Classic and Easy Chocolate Cake

Classic and Easy Chocolate Cake

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
321 Calories
11g Fat
52g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 321
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 339mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 66mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate cake recipe is a true classic, resulting in a moist crumb with deep chocolate flavor. It is a simple recipe, calling for ingredients you most likely have in your pantry and fridge, including flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. This chocolate cake recipe also calls for boiling water, which helps bloom the cocoa powder, giving the cake a deeper chocolate flavor.

This recipe will become your go-to whether for a birthday, holiday, or simply to satisfy a craving. Customize the cake by coating with your favorite frosting or chocolate ganache.


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  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup boiling water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

    Classic and Easy Chocolate Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. The cakes will release better if you line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.

    Floured cake pans

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add the salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk until everything is blended.

    Dry chocolate cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Then whisk in the boiling water.

     combine the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.

    Wet and dry chocolate cake ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and transfer them to the oven.

    Chocolate cake batter in cake pans

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a crumb or two attached. Start testing after 27 minutes to avoid over-baking.

    baked chocolate cake in pans

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack. Loosen the edges by running a knife along the sides, turn the cakes out onto the racks, and cool for at least another hour.

    chocolate cakes on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Once cool, frost with your favorite chocolate frosting recipe or other frosting of your choice.

    Classic and Easy Chocolate Cake

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Make sure that your baking powder and baking soda are no more than 6 months old. If they are older than that, you should replace them as they lose their potency quickly and the cake won't rise properly.
  • For a softer cake, substitute cake flour for the all-purpose flour.