Table of Contents
  1. Watch how to make this chocolate cake recipe:
  2. Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe

Growing up, chocolate cake was my specialty. This was the cake that I learned to bake with and it helped me discover the joys and constant intrigue of the layer cake. It feels like I made this every other week for a while, each time trying out a new frosting and always wanting to perfect and tweak the recipe. Thankfully, my baking repertoire has expanded but my love for this simple delicious cake has not!

Watch how to make this chocolate cake recipe:

YouTube video

This cake goes together so quickly with no complicated steps. It’s just simple cake baking! If you want, you can make this in a 9×13 pan as well. I have a thing for layered cakes so round is always the choice for me. There’s no occasion needed for this delectable treat!

A chocolate cake layer sits on a cooling rack.

Classic Chocolate Cake

4.75 from 8 votes
This is a chocolate lover's dream: a moist, rich, and decadent chocolate cake made from scratch. It's a timeless dessert that can be made for any occasion!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 people


  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup milk room temperature
  • 1 cup hot strong coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Mix together the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  • Add liquids and eggs, mixing well to completely incorporate. The batter will be thin.
  • Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment. Grease parchment and dust pans with cocoa. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the edge to loosen cake and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool and frost with desired frosting.


  • Need the perfect frosting for this cake? Check out my recipe for a delicious chocolate frosting!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 322kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. Kaleb,
    I’m not a coffee drinker, and can usually pick up the coffee taste when it is in a recipe. I know – some people think I’m crazy. Is there something I could substitute for the hot coffee in this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Linda, The coffee is in this recipe to add moistness and coffee amplifies chocolate flavor. I hesitate to say you can just add a cup of hot water instead of coffee because this may dilute the cocoa flavor but the cake will bake just fine. Even though I understand your worry about the coffee flavor you may be surprised if not try one cup of hot water instead!


  2. The video says 1 tsp baking powder, but the recipe says 2 tsp baking powder. Could you please confirm the correct measurement?

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this recipe is super duper amazing. This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made and tasted. It’s so delicious, moist I can go on and on talking about it. It’s a must try. Thank you for this wonderful recipe 👏👏👏👏👏