This chocolate cake recipe is one of my most treasured cake recipes on this blog.
Chocolate Cake Recipe – 3 layers of chocolate cake sandwiched and covered in decadent chocolate icing and decorated with simple royal icing flowers.
A simple search for chocolate cake on the internet will return you tons of search results. There are so many chocolate cake recipes out there it is sometimes so hard to decide which one to choose from. Not to mention the chocolate cake variations there are out there – you will find moist chocolate cakes, dark chocolate cakes, easy chocolate cakes and even the best chocolate cake recipes!
While I am not in a position to comment how people name their chocolate cake recipes, all I can say is that the feedback you get for your cakes speaks for itself. And I must admit, this chocolate cake recipe has received so much positive feedback from fans who found my recipe online as well as my customers to whom I have made this cake before.
Just like my butter pound cake recipe, this is the only chocolate cake recipe I used in all my cake orders for chocolate cakes. I have baked this very same cake in many different tin sizes so I am able to share with you the recipe measurement for the different sized cake tins.
The cake stays soft and moist for a good 4 to 5 days at room temperature. It is awesome to be eaten plain and works equally well when frosted either with buttercream, ganache or even my chocolate icing as I have pictured on this page here.
Chocolate Cake Recipe – My Recipe Notes
- Line and grease your cake tins well – You don’t need to line your tins with parchment paper for this cake, suffice if you apply shortening and dust with flour. Just make sure you don’t leave any un-greased spots on the insides of your cake tin. You can see the many ways of lining cake tins in my post here. If you find using parchment is easier, use it by all means. The choice is really up to you. Lining cake tins adequately helps release the cake effectively after baking. The last thing you want is for your perfectly baked cake to be stuck to the cake tin or part of it stuck to the tin when inverting onto a wire rack.
- Measure your ingredients accurately – The main ingredients for this recipe are flour, cocoa powder, sugar, butter and eggs. To this I add vanilla essence, baking powder and milk to help with the aroma, texture and size of the cake. This cake is called chocolate cake for a reason, so it is important that the cocoa powder you use if of a good quality. And the same goes to the butter. Butter gives this cake the rich taste so be sure to use good quality butter. I use salted butter in this recipe just like all my other recipes on this site. Which is why the additional salt I add to the cake batter is pretty little. If you prefer to use unsalted butter, remember to increase the salt amount slightly to compensate for the unsalted butter. And it is also important for all the ingredients in the recipe to be measured as indicated. I always measure my ingredients with a kitchen scale instead of cups as I find measuring by cups can vary.
- Use creaming method to mix the cake batter – This cake is made using the creaming method, which means the process of making this cake begins with the creaming of the butter and sugar until they turn light and fluffy. You need to cream the butter and sugar for a good 2 minutes for the recipe measure below. Well creamed cake will give you a soft and fluffy cake. When adding flour to the batter, always alternate it with milk, staring and ending with flour. Also, it is best to fold the flour in with a spatula instead of a cake mixer. It may not be practical to fold the flour by hand for large cakes, and if you prefer to use a cake mixer, make sure it is at its utmost minimum speed and you do not mix the batter too long. Suffice if the flour and milk is all incorporated.
- Adding cocoa powder to the cake batter – There are 2 ways in which you can mix the batter for this chocolate cake. Both methods start with creaming of butter and sugar, followed by the eggs. In the first method, the cocoa powder is sifted with the flour and added into the batter alternately with the milk. This is the method I have described in the recipe card on this page. The other method is to mix the cocoa powder with 1 tbsp of hot water to form a paste. This paste is then added into the cake batter after all the flour and milk has been added in, right before the vanilla essence is added. Both methods will yield same results but if you choose the latter method, you would need to reduce the milk measurement by the amount of water you use to mix the cocoa powder.
- Constantly scrap the sides of your mixing bowl – When mixing the batter, right from the point where you cream your butter and sugar, always scrap the sides of your bowl frequently. This will ensure the ingredients are well mixed and your cake batter is all smooth and even. The same goes when the cocoa is added in. This is to ensure the cake batter is evenly colored and there are no white/light colored streaks in your baked chocolate cake.
- Butter and eggs should be at room temperature – Sometimes, you find your cake batter curdling. The main reason for this is the temperature of the butter and eggs. IF either the eggs or butter are cold, your cake batter will tend to curdle. If both are of the same temperature, it is fine, however, since it is hard to cream butter when it is cold, it would typically require to be softened by leaving it at room temperature for a while. If cold eggs are added to the room temperature butter and sugar mixture, the mixture will curdle. To prevent this, it is best to have both the eggs and the butter at room temperature. If at all your batter still curdles, do not worry. Add some flour and mix until it is no longer curdled.
- Doubling the recipe – If you wish to double or triple this chocolate cake recipe, make sure you use the cake tin sizes I have indicated in the recipe. My recipe has been calculated to produce cake layers that are approximately 2 inches high. Too much cake batter in a small cake tin would require longer baking time, and your cake could end up being a little too dry on the sides, hence if you want taller cakes, it is best to bake them in a few tins and sandwich the layers together. If you wish to bake cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter, it is advisable to use cake strips or a heating core. Cake strips and heating cores not only help the cakes to bake evenly, they also prevent the cakes sides from drying out due to longer baking time for larger cakes. See my post here on how to achieve leveled cakes to learn more about using cake strips and heating cores.
- Do not over bake the cake – Just like any other cakes, the baking time plays a very important role in the taste and texture of this cake. Baking the cake for too long can result is a dry cake and under baking can cause the cake to sink. When placing in the oven, always put the cakes on the 3rd rack. This helps prevent the top of the cake from browning too much. Check if the cake is done at least 5 to 10 minutes before the baking time is up by inserting a long skewer in the center of the cake. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, the cake is done and can be removed from oven. Ideally, there should be soft cake crumbs sticking to your skewer. If the skewer comes out totally clean, the cake could have been overly cooked. Also, when the cake is done, the sides will pull away from the tin.
- Storing the chocolate cake – This cake can be served on the same day it is baked, even while it is still warm. It is also equally good if baked in advance and stored in the fridge until it is ready for use, within one week. To store the cake in the fridge, once it is baked and has cooled down slightly, wrap it tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate. Wrapping the cake while it is still warm locks and distributes the moisture in the cake making in soft and moist after refrigeration. When you need to use it, remove the cake from the fridge and with the cling wrap still intact, let it warm up to room temperature. Remove the wrapping only after the cake has reached room temperature to prevent condensation on the cake which can reduce its shelf life. Leftovers of this cake can be stored at room temperature for a good 4 to 5 days provided it is handled without any moisture. Always ensure the knife used to cut the cake is all dry and the container you intend to store the cake has no traces of water in it. The leftovers can last up to one week if refrigerated. If you wish to use this cake for carving, the cake is best left to rest for at least one day after baking for the texture to stabilize for easy carving with less crumbs.
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Here is the printable version of my chocolate cake recipe and while you are at it, don’t miss my recipe notes right below. They contain absolutely useful tips for the best chocolate cake ever!
- 330 g self raising flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 360 g castor sugar
- 360 g butter at room temperature
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- 90 ml milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Beat butter and castor sugar till soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In another separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt 3 times. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
- Finally add vanilla essence and combine well.
- Pour the batter into two well greased and floured cake tins of equal size. Level the top and bake the cakes for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes come out clean. Larger cakes tend to take longer time to bake, and therefore, to prevent the cake from burning at the sides, I always use a heating core or baking strips. It will also help to reduce your oven temperature a little. I normally reduce mine to about 160 degrees Celsius, but each oven works differently in terms of temperature, so it is best that you try and see which temperature works best for your oven.
- Remove cakes from oven and let them cool completely before decorating. Baking time may vary slightly for larger cakes.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 2 layers of 2 inch high cakes)
- 600 g butter
- 600 g castor sugar
- 550 g self-raising flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 10 eggs
- 150 ml milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 ⅔ tsp vanilla essence
- 840 g butter
- 840 g castor sugar
- 770 g self-raising flour
- 70 g cocoa powder
- 14 eggs
- 210 ml milk
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
- 1200 g butter
- 1200 g castor sugar
- 1100 g self-raising flour
- 100 g cocoa powder
- 20 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 ⅓ tsp vanilla essence
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my chocolate cake recipe.
I hope you would give this cake a try, and if you do, let me know what you think here, ok?