I have baked this cake more times than I can count.  It is hands down my most requested cake, and for good reason.  It is soft and moist with a rich, intense chocolate flavor.  It is easy and fast to make and can even be done without an electric mixer which I have done on a number of occasions.  You will want to keep this one in your recipe box for an easy and  reliable recipe that will always give you fantastic results. This really is an intense chocolate cake.

The secret ingredient for this intense chocolate cake is coffee yet it does not taste anything like coffee, just chocolate, chocolate chocolate!!  Since coffee has the same flavor elements as chocolate it deepens and actually compliments the chocolate flavor without making it taste like coffee.

Adding the hot coffee to the cocoa will melt the cocoa solids and cause the flavor molecules to burst and intensify the chocolate.   I mix the hot coffee with the cocoa then let it sit and come to room temperature while I am preparing the rest of the ingredients. This is a simple step that makes a huge impact on the depth and richness of the chocolate.

Every time I make this cake someone comments that it is the best chocolate cake they have ever had.  The crazy thing about it is that this cake is the easiest cake I have ever made.  There is nothing better than an easy recipe that turns out incredibly delectable.

I keep the ingredients for this cake on hand at all times just in case I need a quick dessert. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive.  If your not a coffee drinker then keep some instant coffee in your pantry,  stir a spoonful into some hot water then add it to the cocoa.

  • 1 cup (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 1 cup hot coffee (240 ml)
  • 2 cups sugar (400g)
  • 1 ¾ cup (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (240 ml)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (120 ml)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (120 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups (560 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, grease and flour the sides. (The parchment paper will make the cake come out much easier than just grease and flour).
  2. If you prefer to bake the cakes in 4 separate pans, see the notes at the bottom.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the hot coffee and cocoa together until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, blend and sift the ingredients together.
  5. Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and the cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds until the dry ingredients are moist. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and beat for another minute. The batter will be thin.
  6. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for the 9 inch pans or 33 to 37 minutes for the 8 inch pans (a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean).
  7. Let cool in the cake pans for 5 to 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cake from the pans. Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. (At this point if you re-invert the cakes onto another rack and let them cool with their tops up, they will retain more height and the tops of the cakes will not stick to the cooling rack.)

Cream Cheese Frosting;
  1. To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and  butter, and beat until soft and creamy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla  beat on low speed until the sugar is mixed in then beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble the cake;
If you baked in two pans;
  1. Slice each layer of cake in half horizontally by using a cake leveler or by placing each layer of cake on a turntable and use a serrated knife to slice through the cake as you turn the turntable. This will give you 4 layers to fill and stack. To transfer each layer, use a thin plastic cutting board to slide under the layers.
  2. Put a dab of frosting on a cake plate and place a cake layer on top of the plate. Use 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting to spread between each layer of cake then use an off-set spatula or knife to ice the top and sides of the cake.

If you baked in four pans;
  1. Put a dab of frosting on a cake plate and place a cake layer on top of the plate. Use 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting to spread between each layer of cake then use an off-set spatula or knife to ice the top and sides of the cake. 


  • **If you prefer to bake the cakes in 4 separate pans, line four 8-inch pans with parchment paper and divide the cake batter into the four pans. You will have about 1 1/3 cups or 350 grams of batter in each pan. Bake the cakes, 2 pans at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes. (you can bake all four pans at the same time if you rotate the pans half way through the bake time)
  • **Use natural cocoa not Dutch processed.
  • **This cake stores 1 day at room temperature, 6 days in the refrigerator and 3 months frozen if wrapped airtight
  • ** If you partially freeze the cake layers before assembling and frosting the cake it will make it easier to handle and help prevent cake crumbs from getting into the frosting as you coat the cake.

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