cake; cocoa powder for a rich, decadent flavor and baking soda to give the cakes structure. You will also need milk to keep the cake moist and butter for the frosting.

The best butter for this recipe is unsalted, as it helps maintain control over the salt level of the cake. It is also important that the butter be at room temperature before mixing, as it will mix more easily. Vegetable oil can be substituted for the butter, but it will affect the final product slightly. This is an easy recipe to keep tucked away in your back pocket for those times when you find yourself with a craving for a delicious chocolate treat.