I ran in to this recipe on youtube by seriouscakes and just had to try it, and I would say that this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. Its very moist and it has a soft crumb. The best!!!!!!


  • · 2 cups sugar
  • · 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • · 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • · 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • · 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • · 1 teaspoon salt
  • · 2 eggs
  • · 1 cup milk
  • · 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • · 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • · 1 cup boiling water


  1. 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


auntlizzie Says... 2010-11-25 17:32:11

hi, sounds yummy. just to play it safe, are you referring to sweetened or unsweetened cocoa?

LadyMcElmon Says... 2010-11-25 18:55:42

I have made this recipe many many times!!! I too got it from seriouscakes. It is easily THE BEST chocolate cake EVER!!! I get rave reviews every single time!

maryrosario Says... 2010-11-25 20:24:37

This cake is the best I've ever made, but instead of using boling water I used boling coffee, Wonderful!

Ambar2 Says... 2010-11-26 04:50:43

@ auntlizzie is unsweeten cocoa, sorry

Ambar2 Says... 2010-11-26 04:52:11

maryrosario, Ive never thought of using coffee that sounds interesting. does it have a strong coffee flavor?

Narie Says... 2010-11-26 07:34:19

These are the recipes Hershey has on the cocoa container. For the coffee version of this recipe, go to the Hershey web site and look up Black Magic Cake. I have been using that recipe for close to 40 years.

cakesmart Says... 2010-11-26 09:51:39

Sounds delicious....can't wait to try it.

jade8 Says... 2010-11-26 20:16:23

For those of you who use it alot, is it dense enough to stack or cover in fondant?

Ambar2 Says... 2010-11-27 04:57:26

@jade: is not strong enough I think, but then again I havent tried it. If you do try it let us know...

m-m-g Says... 2010-11-27 15:19:36

@ jade i tried it with fondant it is super moist, i made a 1 tier cake so it was ok and it hold its shape well, but i don't know if it's a big cake with several tiers ...!

JackiesCreations Says... 2010-11-28 01:04:55

Hi Jade8

I use this often and have had no problems with covering it in fondant. I have used it stacked and carved, however you have to freeze it before working on it because it doesn't carve easy. Also, you need to apply the appropriate supports if your design is complex to ensure it doesn't just crumble. I made a bakugan cake out of this and worked really well. All the best!

Mamasaid Says... 2010-11-28 22:04:51

For the best chocolate cake ever try this: Use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa 2 Tbs. instant coffee granules It takes this recipe to the next level of deliciousness! A must for the serious dark chocolate lover.

MamaNenascakes Says... 2010-11-29 10:54:32

This is pretty much like the Barefoot Contesa in foodnetwork Chocolate cake excpet she uses buttermilk instead of milk and it's AMAZING!

kisamarie Says... 2010-11-29 11:55:44

This is my go to chocolate cake and it never fails to be spectacular! I used it for my princess safari cake (pics on my profile) and it stood up to the fondant no problem. This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had!!

hotmomma020509 Says... 2010-11-30 10:10:20

can you put another filling instead of chocolate?

carmijok Says... 2010-11-30 10:54:21

this is the recipe I use for my chocolate cake. I've stacked it many times with no problems. I always freeze my cakes first...it seems to make them more sturdy...before I crumb coat. I've used raspberry filling, Nutella filling, peanut butter filling, regular buttercream, whipped ganache--any flavor that goes with chocolate will work with this cake. I also use a cream cheese chocolate buttercream. It's particularly good if you do the coffee addition and add a pinch (and I mean just a pinch) of cinammon. It adds a depth of flavor that people can't quite figure out. Love the Hershey's recipe!!

shebear_m Says... 2010-12-01 07:35:33

I have also used this recipe with buttermilk instead, but I have found that the denseness of the cake can be overwhelming. I recently combined 1 box of supermoist Moirs chocolate cake mix with one quantity of this very same recipe, and used 2/3 buttermilk and 1/ 3 milk to make a 10 inch round cake and it was sublime. The box mix lessened the density of the cake and resulted in a dark moist chocolate cake but with a perfect crumb. I stacked this cake with no problem at all.

Kristinclk Says... 2010-12-01 10:39:09

Tried this receipe yesterday, my new favorite chocolate cake receipe!!!!!

soukic2 Says... 2010-12-01 15:53:00

This is what i have used for all my choc cakes and cupcakes all with great succes!!!This is definitely THE BEST!!!

SeriousCakes Says... 2010-12-02 05:10:55

I get so many requests for this cake! And yes, coffee is sooo yummy, I love adding flavored coffees like Hazelnut, delicious!

dreamsinpink21 Says... 2010-12-02 09:08:59

This is also my go-to chocolate cake. I just recently used it in a 3 tier wedding cake, and it held up beautifully!

cakeapprentice1923 Says... 2010-12-02 14:48:59

this is almost like Hersheys chocolate collecotrs cake they have on here, the boiling part ands some other things are diffrent. It taste good though and is good for carving

Ambar2 Says... 2010-12-03 04:20:09

Im glad you guys like my post

sugarandstuff Says... 2010-12-03 20:35:08

I love this chocolate cake but only use it for one tier cakes due to the heaviness of it - does anyone know how to make it a little better for stacking and tiered cakes? I will try the freezing - hopefully that helps..I have never found a better recipe than this for chocolate cake and I've tried many!

Raini Says... 2010-12-04 11:19:22

well this sounds great, i have never made the actual cake its self , i have always used boxed cake mix. but this sounds great and i will try this today :) supper excited i hope it comes out as good as it sounds !!! ill let you know :)

kellykakes Says... 2010-12-05 11:39:15

This is also my chocolate cake that I use. Sugarandstuff, I have used it as a tier cake (3 layers) and I froze each layer and allowed to defrost a little bit before I stacked them. It worked out fine. Hope this helps.

johnlin Says... 2010-12-05 22:03:16

I just tried this cake, it's phenomenal! However, I used buttermilk instead of regular milk. I am really pleased with this recipe. Thanks Johnlin

Dana62 Says... 2010-12-07 09:28:59

I have been using this recipe for about a year and everyone says it is the best chocolate cake they have ever had. It does crumble, so simple syrup works well and I also freeze mine before stacking and carving. Not the easiest cake to carve with, but delicious.

FarrahFace Says... 2010-12-08 11:08:20

Oh My!!! Sounds so yummy. Gonna have to try it..

mjnj Says... 2010-12-08 16:31:11

I used this recipe for years and loved the taste but found I always got a big dip in the center. Now I use this recipe: cakecentral.com/recipes/author/mjnj It is very similar and tastes just as good but it bakes PERFECTLY level every time, which I love. I do cover it in fondant but I use a different recipe for cupcakes, because it is too much of a pain to pour into cups, as it is very runny.

BakerAim Says... 2010-12-08 17:01:30

I've been using this choc. cake recipe for years and it turns out perfectly every time. I get huge compliments on this cake...it's a fave recipe here for sure.

Raini Says... 2010-12-08 17:56:27

so i tried this cake with the boiling water and it was good , but then i tried it again with a cup of coffee and it was Awesome!!!! Thanks ladies

vanz Says... 2010-12-10 21:19:40

Can this recipe be doubled to fill a 12 inch round pan? how much batter can it hold?

Ambar2 Says... 2010-12-11 17:27:37

Im not sure how much batter the recipe makes to be honest, but I think a 12" round holds up to 7 1/2 cups of batter...correct me if Im wrong ladies!

lissy3279 Says... 2010-12-12 06:29:22

This was also the best chocolate cake I've ever made. My husband thought it was doctored up box mix because of the texture. It was soft, moist and delicious. I saw it on the back of the hershey cocoa container one day and decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did! Very dark and chocolatey. Very easy. I love that you can pretty much dump all the ingredients in at once and come out with a great result with very little effort.

Raini Says... 2010-12-12 12:50:18

Vanz, i used this recipe and put it in a 12 inch round and it made a nice size cake but if i did it again i would deffently double the recipe so that the cake would fill the pan when done ;)

mombabytiger Says... 2010-12-13 04:18:35

This is also my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Gets rave reviews everytime! I wouldn't use it in a stacked situation though - not strong enough. And you don't need a recipe for that frosting. Just melt some butter, add some cocoa and start alternating 10x and milk until it looks and tastes like what you want. Also add some vanilla and a pinch of salt and I splash a little brewed coffee in as well. You can get a LOT more frosting if you just keep alternating instead of stopping at 3 cups of apf.

mombabytiger Says... 2010-12-13 04:19:27

Sorry - I didn't mean apf - I meant 10x. Long week.

josemoku Says... 2010-12-13 09:02:27

what are the recipe for fondant icing and how is it prepare?

stampinron Says... 2010-12-13 20:44:59

I have no luck with this recipe, sinks in the middle, and yes it is thoroughly cooked. Any advice?

SweetMarys Says... 2010-12-14 00:29:17

I Love this recipe, however it makes flat cupcakes and they stick to the paper too much, So if anyone has any advice for that it would greatly appreciated. I do have it sink in the middle from time to time don't know why either.

Creativebakes Says... 2010-12-14 18:31:02

Does anyone know how many cups this recipe yields?

Cakeview Says... 2010-12-14 18:34:34

Agree! I have used this recipe for years and always substitute the 1/2 cup oil for 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter.

Creativebakes Says... 2010-12-14 18:45:25

@ Cakeview...how does exchanging the oil for the butter change the taste?

sechrestloans Says... 2010-12-15 04:58:55

the only chocolate cake I make!!

calleighlove Says... 2010-12-18 07:30:37

I also wanted to try it out after seriouscakes had told us about this recipe and I must say it is the easiest cake to make. I've never had a "dump it all in" cake come out so beautifully every single time, even when doubled. I've made 10 batches of this just this week for two large cakes and every one came out perfect for torting and stacking. So moist and chocolatey. Everyone loves this one.

deesweets Says... 2010-12-19 17:18:28

This is the best chocolate cake recipe. I get so many compliments on this cake. I use coffee instead of the water.

deesweets Says... 2010-12-19 17:23:42

I double the recipe when making 10 inch and over. I also use this recipe all the time when doing stacked cakes and I haven't had any problems.

Cake_whiz Says... 2010-12-24 01:18:38

I made this today and it was delicious! The only thing i did not add was salt and i added a bit more vanilla extract. Thanks for sharing this :)

Nirisingh Says... 2010-12-29 04:40:31

HI What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda. Is bicarbonate of soda the same as baking soda.

Ambar2 Says... 2011-01-05 05:25:33

@Nirisignh: yes it is, baking soda gives height while baking powder gives it a light texture and some volume. HTH!

acmomcee Says... 2011-01-30 18:37:03

Hershey's brand is so rare here in the UK and if found, they are too pricey. I tried this using Tesco's cocoa and aside from having overflowing cupcakes (maybe bec of too hot oven so I'm on my way now to buy oven thermometer), they are good, but I know they are so much better with Hershey's.

Some of you mentioned here that you used special dark instead of unsweetened, I will be trying this with Green and Blacks so just wanna ask if you omitted the baking soda since as far as I know, special dark is a Dutch processed cocoa.

Thanks! =)

ChristaBaker Says... 2011-02-15 06:58:10

This cake is delicious and easy to make! I think it is an excellent layer cake, but I'm not sure I would try it as a carved cake. I have a recipe I use that carves beautifully because it is denser/heavier than this one. But because this recipe is not as heavy, I am going to use this as my go-to recipe for simple layer and sheet cakes that don't need to be stacked or carved.

ChristaBaker Says... 2011-02-15 07:01:16

Amomcee - I did not have Hershey's cocoa on hand, I used a different brand of cocoa and it turned out fine.

GreenShark Says... 2011-03-02 05:37:14

Anyone ever add a bit of cayenne pepper to this? I love the combination of chocolate and heat.

lizma Says... 2011-03-09 16:01:24

hi , i made this cake but you know what, i forgot to stir in boiling wather but too late the cake was in the oven, but was a good cake anyway

verosuperstar Says... 2011-03-15 09:46:08

I love this recipe but not alway comes out good. I tried to make the half ball wilton cake pan and it was awful. I left it more than 1 hr and the sides were dried and burn and the middle was not cooked at all. I had to make the ball of another flavor. My husband hates this recipe. Also when I double the recipe for a half sheet cake doesn't come out good. Have anyone done this in a big cake pan and any tips what is the baking time?

Raini Says... 2011-03-15 16:15:39

verosuperstar , i like to add a box of white choc instant pudding mix. it thickens it up and makes it taste so much better than it already does ,o and use coffee instead of water and as for as baking times i start with 40 min and add 20 every time untill its done , you just have to watch it. these are tips i got from eariler comments and the cake turns out Awesome!!

kafa Says... 2011-03-28 08:13:36

how many recipes of this I need for a 12 x 12 x 3 (square) cake?

Caker16 Says... 2011-04-13 09:28:56

Has anyone ever used a different kind of cocoa with this same recipe? Just wondering if I could sub in a better quality cocoa and still come out with a great result....

athiya Says... 2011-04-17 11:40:33

hey caker im stuck wit that question tooo,,, pls let us kno the outcome

deesweets Says... 2011-04-20 11:23:59

I love the flavor of this cake and it is my go to chocolate cake, but I have had issues with this cake almost every time I make it. I have tried shortening and flour for my pans, I have tried that mix to grease my pans with and almost every time a portion of this cake sticks to the pan and I have no idea why. It also crumbs alot. Not sure if I am doing something wrong. I get so excited the few times that it has come out perfect, then I get the big let down the next time I make it....Any suggestions?

shebear_m Says... 2011-04-20 14:45:37

I always line my tins with silicone baking paper and a light spray of of non stick baking spray. It works every time!

calleighlove Says... 2011-04-20 22:42:53

This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe too. I also got it off seriouscakes and it bakes like a dream, is lovely and moist but not too crumbly. I can stack and carve it (recently did a Lightning McQueen with it and will be making a cat with it tomorrow). It has such a lovely chocolaty flavour and is the easiest cake to make. I can double or triple the recipe and it still turns out perfectly.

aeila_marie Says... 2011-05-03 20:04:09

Been making this cake since i've seen it in obsessedwithbaking blog. It always comes out perfect! The coffee give it an extra darkness and distinct flavor. I agree with Calleighlove, I even quadrupled the recipe and it still is perfect !! All you'll ever need is a whisk! Easy as ABC! less work! less mess!... one recipe can make: 3 dozen 2 oz. cupcakes; or 2 dozen for a 3oz. cuppies; or 2 - 9" cakes; or 3 - 6" cake. All of my cupcakes posted here are made from this recipe (cakecentral.com/gallery/user/aeila_marie). The name says it all!!! P-E-R-F-E-C-T indeed! Not to mention, it is always a big hit on kids and kids at heart! So love it!

hiyacupcake Says... 2011-05-12 08:10:56

Just made this cake last weekend for my son's first communion and it is WONDERFUL! Everybody loved it and said it was not only the best chocolate cake they'd ever had, it was the best cake period. So yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Chanchka Says... 2011-05-20 04:13:17

This is a GREAT recipe. So delicious! Thanks for posting!

DJSpecialK Says... 2011-05-25 19:49:58

I made this cake before and it turned out great. Made it again tonight as a base for fondant and it was a cakewreck. I doubled the recipe and poured into 9 inch pans. Not only did they come out flat, the taste was off. I did blend again after I added the hot water (I noticed some unblended "floaties"). That may have done it. I'm going to look for something else to try fondant on - but when done correctly, this cake is tasty.

aces413 Says... 2011-06-02 05:50:00

Can someone address the inconsistency with this recipe? I, like quite a few others, find this recipe to be "finicky". Sometimes it comes out perfectly, and others, it sinks in the center and never seems to finish cooking, despite crunchy edges. If I half or double the recipe, this is more likely to occur. However, I made it exactly as directed yesterday and had to throw it away. Has anyone had this problem and solved it? I love the way it tastes when it comes out right...but I'm not a fan of the drama it brings...

jenscreativity Says... 2011-06-20 08:43:57

it's moist, and but personally don't like it being too dense and the crusted top..not my favorite , but everyone is different..

jojo98 Says... 2011-06-22 21:30:05

With the different turnouts, I'm wondering if elevation is an issue. I used to live in Montana & had some favorite recipes. When I moved to Texas, I had to ind new recipes. Nothing baked up quite the same. So, for those of you who have had success with this recipe, what is your approximate elevation?

Thank you!

kathq Says... 2011-06-27 20:01:10

Hi everyone, how many teaspoons/tablespoons of coffee do I add to the 1 cup of boiling water? Thanks!!

small-x Says... 2011-07-05 14:35:53

Hi, what can I use instead of HERSHEY’S Cocoa ? Thanks

teacup916 Says... 2011-09-14 19:42:47

I recently found this recipe and it is now my favorite and "go-to" chocolate cake. Someone mentioned the inconsistency and sinking in the middle. I experienced that when I used "store brand" flour. I find that name brand ingredients work best when baking from scratch. I have been making it with water, I will be trying it with coffee for my birthday cake! Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas!

Ambar2 Says... 2011-09-20 05:58:59

Hey everyone, sorry for the late response. My computer broke down. I havent had any issues what so ever on the sinking. I do however from time to time have it stick to the pan. Im preparing the pan with the shortening,oil, flour mixture I found here in CC and then line the pan with parchment or wax and then another very thin layer of the shortening mixture, and it comes out of the pan wonderfully. I also havent used the actual Hershey's cocoa for this cake (I know, kill me) and its amazing. I use a brand called "Cortes" and greatvalue flour....no probelms at all. Im glad that mostly everyone has loved this recipe. Im really glad a posted it for you guys. Thanks!!

heatherangel26 Says... 2011-10-04 09:08:03

I love this recipe and have made it many times. I'm making it for my daughter's birthday cake this weekend . Have you even made this recipe in a 10 inch round? That's what I'm making and i wasn't sure if I should double the recipe. Also, I'm going to stack a 9 inch round on top and all are going to be covered in MMF. I'm hoping this cake with hold up. Has anyone eve used it to stack tiers?

figgy0331 Says... 2011-11-01 14:41:34

This was the very first scratch cake I have ever made and it was delicious. My husband is not much.of a.chocolate lover like me and when I asked him how it taste he said it great he wished I would have served him a bigger piece. Awsome receipt thank you

Pearl645 Says... 2012-02-01 16:47:09

Use whole milk or skimmed milk for this recipe? What is the difference in texture with buttermilk? Also, how many tsp / tbsp did some of you use to make the 1 cup of coffee to substitute for boiling water?

punkin34446 Says... 2012-02-03 20:32:02

This is a great cake and so is the frosting recipe. I used rasberry mousse as a filling and it was so good and rich. I am in sugar shock.

lizma Says... 2012-03-21 08:34:28

i baked a cupcakes too and used a little chocolate for make chocolate pop just at the end and become to mellt then i put in the fridge ahh i put pecan in the mix ....with both the pecan and chocoloate mmmmm itsss yummy and crunchy....

Hice los cupcakes con la mezcla qye me sobre con avellanas adentro le puse glace de chocolate y luego aun caliente agregue chocolate para derretir se derritio un poco y lo puse en la nevera esta mezcla hiso el cupcake crunchy y muy rico...

tjames30 Says... 2012-03-29 08:05:15

Love this cake recipe! So delicious! I add a small box of instant chocolate fudge pudding mix and it's perfect and sooooo chocolatey! I also add more powdered sugar to the icing. I like mine to be chocolatey and not taste like cocoa. This is my go to chocolate cake recipe. I have stacked and covered in fondant.

Pearl645 Says... 2012-05-17 09:04:32

Just made this cake. One recipe made a Winnie The Pooh wilton character cake pan. I thought I would need more but was very satisfied with the yield.

Pearl645 Says... 2012-06-02 21:57:48

This is THE best chocolate cake recipe by I've ever made!!! Got rave reviews from customers!!!

Pearl645 Says... 2012-06-05 17:31:30

Does the icing come out dark chocolate or a light chocolate colour? What do you guys think about the taste of the icing? I have only made the cake with rave reviews but haven't tried the icing yet.

RoseBonbon Says... 2012-06-15 22:41:23

i made this one yesterday i used parchment paper it comes out perfectly it had a doom at the middle that my husband didn't resist not to eat the frosting is supper yummy i didn’t use electric mixer and you can feel some of unmelted sugar in it

RoseBonbon Says... 2012-06-15 22:45:54

The frosting is very dark chocolate and it taste like ganache i added more icing sugar sugar

oddtree Says... 2012-06-20 09:59:51

Hi! I'm new to this and I need a little help here; Is this cake sweet? Because I have a very sweet tooth and I worry that with the cocoa in the cake, will it be bitter? Thank you so much for your help!

RoseBonbon Says... 2012-06-20 22:49:37

@oddtree i found the cake pretty sweet especialy if u used the filling mantioned above the filling is so sweet and absorbed by the cake

oddtree Says... 2012-06-22 21:10:16

Ahh I see. Thank you for your help! I'm gonna bake this on monday!

oddtree Says... 2012-06-29 10:01:15

So, I baked this cake and I must say, it's superb!!! It's not too sweet, neither is it too bitter. I can still taste the chocolate. It's wonderful! I put 80g of cocoa though because I wasn't exactly sure of the conversion units. I use vanilla buttercream frosting to frost the cake and then Michele Foster's Fondant to cover the cake. Love it!

ica171 Says... 2012-07-03 11:22:53

I made this and one cake overflowed and both cakes collapsed. I used an instant read thermometer and a cake tester so I know it was cooked right. The only recipes I've ever had overflow or collapse are this one and the Black Magic one, which is very similar. So I think I'm done with the super liquidy cake recipes. Plus the taste just wasn't that great to me. I considered substituting buttermilk but didn't want to change the acidity, now I wish I had.

ajarnaldo Says... 2015-10-21 09:38:28

Can you use cake flour for this cake instead of all purpose flour?
What would be the differences?
Thanks in advance

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