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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go to Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe! It makes the softest, fudgiest and most decadent cake covered with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, you’ll definitely be wanting another slice of this one! 

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Simple Chocolate Cake Recipe

When you’re after a fuss free but delicious and simple chocolate cake recipe – this is it! The cake is made in two bowls, no mixer required, simple ingredients that you’ll already have in your kitchen and topped with the most incredible chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s not too sweet, too rich, or too hard to make, just the most perfect homemade chocolate cake that you’ll make again and again and again!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

How do you Keep Chocolate Cake Moist?

This Chocolate Cake is the softest and fudgiest cake around, no need to worry about a dry cake here! The batter is really thin, quite different to most other cake batters so don’t think you’ve messed up the recipe if you think it doesn’t have enough flour. The recipe calls for oil instead of butter which gives it a really light texture which helps it keep super moist.

This Chocolate Cake actually gets better with time, I would say the day or two after you bake it is the best! The flavors have a chance to intensify and it gets so much fudgier and … moist (sorry if you hate that word but it’s the best way to describe amazing cake!). If you’re making it for an occasion I would recommend baking it one day, leaving it covered overnight in the fridge and decorating it the next! It’ll keep fresh for at least 3-4 days!

Why Does Chocolate Cake have Coffee in it?

If you’re like me, you hate the taste of coffee so much! Chocolate cake needs coffee and I promise you 100% you wont be able to taste even a trace of coffee in this cake. The coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate in the cake, making it richer and more decadent. The recipe calls for pouring the very hot coffee over the dry ingredients, this helps to bloom the cocoa powder, bringing out all the flavor and dissolving the powder into delicious liquid chocolate!

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Recipe Tips

  • Flat Layers – This cake bakes pretty evenly so you wont have too much of an issue with a large dome. If you want a really perfect looking cake you can use a serrated knife to flatten out the cake.

  • Liquid Batter – To keep this cake really soft and fudgy it has a very thin batter. Don’t be alarmed by this, you don’t need any more flour. Because of this it does take a while to bake in the oven so make sure to use a cake tester.

How Many Cake Layers?

This Chocolate Cake Recipe makes a pretty large cake that can be made into 2 or 3 layers. If you would like to make a smaller cake you can halve the recipe and make a one layer 8″ or 20cm cake or a two layer 6″ or 15cm cake.

How to Make Chocolate Cake

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients

3 Cups / 375g All Purpose Flour

1 Cup / 100g Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder is needed for this recipe. Try to find the best quality cocoa powder you can, this is where the cake gets all of its chocolate flavor from!

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Baking Soda – Both baking soda and baking powder is needed for this recipe. They are different ingredients so make sure not to substitute on for the other. 

1 tsp Salt

2 1/2 Cups / 300g Sugar – White sugar works best for this recipe but you can substitute with brown sugar if needed.

3 Large Eggs – Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before you start baking. If you did want to halve this recipe you can use two small sized eggs. 

1 1/2 Cups / 375ml Whole Milk – A milk substitute can be used here if needed. 

1 Tbsp Vinegar

3/4 Cup / 190ml Vegetable Oil – Keep to a flavorless oil like vegetable, canola or sunflower. Olive oil is much too strong for this recipe.

1 Tbsp Vanilla Essence

1 1/2 Cups / 375ml Strong Hot Coffee – Espresso, instant or any other type of coffee can be used here. Make sure it’s hot and strong!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 Stick / 1/2 Cup / 113g Butter – Salted or unsalted can be used for this recipe.

8oz / 225g Cream Cheese –Light or spreadable cream cheese wont work in this recipe. Make sure to let the cream cheese come up to room temperature before making the frosting. 

3 Cups / 375g Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar / Confectioners Sugar – These are all the same ingredient just different names in different parts of the world.

1/2 Cup / 50g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

How to Make Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cake Instructions

In a large mixing bowl add the dry ingredients, the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give the ingredients a good whisk together until combined. Set the bowl to the side.

Cocoa powder does have a tendency to clump so may need to use a sieve to remove the lumps.

In jug add the milk and vinegar. Give it a quick mix and set to the side for about 5 minutes. You can substitute with buttermilk here if you have it on hand but the milk mixture has a thinner consistency and works better for this recipe.

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs, milk mixture and oil. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together.

Prepare your 1 1/2 Cups of hot coffee. You can use instant, espresso or whatever type you have on hand. Just make sure it’s strong and hot. 

Pour the hot coffee into the bowl with the dry ingredients and follow with the wet ingredients. Pouring the coffee in first helps to bloom the cocoa powder, making it have a stronger flavor. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together. You should end up with a very thin batter, just make sure all of the flour has been incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.

Pour the chocolate cake batter into two or three lined and greased 8″ or 20cm cake pans. Place the cakes into a 180C / 350F oven for about 30 minutes for three cakes or 40 minutes for two cakes. Test the cakes with a cake tester  before removing from the oven. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

To make the chocolate cream cheese frosting in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer add in the room temperature butter. Beat on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until the butter is light and fluffy and almost doubled in volume. Follow with the cream cheese and mix again for a further minute until incorporated.

Add the icing sugar or powdered sugar to the bowl, these are both the same ingredient just different names in different parts of the world, along with the cocoa powder.

With the machine running slowly pour in 1- 2 tablespoons of milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly combined and add the vanilla essence. Beat the chocolate cream cheese frosting for another minute or two until it is light and fluffy.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Assembling the Chocolate Cake

To assemble your chocolate cake start with one of the cake layers. You can use a serrated knife to level it but these do bake pretty evenly so it’s not a necessity.

Place about 3/4 of a cup of the chocolate cream cheese frosting on to the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Top with another cake layer and repeat the process.

When it comes to doing the final cake layer turn it upside down to the bottom is facing up, this helps to get a more even looking cake. Spread the top and sides with the frosting, theres no need to do a crumb coat here until you really want it to look perfect but that’s not really my style.

Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes just to let it set before serving.

3 Layer Chocolate Cake

Common Questions about this Chocolate Cake

How do I make this a Dairy Free Chocolate Cake?

This cake uses oil so the only dairy in the cake is whole milk. You can substitute the whole milk for a milk alternative of your choice. To frost the cake you would need to use a dairy free chocolate frosting. 

How do I store Chocolate Cake?

This chocolate cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or the fridge for up to 4 days. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

How do I make this an Eggless Chocolate Cake?

The eggs in this cake recipe can be replaced with a few different egg substitutes.

  • 1/3 of a mashed banana per egg
  • 3 Tbsp Apple Sauce per egg
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds mixed with 2 1/2 Tbsp Water (let it sit for 5 minutes) per egg

For more Cake Recipes check out

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Yield: 3 Layer Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This is my go to Chocolate Cake Recipe! It makes the softest, fudgiest and most decadent cake covered with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, you’ll definitely be wanting another slice of this one! 

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 3 cups / 375g all purpose flour
  • 1 cup / 100g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups / 300g white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup / 190ml vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml strong hot coffee

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick / 1/2 cup / 113g butter
  • 8oz / 225g cream cheese
  • 3 cups / 375g powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 50g cocoa powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the dry ingredients, the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give the ingredients a good whisk together until combined. Set the bowl to the side.
  2. In jug add the milk and vinegar. Give it a quick mix and set to the side for about 5 minutes. You can substitute with buttermilk here if you have it on hand but the milk mixture has a thinner consistency and works better for this recipe.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs, milk mixture and oil. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together.
  4. Prepare your 1 1/2 Cups of hot coffee. You can use instant, espresso or whatever type you have on hand. Just make sure it’s strong and hot.
  5. Pour the hot coffee into the bowl with the dry ingredients and follow with the wet ingredients. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together. You should end up with a very thin batter, just make sure all of the flour has been incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Pour the chocolate cake batter into two or three lined and greased 8″ or 20cm cake pans. Place the cakes into a 180C / 350F oven for about 30 minutes for three cakes or 40 minutes for two cakes. Test the cakes with a cake tester  before removing from the oven.
  7. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before transferring the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. To make the chocolate cream cheese frosting in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer add in the room temperature butter. Beat on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until the butter is light and fluffy and almost doubled in volume.
  2. Add the cream cheese and mix again for a further minute until incorporated with the butter.
  3. Measure out the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and add to the bowl. Turn the mixer on to a low speed to incorporate the ingredients together. It will look very clumpy at first but it will start to come together.
  4. With the machine running slowly pour in 1- 2 tablespoons of milk. The milk is to thin out the consistency of the frosting so only add a small amount at a time as you may not need all of it.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly combined and add the vanilla essence. Beat the chocolate cream cheese frosting for another minute or two until it is light and fluffy.

Assembling the Chocolate Cake

  1. To assemble your chocolate cake start with one of the cake layers. You can use a serrated knife to level it but these do bake pretty evenly so it’s not a necessity.
  2. Place about 3/4 of a cup of the chocolate cream cheese frosting on to the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Top with another cake layer and repeat the process.
  3. When it comes to doing the final cake layer turn it upside down to the bottom is facing up, this helps to get a more even looking cake. Spread the top and sides with the frosting, theres no need to do a crumb coat here until you really want it to look perfect.
  4. Place the decorated cake into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set before slicing and serving.

Notes

This cake can be made into 2 or 3 layers. To make a two layered cake, divide the batter between two 8" or 20cm cake pans. They will need about 10 minutes longer in the oven but keep an eye on them and make sure a cake tester comes out clean.

This recipe can be halved to make a single layer cake. Use two small sized eggs to halve three large eggs.

The cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It gets better the day or two after you bake it.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Slices Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 479mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 3gSugar: 44gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is estimated and is not always accurate

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