How to make chocolate cake
Learn to make the best chocolate cake at home – Did you ever dream of baking the best chocolate cake? I did and my dream came true when I tried this recipe for the first time years ago. This super delicious, moist & rich chocolate cake has never failed to amaze my family & friends.
This best chocolate cake is simple & easy to follow even by a beginner. It is a one bowl cake that just needs a whisk, no mixer needed except for the frosting.
This recipe uses 1 egg which helps the cake to rise & keep it moist. I have baked this cake in a oven. If you do not have a oven you can also bake it in a cooker or a heavy bottom pot following this post on Cooker cake recipe.
Preheat the oven to 175 C or 350 F for at least 15 mins.
1. Grease and line 2 – 6 inch cake pans. You can also make a single layer cake in a 7 or 8 inch pan.You can also just grease and dust with some flour or cocoa.
2. Place a sieve over a mixing bowl. Add flour.
3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients – cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sieve them all.
4. Next add sugar.
5. Mix everything very well until uniform. Make a well in the center.
How to make chocolate cake
6. Heat half cup water in a pot.
7. Pour milk, egg, oil and vanilla.
8. Whisk the wet ingredients first. Then whisk together wet and dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
9. You will have a slightly thick batter at this stage.
10. Quickly pour the hot water to the batter. The water must be very hot.
11. Immediately whisk the batter just until the water is absorbed and the batter looks uniform. Batter is very runny at this stage.
12. Pour this to the pans. Tap the pan to the counter 2 to 3 times.
13. Bake for 28 to 30 mins or until the tester comes out clean. Please adjust the timing depending on the oven and pan sizes. If baking in a 7 inch pan you may need to bake upto 35 to 38 mins. Cool the pans on a wire rack for 10 mins.
14. Then invert to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting chocolate cake
15. Please follow the recipe card to make the frosting. I have shared below quick tips on how to frost the cake.
16. Spread a tsp of frosting in the center of the cake board or cake stand. Place 4 parchment papers on all 4 sides such that they don’t touch the frosting. Place the cake on the parchment paper. The center of the cake has to be on the frosting that was spreaded. Begin to spread the frosting with a spatula. Even out for smooth surface. Place another cake and repeat the frosting. Then frost on the sides. Smoothen the sides as well with the spatula.
17. I just used some choco chips and sprinkles on top. Then remove the parchment paper gently.
Slice the chocolate cake.
The following tips will help you to adapt the recipe to different pan sizes.
1. I have baked this cake in two 6 inch round pans as I do not prefer to cut my cake to layers. If you do not have 2 pans then you can bake it in a single 7 or 8 inch round pan. To make it a layered cake you will have to cut the cake to 2 layers and then frost.
2. This recipe cannot be halved but can be doubled to make a 2 or 3 layers 8 inch cake.
3. The recipe can be used to make 12 cupcakes.
4. Do adjust the baking time depending on the pan size used.
5. I have made chocolate buttercream frosting which needs a stand or hand mixer. If you do not have one, you can also beat the mixture using a whisk but it is a bit of arm work.
6. You can also make a simple chocolate ganache instead of buttercream frosting or spread some melted chocolate over the cake. This needs no mixer & you can bake the entire batter in a single pan.
More Cake recipes
Chocolate sponge cake
Chocolate banana cake
How to make chocolate cake
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp flour (112 grams) (all-purpose flour or wheat flour)
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder (34 grams) (6 tbsps)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar (organic)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup oil (4 tbsps) (I used virgin coconut oil)
- 1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract or powder as needed
- ½ cup boiling hot water
For chocolate buttercream frosting (optional)
- ½ cup butter unsalted (soft but cold)
- 1¾ cup powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1½ tbsp milk or whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease and line 2 – 6 inch cake pans or 1 – 7 or 8 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 175 C for at least 15 mins.
- Sieve together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda to a mixing bowl.
- Add sugar to the bowl. Give a good stir until well combined.
How to make chocolate cake
- Make a well in the center of the bowl. Pour egg, oil, vanilla extract & milk. Whisk together all the wet ingredients. Then mix wet and dry together until just combined and no lumps appear.
- Pour boiling hot water and whisk until all the water is absorbed by the batter. The batter is runny at this stage.
- Pour this to the cake pans. Tap the pans gently twice to the counter.
- Bake at 175 C for 28 to 30 mins or until the tester inserted comes out clean. Please adjust the timing as it depends on the oven.
- Cool the cake in the pans on a wire rack for 10 mins. Invert to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
Making chocolate buttercream frosting
- Ensure butter is soft yet cold. Beat it until light & creamy for 2 mins. Then add the rest of the ingredients except milk. Beat until smooth, light and creamy. If the frosting is too thick add milk and beat. If it becomes runny, just add more powdered sugar.
- Refrigerate for a while and spread on the cake. For more details watch the video.
- Refrigerate and use up the chocolate cake with in a week.
Recipe source : Hersheys
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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hi.if i am using self raising flour,can i skip the baking powder and baking soda?
This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever come across. I get so many compliments from people when I make this chocolate cake. Thanks a ton.
Thank you Ishani. So glad to know you all like it.
Can u share recipe for chocolate ganache?for truffle cake
I am currently on a vacation and won’t be able to share new recipes
Can we use whipped cream with added cocoa instead of butterfrosting?which one gives bakery like taste?
Hi am trying to buy an OTG just for baking purpose as I already have microwave oven and toaster.
Since I only follow your recipes to the T it’ll be easy to follow it if you tell me which OTG you use so I can buy the same and there won’t be any difference in baking time and all that. Please let me know.
Hi, The oven I use is not available in India. I don’t have much idea about ovens in India. I have heard from a lot of people that Morphy Richards is good. Hope this helps
Oh thank you I was thinking of buying the same too gives me more confidence to buy it now !
Hi swasti, I purchased new morphs Richards otg 30 ltrs. It has two modes one is with fan other is without fan but both top and bottom heating elements will be on in both modes. So for all your recipes which would you advice I use.
Also in most of cake recipes you have mentioned coconut oil in all of them can I use extra virgin coconut oil instead of plain coconut oil?
Congrats! It depends on the recipe. Suppose you are baking a cake, then use the mode with no fan (both the rods on). If you are making crispy cookies, potato wedges or French fries etc you can use the mode with fan. Basically fan dries out the moisture in foods so you can choose based on that.
Yes I use organic virgin coconut oil. For some reason it has no flavor so it works out well. You can use it. Hope this helps.
The cake turned out great taste wise. I would just like to share my experience as a word of caution to other amateur bakers like me. I didn’t have the regular cake tin, only a springform one. Though the recipe says the batter will be runny, I decided to go ahead out of the confidence that I’ve previously managed to bake runny batter cakes in it successfully. But this one was too thin and started leaking right out after i poured it in (mostly because of the boiling water that made it extra thin). Anyway all wasn’t lost as i quickly managed to pour it into cupcake liners, baked at 175°C for about 18min, turned out great👍
Glad to know! Yes as you said I should mention that. I will update the post with a note on this.
Thanks for letting me know
How much morde choclate has to be used instead of cocoa powder??
I haven’t tried this with chocolate
I followed all the steps in the recipe but my cake rose and kind of had a crack in the middle part. What could be the reason?
Did you use a 7 or 8 inch pan? If there is lot of batter in the cake pan, the top will crack. Try using a slightly larger pan.
Do I have use sugar powder.
I use fine sugar (not powdered)
I was looking for a simple chocolate cake recipe that my 10 years old daughter could make by herself and I came across your page.
This recipe is simple, easy, doesn’t require any electrical machine and has common ingredients.
And the cake turned out to be great! Thankyou.
Forgot to rate earlier
You are Welcome!
Glad to know! Thank you
This post of mine is not related to chocolate cake but your profound knowledge of baking. I know that you’re not into Bengali cooking. Still thought of asking you as you’re an expert baker.
We bengalees use a sun dried lentil dumpling (bori) in lots of or dishes. It’s made of urad daal paste and dried under sun. In Bangalore we really don’t get those and need to depend on parents coming this side. With the outbreak of the pandemic that way is closed.
Now I have tried making in microwave oven but not with that success. I have searched in google for the recipe….lot are there but sun dried variations mostly. Hence could not set the correct temperature in the oven..
Do you have any idea how to bake those lentil dumpling in the microwave oven?
It’s really impossible to cook without ‘bori’
Even we make the urad dal bori and the recipe is the same as the Bengali version. I haven’t tried it personally. Sorry dear I couldn’t help you
No issues. You have already rendered immense help to all of us.
Will wait for the Sun God to shine.
Is it ok to use butter in place of coconut oil?
Yes you can use melted butter
Can you please let me know , if I want to bake it as a vanilla cake?what should I add insted of cocoa powder,also any additional ingredient is needed for vanilla cake .
Thank you !
This cake recipe cannot be altered. You may check this vanilla butter cake
What will be the temperature and time for baking in the oven for cupcakes
Could you please mention preheat time as well.
You can bake for 22 to 24 mins in 2.5 inch diameter cups. Fill only 2/3 rd of the cups. Hope this helps
Hi Swasthi, Again thanks for detailed recipe. I like detailed picture wise presentation I like to follow instead of videos. Sofar all amazing receipe. Last time I made this receipe but was bit bitter
Do I need to reduce cocoa powder or increase sugar?
This is a recipe from Hershey’s. I don’t suggest altering the recipe. I understand that you did not make the frosting. You can check out the frosting recipe 1 in this eggless cake recipe. Increase the sugar in the frosting if you like it sweeter.
Just loved the recipe and it’s outcome❤️
Baked a cake for the first time in my life for my 4 year old’s birthday using this recipe. I can’t believe it turned out so amazing. We have already gobbled up more than half the cake in a day, had to stop ourselves from finishing the rest! Thanks for the perfect recipe that even a novice like me could ace.
The oil measurement given says 1/4th cup oil-4 tbsp. Does it mean 4 tbsp oil + 1/4th cup?
It is 1/4th cup
Hi….i wanna try this…. Can I use steel utensil for making this…. Gonna try with convection oven.
Aluminum pans are used as they bake the cakes evenly. I haven’t tried in a steel one. But it should work.
I do not have a parchment paper… can you tell me how to grease the pan without that?
Add little oil and grease lightly including the sides. Add some cocoa to a strainer and sprinkle all over evenly.
Can I use butter instead of oil?
Yes you can use melted butter
Perfect recipe for a chocolate cake. Just awesome. Baked it for my kids birthday. Baked in the convection mode of my microwave. I had to adjust the temperature to suit my oven. Thank you for sharing
Glad to know it turned out great!