Easy Chocolate Cake

April 9, 2022

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The easiest Chocolate Cake recipe you’ll ever make and it only needs a few simple ingredients! Plus the cake batter is made in one bowl and no mixer is required.

Slice of easy to make chocolate cake covered with a chocolate ganache frosting.

Homemade Chocolate Cake

I think most of us could agree that chocolate cake is easily one of the best kinds of cake but sometimes there can be extra steps that actually aren’t all that necessary (like boiling water and using a mixer).

This recipe has streamlined the process and the prep couldn’t be faster, and yet you still end up with one of the best chocolate cakes you’ll taste!

It’s perfectly chocolatey with rich depth, it has a heavenly texture with a fluffy crumb, and the fudgy decadent ganache frosting is the crowning finish.

Of course it’s perfect for birthdays and holidays but with its simplicity it also makes an amazing weekend treat.

It will be savored down to the last crumb!

Sheet pan style chocolate cake shown in a metal 9 by 9-inch baking dish cut into squares and topped with optional icing.

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (35g) Dutch process cocoa powder, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Photo of ingredients used to make chocolate cake.

How to Make the Easiest Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare pan: Spray a 9 by 9 or 8 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray then dust with a little cocoa. Shake out excess cocoa.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix in wet ingredients: Add buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Whisk mixture until very well blended (about 1 minute).
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 27 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Six photos showing steps of making easy chocolate cake batter and baking.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  1. While cake cools make ganache.
  2. Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof mixing bowl.
  3. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over stovetop on medium heat until just simmering.
  4. Pour hot cream over chocolate then stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  5. Let it cool until it’s a thicker consistency, about 30 minutes* then spread ganache over cake and slice.

Four photos showing how to make chocolate ganache for cake.

Possible Variations for Chocolate Cake

  • Make it an olive oil chocolate cake. I’ve made this recipe with regular olive oil in place of vegetable oil and it’s delicious!
  • Finish it with a different frosting. Great options are buttercream frosting such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. Or try a marshmallow style frosting.
  • For a little crunch top the frosted cake with nuts such as chopped pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds.
  • Make without icing – a snack style cake. You can dust with powdered sugar.
  • Serve with ice cream. Skip the ganache, serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream, bananas or strawberries, chocolate or caramel sauce and optional nuts.

How to Store the Cake

  • Store cake covered in the baking dish or in an airtight container.
  • Cake will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days (ganache will harden, rest at room temperature before serving).
  • Unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Square slices of homemade chocolate cake shown on a wooden serving board with parchment paper. Strawberries are shown as a serving suggestion to the side.

More Tempting Cake Recipes to Try

Slice of easy to make chocolate cake covered with a chocolate ganache frosting.
5 from 4 votes

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

One bowl no mixer homemade chocolate cake! It's perfectly rich and chocolatey, it has a heavenly texture with a fluffy crumb, and the fudgy chocolate ganache frosting is the crowning finish.
Servings: 9
Prep20 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Cooling1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (35g) Dutch process cocoa powder, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 9 or 8 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray then dust with cocoa. Shake out excess cocoa.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, 6 Tbsp cocoa, the baking soda, and salt.
  • Add buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs.
  • Whisk mixture until very well blended (about 1 minute).
  • Pour into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 27 to 35 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile make ganache. Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof mixing bowl.
  • Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over stovetop on medium heat until just simmering.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate chocolate then stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. Let it cool until it's a thicker consistency, about 30 minutes* then spread over cake and slice.

Notes

  • *If you want ganache fluffier you can beat it with an electric mixer or by hand some to whip it up.
  • Another delicious frosting for this cake is chocolate buttercream.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 254mg11%
Potassium 251mg7%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 374IU7%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 69mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.