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The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}

Chocolate Cake 1500x609

As featured in The Applegatarian.

"A one-bowl chocolate cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water-this is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I've ever tasted. We often make this with a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour mix, and it works great." - Matt Cushing, Applegate Data Engineer

Serves 10 | Total Time: Less Than 60 Mins


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, buttermilk, almond milk, or coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened 
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by greasing with nonstick spray or butter, then lightly flouring.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix together with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Reduce the speed and carefully add the boiling water to the batter; mix until well combined.
  4. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the frosting: Place the cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk well to remove any lumps. Add the butter and beat until smooth and very well combined. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar followed by about 1 tablespoon milk and mix until well combined, then
  7. increase the mixer speed to high and beat for about 1 minute. Repeat until the confectioners' sugar and milk have been added, then add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  8. Frost the cake with the frosting.

Note: Cake can be made and frosted up to 1 day ahead and kept at cool room temperature