The best chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever make!

I love all things chocolate, but I’ve struggle with chocolate cake. So many times, I get bakery chocolate cake that is dry. Ugh. While I’ve tweaked a chocolate cake mix with great results, this fudgy chocolate cake recipe tops them all hands down. It’s a mic drop sort of cake.

My parents don’t even eat chocolate cake and they love this cake. Same for my husband. It’s just its own level of yum! It’s somehow airy yet moist. And it just plain works. So, when I made it most recently for my son’s birthday, I knew I had to share it on the blog.

Usually I only make this chocolate cake recipe for birthdays, because we don’t have cake too often at home. Unfortunately, my daughter opts for Oreo ice cream cake for her birthday in October. But my son asks for this chocolate cake for his January birthday, and I always make it for my own birthday in May. I can hardly wait the two more months until my birthday!

And, I also encourage you to try this recipe even if you haven’t made a cake from scratch before. This is literally the only cake I make from scratch. Usually I do just tweak a box cake mix with awesome results, but this one is worth making from scratch. I promise you can do it — and you don’t even need special cake flour or other uncommon ingredients. In fact, I’d guess you have everything you need to make this cake in your kitchen right now!

Making the fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Like any baking recipe, start by preheating the oven. Turn the oven to 350-degrees and then prepare your baking pan(s). I usually bake this cake in a 9×13-inch pan, but this time I used to 9-inch cake pans to make a layer cake for my son. He wanted the cake to look like the one in a video game he likes.

Grease the pans or spray them with non-stick cooking spray, and then dust them lightly with flour. I use non-stick cooking spray because it’s easiest — and at least a bit healthier!

Sprayed and lightly floured cake pans ready for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Next, stir together 2 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. I use the bowl of my stand mixer, because this is the bowl you’ll be mixing the batter in later.

The flour and sugar mixed together in the bowl of my stand mixer for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Let the flour and sugar hang out while you get out a medium saucepan. Put 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the saucepan over medium heat.

The butter, cocoa powder and water in a medium saucepan of medium heat
Part way through cooking the butter, cocoa powder and water in a medium saucepan of medium heat

You want to bring it to a boil so that the liquid is bubbly and moving around. While I wait for it to boil, I move on to the next step of whisking 1/2 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 eggs together. I measure the milk into my 2-cup measuring cup and then add in the rest of the ingredients. It’s easier to pour that way and I don’t end up with a dirty measuring cup and a dirty bowl!

The milk, vanilla, baking soda and eggs mixed together in a 2-cup measuring cup for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

When the butter, water and cocoa powder reaches a boil, then it’s ready to remove from the stove.

The boiling cocoa powder mixture

Pour the boiling mixture into the bowl with the flour and sugar mixture.

The boiling cocoa mixture poured over the flour and sugar mixture

Stir the flour mixture and cocoa powder mixture together by hand or using a mixer. I use my stand mixer to make life easier. If you are using a mixer, start out on low speed until the ingredients have combined a bit before moving to medium speed to mix completely. If you start out too fast, then the boiling cocoa powder mixture will splash out. When it’s all combined the mixture will be loose.

The flour mixture and cocoa powder mixture all combined for this fudgy chocolate cake recipe

Add in the egg mixture and keep stirring or mixing until it’s incorporated. I usually add this in slowly while the mixer is running.

Once the egg mixture is incorporated, the cake batter is ready. It is going to be a thinner consistency than you might expect for cake batter, but that’s exactly correct!

The chocolate cake batter ready to be poured into the prepared cake pan(s)

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan(s), and place them in the oven.

The filled cake pans ready to go into the oven.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for two 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for a 9×13-inch pan. You’ll know the cake is finished when it begins to shrink away from the sides.

The baked fudgy chocolate cake shrinking away from the sides of the pan.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

The finished cake out of the pan

Let it cool completely before topping it with icing. This time around, I used my favorite quick, easy and oh-so-delicious homemade buttercream icing. I tinted it for the color to match the cake in the video game and did the swirl design in white like the same video game cake.

The completed and decorated fudgy chocolate cake

Look at the airy, yet moist inside of this fudgy chocolate cake recipe!

The inside of the completed fudgy chocolate cake recipe is both airy and moist!
Chocolate cake recipe Pinterest image 3

Fudgy chocolate cake

This is the all-time best fudgy chocolate cake recipe. It's both airy and moist. And this chocolate cake is way better than a bakery one!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F). Prepare on 9×13 or two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with non-sticking cooking spray or coating with grease and then lightly sprinkling with flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar, then set it aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally and cook until it comes to a boil.
  • While you're waiting for the cocoa powder mixture to boil, whisk together the milk, vanilla, baking soda and egg. Set aside.
  • Remove the boiling cocoa powder mixture from the stove and pour into the large mixing bowl with the flour and sugar. Stir together by hand or use a mixer to combine them thoroughly. (If you're using a mixer, be sure to start on low until the liquid has combined a bit before turning the mixer to medium.)
  • Once it is combined, pour in the egg mixture and mix until that is completely incorporated.
  • Pour the prepared batter (which will be relatively runny) into the prepared baking pan(s).
  • Bake in the oven for 35 to 30 minutes for 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for a 9×13-inch pan. You'll know the cake is finished when it starts to pull away from the edges of the pan.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before icing the cake.
Keyword Birthday cake, chocolate cake, fudgy chocolate cake, holiday baking, homemade cake, layer cake, scratch made

Find more delicious family recipes like this one in the “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook. Download your FREE copy today!

Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace cookbook
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About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

Be sure to get the FREE family devotion book, "Finding Grace at Home: 7 Days of 5 Minute Devotions for Families." It's a great way to help your family draw closer to each other and to God.

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