Classic Chocolate Cake


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.


4.84 from 6 votes
Classic Chocolate Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins

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.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Precious of
Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups flour (240 g)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or oil of choice - I used canola (118 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder - heaped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda - heaped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups sugar I used 1 cup (200-400 g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (50 g)
  • 1 cup boiling water (236 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup liquid milk (240 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
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and dust with cocoa powder, two 9-inch round baking pans.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee powder, salt and sugar.

  3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract to the whisked powder. Mix well until everything is well incorporated.

  4. Add boiling water to the water and mix well. It is going to become very thin. This is normal.

  5. 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.

  6. Let the cake cool completely then spread frosting on top if you so wish.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  1. 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 Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Hershey's Kitchens.

Classic Chocolate Cake - Precious Core

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


  1. It’s been good to have some time to take a dose of Precious Core again.
    How I missed this space!
    Thanks for the recipe. Home schooling is really great your kids are learning straight from the best mama.
    Salivating from the pics of the chocolate cake but ha man go do? Just fo cova eye read lol 🙂

  2. Coffee in cake, wow!

  3. Wow! Precious the cake expert, thank you for telling me that hot water can be mixed with cake. I learnt something. Lol at “the cast of characters for our chocolate cake “.God bless you Ma’am.

  4. Love the pictures. So crisp and clean and vivid.
    It makes the ” making” process come to life.
    This one na double chocolate cake. I like.
    How on earth do you not add weight? If I visited you for just one week, I would everything possible. ?

  5. Gosh, cake!

    I wish I can move in with someone who cookd/bakes like this!

  6. am salivating. looks appetising…

  7. claudine efenge

    wey Pre…..gracias
    i’ll try this out. my last coco daughter…..for now is turning 9 and is a choco freak. hopefully it turns out like yours before birthday turns to disaster

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  9. Hi Precious, thanks alot for alll the wonderful recipes. Can I replace the baking cocoa with the local MATINAL powder we have here in Cameroon


    Hey Precious,
    I bless the day I stumbled onto your blog. I have tried your DG poulet recipe, the chocolate and plain cakes recipes….. The results were epic. Got eaten so fast I forgot to take pictures.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. God bless you

  11. 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

  12. Anyauwa Faith

    Wow! I love anything Chocolate.
    Can i freeze it. How long will it last?

    • 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.

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  14. Princess Neleh

    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

    • 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.

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  16. 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!!!!!

  17. 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.

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