Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

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This Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake, inspired by the iconic Hershey’s chocolate cake, is an absolute delight, made unique with a hint of coffee to enhance the chocolate’s rich flavor. Simple to prepare, yet incredibly lush, this recipe comes straight from my grandmother’s kitchen notebook and is perfected with a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.

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Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Ingredients & Alternatives

  • Buttermilk: Store-bought is preferable, but homemade buttermilk works great too—check out my buttermilk preparation tips online. For this cake, the sour cream method is my go-to choice.
  • Coffee: Essential for intensifying the chocolate flavor without being noticeable itself. If coffee isn’t your thing, water is a fine substitute, though it won’t bring out the chocolate flavor as intensely.
  • Chocolate Buttercream: The quantity provided is quite generous, particularly if you’re not planning on decorative piping. Feel free to halve the buttercream recipe or opt for any frosting you love.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Cake As Cupcakes?

While primarily designed as a cake, you can convert the recipe into cupcakes. Pour the batter into liners, filling each 2/3 full, and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 16-22 minutes—start checking at 16 minutes to ensure they don’t overbake.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Using a 9×13-inch Baking Dish?

Absolutely feasible. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 28-32 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs attached.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Option

To accommodate gluten sensitivities, substitute the all-purpose flour with a reliable gluten-free flour blend designed for a 1:1 replacement. While optimal results are achieved with gluten, the gluten-free version will still satisfy your chocolate cravings.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Freezing Instructions

To freeze without frosting, ensure the cake is completely cool:

  1. Place plastic wrap directly on the cake’s surface inside the pan.
  2. Invert onto a cutting board, remove the pan, and wrap the cake thoroughly in plastic wrap, then foil.
  3. Label with the date; this cake keeps well for up to 3 months frozen.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake


  • Flour: 1 ¾ cups (219 g)
  • Granulated Sugar: 2 cups (400 g)
  • Cocoa Powder: ¾ cup (90 g), high quality
  • Baking Soda: 2 teaspoons
  • Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Buttermilk: 1 cup (240 g), room temperature
  • Vegetable Oil: ½ cup (112 g)
  • Eggs: 2 large, room temperature
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 teaspoons
  • Hot Coffee or Water: 1 cup (237 g)
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (optional)


  1. Prepare Pans: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Combine Mixtures: On low speed, gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Add the hot coffee, continuing to mix until the batter is smooth.
  5. Bake: Pour the batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool and Frost: Let cakes cool in pans for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Frost with prepared chocolate buttercream.

Ultimate Moist Chocolate Cake

Enjoy this lusciously moist cake as a special treat that promises to deliver on all your chocolate expectations!

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