Moist chocolate cake slice

Homemade Moist Chocolate Cake

October 16, 2019 by Michelle

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Looking for the best moist chocolate cake? I’ve got ya covered. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Perfect chocolate layer cake

If I’m going to make chocolate cake, I’m going to make it right. That’s means it’s going to be a moist chocolate cake, with a deep, rich, fudgy flavor.

When my son asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for his 16th birthday, what could I say but yes? Who cares that chocolate cake is my least favorite.

Chocolate birthday cake

That said, I played around with some of my favorite cakes and found a way to make a super moist chocolate cake that even I liked. My son? He was thrilled.

Tips to make the best chocolate cake

  • When you make cake, you have to grease and flour your cake pans. For chocolate cakes, don’t grease and flour, grease and cocoa powder. It acts the same as flour in terms of keeping your cake from sticking to the pan, but it keeps the chocolate color.
  • Like so many of my chocolate baked goods recipes, I use coffee in this cake. Brewed coffee brings out the richness and chocolate-y-ness of the chocolate. Just trust me on this one.
  • Many chocolate cakes call for sour cream, but I’m not a fan. Instead, get the fab texture from buttermilk and vegetable oil – no, you don’t use butter in this chocolate cake.
  • Don’t have buttermilk? That’s ok. Just add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to your liquid measuring cup then fill it to the one cup mark. Let it sit for five minutes, and voila!
  • Don’t overbake it. It’s tempting to bake your cake until your cake tester comes out completely clean, but you want it to have a few crumbs still attached. The residual heat continues to bake it a little as it cools in the pan, and yes, you absolutely need to let it cool in the pan before you try to remove it.
  • Which brings me to the next point – don’t rush removing your cake from the pan to cool on racks. Let it cool in the cake pan for a good ten minutes. This lets the cake set up so that it’s less likely to break or fall apart when you do remove it let it finish cooling.
  • When you layer your cakes, put the first layer upside down and the second layer right side up so that the two flat edges touch. This helps your cake stay more level as you frost it and avoids the tendency of the top layer to break.
  • But first, use a serrated knife to slice off the rounded top of one layer that will become the bottom. This lets it sit evenly on your serving dish.

Slice rounded top of cake

  • When you frost your cake, cut 3-4″ slices of wax paper or parchment paper and lay them in a circle on your serving dish. Place the cake atop them and then frost. This keeps your dish from getting messy with frosting. When you finish, carefully remove the paper.

How to Make the Best Moist Chocolate Cake

Brew your coffee and set it aside. It’s fine if it’s still hot when you add it, but you want to have it ready for when you add the liquid ingredients.

If you need to make “buttermilk,” do so now to ensure it has enough time to curdle.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease and cocoa powder two nine inch cake pans, then set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.

Add the buttermilk, brewed coffee, and oil to the bowl, one after the other. Mix well, then beat for one minute.

Add coffee to chocolate cake

Add your eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. As with all baking, you’re best off with room temperature eggs, so plan ahead if possible.

The resulting batter will be very thin, more so than many other cakes. Don’t panic, you did this correctly.

Cake batter is thin

Pour half the batter into each of the two prepared cake pans, then place them in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, just until your cake tester has a few crumbs remaining.

Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto wire cooling racks to cool the rest of the way. See? Cocoa powder means your cakes don’t have white patches!

Cocoa powder for chocolate cake

Once they are fully cool, frost with your favorite filling and frosting, then serve. For this cake, I used my whipped chocolate ganache for the filling and a chocolate buttercream for frosting.

No surprise, this cake is best the day you make it. However, you can keep it on the counter tightly wrapped for two to three days.

Slice of chocolate cake

What’s your secret to a moist chocolate cake?

More of my favorite chocolate recipes:

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

If you're looking for the best and most moist chocolate cake, you've found your winner! This may be the cake to change non-chocolate cake lovers' minds.

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 c coffee
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. Brew coffee and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and cocoa powder two nine inch cake pans, then set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then stir.
  4. Add buttermilk, brewed coffee, and oil and mix well, then beat for one minute.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans, and bake 30-35 minutes, just until your cake tester has a few crumbs remaining.
  7. Cool cakes for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
  8. Once fully cool, frost and serve.
  9. Store leftovers on the counter tightly wrapped for two to three days.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 259mg Carbohydrates: 46g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 26g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
Delicious moist chocolate cake

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