Best Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe For All Occasions

This dark chocolate cake recipe is our house favorite. It’s pictured here with a nest of chocolate eggs for easter, but it’s the star of every holiday!

About This Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Like so many of the best things in life, this cake incredibly flexible.  It can stand up to a range of toppings, from our go-to Homemade Chocolate Icing Recipe to stewed cherries and whipped cream for a Black Forest Cake. This is one of the easiest cakes we know, since it uses cocoa rather than melted chocolate and requires no complicated baking techniques.  The addition of hot water and coffee even mean that you don’t really have to bother to sift the cocoa since it will help any lumps melt.  A lazy baker’s chocolate dream!

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Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Best Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe For All Occasions

This is our favorite dark chocolate cake recipe. It is moist and yet fluffy, with a deep chocolatey flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French


  • parchment paper
  • 2 8-inch round cake pans


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup hot coffee feel free to use instant espresso powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 8-inch springform cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and coffee.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in thirds, alternating with sour cream, and beating on low speed after each addition.
  • Stir in water and coffee until blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes in the center of oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • If you will be slicing each cake in half before frosting, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 1 hour, and then level the top of the cake and cut each of the cake layers in half. The cake can be quite crumbly and is much easier to work with when frozen.
Keyword chocolate cake
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