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Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe

You can't miss with this delightful old-fashioned dessert. The cake is moist and chocolaty, and its light, fluffy frosting stirs up in a jiffy. Use vanilla pudding instead of chocolate in the frosting if you wish. -Catherine Dawe, Kent, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling YIELD:12-15 servings


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed


  • 1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Beat on medium for 1 minute.
  • 2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 3. For frosting, in a bowl, beat the milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Beat in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 365 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 443mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for Best-Ever Chocolate Cake

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deelyon User ID: 7100645 246808
Reviewed Apr. 9, 2016

"This as a very moist and delicious cake. The cake is not real sweet which I liked but very "chocolatey" . I made mine in a 10" springform pan this time and it took 55 minutes in my convection oven. I will definitely make this again and again. There is nothing like a scratch cake. If you like light and airy puff and blow cakes, then maybe this isn't for you. It was beautifully heavy...a perfect cake in my opinion. Surprised to see NO EGGS in this cake. SUPER!!!!!"

auntiggy User ID: 2101141 55006
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2014

"I made this for my husbands birthday several years ago and every year since!! Now my kids are asking for it for their birthdays!! It is the Best Ever Chocolate Cake!!! So moist and yummy!"

amysmess User ID: 7202245 69603
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2014

"Gotta love chocolate and this cake satisfies that craving!"

jaelspike User ID: 4785474 205586
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2013

"We make this all the time, since my son is allergic to milk (using a different icing, of course). But we're not sacrificing quality for the sake of allergies this time, because this is the best ever chocolate cake."

mrs.mark User ID: 5436322 55005
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2013

"All there is to say is, YUM. It was moist and delicious."

karenadele User ID: 6931303 129846
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2013

"I have made this cake for my children from the time they where small until today at 36, 30 and 29 they love it. My mother-in law give this recipe to me she used it during the depression when there where no eggs."

DELLQ User ID: 1699038 129837
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2013

"Always make this cake when I want a chocolate cake."

dawnrl31 User ID: 1092292 127032
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2013


melanna User ID: 5175892 63717
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2012

"This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. I have been making it for years. I have made it as sheet cakes, cupcakes, shaped cakes, layered cakes. It always works. I use shortening and cocoa to grease and "flour" the pans and then they always come out.

I love that the cake part (without the icing) is egg-free and dairy-free (since we have family who can't have those things). When I do make the icing, it's a hit, but this cake is also good with a butter-cream or fondant topping.
It's not super sweet and it's not super rich, but it's still super good and that's why I like it!"

micheleclow User ID: 6777152 63714
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2012

"Oops, wrong recipe. The one I was trying to get an answer on has the same name."

micheleclow User ID: 6777152 128682
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2012

"This cake was absolutely delicious. I've make it twice, once in a cake pan and last night in 3 round 8". I wish someone could tell me why the cake practically fell apart when I took them out of the cake pans. Except for that though, it was quite tasty."

tknoll06 User ID: 4739711 127029
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2012

"This recipe definitely lives up to it's name! I was alittle worried as I was making it in my Wilton Giant Cupcake pan for the first time. I doubled the recipe and made the big cupcake plus 18 regular sized! I shared it with my coworkers and my husband's coworkers and everyone loved them! Just finished leftovers and it only seemed to get better the longer it was refrigerated!"

jeanhenson51 User ID: 2494000 87642
Reviewed Nov. 22, 2011

"This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I get request for it as well as requests for the recipe. It is quick and easy to make."

Abby_21 User ID: 1024283 127026
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2011

"So busy making my comments on the cake I forgot to give it 5 stars!"

Abby_21 User ID: 1024283 55309
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2011

"Hubby declares this to be the best chocolate cake he has ever tasted! Normally chocolate cake bothers both his stomach and mine. This one does not do that. Not sure why. I just made my normal chocolate butter icing as I had the ingredients on hand. Made no other changes. Easy to put together, common household ingredients and fantastic taste. This is the ONLY chocolate cake I will make from now on."

Nitnole711 User ID: 5949391 44184
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2011

"Ok this cake is good, but definitely NOT the best ever. Try 'Moist Chocolate Cake' on this website..much better!"

mgarif User ID: 3217381 48348
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2011

"It's delicious! This recipe is a keeper."

jonesy85 User ID: 5812465 128680
Reviewed Feb. 14, 2011

"I have been making this cake for years and We all love it, Also used different pudding flavors.. Moist and easy to make.. You cant go wrong with this one..Like cakes use to taste... Yummy yummy yummy.:)"

gmtwitch User ID: 5297798 127024
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

"I have made this cake several times and it has always been a hit. At a church potluck, it disappeared fast! I love how easy it is to make, and the cake is so moist. My whole family loves it!"

pcinant User ID: 3231537 55341
Reviewed Jul. 24, 2010

"Very moist cake. My kids loved this cake !!"

Shelly413 User ID: 1547813 55004
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2010

"This is the best-ever chocolate cake. Everyone always wants the recipe. So very moist. I have used many different pudding flavors and the cake is wonderful by itself."

suegirl User ID: 1145829 55307
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2010

"I LOVE this recipe! I looked it up to make for a girl's night out. I've made it as a birthday cake for my husband, and he loves it too! This is an easy from scratch cake recipe - it comes out perfect everytime I make it."

jenny73 User ID: 1172134 55003
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2010

"My family loved this cake!"

hannahbanana16 User ID: 4625067 129833
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2009

"I followed the directions properly and this had to be the worst thing i ever baked, i just don't know what went wrong. It was overly moist and tasted like a too chewy and moist piece of cake. It barely tasted chocolatey and i even used Ghiradelli baking cocoa. It tasted more sugary with a whole bunch of flour, and the frosting was a bif off for my taste. I usually dont complain and eat whatever, but this by far tasted horrible to me. Any suggestions?!!!"

JBLORD-2007 User ID: 1047500 55340
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2009

"It also freezes very well and is still excellent after thawing. I freeze small portions so I can take out one or two servings as desired from the freezer."

Mussi User ID: 4199739 135323
Reviewed Aug. 20, 2009

"I,ve added 1 cup of apple sauce to cake mixture and 1ttbs of natural unsweetened cocoa to the froorsting for extra chocolate flav"

shaunaanne User ID: 674953 128678
Reviewed May. 31, 2009

"Found this highly rated recipe and used in for a funeral luncheon I was organizing. I never had made it before but passed the recipe out. It was super yummy. Quickly disappeared from the buffet table."

countess cookie User ID: 4170037 55339
Reviewed May. 23, 2009

"Made this cake for a birthday. Everyone loved it! We especially enjoyed the creamy frosting."

purpleirismama User ID: 1931102 127021
Reviewed Mar. 29, 2009

"Made this into cupcakes, minus the frosting. It is incredibly moist and rich, yet fluffy. Everyone loved it! A new easy and delicious favorite."

julieandkavin User ID: 1376567 55306
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2009

"This really is the best chocolate cake ever! So is the frosting!"

txmom1 User ID: 3182759 139705
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2008

"Every time I make this cake, the recipe is the first thing they ask for when they can talk!! I have change the pudding & whipped topping flavors too. I have also put a regular frosting on it and it makes no difference, the cake still tastes awesome!!"

mary therese User ID: 3447144 205585
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2008

"Whoever tasted this cake asks for the recipe. I have passed it along to tens of my friends and they've all added it to their rescue recipes book.

We all love it even without the frosting.

2greyhares User ID: 2889717 129831
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2008

"WOW very easy and delicious."

monkeybug User ID: 1008824 44146
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2007

"YUMMY!!! What else can I say? This cake is delicous, and easy to prepare. I could eat an entire bowl of just the frosting!"

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