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The World’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

 The best chocolate cake recipe, ever — decadent and moist, with an incredible cream cheese frosting.

The best chocolate cake recipe ever topped with homemade, cream cheese frosting by Clarks Condensed

 I’m just going to say it. This is the best chocolate cake recipe ever. And I’m not just saying that to get you to try it…I truly believe this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.

I know, I know…it’s a little bit silly to post a decadent, chocolate cake recipe right when people are starting new diets…but I couldn’t help it! It’s worth the splurge. Just start your new diet tomorrow. 

The best chocolate cake recipe ever topped with homemade, cream cheese frosting by Clarks Condensed

This chocolate cake was created, and tested, and perfected, by my great-grandmother. Growing up, I’ve always heard my dad rave about this chocolate cake. He would always talk about how it was incredibly moist (he attributed that to it having a full cup of oil. Delicious, yes. Unhealthy…I’d say so) and nothing else could be compared to it’s deliciousness.

Considering how often my dad told me about this cake, you’d think I would have tried it a time or two. However, that was not the case. My dad wasn’t sure where the recipe was, or if there even was one. You see, my great grandmother never wrote recipes down, or really measured things out in traditional methods (by using measuring spoons.) However, we were able to get a copy of the recipe, which looks like it was in her hand writing, and I knew I had to try it out for a family Christmas party on my dad’s side of the family.

The best chocolate cake recipe ever topped with homemade, cream cheese frosting by Clarks Condensed

 I made this cake three times, and from those experiences I discovered one thing — do not change anything. Seriously. I know there’s a lot of sugar and oil, but if you are going to make a delicious chocolate cake…you can’t really skimp in those areas! I tried using all-purpose flour and homemade buttermilk the first time, and while, yes, it was good, it wasn’t perfect. The second and third time, I followed it perfectly…and it was delicious.

The original recipe had glaze/boiled frosting on it, but we couldn’t get it quite right, so we decided to use the cream cheese frosting my great-grandmother used on other cakes. I personally loved it, and I think it will definitely be my go-to frosting from now on.

An easy and versatile cream cheese frosting recipe

Chocolate Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound (2 cups) powdered sugar
  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well-combined.
  4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix until everything is smooth, and no chunks exist.
  5. After the wet and dry ingredients are combined, add in the cup of boiling water. Mix well. Batter will be slightly runny.
  6. Pour into a well greased, 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan.
  8. Frost once cool. Best served after being refrigerated for a few hours.
  9. Cream Cheese Frosting
  10. Cream together cream cheese, vanilla, and butter until nice and smooth.
  11. Add powdered sugar in slowly and mix until combined and smooth.
  12. Refrigerate when not using.

While I love hearing from readers, all comments are moderated and posted at my discretion. Rude comments, or those containing personal attacks, will be deleted immediately.


    • Katie says

      Oh gosh I can’t believe I forgot that part! Thanks for pointing that out. You put it in after you mix the wet and dry ingredients together. It should be the last thing you do before you put the batter in the pan.

  1. Mehreen says

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
    Just to clarify in the list of ingredients u mentioned baking soda but in method u said baking powder.
    Please confirm which is the right one.
    Thanks a lot again for sharing.

  2. says

    I just love old recipes. They use simple ingredients with easy instructions. Thanks so much for sharing & will be checking back for me old recipes in the future.

    • Katie says

      I haven’t tried that yet, but I don’t see why not! Just adjust the cooking time to what you would for.cupcakes (I would say 28-30 minutes). Let me know if you try it!

    • Katie says

      Thank you! I honestly have never made it as a bundt cake, but I imagine you could. You would just need to adjust the cooking time! Let me know if you try it :) Just fill the bundt pan half way, and depending on the pan you use, it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45. Just check periodically (if you have a light on your oven that’s even better, so you don’t have to open your oven.)

  3. Kim says

    I just made 2 of these cakes for a party. Both turned out perfectly. The baking time only took about 35 minutes, but that might just be my oven. The cake is moist, chocolaty and delicious! Frosting is very yummy also!

    • Katie says

      Thank you for reporting back! I’m so glad they turned out great :) And I’ve found that the cooking time does vary, so I’m glad you checked before it got overdone!

  4. Krystal McAtee says

    I used your recipe to make my Father’s Day cake and the entire family loved it! Thank you for sharing! It is the first cake that everyone in the family actually ate. No leftovers!

    I was wondering if you have ever tried to make a vanilla cake with this same recipe. I thought about trying it out but wasn’t sure what I would replace the cocoa powder with…

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Katie says

      Oh I love when people come back and leave comments like this. I’m so glad everyone loved it!

      I actually haven’t made a vanilla cake with it, but that sounds delicious. I would imagine you could just leave out the cocoa powder. I think I might try putting in a package of vanilla pudding (just the powder, not prepared) to enhance the vanilla flavor. I’m not 100% sure though. I think I’ll have to try this out!

  5. Kim says

    Can you use really hot coffee instead of boiling water? I have used another chocolate cake recipe in the past that used coffee. It added a nice flavor, but very subtle. I think your recipe is going to be deeeeelicious!

    • Katie says

      I’ll be honest, I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t guarantee the results, however, I have seen many chocolate cakes that do this so I imagine you could! Be sure to let me know if you do and if it turns out so other readers will know :) Either way, I’m sure it will be delicious!

    • Katie says

      MMmm chocolate butter icing — yum! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it. It’s definitely a family favorite :)

  6. says

    Hello ! I just wanted to let you know, I just found you ! I love ALL your stuff. In fact, my 4year old, Abbi, and I are going to make the chocolate cake today. (did I mention I am Abbi’s Gramma ?) I like to think I am encouraging her to “want” to cook. Thanks for sharing. I have some really old recipes you might be interested in. Thank you again !

    • Katie says

      I’d love to try out some of your old recipes! Feel free to email me. I’m so glad you like my site. You and Abbi will LOVE this cake. We absolutely love it. I think teaching little ones to cook when they are young is great. My almost 3-year-old loves to help in the kitchen. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Chris says

    Hi Katie, we are very excited to try your deep dark luscious cake today! I was wondering if you have tried making it in round pans and layering them? I was concerned that it may be too moist to do that?

    Thanks for sharing an old family recipe, those are my favorite!!

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