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The Best Moist Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe has a soft, moist, fudgy crumb that stays moist for days. This recipe uses no fancy equipment, just a whisk. Pair this with velvety smooth, fudgy chocolate buttercream, for the most delicious treat.

The details

preheat the oven

This is typically the first step in a baking recipe, and this chocolate cake recipe follows suit. It’s important to preheat the oven at the beginning of the recipe, so that when the batter is mixed, it can be placed in the oven right away. I mean, you’re making a chocolate cake, and I’m sure you’re hungry for a bite, you don’t want to waste any time, right!? 🙂

Seriously though, the oven needs to be hot and at the right temperature for a cake so that it can appropriately interact with the leavening agents and help the cake rise in volume. The rise in volume is what helps to create the tender, fluffy crumb (along with certain ingredients).

mixing the batter

The next step to make this chocolate cake recipe, of course, is to mix the batter. The great part about this cake is that it is all made in one bowl, and I made the mixing process as easy as possible. I need fast and easy recipes, myself, with my 3 little boys, so most of the recipes I make, I try to make in this manner.

The first step for mixing the batter is to whisk together hot coffee and hot, melted butter in with the cocoa powder. If you don’t like coffee, I promise you cannot taste it. Coffee is a natural cocoa enhancer. It adds a complex, rounded flavor with multiple chocolate notes. However, if you are hesitant, you can sub the coffee for water. The water needs to be hot, just like the coffee. The hot liquid blooms the chocolate, therefore, enhancing the flavor, and helps make the cocoa powder easier to stir into the cake.

Allow this mixture to cool for a few minutes, then add in the milk, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Next, add the flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a separate bowl, whisk to combine, then add into the chocolate cake batter. Whisk just until combined.

dividing the batter and baking

This chocolate cake recipe makes 2 8-inch cake layers. Spray 2 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper out to fit the bottom of each cake pan. Place in the cake pan. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan.

frosting the cake

Making the chocolate buttercream is easy and straight forward. I like to start by beating the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for a couple minutes to get it light and fluffy. Then I add in the powdered sugar in portions, usually a cup at a time, mixing just until combined. If you add it all at once, it may puff out everywhere and make a mess of your kitchen (not that I know from any experience 🙂 ). Next add in the cocoa powder and turn the mixer on low. Slowly pour in the milk until combined. Allow the mixture to beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

If your cakes baked unevenly, cut the top of the cake off so that you are working with a flat surface. I actually then flip my cakes over, and place the cake, upside down on my 8-inch cake. board, or plate. I then frost the bottom side of the cake. It’s easier, because the crumbs of the cake don’t seem to get in the frosting as easily. Frost the top of the cake, then place the second cake on top, again so the bottom side is facing up. Frost the top and sides of the cake. If desired, grab a chocolate bar, and using a vegetable peeler, peel some chocolate curls for a garnish on the cake.

If you make this chocolate cake recipe, let me know what you thought in the ratings and comments below! I appreciate your feedback, always! Make sure you find me on instagram and youtube for the full baking video for this chocolate cake recipe as well as some fun behind the scenes.

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The Best Moist Chocolate Cake


  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1216 1x

Description

This chocolate cake recipe has a soft, moist, fudgy crumb that stays moist for days. This recipe uses no fancy equipment, just a whisk. Pair this with velvety smooth, fudgy chocolate buttercream, for the most delicious treat.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or water)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray 2 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of both of your 8-inch pans. Place in the bottom of the pans.

2. In a bowl, add hot coffee, hot butter and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine. Allow to cool a few minutes, then add milk, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, add sugars, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.

5. Evenly (or as close to even as possible) divide batter and pour into your 2 prepared cake pans. I like to tap the pans on the table one or two times to try to help get the batter even before baking.

6. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow cakes to fully cool in pan.

7. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. In a stand mixer bowl, fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl, beat the butter a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add in the cocoa powder, then on low speed, mix and gradually add in the milk until combined. Beat a few more minutes until light and fluffy. Spread frosting on cooled cake. If you’d like you may use a vegetable peeler and chocolate bar to create chocolate curls for a garnish on your cake. Enjoy!

Notes

I promise you cannot taste the coffee taste in this cake. The hot coffee enhances the cocoa flavor, giving a deeper chocolate flavor. However if you don’t want to use coffee, you may use hot water instead. The hot water will also bloom the cocoa powder and enhance the chocolate flavor. You just won’t get as deep of a chocolate flavor like you do with the coffee.

The whole milk adds richness to the cake. If you don’t have whole milk, you can use what you have on hand. Just know that the cake won’t be as rich in taste.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate cake, chocolate cake recipe, best chocolate cake recipe, moist chocolate cake recipe

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4 Comments

  1. I have a couple of questions…well maybe more then 2…lol…it says plain yogurt…can you use Greek yogurt…and in the frosting it says whole milk…does it have to be whole milk…and I’m in Canada and I don’t have sticks of butter…what in cups would the equivalent be for 2 sticks of butter…and is it regular milk or whole milk in the cake…I’m sorry…I know a lot of questions…I’m tempted to try the coffee but I’ve never had a sip of coffee in my life and the smell…I’m afraid I might taste the coffee…lol…

    1. Beverly,

      No worries about the questions!
      So for the greek yogurt, use 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup.
      It does not have to be whole milk! Any milk will do :). Whole milk will make it a bit richer, because of the added fats, but any milk will work in both the cake and frosting.
      Sorry, I didn’t mean to just write 2 sticks of butter. I will fix that now. The 2 sticks of butter is equivalent to 1 cup of butter.
      In terms of the coffee, I used to hate coffee and swore I could always taste coffee when it was added to a cake. This was when I was in my teenage years. Now I do drink coffee, and I personally did not taste coffee, and my kids (4, 3 and 18 months) all LOVED the cake and didn’t make any faces in terms of a bitter coffee taste or anything. However, I have made a similar cake to this with just water and thought it was also good, so if you are hesitant, you can go with water. I don’t think you will taste the coffee if you do try the coffee in the cake.
      Hope that all helps! 🙂 Happy baking!

      -Jolene

    1. Sandra,

      The yogurt helps to make the cake moist. You can substitute with sour cream if you prefer, or you can substitute 1/4 cup buttermilk (you can make your own by mixing 1/4 cup regular milk with 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir and let it sit 5 minutes, then add into cake batter). Hope this helps!

      -Jolene

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