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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

This cake mixes up quickly and bakes while we enjoy our dinner. My son, David, loves to help decorate it. —Coleen Martin, Brookfield, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling YIELD:15 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Frosting of your choice
  • Colored sprinkles, optional


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk the first six ingredients. Stir in eggs, oil and buttermilk. Add water; stir until combined.
  • 2. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Frost cake. If desired, decorate with sprinkles. Yield: 15 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece (calculated without frosting) equals 297 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 281 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Reviews for One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

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Reviewed Apr. 2, 2016

"Yummy, quick desert. Reminds me of what my mom made us as kids."

Reviewed Mar. 23, 2016

"This looks yummy. I hope the author, Coleen, reads the reviews because I want to say, "Hi." I was David's third grade teacher."

Reviewed Mar. 23, 2016

"I made this cake on Sunday and it was a huge hit. Very moist. Will absolutely be making this again (probably a lot!)"

Reviewed Mar. 10, 2016

"I love, love this recipe..easy and not a bunch of dirty dishes at the end...The cake is chocolaty and moist. I have made this cake several times. Today, I decided to substitute 1 cup of hot coffee for the 1 cup of water...Amazing Grace!!! My mom just moved to California from Georgia and ate a good portion of the cake...Thank you for such a wonderful old fashion chocolate cake..."

Reviewed Feb. 20, 2016

"This is a fantastic chocolate cake. EASY TO MAKE AND SO WONDERFULLY MOIST AND CHOCOLATEY! Yummy!!!!!"

Reviewed Feb. 12, 2016

"I loved this recipe... Easy to make and tastes awesome :)"

Reviewed Jan. 10, 2016

"My cake fell in the middle as well, but we live in Colorado and I did not adjust for altitude, just made as directed. The cake was very chocolate-ly and well received by both adults and kids. I also think I could have made in a larger pan (it rose almost over the edge in the 13 x 9 that I used.) Overall, a keep of a recipe....easy to prepare and better than a boxed mix by far."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2015

"Excellent! This is my go-to chocolate cake. I've made it I half a dozen times, each time with complete success. It's moist and light with a rich chocolate taste, yet it's amazingly simple! (Truth be told, I "make" buttermilk by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of milk. Also, I seldom have whole milk around, so I use fat-free half-and-half, skim milk, or a combination of the two.)

Well, there's the timer! :-)"

Reviewed Jul. 19, 2015

"Simple, easy to halve the recipe. Nice and moist."

Reviewed Jul. 14, 2015

"This is the best recipe ever and so simple!"

Reviewed Jul. 6, 2015

"This is my go to chocolate cake now. I get dirty looks if I even think about using a cake mix. Mine drops a tiny bit in the middle, but nothing major. It just gets a bit more icing. ;) I've done this gluten free as well and it turned out exactly as if I'd used All Purpose Flour. It is always posted on my fridge since I bake it once a month at least. I've passed this recipe on to several people; it is now their go to cake as well."

Reviewed Jul. 3, 2015

"My fave cake for 39 years! No matter where I take it, there are never any leftovers!"

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2015

"This cake tastes good, but for some reason it collapses in the center when it's almost done baking. I was disappointed. I won't be making it again."

Reviewed Feb. 1, 2015

"This cake recipe is just about as easy as making a cake mix cake. I usually have all the ingredients on hand, and it mixes up quickly. It's a good, basic chocolate cake recipe and one that's easy to "dress up" with frosting, toppings, etc."

Reviewed Jan. 27, 2015

"Great easy cake! Mine baked perfectly at 350 for 35 minutes timed bake, it sat in the turned off oven an extra hour, didn't burn, dry out, or fall in the middle!"

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2015

"If cake is falling try adding 1/4 cup flour to batter."

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2015

"JLBB - Try adding less water, or cooking a bit longer with greaseproof / foil covering the cake so it doesn't burn. Making it in a round tin, means you can cut the middle out ( just go round a small jar / cup ) if it still sinks, and cover it with a runny icing, so that it drips down both sides of the cake. Crumble the middle to go with banana custard, or put a big dollop of cream on top, some strawberries / raspberries and enjoy the ' cooks ' desserts! If you choose the latter option, make sure you enjoy it before anyone gets home!"

Reviewed Jan. 20, 2015

"Just made this cake The batter tastes good I think mine will fall too I think the pan is too small even though it is a 9 by 13 Maybe take some batter out and make a few cupcakes"

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2014

"It is so good my family love it"

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2014

"So easy! And so moist! This will be my "go to" cake from now on. Mine also fell in the middle, but so what? (That part got a little extra frosting)"

Reviewed May. 25, 2014

"I have made this cake for years and the flavor can't be beat. But mine ALWAYS fall in the middle. Can anyone help me with that? Thanks!"

Reviewed Feb. 14, 2014

"This was really good! I will make this again."

Reviewed Jan. 29, 2014

"I made this to serve to my daughter who avoids gluten and white sugar. I used non-gluten flour and coconut sugar. It turned out very nice. I frosted it with TOH Glossy Chocolate Frosting recipe , and I used coconut sugar for that also. This cake turned out well with these substitutions. I will make this again."

Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013

"The best chocolate cake I have ever made. Cake lasted not even 5min. I will forever keep this recipe."

Reviewed Nov. 15, 2012

"Excellent cake! It was the best chocolate cake I've ever made. It was so moist and flavorful. We made it 3 times in one week. My family and our guest loved it! I even substitued applesauce for half the oil with not problem! Best cake is now our go to chocolate cake. I love that all the ingredients are common and simple! My search for an amazing simple chocolate cake recipe is over! YUMMY!"

Reviewed Aug. 12, 2012

"Best I've ever tasted. Stays so moist, I can make it days ahead of time and it tastes like I made it that day. Everyone asks for this recipe and can't believe how easy it is. I can't bring myself to try other chocolate cake recipes because I don't believe they can be better than this one."

Reviewed Feb. 4, 2012

"I have made this recipe at least 50 times over the years and it has never failed me. It's great also as cupcakes. Many have asked for the recipe as well. It's a keeper!"

Reviewed Jan. 27, 2012

"So easy to make! Moist and delicious."

Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"I have made this recipe several times over the years and it is the best chocolate cake I've ever tip. Don't chinze on the chocolate. Use good chocolate. I use the Hersheys Dark Choc. I tried generic and not good at all. I also use the powdered buttermilk. So convenient."

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2011

"I agree with Jodie. This cake is fabulous. It is great to have a homemade cake that can be made in one bowl. I also like that it uses ingredients that you would normally have around the house. I have also taken it to potlucks and have had many people ask for the recipe."

Reviewed Oct. 2, 2011

"I LOVE this cake!! I can't even begin to say how many birthday parties, potlucks, and nighttime snack attacks I've made this for. I've been making it for over 10 years. I've tried lots of others but always come back to this one. Great flavor and very moist. I've substituted other ingredients when I'm out of the called for and it still turns out amazing. Definitely the best!!"

Reviewed Apr. 4, 2011

"This is the best chocolate cake! My kids always ask to make it again Mom! Keeps well and stays moist. Great with ice-cream of course! I've made it several times. Always turns out perfect!"

Reviewed Feb. 12, 2011

"Very moist, almost a brownie-like texture. I made the mistake of trying to make this into a layer cake, it did not work. Too dense! The only real problem I had was that it wasn't very chocolatey."

Reviewed Jan. 20, 2011

"cake was moist and tasted great too; made two times and both times center fell that was the only problem"

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2010

"I tried this because of it's simplicity and it came out perfect."

Reviewed May. 7, 2010

"I have made this recipe over and over and it turns out great every time! This is the cake I always make for birthdays to ice and decorate or I put it in cupcake tins and bake for 18 minutes for awesome chocolate cupcakes. I wouldn't be able to count the number of times I have made this recipe over the past number of years."

Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

"I love making this cake. It is fun and easy and oh so moist. It's almost just as easy as a box mix without all the preservatives. It's delicious and my new "go-to" recipe for chocolate cake. Thank you for sharing. Oh yeah, one more thing... only one bowl to wash... Bonus! :)"

Reviewed Apr. 18, 2010

"Absolutely delish! Moist and super easy."

Reviewed Mar. 13, 2010

"This is the recipe I turn to when I need to make a chocolate cake."

Reviewed Mar. 7, 2010

"This is the best cake I ever had. Beats bakery made cakes. When I tell my family I'm bringing the cake they can't wait. When I bring this cake to an event they love it.

G Mezz"

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2009

"Amazing! So easy and very moist. I will definitely be using this recipe often."

Reviewed Nov. 16, 2009

"Other than the recipe taking 15 minutes longer to bake than the suggested baking time, the cake was excellent."

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2009

"I've made this cake twice now, and it was moist and delicious each time. I have a feeling that this recipe will be the one I'll turn to most often when I want to make a chocolate cake. It's not only yummy, it's quick to make."

Reviewed May. 8, 2009

"I have 5 kids and I make this cake almost every other day!! Easy , moist... GREAT cake.


Reviewed Dec. 8, 2008

"This recipe was quick and easy!

The cake is so moist.
omaha, NE"

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