Cakes, Gemma's Best Recipes

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting

4.64 from 198 votes
Celebrate anytime with this decadent and moist Best-Ever Chocolate Cake recipe topped with my favorite fudge frosting and vibrant homemade sprinkles.
Now you have the Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe to make a deliciously moist chocolate cake every time!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Everyone needs a master cake recipe that will never fail you and everyone will love. I have shared with you my master recipes for Vanilla Cake & Carrot Cake, but I haven’t revealed my Best Ever Chocolate Cake recipe or Chocolate Fudge Frosting until now.

This is the best chocolate cake recipe that I’ve found and it’s made by the great Ina Garten. I am a big fan of her books and style, and I dream of living in her barn in the Hamptons.

How to make the Best Chocolate Cake

What I love about this chocolate cake recipe is that it does not need a mixer and is very fast to whip up all in one bowl. Her recipe is also incredibly moist and rich because she uses buttermilk and oil, making it my favorite kind of cake! The buttermilk tenderizes the cake and the oil makes it rich and fudge-like. This chocolate cake is known as Devils Food Cake, Black Magic Cake, and Death by Chocolate. Once you make it, you’ll see why its earned its namesake.

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

Buttermilk is one of the secret ingredients in this cake. As I mentioned, this makes the cakes crumb tender. It’s the acid in the buttermilk that does this and this is why it’s best not to replace the buttermilk with milk or another liquid. If you do not have buttermilk or you can not find it, I suggest you give my Homemade Buttermilk recipe a try!

Do I have to use eggs?

If you do not want to use eggs in this cake you’re in luck! The eggs can be replaced with a flax egg. The cake might not be quite as rich but will still be lovely and have great texture.

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What kind of cocoa powder do I use?

Since this cake is really all about the chocolate, it’s super important to use good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. You can even use dutch processed cocoa powder for even more chocolate flavor and that deep rich color.

Why do you make this cake with coffee?

Besides the buttermilk, the use of coffee is the other real secret to the flavor of this cake. The cake does not taste of coffee, the coffee simply acts as a compliment to the cocoa powder really making the flavor of the chocolate have even more depth and dimension. If you don’t have freshly brewed coffee I suggest you use an instant coffee or espresso powder in its place, but you do not want to use plain water here as it will not have the same effect.

How to Make Fudgy, Chocolate Frosting

This Chocolate Cake recipe goes above and beyond Big and Bold with the addition of my best fudge frosting. My chocolate frosting yields you a rich, fudgy and soft icing. Like my buttercream, this frosting recipe is not complicated. I know, however, that getting buttercream light and fluffy can be a struggle so I covered a lot of those points in the video. With my tips and tricks, you will always be successful with frosting.

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How to Make Sprinkles

While the icing on this homemade chocolate cake is incredible, my homemade sprinkles are the real icing on the cake.  You might be wondering how to make your own sprinkles, but don’t worry. Making sprinkles is actually quite easy! All you need is fondant.

I colored leftover scraps from my Marshmallow Fondant and then cut circles out of them using the tip of a piping nozzle. Voila! My sprinkle recipe transformed my dessert from a regular cake to a cake that cheers for celebration!

How to store my Best Ever Chocolate Cake

This cake will keep fresh for 3-4 days as long as you cover it tightly with cling wrap and store it at room temperature. If you want to make this cake ahead you can cover and freeze the un-frosted cake for up to 3 weeks. To thaw the cake from frozen just allow it to sit out at room temperature until it is fully defrosted and soft. From there you can frost and decorate your cake as directed, making for easy last minute cake making!

Get more of my Best Cake Recipes:

And don’t forget to follow Bigger Bolder Baking on Pinterest!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake

4.64 from 198 votes
Celebrate anytime with this decadent and moist best-ever chocolate cake recipe topped with my favorite fudge frosting and vibrant homemade sprinkles.
Author: Gemma Stafford adapted from Ina Garten
Servings: 10
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Celebrate anytime with this decadent and moist best-ever chocolate cake recipe topped with my favorite fudge frosting and vibrant homemade sprinkles.
Author: Gemma Stafford adapted from Ina Garten
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (250g/9oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400g/14oz) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/75g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240ml/8floz) buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup (120g/4oz) vegetable oil, or any flavorless oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml/8floz) freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Fudge Frosting Recipe

  • 1 cup (240g/8oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups (1lb 8oz/675g ) powdered sugar, SIFTED
  • 1 1/3 cup (120g/4oz) cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (51/2floz/165ml) whole milk

Instructions

  • To Make the Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line 3 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. You can use 2 times, I just wanted 3 layers in mine.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients together by hand.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and coffee
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and GENTLY mix the batter just to combine. Do not over mix or beat as this cake can toughen up.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Note: this cake cooks fast so check if after 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook it.
  • Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • To make the Fudge Frosting: 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat room temperature butter until lightly fluffy. Add the sifted powdered sugar 1 spoon at a time and mix well. It will get light in color and bigger
  • Add vanilla and cocoa, and the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work.
  • Turn mixer on medium high. Beat frosting until light, fluffy and of spreading consistency.
  • If the frosting is too thick, slowly add more milk or half & half, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • You can use the frosting immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before using.
  • To Decorate: 
  • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal.
  • Create a crumb layer: With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on the top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
  • Put the cake in the fridge and let the crumb layer set for around 30 minutes (this will make the finished product look really clean)
  • Take the cake from the fridge and put on another, final layer of frosting. Try and get it as smooth as you can.
  • To finish the top of your cake, take a spoon that has been dipped in hot water and dried. Work from the outside in and create a swirl until you get to the center.
  • Finish your cake off with your homemade sprinkles.
  • Store at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 4 days. If storing in the fridge make sure it reaches room temperature before eating.

Recipe Notes

*You can make a replacement for buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, then use.

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Meenal
Guest
Meenal
9 months ago

Hi Gemma, tried this recipe for the first time and it turned out brilliant- a friend of mine has requested I make this cake for her 1 yr olds birthday party and requested that I reduce the sugar some how- can you suggest some ways I can do that without messing the recipe- I was thinking of reducing the sugar in the icing.. thanks again for all the great recipes!

Samia Farhana
Member
Samia Farhana
9 months ago

Hi Gemma! I just want to thank you for your no fail amazing recipes! The other day I made the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake for my family and my brother said it was my best cake ever and yesterday i made this best ever chocolate cake with fudge frosting for ky best friends and it turned out flawless! It not only tasted good but also looked amazing ???? after tasting it my friends said that i should take baking as my occupation instead of my favorite hobby haha! To be this was my best cake ever especially the frosting was… Read more »

Wit1019
Member
Wit1019
9 months ago

I’ve made this 3 times already. Next time I plan to make a peanut butter frosting for it!

Apoorva
Guest
Apoorva
9 months ago

Hi Gemma,
Can I bake this cake in a microwave?

Alex
Guest
Alex
9 months ago

Hi Gemma,
This cake looks so yummy! I have a wee question for you . I planned to bake this cake in 2 × 8″ pans. They are just over 3″ deep. Is it still gonna rise well? Or should I put the whole lot in one pan just?
Thank you x

Nisreen
Guest
Nisreen
9 months ago

Hello. I want to bake cupcakes.. How long shod I bake them?

Kat d
Guest
Kat d
9 months ago

Hello, i am gonna make this for the first time on Saturday. I’m gonna do 2 pans instead of three. Is the bake time the same?

Member
Sayuri Naidu
9 months ago

Hello Gemma. Thank you so much for this recipe it was unbelievably good. I really enjoy your videos as you exude such warmth and kindness:)

Marsha Phagoo
Guest
Marsha Phagoo
9 months ago

Hi Gemma
I just made this with my 11 year old daughter who loves baking too. I made it all in one pan instead of splitting it as we don’t like frosting so I don’t intend to decorate it. This is purely a I want chocolate cake now thing. I baked it for 50 mins for it to cook through ok. It’s cooling now, fingers crossed it came out ok. I’ll be sure to let you know.

Member
Determined Di
9 months ago

I’m going to use the cake as a basis for my birthday cake in a few days. I’ll be making a WHOOPIE PIE CAKE. Thanks for all your great recipes.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for a FREE profile and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new dessert recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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