Serves a Crowd

Simply Chocolate Cake

July 16, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

I have made this cake so many times I feel as though I could do it blindfolded. Its foolproof, so simple and aways turns out perfectly. It's an old recipe from a Hershey's cocoa can, there is no creaming butter or multiple steps just put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them together. I love butter in cakes but this one is just perfect without it. The only change I have made is that I add instant espresso to the boiling water. I like the way coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. It makes an exceptional layer cake or cupcakes or even a sheet cake. —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (I use hershey's) the recipe doesn't specify whether or not to use dutch or natural cocoa since its a hersheys recipe I use what they say to use.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (If you want to substitute melted butter for the oil its fine)
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee (Optional but recommended)
  • soft butter and flour to prep baking pans or you can use cooking spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 9" round baking pans, butter the bottom add a parchment round then butter bottom and sides and flour the pan or you can use cocoa powder instead of flour. If you are making cupcakes place liners in two 12 cup muffin tins. In large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk to combine. Now add the wet ingredients milk, oil,eggs and vanilla do not add the boiling water yet. With hand held mixer beat for 2 minutes. Now add the boiling water with optional espresso powder, beat just until combined. Pour into your prepared pans (the batter is quite thin) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  2. Let cakes sit in pans for 10 minutes then invert onto cake rack to cool. Use your favorite frosting or ganache. This recipe will make 2 9 inch cakes or 24 cupcakes. If making cupcakes pour batter into lined cup 3/4 full, leave room for them to rise. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, cake should spring back when lightly touched, Be careful not to over bake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

2 Reviews

TRISH M. November 22, 2011
I once bought the Hershey's special dark cocoa on impulse and tried it in a similar cake recipe. I think it'd be better for brownies or fudge, though. its flavor is less pleasing and overbearing, like the cake is trying too hard. And the color is problematic for buttercream frosting, too muddy and black. Best to stick with tradition!
Regine October 26, 2011
Sdebrango, your yellow cake recipe was a revelation so I will try this one in the next few days and let you know. Based on the ingredients, this may be the chocolatey version.