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A slice of chocolate cake with fresh strawberries on the plate.

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

A decadent but simple-to-make chocolate cake recipe with a buttery chocolate frosting infused with espresso powder to enrich the chocolaty flavor. 

  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x




1-1/2 cups white sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups cocoa powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup mayonnaise or 1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water


3/4 cup salted butter

1 cup cocoa powder

4-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1/2 cup milk

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare a baking pan or pans with spray oil and flour with cocoa powder; see notes.
  3. Combine dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in eggs, milk, mayo/oil, and vanilla into the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Add boiling water and stir to mix well; the outcome will be a thin batter.
  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake to a cooling rack.
  8. Frost with Chocolate Frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Mix the butter, cocoa, and espresso together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately into the cocoa and butter mixture while mixing.
  4. Beat frosting until it is a consistency that is easy to spread.
  5. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Add a small amount of milk if frosting needs thinning.


  • This cake can be baked into 3-8" pans, 2-9" pans, 1-9"x13" pan or a bundt pan.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra sugar to the cake batter for more sweetness.
  • Cake can be baked before it's needed; wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, place it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, defrost, ice with frosting, and serve.
  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: sweets
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: best chocolate cake recipe, chocolate cake and frosting, chocolate cake recipe, Hershey's chocolate cake

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