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Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate cake that is devilishly good.  This cake is rich, moist, delicious and super simple to put together. All you need is a bowl, a whisk and a little bit of time.

slice of chocolate layer cake with shiny chocolate frosting and sprinkles

    This is my go to chocolate cake! I use it as the base almost every time I need chocolate cake. It is so easy to make. You can do it with a mixing bowl and whisk, no fancy equipment or ingredients required! It is sure to win you over as well!

    For Little Dudes’s second birthday, I wanted to make him delicious cakes.  Something that went a little beyond the cake mix and tub of frosting.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, I readily eat it when placed in front of me!

    But I just knew this old fashioned chocolate cake recipe I found in a magazine years ago would be a great option.  No fancy frills.

   It is just a classic cake with dark chocolate flavor covered in a fudgy frosting.  What’s not to love about that?

layered chocolate cake with shiny chocolate frosting and sprinkles

    It was such a hit, I couldn’t help but to make it again.  It is a rich, moist cake that begs for you to get every last crumb.

     I love this cake recipe so much that I have gone back to it every time I have needed a chocolate cake for another application.  As it turns out, I need a lot of chocolate cake… so that is really saying something!

In fact, I made a treasure chest cake out of it for little man’s third birthday and I used it for a Ding Dong Cake as well.  It is so easy to put together.

There is no mixer needed, nothing fancy to do.  Just ingredients that I always have in my pantry.  In less than an hour, with no softening of any ingredients you have a cake!

devilishly good chocolate cake with shiny fudge frosting and sprinkles

     I have made this cake dozens of times since I originally posted it, but never had a chance to update the pictures.  Mostly because the cake was being used in almost unrecognizable ways.

   So I really wanted to make it as a classic layer cake again.  Because as versatile as this cake is, it really goes so well with this shiny fudge frosting and you can’t go wrong!

      When using the fudge frosting, the middle layer of frosting almost melts into the layers of cake in such a luscious way.  Mmmm!

    If you are worried about the coffee granules, don’t be.  Not one person detected it.  It just makes the chocolate flavor deeper (and doesn’t hurt the color either!)

slice of devilishly good chocolate cake with caramel frosting

    If you aren’t in the mood for fudge frosting, never fear! There are so many great options. We really loved the creamy caramel sweetened condensed milk frosting on it as well!

piece of rolo poke cake with caramel, fluffy frosting and rolos

     This recipe doesn’t always have to be made as a layer cake either.  It bakes great in a 9×13 and is an excellent base for something like a rolo poke cake! The caramel makes delicious pockets of goodness in the cake and a nice fluffy ermine frosting coats it all!

mini chocolate bundt cake with peanut butter whipped cream and mini chocolate chips

     I’ve also baked it up into mini bundt cakes and served it with peanut butter whipped cream. So as you can see, this recipe is super versatile.

   Pretty much anything you need a chocolate cake recipe for, this beauty can fill in. Plus you are likely to have most of the ingredients on hand already!

Tips and tricks:

This recipe is super versatile, use it for a 9″ layer cake, bake it in a 9×13″ pan or even make cupcakes or mini bundts out of it. 

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is there are no ingredients that need to come to room temperature. You can whip up a cake whenever you feel like it.

You don’t need any fancy equipment for the cake, just a bowl and whisk will do. Just make sure to get all of the flour incorporated without over mixing it. That’s the key for a tender cake.

Have fun with it! This cake is a perfect starter cake if you want to get into making homemade cakes.  It is also a great easy recipe for seasoned bakers.

There is a reason it gets rave reviews from everyone who makes it. Do yourself a favor and give it a go!

slice of chocolate sheet cake with fluffy chocolate buttercream on top

Dairy and egg free batter

When you look at the ingredient list, don’t be surprised to find there are no eggs.  It seems really strange, but it is correct… no eggs.

I think that is part of what gives the cake it’s great soft texture.  I have plenty of cake recipes with eggs and those a great too, but in this instance the recipe is perfect without.

I have had several people ask me if it’s an accident that they aren’t in the ingredient list.  While I do occasionally make mistakes like that, I assure you this time it is on purpose.

hand with whisk in mixing bowl of chocolate cake batter

There is no butter or milk in the batter either.  So the cake is great for people with sensitivities or even people who are vegan.

You will have to pick another frosting for sure, but the cake itself is the perfect base for whatever you decide to make!

Yield: 16 Servings

Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake

lifting out slice of devilishly good chocolate layer cake with shiny fudge frosting

Chocolate cake that is devilishly good.  This cake is rich, moist, delicious and super simple to put together. All you need is a bowl, a whisk and a little bit of time.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 Tablespons white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 9 inch round cake pans or a 9x13" pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together water, oil, vinegar, coffee and extracts.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. For a layer cake: Divide batter between the two pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  6. Cool cakes for about 15 minutes and then invert onto a baking rack to cool the rest of the way.
  7. For a 9x13: pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.
  8. Once completely cooled, frost the cake. We will always like the shiny fudge frosting, but also love this cake with cream cheese frosting and whipped cream frosting.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This is THE PERFECT chocolate cake! It's easy to make, the texture is soft, and it's devilishly good. Do yourself a favor and make it ASAP!

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soft chocolate layer cake covered in shiny chocolate icing and topped with sprinkles
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tracy

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Has anyone tried adding in raspberries or cherries to this recipe?

Carlee

Friday 4th of December 2020

That sounds delicious. It is a really moist cake, so there is a possibility they would sink. You'll have to let me know how it goes if you try it!

Bklyn Cowgirl

Sunday 16th of June 2019

I like the fact that there are no eggs for those of us who are watching our cholesterol. Should be watching our waistlines too, but what the heck! ;-)

Carlee

Friday 4th of December 2020

Ha! You have to have fun sometimes ;-)

Family Around the Table

Saturday 2nd of February 2019

How can this not be wonderful! So rich and chocolaty! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate365 chocolate party.

Carlee

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Thank you!

Anonymous

Tuesday 17th of July 2018

In the recipe you baking time for the 9 x 13 pan at 50 min , that's strange because all my 9 x 13 cakes bake for bout 30 min, would u plz explain

Carlee

Sunday 22nd of July 2018

That's what worked for me. Ovens do vary and so do recipes, you are welcome to start checking it earlier if you'd like.

Art from my Table

Thursday 17th of August 2017

This cake looks amazing! So moist! The sprinkles add just the right amount of color.

Carlee

Monday 21st of August 2017

Thank you! It is a favorite of ours for sure. I love how good it taste and how easy it is to make!