This is probably the easiest and most delicious chocolate cake you will ever have. Growing up every dessert in my house was always chocolate since my dad loved all things chocolate. He would love to debate how a Hershey’s bar always tastes just as good as the last one as opposed to fruit where it’s hit or miss.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile, you can cover the cake with any kind of frosting or buttercream you’d want. All you need is your stand mixer, or even a bowl and a whisk would work great.
Let’s talk about the different kinds of chocolate
- Cocoa Powder: I like to use cocoa powder for most of my chocolate recipes because it has that nice richness in flavor, and it’s a little healthier than most chocolates. Also make sure you always get the unsweetened cocoa powder, this way you can control how much sugar you put into your cake. I prefer Hershey’s cocoa powder, but Nestle’s works great too. Pair it with instant coffee powder and you’ll be so impressed by the difference. 😋
- Dutch Cocoa Powder: If you’re looking for a much richer chocolate flavor, you’ll want to use Dutch cocoa powder. The texture is the same as cocoa powder, but it is darker in color and more decadent than regular cocoa powder.
- Semisweet Chocolate: I would always recommend using semisweet chocolate over milk chocolate, this way you can control the sweetness.
- White Chocolate: Do you prefer white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate? Make this a white chocolate cake! Melt the white chocolate with the oil in 10-second increments in the microwave until it’s a smooth consistency. Let it cool a little bit because you don’t want to add your eggs right into a hot chocolate mixture. That would just scramble your eggs, and we want a moist and fluffy cake, not scrambled eggs. Because white chocolate is sweet on its own, I would use only 1 cup of white sugar instead of 1 1/2.
Feel free to use your favorite frosting recipe to decorate this cake. I like sprinkling the cake with some powdered sugar. It gives it that je ne sais quoi.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. Make sure it’s a 1 to 1 baking flour.
To make this cake dairy-free, substitute the milk with orange juice. Trust me, it’ll still be excellent. You can also use a dairy-free milk of your choice. I don’t recommend using water instead of milk because then you’ll end up with 2 cups of water in the cake and that will just water down the flavor.
The Best Chocolate Cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 and ½ cups vegetable oil, or any neutral flavored oil
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and ½ teaspoons coffee grounds
- 1 and ½ cups white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup hot water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease two round 8" cake pans.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add your eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Add in your white and brown sugar to the bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add in the hot water and mix.
- Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes. You'll know the cake is done when you insert a toothpick to the center and it comes out clean.
This recipe makes a 2 layer cake, but if you only want one layer, you can cut the recipe in half.
I use a 9″ cake pan when making this chocolate cake because I like to use the extra batter to make some cupcakes. You can also split this recipe up into three 6″ cake pans.
The batter will be thin and runny, and that’s okay. That’s the texture you’re looking for, so don’t feel the need to add anything extra in there. But sometimes I like to add 1/4 cup of peanut butter for some extra flavor.