Home » Baking Recipes » Cake Recipes

Chocolate Cake

This choco­late cake is the one I’ve been mak­ing since I learned to bake as a kid. It’s easy and deli­cious! Fudgy, dense, rich and moist choco­late cake. It’s sim­ple dessert perfection!

Homemade Chocolate Cake slice on an ivory stoneware plate with a blue print fabric napkin alongside
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

It’s okay to look away if you need to. I know, that recipe card is tough to look at. lol It’s one of the ones, copied in my mom’s hand­writ­ing, that went off to col­lege with me in a lit­tle wood­en recipe box.

I’m not real­ly a “stuff” per­son. I despise clut­ter and don’t even keep knick-knacks around, for the most part. So, I under­stand that it is 100% irra­tional to not copy that onto a fresh, clean card.

recipe card

The prob­lem is that like cook­ing and bak­ing, this recipe card brings back some of my favorite mem­o­ries of peo­ple and places and celebrations. 

It’s splat­tered with rem­nants of anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tions and our kids’ favorite birth­day cakes. It’s the first cake I learned to make on my own, as a child. 

Plus, let’s be real. A recipe card that looks like this has a lot of miles on it. It’s been USED. ‘Cause this cake is GOOD.

frosted chocolate cake

So, while I under­stand if you’re peek­ing at it through your fin­gers, with your hands over your face, my heart isn’t quite ready to let this one go, yet.

The Ingredients

If you squint and look at that recipe card, you’ll prob­a­bly notice the first ingre­di­ent is lard. We did use lard when I was grow­ing up. 

How­ev­er, since I’ve been on my own, I’ve only used but­ter. If you have a good source for organ­ic lard, it will def­i­nite­ly work well in this recipe, but but­ter is scrumptious.

While it’s not a 5‑ingredient recipe, it IS sim­ple and uses com­mon pantry ingre­di­ents. I nev­er buy choco­late cake mix and after eat­ing this lus­cious cake, I’m bet­ting you won’t ever, either. 

homemade chocolate cake with fudge frosting on a white plate.  Plate is sitting on a wooden table and there is a blue and white gingham napkin on the right.

It’s the one and only cake I would devour, even with­out frost­ing. But, yeah…you have to try it with this awe­some Favorite Fudge Frost­ing or just do what I do when I’m in a pinch for time. Pills­bury Choco­late Fudge frost­ing in the can is heav­en­ly on this cake. 

How to Make Chocolate Cake 

Cream togeth­er but­ter and sug­ar.  I do this in my *stand mix­er, but the recipe can be made by hand.  I have suc­cess­ful­ly done it that way, many times.

Add the eggs and milk to the but­ter mix­ture and beat hard.  (Don’t fret if it looks a lit­tle “cur­dled” after this step.  There will be tiny flecks of but­ter through­out the mixture.)

adding eggs to chocolate cake batter

Next, add the flour, cocoa pow­der, bak­ing soda and salt. Beat to incor­po­rate all the ingre­di­ents and to cre­ate a very thick bat­ter. (Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl, so that every­thing is well mixed.)

adding dry ingredients to chocolate cake batter
chocolate cake batter before boiling water

Pour in the boil­ing water and vanil­la.  (This is the step that bakes in all that love­ly mois­ture and keeps the cake tender.) 

Mix just until the water has been incor­po­rat­ed into the bat­ter. It will thin the bat­ter, substantially. 

Pour the bat­ter into a greased 9x13 pan (or two greased *9x9 squares or rounds) and bake at 350°.  The 9x13 will take 35–45 min­utes depend­ing on your oven.  The small pans will take 25–30 min­utes.  The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tooth­pick in the cen­ter will come out clean, when the cake is done.

Cool the cakes com­plete­ly and then frost with Favorite Fudge Frost­ing.

Homemade Chocolate Cake slice on an ivory stoneware plate with a blue print fabric napkin alongside

Ok, go make your fam­i­ly a won­der­ful choco­late cake! You can def­i­nite­ly do it! 

Or if you need a sin­gle serv­ing, choco­late fix, give this yum­my Hot Choco­late Mug Cake a try. 

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Homemade Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting on a white plate

Chocolate Cake


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 20 minute
  • Yield: 12 -15 pieces 1x

Description

Hands down, the best choco­late cake I’ve ever eat­en!  I’ve been mak­ing this cake for more than 50 years and it is still the fam­i­ly favorite choco­late cake.  Moist, dense and deli­cious.  Cake the way Grand­ma used to make them!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup but­ter, soft­ened (not melted)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tea­spoons bak­ing soda
  • 1/2 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 tea­spoon home­made vanil­la extract
  • 1 cup boil­ing water

 


Instructions

  1. Cream togeth­er but­ter and sug­ar.  I do this in my stand mix­er, but the recipe can be made by hand.  I have done it that way, before.
  2. Add the eggs and milk and beat hard.  (Don’t fret if it looks a lit­tle “cur­dled” after this step.  There will be tiny flecks of but­ter through­out the mix­ture if you for­got to bring your milk and eggs to room tem­per­a­ture.  I promise it will be okay.)
  3. Add the flour, cocoa pow­der, bak­ing soda and salt.
  4. Beat hard to incor­po­rate all the ingre­di­ents and to cre­ate a very thick bat­ter. (Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl and be sure every­thing is well mixed.
  5. Add the boil­ing water and vanil­la.  (This is the step that bakes in all that love­ly mois­ture and keeps the cake tender.) 
  6. Mix just until the water has been incor­po­rat­ed into the batter.
  7. Pour the bat­ter into a greased 9x13 pan (or two *9x9 squares or rounds) and bake at 350°.  The 9x13 will take 35–45 min­utes depend­ing on your oven.  The small pans will take 25–30 min­utes.  The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tooth­pick in the cen­ter will come out clean, when the cake is done.

 

Notes

This cake will raise rather domed and high in the cen­ter as it bakes, but when you pull it out of the oven to cool it will set­tle to a flat-topped cake, because of the high mois­ture con­tent.  Don’t pan­ic.  That’s exact­ly as it should be.  The cake is dense and moist and the way cakes tast­ed before the advent of mix­es.  It will remind you of Sun­day din­ner at your grandma’s.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 25 — 35 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Cakes, Desserts
  • Method: Bak­ing
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

26 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake”

  1. Oh. So. Yum­my! There is noth­ing like a vin­tage fam­i­ly recipe… unless it’s a vin­tage choco­late cake recipe. Thank you for shar­ing this. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating