This Chocolate Cake is the BEST Ever.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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! 😂
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!”