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Homemade Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting on a white plate

Chocolate Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 12 -15 pieces 1x


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!


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



  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 9×13 pan (or two *9×9 squares or rounds) and bake at 350°.  The 9×13 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.


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