Moist Chocolate Cake

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Yield: Two 9"round layers; or three 8"h round layers; or one 9" x13" sheet cake

Recipe photo

This rich chocolate cake relies on our King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend for its lovely texture.

Moist Chocolate Cake

star rating (17) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: Two 9"round layers; or three 8"h round layers; or one 9" x13" sheet cake
Published: 01/01/2010


  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brewed, cooled coffee, or water
  • 4 large eggs


1) Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.

2) Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.

3) Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds.

4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions. The batter will be thin.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan of your choice (one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round pans, or three 8" round pans). Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 34 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9" layers; or 24 to 26 minutes for 8" layers. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before frosting.


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  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • idabean from KAF Community
  • The recipe was too big for my old but functional Kitchen Aid 4, which has a 4 qt bowl. I don't have a spatter guard but draping a towel usually works. Not this time. The dry ingredients flew everywhere. Then the dry ingredients with butter flew everywhere. I tried adding the liquids while the mixer was running and splats of chocolate batter went on the wall and cupboards. After the eggs the batter was only two inches from the top of the bowl. The cake sunk. Perhaps I lost enough ingredients that the proportions were off. Maybe I beat it too much or too little as I was figuring out how to beat it at all without Vesuvian results. It is likely I was feeling impatient about the extra clean up and pulled the cake out of oven too early. One good thing came out of this. I discovered the icing made with flour, milk and granulated sugar. It is excellent. Certainly better than the cake. So the cake was heavy and preparation was a royal pain. If you are using a mixer make sure the bowl is big enough or find a recipe that doesn't require flinging around the dry ingredients at the beginning. I can't fault the recipe, though. HOwever I suggest mentioning that the recipe is too big for smaller mixers annd the cook needs a 5 quart bowl.
  • star rating 10/26/2014
  • Paula from Plainfield NH
  • Also forgot to add that I used a sifter for all the dry ingredients and I only had raw sugar on hand but I used a food processor to make the granules more fine. I used weak coffee for the additive.
  • star rating 10/26/2014
  • Paula W from Plainfield NH
  • I don't often make cakes from scratch, as I've had mixed results. I opted to try this one as I had all the ingredients in the cupboard, and I needed to make a cake for my daughter's birthday. I followed this recipe to the tee. The results were fantastic!! It was light, moist and had great flavor. I made a 3 layer cake with 8" pans. Very impressive looking as well. Everyone who had a slice raved over it. I made a cream cheese/whipped cream frosting. Best cake I ever made, and will make it again. Thank you King Arthur and your test kitchen!!
  • star rating 07/13/2014
  • tracyvision from KAF Community
  • I've reviewed this recipe before but it's worth an update. I wanted simple old-school chocolately chocolate cupcakes. I searched for chocolate cupcakes but this recipe didn't come up, and cupcakes aren't mentioned in the baking options, so I wasn't sure it would adapt. But after baking 25 minutes they were chocolate cupcake perfection. The only modification I made to the recipe was to cut the sugar by about 1/3. I used granulated sugar and ended up with some that wouldn't make it through my sieve so I blasted what was left with the coffee grinder I usually use to grind flax seeds. Problem solved. I topped these with KAF quick buttercream frosting, subbing fiori di sicilia for vanilla extract. Oh my. KAF please update your search for chocolate cupcakes with this wonderful simple recipe, people are missing out!
  • star rating 06/17/2014
  • Lara from Maryland
  • I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to baking but you wouldn't know it with this cake. It turns out perfect every.single.time. I have two boys and both asked for it for their birthdays this year! I've only ever made it as a two-layer. It keeps VERY well, too. My husband prefers me to store it refrigerated but, I like it room temp. Either way, it remains tasty for several days. Thanks for this excellent recipe!
  • star rating 04/13/2013
  • xtine from Phils
  • star rating 02/29/2012
  • tammysemmler from KAF Community
  • I give the taste, 5 stars. I love this cake after it's baked, delish! Although I need some help on preparation. I have made this cake several times. It's my "go to" cake for my orders. Everytime I prepare the cake batter it's lumpy no matter what I do to it. I sift the ingredients, the ingredients are room temperature, etc. etc. I followed the recipe to a T every time. At the end of the process I end up having to strain the mixture over another bowl to get the lumps out, pushing through the strainer, then put the mixture in pans and bake as directed. Cake bakes fine and the cake is delish. Can someone please help on the lumpy, straining issue. Thank You!
  • star rating 10/11/2011
  • angelamcacciola from KAF Community
  • I really wanted to like this cake, so I tried it twice in two different sets of pans. Both times, the cakes barely rose, cracked on top, and were difficult to handle when flipping out of the pans and trying to level and stack. I ended up going back to my trusty recipe from the King Arthur Flour cookbook for Devil's Food Cake.
    We're sorry to hear of your troubles with this recipe. Please give us a call at the Baker's Hotline, and we can help troubleshoot next time! ~JDT@KAF
  • star rating 08/05/2011
  • from KAF Community
  • It was very good texture. It was good by itself,but I will make buttercream next time. Try this one. You will like it!
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