Family Recipes

Dark Chocolate Cake

12 servings


55 minutes

total time


3 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup + 2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I love to use the Hershey's Special dark, but regular works)

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)

3 large eggs (, room temperature)

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups boiling water

5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 1 /3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (, softened to room temperature)

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease three 9-inch cake pans (I also like to cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan to make sure the cake doesn't stick). Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix until well combined.

Slowly add boiling water to the cake batter, while stirring. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute. The batter will be very thin.

Pour cake batter evenly between the three cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few moist crumbs.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting:

Stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In a separate mixing bowl beat the butter on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar/cocoa mixture alternating with the cream and vanilla, beating after each addition, until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.

Assemble the cake:

Lay one layer of chocolate cake on a cake board or platter. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread a layer of dark chocolate frosting over the top of the cake. Add the second layer or cake and frost the top and sides of the cake.

Optional- use a wilton decorating tip to add a decorative edge and add chocolate sprinkles.


Serving Size



887 kcal

Total Fat

36 g

Saturated Fat

14 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



94 mg


572 mg

Total Carbohydrate

144 g

Dietary Fiber

8 g

Total Sugars

105 g


10 g

12 servings


55 minutes

total time
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