King Arthur's Original Cake Pan Cake

Over the years, Cake Pan Cake has been one of King Arthur's most requested recipes. And now we're proud to name this our 225th Anniversary Recipe of the Centuries. Dark, moist, delicious, and CHOCOLATE, this is truly a cake for all reasons, all seasons — and for bakers (and their family and friends) everywhere.

5 mins
30 to 35 mins
35 mins
one 8" square or 9" round cake
King Arthur Flour's Original Cake Pan Cake


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square or 9" round pan that's at least 2" deep.

  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  3. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

  4. Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it's wonderful with a big glass of milk.

  5. Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat the chocolate chips with the half-and-half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake. For a non-dairy icing, substitute 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (or water) for the half-and-half.

  6. Store cake, well covered, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make this gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, no further ingredient changes necessary. Be sure to bake thoroughly; gluten-free baked goods often need a bit more time in the oven.

  • While the original, non-dairy version of this recipe calls for water as the liquid, feel free to substitute milk, for a slightly richer cake. Or try cold coffee, for a mocha version; or even 3/4 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup rum, for an "adults only" cake!
  • Want to try the traditional method for mixing up this cake? Measure all the dry ingredients into the prepared pan. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third. Take the cup of water and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until well blended. Finish and bake as directed.
  • This cake is traditionally made with natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa. Natural cocoa will yield a cake with great chocolate-y flavor and a slightly reddish hue (think devil's food) compared to cake made with Dutch-process cocoa.
  • Want to make this cake into cupcakes? Portion the batter into a standard (12-cup) muffin pan lined with lightly greased papers; you'll use a scant 1/4 cup batter (about 58g) in each. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (22 minutes if you're baking with Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour) in a preheated 375°F oven, until a toothpick inserted into one of the center cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Frost with the frosting in step #5 above, if desired.
  • Join pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado as she demonstrates how to make King Arthur's Original Cake Pan Cake from start to finish. Watch Episode 4 of the Isolation Baking Show now.

  • Join King Arthur baking instructor, Amy Driscoll she bakes King Arthur's Original Cake Pan Cake, start to finish. Watch Baking Cake Pan Cake With Kids now.