Super Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake.

Is there anything quite as divine?

I think not.

slicing cake

When I have to make a cake in a hurry, my go to is chocolate. And this is one of the easiest chocolate cake recipes.  I used to make a chocolate cake that involved melting chocolate and about 5 other steps, but ever since I discovered this chocolate cake recipe, I have stopped searching.  It is moist, full of flavor and dense enough to hold up to every occasion.

I first ran across this recipe from Sweetapolita. After making it a few times, I decided to adjust the measurement of flour because I was noticing that the cake was a little bit on the greasy side, which could totally be an elevation issue for me since I’m close to the mountains.

Then, a few months ago, a few of my nieces and some friends were diagnosed with celiac’s disease. Since cake is so important in my family and I didn’t want to leave anyone out {especially children}, I thought I would switch out the regular flour for gluten-free flour. It is so good! Unless you are tasting the cakes next to each other, you can’t tell which one is normal and which was gluten free. The gluten free has a slight grit to it, but the magic of cocoa makes the grit so understated that you hardly notice it. I’ve made the gluten free cake about 6 times now, and it comes out amazing every time. I really like the Cup4Cup brand for gluten free flour, which you can get at Save-on-Foods. It’s a little pricey, but for cakes and and pastries it’s perfect because it’s white and doesn’t have anything really strange in it like little bits of flaxseed.

inside of cake slice of chocolate cake


I don’t know about you, but for a family of 5 I cannot justify making a 9 inch cake. I don’t need 16-20 servings of cake sitting around needing to be eaten. So I cut down this recipe from the typical 9 inch cake to a simple little 6 inch cake.  Any recipe that calls for two nine inch pans can easily be halved and then baked in either a double or triple layer 6 inch cake, which is the perfect desert size for any regular family dinner.

Chocolate Cake


  • 1 cup flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/8 cups dutch process cocoa (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coffee (preferred cooled but hot works too)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla


1. Combine flour, sugar, sifted cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in your mixing bowl.
2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds then on a medium speed for about a minute.
3. Pour the batter into three greased and floured 6 inch round pans. Bake at 350 for 20-27 minutes.

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream

Prep time 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert
This is a delightful chocolate frosting that is perfect for almost every occasion. It is rich, fluffy and has great stability.


  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa (sifted)
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk


1. Sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and pinch of salt.
2. Add the butter and whip until the mixture has doubled in volume. Scrap down the sides occaisonally.
3. Add the vanilla.
4. Add milk about a tablespoon at a time until the icing is the consistency you would like.


This recipe produces enough icing to frost between and around a 2 layer 9 inch cake or a triple layer 6 inch with some leftovers.


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        • says:

          You don’t actually notice the coffee flavor at all. The role of the coffee is to draw out the flavor of the chocolate. You can definitely replace the coffee with water if you would like. It just won’t have as strong of a chocolate taste. I hope that helps!

  1. Sheila Zeller says:

    You had me at the first pic! This cake is beautiful and gluten free, too? Yowzers!! Thanks for the recipe and tip to reduce the cake size – I am so with you on not needing more!!

  2. Tricia says:

    I love this cake recipe, it is my favorite !!
    Question, I am making a white cake but want to use this recipe for the icing. Can I leave the cocoa out?

  3. Velvet says:

    How brilliant cutting it down to a 3layer 6 inch cake! Thank you for this idea. I totally need to try this recipe next time I need a chocolate cake. looks delish!

  4. Paige says:

    I am making 3 of the Little Monster Cakes for centerpieces (and dessert) for my grandson’t 1st birthday (plus his little UNC Carolina blue monster smash cake!)

    I am using your wedding cake for one monster, a whipped cream cake for one and want a chocolate for the 3rd. Would one recipe of this make enough batter for the 2 6″ layers and the 1/2 round layer?

    We are so excited to see how they all come out. Your web site is wonderful.

    • Kathryn Ferrie says:

      Hi Paige,

      The chocolate cake recipe should be enough to do the monster cake, but you could double it just to make sure. The wedding cake recipe will be way more than you need for one monster cake. That recipe would make at least 2 monster cakes.
      I hope the cakes turn out well! I’m curious to see how the whipping cream cake does. You should send me pictures of your finished cakes!

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