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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.

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.

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!

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!

4.63 from 181 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 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.

  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 & 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 it 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 the 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!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Samia Farhana on February 17, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    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 to die for! Although it was a giant cake, the six of us finished more than half of the cake in the first 10 minutes 😁😁😁 i wish i could share the pictures of the cake with you but somehow i am not being able to share my photos here although i opened an account as well! Anyways thank you once again and keep sharing these amazing recipes 😊 the lemon meringue cake is on my list next ✌

    • Gemma Stafford on February 18, 2019 at 1:52 am

      Hi Samia,
      Clearly you made a great job of this recipe, that is often the difference, a great baking instinct. Your friends may very well be right, following your passion is always a good idea, that is what took me to BBB!
      At the end of the recipe/post you will find a SUBMIT button, when you click on this it will ask you to upload your own photo, you find it on your camera roll and press submit. I check the photos before they go no the website to make sure that bold bakers have not submitted the wrong photos, and I delete any which have been submitted in error, so, all will be well.
      Thank you for your lovely review of this recipe, sounds like you already have fans!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Wit1019 on February 7, 2019 at 10:07 am

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

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      yUM, chocolate and peanut butter together are heaven!

  3. Apoorva on February 7, 2019 at 9:42 am

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

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:37 pm

      Hi, ive not tried that with this cake but i think it would work! If you give it a try let me know.

      • Apoorva on February 14, 2019 at 6:05 am

        I tried baking this in the microwave. It turned out fine. Thank you for the recipe.

        • Gemma Stafford on February 14, 2019 at 3:31 pm


  4. Alex on February 6, 2019 at 5:58 am

    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

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Hi, i think that should work! Enjoy!

  5. Nisreen on February 6, 2019 at 3:49 am

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

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      Hi, i would bake these for 20-30 minutes as cupcakes. Enjoy, great idea!

  6. Kat d on February 4, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    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?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Hi there, i might cut the bake time down by 5 minutes then. Enjoy!

  7. Sayuri Naidu on February 4, 2019 at 6:51 am

    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:)

    • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Aw, thank you so much for this lovely message!

  8. Marsha Phagoo on February 1, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    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.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 1, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      YAY, please do keep me posted, i love that you made this with your daughter 😀

  9. Diane on January 30, 2019 at 8:03 am

    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.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      That’s a great idea, yum! let me know how you go!

      • Diane on February 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm

        It went very well. I made the actually cake Friday and filled and frosted it on Saturday. Delicious. Thanks.

        • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

          I’m delighted to hear that!

  10. ravenclaw2001 on January 28, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Hey Gemma! I’ve tried many of your recipes so far and they are always a huge success! I tried your chocolate cake recipe and it was a hit! Everyone raved about it! My family who doesn’t like buttercream loved this Fudge Buttercream. My search for a perfect chocolate cake recipe has come to an end.
    I’m sharing a picture too of my creation.
    Love from Pakistan! xx

    • Gemma Stafford on January 28, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Hi there,
      thank you so much for sharing the cake pic, we really loved it here at BBB.
      This is a great frosting, I agree, and it is also possible to make this as a coffee fudge frosting! now that too is delicious.
      Thank you for this very kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Nisreen on January 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Hii.. I have tried the cake n it’s awesome.. I want to make cupcakes now with this same recipe.. Is it possible? And then use buttercreeam icing. Cuz it’s a colour theme so purple. Is that possible. And how much to bake if using cupcake. Mini cupcake if I’m making.. Wod love a reply asap.. Thank youuu

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm

      Hi, yes these would make lovely cupcakes. I think you could make 12 large ones or 18-20 small ones. Enjoy!

  12. Elina Ahmad on January 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Hello. I have an electric oven so how much baking time I would it take in that. Please guide

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2019 at 3:23 am

      Hi Elina,
      I have an electric oven too, and the baking temperatures listed in the recipe are designed for this type of cooker.
      To Make the Cake:
      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.
      Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients together by hand.
      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.
      The size of the pan will dictate the baking time, keep an eye on it,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Rheanna on January 10, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Hi Gemma i tried this recipe for my uncles birthday he loved it so did i 😅

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      😀 i am delighted to hear that! Next time send us a photo!

  14. AMREEN SHEIKH on January 10, 2019 at 2:49 am


    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Hi there, yes a standard sized tin works great but you can bake it in any size you like.

  15. Jaymie on January 9, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Hey Gemma,
    I am wanting to make a marble cake so was wondering if it would work if I mixed all the ingredients except the cocoa and the coffee following your directions, split the recipe in half and then added half the amount of cocoa and coffee into one portion.
    (my daughter was watching Netflix and yelled for me to come watch as you were on Nailed It…even she knows you’re amazing! :-))

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 10:27 am

      AW so glad you caught me on Nailed It! Yes that would work for a marble style cake. Lovely idea, send me a photo, would love the see the final cake!

  16. Alex Pease on January 6, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Hey Gemma,
    Just tried the recipe today, was hoping you could help me with the texture . Unfortunately my cake cake out grainy, could I have over mixed it? Or possible cooked it too long?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Hi there, that’s very odd! I might suggest straining the dry ingredients!

  17. Majal Monge on January 4, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Dear Ms. GEMMA

    Thank u for being so generous in giving your recipes and informations as well..
    Have you tried using condensed milk and cocoa powder for the chocolate frosting on chocolate cakes,cause i tried so.many times it turned out so watery…i didn’t hold as what i wanted to…hope you can help me…
    Thanks in advance…

    • Gemma Stafford on January 5, 2019 at 11:39 am

      Hi Majal,

      I’m really thrilled you like my recipes. Honestly, that condensed milk frosting is a new one on me. I have never heard of that before. I bet it would be runny. Have you tried my fudge frosting?


  18. Sarah on December 29, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Does anyone know if i can replace the coffee with milk or something else?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      I really suggest you use the coffee as it enhances the flavor of the chocolate 😀

  19. Anindita on December 28, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Hi Gemma! Thanks for the recipe. Can I reduce the quantities to half and bake a single cake in a 8″ round pan. Please reply

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      Yes, you sure can ;D

  20. Joanne82 on December 28, 2018 at 5:29 am

    I have made this cake twice now with great success! I also used the homemade butter for the buttercream and the left over buttermilk in the cake I cannot upload a picture I’ve tried but it will not work 🙄 thankyou again for sharing your lovely easy recipes xx

    • Joanne82 on December 28, 2018 at 5:34 am

      I managed to upload the picture after all 😁

      • Gemma Stafford on December 28, 2018 at 7:10 am

        Well done. It looks fantastic! #BoldBaker

    • Gemma Stafford on December 28, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Well done to you. I’m delighted you enjoyed my Best-Ever Chocolate Cake recipe, Joanne! 🙂

  21. Joana on December 20, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi would love to make this cake but do not have cocoa powder. How can i adapt to use unsweetned chocolate instead?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      Ah i dont think melted chocolate would create the right texture and result. I really suggest you use cocoa powder!

  22. Lisa on December 15, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I only rated the recipe at 2 because I just made the cake according to the written directions that I printed. It says to bake in 3 – 8 inch pans but you could use 2 (See printable version above). You just wanted more layers.
    I used 2 8in pans and the batter over flowed in my oven. When I tried to move the pans in the oven they collapsed.
    In your video you mentioned 9 inch pans. If I had used 9in pans the cake may have had a fighting chance. I am going to frost what Ive made and serve it as a dessert with my apologies along with other sweet treats. I may try this recipe again but with modifications.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 7:04 am

      Hi Lisa,
      I am sorry that this was not more clear in the instructions, I will change it to reflect this.
      when you are filling a pan, you fill it to 3/4 or so full, in order to allow the cake to rise, that is the fail safe way to do it.
      This cake has been a big hit with the bold bakers, so I hope that it tasted good for your guests,
      Gemma 😉

  23. Hope on December 8, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Dear Gemma,

    In 2 weeks my friends and I are doing a bake sale in our school. We will donate the generated money. 🙂 Now, this chocolate cake will be the star of the show again 🙂 Do you have any ideas how I can decorate this cake a little bit more “christmas-ey”?
    Love Hope

    • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2018 at 4:50 am

      Hi there,
      I sure do! today I have my Christmas Cake decorating video, and you will see how I managed this. I am not the best ever decorator, just so you know, but enthusiasm is a great substitute for talent! You could use a few shiny baubles, with a little plastic holly, just fixed in a bundle ti the center of the cake, this will be easy to remove. You could use silver dragees, a ball sprinkle, which is what we used at home, with a little Santa and trees, really easy. You could make a little snowman! Just be sure that you can easily cut your cake for serving,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Valerie on December 7, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    What could i replace coffee with in this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2018 at 4:21 am

      Hi Valerie,
      you can just leave it out, all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Elle on December 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Just trying to get my head around cups vs grams. I had a look at this chart which is a conversion chart.
    According to the chart 1 3/4 cups = 210grams; but I’m confused because it states that the equivalent is 250g in your list. I’m more than a little confused – should I just ignore that chart and use your conversion instead?
    Thanks so much,

    • Gemma Stafford on December 7, 2018 at 2:58 am

      Hi Elle,
      I have removed the link from the comment, as this is policy here. However this is from a great flour manufacturer, and for their recipes this is what they use. My recipes are based on my chart, this is because I scoop the ingredients, I do not level usually, and that gives me that weight.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Evans on December 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Using your recipe, I baked a choco cake for my Grade 7 students on the last day of school before summer holidays and everyone loved it. This is like the perfect choco recipe I have ever tried.
    From now on, I’m going to use your recipes only for future attempts.
    My next target: Christmas Fruit Cake.
    Thank you very much,
    Evans (from the island of Mauritius)

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Wow, i’m delighted to hear that!

  27. Grace Cassar on November 24, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    Great success. Thx as always for your great recipes. This cake turned out just PERFECT. I cannot get enough of your stuff to make.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 25, 2018 at 4:30 am

      Hi Grace,
      Thank you, that is so kind, it is great that you are baking with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Elle on November 23, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Hi Gemma, I tried this recipe and the flavour was really great (buttercream out of this world); unfortunately, though, my cake was underbaked even though I baked it for 40 minutes! I also noticed bubbles on the surface? I’m wondering if the cups we have in the UK are different from the ones in America? I also used cups for some of the ingredients and grams for others – could that be the issue? I didn’t use a whisk but mixed by hand. I’d love to use the recipe because the flavour was so good but don’t want to have another underbaked cake! Would like to bake it for my nephew’s 18th in a couple of week’s time. Any suggestions/thoughts, please? Thanks so much!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2018 at 5:51 am

      Hi Elle,
      You are asking a really smart question here, and I think you have answered it too. Cup measurements are based on an informal system of measurement, prior to home weighing scales. People would share recipes based on their kitchen cups, it did not matter the weight of the ingredients, or the size of the cup, as long as the same cup was used to measure all of the ingredients, in any one kitchen. The capacity of the cup changes too from place to place, there is a Canadian/Australian one, but I think the European one was adopted from the US standard cup. It a measure of volume. Once the balance is right, then all will be well. Different ingredients have different equivalent weights too, so rice will be different to sugar, cocoa to flour, and different flours will have a different weight too. Think Rocks and Feathers! So, the rule is simple, fill your cups in the same way, scoop/level/compress, however you choose, and the balance in the recipe will be good. It is not a good idea to mix cup measurements with another method, it is unnecessary, and will not be good for your recipes. You have to trust this system. For accuracy it is best to weigh the ingredients, and your digital scales will be the most accurate of all.
      The other question I have is about your oven. Ovens vary, and can go off their settings over time. It may be that your thermostat is slightly off. Knowing how to check for ‘doneness’ is really essential too, sometimes a gently push to the top of the bake will be enough to say, it is done!
      I hope this is of help, try this one again, it is a goodie!
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Jennifer Cortes Fiske on November 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Hi I would like to frost the cake with a little buttercream then cover with fondant. Would this be a good cake recipe for doing that? It’s for my mom who loves chocolate and this recipe sounds amazing!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      Yes it would. When you refrigerate a sponge cake it stiffens up, making it easy to decorate. The crumb layer of buttercream will then be easy to apply, chill it again, and the fondant will sit nicely on that. The cake will be delicious when removed to room temperature for about 30 mins before serving.
      I hope this helps, and that your mom really enjoys all your effort,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jennifer Cortes Fiske on November 24, 2018 at 11:23 am

        Well the cake turned out absolutely delicious! It was perfect for my mom’s 80th b-day! It was truly the BEST tasting chocolate cake I’ve tasted. I must admit it was the first time I’ve baked a cake that wasn’t from a box and it was very easy. I will try your frosting recipe next time. This time I covered it in fondant (also my first time making it!) I will try to post a photo or two. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on November 25, 2018 at 3:53 am

          Jennifer, I am proud of you!
          Delighted you are baking outside the BOX, it is really just as easy once you are stocked up on the ingredients.
          Well done, delighted you had a great cake for the party. How lovely for your mom, I hope she had a great celebration for this milestone birthday,
          Gemma 🙂

  30. 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!

  31. 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 🙂

  32. 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 🙂


  33. 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 🙂

  34. 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 🙂


  35. 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 😉

  36. 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 🙂

  37. 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 🙂

  38. 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 🙂

  39. 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 🙂

  40. 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 🙂

  41. 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.


  42. 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 🙂

  43. 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 🙂

  44. 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 🙂

  45. 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 🙂

  46. 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!

  47. 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 🙂

  48. 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 🙂

  49. 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 🙂

  50. 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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