Hershey’s Chocolate Cake – Better Taste From Scratch

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolatey” Chocolate Cake with 5-Ingredient Chocolate Frosting is our favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe! Extra moist, with perfect rich chocolate flavor and a tender, smooth crumb.

This chocolate cake recipe is similar to my yellow cake with chocolate frosting in that it’s a staple recipe that everyone needs in their collection. If you’re looking for something a little more “fancy” check out my popular German Chocolate Cake or Pineapple Filled Coconut Cake.

This quick and easy chocolate cake recipe has become my favorite over the years, and it’s the base recipe for many of my other favorite chocolate cake recipes.

It’s also one of the very FIRST recipes I’ve ever shared here, back in 2010! I think I’ve made hundreds of cakes since, and this is still my favorite recipe. Thank you Hershey’s!

I can confidently say it’s everything you’d expect from a homemade chocolate cake, including incredibly moist and tender, with fantastic homemade chocolate frosting.

And, did I mention how easy is it to do? Let me show you:

How to make a chocolate cake:

Mix the dry ingredients. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

To add wet ingredients:. Eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix until well blended.

Process photos to make a chocolate cake, including mixing the dry and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls.

Add boiling water. Stir to combine (batter will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

boiling water added to chocolate cake batter, next to another photo of two round cake pans filled with batter.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Assemble and glaze: Place a layer of cake on a serving platter. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top. Add the second layer of cake. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

Three process photos of stacking and frosting a two-layer round chocolate cake.

Pro tips:

  • Use room temperature ingredients, especially eggs. Room temperature eggs (as opposed to cold eggs from the fridge) are fluffier and will emulsify better in the batter, which will also help the cake rise well. A trick for bringing eggs to room temperature quickly is to run hot water over them for a minute or let them sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
  • Use buttermilk (or easily make your own): Hershey’s original recipe doesn’t use buttermilk, but buttermilk is a great ingredient for making cakes like this extra moist. If you don’t have buttermilk, use a simple trick by mixing 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and you will notice it curdle slightly to form buttermilk.
  • Line the bottom of your cake tin before adding the batter. I learned early on never to skip the step of lining the bottom of my cake pans with parchment paper. Then you never have to worry about the cake sticking to the bottom of the pan. I also lightly spray the bottom of the paper and the sides of the pan with cooking spray.

Recipe variations:

  • One layer cake: Grease a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Freeze.
  • Cupcakes: Line a cupcake mold with paper cups and fill it 2/3 full with batter. Bake the cupcakes for 22-25 minutes. Cool completely completely before frosting. Makes 24-30 cupcakes
  • bundt cake: Grease and flour the mold well and bake the chocolate cake for about 50-55 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in pan before inverting onto a cooling rack.
  • Gluten free: Substitute Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free Flour in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Dairy free: Substitute almond milk in cake and frosting recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

A slice of Hershey

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

Cakes and chocolate frosting can be made ahead. Let the cakes cool completely, then wrap each layer in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months. Cakes can be frosted while frozen.

Homemade chocolate frosting will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. Take the frosting out of the fridge about an hour before you are ready to frost your cake to allow it to come to room temperature.

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