This recipe was handed to me by the executive chef of Guittard Chocolate. He said he developed it kind of by accident while working as the pastry chef at The Four Seasons in Los Angeles and that it became the favorite of many celebrities there. It is really moist and dark. Because it calls for baking soda, you do have to use the dutch processed cocoa and the rest time is what helps it bake up really nice and level. Everyone should try this cake!

Q’s Favorite Chocolate Cake


  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 1/4 ts baking soda
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 ts vanilla


  1. Boil water, turn off and add cocoa powder. Stir until combined. Allow to cool.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a mixer with whip until well incorporated.
  3. Combine buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients while mixing. Scrape well and mix on low speed 2 minutes.
  4. Add cocoa mixture and mix 1 more minute.
  5. Let batter rest 1 hour.
  6. Bake at 325* in 2 8″ pans. (Greased and lined.) About 45 minutes.


grace_IL Says... 2009-10-11 00:22:41

i made this cake for my husband's b-day, it came out great - doubled the recipe, baked in two round pans, filled with dulce de leche flavoured whipped cream between the 2 layers and iced the whole cake with dark chocolate ganache. Definitely goes in my favorites!

paintergrrl73 Says... 2009-11-08 14:37:42

Has anyone tried this recipe as a cupcake? I made the cake as a wedding cake and it baked up kind of thin so I made 3 layers to add height to the bottom layer which was cake, top 2 tiers were dummy cakes. Not sure what I did wrong? Any ideas on how to make this into a good cupcake?

Marsht Says... 2010-01-21 18:36:47

I have mixed feelings about this one. My cake came out tasting wonderful and moist. VERY moist. Removing the excess after leveling it left sticky cake residue on my hands. It's completely cooked, but in my opinion, should be a little denser for the amount of moisture. Good recipe.

cassiebunney Says... 2010-04-03 20:04:32

I made this cake for a recent shaped cake that I was making... it was perfect. It was plenty moist but still dense enough to carve. Thanks!

mjnj Says... 2010-04-23 12:56:36

It does work for cupcakes but you have to POUR the batter because it is so runny.

redheadtiff Says... 2010-05-17 09:52:19

I made this cake the other night and I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa.....OMG! It is awesome!

CarolinaCakeMom Says... 2010-07-30 18:48:20

I made this cake last night with a good result. I used Hersey's SDC as well. It is not overly chocolaty, but it is rich and dense. It did not crumble. I also brushed on warmed raspberry jam before the crumb coat. Thank you for the recipe.

Backfire Says... 2010-09-05 15:18:47

The ONLY chocolate cake I will make now. Divine. Really good if sealed up after being frozen with buttercream - yummy and moist like mudcake. Down in NZ I use TradeAid cocoa with great results. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Paulina6770 Says... 2011-02-15 07:04:08

I made this cake last weekend and everyone love it specially the adults..Cake turn out to be very moist. Thanks for the recipe.

calicopurr Says... 2011-04-05 21:15:14

I'm going to try this, but sub out the water for coffee.

lkern777 Says... 2011-07-16 07:13:50

I use this recipe all the time and always get rave reviews. I use it for cupcakes too. The Hershey's Dark Cocoa works fine. I don't like the consistency of the batter being so liquidy, but it bakes up nicely and tastes great. It does not rise as high as some cake recipes, so I filled my cupcake liners 3/4 full. I also fill my cake pans 2/3 full for this recipe and my layers do not come out too thin. I used it to carve a dragon cake and it worked out great; not crumbly. It takes a little extra time to make this one since you have to boil the water and wait for it to cool AND let the batter sit for an hour, but it is well worth it. I have tried several other chocolate cake recipes to try to cut down on the time it takes to make it, but have found nothing that even comes close to the flavor and texture of this one.

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