If you’re looking for the best chocolate cake, this is it! This rich, moist, and decadent 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.
I love my KitchenAid Mixer. This is one of the mixers I use in my home kitchens and the best choice for home baking.
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 (an 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 or cake tester 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 let them cool to room temperature 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 you add the confectioner’s sugar.
- Add as much of the milk as necessary to get the desired spreadable consistency. Remember that the frosting will continue 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 cake even more beautiful, use a pastry bag to add a decorative border to the top of the cake and around the bottom.
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!!
There are a number of ingredients that can add subtle flavor or give a cake the perfect texture. 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, creating a fluffier, moist crumb.
Other ingredients that can make your chocolate cake special include espresso powder or coffee to deepen the chocolate flavor and almond extract for a delicate and subtle nuttiness.
No, you don’t. You can simply replace the hot coffee with hot water. You can use decaf coffee if it’s just the caffeine you’re trying to avoid. Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.
To make a buttermilk substitute, add 1 tablespoon 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.
More Chocolate Cake Recipes
These are the spatulas I use in my kitchen. They are durable, heat resistant and easy to keep clean.