Rich Chocolate Cake

Moist and rich with chocolate flavour, this cake will quickly become your favourite.

slice of chocolate cake with chocolate icing

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Icing and Toppings for Chocolate Cake

I have used whipped cream and fresh strawberry slices between the layers and topped the cake with more whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate drizzle. I have also used chocolate or vanilla buttercream icing. 

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is used for this recipe. My go-to cocoa powder is Hershey’s, but whatever brand you have will work,  just make sure it is unsweetened.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream helps to keep this cake moist but also adds to the richness of this cake.

You can use buttermilk in place of heavy whipping cream and vinegar. Or if you don’t have buttermilk or heavy whipping cream you can use regular milk with the vinegar and let the mix sit for 3-4 minutes before adding the other ingredients. I usually always have whipping cream on hand so it is what I use. 


Good, strong coffee is important for this cake. The coffee enhances the chocolate, giving this cake a full chocolate flavour. The coffee needs to be hot when added to the batter. Since it is the last addition, I brew it while mixing up the batter.

If you prefer not to use coffee, hot water can replace coffee in the recipe.

Chocolate Extract

I like to add chocolate extract to this cake to give the cake a little more chocolate flavour. I use President’s Choice Organics Chocolate extract, but this ingredient can also be omitted.

bottle of chocolate extract

How to prepare pans for baking this cake

When it comes to the pans I use for this recipe, I prefer not to use non-stick pans. I like to use Wilton Performance cake pans. And instead of non-stick spray, I like to use cake release.

Using cake release works well with aluminium pans so that the cake doesn’t stick.

Homemade cake release can be made easily with equal amounts of flour, vegetable oil and shortening. One cup of each mixed together can be stored in the fridge in a mason jar for use anytime you need to grease a pan. Simply use a pastry brush to coat the pan before pouring in the batter. Once baked, your cake will come out of the pan smoothly with no effort at all.

Equipment Used for Making This Recipe

It is recommended to use a mixer for this recipe. Either a stand mixer or hand mixer can be used. Using a mixer helps to make sure all the ingredients are blended well and the batter is smooth.

Baking Pans

This recipe can be baked in many different ways. Round, square or rectangle pans all work for this recipe. Cooking times do vary depending on the pans used.

Round and square pans work best for layer cakes, while the rectangle pan makes a single-layer cake. There are times I make this recipe in a 12-inch round pan for a single-layer cake.

Another way to bake this recipe is into cupcakes. This recipe will make 24 regular-sized cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes. The baking time for cupcakes is 18-22 minutes.

Storing the cake

This cake stores well at room temperature for three to five days, covered in plastic wrap or in a cake container.

Freezing the cake is also an option. Wrap well in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

slice of chocolate cake with chocolate icing

Rich Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream or milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate extract, optional
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Coat 2 8"x 8" round pans or one 13" x 9" pan with butter, shortening or cake release
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and chocolate extract.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in coffee.
  • Pour into prepared pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.
  • Once cool, decorate with icing of choice.


If baking this recipe in a 12" round pan or larger, reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 45 minutes 
Keyword chocolate cake

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