Classic Chocolate Cake

4.84 from 6 votes
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You guys, cakes are back on the blog! Not like they went anywhere but since I already have 10 cake recipes around here, I was on a Sabbatical from cake-making/cake recipe posting. My friend changed that for me. When I called her on Sunday, she was gushing about some delicious cakes she had just baked with lemon and orange rind as flavours. I told her to stop tempting me because I promised myself I wasn’t going to cook that Sunday. I am sure I have said it before but let me say it again: It is hard for me not to cook. Especially when I’m at home. My brain and body keep conniving to make me cook, cook and cook. When I do not yield to that strong desire to cook, I feel like a drug addict who is trying to stay clean. Totally. However, I survived Sunday. I cooked nada! But the next day, being Monday, I made up for what I didn’t do on Sunday. I baked banana cake, fish pies and this ah-mazing classic chocolate cake.

Classic Chocolate Cake - Precious Core

You see, one of the things I love about homeschooling is how vesartile it is. Like how you can involve the kids in whatever you do. So my baking spree totally involved the girls. I told them we were having “homeschool cooking practicals”. They put on their aprons and we set out to make some cake. They were excited but didn’t like when I had to constantly stop and take pictures so I could share on the blog. But I had to because a number of you have asked me for a good chocolate cake recipe and I promised ya I was going to share one.

Here is the the cast of characters for our chocolate cake.

chocolate cake ingredients

Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, eggs, milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vegetable oil, instant coffee and boiling water (not pictured). Check the printable recipe below for the exact proportions of the ingredients.

Now the coffee is really awesome because it deepens that chocolatey flavour in the cake. You can leave it out if you want but that little “push” the coffee gives is good.

To make the chocolate cake, all you need is one bowl, the ingredients listed above, and the will to make chocolate cake. Start by pre-heating your oven then greasing two round 9-inch baking tins. Dust with cocoa powder after greasing.

dusted baking pan for classic chocolate cake

Dump all your dry ingredients into the bowl. That means your flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and coffee.

dry ingredients for classic chocolate cake

Now give that a good whisk until well combined then you add in the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.

step 2 for classic chocolate cake

Now give all of that a good mix. I love using my kitchen spatula to do this. It does the job pwetty well.

step 3 for classic chocolate cake

Next, add in some boiling water. Yes, boiling water. The boiling water helps to dissolve the cocoa powder and it brings out the cocoa powder flavour. Note that the boiling water will make the batter very thin. Do not freak out. It is still cake, not soup.

perfect classic chocolate cake batter

Now pour your batter into prepared cake pans.

classic chocolate cake batter in pan

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

classic chocolate cake just baked

Now this cake is great on its own and I just wanted to dig all the way in and start eating. But I wanted to show you guys the complete picture so I made some chocolate buttercream frosting.

Here are the ingredients needed for the frosting: icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk (I only used two tablespoons) and softened butter. You also need vanilla extract but I was out of vanilla extract so it is omitted here.

chocolate buttercream frosting

You make the frosting by creaming the butter then gradually adding the other ingredients. I used my stand mixer for this.

perfect chocolate buttercream frosting

This frosting is pure perfection. You could also use it on a white cake if you wish.

When your cakes cool completely, trim the top so they are level with no mounds on top, then turn the first cake upside down and begin applying the frosting.

frosting chocolate cake

I frosted the first cake, pressed the second cake on top then frosted all around both cakes so they looked like one. I used a butter knife to create some sort of pattern on the cake. Here is the finished product:

perfectly frosted chocolate cake

Who wants to eat cake?

Perfect chocolate cake - Precious Core

This cake is perfectly chocolatey, luscious, rich and umm… fattening. Enjoy, friends!

P.S. If you want to learn how to make chocolate cupcakes, check out this recipe: easy chocolate cupcakes.

Slice of chocolate cake on a white background.

Classic Chocolate Cake

4.84 from 6 votes
This is a classic chocolate cake that is so easy to put together. You only need one bowl! It pairs up with the most amazing chocolate buttercream frosting.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups flour (240 g)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (50 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder - heaped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda - heaped
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1-2 cups sugar I used 1 cup (200-400 g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup liquid milk (240 ml)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or oil of choice - I used canola (118 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water (236 ml)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter (113 g) - softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar (375 g)
  • 2 tablespoons liquid milk (or more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (50 g)


Chocolate Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and dust with cocoa powder, two 9-inch round baking pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee powder, salt and sugar.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract to the whisked powder. Mix well until everything is well incorporated.
  • Add boiling water to the water and mix well. It is going to become very thin. This is normal.
  • Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for about 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of both cakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely then spread frosting on top if you so wish.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Put butter into a stand mixer and cream on low for about one minute. Add in icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating the butter and sugar after each addition. Add in milk and vanilla extract and beat. Add the cocoa powder and beat to a spreading consistency. If the frosting is too light, add more sugar. If it is too thick, add a little milk.


Recipe slightly adapted from Hershey's Kitchens.


Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Calories: 451
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

Classic Chocolate Cake - Precious Core

If you make this recipe please tag me in a photo on Instagram: @preciouscore. I’ll love to see!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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4.84 from 6 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you very much Precious Core for the explicit recipees.

    Please i didn’t see at what level the cocoa powder has to be added in the instructions.

    I tried it out and i noticed was a bit salty compared to sweet and the consistency was dense

    1. Hi Nounou, At stage 2, whisk together the cocoa powder with the dry ingredients.
      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as expected. I’ll be testing this recipe again to deliver the best results.

  2. Thanks Precious for this recipe! Please i want clarification about the flour. Is the 240g equivalent to 2 cups?

  3. Looks yummy. I need to try it. Is it possible to make buttercream frosting with a regular blender or by hand?

  4. Oh chocolate cake oh chocolate cake look what you’ve done to me. You raised my appetite bars to near boiling point yet I can’t have you to cool down this anguish.

  5. Hello dear, can I use butter in the place of vegetable oil?
    I’ve enjoyed many recipes from your blog,sorry for not giving feedback,but your the best!!!!!

  6. Beautiful one dear. I really want to try this recipe any time from now but I face some challenges that I need your assistance. Talking of cocoa powder, I can’t find it around me so I need to know how to substitute. Secondly, my oven has no degrees so timing is very difficult. Though there are some figures 1-4 and a clock like image 0-60 but all these get me so confused. But I understand the clock is for timing but what about the degrees? My third worry is that I don’t know if I can substitute the liquid milk with powder milk. If yes how do I go about it. Oh dear I have spoken so much please just bear with me, Just feel frustrated.

    Thanks so much for your usual cooperation

    1. Hi Princess, do you have chocolate spread around you? I will say substitute the cocoa powder with about 1 cup of chocolate spread (the one used on bread) then use the dried milk as it is. However, I’m not sure how the texture of your cake will be with these because I have never tried it.
      For the oven, I will say use anywhere from 2-3. But you might want to search for more ideas on Google. Type in something like, “convert oven numbers to degrees” and see if you can get some direction from there. Hope this helps, dear.

    1. Hi dear, I’ve not frozen it before because we eat it fast when I make it but yes you could wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze. I think it can last for a couple of months.

  7. I love it God bless you my dear . I love such things but the time is not there fr me to do one. Previous u are so wonderful