Dark Chocolate Cake is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. The rich dark chocolate cake is moist and loaded with chocolaty goodness. The dark chocolate frosting is smooth and creamy, the perfect compliment to the cake. This two-layer cake should satisfy just about any chocolate craving out there.
Making this Dark Chocolate Cake from scratch, you get to add that extra special ingredient of love. And who doesn’t love a rich decadent chocolate cake?
It’s a classic for a reason, and we all need that go-to recipe for special occasions.
The Hershey’s Cocoa, Special Dark gives this cake that delicious dark chocolate flavor in both the cake, and in the frosting.
Baking a chocolate cake.
Preheat your oven and prepare your two 9″ cake pans.
One trick I learned was to use coffee filters. That’s right, just grease the cake pans, (sides and bottoms), then place a perfectly round, perfectly sized coffee filter on the bottom. Smooth out the filter as it sticks to the greased bottom. This helps the cake to come out of the cake pan beautifully once it’s been baked.
Following the recipe, mix the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients. Add the dry to the wet alternately with the hot water.
The batter will be on the thin side.
Pour the batter equally into the 2 prepared cake pans and bake for approx. 34 minutes, or until it passes the clean toothpick test.
Making your cake extra moist.
One trick I learned accidentally, is how to make your cake extra moist. I used to bake in quantity when helping out my local rescue mission, so I couldn’t always frost the cakes once they were cool enough. I’d bake everything one day while the oven was on, then frost everything the next.
So here’s what I did so they wouldn’t dry out: I’d layer them with wax paper in a sealed container. Not only did they not dry out, but they were actually doing the opposite.
The dinner guests started telling me my cakes were always so moist.
So now, whenever I bake a cake or cupcakes, I let them sit (sometimes overnight) in a sealed container to make sure they’re good and moist.
This step isn’t necessary, but it’s a great way to plan it out when time won’t allow you to finish it right off.
Whipping up a batch of dark chocolate frosting.
I hope you kept the Hershey’s Cocoa, Special Dark out, because you’re going to need it again.
Mix the cocoa in with the butter, then alternately add in the powdered sugar and milk. The milk is an approximate measurement, because you may need to add more or use less. Usually to frost the sides and top of a cake, the consistency should be on the thinner side, as it spreads easier.
Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, add the salt and vanilla and beat for another couple minutes on high speed to make sure the frosting is mixed and fluffy.
Frosting and decorating your Dark Chocolate Cake.
Place the bottom layer on a cake plate. (I hope you removed the coffee filters?) I usually pick the more wonkier of layers to put on the bottom. What I mean by that is, one layer is usually close to perfect, and that’s the one I want on top. The bottom one can be leveled off if uneven. Of course, they can both be leveled off, if you so choose, but sometimes a domed top is nice, too.
If you do level your cake, you can crumble the shavings and stick them to the sides as part of your decoration. Or eat it, like I do, because I can’t wait another minute for the cake to be done.
This frosting recipe makes enough that you can put about a cup between layers, plus the sides and top, AND have some to play with. I grab my usual Wilton 1M tip and squirt stars along the bottom where the cake meets the plate, then if I think I have enough, I place stars around the top.
For this recipe, I also made some chocolate bark, which I sprinkled over the top. I was trying to teach myself to make chocolate curls and the bark was my attempted failure. I think I got about 5 curls total, the rest was bark or shavings. Needless to say, I need a LOT more practice.
More cake recipes:
Tried and true, these cakes are fantastic and scrumptious. In no particular order:
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa, Special Dark
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa, Special Dark
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk or whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper (or coffee filters).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- In large bowl, mix buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Alternately add hot water and flour mixture to large bowl. Blend thoroughly.
- Pour evenly into both cake pans. Bake for 32 to 36 minutes. Cake should spring back when gently poked with a finger, or when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa on low until smooth and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar and milk alternately. Scrape sides often.
- Add vanilla and salt. Beat a few minutes on high until completely blended.
- Place cake layer on cake plate. Spread 1 cup frosting on top, then place second cake layer on top. Frost sides and top. Enjoy!
I just know your cake is going to be delicious and beautiful. I hope you’ll follow me on Pinterest and post a picture of it.
Also, please feel free to leave a comment below and rate the recipe.
Here are a couple fun sizes for you to pin to your Pinterest board. Happy baking and have a blessed day.
Copyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words and only list ingredients making sure to link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.