This super simple Homemade Chocolate Cake with creamy vanilla frosting is so moist and delicious, you won't believe it was made using just one bowl!
ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE
I am no stranger to boxed cake mixes. I absolutely adore them and if you've followed my blog for a while - you know I love to play around with them and make new creations from them. Every now and then though, I get a hankering for some homemade chocolate cake but I still need it to be easy and not create a ton of dirty dishes to wash up.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Absolutely! It is key in this recipe to make it moist. Don't use substitutions - at all! I know a lot of people suggest mixing milk with vinegar or lemon juice. Trust me, that won't work properly here because you need the fat. Regular milk does not provide that. Only use that substitute if you have heavy cream. The fat content in real buttermilk makes all the difference! If you have some buttermilk leftover then you must make my BUTTER DIP BISCUITS. They are to die for.
You can to get a darker and deeper chocolate cake. For this recipe, we have found we like it just as it is with no coffee. If you want to use coffee, substitute the water with prepared coffee in this recipe.
Yes. Just substitute with a gluten free flour.
Yes! The key is making sure to wrap the cake vey well to protect against freezer burn. Usually wrapping in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil will work best.
Yes. Softened salted butter can be substituted. I like the creaminess the margarine provides but butter can. certainly be used.
Because of the cream cheese in the frosting, this cake should be kept refrigerated.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- unsweetened cocoa
- vegetable oil
- real buttermilk
- hot water
- cream cheese
- powdered (confectioners) sugar
- vanilla extract
- mini chocolate chips
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients (except the hot water.) This part can be done by hand or with an electric/stand mixer.
Once combined, gently stir in hot water. This needs to be stirred by hand. If you use an electric or stand mixer, the water may slosh right out of the bowl.
Batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
Bake for about 35-45 minutes (until it bounces back to the touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.)
Allow to cool completely before making frosting. When ready, in a medium bowl, mix together all the frosting ingredients. This is easiest using an electric mixer.
Spread frosting onto cooled cake.
Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top.
Slice and serve! Cook's Notes: This cake will need to be kept refrigerated.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake (+Video)
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot water
For the frosting:
- ¼ cup margarine
- ½ block (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioners sugar)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- mini chocolate chips (for topping, optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, ¾ cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs and 1 cup buttermilk until combined well. This part can be done by hand or with an electric/stand mixer.
- Once combined, gently stir in 1 cup hot water. This needs to be stirred by hand. If you use an electric or stand mixer, the water may slosh right out of the bowl. Batter will be thin.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for about 35-45 minutes (until it bounces back to the touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.)
- Allow to cool completely before making frosting.
- When cake is cooled, in a medium bowl, with an electric hand mixer, mix together ¼ cup margarine, ½ block (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature until smooth.
- Then slowly mix in 2 cups powdered sugar along with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth and combined well.
- Spread frosting onto cake then sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips evenly on the top. Slice and serve! Keep cake refrigerated .
- This cake will need to be kept refrigerated.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published: January 2017
Updated and republished: February 2022
Would you change anything to do cupcakes with this? How long would you cook them?
Sounds & looks delicious! I’ve heard to add instant espresso powder to boost chocolate flavor. Do you ever do that? If so, would it be added in addition to the cocoa? Can’t wait to make this! Thanks!
I made this chocolatey cake after the first birthday cake was a bust. I figured simple is better. And it was!! Thank you for an easy to follow recipe that was fast and yummy. I liked the decorations that really had a nice celebration affect. I would bake again.
Thank you so much! I made it today and
The result was a fluffy and yummy cake :).
The only sore points were my frosting
Which looked so untidy and the chocolate chips
Which i purchased were giant ones!
Brandie @ The Country Cook
At the end of the day, taste is the most important. 🙂 So glad you liked it!!
The one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I've used for years, always called for buttermilk, and the mayonnaise chocolate cake recipe is virtually the same, but with mayonnaise instead of buttermilk. Such good cakes! Everyone should have one of these cake recipes in their baking arsenal, because they are so delicious and versatile. Wonderful with cream cheese frosting, marshmallow frosting, buttercream frosting, chocolate frosting, peanut butter frosting, chocolate fudge frosting, and even without frosting! This cake works great as a base for hot fudge ice cream cake, too! The cake is even better on the day after baking it, when the chocolate flavor has fully developed, so it is perfect if you need to get some baking done in advance.
Love it, looks great!
The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of cocoa but the information above it says 1/2. Which is it. Thank you. Sharon
Brandie @ The Country Cook
Hi Sharon - it is 1/2 cup 🙂
This was so good, hubby can tell eat it fast enough and after 5 days it was still moist and delicious. A winner in my book.
Fantastic! I just made this today and it came out beautifully, even though my power shut off five minutes after I put the cake in the oven. Instead of cream cheese frosting, I made a more traditional butter cream, with one exception. I didn't actually have any cream, but I did have some whipped cream, so I put some of that in and it worked SO well. It made for such a lovely light frosting! Anyway, thanks for the recipe!
This cake is even more amazing topped with 7 Minute Frosting!
can you use black coffee instead of water?
Yes, definitely! Regular or instant will work. I ALWAYS add coffee in some form to every chocolate confection I make. It really boosts the chocolate flavor to gourmet level..
When can you make this again???
Brandie @ The Country Cook
You have the recipe so now YOU can make it (muah) 😉