Subscribe to get new recipes straight to your inbox!

    Easy Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe

    If you’re looking for a rich chocolate cake recipe that comes together using only cocoa powder (no melted chocolate), then this recipe is it! This moist chocolate cake is packed with flavour, and is topped with an incredibly delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting. Based off my 5 star rated vanilla cake recipe, this chocolate cake WILL NOT DISAPPOINT! 

    chocolate cake

    How I developed this recipe

    So I’m a huge believer in a rich chocolate cake having actual chocolate in it. Most chocolate cakes that I’ve tried that DON’T have chocolate in them, just don’t have that deep rich chocolate flavour that you (well.. I) want in a chocolate cake. Many basic chocolate cake recipes also have this kind of distinct after taste to them because of the baking soda, which I’m not very fond of (I know… I’m very picky haha!). Which is why I developed my original rich chocolate cake recipe with real chocolate.

    However, many of you have been asking for a rich chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t have any chocolate in it, only cocoa powder. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible! I tried many recipes, and either the cocoa was too over powering and left you with a dry after taste in your mouth (because of excess cocoa powder in the recipe to try and achieve that rich flavour), or the cake just wasn’t chocolatey enough. One thing that was common in all of my trials is that I used the traditional ‘hot water method’ of making chocolate cake. So, I decided to change that, and instead used the creaming method to see if that made a difference.

    I decided to use my vanilla cake recipe as a base since you guys LOVE that recipe, and OMG it was the best thing I ever did. What did I end up with? A rich, moist, decadent chocolate cake with NO CHOCOLATE IT IN! Only cocoa powder. Safe to say I proved myself wrong.

    How to make this chocolate cake

    This recipe comes together really easily – just follow the steps as stated and I would recommend using the gram measurements (all ingredient quantities are in the recipe card at the end of the post) 🙂

    Begin by preheating your oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 5 on the recipe card below if you don’t have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).

    In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, instant coffee powder and cocoa powder. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.

    chocolate cake

    In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine – see note 2 on recipe card), cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.

    Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).

    chocolate cake

    Add in your vanilla, vinegar and half a cup of the buttermilk, and mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.

    Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining 1 cup of buttermilk, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3 on recipe card).

    chocolate cake

     

    chocolate cake

    Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    chocolate cake

    Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the chocolate cream cheese buttercream recipe below, or another frosting of your choice.

    chocolate cake

    How to make chocolate cream cheese frosting

    If you haven’t tried a chocolate cream cheese frosting before, you are missing out! It’s honestly one of the most delicious chocolate frostings I’ve ever had – no joke!

    Being by creaming your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

    chocolate cream cheese buttercream

    Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.

    Next add in your cold cream cheese and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 4 on recipe card).

    Lastly add in your cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth. Avoid over-mixing.

    chocolate cream cheese frosting

    chocolate cream cheese frosting

    How to decorate this chocolate cake

    You can get super creative and decorate this cake however you like, but this is how I did mine 🙂

    Begin by placing your first cake layer onto your cake stand, and spread out a generous amount of the chocolate frosting.

    Next place your next cake layer on top, and then cover the tops and sides with more frosting. I like to use my cake scraper to smooth out the sides.

    chocolate cake

    I then finished off by doing some piping with a 1A piping tip on top. I absolutely love the little rain drop pattern look (not sure what they’re called!).

    chocolate cake

    And that is it! Enjoy 🙂

    chocolate cake

    Easy Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe

    If you're looking for a rich chocolate cake recipe that comes together using only cocoa powder (no melted chocolate), then this recipe is it! This moist chocolate cake is packed with chocolate flavour, and is topped with an incredibly delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting - YUM!
    5 from 24 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes
    Cool Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Chocolate Cake

    • cups (210 g) flour - regular all purpose (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
    • ¼ cup (25 g) cornflour - also known as cornstarch
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • 2 tsp instant coffee powder
    • 1 cup (100 g) cocoa powder - unsweetened, Dutch processed preferred
    • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • ¾ cup (158 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola
    • 1⅔ cups (332 g) white granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs - room temperature
    • 1 tbsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 1 tsp white vinegar
    • cups (337 g) buttermilk - room temperature, see note 6 if using a homemade buttermilk substitute

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cups (570 g) icing sugar - also known as confectioners/powdered sugar
    • cups (335 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type
    • tsps vanilla
    • ¾ cup (75 g) cocoa powder - unsweetened

    Instructions

    Chocolate Cake

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 5 if you don't have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).
    • In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, instant coffee powder and cocoa powder. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.
    • In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine - see note 2), cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between eggs).
    • Add in your vanilla, vinegar and half a cup of the buttermilk, and mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining 1 cup of buttermilk, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3).
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the chocolate cream cheese buttercream recipe below, or another frosting of your choice.

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in your cold cream cheese and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 4).
    • Lastly add in your cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth. Avoid over-mixing.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (235g total required). 
    Note 2. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe.
    Note 3. By gently folding in the ingredients, it prevents too much gluten from forming, thus giving us a softer cake. Only mix until the strands of flour have disappeared and the batter is uniform. 
    Note 4. Only mix the frosting until it's smooth. Once it's smooth stop mixing as over-mixing can result in a less stable frosting. This is because of the liquid in the cream cheese breaking down the icing sugar. 
    Note 5. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks cakes faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 175°C (347°F) so that the cake bakes at the same rate as mine.
    Note 6. I use store bought buttermilk which is thicker than a homemade substitute. For this recipe, because it uses a lot of buttermilk, I am not 100% sure if a homemade substitute will give you the same results as I haven't tried it myself. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 641kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: chocolate cake, chocolate cream cheese frosting, easy chocolate cake recipe, rich chocolate cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

    More Recipes

    51 Comments

    • Lou Lou

      I absolutely love your receipes the red velvet cake has been a game changer! Quick question if I want to do 2 x 6inch cakes for this chocolate receipe what would be the measurements plz? Would I need to click your “1/2” option? Thank you 😊

      • Cakes by MK

        Thank you so much Lou Lou! So happy to hear you’re loving the recipes :D. Yes that’s correct – for two 6 inch cake tins use the ‘1/2’ option :). Enjoy!

    • Ruby

      Hi, made this as a birthday cake and it was perfect. Thank you for a great recipe. Just wanted to know the recipe ratio if i was to make this as a bento cake plus some cupcakes please?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating





    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

      Categories
      Tips & Tricks
      Single Layer Cakes
      Quick Desserts
      Muffins
      Loaf Cakes
      Frostings
      Welcome to Cakes by MK!

      Subscribe to get new recipes straight to your inbox.

      Thanks for subscribing!

      Oops something went wrong! Try again