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Best-Ever Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting

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Celebrate anytime with this decadent and moist Best-Ever Chocolate Cake recipe topped with my favorite fudge frosting and vibrant homemade sprinkles.

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. What I love about this chocolate cake recipe is that it does not need a mixer and is very fast to whip up. Her recipe is also incredibly moist and rich because she uses buttermilk and oil, making it my favorite kind of cake! 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.

homemade, easy, cake, chocolate, frosting, fudge, sprinkles, best ever, celebration, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, recipes, Baking, Baking videos

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.

Chocolate, Fudge, Frosting, Bigger Bolder Baking, Cake, Baking, Baking videos, recipes, Gemma Stafford, eat, drink, bake

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!

Homemade, sprinkles, easy, fun, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Baking, Baking videos, recipes, cake

Get more of my Best Cake Recipes:

4.7 from 105 votes
cake, chocolate,frosting,fudge,sprinkles,best ever,celebration
Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
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.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Author: Gemma Stafford adapted from Ina Garten
  • 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
  1. To Make the Cake:

  2. Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC). Butter and line 3 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. You can use 2 time, I just wanted 3 layers in mine.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients together by hand.
  4. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee
  5. 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.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Note: this cake cooks fast so check if after 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook it.
  8. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  9. To make the Fudge Frosting: 

  10. 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

  11. Add vanilla and cocoa, and the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work.
  12. Turn mixer on medium high. Beat frosting until light, fluffy and of spreading consistency.
  13. If the frosting is too thick, slowly add more milk or half and half, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  14. You can use the frosting immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for 3 days, or freeze if for up to 3 months. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before using.
  15. To Decorate: 

  16. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal.

  17. Create a crumb layer :With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
  18. 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)
  19. Take the cake from the fridge and put on another, final layer of frosting. Try and get it as smooth as you can.
  20. 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.
  21. Finish your cake off with your homemade sprinkles.
  22. 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.

Watch the Recipe Video!

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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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Patriia O'Rourke on November 8, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks so much for the white cake suggestion. You are always so very nice and helpful to everyone. You’re the best!


    • Gemma Stafford on November 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Hi, that’s so kind thank you!

  2. Patricia O'Rourke on November 7, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for answering my question about 9 x 13 ” cake. I have another. My daughter wants to put this cake on the bottom layer and put a white cake on the top. (To please everyone). Do you think this would work if cakes are a different consistency? It’s for her daughter’s baptism.

    Thank you.


    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2018 at 3:17 am

      Hi Patricia,
      Sure it would! This is a light sponge but it is not delicate.
      A great cake batter to have in your repertoire is this one (
      This batter is really accommodating, it will take all sorts of flavors, cocoa for chocolate, lemon zest for drizzle cake, vanilla for a vanilla sponge, coffee for the coffee lovers. It is also proportional when you weigh the ingredients, and it is easy to remember so you do not need to look up the recipe every time you bake, lots of positives for this one!
      from your perspective then the weight of the layers will be equal, and you can make cupcakes too with this batter for the little people!
      I hope you have a great celebration, a lovely time for your family,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Patricia O'Rpurke on November 6, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Can I bake this cake in a 9 x 13″ pan instead of the round pans?



    • Kevin Kurtz on November 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Yes you sure can bake it in a 9×13 🙂


  4. Tanzeel on November 5, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Hi gemma! I just came to knw about ur oage and tried few of ur recipes they turned out to be great! Thanxs for teaching us such amazing stuff. Well my daughter has a birthday so plan ing to make chocolate cake plz guide me how to make fresh cream topping with little bit of milk chocolate. Will be waitinh for ur response. Tc

    • Gemma Stafford on November 6, 2018 at 3:14 am

      Hi Tanzeel,
      Fresh cream is generally not used for this type of cake, it would need to be refrigerated up to the time of serving. Other than that you can whip up a fresh cream, at 35% fat content it will hold its shape, and then you can just grate in chocolate to taste.
      Ganache will be a better frosting for this cake, or indeed the fudge frosting here, the serve the whipped cream as a side dish.
      ( This cake is a firm cake, a light sponge cake will suit a fresh cream frosting better!
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Kegan on November 3, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Hi there from Co Derry Ireland! Just wondering if it is possible to freeze the cake layers to assemble later on? I’ve a bake sale coming up and not a lot of time so I thought I could make the cakes in advance? Thanks 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on November 4, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Hi Kegan,
      YES! that is perfectly possible and ideal too! I know it is not too hot in Derry right now, so you will have no difficulty managing this cake for your bake sale.
      The fudge frosting here is great too for that purpose as it is stable, and easy to transport. I hope you have a great event. Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Kegan on November 4, 2018 at 10:07 am

        Oh my goodness I made a dummy run cake today, just used chocolate ganache with orange oil added and topped with chopped Lindt orange (no Terry’s in the shop!) This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made and so simple to make. I was sceptical as I’m used to making a sponge with butter but this is just so moist. This is now my go to recipe! Thank you so much.

        • Gemma Stafford on November 4, 2018 at 8:19 pm

          Delighted to hear that!!! I love success stories 🙂


  6. Kristine on October 28, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Hi Gemma!following you from Qatar. Can i use 9 inch springform for this recipe and just cut it in half when cooked?will the cooking time varies?one more thing,can i add chocolate chips/chunks in this recipe? Thank you and Godbless!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 28, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Hi Kristine,
      Yes, that will work very well for you. The baking time will change, and you will need to monitor it, without opening the oven door too often as it is setting up in the first 20 – 30 minutes.
      You certainly may add chocolate chips to this, flour the chocolate to hold it in the bake, otherwise it may sink!
      Gemma 😉

  7. Linet on October 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Thank you for your wonderfull recipe…

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:50 am

      Hi there Linet,
      thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Linet on October 10, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for your wonderfull recipe…came out really nice

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

      Thank you Linet, it is great to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Maryum Alam on October 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Hi gemma I love your recipes. They always come out great. Just had one query. I will be making Chocolate cake tomorrow for my dad’s birthday, the cocoa powder I have is alkalized dark cocoa powder, that’s almost black. Can I use it in this recipe or not?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 2:31 am

      Hi Maryum,
      That is what we call a Dutch processed cocoa powder. Cocoa is an acid ingredient, alkalized cocoa is a milder thing. Do use the buttermilk, or make your own sub, that will balance this for you, all will be well.
      Happy birthday to your dad, let us see the cake!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Mandy Young on October 22, 2018 at 9:30 am

        Hi Gemma! I am a brand new fan of yours after finding you on Facebook. I made the most perfect vanilla cupcakes I’ve ever made this weekend and then tried to make a chocolate version using first the crazy cupcake recipe and then this one. The chocolate crazy cupcakes were too dry because I don’t think I figured my cocoa correctly. I followed this receipe exactly and my cupcakes fell in the center and we’re kind of oily and didn’t seem done in the middle of the little dip in the center. It’s like it fell and pooled. I used black cocoa in this receipe. Could that be why? My coffee was fresh brewed as well. Any thoughts on what could be happened? You are my new favorite person by the way lol.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2018 at 7:19 am

          Hi Mandy,
          Flattery will get you anywhere!! 😉
          I think you unbalanced the recipe a bit. This is a traditional recipe, and generally will accept other flavors easily. You hardly need to adjust anything to add cocoa. For the full batch of crazy batter 1 – 2 tablespoons of cocoa would be good. A little extra liquid would take this through the batter easily without upsetting it. Fresh coffee does not have sufficient flavor for baking, it needs to be more concentrated. I use an instant coffee powder for best results. A little milk will also help this batter if it feels too dense, and being gentle when adding the dry ingredients works best too.
          I hope this is of help.
          I am happy to have you baking with us,
          Gemma 🙂

  10. Veth on October 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Hello Gemma!
    I’m planning to make this for my son’s birthday but I don’t want to add coffee. Can I leave it out?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Hi Veth,
      sure you can, it is just there to enhance the flavor.
      I hope your son has a very happy birthday, share a photo of the cake here with us!
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Hikari on October 8, 2018 at 6:31 am

    OMG this cake is awesome ,it really is the best chocolate cake ever ,thank you for sharing this recipe Gemma

    • Gemma Stafford on October 9, 2018 at 3:33 am

      Hi there,
      Thank you for this very kind review of this recipe, I appreciate it,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Clara on October 6, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Tried this cake over the weekend and it turned out perfect. Soft and moist and all my friends loved it. Thank you for such a great recipe Gemma

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that, Clara!!! Thanks for trying it.


  13. Mae on October 1, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Hi Gemma.
    I am planning to make this cake for my aunt’s birthday but it was requested that I’d use almond flour and stevia. Any input for the substitution? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Mae,
      Haha! no, I really would have to re design this whole recipe, it is not that easy!
      Almond flour is a totally different flour to wheat flour. It behaves in a different way. It may succeed with coconut flour and almond flour mixed, but not so much for a single one. Try this recipe instead ( but you will need a sugar. You can use one of the new sugar substitutes for their bulk, swerve/lakanto/truvia or even splenda at a push. Not Stevia on its own, but with xylitol or erythritol it will be good.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. binduvinodp on October 1, 2018 at 2:57 am

    We baked this cake last week and it just came out so well. Thanks for the inspiring the baker in me…

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you, I am happy to have your kind review of this recipe.
      I am delighted you liked this one,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Yael Sarusi on October 1, 2018 at 2:27 am

    This truly is a best ever chocolate cake. Made this for my mother’s birthday, the cake with a whipped cream topping instead of the buttercream, and it was a hit. This is easily the best cake I’ve ever made, and I will continue making it 🙂
    Thanks Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Hi there,
      That is great, and I am really happy that you took the trouble to let us know. I am happy that your mother liked her cake, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Nida on September 30, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I think I’ve found the chocolate cake recipe! Only issue I have is is that it’s too sweet for me. And I didn’t even ice with your 6cup sugar frosting! I had some left over ganache that barely covered the bottom and top layer. Will reducing the sugar by 25% change the excellent moistness of the cake? What is the minimum quantity of sugar I can get away without I’d ideally reduce the sugar by at least 40%.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 6:15 am

      Hi Nida,
      I have not tried this recipe with reduced sugar, so I cannot be sure what the result will be. However, you can try it, and I think you will get away with it up to a point, but there will be a point of no return. Every time you change an ingredient in a recipe you change the result. I think 40% reduction may be a bridge too far. sugar does more than sweeten a recipe, it has a number of functions. I would say 20% – 30%. Alternatively change to one of the new age sweeteners. We use Lakanto here, and there is Swerve and Truvia too, alcohol sugars sweetened with stevia or monk fruit, and these should work well 1:1 In this recipe.
      I hope this is of help, let us know how you manage it, it will be of interest to other Bold Bakers,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Timna Yogev on September 24, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Hi Gemma 🙂
    Thank you again for your great site and great recipes!
    I have 3 × 9in pans (not exactly just about) will it be ok? Can I bake 3 layrs with that? If yes for how long should it be baked.

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 25, 2018 at 2:40 am

      Hi Timna,
      Yes, you can do this. Get your pans ready first. Butter them, line them if you can, or flour them. Shake a little flour into the pan and shake to distribute, shake out the excess and refrigerate the pans to set up the coating. This will give you a non stick surface.
      Make the batter and distribute evenly between the pans. Bake at 180C/350F for about 25 minutes each. In a convection oven this can be done all together. Monitor the bake, do not open the oven unnecessarily!
      I hope this is of help, happy baking,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Timna Yogev on September 27, 2018 at 8:55 am

        Thank you so much!!!
        You are great and always a delightful to watch!

  18. Anishaa Varghis on September 22, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Gemma.

    I was wondering if I can make these as tiny cup cakes rather than a whole cake. A whole cake seems like too much commitment.
    If yes, then can you please guide me about the oven settings for the same.

    Thank you so much.
    The cake looks beautiful in the video. I hope mine comes out the same.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 23, 2018 at 2:40 am

      Hi there,
      Sure, you can make cupcakes with this batter, though I am not sure what you mean by ‘tiny’, and this matters to the baking time.
      This batter will make about 18 regular sized cupcakes, and they will bake at 180C/350F in about 15 – 20 mins, depending on your oven.
      You need to monitor the bake at the 15 minute time, but so not open and close the oven door too often as the temperature will be affected.
      Other Bold Bakers have also done this and reported great results, so try it. You can freeze the excess for another time.
      I hope this is of help to you, thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Sumi Ann Mathew on September 20, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Is the 6 cups of sugar needed for frosting? It sounds a little too much. I’ve not done much of baking especially frosting, so please if ignore if I’m asking a foolish question.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 22, 2018 at 8:11 am

      Hi there,
      This is a question of how much frosting you need at the end of the process. If you want it for this size cake you will need this amount. Remember powdered sugar is a light thing, highly absorbent, it is what you need here.
      For a smaller recipe you will need less. If you think it too much divide it down, but all of the ingredients, the balance needs to be right.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Sinead Evans on September 19, 2018 at 2:13 am

    Hi Gemma, when you state cocoa powder in your recipe do you mean the natural, raw, unsugared type? Thinking of making this cake for my son’s 6th Friday:)


    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 6:32 am

      Hi Sinead,
      Yes! always natural unsweetened cocoa for best results. Cocoa is an acid ingredient too, so it brings something else to this recipe, becoming part of the leavening and softening of the crumb.
      I hope you like this recipe, it works really well,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Julie12 on September 18, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Gemma.
    I am planning to make this cake for my mom’s birthday with your coffee frosting and I have a small family so can I halve this recipe and make it in 3 6inch cake pans? Or do you recommend 2 6inch cake pans?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 1:10 am

      Hi Julie,
      I think you will use 2×6 inch pans if you halve this recipe. however there may be sufficient over for a few cupcakes.
      Test it, it will not fail. The baking time will considerably change, check after 20 minutes or so.
      Have a lovely party,
      Gemma 🙂

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