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
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  • Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 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
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  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.


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    • 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.
  • Hi 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.
    • 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!
    • 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.)
  • 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!
    • 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!
  • 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?
    • 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!
  • 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!
    • 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!
  • 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 !
    • 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!
  • 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!!
    • I sure have! The instructions are over here: Let me know how it turns out!!
  • This looks AMAZING,I'm making a kit Kat cake for my husband for his 30th! I am making 2 9×13 round cakes,so do I just double the recipe?
  • I love, love this cake!!!! I have made it three times so far and every time it has been amazing! Everyone that has had some has raved about it. It has been both of my children's birthday cakes, a Christmas cake, and now it has been requested by my extended family for Easter. Twice I've made it in round two-tier style and once in the 9x13 pan. I can't believe how easy the recipe is to follow and that I get it right every time! Thanks so much for sharing. I was just on the site to bake it tonight and thought I should let you know how great it has been for us. I can't wait to have some tomorrow after hunting eggs!
  • I bet this would be good if recipe was doubled and put in round pans and put cherry pie filling between layers and whipped cream as an icing!
    • Great question! It's the protein content - cake flour has less protein than all purpose flour. Cake flour is more also more finely ground, which is said to help absorb liquid better, helping it to rise better.
  • I made this for my boss' birthday at the office today, I have to say it has to be one of the moistest cakes I've ever had! Plus, I can't believe how easy it was to make! I didn't have any cream cheese at home, so I just used store bought chocolate icing I already had (Next time I am going to try this one) Big thumbs up!!
  • This is an amazing recipe and my husband requests it every year for his birthday. My only issue is that it seems to sinks pretty bad in the middle. Do you know why it might do that?
    • Hi, Emily! I'm glad he loves it! I had that happen when I used regular all-purpose flour instead of cake flour - are you using that by chance? Also this recipe was developed at a high altitude, which may also have something to do with it :)
  • Just made this cake for my whole family for Mother's Day and everyone loved it! Such a hit. Thank you for the recipe :)
  • Hey, I love your website! All your recipes are amazing! I was just wondering... This cake looks so yummy and moist! Do you think it's stackable? Say two tiers? Or is it very soft?
    • I have made this as a layered cake! I give the instructions here: Good luck!
  • Hi! My niece's 10 year old birthday party is this weekend and she specifically requested a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting! Your lovely recipe popped up during my Google search! I have a question about the pan. I have 2-9 inch round cake pans, do you think that would work out okay, instead of a 9 x 13 pan? Do you think the time and temperature would have to adjust? Thank you! :)
    • Hi! This recipe I shared is basically the layered version of this cake :)
  • LOVE this cake!!! Next time I will try your cream cheese icing as well (the one I used was WAY to sweet). The cake was a total hit at the party though, thank you for sharing!