Best Ever Chocolate Cake

yield: 8 SERVINGS

prep time: 30 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 60 MINUTES

This dense and moist cake is perfect for chocolate lovers. The cocoa flavors are intensified by the espresso! The rich chocolate buttercream frosting makes it even more delicious.


Chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee (or hot water if not wanting to use coffee)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream



To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your 8″ or 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray.


Add sugar, flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of your standing mixer, and whisk until fully incorporated.


If using, stir your espresso powder into your strong black coffee until fully dissolved.


Add that to your flour mixture along with the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides, and then continue mixing for 90 seconds. The batter will be thin, but will turn out so great!


Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans.


Bake 8″ pans for 35-40 minutes, 9″ pans for 30-35 minutes, or bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing from pans.


To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat the butter alone for 15 seconds. Add salt and vanilla, and continue mixing for another 30 seconds until smooth.


Mix together the cocoa and powdered sugar in a large separate bowl. Slowly add it to the butter mixture alternately with the cream, scraping down the sides of your bowl frequently. Continue mixing until fully incorporated and fluffy, for a minute or two.


After cakes have fully cooled to room temperature, spread or pipe frosting onto cake, as desired. Enjoy!

Additional Notes

Adapted from Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake via

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