Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: Nov. 02, 2023
You don't have to spend a lot of time to serve an elegant and delicious dessert. Just mix up the batter in one bowl, bake and get ready for people to love this moist dark chocolate cake recipe. —Christa Hageman, Telford, Pennsylvania


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups 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


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 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 in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake Tips

What makes cake moist and soft?

For a moist and soft cake, it all comes down to the fat(s) used: In general, cakes that are made using cooking oil (vegetable, canola or grapeseed) tend to be moister and softer than cakes made with butter or shortening. This chocolate cake combines canola oil with buttermilk, which, with its acidic quality, breaks down the gluten in the flour and adds to the cake’s moist texture.

How do you moisten dry chocolate cake?

Try one of our favorite cake-baking tips if your chocolate cake Bundt seems too dry: Brush the sides of the cake with a simple syrup to "hydrate" it. Combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the consistency is syruplike. With a pastry brush, gently brush the syrup onto the cake, letting it soak in and provide some moisture, being careful not to oversoak.

How do you get a cake out of a Bundt pan without it sticking?

A Bundt cake that sticks is frustrating for any baker! Here is our tip for removing a Bundt cake from its pan: Prior to filling the Bundt pan, thoroughly coat the pan with a layer of melted vegetable shortening, followed by a generous dusting of flour. Tap out any excess flour, then proceed with filling the pan with batter and baking the cake. Once the cake has baked, remove it from the oven and immediately rap the pan, carefully but firmly, a few times on a towel-covered counter to slightly loosen the cake. Let the cake cool for no more than 7-8 minutes. Give the cake another gentle shake (you may feel it moving a bit in the pan—a good indicator), then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
To substitute for each cup of buttermilk, use 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand 5 minutes. Or, use 1 cup plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 315 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 473mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.