Moist Chocolate Cake

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Dec. 27, 2023
This moist chocolate cake recipe with coffee reminds me of my grandmother because it was one of her specialties. I bake it often for family parties, and it always brings back fond memories. The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste. This recipe is a keeper! —Patricia Kreitz, Richland, Pennsylvania


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sprinkles, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour two 9-in. round baking pans. Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 minutes longer. (Batter will be thin.) Pour into prepared pans.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, for icing, in a small saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy, 3-4 minutes. Add chilled milk mixture and beat 10 minutes. Stir in sprinkles if desired. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
Moist Chocolate Cake Tips

Can you make this chocolate cake ahead of time?

You can assemble the entire cake 2 to 3 days ahead of time. Just layer and frost the cake and store it in a cake carrier until you want to serve it. The cake can also be refrigerated, uncut in a cake carrier, for a few days longer. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving for maximum flavor. If you are in a time crunch, this cake freezes beautifully too. Wrap the unfrosted layers well, and keep in your freezer for up to 2 months. Check out our guide to how to freeze cake for more tips, including directions on how to freeze a frosted cake and even cake slices.

Can you make this moist chocolate cake in different baking pans?

You can bake this cake in two 8-in. round pans (with leftover batter in 6 additional muffin cups), or even as three thin 8-in. layers. As these are smaller cake pans, keep an eye on time as they bake and test accordingly with a toothpick; they may not need to bake as long. We help take out any confusion out of adjusting recipes to different pan sizes in our guide.

How should you store leftover moist chocolate cake?

This chocolate cake tastes better, and dries out less, if kept at room temperature in a cake carrier—not in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 3 to 4 days at its freshest. Press a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap against the cut pieces of the cake to prevent it from drying out.

Can you replace the oil in this moist chocolate cake recipe with melted butter?

You can certainly replace the oil with melted butter in this cake recipe. Most of the time, melted butter can substitute for oil in a 1:1 ratio. Simply melt your butter down and measure in a liquid measuring cup to the equivalent of the oil in the recipe. Keep in mind that cakes containing butter as a primary fat are a little drier than those made with oil. You will still have a delicious cake, but it may not have as moist a crumb.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 482 calories, 28g fat (7g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 404mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.