Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

My favorite chocolate cake recipe with a moist and delicate crumb with a big chocolate flavor thanks to dutched cocoa powder and my secret ingredient, mayonnaise! 
7 cups of batter makes about two 8" round cakes.
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 7 cups
triple chocolate cake

This chocolate cake is dense, fudgy and full of rich chocolate flavor

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.

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
triple chocolate cake

Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

My favorite chocolate cake recipe with a moist and delicate crumb with a big chocolate flavor thanks to dutched cocoa powder and my secret ingredient, mayonnaise! 
7 cups of batter makes about two 8" round cakes.
4.99 from 71 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 7 cups
Calories: 2269kcal


Cake Ingredients

  • 2.25 oz (64 g) Dutch cocoa powder
  • 8 oz (227 g) water
  • 3 (3 ) large eggs
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 4 oz (113 g) Mayonaise
  • 14 oz (397 g) Unbleached cake flour
  • 15 oz (425 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp ) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) salt
  • 6 oz (170 g) unsalted butter at room temperature

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 8 oz (227 g) pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 32 oz (907 g) powdered sugar
  • 36 oz (1021 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp ) salt
  • 4 oz (113 g) cocoa powder


Cake Instructions

  • Bring the water to a boil. Add in cocoa powder.
    Whisk until smooth then add in cold mayonnaise, vanilla and eggs. Whisk to break up the eggs. 
  • Weigh out all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and place into a stand mixer bowl and attach the paddle attachment.
  • 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.
  • Add 1/2 of your liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix on medium for 2 minutes. If you do not do this step, your cake could collapse.
  • 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 for another 30 seconds.
  • Lightly grease two 8" round cake pans prepared with your choice of pan release. I prefer cake goop. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF 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 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. I cover mine in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out why they cool.
  • Once the cakes are completely cool you can trim them and frost them.  

Chocolate Buttercream Instructions

  • Place egg whites, powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl.
    Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes.
    Reserve 8 oz of your butter and melt in microwave until JUST melted, don't over heat.
    Combine melted butter with cocoa powder and mix until smooth
    Add in butter in small chunks and continue whipping until the mixture is light and white and creamy. Give it a taste, if it still tastes buttery then keep whipping.
    Add in chocolate mixture, vanilla and salt and continue whipping until mixture is combined. Scrape bowl if needed. 
    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


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!


Calories: 2269kcal (113%) | Carbohydrates: 247g (82%) | Protein: 19g (38%) | Fat: 143g (220%) | Saturated Fat: 83g (415%) | Cholesterol: 407mg (136%) | Sodium: 886mg (37%) | Potassium: 649mg (19%) | Fiber: 9g (36%) | Sugar: 188g (209%) | Vitamin A: 4240IU (85%) | Calcium: 150mg (15%) | Iron: 5.1mg (28%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

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

108 comments on “My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

  1. Hi Liz,

    can you use regular hi-ratio cake flour instead of bleached cake flour

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe I did tried and flavor was heavenly!!!!!, it was a bit dry but i think I messed up the baking time.
    I’m very
    Can I use this recipe for a 3 tiers wedding cake with chocolate buttercream?
    Planing on ganache it then use fondant.
    Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you for sharing this recipe I did tried and flavor was heavenly!!!!!, it was a bit dry but i think I messed up the baking time
    Can I use this recipe for a 3 tiers wedding cake with chocolate buttercream?
    Planing on ganache it then use fondant.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Hi! I am really excited to try this recipe!! You are so mazingly talented! I was hoping to make a marble cake and I tried to look all over the site and through MANY comments /questions for a recipe but did not see one….do you have a marble cake recipe with this method? Or do you just make the two batters. I don’t want to wing it because I don’t know enough to be confident it would turn out. ☺️Thanks in advance!

  5. No dutched process cocoa here….can’t this be made with regular cocoa and the leavening agents adjusted accordingly?

  6. Hi
    Do you have a gluten free sugar free high altitude cake recipe? Do you preference monk fruit, Swerve or another sweetener for cakes?
    Thank you!

    1. Sorry I don’t. I use bobs red mill 1:1 baking mix to make any cake gluten free and I prefer monkfruit or swerve baking mix for sweetner

  7. Hi, if you make a marble cake do you use the vanilla with this, or the yellow cake recipe? Thanks

  8. Hi Liz, in South Africa we dont get Dutch processed, only natural cocao powder. Amazon does not deliver the cocoa powder either. Can the dutch processed be replaced with natural, and if so does the levening increase?

  9. Hi there,
    I just tried this recipe and got a sunken middle the same as one of the other comments, I think you may be right with it needs longer before the oven door is opened…. But the real issue I have is taste. I wonder if UK mayonnaise is different to US? I checked ingredients and found it hard to find one here without mustard in it but I did get an organic jar – ingredients oil, egg, spirit vinegar and salt. There is a distinct tanginess to my cake, but a lovely texture. Can I use egg and oil instead of mayo? I’ve made the best vanilla recipe and that comes out great.

  10. Hi Liz, I just noticed on your video it says Add 1/3 of your liquid ingredients and mix on 1 minute whereas in the written recipe it says Add 1/2 of your liquid ingredients and mix for 2 minutes. Which would be more accurate?

    Thanks x

    P.s. I actually tried this recipe for cupcakes yesterday and everyone in my family Loved it! But as I’m from the UK, I always have to substitute the Cake Flour for McDougall’s “00” grade extra fine premium plain flour and it works like magic.

  11. Hi Liz!

    I was wondering if it matters what kind of mayo I use? I have a jar of Hellmann’s but I’m worried becuase it has salt in it… would I need to adjust for salt?


  12. 5 stars
    Wow!!!!!!!! I have never been a chocolate cake person, but I married into a chocolate loving family. I found that I don’t mind the chocolate pudding cake, but I was asked to make a chocolate cake for this weekend and knew I had to make something GOOD!! I can’t eat boxed cake anymore because I am allergic to some of the ingredients, so I searched for a moist cake. I compared your recipe to some of the others I found and the logic/science behind your ingredients and process made the most sense for the desired result. I followed the recipe, weighed the ingredients, did not make any substitutions. This cake came out perfectly!!! My husband and I were both nibbling all the crumbs after leveling the top of the cake.
    I am going to be making a mint chocolate pudding (more of a mousse) for the filling and decorating it with whipped cream frosting. I am actually excited for this chocolate cake!

    1. Yay that makes me so so happy!! I’m so glad that you liked the recipe! It’s one of my favorites too and the first chocolate cake I ever developed <3

      1. 5 stars
        Just letting you know the chocolate mint pudding with the whipped cream frosting was delicious!!!!! It was gone in no time, luckily I had some of the trimmings with the filling and cream before the party because the cake was gone by the time I made it to the table. Everyone was asking for the recipe so I will send them here. I will definitely be making this again!

  13. Liz, this cake looks yummy. The frosting looks light and creamy. Can’t wait to bake one got my family. My mother used to bake a German chocolate cake from scratch for holidays. It was delicious.

  14. I have two questions. 1) Can I use this recipe to make a 1/2 sheet cake and would I need to double or triple the recipe? and 2) My oven has a regular bake setting and a convection oven setting, which would be better for baking this cake?

  15. Hi! I was hoping you could tell me what the difference between bleached and unbleached cake flour is? Also, is it possible to use the bleached in this recipe if it is all that I have available? Thank you in advance for your help!

  16. Hi Liz, this cake tastes great! I have baked this twice. The first time as cupcakes and they were rather crumbly. As I tend to under-mix, I decided to beat longer on my second try – I made 3 cake layers as well as cupcakes. The cakes and cupcakes were a little less crumbly but still tender. Both times they are a bit gummy in the mouth even though I think I’ve baked them well. How can I make them (1) less crumbly and (2) less gummy?
    Maybe I should add that I’m not in the US; I’m from tropical Singapore 🙂

      1. I’m using the ingredients as listed but am wondering if there were differences anyway – like, maybe my cake flour just isn’t the same…
        Do you think I can be more aggressive with the beating? Or maybe tweak an ingredient – if so, where should I start?
        PS: my family likes this cake so much that they’ve requested that I bake it again in a few days!

  17. 5 stars
    hello i need to make a cake for a family party , i only have square 9 x 13 pan , how much cups of batter would you recommend for a nice cake , around 30 people thank you

  18. Hi Liz
    I am interested in making this cake and frosting. It sounds and looks so delicious. I have read the instructions several times and unless I mised something, I am a bit confused with the frosting recipe. Your recipe indicates to reserve and microwave 8 oz of butter, but I don’t see where you add it to the frosting? The recipe also says to add the chocolate mixture and I do not see where you make a chocolate mixture. Does the cocoa powder get mixed into the melted butter? Can you clear up the confusion for me?

  19. Never made one with mayo lol but I am loving your recipes. Question may I sub buttermilk for water? Just curious. Many thanks in advance.

  20. 5 stars
    Hey Liz! I love your recipes! Can I double and half this chocolate cake recipe or even triple? Also, can I double and half your most popular vanilla cake recipe or even triple? Thank you!

    1. You can adjust recipes up or down any way you need to. Just adjust the servings in the recipe card and it automatically adjusts the amounts

  21. Hi Liz, can I use ur chocolate fudge frosting in this chocolate cake recipe. Thank you

  22. I’m looking forward to making this cake this weekend!

    In the video, it says to let the water/cocoa mixture cool before adding the mayo and eggs. In the recipe it says to boil water, add cocoa, and then add cold mayo, etc, with no mention of waiting.

    Is it better to wait until the cocoa mixture is cool before adding the mayo?

  23. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, i just realized the baking soda in the recipe is a little off in grams. It’s written [1 tsp (1/4 tsp) baking soda]. Maybe that’s why some bakers who used metric system to measure might find the cake less tender? Even though it wasn’t transfer in grams, really. But like me, myself, would just mainly look over the metric column.

    1. I try to keep the measurements the same for teaspoons and tablespoons since everyone uses teaspoons and tablespoons

  24. 5 stars
    The cake was fantastic, delicious, moist and with soft crumb could not helped to think of brownies! We enjoyed it warm with vanilla bean ice cream, Thank you Liz for always providing us with great recipes.

  25. 5 stars
    This recipe is deadly if you lack self control like I do. I like to bake( not great with the decorating part yet) and I think this is the best tasting chocolate cake I have ever made. I had a little figuring out to do. I have two, 6×3 pans. So I used that quantity calculator on your website, filled it with two cups of the batter. I ended up baking it for 40 min. It is so moist and so delicious! I also took the remainder of the batter and made 12 cupcakes and baked them for 17 mins. They came out great!

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