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Please share your favorite chocolate cake recipe!

I would be very grateful to hear what your go-to chocolate cake recipe is. I like all styles of chocolate cake. Thanks!

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    1. For a quick in the oven, cake batter ready before oven is done preheating, I use the Hershey black magic cake.


      I have a lot of different ones, depending on how much time I want to spend and the occasion.

      23 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        Wow, no butter! It looks very easy. Do you have a fancier one you use for special occasions?

        1. re: visciole

          Ironically, another one that uses oil and not butter is the Triple Chocolate Celebration cake:


          For a regular chocolate cake, if I wanted to split the time difference, I like the sour cream chocolate cake or devil's food cake from C.I.'s Best Recipe. But, I'm always playing around with different recipes and cakes--my favorites just keep growing and growing.

          1. re: chowser

            "my favorites just keep growing and growing."
            as long as the same can't be said about your waistline after all that baking! ;)

            question about the Triple Chocolate Celebration cake...do you find the results to be worth the effort and time? it's a pretty labor-intensive recipe. and how does the mousse component compare to others you've made? just curious.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              That Celebration Cake is a wonder to behold! Truly, someone in our office, Kim, has made it twice...BUT, you have to be comfortable with "pastry transfers" and so forth which she said she has to mail-order here in SWFL...she does not have pastry chef training but ... well, she could BE a pastry chef...this cake takes a while to prepare for sure...I will nominate Epicurious' DOUBLE Chocolate Layer Cake that even *I* have baked numerous times, requires less effort and yields stunning results...and this is not to dumb down Visciole's request AT ALL...he or she may be totally up to the task of the Celebration Cake but herewith I submit the Double Chocolate Layer Cake...my only advice is to bake the darn thing in 3 -9" or 8" pans...those 10" pans are hard to come by and cost some $$$$...this makes a HUGE cake...and if I were to judge by "looks" alone, the award goes to the Celebration Cake...if I were to judge by "taste" alone, no doubt about it...Double Chocolate Layer Cake:


              1. re: Val

                was looking for a recipe like this last week could not find.. So I made a single layer cake from epuicurious on the site last week. Day one I was not impressed kind of cak-ee (I'm more a flourless guy) but cake really came together on day 2.




                1. re: Val

                  The Double Chocolate Layer Cake is the best chocolate layer cake I've ever made, and about the best I've ever eaten.

                  1. re: Val

                    thanks so much for the recommendation (and feedback) on the Double Chocolate Layer Cake. i'm always on the lookout for *really* good recipes to use as a starting points to develop killer GF goodies, and this one sounds like a keeper!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I've done it GF - similar to Black Magic cake and also did the Chocolate Wedding cake with orange buttercream (except different frosting) from epicurious. Both worked well. We did tiered and 3D shaped cakes.

                      1. re: jsaimd

                        Did you like the double chocolate layer cake as much as the black magic cake? I actually prefer the black magic cake better, find it more moist. I thought the addition of the chopped callebaut would make a big difference but it didn't.

                        1. re: chowser

                          I like the Black magic, but I use half brown butter or clarified butter and half oil.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    LOL, I have to be very picky about my calories so I don't keep growing! The cake is worth the effort but part of the work is making it look good so if you're not picky, it's not too bad. I've done it w/out the chocolate on the transfer paper and have never used fruit; just covered it all in ganache or chocolate whipped cream. I'm terrible about following the recipe exactly and prefer a nutella mousse in this to the chocolate mousse. It's from the chocolate hazelnut souffle cake, also from Bon Appetit (but not on their site). I do increase the Nutella, by dollops. This is a little more complex than the one from the recipe (which is a standard whipped chocolate cream). I've also used the Hershey black magic cake, with the different mousse centers and different toppings. Like I said, I love to experiment! The one thing I find with the Triple Celebration cake is that it's very chocolate-y, even for someone like me who loves chocolate. A small piece is enough.

                    12 large egg yolks
                    ½ c. sugar
                    6 Tab. Frangelico
                    ½ butter, room temperature
                    4 oz. Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
                    6 Tab. Nutella
                    1 c. chilled whipping cream

                    Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium saucepan to blend. Whisk in Frangelico. Add butter. Whisk gently over medium heat until mixture is thick, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Gently stir in Nutella. Transfer to large bowl; cool to room temperature. Beat cream in medium bowl until cream holds peaks; fold into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Cover mousse and chill up to one day.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I should add, as transfer paper goes, I don't get the professional ones w/ the gold design. I get a sheet of florist paper from the grocery store and cut that to shape, It's not as pretty but it works and is cheap.

                      1. re: chowser

                        Great to know this, thanks!!!

              2. re: chowser

                Just tried the black magic cake yesterday, and frosted it with Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" frosting. For some reason, I often end up with cakes that are not worth the effort, and usually wish I had just stuck with a box. This was easily the best cake I have ever made (and I would say, still excellent, even bearing in mind that all my other cakes have been crap). Thanks for sharing.

                1. re: happybellynh

                  Glad it worked for you. That's why it's one of my easy go -to cakes. I can have the batter done before the oven is finished preheating. My kids throw it together easily, too, and I love that there are no unusual ingredients (other than buttermilk but I'll do the milk/vinegar thing) in it. LOL, better than crap cake.

                2. re: chowser

                  I have been salivating over a chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten on Food and Wine but was also looking for other favorites. I clicked the link to the Hershey Black Magic cake and lo and behold, Ina Garten's is EXACTLY the same recipe. Apparently there's nothing wrong with stealing an oldie but goodie verbatim!

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Yes, it's been pointed out before but I think the Hershey cake predates Ina's.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I realized that as I read farther down the thread - and I'm sure the Hershey's cake pre-dates Ina's. Heck, it might pre-date Ina herself! :)

                  2. re: chowser

                    I ended up making the Black Magic cake today with just a couple of changes - I bloomed the cocoa powder in the coffee, and added a square of melted unsweetened chocolate to the mix. I also baked it in 3 pans instead of two. Anyway, it's DELICIOUS and incredibly moist, but I think the changes I made may have negatively affected the structure - it's extremely tender and delicate, with a wide open crumb. One of my layers fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan, and the others just barely held together. It's very damp outside today so that may have something to do with it as well, but next time I think I will omit the extra chocolate and perhaps cut the sugar just a bit, as I worry it might be too sweet otherwise.

                    I used a CI recipe for the frosting - the one they use with their old-fashioned chocolate layer cake. It's sort of a whipped ganache - melt 16oz of bittersweet chocolate, set aside. Melt a stick of butter and add 1/3c. sugar and 2T. corn syrup, cook until dissolved. Combine with chocolate, 2t. vanilla and 1 1/4c. heavy cream in a mixing bowl and cool in an ice bath to 70 degrees, then beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Anyway, the frosting is INCREDIBLE - it's so light and silky, just melts on your tongue, and a dream to work with - my cake was practically falling apart and I was still easily able to frost it with this. It will definitely be one of my go-to chocolate frosting recipes from here on out.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      hmm, i'm not so sure one square of chocolate would have had that much of an impact on the structure - my guess is that the humidity you mentioned was the more likely culprit. glad everything was delicious anyway :)

                    2. re: chowser

                      would this recipe be appropriate to use in a black forest cake? also the link is not working anymore, is this the correct recipe:
                      there is a lot of coffee in it, would a coffee hater taste it?

                      1. re: cleopatra999

                        The link in chowser's post works fine for me, but your All Recipes link is, indeed, the correct recipe. As for the coffee in the recipe, no worries: the coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, but you cannot taste it in the baked cake, and it's unlikely that anyone would guess it was in there.

                        I don't know what's used in a traditional Black Forest cake, but the Black Magic is dense and moist, and the liqueur, cherries, and whipped cream would certainly work well enough with it. It's a good match with whipped-cream frosting.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          perfect thanks! I think dense is one of the keys as you want it to hold up all the yummy extras.

                    3. Thanks for the replies. The recipes look great, so I'll have to try them all eventually... but this weekend I'm going to try the Double Chocolate Layer Cake. I'm a sucker for anything with buttermilk. I'll let you all know how it came out.

                      1. I made this chocolate cake with espresso buttercream for my husband for Valentines Day and he flipped out. http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/choc... We also love the double chocolate cake from Epi. It does make a huge cake but I have successfully halved the recipe and baked in 2 8" pans.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jules127

                          I love espresso buttercream! Thanks for the link!

                          1. re: jules127

                            you're a superstar, jules. just checked the link.

                            1. re: jules127

                              I saved the link recipe for the Espresso buttercream, yum. Thanks for posting!

                            2. Has anyone tried Nigella's Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, or another similar version? Saw her make it the other day on FN and I'm intrigued.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: yamalam

                                I've done Cooks Illustrated's sour cream chocolate cake and really liked it. Nigella's looks good, too.

                                1. re: chowser

                                  Hershey's Makes the best...Just follow the recipe on the back of the tub of the cocoa.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    I think I have that issue, I'll have to track it down. I like CI's baking recipes, the extreme attention to detail comes in handy, whereas I find it annoying in their simple savory recipes, ya know?

                                    1. re: yamalam

                                      Yes, I rarely use their savory recipes as written, only as guides. But anything I've baked from theirs has been excellent.

                                      1. re: yamalam

                                        I agree.....CL's recipe's cooking recipes often crank on my nerves.Enough already! Baking is more a science and it is nice to have precise details in recipes.

                                        1. re: yamalam

                                          Add me to the chorus of people who agree about CI's cooking vs baking recipes.

                                    2. Google Mandy's CHocolate Cake. Easy and delicious, my favorite chocolate cake. The frosting is heavenly!

                                      1. My favorite chocolate cake is Maida Heatter's Queen Mother's Cake that is technically a flourless chocolate cake.


                                        1. My favorite one has to be the Chocolate Stout Cake from Barrington Brewery. Everytime I make it I get rave reviews.


                                          I will often halve the recipe to make 24 cupcakes or a 9 inch 2 layer cake so I don't feel quite as gluttonous!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mickeygee

                                            Do you think if halved it could just be made in a tube pan? Do you do everything exactly half?

                                            1. re: pamd

                                              When I halve it, yes, everything just gets cut in half evenly. I've never used a tube pan for it, but I can't see why not. I'm not too much of a baker, so I don't know how to adjust the time, but probably about the same.

                                              And if there's extra frosting, I just roll it into truffles, coat in cocoa powder and have extra snacks!

                                            2. re: mickeygee

                                              RE: the Epicurious Chocolate Stout Cake.

                                              All the reviews are so positive, that I am thinking of making it for my friend's birthday. However, she does not drink beer. How "stouty" is this cake? If I make it the day before will the taste and scent of Guiness give-way to chocolate delight?

                                            3. A very easy but very tasty "go to" for me: chocolate wafer icebox cake. Absolutely need Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies. Then just mix up a batch of chocolate mousse, or even chocolate ganache (just gives the finished product a different texture). Use a loaf pan or round springform pan. Dip a wafer into the mousse, then lay it into the pan. And keep going, and going. After its done, refrigerate for a day (or freeze). The cookies soften and meld with the mousse. You get a cakey, fudgy goo.

                                              1. Friends and I made Julia Child's Reine de Saba cake from Mastering vol. 1 a few days ago and it was quite spectacular - conversation came to an abrupt halt while we ate it. It's a pretty classic french chocolate cake - plenty of butter and chocolate, minimal flour, some ground almonds, separated eggs with beaten whites providing the lift - but it was vastly better than other recipes of this type that I've tried. Almost like a flourless chocolate cake but not so intense and fudgy, more velvety, and with a delicate crunch from the pulverized almonds. Really great.

                                                And since I mentioned flourless chocolate cake, I think the absolute best is Alice Medrich's recipe from the April 1998 Cook's Illustrated - three ingredients (chocolate, butter, eggs) - both intense and balanced. Totally dependent on using excellent chocolate (I like Valrhona) but really worth it.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: MichaelB

                                                  I totally agree, the Reine de Saba is pretty much my favorite chocolate cake, I have made it many times. Unfortunately a few of my near and dear clamor for a more "American-style" cake, so I can't make it ALL the time! I actually add a bit more chocolate than Julia says to, and if you under-cook it a bit it's heavenly.

                                                  1. re: visciole

                                                    The Reine de Saba sounds great. An easier, more Americanized version is like the chocolate mousse cake I posted here. It's almost like a flourless cake, too. I've done it with different nuts but prefer the hazelnut and sometimes add amaretto to the chocolate whipped cream.


                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      The Reine de Saba really isn't that hard -- once you get used to the directions you can whip one up pretty fast. It's totally worth it, too.

                                                      1. re: visciole

                                                        I just googled it. Is this it?


                                                        It sounds great. I have to try it.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          Yep, that's it. I think I usually use some unsweetened chocolate in place of some of the bittersweet, which makes it more chocolatey and less sweet, but that's my personal taste. Just make sure to take it out of the oven when the toothpick comes out still slightly damp.

                                                2. My favorite is the Devil's Food Cake from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (I think I have the 11th or 12th edition). I've experimented with the recipe a bit, and usually replace the water with tart cherry juice or Cabernet Sauvignon or other similar red wine. I typically top it with a chocolate ganace or heavy cream whipped with some cherry juice, sugar and vanilla.

                                                  1. My mom always made Mexican Chocolate Spice Cake for our birthdays. I recently dug out the recipe and started making it again. Very moist and delicious.

                                                    Mexican Chocolate Spice Cake

                                                    1 stick margarine
                                                    ½ cup oil
                                                    4 tbsp cocoa or 2 squares
                                                    1 cup water
                                                    2 cups flour
                                                    1 tsp cinnamon
                                                    1 tsp baking soda
                                                    2 cups sugar
                                                    ½ cup sour milk (1 ½ tsp vinegar & ½ cup milk)
                                                    2 eggs, beaten
                                                    1 tsp vanilla

                                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine margarine, oil, cocoa and water in saucepan and heat until chocolate is melted. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl then combine with first mixture. Pour batter into greased 10x13 cake pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cake tests done.

                                                    Frost with glaze or sprinkle with confectionary sugar.

                                                    1. Reporting back after having made Epicurious' Double Chocolate Layer Cake. Well, I didn't really like this. Other people did, but to me it was too sweet (quite a bit too sweet), too moist, and the crumb was rather coarse. I think I really missed the butter flavor marrying with the chocolate. It's true I tend to prefer the French-ier style cakes, with less flour or with nut flour, like the Julia Child recipe discussed above.

                                                      Live and learn! Next time I'm going to try for something in the middle -- maybe a buttermilk cake with butter instead of oil, less sugar, melted chocolate instead of cocoa, and perhaps some nut flour to replace part of the flour.

                                                      Still haven't found that go-to cake that will satisfy both me and my American-style-cake-loving dear ones.

                                                      13 Replies
                                                      1. re: visciole

                                                        Sorry it didn't hit the spot for you, but thanks for taking the time to report back! Good luck with your chocolate cake quest...and let us know when you do find "the one."

                                                        1. re: visciole

                                                          It might help if you tell us what you want in a cake, eg dense, light, buttery, soft, devils food chocolatey vs fudgey. People have such difference ideas on what a chocolate cake should be.

                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                            True, but sometimes you have to try a few to tell what you like!

                                                            1. re: visciole

                                                              I know a lot of people rave about the epicurious cake you tried but I wasn't crazy about it either. However, if that cake was too dense for you, you probably wouldn't like the Hershey black magic cake either. There are 4 chocolate cakes I like in Best Recipe (but I like a wide variety of cakes. I can give you their description of them and if you like the sounds of them, I'll post the recipe. Personally, I like them all and but the sour cream chocolate is my favorite, if I'm in the mood for moist, dense, chocolate.

                                                              Master Recipe: soft, dense, like poundcake, only lighter.Intensely choc, but sweet.

                                                              Classic deviled food: extremely tender that falls apart easily, succulent and spongy, sweeter and lighter than master recipe

                                                              Old fashioned:more like yellow cake w/ chocolate added; sturdy pleasantly crumbly

                                                              Sour cream fudge layer cake: (this is most like the Hersheys' black magic cake w/ butter) smooth rich chocolate cake dense, almost fudge-like, rich

                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                Yes, the Black Magic cake looked very similar, so I won't try it. Of the others you described, the Master Recipe sounds most like my speed. If it's easy for you to post it, please do.

                                                                1. re: visciole

                                                                  I found it online:


                                                                  You can see the cake in the picture and decide if it's for you. I didn't love the coffee buttercream frosting that comes with it (and is mentioned in the article).

                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                    Thanks Chowser! Cute blog and kid.... I'll save this link for my next go-round.

                                                          2. re: visciole

                                                            We made this cake on a whim for Christmas and loved it so much we made it again for the Super Bowl. Hadn’t made a chocolate cake in years! Psst, no one tell the Chowpup I shared. She says it’s “my cake.”

                                                            Fudge Cake

                                                            Adapted from the Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book (1945 Edition)

                                                            Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

                                                            1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
                                                            4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (preferably Ghirardelli)
                                                            1 cup water
                                                            2 cups sugar
                                                            2 teaspoons vanilla
                                                            1 ¾ cup flour
                                                            1 teaspoon salt
                                                            1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                            1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                            2 eggs
                                                            ½ cup buttermilk (substitute 1 ½ lemon juice or vinegar stirred into enough milk to make ½ cup)

                                                            Chop chocolate and melt with the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add water and sugar and stir until well blended. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

                                                            Sift flour and measure. Add salt, baking powder and baking soda and sift again.

                                                            To cooled chocolate mixture add eggs on at a time, beating thoroughly.

                                                            Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk blending well after each addition. Beat vigorously about 1 minute, or until smooth.

                                                            Pour into 2 greased cake tins and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. (Until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.) Cool on wire racks. Then frost.

                                                            Note: The batter will seem to be very runny. Don’t worry about that though. Magic happens…

                                                            1. re: clamscasino

                                                              Clams, any idea on the tin size? I'm thinking 8 inch but what did you use?
                                                              Any icing?

                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                I used 9 inch round pans. As for icing, I made a mocha, sour cream frosting. No recipe per se, just my normal 1 stick butter, about 1 box confectioner's sugar, a "scoop" of cocoa (most likely about 1/4 cup), coffee extract to taste and enough sour cream to make it the right consistency. Oh and a pinch of salt.

                                                                We really loved this cake. An oldie but goodie recipe. Enjoy!

                                                                1. re: clamscasino

                                                                  Oh, good I have 9's. Some of the other posted recipes called for 8's or 10's, don't have. Thanks, I'll try this. I tend to stick to the Hershey's Chocolate or Black Magic cakes as I like the depth cocoa brings to a cake but I'm looking for something with butter and chocolate, for a change.
                                                                  Thanks for posting and responding!

                                                              2. re: clamscasino

                                                                This looks V nice! Im going to give this a go!

                                                              3. re: visciole

                                                                I have a similar reaction to the Epi double choc cake...its a delicious cake, but I prefer a butter based chocolate cake .

                                                                HOWEVER, this cake has been universally adored by guests, it held up well to monkey-ing around with the pan sizes, the layers split evenly, it melds nicely with a less-sweet buttercream frosting. So I would suggest leaving it your repertoire for use if you are making the cake mainly for guests rather than yourself. I think most people prefer the "too moist" cake.

                                                              4. I made the cover cake from Dec 2009 Southern Living- Chocolate Citrus Cake. It was by far, the best choc cake I have ever had. Ever. Professionally made or made by me. The cake on the cover has a 2 inch ganache frosting layer between the 2 cake layers & a white frosting on the outside. I just used the ganache recipe for the entire cake & it was the perfect amount (I prefer less frosting). The hint of orange was perfect!

                                                                Love, love, LOVE this cake!

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: tall sarah

                                                                  this one? did you add the candied oranges or just frosting? because without the oranges, i don't see any citrus in the recipe...

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    I think tall sarah was referring to the ganache, which has orange liqueur.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      oops, i hadn't gotten around to reading the ganache ingredients yet. thanks!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        That's the recipe & I omitted the candied orange as well. I first made the cake for my husband's birthday & since I also made 6 recipes from the Cradle of Flavor cookbook, I just ran out of time that day. The cake was so amazing without, that I made it again 3 days later. Yep- a big old layer cake made twice in one week! Don't think my hips will be ready for that Miami trip in a couple of weeks :)

                                                                2. I made Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud cake and it's fabulous. I don't like buttercream frosting, but this is topped with Whipped Cream and sifted cocoa powder. This deep chocolate flourless cake with Orange liquor and orange zest is very chocolatey and yummy.

                                                                  Here's a picture, it's so easy to make too.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                    The Chocolate Cloud cake looks wonderful and the recipe is at FoodNetwork.com.

                                                                  2. My go-to chocolate cake is a Sacher torte. Easy to make, light in texture and yet deeply chocolate. One layer, split and brushed with kirsch and apricot jam, then covered in a thin poured chocolate frosting. Best when served with a generous mound of whipped cream at the side. No thick ganache to gag on. Easily serves 10.

                                                                    1. - In my family it was McCall's "Perfect Chocolate Cake"... Made for the first time by me as a teenager for my mom's birthday and served up at Mrs. Kay's Toll House restaurant after the family dinner...

                                                                      3 layers, Vanilla whipped cream between, and Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese frosting over top...

                                                                      If you follow the explicit directions, it is a fabulous cake. If you just mix and dump into a glass pan, it is a great chocolate cake for a picnic.

                                                                      It is a classic McCall's recipe... They used it to advertize their cookbook in the magazine. I kept the recipe in my wallet for years!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Emyth

                                                                        Don't have quite a recipe for you but I recall my aunt used add a little rum to her special chocolate cakes. Think it added quite some depth to it, maybe an ingredient you can play with!

                                                                      2. i dont know if anyone has used this one yet, but it is DELICIOUS!!! my favorite cake recipe ever!! its super good with chocolate ganache frosting or white frosting. or plain. its just good haha

                                                                        1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                        2 cups white sugar
                                                                        3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                                                                        2 teaspoons baking soda
                                                                        1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                                        2 eggs
                                                                        1 cup strong brewed coffee
                                                                        1 cup buttermilk
                                                                        1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                                        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans or one 9x13 inch pan.
                                                                        In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center.
                                                                        Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.
                                                                        Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack. Fill and frost as desired.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: chalkalot

                                                                          The recipe chalkalot is posting is an Ina Garten recipe that is very much like the Hershey's recipe from the back of the can (substitute milk for buttermilk and water for coffee and they're identical). I made this yesterday to try out the King Arthur Flour cake improver--you add 1/4 cup when you are mixing and it does make the cake more tender and moist. I like it and will use it again.

                                                                          I also love KAF's double dark cocoa. It reeaaally makes a chocolate cake dark.

                                                                          1. re: runwestierun

                                                                            Ina Garten may have published the recipe chalkalot posted, but Hershey's was there first: it's their classic Black Magic cake, where indeed, the only differences from the back-of-the-can cake are buttermilk/coffee vs. milk/water. The Black Magic recipe is on the Hershey's website. It doesn't taste like coffee, but I find coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, and buttermilk makes it tender.

                                                                        2. One of my absolute favourites is Nigella's quadruple chocolate loaf cake, but I usually just go the 'double' route (i.e. leave out the finishing chocolate syrup and chocolate shavings). Rich, moist, depth of flavour, crazy easy to make. It's a great go-to cake to make if you're in a hurry, and everyone loves it. It's in her Feast cookbook, but can also be found here: http://www.nigella.com/recipe/recipe_...

                                                                          1. My fave quick chocolate cake is a mix in the pan recipe. It can be doubled to make 2 layers.
                                                                            Do not spray cake pan with pan spray,
                                                                            Into an 8" square or 9" round cake pan put the following ingredients:
                                                                            1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                                                                            1 cup sugar
                                                                            1/4 cup cocoa
                                                                            1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                            large pinch of salt
                                                                            Stir all with a fork to evenly distribute.
                                                                            Make 3 wells in the mixture. Place 1 of each of the following into a well:
                                                                            6 tablespoons oil
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                            1 tablespoon cider vinegar
                                                                            Over all, pour:
                                                                            1 cup cold coffee
                                                                            Stir with a fork until all mixed.
                                                                            Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350* oven.
                                                                            Leave in pan to cool and frost with frosting.

                                                                            My favorite frosting for this cake is an orange buttercream.
                                                                            Whip together well:
                                                                            1 stick butter (please don't ruin with margarine)
                                                                            1/3 cup shortening (I use a professional shortening called Sweetex made by Proctor and Gamble, but Crisco should work equally well)
                                                                            When this mixture is fluffy and well blended, add:
                                                                            1 tablespoon light corn syrup
                                                                            2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (I only use Domino's 10X)
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon extract (for orange flavor, use orange extract - I only use Virginia Dare)
                                                                            1 teaspoon orange zest for orange frosting, lemon zest for lemon flavor, etc.
                                                                            Whip well until very fluffy.
                                                                            Add 2 egg whites and whip for about a minute.
                                                                            If you are opposed to using raw egg whites, and many are, use pasteurized egg whites, or heat them above hot water to reach a heat that makes them safe to use.
                                                                            (Most chefs I know are comfortable with using egg whites if they trust their food purveyor, in that the chain of refrigeration is reputable and the eggs are fresh. I know that Martha Stewart has been criticized for using raw egg whites in her royal icing for cookies, so it's up to you as to what you are comfortable with.)
                                                                            After frosting the cake keep refrigerated.

                                                                            This frosting can also be made with 1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa to make a chocolate frosting. It is very versatile in the flavor you can make. The texture is wonderful. I found the recipe years ago in a cookbook from a bakery in NYC and have used it successfully in my business.

                                                                            When I was a pastry chef at a resort in the Thousand Islands (Yes, where the salad dressing was created), I made desserts for dinners by multiplying the cake recipe and the frosting recipe. All you need is a large bowl and a spatula. I made cakes, especially lemon, for large groups of people.
                                                                            I'm impressed with how moist the cakes are.

                                                                            1. I just posted a recipe and forgot to add that for a chocolate version of the buttercream frosting to use vanilla extract.

                                                                              1. RE: the Epicurious Chocolate Stout Cake.

                                                                                All the reviews are so positive, that I am thinking of making it for my friend's birthday. However, she does not drink beer. How "stouty" is this cake? If I make it the day before will the taste and scent of Guiness give-way to chocolate delight?

                                                                                I'd love any and all feedback on this recipe! Thank you!

                                                                                1. I have a recipe that was my grandmother's from the depression when eggs were hard to come by. It uses vinegar and oil instead and is the moistest cake! The frosting is like fudge on top. YUMMY!

                                                                                  3 cups of flour
                                                                                  2 cups of sugar
                                                                                  2 teaspoons baking soda
                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                  3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                                                                                  2 teaspoons vanilla
                                                                                  3/4 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                  2 tablespoons white vinegar
                                                                                  2 cups water

                                                                                  Sift dry ingredients together in large bowl. make 2 holes in the mixture. pour oil in one and vinegar in the other then pour the water over all and mix by hand until smooth. Pour into buttered 13x9 in pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan.

                                                                                  While cake is cooling, melt a stick of butter in a saucepan. add a teaspoon of vanilla and 3 tablespoons of milk. pour in one box of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour over cooled cake and let sit for about 30 minutes.

                                                                                  I have wonderful memories from childhood of my both my grandmother and my mother making this cake. It is not fancy but it is really yummy!

                                                                                  1. Came across this when looking for something else. Haven't made it yet, but looks tasty. If anyone does make it, please let me know how it turns out.

                                                                                    1. I love chocolate and hazelnut together, so two of my favorite chocolate cake recipes are a chocolate hazelnut mousse cake that I found on epicurious that uses nutella and mascarpone. I also love the chocolate hazelnut cake in the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook that uses 11 eggs, 8 squares of chocolate and a pound of butter.

                                                                                      There are so many variations on regular old chocolate layer cake and I never knew which one to use, so I invented one of my own. I have only baked this as a sheet cake, but one of these days I'll be brave and try layers.

                                                                                      2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                      1 tsp baking powder
                                                                                      1 tsp baking soda
                                                                                      1/2 tsp salt
                                                                                      1/4 cup cocoa powder
                                                                                      2 sticks unsalted butter
                                                                                      4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
                                                                                      1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
                                                                                      3/4 cup light brown sugar
                                                                                      3 eggs
                                                                                      2 tsp vanilla
                                                                                      1 Tbl instant coffee powder
                                                                                      1 cup milk

                                                                                      Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9"x13" pan

                                                                                      In a bowl sift togther flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

                                                                                      In a large bowl cream butter for about 2 minutes until you have a nice, soft, workable fluff. Add sugars and beat another 3 minutes until all is fluffy and beautiful.

                                                                                      Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing about 1 minute after each addition. Stir in vanilla, coffee, and melted chocolate. Blend well.

                                                                                      Stir in flour mixture and milk alternately in about 4 batches, ending with the flour. When all is absorbed into a happy cake batter, spread into prepared pan.

                                                                                      Bake 40 minutes or until it springs back when you lightly touch it and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                        If you love chocolate and hazelnuts together you should make the cake linked below. It is my very favourite cake. A couple of other chowhounds have made it and have raved about it.


                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                          It is beyond delicious, it is magical.

                                                                                      2. My go-to chocolate cake is the one used by Magnolia for cupcakes, adapted below. It's a simple recipe but whenever I make it it haunts me and I spend more time in the kitchen than out (not sure if it's because there's no cocoa in this but definitely a favorite for anyone I've made this for by far.) I have this one listed in the 50 desserts thread as well.
                                                                                        To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 to 15 minutes, or until lukewarm.

                                                                                        2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
                                                                                        1 tsp Baking Soda
                                                                                        1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
                                                                                        1 Cup Sugar
                                                                                        1 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
                                                                                        4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
                                                                                        6 Oz Unsweetened Chocolate, melted (I use bittersweet)
                                                                                        1 Cup Buttermilk
                                                                                        1 tsp Vanilla Extract
                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

                                                                                        Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 (9-inch) round baking pans with parchment circles. Butter and flour bottom and sides of pan.

                                                                                        In a small bowl, sift together the flour, fleur de sel, and baking soda. Set aside.

                                                                                        In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

                                                                                        Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

                                                                                        Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth. Carefully spoon the batter into the the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean.

                                                                                        Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before removing. Let cool on wire racks.

                                                                                        1. My daughter's 3rd birthday is coming up and she's requested chocolate cupcakes. I'm lactose-intolerant, so I'm planning on making Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate cake (using soy milk) and this tofu chocolate pudding recipe as the frosting: http://www.scharffenberger.com/re0804.... It's an absolutely amazing combination.

                                                                                          1. Has anyone ever made this one? Years ago I spotted this, posted multiple times on another food forum, but I couldn't ever find out what size pans or get a review from anyone who tried it --

                                                                                            GROUP 1

                                                                                            3/4 cups cocoa powder
                                                                                            3/4 cups boiling water

                                                                                            GROUP 2

                                                                                            1 cup buttermilk
                                                                                            1 cup oil
                                                                                            4 large eggs
                                                                                            1 t. vanilla

                                                                                            GROUP 3

                                                                                            2 cups sugar
                                                                                            2 cups flour
                                                                                            1/2 t. salt
                                                                                            2 t. baking soda

                                                                                            Stir group 1 ingredients together. Set aside.

                                                                                            Stir group 2 ingredients together. Set aside.

                                                                                            Stir group 3 ingredients together.

                                                                                            Stir group 3 into group 2. Stir in group 1.

                                                                                            Bake at 350 in greased, floured pan(s) until cake springs back when lightly pressed.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                              Looking at the other ingredients, that sounds like way too much sugar.

                                                                                              I would hazard a guess that you would use two 8-inch pans.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                I would agree, but then Hershey's black magic cake calls for 2 cups sugar to 1 3/4 cup flour, 3//4 cup cocoa, 1 cup buttermilk. The main difference between this recipe and the black magic is that this one doesn't call for coffee, and then it includes FOUR eggs rather than two in the black magic cake.

                                                                                                How can I not make a *magic* cake? I don't have my coffee maker here with me, though, so I suppose it will wait for Saturday. I am going to make deep choccolately cookies for today -- midnight crackles (D Greenspan) for a gathering this evening.

                                                                                                1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                  A lot of chocolate cakes (of the regular North American variety) call for a similar ratio of sugar to flour.

                                                                                            2. I have a go-to recipe that's easy and yummy, not terribly sophisticated but kids will still like it and I've had adults love it. It's from an old cookbook from a small town in Nebraska where my father grew up, and all the mother's submitted their recipes. I found what seems to be the same recipe in Pioneer Woman's Texas Sheet Cake- though it wasn't called this in my book. The texture is moist and fluffy and the taste, in my opinion, is surprisingly a little nutty- for some reason I always think there's possibly a touch of almond extract in there! Though I know there's not. I've made this as a sheet cake and in round cake pans (I believe one batch fit two 9-inch pans quite well). However, I have not tried the frosting she includes, usually using my own buttercream, ganache, or simple whipped cream.


                                                                                              1. Off topic, kind of, but can you take basically any of these recipes and change them into cupcakes? I know the baking time would have to change, but what about the basic recipe? Should you do anything different?

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: DonnaMarieNJ

                                                                                                  Yes, keep the recipe the same and cut the bake time.

                                                                                                2. Chocolate Cake is nominated for dish of the month. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869782

                                                                                                  Vote for it if you would like to see it featured.