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This Chocolate Cake is the BEST Ever.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake

yield: 8 SERVINGS

prep time: 30 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES

total time: 60 MINUTES

Ingredients

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

Directions

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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!

5

Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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

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21 Comments
Love Love Love I'd Have Seconds! Meh... Not Feeling It Needs A Do-Over
5.0 / 5 ratings
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taking slice of chocolate cake

Chocolate (& espresso) fans, listen up!

The combination of these two rich flavors makes for the absolute best chocolate cake ever! To be honest, this incredible homemade chocolate cake takes a little more effort and ingredients than I normally spend baking, but let me assure you it’s 100% worth it!

If you have a special occasion or birthday coming up and love chocolate, this is THE cake I suggest making.

Looking for a keto chocolate cake? Head over HERE to Hip2Keto.com for a delicious low-carb chocolate cake!

slice of chocolate cake on a plate with fork

The inspiration for my cake comes from this popular chocolate cake from Ina Garten. I changed a few ingredients like using melted butter in the cake instead of oil, an extra egg, extra vanilla, instant espresso in the cake, and I went with a more simplified buttercream chocolate frosting.

The result is a perfectly fluffy yet dense and spongy, incredibly moist, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting you will be so proud of! In fact, this may be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted and my family agrees!

ingredients for espresso chocolate cake

Tips for making this best ever chocolate cake recipe:

  • Line the round cake pans with parchment paper to make it easier to remove them after baking. To get a perfect size every time, set your pan on the parchment paper, trace, and then cut around the bottom.
  • Do I have to use brewed coffee and instant espresso powder? In short, no. You can use hot water and leave out the espresso powder. However, coffee pairs so well with chocolate and actually intensifies the chocolate flavor so much! If you like coffee, I say try it. Keep in mind, you could use decaf coffee and decaf instant espresso powder instead if added caffeine is a concern.
  • I used my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, but you can use a mixing bowl and hand mixer if that’s what you have on hand.
  • I made a double batch of this chocolate buttercream frosting because I wanted extra to decorate with it. I had so much leftover frosting, however. So I would start by making one batch as written.

mixing flour and chocolate together

cake batter in a KitchenAid Mixer

pouring cake batter into cake pans

chocolate frosting in a stand mixer

frosting a double layer chocolate cake

frosting chocolate cake

woman holding chocolate cake


Print

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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!

5

Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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 FoodNetwork.com

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

slicing a piece of chocolate cake

Curious about how I decorated this cake?

I recently picked up an awesome cake decorating set from Amazon and had so much fun using it for this espresso chocolate cake. Keep in mind, I am not experienced AT ALL in decorating cakes, but this design was easy to create using the tools from this kit.

decorating a chocolate cake

The set has a nice turntable, high-quality spatulas to use with frosting, and of course tons of options for frosting tips with a guide in photos that visually tell you what each tip looks like.

chocolate cake up close with chocolate frosting

Specifically, I used the T07 tip to make the star border on the top, and the K34 tip for swirl border around the bottom of the cake, from this Kootek brand cake decorating kit.

espresso cake slice on a small plate next to cake

I’ve gotta admit that my cake was a little lopsided and I had no idea really what I was doing, but I’m pretty proud of my efforts! 😂

Espresso Cake on a plate

Here’s what my teammate Jenna had to say after baking this chocolate cake:

“This is such an awesome recipe because the chocolate flavor really stands out with the addition of coffee!  Oh my goodness it’s so good with that yummy, buttery frosting. The frosting amount worked out beautifully to frost generously, and decorate a little bit. It was soft and easy to work with and held it’s shaped well. Best cake ever!”


More of a strawberry fan? Try this award-winning strawberry cake!

Join The Discussion

Comments 21

  1. Beth

    If I did a regular cake pan instead of rounds any clue what the baking time would be? I don’t have round cake pans and would rather use what I have. Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I looked at a Wilton cake chart and it estimates 40-45 minutes for a 9×13 pan – hope that helps!

      • Beth

        Thank you!

  2. lynne

    may you use instant coffee granules in lieu of espresso powder?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ya I think that could be good too!

  3. Susan

    So glad to see “made from scratch” recipes on Hip2Save. I almost always bake from scratch and then I know exactly what is in it. I will definitely have to save this recipe for the next time I need to make a chocolate cake:)

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Susan! I think you’ll love this.

    • Janelle

      Agree! I hate it when recipes use box mix, canned crescent rolls, etc. Excited to try this!

  4. Am

    I baked this cake today using an 9×13 pan. It was perfect after 37 minutes @350. I know everyone’s ovens are different but I was hoping this would help

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much!

    • Beth

      Thank you!!

  5. Gigi

    I just pinned Ina Garten’s version of this yesterday but I am going to try your version instead!

  6. Cori Thompson

    This is the only cake my husband ever wants me to bake for his birthday! It’s the BOMB!

  7. ericataylor-0

    We have used Ina’s “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake” recipe for years and it’s always been amazing! I will sometimes add toasted pecans that are crushed all over the top and it’s delish! So happy to see “whole” recipes! Not a fan of store “hacks” that use crescent rolls and box mixes

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great! Thanks so much for sharing your experience 👏

  8. Aai

    Do u have any option .. if we don’t want u use eggs Aai

  9. Sue

    I made this chocolate cake today and it is really delicious. I used water instead of coffee ( also no instant coffee too) and no vanilla. My mistake was I should have sifted my powder sugar because the frosting was lumpy so I had to keep stirring it to break the lumps but other then that Really great recipe. Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I’m so glad Sue! Thanks for sharing 👏💕

  10. Summer

    Can u make this in a 9×13 pan?

    • Beth

      Someone else commented that they made it in a 9×13 pan and baked for 37minutes at 350 degrees and it came out perfect. I’m going to try it today!

  11. Sara

    I love the containers your sugar and flour in. Are they cereal containers?

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