Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

A dark chocolate cake with a rich and creamy chocolate frosting — this is the ultimate chocolate cake for chocolate lovers.

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

When my kids were babies, I started a home-based baking business specializing in special occasion cakes and cupcakes, mostly for children’s birthday parties. Before I opened, I spent weeks testing every vanilla and chocolate cake recipe under the sun, often baking into the wee hours. My husband would wake up in the morning to find the countertops covered with cakes and cupcakes. He thought I’d lost my mind—little did he know I was just discovering my passion for creating recipes, which was the impetus for starting my blog. Eventually, I created a few recipes that I loved and could rely on, like this rich chocolate cake (for the cupcake version, click here).

The cake itself is basically a one-bowl recipe. The frosting, modestly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, is fast and foolproof—a  welcome change from most homemade chocolate frostings, which are temperamental and take hours to cool. This is my son, Zach’s, favorite cake.

What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Cake

For the Cake

chocolate cake ingredients

For the Frosting

chocolate frosting ingredientsStep-by-Step Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

dry ingredients in mixerMix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine.

mixed dry ingredients

Add the eggs, oil, and sour cream.

adding eggs, oil, and sour cream

Mix on low speed until combined.

chocolate cake batter with wet ingredients mixed in

Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Then, reduce the speed to low and gradually pour in the hot water (be careful to pour very slowly so it doesn’t splash). The batter will be soupy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl; mix again until evenly combined.

chocolate cake batter

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

chocolate cake batter in pans ready to bake

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

baked chocolate cake layersCool the cake layers in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the pans and cool completely.

chocolate cake layers cooling on rack

While the cakes cool, make the frosting.

Make the Frosting

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.

Cook in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until it’s about three-quarters of the way melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate completely. (If necessary, place the chocolate back in microwave for a few seconds.) Set aside to cool.

melted chocolate

In a food processor, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

butter, confectioners sugar, and cocoa powder in food processor

Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then add the corn syrup and vanilla.

adding the corn syrup and vanilla to the chocolate frosting

Process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the lukewarm melted chocolate.

adding the melted chocolate

Pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Do not overmix.

finished silky chocolate frosting

When the cakes have cooled, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Using an icing spatula or butter knife, spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting over the first layer. Top with the second layer, then spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, swirling decoratively.

frosted chocolate cake

You May Also Like

Chocolate Cake

A dark chocolate cake with a rich and creamy chocolate frosting — this is the ultimate chocolate cake for chocolate lovers.

Servings: Makes one 9-inch 2-layer cake
Total Time: 1 Hour, plus time to cool

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate, broken into small pieces (see note)
  • 2-1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, and then butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pans. (Alternatively, replace the butter and flour with nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam with Flour.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Add the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Then, reduce the speed to low and gradually pour in the hot water (be careful to pour very slowly so it doesn’t splash). The batter will be soupy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl; mix again until evenly combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting.
  5. Cool the cake layers in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the pans and cool completely. When the cakes have cooled, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Using an icing spatula or butter knife, spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting over the first layer. Top with the second layer, then spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, swirling decoratively. The cake is best enjoyed fresh on the day it is made, but it will keep for 2 to 3 days stored in a cake dome at room temperature.

For the Frosting

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until it's about three-quarters of the way melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate completely. (If necessary, place the chocolate back in microwave for a few seconds.) Set aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor, process the butter, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the lukewarm melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Do not overmix.
  3. The frosting can be used immediately or held at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. It may lose its shine as it sits—to bring the shine back, run a metal spoon under hot water, then wipe dry with a towel; stir the frosting with the hot spoon and it should shine right up.
  4. Note: If making this cake for children, I recommend using milk chocolate for the frosting (Hershey or Lindt milk chocolate bars work well). Semi-sweet chocolate will lend a more intense chocolate flavor (Ghirardelli bars for baking are ideal).

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (16 servings)
  • Calories: 550
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Saturated fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 73 g
  • Sugar: 55 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 320 mg
  • Cholesterol: 69 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Would it be possible to make this cake with a dairy free option instead of the sour cream?

    • — Rakhi on May 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Rakhi, If you can find a dairy-free sour cream, I think that should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Would it be ok to mix milk chocolate with the bittersweet in the frosting?

    • — Janice Cooley on April 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • My favourite chocolate cake recipe!! (though I personally prefer a buttercream frosting)

    • — Carly Farmer on April 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    My review is just on the cake portion of this recipe today as I was trying to find the perfect chocolate cake. Glad I tried it. It was moist and delicious. I used a coffee italian buttercream with caramel in the middle instead and a ganache drip and it was a perfect combo. Thank you!! One question, can this recipe also use dutch processed cocoa powder too or must be natural? I always have the dutch kind on hand so curious to know if it would make a difference.

    • — Nancy A on April 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the cake! I’d stick with the natural cocoa powder for this.

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this chocolate cake for my wife’s birthday. The cake was perfect. I had a high rise and great moist texture. Regarding the icing, I think I should have stopped at adding the karo syrup. To me it diluted the chocolate flavor and I thought it looked pretty good before the add. In the future I will omit this step when making in the future. Overall it was a pretty good recipe. My wife certainly liked it.

    • — Rodney Carpenter on April 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • We just finished a 29th birthday dinner for our son and I prepared your Baked Ziti and Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake. . They were a tremendous hit with the birthday boy. He went home with leftovers and will be happy for a couple more days!! Thank you for these delicious recipes as always.

    • — Melinda on March 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello, I’d like to try this but we don’t have corn syrup in the UK. What would be a suitable alternative? The syrup manufactured by beet sugar producers here is called golden syrup as is very, very thick and not sure whether to go for it?
    Has anyone had this problem?
    Thanks, Jo

    • — Joanna Khan on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanna, I haven’t tried it, but a few readers have commented that they’ve used golden syrup successfully. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on March 11, 2021
      • Reply
    • Thank you Jen…yes, I used golden syrup and the result was a perfect looking and delicious cake.
      This is definitely a special occasion cake as it is rich and a little slice goes a long way and not to be indulged in too often! It tastes way better than anything you would have in a cafe or restaurant.

      • — Jo Khan on April 29, 2021
      • Reply
      • So glad it came out well — thanks for the follow-up!

        • — Jenn on April 29, 2021
        • Reply
  • Ool-la-la! Delicious! Cake was rich and dense and icing was creamy and mouthwatering. Sure to become a family forever favorite.

    • — Maggie on March 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello, so far every single recipe I have made has been AMAZING! I was so excited to try a new chocolate cake. I made this cake exactly but it seems to be lacking in chocolate flavor and was a bit dry. I did not over mix and cooked in 2 – 8″ pans and watched the time closely. Still this was not the super moist cake or great flavor I was looking for.

    • — Kristine on March 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is unbelievably wonderful. I am a home baker, always on the lookout for the best chocolate cake. I finally have found it. And even better is the frosting. Sublime, wonderfully light and creamy. My new go to chocolate frosting. I used a half cup of maple syrup and a half cup of pancake syrup instead of the corn syrup, which I don’t keep in the house. I could barely taste the maple, but it was there, and I recommend you give it a try, rather than the high fructose corn syrup. Thank you, thank, thank you was my husband’s comment.

    • — Barb C on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am so not a baker and this was so easy to make and so impressive. I actually even enjoyed baking it! And the taste is heavenly. For a chocolate lover, this is amazing.

    • — Dalia B. on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I am a huge fan of your recipes – they are a smashing success in our household! I have your cookbook and have made literally 20+ of your recipes, in addition to sharing your blog with my cooking friends. I have a library of about 50 cookbooks and yours ranks up there with the best. Thank you!

    I have a question; I made your Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake yesterday. Although I followed the recipe to a “T”, it did was not moist enough for our palette. The cake was moist, but the frosting was almost fudge-like, a little chalky. The next day, there were cracks in the icing. I am a good baker, so I don’t think it was my technique or my oven. I have a suspicion, it might be the light corn syrup. I used a light corn syrup that had been in my pantry for over a year…the consistency was like honey when I measured it. Does corn syrup age? I rarely use it.

    • — Alexandra DeFaria on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alexandra, Corn syrup has a long shelf life (and the consistency of honey), so I don’t think that was the issue. The frosting should be very, very creamy, as it looks in the photos. It sounds like it seized up at some point, which can occasionally happen with chocolate frosting. By chance, did any water or moisture get into it by accident?

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Ive made this cake before in 9 inch cake pans, but would like to bake in sheet pan. What temperature and how long please?
    Thank you so much.
    Barbara

    • — Barbara Juman on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Are you referring to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish? If so, I’d keep the oven temp the same and start checking for doneness at 35 to 45 minutes.

      • — Jenn on February 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made the cake hoping for the best as I have tried the “Boiling water” cake before and I did not like the texture of it at all. But I wanted to make a chocolate cake for my husband for Valentine’s Day.
    He really likes chocolate cake..me not so much. But this is a keeper! First night we just had it warm with ice cream. I think a good cake should be able to be enjoyed without frosting and eaten as a snack . So that was the first test.
    Next day I split the other layer, put raspberry fruit preserves on one layer and frosted the cake, ( 1/2 recipe of frosting.) Its a great recipe and in our “have to make that more often” 3×5 card box…..thanks for sharing it!

    • — D Gigliotti on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been looking for a good chocolate cake recipe for a while. I am a huge fan of yours and often check your website for recipes. When I saw you posted this recipe, I was so happy and confident that this is the perfect recipe I have been looking for.
    So far I have tried a lot of your recipes (Supernatural brownies, banana loaf, cheesecake, coffee cake, peruvian chicken to name a few) and I have never been disappointed. In fact, everyone in my family absolutely loves them.
    I made this cake for my husband’s bday and after having the very first bite he asked me if I found it on your website. You are so popular in my household.
    Thanks for all the amazing recipes!!

    • — Avneet on February 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Forgot to mention in the review, I added 1 teaspoon of espresso powder in the cake batter and a 1 tsp in tbe frosting and it turnsd out DELISH, highly recommended.
      Also, this is the best frosting I have wbmver had so far. Not going back to any other frosting ever!!

      • — Avneet on February 24, 2021
      • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on February 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely AMAZING!! So so Good!! The cake was soooo moist and full of flavor and the icing was to die for! Thank you Jenn for a truly wonderful recipe!!!

    • — Pooja on February 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • How should this be stored? Refrigerator or room temp?

    • — KC on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi KC, I store it at room temp in a cake dome.

      • — Jenn on February 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is the most requested cake from my family!
    What should I adjust the baking time to if I’m baking it in a 9×13 pan? Many thanks!

    • — Megan on February 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Megan, Glad it’s a hit! For a 9 x 13, I’d start checking for doneness at 35 to 45 minutes.

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • My twin sister baked the cake and it came out great. I have 8″ cake pans, will it make a difference or should I buy 9″ pans? Thank you!

    • — Jacquelyn on February 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • I think it should work in 8-inch cake pans (and bake time should be about the same). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Amazing and easy recipe. And I am not a baker. Came out perfect.

    • — Dalia Blass on February 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Unfortunately this cake did not work for me at all . It was a little bit too fussy and came out as a low rise cake but also a bit dense .It was moist . I baked it for my son’s birthday . 90 %of the recipes on this site are incredible ( like the triple chocolate cake — 9/10 ) but I just don’t think I would try this one again Im afraid . It wasn’t bad but it was not one that I would attempt again because it was quite a lot of work too .

    • — louise on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this for our family “February Birthdays Party” (including three dogs 🐶 ). The cake was so simple and delicious. Lots of compliments – especially on the frosting. Definitely a keeper!

    • — Joy Mills on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • The best chocolate cake I’ve had and the frosting is gorgeous and delicious. Again, a huge hit with this family. What would we do without Jenn?

    • — Virginia Murrell on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • The cake came out really flat for me. This has happened every time I’ve made a cake that has a soupy batter. What am I doing wrong?

    • — Jill on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jill, I’m happy to help troubleshoot. Could you send me a photo at [email protected]?

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2021
      • Reply
    • I have the same problem with soupy batters–would love to know what the issue is if you figured it out.

      • — Jaclyn on March 5, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jaclyn, Any chance you have a picture to share? If so, email it to me at [email protected]. Happy to try to troubleshoot if I can!

        • — Jenn on March 6, 2021
        • Reply
  • This cake was a HUGE hit for me!!! Very good!! Thank you for all your excellent recipes as well!! Do you by chance have a recipe for Jambalaya?? I’d love to try it….thanks again!!

    • — Bud on February 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the cake! As of now, I don’t have a proven recipe of my own for Jambalaya – I’m sorry! I’ll have to add that to my list of recipes to potentially develop. Thanks for the suggestion as I’m always looking for new inspiration! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn, I have 2 questions, please. How would it change the recipe if I used dark corn syrup instead of light? And, a separate question, what if I used cake flour instead of all-purpose? Thanks! I always turn to you for great and trusted recipes.

        • — Judy Chucker on March 15, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Judy, I don’t think you’d need to change the recipe but not sure how the dark corn syrup will impact the flavor of the frosting. And I wouldn’t recommend cake flour for this — sorry!

          • — Jenn on March 15, 2021
          • Reply
  • Incredible cake!! Made this with my daughter for Valentine’s and it’s fantastic. We added mini chocolate chips to the cake mix and on top of the frosting.
    Will definitely try this cake again!

    • — JJMomma on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • I want to make this for my son’s birthday but only have “lite sour cream.” Can I use that or would Greek honey vanilla yogurt be a better choice? LOVE LOVE your recipes–made your garlic butter shrimp for our Valentine’s surf and turf dinner and they were yummy!

    • — Cindy Mize on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, I think the light sour cream will work. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this for my wife and daughter for Valentine’s Day. Absolutely amazing and easy to make. Keep up the good work Jenn!

    • — Jeff Theobald on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Holy moly what a hit! I had to bake them individually for me, my 8 colleagues and 3 supes because we’re not allowed to have people eating off the same (cake) plate due to CDC regs and current office policy. So I made 12 single cakes in large muffin pans. Unfortunately I didn’t have all the ingredients for the frosting so I made one from scratch from a different site that was still a perfect compliment to Your Perfect Cake. In fact just start calling it that, Your Perfect Chocolate Cake. Thank you so much! It is now my only go-to for chocolate cake. But what do you think of hot boiling coffee instead of water? I’ve used coffee before in other homemade recipes and I think it does give the chocolate a nice bite. But I’m glad I made your recipe ‘as is’ for my first go, it is so spot-on! I also encourage people to make it ‘as is’ before getting personal ;-> with the ingredients. For instance I always have oil on hand more than I have butter (it’s always nice to Not make a run for one thing) and pantry alum from childhood unsweetened cocoa powder is sooooo much easier than melting chocolate. Insanely easier. Thank you again from all 12 of us!

    • — Lili on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad this was enjoyed by everyone in your office! I think replacing the boiling water with boiling coffee sounds delish! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • This cake is perfection!! I made it for my son’s birthday and it was a huge hit. Super easy to make too. I didn’t have sour cream but used creme fraiche and 5% fat greek yogurt (half cup each) as a substitute. Thank you for this recipe, Jen!!

    • — Kristen on February 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi
    I made the chocolate cupcakes today and it was a big hit. The cupcakes were light and fluffy. So good!
    My neighbour’s two little boys loved it as did my 87 year old mother.
    (I made a pink vanilla icing as a nod to Valentine’s Day but will try the chocolate one another time)

    • — Liz on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • One of the best chocolate cakes I have ever made. It is light and the entire house smelled amazing. My husband dove right in, the minute the icing was on the cake. Thanks again for an amazing recipe.

    • — Patticakes on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I also made this cake from your cookbook. It is hands down the best chocolate cake that I’ve had. My 3 sons love it. As for the equally delicious frosting, it is addictive! I no longer buy premade frosting.

    • — Renee on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello, Jenn.

    I have been following and using your blog for many years and, I love every recipe.

    I was wondering, why this is listed this Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Cake a new recipe now? This recipe has been on your blog for a very long time. It used to have many reviews.

    Thank you for all your lovely recipies.

    • — Anisha Best on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Anisha, So glad you like the recipes! This one is actually from my first cookbook and hasn’t been on my blog.

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this cake from the cookbook many times and omg is it good!

    • — Samantha on February 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Why is this listed as a new recipe on your site with all new reviews, etc.? This is an older recipe you posted.

    • — Corrine on February 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Actually, this recipe is from my first cookbook. I just decided to add it to the blog. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2021
      • Reply
    • Jenn, can I ask why oil in the cake instead of butter. I am assuming it makes for a moister cake?

      • — Irene on February 14, 2021
      • Reply
      • Yes, that is correct. Normally, I prefer to use butter in cakes, but since there is so much butter in the frosting, oil is a good option here.

        • — Jenn on February 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • I bought the Once Upon a Chef cookbook.
    In it, this recipe does not have any vanilla extract in the cake. Is this a mistake in the above recipe, or do I need to add the 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the cake?
    Thank you

    • — Stine on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Initially, I decided to omit the vanilla, but I just ended up adding it to the blog version. (It will be good either way.) Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi there. Thanks for all the fabulous recipes. I prefer a 9 x 13 cake instead of layers. How should I adjust baking time?

    • — Candyce Conley on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! For a 9 x 13-inch pan, I’d start checking for doneness at 35 to 45 minutes. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe from Hershey’s Kitchens I printed in 2008 is very close, except there is no sour cream in theirs. Their icing is simpler and is really, really good, with less ingredients and less work. The resulting cake/cupcakes are fabulous. If yours is as good, this recipe will be a winner.

    • — WWhite on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • I made this cake for my (chocolate-loving) sister’s birthday and again last week for my neighbor’s 65th birthday. I’m not a chocolate fan, and didn’t get a piece of either one, but I was assured they were wonderful. My husband licked the bowl and said it was delicious. Both cakes turned out beautifully, and the recipe for the frosting makes a generous amount, which I loved. I’m thinking of making cupcakes next time so poor hubby can have one before I give them away. Next time I’ll drag my stand mixer out of the back of the cupboard. I almost burned up my hand mixer by the time I added the water to the cake.

      • — Jeanette Carter on February 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • I don’t have a stand mixer. Do you think this recipe can get good results with a handheld mixer?

    • — Joanne on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, You’ll just need to increase the speed a little with a hand mixer.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, I don’t have a food processor, can I use a kitchen aid stand mixer for the frosting? I would love to try both the cake and frosting.

    • — Laura on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately, you really need a food processor for the frosting – sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
      • Reply
    • I used my stand mixer and it was perfect!

      • — Erin on February 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • This will be a very novice bakers question… but, I am looking forward a chocolate cake that is rich and moist and dense (which your cake looks to be) but I’ve made most that turn out light and just not as moist/rich… which way would you describe yours as being?

    • — Patty on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Patty, The cake is very moist but I wouldn’t say it’s dense. The frosting is super rich, so it all balances out.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    This looks so delicious! Is there a good substitute for sour cream? I have a dairy issue – can tolerate the butter with mild discomfort but sour cream is a big issue.

    • — AM on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • HI AM, I think Greek yogurt would work well.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
      • My husband is lactose intolerant (with the exception of butter). Could one use mayonnaise or applesauce in place of the sour cream?

        • — Jennifer on February 14, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Jennifer, I do think mayo would work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it.

          • — Jenn on February 14, 2021
          • Reply
    • Try Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream – it is a terrific product. Whole foods and other groceries carry it.

      • — susan w newmark on March 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is probably a silly question, but will this icing taste quite buttery? I’m just asking because I’d like to make it for a friend who has picky tastes. Thank you for all your amazing recipes.

    • — Natalie on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalie, The frosting tastes almost like a chocolate bar, especially if you use milk chocolate — it’s not buttery tasting (even though it has a ton of butter in it!).

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi,
        Thank for this recipe, it looks amazing and I want to try it out over the weekend. Just wondering – the cake list states the ingredients are for one 9 inch cake, but the instructions state to bake it in two tins… Can I just bake the entire mix in one 9 inch tin if I don’t want layers? Or should I go up to 10 inch one?

        Thanks!

        • — Bint Ali on February 18, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Bint, sorry for any confusion – this makes one 9-inch layer cake. You won’t be able to fit the batter in to a 10 inch pan but if you want to make one layer, you could use a 9 x 13“ pan. I’d start checking for doneness at 35 to 45 minutes. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on February 18, 2021
          • Reply
          • Lol, I should have read more clearly! Will do the two 9″ – thanks!

            • — Bint Ali on February 19, 2021
  • Perfect timing! Planning to make this chocolate cake for a family birthday tomorrow. Question: do you stack the layers right side up or bottom side up? Also, do you bother leveling the layers?
    Love your recipes and looking forward to the new cookbook 🙂

    • — Kimberly on February 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kimberly, These come out pretty level so I don’t level them. I usually place the bottom one bottom side up and the top one right side up, but again it really doesn’t make much difference with this cake. Hope your family enjoys it!

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        The cake was a complete showstopper! My MIL, who turned 85, loved the chocolate on chocolate and my FIL, who isn’t the biggest chocolate dessert fan, had two pieces. Thanks again for sharing all your delicious recipes and professional advice.

        • — Kimberly on February 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,

    Can I use honey instead of corn syrup?

    • — Joyce on February 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joyce, I haven’t tried it so can’t say for sure if it would work — and I think honey would lend a taste of its own. Corn syrup adds sheen and also gives the frosting a smooth, silky texture.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2021
      • Reply

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