Classic and Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
356 Calories
14g Fat
54g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 356
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 442mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 5g
Calcium 134mg 10%
*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 sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water (boiling)

Steps to Make It

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

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

    Whisked milk and eggs in a bowl
     The Spruce
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.

    Wet and dry chocolate cake ingredients
     The Spruce
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and transfer them to the oven.

    Chocolate cake batter in cake pans
     The Spruce
  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.

  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 cooling on wire racks
     The Spruce
  9. Once cool, frost with your favorite chocolate frosting recipe.

    Chocolate Cake
     The Spruce
  10. Serve and enjoy.


  • 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.