Amazingly moist chocolate cake to die for

Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

The tender, rich chocolate flavor and moist crumb in this Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe make this the best chocolate cake recipe that you have ever had!

The perfect chocolate cake should be moist and tender. It should be full of robust chocolate flavor. The best homemade chocolate cake recipe should yield a cake that goes with any frosting you choose and should please even the most discerning chocolate lover. And this homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe fits that description to a ‘T’!

I try to test new recipes often so that I always have something new to share with you. Playing with different techniques and different baking disciplines keeps me busy and creates new content for you here on Global Bakes.

But my husband keeps asking for this chocolate cake.

We have had this Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe several times in the last two months. I’ve drizzled on Salted Caramel Sauce, I’ve filled the layers of the cake with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries, and I’ve layered in strawberry mousse. I’ve made cupcakes with good ole rich chocolate fudge buttercream.  This homemade chocolate cake recipe is simply to die for, no matter how you serve it.

Size Variations for this Recipe

This homemade chocolate cake recipe is versatile enough to be made in made shapes and sizes. I have used this cake as a 9×13 sheet cake, as 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch rounds, or three 8-inch rounds.

When I bake two 9-inch rounds, I torte the cakes to create 4 layers prior to filling and frosting. This makes the perfect cake to frosting ratio!

Making this cake as a 9×13 cake makes it even easier because there is no torting the layers or filling and stacking. Just add frosting to the top, cut and serve!

If you need a LOT of cupcakes, than this is your recipe! One batch of this homemade chocolate cake recipe will give you 24 rich and chocolatey cupcakes. Perfect for a party, a bake sale or a potluck!

homemade Chocolate cake with strawberry mousse filling and fresh strawberries on top.

Tips for success with this Homemade Chocolate Cake

  • Read the ENTIRE recipe all the way through before you start to make this cake. You need to make sure that you have all of the ingredients and know the steps before beginning!
  • Make sure that your eggs, sour cream, and milk are at room temperature before you begin.
  • If you are using coconut oil, melt it in the microwave or on the stovetop before measuring. Then allow the oil to come to about room temperature. It is fine if it is still a bit warm. But hot oil will scramble your eggs!
  • I tend to add the last half of the hot water by hand to avoid overworking the mixture and also cut down on the mess that the mixer will make!

Why do you add hot water or hot coffee to Chocolate Cake?

Hot liquid, either water or coffee, is added to chocolate cake to ‘bloom’ the cocoa which will intensify the chocolate flavor in the cocoa. This creates a very deep, rich chocolate flavor. Within a minute or so after the hot water and the cocoa come into contact, the cocoa will dissolve and help to thicken the batter slightly. It will also release the flavor particles to improve the chocolate taste.

The reason for adding the hot water or coffee at the end of mixing is because the flour has already been coated with fat which will prevent the batter from being overworked. When flour and liquid come into contact, gluten forms and, if it is mixed too much, it will create a tight structure. By coating the flour with fat (eggs and oil) before adding the water, the gluten formation will be slowed.

You can use hot coffee in this cake recipe in place of the hot water and espresso powder. No one has ever noticed a coffee flavor in this cake, no matter which way I go with the recipe! So if I am out of espresso powder, hot coffee from this morning goes into the batter!

Let me know in the comments how you decide to serve this cake!

Check out some of my other cake recipes:

Oreo Bliss Cake

Irish Cream Bundt Cake

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe

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Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 400 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar

  • 200 grams (1 cup) light brown sugar

  • 350 grams (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 150 grams (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

  • 3 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

  • 3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 360mL (1 1/2 cups) sour cream, at room temperature

  • 80mL (1/3 cup) whole milk

  • 175 mL (3/4 cup) vegetable oil (you may also sub in melted and cooled coconut oil)

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 360 mL (1 1/2 cups) hot water

  • For the Chocolate Frosting
  • 450 grams (2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 560 grams (4 1/2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 75 grams (3/4 cup) dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (more or less to reach your desired consistency)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray tops of parchment. Set aside. (If using 9-inch pans, make sure that they are at least 3 inches deep. If they are not, use three 9-inch pans to avoid overflow.)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt; mix on low speed until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until completely combined. Slowly pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated. Pour in hot water a little at a time and continue mixing until completely combined; about 1 minute. The batter will quite thin. You can also stir in the hot water with a spatula if your mixing bowl is not big enough for the large amount of batter.
  • Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in their pans before removing and transfer to a cooling rack; cool cakes completely before frosting.
  • To make the chocolate frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter on medium-speed until completely smooth and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar/cocoa have been absorbed by the butter; about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium; add in vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream; beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar or heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
  • Assemble the cake by first trimming each layers’ domed top to give you a level cake layer.
  • Transfer one layer to cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting on top; top with another cake layer, and repeat. Place on top cake layer and place cake in the fridge to set for 1 hour. **If you are using two deep 9-inch cakes, torte each cake by cutting it in half so that you end up with four layers of cake.
  • Once chilled, frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Slice and serve, or keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.


  • This recipe makes A LOT of batter and tends to splash out of my mixer bowl. I put a towel over the bowl and wrap it around a bit to keep the ingredients from ending up all over the counter.
  • This cake is divine with Salted Caramel Sauce.  Just add about 2 tablespoons Salted Caramel Sauce to the frosting at the same time as adding the heavy cream and vanilla.  Then drizzle Salted Caramel Sauce on top of frosting between each layer and a good heavy dose on top.  Then sprinkle with sea salt (best to add the salt right before serving).
  • Cake may be baked several days in advance and stored in the fridge. This cake is very moist and will stay that way for days! Unfrosted cakes may be double-wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.

One Comment

  1. Tanya I love this type of cake that is oil-based instead of the creaming method – I think you cannot beat the moisture and tenderness – plus it is quite more user-friendly – the picture says it all, but I agree. You must bake another one to get different views – top view, side view whole, side view with one slice cut out, plated, piece on fork, etc etc…

    In the name of cake. Just do it. 😉

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