This chocolate cake is incredibly moist and delicious with a wonderful cream cheese frosting! Perfect for serving at parties, the holidays, and for a special family dessert.
When it comes to chocolate cake, nothing beats baking from scratch. While I have nothing against saving time in the kitchen, you just can’t get the same flavor from a box that this recipe produces.
This chocolate cake pairs perfectly with cream cheese frosting, and once you’ve tried it you won’t be going back to using one of those boxed mixes.
Make sure to bookmark or pin this recipe so you can find it the next time you are craving chocolate cake.
This is hands down one of my all-time favorite cake recipes, and I’m confident that once you’ve tasted it, it’ll be one of your new favorites as well.
How to Bake Chocolate Cake Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting from Scratch
Just because you bake from scratch, doesn’t mean it has to be difficult! So if you don’t bake the old fashion way often, don’t be intimidated.
This recipe is quite simple to make, and the extra effort is going to be well rewarded.
Prep time for this recipe is under ten minutes and bake time is right around a half an hour. And when it comes to your frosting, you have multiple options, and they are all delicious and simple to make.
The only equipment you need is a mixing bowl, hand mixer (or stand mixer), and your preferred cake pan. This recipe can be used with a 13″x9″ pan, 2 layer 9″ pans, or a 3 layer 6″-8″ pans.
When filling your cake pan, the batter should fill your pan about two thirds. Make sure the sides and corners are evenly filled, with a slight lower level in the center.Cake Baking Tip
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Homemade Chocolate Cake Ingredients
You’re going to love the deep, rich flavor of this cake. And all you need to achieve that amazing flavor is common baking ingredients.
Since this recipe only uses common ingredients, there’s a good chance you already have everything you need on hand. And if you don’t all these ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store.
- Granulated Sugar
- Bakers Chocolate Squares
- Vanilla Extract
- Cake Flour
- Sour Cream
- Baking Soda
- Cold Water
Ingredient Notes and Alternatives
Chocolate: Unsweetened bakers chocolate squares are a traditional ingredient for chocolate cake, and I love the flavor it produces. If you want an alternative keep in mind the final flavor will be slightly different. But in a pinch, you can use six tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with two tablespoons of shortening.
Cake Flour: Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour which impacts the final texture. I recommend sticking with cake flour for this cake recipe, but you can go with a substitute if you can’t find cake flour at your local grocery store. To substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour measure out an equal amount of all-purpose flour minus two tablespoons. Then add two tablespoons of either arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
Sour Cream: Sour cream provides moisture and fat content to our cake resulting in a wonderfully moist texture. Again, I highly recommend sticking to using sour cream for this recipe but if you need an alternative check out my sour cream substitute for cake guide for all your options.
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Cream Cheese Frosting for Chocolate Cake
This chocolate cake pairs well with just about any cream cheese frosting. That means you can easily make this cake many times with different frostings for a whole new flavor combination each time.
I’ll list some of my favorite cream cheese frosting recipes below that work great with this cake, so you can use the one that sounds best to you!
I recommend making your frosting when your cake has just about finished cooling. But you can also make it ahead of time and simply store it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost your cake.
Best Cream Cheese Frostings for Chocolate Cake
- Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (light and fluffy)
- Cream Cheese Frosting with Cool Whip (my most popular cream cheese frosting recipe)
- Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (pairs with chocolate cake for a wonderful flavor combination)
- Cream Cheese Frosting (classic style recipe)
- Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting (fun and delicious option)
Step by Step Recipe Instructions
If you like simple recipes, then you’re going to love this one! In just a few easy to follow steps you will have a flavor packed chocolate cake that everyone is going to love.
Even though it’s made from scratch, I’ve made this cake last minute many times because it’s so easy to whip together.
So once you have your ingredients gathered, it’s time to get baking!
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Step 2: Grease your cake pan(s) and dust with flour
Step 3: Melt your chocolate
Step 4: In your mixing bowl, add your granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate
Step 5: Beat on medium until well blended
Step 6: Add 1 cup of cake flour and mix until well blended
Step 7: Add your sour cream and baking soda and mix well
Step 8: Add cold water and remaining flour. Mix until well blended
Step 9: Pour cake batter into cake pan(s)
Step 10: Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. Your cake is done baking when inserted toothpick comes out clean
Step 11: Carefully remove from oven and cool on wire rack
Step 12: When cake has cooled, frost then serve and enjoy!
Chocolate Cake (With Cream Cheese Frosting)
- 1 Mixer
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- Cake Pan(s)
- 1½ Cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 oz Chocolate Squares
- 1¾ Cups Cake Flour
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ Cup Cold Water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Grease your cake pan(s) and dust with flour
- Melt your chocolate
- In your mixing bowl, add your granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate
- Beat on medium until well blended
- Add 1 cup of cake flour and mix until well blended
- Add your sour cream and baking soda and mix well
- Add cold water and remaining flour. Mix until well blended
- Pour cake batter into cake pan(s)
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. Your cake is done baking when inserted toothpick comes out clean
- Carefully remove from oven and cool on wire rack
- When cake has cooled, frost then serve and enjoy!
Liv’s Chocolate Cake Recipe Notes
- You can find common substitution options in the ingredients section above
- This cake goes wonderfully with any style of cream cheese frosting. You can find a number of recipes by searching at the top of the page.
- Store leftover cake covered at room temperature for up to three days