My secret (well not so secret anymore!), go to, easy moist chocolate cake recipe.
Sorry for not posting mid week, but this past week has been extremely crazy. From cake orders from my cake studio, my 5 year old’s end of kindergarten celebrations and events (complete with cupcakes), and getting invitations designed and sent out for her 6th birthday as well, it’s been pretty hectic.
But through all the craziness, I tried to remember to take pictures of the desserts I made so I can share them all with you!
Like this really awesome monster truck cake I made for my godson’s 6th birthday: (made using my secret chocolate cake recipe I’m sharing with you!)
Well, back to my secret moist chocolate cake recipe…
For this past Father’s Day, the munchkins wanted to bake a cake for their daddy and his favorite cake is, above all else, chocolate. So chocolate cake it is!
My “secret” recipe actually stemmed from a recipe almost everyone has had in their possession at one time or another, probably without thinking twice about it. It’s the hershey’s chocolate cake recipe found on the back of the hershey’s cocoa container.
It was my go to recipe for a long time, but one day I wanted to use up certain ingredients and ran out of others, so I started substituting and created a new recipe, one that I loved even more with a richer, even more chocolately flavor.
What I did was substitute the milk for buttermilk and some melted butter for the oil I didn’t have enough of.
Since I was already substituting everything, I thought I’d go ahead and substitute hot coffee for the boiling water (since Mr. Chef left for work without drinking any coffee and I didn’t want it to go to waste, plus coffee intensifies chocolate flavors). Living life on the edge my friends, living life on the edge.
What resulted was the most amazing, moist chocolate cake I have ever made. What’s even better is how quick and easy this recipe is to make.
The buttermilk gave the cake a little more oomph in my opinion, the butter gave it a little more richness, the coffee intensified the chocolate flavor.
When you make it, I have to warn you the final batter is thin (I was skeptical the first time I made the original recipe), but don’t worry, it will bake up beautifully!
Of course, the original Hershey’s recipe is fantastic as written, but ever since I substituted the ingredients and adapted the original recipe to the one I’m sharing below, this is now my go to recipe for almost every single chocolate cake I make, including tiered cakes.
For Mr. Chef’s Father’s Day cake, I wanted to keep the moist chocolate cake simple to really let the cake shine through, so I paired it with an easy chocolate whipped cream and fresh raspberries we already had in the fridge.
Of course the girls had to decorate it with raspberries in the shape of a heart for daddy =).
This recipe would also be perfect for an anniversary or Valentine’s Day.
So so (so!) sorry for not getting a picture of a cake slice! Mr. Chef came home late and by the time we cut into it, it was much too dark to take any decent pictures. I blame the crazy hours of a chef! Then the kids got to the cake and there wasn’t much of it left the next morning.
I promise as soon as I make this chocolate cake again, I will add a picture to this post. I swear!
I urge you to try this recipe the next time you’re looking to bake a moist chocolate cake. Since the feature of this post is the chocolate cake itself, I will separate the cake recipe from the chocolate whipped cream and assembly instructions (following the cake recipe)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Spray 3-8" or 2- 9" cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, alternatively you can spray using baker's nonstick sprays or use cocoa to "flour" the pan after spraying.
- Stir all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a large mixing bowl with whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, melted butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.
- Add the hot coffee and stir carefully until mixed.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
Easy Chocolate Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream (the higher fat content the better)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Begin whipping heavy cream and vanilla with whisk attachment until it begins to thicken.
- Add sugar and cocoa powder gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat or you will have chocolate butter.
Assemble the cake
- Moist Chocolate Cake Layers, Baked, Cooled, and placed in fridge for at least 30 minutes or freezer at least 15 minutes.
- Chocolate Whipped Cream
- Fresh Raspberries
- Trim chocolate cake layers if there is a dome on top, to make it flat (or follow tip below to make a flat cake without trimming)
- Assemble by placing a layer of cake, then chocolate whipped cream, followed by fresh raspberries on top of chocolate whipped cream, top with another chocolate layer. (If you baked three layers, repeat this step).
- Ice with chocolate whipped cream and place fresh raspberries on top.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Tips of the Trade:
- Do not open oven to check for doneness until you smell chocolate cake. If you disturb the cake as it’s rising, the air bubbles creating the structure of the cake can pop and cake will sink in the center.
- If cake has a dome, you can press down the dome gently within 5 minutes of it coming out of the oven to flatten the top. DO THIS USING A TOWEL OR OVEN MITT because not only is the cake hot, but the hole where you inserted the skewer to check for doneness will push out steam and can burn you. (Trust me, I learned this the hard way!)
Stay tuned! I’m working on compiling a page of more tips of the trade that I have learned over the years after baking hundreds and hundreds of cakes and thousands of cupcakes.
I really hope you try this recipe out, even if it’s not the whole cake combination, but just the moist chocolate cake recipe itself, and let me know how you like it!
Have a great day and don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my Farmer’s Market Sunday post. I’m baking moist, tender bakery style blueberry muffins with crumb topping and fresh blueberries from the Farmer’s Market.