Chocolate Cake Recipe

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My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

My favorite chocolate cake recipe! This cake is super moist and full of a RICH chocolate flavor. The secret? dutched cocoa powder, lots of butter and mayonnaise!

chocolate cake recipe made with dutched cocoa powder, lots of butter and mayonnaise! This cake is so moist and delicious, everyone will be asking for seconds

I know mayonnaise might sound a bit odd but if you think about it, mayo is just eggs and oil in fluffy form. Who doesn’t wan’t more fluff in their cake amirite?

One of the reasons this chocolate cake is so popular with cake decorators and clients alike is that it’s got an amazing texture just like my super popular vanilla cake recipe.

chocolate cake recipe with chocolate buttercream

This cake also uses the reverse mixing method resulting in a nice tight crumb that is soft and moist. This cake also has a powerful chocolate flavor thanks to our friend dutched cocoa powder.

What is Dutched Cocoa? Dutched cocoa doesn’t mean it’s from Holland, it just means it’s been through a process that reduces the acidity of the chocolate. Dutch processed cocoa powder has a smoother, more mellow flavor that’s often associated with earthy, woodsy notes and is pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself!

chocolate cake recipe

Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

This chocolate cake recipe is my go-to when I want a great cake for family or friends. Way better than a box mix (in my opinion) and easy to make.

People are always impressed with the flavor of this cake because it is so rich. I like to pair this cake with my chocolate buttercream but if you want to really please the chocolate-lover in your life then go with the luxurious dark chocolate ganache.

chocolate cake recipe

When I was growing up, we always made chocolate cake for special occasions. My Dad’s favorite cake was german chocolate cake with that coconut pecan filling. We would bake up a box cake and before it was barely cooled we would slather on a can of that frosting.

This cake has officially taken the place of family favorite.

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

One of the coolest things about this particular chocolate cake recipe (in my opinion) is the color of the cake. It’s soooo dark and almost reddish colored. That’s from the cocoa powder.

I never really put much thought into cocoa powders and the different types until I started experimenting with a chocolate cake recipe for my wedding cake clients. I always say other bakers raving about the Hershey’s recipe but when I tried it, I found it to be quite bitter tasting and not at all what I was looking for in a chocolate cake recipe.

chocolate cake recipe

I really like Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder because it’s pretty inexpensive, has a fantastic flavor and is pretty easy to find. I buy mine on Amazon but did you know there are black cocoa powders? Like SUPER black.

I have tried a few and some of them are better than others but the one I really like I could only find in Canada and the shipping was crazy expensive. Nowadays you can find black cocoa powder pretty much anywhere online, even Valrhona makes one!

chocolate cake recipe

Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

What’s the secret to a moist chocolate cake recipe? Probably something that you would never think of putting in a cake.

mayonnaise chocolate cake

One word. Mayonnaise.

I know what you’re thinking. WHAT? This isn’t a chicken salad sandwich here. Mayonnaise is going to make my chocolate cake taste weird!

chocolate cake recipe

Fret not. Mayonnaise cake is a real thing. And if you think about what mayonnaise really is, it’s made of whipped eggs and oil. Two things that go great in cake and add some nice moisture and flavor.

Go with a nice neutral mayonnaise for the best flavor.

Easy Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you’re just not into putting the effort into baking your cake from scratch, have no fear. You can go with the ever delicious doctored box mix. This is the chocolate version of WASC recipe.

chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate WASC cake is easy to make and tastes delicious. I tweaked my recipe a bit to include a bit of butter to make the cake more stable for stacking and filling or for using in sculpted cakes.

Chocolate Cake Recipe with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate cake goes with a lot of different flavors but to me nothing beats chocolate buttercream. I use the same dutched cocoa powder that I use for the cake in the easy buttercream frosting. The frosting tastes just like melted chocolate ice cream to me and is my absolute favorite.

chocolate buttercream

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

There are lots of pretty tasty gluten free chocolate cake box mixes out there as more and more people are needing gluten free options (my dad included). I have made this cake gluten free successfully using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Flour .

Dairy Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

To make this chocolate cake dairy free you can replace the milk with almond milk and the butter with earth balance butter although I would leave out the salt in the recipe otherwise it can taste really salty.

Dairy Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

This chocolate cake can be made into cupcakes with no issue and bake up beautifully. This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

Can You Use Cups Instead Of A Scale

This recipe (and all my recipes) are made using weight measurements instead of cups because I truly want you to succeed! So many things can go wrong in the science that is baking and measuring in cups is not exact. Weighing your ingredients greatly reduces your chances of the recipe failing and who wants to waste precious butter and vanilla at todays crazy prices?

Not familiar with the reverse mixing method? Watch how I make my best chocolate cake recipe step by step in this video.


chocolate cake recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is my signature chocolate cake recipe that I have been using for a little over 6 years. It was the first chocolate cake that I ever made from scratch that tasted like what I think in my mind chocolate cake should taste like! A little bit fudgy, full of chocolate flavor and melt in your mouth delicious!

7 cups of batter makes about two 8" round cakes.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 2269 kcal


Cake Ingredients

  • 2.25 oz Dutch cocoa powder
  • 8 oz water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz Mayonaise
  • 14 oz Unbleached cake flour
  • 15 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter at room temperature

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 2 lbs unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 oz cocoa powder


Cake Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add in cocoa powder.

    Whisk until smooth then place bowl into freezer to chill to room temperature.

    Stir cocoa powder and boiling water until cocoa is dissolved chocolate cake
  2. Weigh out all dry ingredients and place into a stand mixer bowl and attach the paddle attachment.

    put all your dry ingredients in a stand bowl mixer
  3. Turn mixer on low (setting 1 on Kitchen Aid mixers). Add in your room temperature butter in small chunks. Combine on low until you achieve a sandy mixture.

  4. Once your chocolate mixture is cooled, combine it with your liquid ingredients and your mayonnaise and give it a little whisk to break up the eggs and combine things together.

  5. Add 1/3 of your liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix on medium for 1 minute. If you do not do this step, your recipe will not turn out.

  6. Turn your mixer back down to low and add in the rest of your liquids slowly. Stop once or twice to scrape the bowl as needed.

    Once they are all combined, turn back up to medium-high for another 30 seconds.

    slowly add the rest of liquid ingredients to chocolate cake batter
  7. Lightly grease two 8" round cake pans prepared with your choice of pan release. I prefer cake goop. 

  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 335ºF/168ºC depending on how big your pans are. The bigger the pan, the longer it will take for them to bake. 

    When a toothpick comes out of the center with a few sticky crumbs on it, the cake is done.

    After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes flip them out and place on cooling rack
  9. If the cakes are domed up, place a clean tea towel on top and using an oven mitt, lightly press down until flat. This does not harm the cakes at all and cuts down on waste.

    If chocolate cake is domed up place tea towel on top and gently push down with oven mitt
  10. After the cakes have cooled for about 10 minutes, or the pans have cooled to the point they can be touched, flip the cakes over and remove from the pans onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

  11. Once the cakes are chilled in the refrigerator (about an hour for this size, longer for larger cakes), tort, fill and crumb coat all at once. If you do not plan on crumb coating the same day, you can leave the wrapped cakes on the countertop. Chilling can dry out your cakes before they are iced, so avoid keeping them in the refrigerator longer than necessary. Cakes can be frozen in freezer bags for later use as well.

Chocolate Buttercream Instructions

  1. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to remove any clumps.

    Place egg whites, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a stand mixer bowl.

    Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes.

    Once the meringue is light, white, fluffy and shiny, add in your butter in chunks. Add in vanilla and salt.

    Remove the whisk and place the paddle attachment onto the mixer. Let your buttercream mix on low until the mixture is smooth and creamy and there are no bubbles left. This can take up to 20 minutes

Recipe Notes

This recipe works great for carving sculpted cakes! I use the same recipe for wedding and sculpted. I always bake them, de-pan them, wrap them in plastic wrap and then chill in the fridge or freezer (depending on how much of a rush I’m in) and then carve. Chilled cakes make carving or stacking SO much easier!

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2269 Calories from Fat 1287
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 143g 220%
Saturated Fat 83g 415%
Cholesterol 407mg 136%
Sodium 886mg 37%
Potassium 649mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 247g 82%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 188g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 84.8%
Calcium 15%
Iron 28.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This chocolate cake has REAL chocolate flavor! The trick is using dutched cocoa powder, lots of butter and a little bit of mayonnaise! Crazy I know but it works! Everyone raves about this moist chocolate cake recipe

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