Simple and Rich Chocolate Cake

All cakes should be this easy to make, not to mention delicious! It's moist and tender, and has a rich, decadent chocolate flavor that pairs well with either chocolate or vanilla frosting. If there's a chocolate cake-lover in your life, this is sure to be their birthday cake of choice.

10 mins
22 to 50 mins
1 hr
two 8" or 9" round cakes; one 9" x 13" cake, or 24 cupcakes
Simple and Rich Chocolate Cake


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Lightly grease your choice of pan(s): one 9" x 13" pan, two 8" or 9" round cake pans, or the wells of two muffin tins (24 muffin cups). You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and lightly grease the insides of the papers using non-stick spray.

  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until evenly blended. Set aside.

  4. Whisk together the remaining ingredients until evenly blended.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth and well combined.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

  7. Bake the cake until the center feels firm when gently pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — 42 to 50 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 30 to 36 minutes for 9" pans; 35 to 40 minutes for 8" pans, or 22 to 26 minutes for cupcakes.

  8. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow it to cool completely in the pan, then loosen the edges with a knife and gently remove from the pan. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Natural cocoa will also work with this recipe, but the cake will be lighter in color and milder in flavor.
  • Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Simple Chocolate Cake.