Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe
Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Best-Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe

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4.5 35 44
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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
MAKES:12-15 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
MAKES: 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

Nutritional Facts

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


  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.
Editor's Note: This cake does not contain eggs.
Originally published as Best-Ever Chocolate Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2003, p33

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mrkcook User ID: 8304672 267572
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2017

"This cake was FANTASTIC! I made it in two round pans baked for 30 minutes. I layered the cakes and frosting and was skeptical if it would stay together -- it did! It was just the perfect moistness and choc flavor. I like to make something a little extra special for my kids' birthdays and this one fit the bill!"

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!"

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