Save on Pinterest

Moist Chocolate Cake

This 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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


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


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together dry ingredients in a 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 2 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans (or two 8-in. round baking pans and 6 muffin cups).
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool on wire racks.
  • Meanwhile, for icing, combine milk and flour in a saucepan; cook until thick. Cover and refrigerate.
  • In a bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add chilled milk mixture and beat 10 minutes. Frost cooled cake. If desired, dust with additional cocoa.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Crunched for time? Bake layers in advance. They freeze beautifully.
  • If you're not sure whether the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean.
  • Try all 10 of our very best chocolate dessert recipes.
  • For more tips, see our chocolate layer cake guide.
  • To learn even more, see our guide for how to bake a cake.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 636 calories, 37g fat (10g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 549mg sodium, 73g carbohydrate (51g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.


    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • loverofcooking
      Jun 15, 2020

      I have been making this cake for over 30 years. It is the absolute best. Everyone loves it.

    • Eva
      May 18, 2020

      Delicious. Have been looking for a cake like this for years. Icing is amazing. Thank you!

    • Lori
      May 8, 2020

      I have been making this cake for 26 years. It’s my favorite cake and I love the frosting! It’s moist and delicious.

    • Houriya
      Apr 10, 2020

      Cake is tasty but worse icing ever - both in taste and texture. Just threw the whole lot in the bin.

    • Jessica
      Mar 15, 2020

      This was very good!! I made it the day before and kept in fridge, eating the cake chilled may have made it better. I did double the icing recipe and made 3 layers of cake, I will definitely make this again for an event! Better than store bought bday cake.

    • Josette
      Mar 13, 2020

      First time to try this recipe, it's easy and I love it.

    • Jo
      Jan 10, 2020

      Love this recipe

    • Shilpa4284
      Dec 25, 2019

      Awesome recipe, made a few times and always consistent results!

    • LeslieH
      Dec 2, 2019

      An amazing cake! Not difficult to make and delicious. Following some of the reviews, I used black/dark cocoa for half of the cocoa and made an extra half batch of icing using a bit more vanilla to bump up the icing flavour. We found that the icing really complements the cake. Definitely a make again.

    • Patricia
      Nov 2, 2019

      This has been my favorite chocolate cake recipe for years now and has been my go to cake recipe. My Aunt loved the cake so much that she asked me for the recipe and made it for a bridal shower and everyone loved it. My cousin also asked for the recipe and entered the cake in a contest at school and won! I got this recipe from your magaine years ago.