I started out with Hershey’s chocolate cake which was good but I played around with it to inprove the texture and moistness. I love this cake and it is great for carving.


  • Chocolate Cake
  • 1½ Cups Sugar

  • ½ Cup Brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup Cocoa
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1-1.4oz Chocolate Pudding ** I use FF/SF pudding**
  • 1½ Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Instant Coffee
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
    Prepare 2 8” or 9” cake pans with baking spray, or grease and flour pans.

In a large mixing bowl sift together all dry ingredients. **Make sure the brown sugar gets sifted or you will have some sugar chunks.**
Add in the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add in boiling water and stir with a large spoon until combined.
Evenly divide batter between the 2 pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs attached. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, while still warm wrap in plastic wrap and let cakes cool completely. (cooling in plastic wrap will keep the cake moist)
** For a mocha cake add 1-2 tbsp instant coffee- depending on how rich you want it.**
**I have also turned this into a chocolate decadense cake- change the buttermilk to sour cream and the water to warm milk than add 1.5 cups mini chocolate chips**


eperales0411 Says... 2010-08-24 09:34:05

This sounds yummy, I will try it soon!!!!

cupcakes Says... 2010-08-25 13:28:05

Have you used this recipe for cupcakes? I tried another recipe and the cupcakes sunk in the middle after they came out of the oven and were done...just wanted to see in advance if you had success with nice flat cupcakes with this cake. Thanks, it sounds like a great recipe.

DMJ69 Says... 2010-08-26 00:40:21

I have used this for cupcakes many times. I don't have any problems with them sinking. When I bake cupcakes I always place a casserole dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven. The steam from the water helps keep the cupcakes moist and helps them rise.

Ednarooni Says... 2010-08-26 05:23:25

When you say chocolate cake do you mean chocolate cake mix?

3lilmkz Says... 2010-08-26 09:26:56

ok so the pudding is the powder instant mix or the pre made?

DMJ69 Says... 2010-08-26 12:03:12

This recipe is from scratch not a mix. The pudding is the powdered sifted with the rest of the dry ingredients.

billymj52 Says... 2010-08-28 19:19:07

what is ss/sf pudding? I realize the sf is sugar free but what is ss? Is it instant pudding? thanks for the recipe.

DMJ69 Says... 2010-08-29 08:54:17

FF/SF- Fat Free / Sugar Free

GI Says... 2010-09-02 10:32:57

Is the Instant Coffee granules or liquid form?

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-02 12:07:08

The instant coffee is the granules

KSuhre Says... 2010-09-03 16:05:07

Dawn, I made this cake last night for a girl's b-day at work. It was soooo awesome. It was the most moist cake I have ever made. It melted in your mouth! Everyone at worked raved about it! There wasn't any left at the end of the day!! Thanks so much for sharing. I can't wait to try your yellow cake recipe!!

jr112 Says... 2010-09-05 05:54:36

Sounds like a great cake, but do you use instant pudding or the "cook and serve" kind?

RafaelLogrono Says... 2010-09-05 08:04:49

Sounds really yummy! What type of cocoa do you use?

KSuhre Says... 2010-09-05 18:58:00

jr112, I used the instant pudding Rafael1812 I used Hersheys cocoa They both worked great!

s0ngbird Says... 2010-09-06 15:25:59

Just made this for my Mom's birthday wtih the following substitutions: White chocolate pudding instead of regular Espresso powder instead of instant coffee Melted butter instead of oil (don't like the smell of oil in a cake) I used the white choc pudding and the espresso powder b/c I didn't have the regular choc pudding and instant coffee. It was AWESOME! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Moist, rich and delicious...I highly recommend it!

la122475 Says... 2010-09-08 13:16:14

Dawn, Would you by any chance know how many cups of batter this recipe yeilds?

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-08 15:14:56

la122475- off hand I'm not sure. I can get a 2 layer 9" cake. I will be making it Thurs. morning and I will go ahead and measure the batter and update you.

damaris1216 Says... 2010-09-10 15:31:28

I'm sorry but i don't understand the mesurment of the pudding. can you please let me know?

damaris1216 Says... 2010-09-10 16:40:11

can you reccommend any type of frosting for this cake. Thanks

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-12 12:53:22

damaris1216- The instant pudding box of the FF/SF is 1.4 oz. I love making a cookies and cream frosting. I use SMBC than break up about 12 oreo cookies and fold it into the BC.

Yorkiemum Says... 2010-09-12 13:21:15

I couldn't figure out the pudding situation either so I ended up using the whole small box of instant pudding. The cake is great but is a bit wet. I would love to know if it is instant or cook and serve. When you Google it, the pudding comes in both instant and cook and serve.

Happy baking everyone!

sugarMomma Says... 2010-09-13 07:11:00

I read your tip about putting cupcake pan in a water bath. Do you put hot water in the pan before placing in oven, or just regular room temp tap?

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-14 09:54:53

sugarMomma- I don't place the cupcake pan in a water bath, I place a pan of water on the bottom of the oven so the steam helps keep it moist.

Yorkimum- I use the small instant fat free sugar free pudding dry. The FF/SF pudding has less in the box then the the regular pudding mix. If you feel the cake was to wet, you may not have baked it completely.

maddysmom2007 Says... 2010-09-14 11:22:44

I just made this cake and it sunk in the middle. No idea why! Any ideas? thanks!

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-15 04:56:49

maddysmom2007- I can't tell you how it sunk in the middle as it has never happened to me. Did you remove it before it was completely baked. Forget the baking power. Did you open the oven door and try testing before it smelt baked.

misslele70 Says... 2010-09-15 18:26:08

I was looking for a good chocolate cake and I found this. I saw that it was "Dawn's" and I knew it would be good, as I have used her Vanilla Butternut cake and it is to die for! Thank you Dawn! I made this cake yesterday and it turned out great. The cake is soooo moist and flavorful. I was scared by the instant coffee because I hate coffee, I could taste it in the batter but after cooking it was wonderful and I didn't taste the coffee. I will be using this recipe for a birthday cake this weekend.

maddysmom2007 Says... 2010-09-16 06:43:10

Thanks for the reply! Actually, I do believe I removed it to soon. Going to try it again today. It tasted great though,lol!

eve81 Says... 2010-09-16 12:59:02

me too Misslele. I love Dawn's vanilla cake and I'm sure this will be just as good. I'm about to make it now. thanks Dawn :)

pnut Says... 2010-09-19 17:50:46

Dawn thank you so much for sharing such a yummy chocolate cake! I'm not usually a fan of chocolate cake but this is sooo good! I acidently put in 1 tbsp of coffee instead of 1 tsp (oops!) but it still came out so delicious :) I made them into cupcakes and they cake out perfect at 20 min at 350. They make a perfect flat cupcake when you fill them no more than half way :)

damaris1216 Says... 2010-09-21 08:14:46

I'm going to make this cake for my daugther's birthday. I was wondering if i can use the marshmellow fondant to cover the cake? Thanks for the recipe.

DMJ69 Says... 2010-09-21 15:00:41

damaris1216- Yes you can cover it with marshmellow fondant. I have.

damaris1216 Says... 2010-09-22 07:09:57

Thanks you for this great recipe, i will try it this weekend!!

susie1 Says... 2010-10-02 04:40:09

The first ingredient says "chocolate cake". Do you start with a mix and then add all the rest? Obviously I'm missing something cause everyboy else seems to understand. Can't wait to try this cake, there are sooo many wonderful comments about it.

cupcakes Says... 2010-10-02 05:36:06

On your note to turn this into a chocolate decadense cake. Do you melt the 1.5 cups of mini chips in the warm milk or just add to the recipe? Thanks, sounds like a fantastic recipe.

Sweetcakester Says... 2010-10-06 09:13:15

Can you still carve it if you go this way----chocolate decadense cake

JS605 Says... 2010-10-10 05:46:10

I made this into cupcakes this weekend and it was absolutely wonderful!!! I had a few people tell me that it was the best cake they had ever had! My mom usually bakes and I decorate and it made me feel so great that I actaully could do it all on my own and still turn out to be great! I used a french vanilla buttercream that I found on CC as well! Thank you for this recipe!! This will surely be my go to chocolate cake from now on! P.S. I added about 1/3 cup of sour cream because I was sure that it would come out dry as mine normaly do... It was so moist!! You honestly dont have to add the sour cream!

somethinsweet2eat Says... 2010-10-20 08:00:13

Thanks Dawn!!! This cake was super yummy!!! It measured out just a little over 6 cups which makes it equal to what I was getting from my cake mixes!! I am so excited I no longer have to push a cart full of cake boxes through the store!! Can't wait to make your vanilla cake today!!

iluvpeeks Says... 2010-10-23 21:00:24

Okay Dawn, you did it again! Absolutely delicious. I used the sour cream, warm milk and instant coffee. Moist and delicious. Thanks Dawn.

dasmann Says... 2010-11-01 06:51:10

@susie1: "chocolate cake" is not an ingredient, just the title.

iluvpeeks Says... 2010-11-02 07:57:01

FYI I made cupcakes with this recipe this past weekend, and they were the best ever. Super moist with really nice domes. Favorite chocolate recipe now for cakes and cupcakes.

areinsbach Says... 2010-11-17 12:44:54

I can't wait to try this recipe soon! Thanks! :)

NChisholm Says... 2011-02-03 08:43:22

I made this cake twice. It tastes great but it falls in the middle. The outside gets too done and the middle falls. It also doesn't rise very well. I live in Calgary, Canada so I was wondering if it is the altitude? Could that be why it's falling?

krissy2270 Says... 2011-03-13 21:31:13

I live in Edmonton and have just made this cake. The first time it fell (I was using a 3" depth pan), so I tried it again with 2 pans and turned out perfect.

Sassycakesonline Says... 2011-05-08 13:16:38

I just have to say that I made the decadense version of this cake three days ago and WOW! omg!!! this is the most amazing chocolate cake i have ever made/tasted!!! i will NEVER use another recipe!!! thank you soooo much for sharing it!!

SandyS Says... 2011-05-11 16:43:38

Has anyone used this recipe for a topsy turvy cake?

sweetironstudio Says... 2011-06-13 11:17:27


Use a heating core or upside down metal flower nail, covered in oil spray. Place in the middle of the pan and pour batter around it (and inside the heating core if you use a heating core, I prefer the nail because you don't have a cut out piece in your cake). The problem you are describing can happen to any cake recipe; but is more common in very rich cakes such as this or the original Hershey's cake recipe. The metal of the heating core or flower nail will help distribute the heat to the middle of the cake and help it cook more evenly. Also it can be that your oven is "hotter" than you are setting it too. So the outside is cooking faster. I have the opposite problem, my oven is 25 degrees Celsius lower than the knob says. If you use an oven safe thermometer you can check it :-)

flaca1965 Says... 2011-08-01 14:20:53

Thank you Dawn for this chocolate cake it is to die for I made it for a birthday and sculpted into a Charmander it turn out great. Thanks alot

soonergirl31 Says... 2012-01-30 14:35:01

Taste is really good...very rich. Pulled away from the sides of the pan a bit and leveled itself so much on top, I don't have a lot of wiggle room to do my own leveling. I am mixed on this one because I love the Tate and how moist it is but it is kind of dense. My cupcakes were a disaster with this. They shriveled up like prunes!! Weird. Saving for cake layers but not cupcakes.

forever_sweet_cakes Says... 2012-05-23 17:21:04

Hi Dawn, I found your recipe back in October of 2010 and have baked is numerous times. The taste is absolutely amazing! Like a brownie/cake! But since I have been using this recipe I have had my numerous cakes sink in the middle. Usually I end up baking an extra cake to fill in the sunk spots. Finally I began trying to tweek the recipe. I have added an additionaly egg to make a total of 3, it still sank. I have added additional baking powder, it still sank. I have omitted a small portion of water, that helps a bit but still it sank in the very center a little bit. I have increased the flour to 2 cups instead of 1 3/4, and it still sank! I'm getting so frustrated! I LOVE the flavor of this cake and the fact that it is so dense! Do you or anyone else have any suggestions??

Thank you! Julie Forever Sweet Cakes

frolicnplay Says... 2012-06-23 21:04:07

Julie, I just came across this recipe today. I made a test cake tonight and it came out as close to perfect as I could expect. I baked mine in three 8" rounds and all three came out with a slight dome that became perfectly flat by the time it was cool enough to turn out of the pans. Do you have this problem with any other cake recipes?

cajun_minou Says... 2012-07-17 19:07:14

I made this cake almost 2 years ago as a groom's cake paired with momtofourmonkeys' Crusting Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Besides getting compliments from everyone there, I was told the caterers left talking among themselves about how it was the best chocolate cake they'd ever had. People still compliment me about that cake. I seriously don't want to make any other chocolate cake again, and I can't wait to make it for my sister's birthday this weekend.

jennyz1171 Says... 2015-11-07 16:55:56

Made this cake for a baby shower last month.  Used Hersey's Special Dark pudding mix, everyone said it was sooooo good, one person said it tased like fudge.  Will definitely make it again, and try different chocolate puddings. 

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