Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

When I think about chocolate cake, I want the cake layers to be moist. I want them to be packed with chocolatey flavor, and to have a soft texture.

The baker in me also wants the cake layers to have structure, so that they don’t fall apart as you try to frost them.

I also wanted a chocolate cake recipe that could be carved for sculpted cakes!

The Perfect Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

That’s how this recipe came to be. I had been playing around with different chocolate cake recipes for years, and they all were delicious. 

Each recipe had some of these attributes, but none of them had it all.

Was it greedy to demand so many things from one chocolate cake recipe?? No. We deserve it! If we’re going to take the time to make a cake recipe from scratch, we deserve to have cake layers that are moist and keep their shape (as seen below).

IMG_2404 (2)

My First Chocolate Cake Recipe

Speaking of my past chocolate cake recipes, I’m not saying they’re not great in their own way. The first chocolate cake recipe I really fell for was my moist chocolate cake recipe.

It is incredibly soft and fluffy, and  I love the way it tastes!! It’s a great recipe for beginning bakers, and is really easy to make.

My moist chocolate cake recipe actually can be made in one bowl, AND can be made without a hand mixer!! Talk about the perfect starter recipe, right?

Photo Of Baileys Chocolate Cake

The only downside is that it isn’t the easiest to stack and frost with perfectly smooth sides!

When I was first getting into baking, taste was my #1 priority, so this didn’t bother me much.

My Chocolate Butter Cake Recipe

As I became more interested in cake decoration, I was obsessed with frosting cakes with smooth sides.

It was so much easier to frost cake layers that had a bit more structure, like my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe.

I fell in love with the strength of the layers, and how well they help up while being frosted.

I altered the recipe to a make a chocolate version, and used this as my chocolate layer cake recipe for a while.

photo of chocolate layer cake recipe

The only downside is that I like to trim my layers to remove the caramelization on the sides.

This means an extra step in the process, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the texture of the layers.

Classic Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe

This lead me to continue to try out new chocolate cake recipes, and experiment. I really loved using Yolanda Gampp’s chocolate sponge cake recipe, but didn’t like that they baked with such huge domes!

Photo of chocolate sponge cake recipe

I felt like i was cutting off 2/3 of each layer when I leveled them. However, the layers tasted great with simple syrup, and had great structure.

My Favorite Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

I used Yolanda’s recipe as the starting point, then combined my favorite elements from all my past chocolate cake recipes.

The other element I really wanted to change was the size of the domes on top of each cake layer.

While creating this recipe, I chose to use black cocoa instead of regular baking cocoa. I love the taste and color it creates!! 

You can see what a beautiful color the black cocoa adds to the cake layers by looking at this slice of my raspberry chocolate cake.

fullsizeoutput_17e

I also swapped some of the water for buttermilk to add more moisture, and used less baking soda.

The result?? A soft, tender chocolate cake that doesn’t need simple syrup, and that holds its shape well while being frosted and stacked. 

I’m obsessed with this recipe, and hope you all will be too!

If you don’t have access to black cocoa or don’t want to buy it, you can also use regular baking cocoa in this recipe! That’s exactly what I did in my triple chocolate wrap cake below, and it was delicious. 

Photo of Chocolate Wrapped Cake With Chocolate Covered Strawberries

You can add a splash of simple syrup if you love using it, or think that the cake layers will be exposed to air for long period of time.

I highly recommend adding simple syrup if you’re making a carved cake or a wedding cake!

If you try this chocolate layer cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets, so I can see your beautiful creations!!

Yield: 24 servings

Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake

This is my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe! It makes soft, tender, chocolaty cake layers that can handle a splash of simple syrup, and still hold up while being frosted.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (500 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (6 grams)
  • 4 large eggs, room temp (224 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (2 sticks, 226 grams)
  • 1 cup hot water (237 grams)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp (240 grams)
  • 1 cup black cocoa (100 grams)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (452 grams)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (750 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups of melted dark chocolate, cooled (232 grams, 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa, sifted (100 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (115 grams)

Instructions

Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four seven-inch or three eight 8-inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix on high for 1 minute with a whisk attachment. The mixture should become light in color.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.
  5. Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter/egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.
  6. Pour in half of the buttermilk/cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don't, you'll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!)
  7. Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a low speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk/cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.
  8. Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.
  9. Evenly divide between the prepared pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.
  10. Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.
  12. Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  13. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the chocolate buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. 
  3. Add in the sifted cocoa, and mix on low until the cocoa is fully incorporated, and no clumps remain.
  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
  5. Mix in the cooled, melted chocolate.
  6. Once fully mixed, add in the salt.
  7. Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  8. If the frosting is too thick, add an extra Tbsp of heavy cream. If it's too thin, add in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  9. Stir by hand with a rubber spatula for a couple minutes to get the frosting SUPER smooth.

To Assemble The Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Add an even layer of chocolate buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (10 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  4. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!

Notes

These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.

This buttercream can also be made in advance!! I highly recommend making it ahead of time to make the decoration of a cake less stressful and more fun. It keeps in the fridge for several weeks, if stored in an airtight container.

When you're ready to use the chilled buttercream, remove it from the fridge a few hours in advance (or overnight) and allow it to come to room temperature. Give it a good stir with a rubber spatula or your kitchen aid, to get rid of any air bubbles that may have formed. Once the buttercream is smooth again, it's ready to use!

Nutrition Information

Yield

25

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 440 Total Fat 16g Saturated Fat 9g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 5g Cholesterol 61mg Sodium 256mg Carbohydrates 70g Fiber 3g Sugar 52g Protein 5g

147 thoughts on “Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

  1. Hi, I just made your “new” go to chocolate cake. I do have to say, with your go to vanilla and chocolate cake recipe I loved the one bowel method. I was wondering why you add the baking powders to the butter/ egg mixture rather then the flour?

    1. it’s easier to add them straight into the bowl of my stand mixer! I add the flour straight of the bag using a measuring cup, so to me it’s just easier that way!

  2. Hi Chelsweets! Would I be able to use dark hershey’s cocoa powder or normal hershey’s cocoa in place of the black cocoa?

  3. Hi Chelsea,
    I dont have black cocoa so i was wondering if regular unsweetened cocoa powder would work as a substitute? Also what is the difference between this chocolate cake recipe and your moist chocolate cake recipe? Besides the ingredients ?

    1. yes, it will! This recipe has slightly more structure, and is easier to stack to make layered cakes! It also can absorb simple syrup more easily. The moist cake is so soft it can’t handle simple syrup well!

  4. Hi Chelsea,
    I’ve been looking for a good chocolate cake with structure ! And since i LOVE your best chocolate cupcake recipe, i will definetly try this one ! I was wondering, no coffee in the hot water ? Have you tried with and without it ?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. I have, and i add it depending on the frosting / filling I pair with it! The black cocoa I use has so much flavor though, it doesn’t realllly need it! But I do add a bit of coffee if it’s a chocolate chocolate cake, since I do love the hint of coffee in an all chocolate cake!

  5. Hello!! I have made Yo’s recipe twice today and both ended up falling in the center 🙁 I’m concerned It was tooo moist both times… So I hope to make yours tomorrow, espically because you add more flour. I have two 8” circle pans that are 4” deep Could I half this batter to each of them and cook 2 thick cakes then slice/level them in half? I plan to have 8 layers for a cake I’m making. Can I just adjust the baking time and bake them longer? Or will trying to make them so tall possibly be why the others fell? Thank you!! Also, I love watching your channel and congratulations on your engagement and soon to be wedding!

    1. it should end up being firm, it sounds like you may be under baking them if they’re sinking in the middle! You can make them in taller pans, but they’ll need to bake for much longer!

  6. Hi! Just wondering, how much batter would I have to make if I wanted to use 10″ circle pans, but still wanted it to be as tall as the cake you made here?

  7. I made this cake today and as I was putting it in the oven I realized I forgot to add salt!! ? Stuff happens. It’s still not bad. But I bet it’d be great if I didn’t screw it up.

    1. Hi sorn! I’m not sure I understand your question, you want a coffee chocolate cake recipe? like a chocolate cake made with coffee? my moist chocolate cake recipe uses coffee, and I recommend trying it if that’s what you’re after 🙂

  8. What is the black cocoa powder you use? I’m so excited to try this cake this weekend! I have used your vanilla cake and cupcake recipes and they are incredible! Thank you!

      1. This will forever be my go to chocolate. Cake recipe! It has turned out beautifully several times! Thanks you so much!!!

  9. Really loving your cakes! The recipes are trusted go-tos now. I made this and your white chocolate layer cake for my cousin’s 21st, alternating layers of each flavour and topping with white or milk chocolate ganache within a dam of vanilla smbc. I iced the cake with the vanilla smbc and then dripped coloured white chocolate ganache. I’ve never received so many compliments on a cake, everyone said they’ve had a lot of cakes and this was the best they’d ever had!
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes!!

  10. If I only have two 8 inch pans can I bake two at a time and leave the batter sitting or should I get two more pans? Thanks! The cake looks great

  11. Hi Chelsey. You should add grams to this so it’s easier for people to divide the batter into smaller batches 🙂

  12. Hi! I’m looking to make this recipe in 6in pans. Would you recommend on halving the recipe?

    And in general, how would you advise on altering pan sizes on recipes?

    1. that’s exactly what I would recommend! I actually have a small batch recipe (which is just a half recipe), which I just added to this post to make it easier to make! I like to use it to make 3, 6 inch cake layers 🙂 They bake in 25-28 minutes.

      1. I can’t seem to find the small batch recipe for the chocolate cake on this post. Is it somewhere else? I am looking to make 3 -6 inch cakes. Thanks in advance. Love all your cakes!

      2. Sadly in the process of switching over my recipe cards to a new plugin they were lost :/ I’m hoping to have them back up soon!! Stay tuned!!

  13. Hi, I followed your instructions but used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa and added instant coffee and vanilla. I used two 8 inch pans and baked approximately 10 min. longer…just kept checking until the tester came out clean. Once cooled I was able to easily divide each layer in half. Great structure and taste. Will consider using a flavored simple syrup with the cherry buttercream I plan to use between the layers. Next time I will try with the black cocoa, which I didn’t have enough of. I always add vanilla to chocolate….it just adds another level of flavor. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! ?

    1. this recipe makes two layers that size, that are about 1 inch tall!I usually stack the two layers on top of each other when I make a sheet cake <3

  14. Just want to confirm that this recipe is good for a tiered cake? I am making a 3 tier cake and the bottom tier is chocolate cake. Will this recipe hold up well as the bottom tier? Dowels will be used for support. I’ve made this recipe before without putting a simple syrup on it. Do you recommend using some?

    1. Yes, it works great as a tiered cake, as long as it’s supported properly! I usually don’t use simple syrup, but it’s really a matter of preference / how long the cake will be out as you assemble it. If you think it’ll dry out as you it you can, but usually it isn’t necessary 🙂

  15. Hi Chelsea,

    Do you think it would work ok to make 3x 9in layers of good height with this recipe?

    Thanks heaps for all the amazing tutorials!!

    1. they would be pretty thin!! I’d recommend only using one batch of batter to make 2 9 inch cake layers, or making a 1.5 batch!

      1. Rebecca I literally just made 3 9 inch layers… 1.5 batches of this recipe was perfect! Definitely not getting 3 layers with a single batch.

  16. thank you so much for your recipes! I don’t see where you add the simple syrup? or is that optional? I was thinking of using this chocolate cake recipe and use the nutella buttercream fillings….will this recipe be enough for four 7 inch pans?

    1. it’s option! Sometimes I add it if I’m carving a cake and the layers will be exposed to air for a long time, but normally I don’t add any to it! This recipe will make 4, 1 inch layers using 7 inch pans 🙂

  17. Wow! Thank you so much! I’ve just made the small batch, divided the batter into two 6 inch pan.
    I kept ‘trimming’ just to eat that cake! Just couldn’t wait! Thank you so much for the recipes.
    Finally! The search for a perfect chocolate cake ended.

  18. Wow, I just tried dis now and it came out perfect. I baked mine in a 2inch high 8inch pan. Tanks for dis recipe. But if I might ask y does most of ur recipes uses buttermilk

    1. aw i’m so happy to hear that!! i love that flavor and moisture buttermilk adds to a cake! but you can always use whole milk in place of it if you want <3

  19. Hello! I have made many cakes using your recipes. They are, hands down, the best cake recipes I’ve come across. They are always crowd pleasers and they never fail! I’m interested in making one of your chocolate cake recipes, but I’m having trouble choosing between the recipes. I’ve come across 3 of your chocolate cake recipes: “Go to Chocolate Layer Cake” “The Best Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe” “Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe.” I’m curious to know the difference in taste. Flavor is more important to me than a nice structure. In your opinion, which has the best chocolate flavor?

    1. Happy to hear you’ve been putting my recipes to good use! Part of having the best chocolate flavor will depend on the type of cocoa you use, but I personally love my go-to layer cake recipe with black cocoa. The moist chocolate cake is also great, but my friends have told me they prefer my go-to chocolate cake recipe over the moist chocolate cake recipe 🙂

  20. Hello! I really want to make a 6 inch cake with 4 layers. Should I half the original recipe or use 3/4 of it? Thank you!

  21. I made your Moist Chocolate Cake recipe. Loved the flavor but it was lighter than I prefer. I really like a denser, moist cake. Would you say that this recipe would achieve that?

      1. Hi. I have tonight and tomorrow night to come up with a 21st cake for my daughter. I would like to try you go to choc cake and want to use the Wilton set of 4. 8inch by 0.75 inch high . do you think it would work and how long should I bake for? Also would I halve the recipe or use the whole recipe?

      2. Hi Denise! I’m so sorry for the delayed response on this! If the cake pans are less than an inch high, i’d be worried the cake layers might overflow as they rise up while they bake!! if I use that recipe to make 4, 8-inch cake layers, I usually bake them for 32-34 minutes <3 If you want to make four eight inch cake layers, you definitely need one whole batch of batter!

      1. Hi Chelsea, can i keep this cake in the freezer for a few days before i frost it?
        Thanks for your reply!

        Best regards, Gabriela

  22. Silly question, Is there a specific reason you say to use 4 7inch rounds or 3 8 inch rounds? Can I divide the batter between 4 8 inch rounds or does this make the layers to thin?

    Thank You

    1. You can definitely make 4, 8-inch layers, but they will definitely be thin, and bake more quickly! I just like slightly thicker layers, with a generous layer of frosting between them 🙂 But you can always adjust my recipe to fit your preferences!!

  23. Hi, I’m wanting to make this for my nephew’s birthday this weekend. I’ve got an 11×15 pan and I was wondering if this would be enough and what the temp and bake time would be for it? Thank you in advance! Love your work! ??

    1. I usually use one batch of batter to make 2 9x13inch sheet cakes, so I think you can make one 11×15 inch sheet layer! It will be thick, so i’d recommend using at least 2 flower nails in the pans to help the layer bake more evenly and quickly. I’d guess it will take 40-55 minutes to bake, but I’m really not sure since I’ve never used that size of pan before. So sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!

  24. I have made this cake twice in the last two weeks! Wow! So amazing! So now I have someone asking if I could make it in a 9×13 2 layers. I figure it would be enough for that but dont know if the temp would be the same and what you would recommend as baking time. Please let me know and thank you for the amazing recipe!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that!! one batch of batter should be enough to make two 9×13 inch sheet layers! I’d recommend using two flower nails in each pan, to help them bake more evenly and quickly! The temp can stay the same, and should bake up in a similar time ( as long as you use flower nails!) 🙂 If not, it will take about 10 additional minutes to bake.

  25. Hey! I’m wanting to make this along with your vanilla layer cake and stack on top of one another.
    I will be making 1x batch of vanilla layer cake mix to make 2x 10″ layers.
    Would one batch of this chocolate layer cake make 2x 10″ layers? And would they come out the same size as the vanilla layers or would you recommend otherwise..
    Thank you.

  26. This was the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made. It really lived up to the description — sturdy enough to layer easily, the layers stayed moist and light, and the flavor was delicious.

    I have to admit I’ve been watching your tutorial videos on youtube while at work! I’ve been wanting to improve my cake making and decorating skills, and your videos really helped me make a beautiful cake for Mother’s Day. I’m looking forward to trying all the other recipes on this website. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that James!! That’s so wonderful that you’re putting my recipes and tutorials to good use!! You have one lucky mother 🙂 Happy baking!!

  27. Hello,
    I found your fantastic recipe, but I have one question.

    You said you can bake 3x 8″ layers with this recipe. So, my problem is I only can bake one 8″ pan at first and the rest soon. So step by step…

    But what will happen with the rest of batter during the waiting time?? Do I need to put it in the fridge? And then use it after the first pan got done?
    Or better to split the recipe into 3 parts? Is it even possible?

    Beat wishes Sasha

    1. Hi Sasha!

      I would recommend just leaving it at room temp! The fridge can chill the batter, which can mess with how the layers bake up and how long it takes them to bake. It’s not ideal to leave the batter sitting out for a long time, but it’s best to leave it at room temp if you have to <3 It’s going to take so long to bake them using one pan though. I recommend getting a couple others to make your life easier!! I get mine on amazon, and they’ve lasted me for years: https://amzn.to/2JV6xLI

  28. I used this recipe yesterday to bake a cake for my husband’s 40 birthday. It turned out lighter in colour than your version but was nonetheless delicious. I reduced the amount of sugar as it seemed to much for our taste though. I baked two 8” cakes, stacked them up with one layer of cream cheese frosting and fresh raspberries in between, additional frosting layer on top. It was tasty and looked super fancy although quite easy to bake!!! Thanks for your video, it is excellent.

    1. So happy to hear your cake turned out great Elise!! It sounds delicious, I love raspberries and chocolate together 🙂

      I usually use black cocoa in this cake recipe, which makes the batter very dark in color. If you used regular baking cocoa, it definitely would’ve been a lighter color <3

    1. If you place a flower nail upside down in the middle in the pan, it actually cooks for about the same time! Maybe a minute or two longer. Hope that helps!

  29. I love your everything about your site! The recipes are flawless and by far the easiest to replicate and use in my own kitchen! And tour decorations are phenomenal! I love to try to create the same decoration or put my own spin on them! I do have one question though. I always have an issue with my layers doming so much. It doesn’t matter the type of cake I am making, it always domes. I just made these cake layers and they domed quite a bit as well. Is this normal for this recipe, or did I do something wrong somewhere? I followed your recipe exactly except for adding 1 1/2 tsp of espresso powder. PLEASE HELP!!! Thank you so much!

    1. You are so sweet Miranda, thank you!! Having your cake layers dome isn’t anything you’re doing wrong, a lot of it comes down to how the recipe is built and the amount of leavening agents included in it!

      This chocolate layer cake recipe does dome a bit, and I usually trim the tops with a serrated knife! You also can simply press them down when they’re hot out of the oven, with a slightly smaller cake pan. I sometimes with flatten 8 inch cake layers with the bottom of a 7 inch pan. It sounds strange, but it works pretty well, and is a great alternative if you don’t want to level the layers with a knife.

      Hope that helps!!

  30. Hi!!! How would you turn your layer cake recipes into 3, 4 inch layers? would you half the 6 inch recipe, considering your small batch recipe for the chocolate was just half the 8 inch?

    1. Hi Jillian,

      Those are tiny little layers!! You can make 1/3 of a batch of batter for 3, 4-inch layers, and you’d have a tiny bit of extra batter left over!

  31. Hi!! I am planning on making this recipe for a wedding cake!! I am doing 4 nine inch cake layers for one tier and 3 6″ in layers for the top tier. Should I double or triple the recipe? Also, do you know app how many cups of batter would go into the 9 inch cake layers?

  32. Is my math correct. If I use this for the bottom tier of a wedding cake that is 14″ and I want to make that tier out of 3 1″ layers then I would need 9 1/3 cups of batter for each 1″ layer or a total of 462 cubic inches total? So one whole recipe for each layer?

  33. Do you go by the weight or the amount in your recipes? Because when I weigh it out, it is way off from the cup measurements.

  34. Hi Chelsey! I’ve been dying to ask… what brand of 7” cake pans do you use? I can’t find them in store. I’ve been looking on amazon but just wanted to see what you use.

    1. It depends on the height you want your cake layers to be! If you want them to be tall (slightly taller than an inch once leveled), you can actually use a full batch to make 4, 6-inch layers! I think the ideal amount of batter would be about 3/4 of a batch, but I’m not sure it’s worth the conversion to make slightly less batter.

      If you do use a full batch, the cake layers will need to bake for slightly longer! Hope that helps, happy baking 🙂

  35. Would this cake hold up well as the third tier on a four tier wedding cake? I use your vanilla cake recipe every time I do a wedding cake but I am always nervous when I have to put weight on top of a chocolate cake!

    1. Hi Shelby,

      This cake recipe will hold up just fine as long as they cake is properly supported with dowels 🙂 Hope that helps, happy baking!

  36. Hi! I’m baking a cake for my sister’s baby shower and I was wondering if you had an idea on how to adapt this recipe to make a 3 tier 9 inch cake? I’d love to use this recipe but I don’t think a 3 tier 8 inch will be big enough to feed all the people there. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mary!

      You can use cake flour in place of the AP flour. For every cup of all purpose flour the recipe calls for, use 1 cup + 2 TBSP cake flour. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  37. This is by far my favorite of your chocolate cakes and is my go to! I have a customer that wants a single layer 9×13 (so I can cut in half and create a two layered book). So wondering if I need to half the recipe (or do the small batch recipe) and if the time or temperature would change? Thank you so much for all of your amazing recipes! Your weekly email is the highlight of my week and my reason to go to the gym lol

    1. Hi Samantha,

      You are too sweet 🙂 This cake recipe makes two sheet cakes that are 9×13 inches. However, they’ll be slightly less than 1 inch tall once you level them. So it depends on how tall you want the layers to be! When I bake layer cakes, I place two flower nails spaced evenly apart in the center of each pan (and spray them), to help the layers bake more evenly and quickly. With flower nails, the cake layers bake in 37-40 minutes in my oven. I hope that helps, happy baking!!

  38. Hi Chelsea!

    I plan on using this recipe and your funfetti recipe for my wedding cake. I am using oval pans for this and plan on messing around with the batter amt.

    I wanted to know if you think adding chocolate chunks would cause problems for stacking and stability. My fiance inly really like double chocolate chip type cakes.

    I also wanted to know if you think i should still use simple syrup for stacking and keeping the cake moist. I will be doing this about 5 days in advance of my wedding and the frosting and decorations 7-10 days in advance.

    1. Hi Fenay!

      Sounds like you are going to have an epic wedding cake 🙂 I don’t think adding chocolate chips should cause an issue with stability or stacking, but I do recommend using mini chocolate chips, and tossing them in flour before folding them into the batter to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of pan while the layers back.

      I definitely think you should use simple syrup for any wedding cake! even if the cake layers are moist on their own, by the time you level and stack all the tiers, they end up sitting out for a while and can dry out a bit. I always brush simple syrup onto cake layers for wedding cakes I make. I hope that helps, I’m sure your wedding cake will be amazing!!

    1. Hi Lisa! If you want to make the cake layers more moist, you can brush them with simple syrup once they’re leveled <3 It should be able to feed 25 people just fine. They won’t be super wide slices, but they’ll be tall / packed with buttercream so they’ll be filling! Hope that helps, happy baking!

  39. This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have found. So solid to stack, so moist that it melts in mouths. I have been baking this cake for a year and whoever eats it just feels more craving. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. For making a half sheet cake you will double this recipe?? Thanks in advance??

    1. I am so incredibly happy to hear that Arthi! If you are making one 12 x 18 inch sheet cake (with one layer), one batch should be just enough batter! Happy baking 🙂

    1. Hi Justin! Do you mean in general, or with this specific cake recipe??

      In general, I’d make a sponge cake recipe because they bake so quickly!

      With this cake recipe, I’d throw it directly into a blast chiller after it’s done baking, so that it cools as quickly as possible.

  40. I followed your recipe exactly & it turned out great !!! Super moist , sturdy for layering and very easy to do by seeing your video & the written instructions. Yummy !!! I can see why you use the black cocoa. I ordered mine and couldn’t wait to get baking .. Thanks Chels for the great information and q&a’s !! Youre inspirational !! 🙂

  41. Hello! I was wondering if it would be okay to make the batter and keep it in the fridge overnight if I am not quite ready to bake the cake. Thanks!

Let me know what you think!