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Here’s a simple yet extraordinary Chocolate Cake that boasts a rich chocolate flavor. It has a wonderfully moist and tender crumb, and it remains delicious for up to 5 days. You won’t need an electric mixer for this; just a wooden spoon will do the trick.

Chocolate Cake Chocolate Cake

For an excellent birthday cake or a decadently rich alternative, generously frost it with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting or chocolate ganache. If you’re craving a denser, fudgier chocolate cake, consider giving our Chocolate Fudge Cake a try. But for the ultimate showstopper, you can’t go wrong with Chocolate Mirror Glaze.

This is the Chocolate Cake

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, you’re aware that I can be quite adamant about doing things the “correct” way, but I also appreciate the convenience of shortcut recipes and quick meals.

However, there are recipes like this Chocolate Cake that manage to strike a harmonious balance – they’re easier to make than the method I’ve been using for most of my life to bake everyday cakes, and the results are superior.

You’ll be amazed at how it genuinely exudes a rich chocolate flavor, even though it’s crafted solely with cocoa powder. The secret lies in the addition of boiling water, which causes the chocolate flavor to fully “bloom.”

The cake boasts a tender crumb that remains moist for 4 to 5 days, making it all the more lovable.

It stands proudly on its own, allowing you to simply dust it with icing sugar and serve slices with dollops of cream on the side. Of course, generously frosting it is always a delightful option. This recipe is none other than the renowned Hershey’s Chocolate Cake, which I decided to try based on a recommendation from Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker (one of my go-to sources for baked goods). I approached it with somewhat modest expectations, thinking, “Can it really be that much better than the usual, given its simplicity?”

I relish being proven wrong, especially when it comes to food. In fact, I experimented with the recipe several times, only to realize that I kept returning to the original recipe as written.

In a rather uncommon turn of events, I believe this might be the sole recipe on my entire website that I’m sharing from another source without making any alterations to the ingredients. But to me, it’s absolutely perfect just the way it is. I can’t envision using any other recipe for an everyday Chocolate Cake ever again.

Incredibly quick and easy

Whipping up the batter is surprisingly swift, as all the ingredients come together in a single bowl with the help of a whisk.

There’s no need to go through the usual butter creaming process, as this recipe relies on oil, which is the secret behind its delightful moistness. Say goodbye to dry chocolate cake! (It also means this cake is quite forgiving – I once accidentally left it in the oven for an extra 15 minutes, and it still turned out perfectly moist).

I’m sharing this recipe as part of the Easter Recipes collection I posted yesterday! So here it is, dressed up for Easter – the same cake featured in the photos above, with the same frosting, adorned with speckled Easter eggs, adorable baby chicks (both available at Woolworths in Australia), and a chocolate basket. I’ve included instructions in the recipe notes on how I created that chocolate basket (hint – it involves a balloon…).

My everyday Chocolate Cake

Easter festivities aside, I affectionately dub this creation my “everyday Chocolate Cake” because it lives up to that title perfectly. It has quickly become my top choice for any occasion. While there are moments when the craving strikes for a dense, mud-cake-like Fudge Cake made with both cocoa powder and melted chocolate, or when you yearn for an intensely dark chocolate delight, or perhaps the occasion calls for the nutty brownie-like Flourless Chocolate Cake, and then there are times when only a light-as-air, delicate chiffon cake will do.

Yet, this Chocolate Cake recipe is reserved for all those other times when your heart simply desires a fantastic, classic Chocolate Cake. In my world, that accounts for about 80% of the time!

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Here's a simple yet extraordinary Chocolate Cake that boasts a rich chocolate flavor. It has a wonderfully moist and tender crumb, and it remains delicious for up to 5 days. You won't need an electric mixer for this; just a wooden spoon will do the trick.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins



  • 1 3/4 cups plain / all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder , unsweetened (Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (bi-carb soda)

  • 2 cups white sugar (Note 1)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs (~55-65g / 2 oz each)

  • 1 cup milk (low or full fat)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1 1/2 batches Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (slide scaler on recipe)


Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F) or 160°C (320°F) if using a fan-forced oven. Refer to Note 4 for guidance on shelf positions.
Grease two 22cm/9" cake pans with butter, and then line the base with parchment paper. (Note 3 provides information for using springform pans and other pan sizes).


In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt. Give it a brief whisk to combine.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps; this should take about 30 seconds.
Pour in the boiling water and whisk until fully incorporated. The batter will be quite thin (refer to the video for visual guidance).
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.


Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you have the cake pans on different oven shelves, please see Note 4 for adjustments to the cooking time.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them onto wire racks, placing them upside down (as explained in Note 5).
Allow the cakes to cool completely before proceeding with frosting. For frosting, you can use my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (remember to scale the recipe up by 50% if needed).


Sugar - My preference is caster/superfine sugar for all baking, but regular granulated sugar works just as well. For the cocoa powder, regular is perfectly suitable for this recipe, but if you prefer a slightly more intense chocolate flavor, you can opt for Dutch-processed cocoa. I typically use regular cocoa for this cake. SPRINGFORM PAN (crucial): Even the best springform pans may have slight leakage with very thin batters like this cake. To prevent this, a useful trick is to seal the gap where the sides meet the base with butter and place a tray on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips (don't put cake pans on this tray, as it can affect heat circulation). For OTHER PAN SIZES (use the same oven temperature as indicated in the recipe): Bundt pan: Bake for 50 minutes. Single 22cm/9" pan: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. 2 x 20cm/8" pans: Bake for 38 minutes. 3 x 20cm/8" pans: Bake for 25 minutes. 33 x 22 x 5 cm / 13 x 9 x 2" rectangle pan: Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. A quick method for creating a cake pan liner for the base: Take a piece of parchment paper, fold it in half, then quarters, and continue folding until it forms a narrow triangle. Align the pointy end with the center of the cake pan, then trim the excess at the edge of the pan. Unfold, and you have a nearly perfect round cake pan liner that fits your pan perfectly! BAKING / SHELVES - If your oven can accommodate both cake pans on a single shelf, place it in the middle of the oven. If not, position one shelf 1/3 of the way down the oven, and the other below it (ensure the cake pans fit). If the cakes are on separate shelves, remove the top one after 35 minutes per the recipe, then transfer the bottom one to the top shelf and bake for an additional 5 minutes. I recommend inverting the cakes so that the flat base becomes the surface for frosting. A flat surface looks more appealing when you slice into the cake. Although this cake generally comes out quite level, you can use a serrated knife to level the cakes for a neater appearance. EASTER DECORATIONS as shown in the photos and the Easter Recipes post: Baby chicks ($2), speckled chocolate eggs, and shredded paper, all available at Woolworths. To create a chocolate basket, follow these steps: Inflate a balloon to your desired basket size and place it with the tied end down in a bowl of rice or a similarly sized container. Melt baking chocolate in the microwave (approximately 1/2 cup chips/buttons), then transfer it to a small ziplock bag. Snip a corner of the bag, then drizzle the chocolate over the exposed half of the balloon. Allow it to set in the fridge, and carefully release the air from the balloon. Voila! You have a chocolate basket that you can fill with shredded paper, eggs, and chicks. (PS. Looking for a non-chocolate cake? Try this pastel blue Easter Cake, also adorned with charming Easter eggs)! STORAGE: This cake remains delicious and moist when stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If you've frosted it and you're in a very hot environment, refrigeration is advisable. Freezing isn't ideal because this cake is exceptionally moist, and freezing may make the crumb slightly wet. While it will still resemble cake, the texture may be closer to that of a chocolate pudding cake. It's still tasty but not as cake-like as intended. VARIATIONS FOR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES: This recipe can be easily adapted to cup measurements regardless of whether you're in Australia, the US, Canada, or elsewhere in the world (except Japan; please use the provided weights) Measuring cup sizes in the US and Canada differ slightly from those in the rest of the world, including Australia. While for most recipes, these variations don't significantly impact the outcome, when it comes to baking recipes, they can make a difference between success and disappointment. I always test my cakes and cookies using both Australian (rest of the world) and US cups to ensure they work for both. Typically, it's not a problem, as with this Chocolate Cake (either measurement option provides enough flexibility, and any differences are relative across the ingredients). In case of any variation, I provide ingredient measures for different countries, as I do for these Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. NUTRITION: The provided nutrition information is for each serving of the cake alone, assuming 12 servings.
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