The Best Chocolate Layer Cake (with Coffee)

February 12, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Cara
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I'm not kidding around when I say this is the best moist chocolate cake ever. Like ever ever. It's a family recipe from my in-laws, and it's been made literally hundreds of time. Every single family birthday this cake gets whipped out, and it's the highlight of the day. Note: this cake, while made with coffee, doesn't taste like coffee. It just brings out the intense chocolate flavor! —Cara Campbell

What You'll Need
  • For the Chocolate Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • For the Frosting
  • 2 2/3 cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup margerine
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare your baking rounds: Trace the bottom of your 8" rounds onto parchment paper. Cut the circles out, and then line the bottom of your pans with them. Spray the parchment and the sides of the rounds with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Slowly stir until just combined. Add the coffee, and stir until just mixed. There might be a few lumps - this is totally fine.
  5. Pour the batter (it should be quite runny) equally into each pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn upside-down on a cooling rack to get them out. Flip them right side up again and let them cool completely, then frost.
  6. For the Frosting: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, start on a low speed to mix the frosting. Gradually increase speed until all the ingredients are combined, and the icing has a smooth and silky consistency. (See notes).
  7. Note: You may have to add extra coffee to the icing to get it to a smooth and spreadable consistency. Note: If you're an icing lover - then double the recipe! I've had it both ways, and both are amazing!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cara Campbell
    Cara Campbell
  • Lydiasue

2 Reviews

Lydiasue April 3, 2022
This is absolutely the best chocolate cake you’ll ever eat! I made cupcakes and filled them with peanut butter filling and topped it with the chocolate icing and a sprinkle of course sea salt on top.
Cara C. April 4, 2022
Thanks Lydia! Those sound absolutely amazing!