Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe
Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

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You don't have to spend a lot of time to serve an elegant and delicious dessert. You can quickly mix up the batter in one bowl, bake your cake and serve a crowd. —Christa Hageman, Telford, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 315 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 473 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Moist Chocolate Cake in Quick Cooking May/June 2001, p27

Reviews for Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake

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Reviewed Mar. 27, 2016

"One of the best chocolate cakes that I have made. Very rich. To make the strong coffee, I put 2 tsp instant coffee in a measuring cup and added water to make one cup. I frosted it with chocolate ganache using the recipe from this site and then since I was serving for Easter, sprinkled on Easter candy quins."

Reviewed Mar. 1, 2016

"This is our most favorite chocolate cake ever. Nothing compares to it! Super easy to make & so so moist. I top it with a chocolate ganache & mini chocolate chips. (For the ganache I use 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 T sugar & 2/3 cup of milk chocolate or bittersweet chips. Heat until melted on stovetop). I substitute 1 cup of water for the coffee as I am not a coffee drinker."

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2016 Edited Jan. 29, 2016

"Holy cow! I have made many chocolate cakes from scratch and this is hands down the best!! I made it gluten free by using the namaste flour mix from costco. Even exchange! . And dairy free by adding cider vinegar to almond milk and waiting for a minute before adding it to the recipe. Then as I don't drink coffee I used a cup of peppermint tea in its place and added peppermint oil (7 drops) to the batter. Then who wants all the sugar so you can only eat one, I added only one cup organic sugar, and one cup stevia...half and half doesn't mess with the texture and flavor of baked goods! Then baked as cupcakes! 15-17 gets more dry if baked too long!!! Wow! Has a similar taste and texture as hostess cupcakes!!!! Wowzier! No need for frosting! Stands on its own!!"

Reviewed Sep. 24, 2015

"This recipe is very good - very tasty and moist! If you are not a coffee drinker, it really doesn't matter. You won't be able to taste it. The coffee is just there to enhance the chocolate taste. I substituted buttermilk with 1 tbsp white vinegar added with whole milk to make 1 cup. I lessened the sugar a bit - used 1 3/4 cup instead of 2 cups. In addition to just topping it with powdered sugar, I made a chocolate ganache (bittersweet chocolate, whole milk with cardamom, powdered sugar and butter) then sprinkled chocolate chips on top. The fluted tube pan available to me was a little bit smaller than the one called for in the instructions but the batter did not really overflow during baking. Baking time of 45 minutes was spot on. This is very easy to make, very little effort needed. The finished product looks very presentable and you could easily give these as gifts."

Reviewed Jul. 19, 2015

"This chocolate cake is amazing! Easy, moist and nice chocolate flavor. You can taste the coffee in the batter but not in the cooled cake. It just adds a deeper fuller taste. Sometime I substitute half the cocoa powder with dark chocolate powder. I occasionally try different chocolate cake recipes and even if they are good I always come back to this cake as a reliable, delicious go to option."

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