If you’re looking for the Best Chocolate Cake, this is it! This decadent, rich, moist chocolate cake is three layers of chocolate perfection surrounded by a fudgy chocolate cream cheese frosting that is guaranteed to have your guests begging for another slice. It’s just that good!
Throughout my restaurant career, I worked at coming up with a rich and moist chocolate cake recipe, and after many years of testing, I developed this recipe.
This chocolate cake is definitely a chocolate lover’s dream come true. And I’m sure that after one bite of this rich, decadent, chocolaty cake, you’ll agree that this is the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe!
Ingredients to make Chocolate Cake
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make the best chocolate cake. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How to make the best Chocolate Cake
Butter three 9″ round baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment as well.
- Add the all purpose flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients together on low speed until well combined. (electric hand mixer can be used)
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, hot coffee, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
- Blend together on low speed until well combined. The mixture should be smooth, but don’t overmix! *Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Tap the cake pans gently on the counter to let any bubbles that may have formed rise to the top of the pan
- Place the cake pans on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
- After the cakes have cooled, remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on the wire racks.
How to make Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the softened butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer
- Beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy on medium speed. Stopping as needed to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture.
- Beat until just combined (about 45 seconds)
- Add the powdered sugar to the mixture, one cup at a time, continuously whipping the frosting during the process. Your mixer should be on a lower setting as your adding the confectioner’s sugar.
- Add as much of the milk as necessary to get the desired spreadable consistency. Remember that the frosting will contine to thicken as it gets colder.
*The frosting is similar in flavor to a chocolate ganache, but has that subtle tang from the cream cheese. If you prefer, you can replace the cream cheese with butter to make a chocolate buttercream frosting.
Assembly Chocolate Cake
- Place the first layer of cake upside down on a cake stand or serving plate.
- Add one cup of the chocolate frosting to the top of the layer and spread it evenly. Repeat the process from the second layer.
- Place the final layer of the cake (right side up) on top of the frosted cake layers. Top the final layer with the cream cheese frosting.
- Add a very light layer of the chocolate frosting on the sides of the cake. This is the crumb coat.
Give the crumb coat some time to dry, then finish frosting the sides of the cake.
If you have time and want to make the even more beautiful, use a pastry bag to add a decorative border to the top of the cake and around the bottom of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour before slicing.
This is the perfect chocolate cake recipe for a special occasion or simply to treat your friends and family to the best chocolate cake they will ever have!
I promise you’ll get rave reviews with this amazingly delicious chocolate cake. It’s truly a culinary masterpiece!!
The secret ingredient that most cakes don’t use is buttermilk. This along with the baking soda works miracles. The baking soda reacts with the acidic buttermilk and create a fluffier crumb.
No, you don’t. You can simply replace the coffee with hot water. If it’s just the caffeine you’re trying to avoid, you can use decaf coffee. Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.
Add 1 Tbs. of vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk. Gently stir the mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Hi wanted to know how much coffee do I add to 1and half cups water.
Chef Dennis Littley
Check the container for instructions, but probably one teaspoon to one and one half teaspoons if you’re talking about instant.
Can not wait to make this cake
This is the most amazing chocolate cake recipe. Rich and moist! I can’t wait to bake it again for my birthday!
Hi Chef Dennis, I made this recipe, and I used mascarpone instead of cream cheese for the frosting. This will be my family’s favorite chocolate ever! A masterpiece!
Wow! This chocolate cake was absolutely delicious and very yummy! Three layers of pure chocolate are just so perfect! Plus the addition of fudgy chocolate cream cheese frosting made it so enticing and tempting!
This looks like the perfect chocolate cake recipe. Decadent and moist! I’m really anxious to try it!
This chocolate cake is the best recipe ever! So rich, decadent, and absolutely amazing! Will be saving it to make again for upcoming family birthdays.
This cake has three layers of sinful decadent chocolate cake and the best chocolate frosting. My family loved it and it would make a great cake for any celebration.
Rich chocolaty and fudgy. Love your recipe. I’ll be making it again for my next party.
This cake really was amazing! It was decadent and rich, but not overly sweet. It’s going to be my go-to chocolate cake from now on!
This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have found. It’s just exactly what you need when you crave chocolate cake. So good!