Chocolate Cake Recipe – Step by Step Guide

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Chocolate Cake Recipe – Step by Step Guide: Have you ever fantasised about making the most delicious chocolate cake? I did, and when I tried this dish for the very first time many years ago, it was like all of my dreams had come true.

Chocolate Cake Recipe – Step by Step Guide

My loved ones and friends have never failed to be blown away by the incredible flavour, moistness, and richness of this chocolate cake.


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used half-and-half, which worked fine, too!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee
For the or the frosting

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the bottoms of two circular cake pans measuring 8 inches in diameter with parchment paper discs and butter them.
  • To thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients, whisk them together in a large basin. Put all of the wet ingredients, with the exception of the coffee, into a separate bowl and whisk them together.
  • It is important to combine the dry components as you slowly add the wet elements to the dry ingredients.
  • After the ingredients have been combined, pour in the hot coffee and continue to stir everything together until there are no dry flour pockets remaining. The batter is going to be pretty thin.
  • The mixture should be divided between the two cake pans, and the cakes should be baked for thirty-five minutes, or until the cake has risen and a toothpick put into the centre of the cake can be removed without any wet batter clinging to it.
  • Take the cakes out of the pans and allow them to cool somewhat before turning them out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before icing them. In order to prepare the cakes for icing, they can be prepared a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Either in a microwave using brief bursts or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate until it is smooth. After stirring until smooth, set aside to cool down a little bit.
  • Beat the butter that has been at room temperature for a couple of minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is completely smooth and visibly lighter in colour.
  • While beating on a low-to-medium speed, gradually include the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until everything is completely smooth.
  • Whisk the sour cream into the chocolate that has been partially melted and let to cool.
  • During this process, the chocolate is cooled down, and the sour cream is warmed up, such that both of them are at a temperature that is close to room temperature before being added to the butter mixture.
  • After adding the chocolate and sour cream combination to the bowl of the mixer, reduce the speed to low and continue beating until everything is completely smooth and cohesive.
  • In the event that your frosting appears to be a little too loose, you may place it in the refrigerator for ten to fifteen minutes to allow it to become somewhat more rigid.
  • After that, give it a thorough swirl before proceeding to frost the cake.


  • Calories: 498 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 67 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 17 g
  • Trans Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 57 mg
  • Sodium: 316 mg
  • Potassium: 205 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 52 g
  • Vitamin A: 459 IU
  • Vitamin C: 1 mg
  • Calcium: 57 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg


Ingredient temperature matters. Butter and eggs should be room temperature. Eggs and butter creams at room temperature make a fluffier cake and lighter icing. Measure flour properly. Too much flour causes cakes to turn out “floury,” a common complaint. A kitchen scale is best for measuring flour.

You can also spoon flour into a cup and level it with a knife. Scooping flour from the bag or container will result in overuse. Keep cake moist over time. Increase cake wetness by using ⅓ cup of whole milk for sour cream. If you plan to cook or store the cake for a few days, this will keep it moist.

The batter will be thicker than with milk alone. Enhance chocolate flavour. Instead of water, use hot brewed coffee for more chocolatey flavour. Or add 1 tablespoon espresso powder to wet ingredients. I swear the cake won’t taste like coffee! For a richer, more delicious cake, coffee enhances chocolate flavour.

Create flat layers every time. Flat, uniformly baked, professional cakes require cake strips. The recipe is simple with aluminium foil and paper towels if you don’t have any! See my simple DIY cake strip tutorial for details.


Q1. Why did my cake dry out?

Because cocoa powder soaks up and dries out things quickly, it can make chocolate cake dry and crumbly. That’s why this chocolate cake recipe calls for oil, milk, and hot water (or hot coffee). These help to balance the dryness and make the crumb soft and moist.

Q2. Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes, this is a great meal to make ahead of time. You can bake the cakes the night before and frost them the next day because the chocolate cake layers take a while to cool.

You can also make everything ahead of time and freeze it. After the cakes have cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap on its own. Then put them in bags that can go in the freezer and keep them there. Spread the buttercream frosting out in a freezer bag or another container that can go in the fridge. You can freeze the cake and filling for up to three months. Let the cake thaw in the fridge overnight before frosting it and serving it.

Q3. What’s the best frosting for this cake?

You don’t have to use chocolate buttercream frosting on a chocolate cake. There are a lot of other great options! What about chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream, cream cheese frosting, strawberry buttercream, or even mocha frosting? They’re all different and fun!

Q4. How do I store leftovers?

Homemade chocolate cake can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature. Keep it on the kitchen counter under a cake dome for two or three days if you plan to eat it that soon. Put it in the fridge to keep it for a little longer.

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