The Best Chocolate Cake

I present to you The Best Chocolate Cake! A delicious chocolate cake that I’ve been making for years, completely from scratch with just a few simple ingredients that make up the most decadent and indulging treat you could possibly wish for.The Best Chocolate Cake
This recipe for chocolate cake is a recipe I’ve been making for years (decades, really). It’s so easy to make and it’s perfect with my favorite chocolate frosting. It’s pretty much the only cake I make every year for my husband on his birthday because he loves it so much.
The cake is made from just a few ingredients you probably have handy in your pantry and takes just a few steps to put together. My secret ingredient in this cake is the hot coffee. People ask me all the time if the coffee makes the cake taste like actual coffee, and my answer is no. All it does is enhance the flavor of the chocolate because chocolate and coffee share the same flavor profile and it gives it a nice, rich, chocolatey flavor. You’ll love it!
Ingredient Notes
  • Flour – I use regular all-purpose flour in my cake. You can use cake flour, which is a low protein flower milled into a fine consistency. Either will work. The cake flour will make the cake a bit more airy and delicate.
  • Sugar – We use granulated white sugar because not only does it add sweetness to the cake but it keeps our cake soft and moist.
  • Cocoa Powder – I recommend a high grade cocoa powder like Hershey’s baking cocoa powder.
  • Salt – A must in cakes because it enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients.
  • Leavening agents – Both baking soda and baking powder. We use both because there is acid from the buttermilk which creates carbon dioxide so baking soda is not enough to leaven the volume of batter. This is why baking powder is needed to add the necessary lift.
  • Buttermilk – This adds a bit of pleasant tanginess to cakes, while adding very little fat. It also helps tenderize gluten, giving the cake a softer texture and more body.
  • Eggs – Eggs are a must in cakes, not only do they add structure, color and flavor, but they also help provide the height and texture needed in cakes.
  • Oil – Any vegetable oil will work. Vegetable oil contributes to the moistness of cakes. Since butter solidifies at room temperature, you want to use oil because they will be much moister than their butter-based counterparts.
  • Vanilla – Like salt, vanilla extract is a must in this chocolate cake, because it enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Coffee – Regular hot coffee will work fine. The coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate because chocolate and coffee share the same flavor profile and it gives it a nice, rich, chocolatey flavor.
How To Make The Best Chocolate Cake
  1. Prep the oven and pans: Preheat the oven to 350°F. You will need 3 cake pans, each 8 inches in diameter. Cut out 3 parchment paper circles that will fit inside the cake pans. Spray the bottom of the cake pans with cooking spray, this is so the parchment paper sticks to the pans. Place the parchment papers inside and spray more cooking spray over the parchment paper.
  2. Make your cake batter: In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment mix everything until well combined on low speed. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add the coffee and continue mixing until everything is well combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula and mix as needed. Pour the batter into the 3 prepared pans, equally.
  3. Bake the cakes: Transfer the pans to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until baked through. Your cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Cool down cakes: Let the cake cool in the pans for about 30 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack or a cutting board and cool completely.
  5. Frost the cake: Once the layers have cooled off completely, cut off the dome part of the cake so that each layer is flat on top. Frost your cake with my chocolate frosting or the frosting of your choice, between the layers and on top.
FAQ’s
Can I make this gluten free?
You sure can! Use “Cup for Cup” gluten-free flour blend using the same amount as specified in the recipe card.
How do I know when my cake is done?
One of the simplest ways to check and see if your cake is done is using a toothpick. Take a toothpick and insert it in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. If the toothpick comes out covered in cake batter, transfer it back to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes then repeat your toothpick test.
Do I have to use buttermilk?
Yes! Buttermilk adds a bit of pleasant tanginess to cakes, while adding very little fat. It also helps tenderize gluten, giving the cake a softer texture and more body.
Tips
  1. Use a high high grade cocoa powder like Hershey’s baking cocoa powder. It is essential to work with good quality cocoa if you wish to achieve a decadently desired taste. Any chocolate cake thrives with darker hues of cocoa.
  2. Make sure your measurements are accurate. This will help you reach the ideal cake batter, especially when it comes to sugar and flour. These two are the mischiefs if not used correctly and can make or break your end result.
  3. If you are looking to get those nice flat layers, you can gently cut the domes off with a sharp knife. This will help form the perfectly even layer that you’re looking for.
Leftovers
When storing leftover cake, store it under a cake cover, wrap or foil and keep it on the counter for up to 2 days. Additionally, store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ideally your cake can be stored in the freezer before adding the frosting. But, if you do wish to freeze it after fully prepping it, make sure you wrap it neatly and store it in an airtight container before freezing for 3 to 4 months.
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