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Desserts | July 17, 2016

Amazing Chocolate Cake

This Amazing Chocolate Cake is our family favorite!  It comes with a warning… Once you eat this cake, no other chocolate cake will measure up. It’s the most amazing chocolate cake you’ll ever bake!

Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake. Everyone loves it.  And let’s face it. If you can make an Amazing Chocolate Cake, you’re well on your way to conquering the world!  Or at least your world.  If you don’t have a really amazing chocolate cake recipe, you’ve come to the right place. This will be your new family favorite. The one your kids and husband and Father in law ask for every year on their birthday!

Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake

This recipe for Amazing Chocolate Cake was originally posted back in the early days of A Bountiful Kitchen. It came from my friend Laurie and her friend Amy, who perfected the recipe. Since the title Laurie and Amy’s Amazing Chocolate Cake is a little on the long side, and the photos need some updating, I gave the recipe a little makeover and here it is,  7 years later, renamed simply as  Amazing Chocolate Cake.

Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake

This cake is for serious chocolate lovers!  It’s a deep, dark chocolate cake, made with dark chocolate, cocoa powder and dark brown sugar. If you’re looking for a super moist cake with rich chocolate flavor, this is your cake. The frosting is as decadent as the cake. If you’re counting calories, look away. This recipe calls for over 2 1/2 cups of butter in the cake and frosting combined. Yes. TWO AND ONE HALF CUPS.  Gulp.  It’s almost a religious experience, this cake.

I know you’re going to love it.  Let me know what you think. Oh, and if you’ve already made this cake, please add your testimonial. I’d love to hear what you have to say 🙂

Happy baking!

Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake
Amazing Chocolate Cake

A couple of tips, before you get started:

The type of pans you use are critically important. I like to bake this recipe in 2- 9 inch pans I use these pans, which you can order online or purchase at craft stores, or even at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Check out the original post to read all about pans, and why the pans you use are important!

The recipe calls for chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.  I’ve been making this for close to 10 years now and I choose dark chocolate, chopped, over chocolate chips, if they’re available. My chocolate of choice for this recipe is Scharffen Berger Semi Sweet Chocolate, but you may use any good quality semi sweet chocolate. 

Amazing Chocolate Cake
4.71 from 17 votes

Amazing Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 8 ” layers or 4 9″ layers
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen


  • cups boiling water
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped, OR chocolate chips (for a double recipe, use 15 oz. chocolate chips, which equals about 2½ cups.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup 20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) butter, softened
  • cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature is best
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

for frosting:

  • cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (22 tablespoons) softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder For really dark frosting, use part Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • additional chopped chocolate for topping cake optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Spray the pans and parchment with cooking oil, such as PAM.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate in a medium size bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder and stir until mixture is smooth.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a separate large bowl.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  8. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture.
  9. Beat on low to combine, then on high for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low until mixed.
  11. Pour batter into pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached.
  12. Cool for 10-15 minutes; remove from pans.
  13. Wrap in double layers of plastic wrap while still warm and freeze.
  14. Double recipe makes two 10″ layers plus two 8″ layers or four 9″ layers.
  15. Never fill pans more than ⅔ full.

Frosting directions:

  1. Cream butter with mixer.
  2. Add powdered sugar and cocoa, a little at a time. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Add milk and beat until frosting is smooth. Add a little more milk if needed.
  4. When cake is frozen solid, frost between the two layers and spread a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake.
  5. Freeze again for about 20 minutes.
  6. Frost again.
  7. Repeat if desired. (Frost the last time on the day you plan to serve the cake and let it stand at room temperature to thaw.)
  8. Top cake with chopped chocolate after frosting for the last time.
  9. See notes for quick frost and serve directions.

Recipe Notes

-I like Scharffen Berger Chocolate for this recipe. The Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate Baking Bar is my favorite. You may use chocolate chips in this recipe, but I prefer dark chocolate baking bars.-Purchase bakers pans for this recipe. The sides of the pans are straight and will not allow the pans to fit all the way into each other. Read more about pans on the original post. -Put a small amount of frosting (about 1/2 tablespoon) in the middle of the platter before placing the first cake layer on the platter. This will help hold the cake in place.-Use strips of parchment paper under the first layer of cake to help keep the platter clean. When ready to serve, remove the paper and use a damp cloth to clean up any smudges of frosting. -If you don’t have time to freeze the cake for the directed amount of time before frosting, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for about an hour. Remove and frost the bottom layer and rest of cake as directed. Place in fridge or freezer until about an hour before serving. Remove from freezer to let thaw before serving.

71 thoughts on “Amazing Chocolate Cake

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been following you – religiously – for years and am proud to say that 95% of my cake recipes come from you! Every birthday, BBQ, family party, holiday; any even where I bring a cake, it’s one of yours (and EVERY one is SPOT ON!) But this chocolate cake – and I started making it back in the day when you originally posted the recipe – has been a staple. Everyone loves it, everyone raves about it, and it is everything you claim it will be. I’ll definitely be trying the new recipe with updates and have no doubts it will be as delicious as version 1.0 (wasn’t this the cake your pup ate some of one day, when left unattended?!?)
    I honestly can’t praise you and your talent enough. Your blog is the first place I go for recipes, always!

    1. Amanda,
      Thank you so much! I think you’ll love the chopped chocolate in this updated recipe.Not many changes beyond that! I wanted to take new photos because the old photos did not do the cake justice! And yes, this is the same cake my dog ate years ago! That was quite the day. I believe the post is still up on the blog. Thanks so much for your comment and review of the recipe! And for reading ABK for all of these years <3

  2. I LOVE this chocolate cake recipe! I wonder if the Amy in your article is my sweet friend Amy Poulton. She gave me this recipe years ago and it is also my family’s VERY favorite. When she gave me the recipe – she had one thing different. She made a ganache filling in the middle with ½ cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 4 ounces of good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped. It makes this cake over the top decadent. Thanks for sharing it. I LOVE all of your recipes. You are an AMAZING cook!

    1. Thank you! Yes it is Amy’s recipe! I talk about Amy and Laurie in the original post. She’s one amazing woman. Thanks for reading ABK ❤️

    2. Carolyn I forgot to say that ganache addition sounds delicious! I’m going to try it next time thanks for the tip!!

  3. I Like to call this cake THE ONE. Everyone loves it. I also love that it’s easy to make and comes out perfect every time. I would say, unless absolutely necessary, don’t skip the freezing (I have made it both ways). There is just something about freezing that makes it better????

    1. Thank you Tracy! I love your name THE ONE. Appropriately named! The only negative aspect, in my opinion is the cake is so good that nothing else compares. Every time I order cake from a restaurant it never tastes as good as this cake. Thanks for reading ABK!

  4. I love this cake! I use it frequently and it always comes out perfectly, with lots of compliments 🙂 It has such great flavor and the frosting is delish too:) All your recipes are winners! I’m currently obsessed with making your Avocado Corn Confetti Salsa. Love all your stuff!!

    1. Tracy,
      Thanks so much! I love the avocado salsa too! I could eat it every day ???? Thanks for reading ABK!

  5. I’m so disappointed! I talked my son into making this cake for my daughter’s birthday and it fell apart as he was taking it out of the pans. Let me just add that he has quite a bit of (successful) experience baking beautiful and delicious cakes. He said he followed the recipe to the “T”. What went wrong?

    1. I am an inexperienced baker, but also thought this cake was not the easiest to manouver and very breakable. I had to be very careful not to mess the whole thing up before freezing it. I also had a couple of questions…
      1) are we supposed to sift the flour? Your recipe did not say so, but I normally do
      2) do you cut and trim your cake prior to freezing it?
      Thank you for this recipe. We will taste it later today! I can’t wait!!

    2. Keli,
      I’m so sorry your cake did not turn out! I’ve had this recipe (the original post)
      on ABK for over 7 years and have had too many compliments by comment on post, social media, emails, in person, etc to count. The cake is very tender and moist, and with careful handling will come out of the pans without a problem. I always line my pans with parchment paper, which helps with no stick and removing the cake from the pans. I hope he will give it another try!

  6. 5 stars
    This is my go to chocolate cake! I make it every year to take to my brothers birthday party and get rave reviews each time. Most people can’t believe it is homemade. I’m excited to try the updates and know it will be as delicious and easy to make as the original. Thanks for perfecting every recipe and giving all of us the confidence that we can make delicious food!

    1. Melanie, Thanks so much for your review! I agree this cake is so delicious that I have had people tell me it tastes like it came from a high end bakery. I can’t eat chocolate cake without comparing it to this recipe. Thanks for being a loyal follower!

    1. Hi Jess, You will absolutely love this cake recipe! I have not ever made it into cupcakes, but need to try. If you give it a try, come back and let us know! Happy baking 🙂

      1. I am a little confused about the scharffenberger chocolate. On Amazon they sell both the bar and the cocoa powder. Do you use that brand for both? You said you use part Hershey’s special dark powder, but which brand of powder do you use for the rest of the cake? It sounds like it is important to use the correct chocolates, so I just want to be sure to get it right. Could I substitute the Trader Joe’s bar, you used for the chocolate chip cookie, is it as good as the scharffen berger brand? Thanks so much.

        1. Julie,
          I use Callebaut brand unsweetened cocoa powder(for the cake) in this recipe and also the Hersheys Special Dark (for the frosting). I love the Scharffen chocolate, chopped for the cake. The Trader Joe’s chocolate would also work well in the cake. I am not sure if it is as good as the scharffen brand, but Im guessing it will be very close in taste. Next time I make this cake Im trying the Trader Joes chocolate. I’ll let you know! P.S. Sorry this comment took so long in response, I thought I had replied earlier, but for some reason, the comment did not post!

    1. Hi Nelle, I am not sure what to substitute I would look for “egg substitute ” online and go from there.

  7. Hello Si, Season’s Greetings! I’m on a quest to find that perfect chocolate cake and would love to give this a try. Is the texture of this cake dense and fudgy like an oil cake? Or does it have some fluff in it? I’m quite the traditionalist when it comes to chocolate cakes. Hope to hear from you.

    1. Hi Marni,
      This cake is a very dense and fudgey type cake. Not much fluff in this cake! I have yet to meet a person who does not love this cake.
      Hope you love it! Happy holidays 🙂

  8. This looks like everything I’d dream of in a chocolate cake! For the butter – salted or unsalted? Thanks!!

  9. 5 stars
    I have just recently been introduced to your fantastic blog after tasting some amazing
    recipes including the Coconut lime bars and the bow tie chicken spinach salad. As I was
    just now perusing your site, of course I’m going to land in the dessert aisle! I come across the Amazing chocolate cake recipe…well, sorry, thought I, but I have the best in the land, so I read the recipe and think, wow, it’s almost identical to mine! Upon reading the comments, I see amazing Amy Poulton mentioned…she got the recipe from me! I thought you might like to know the genesis of the recipe. My husband and I have a Christmas open house every year for the past 28 years and he is known for his famous cakes. He found that recipe in a Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate! Cookbook! all those many years ago. We catered Amy’s niece’s wedding 15 years ago and she tasted it there and her life as she knew it was never the same! Haha! It is a remarkable recipe and cake and is always the hit of the party! Keep cooking and posting!
    We love your blog!!

    1. Cindy,
      How fun to make this connection! I did not know the history behind the cake recipe. I have found this recipe (or some almost identical) in cookbooks or online… There is a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe that is almost the same as well! I love this cake and have not found another that is quite as good in many years. Thank your husband for sharing it with Amy. And thanks for reading ABK!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this chocolate cake for a pot luck at work and received so many compliments. “Best chocolate cake ever!” was the theme. Of course I passed the credit onto you and your amazing recipes.
    This recipe is super easy, and all of the ingredients were already in my cupboard. Love it!
    The only problem I encountered was the cake was I little crumbly. At first I thought I over baked the cake and it would be dry, but it remained super moist.
    Any recommendations on reducing the crumble?


    1. Candace, I am glad you loved this cake! It is our family favorite. I think maybe the cake was a little overbaked. In all of the time I have made this cake, I have only had it turn out crumbly one time, and that was when I left it in the oven a little longer than usual. Each oven is a bit different, so it is difficult to say exact bake time. The cake should spring back lightly when touched. Also, the color of the pans makes a difference when baking. A darker pan will cook the cake faster. Hope this helps!

  11. 5 stars
    Ok, you amazing bakers, I need help. I absolutely LOVE this cake and it has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe for almost everything! The one challenge I am having is that I end up with fallen middles *every* time. The edges are consistently 1/2 to 1 inch taller than the center. I am baking in 8 to 9 inch pans with straight sides and cakes are testing done in the center with a lovely rise before I pull them and then 5 minutes later…craters 🙁

    Is this normal for you? I love the flavor and the texture is deliciously fudgy so I’ve just been trimming them before frosting but I hate to see so much go to scrap (i.e., immediately into my face for QA purposes…not that this is soooo horrible). I’ve tried baking longer at lower temps, wrapping the pans in strips, and always the same. What am I overlooking??

    1. Jess,
      Have you tried adding a little more flour to the recipe? Try 3 Tbsp flour and let me know how that works.
      Please report back the next time you make this amazing recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        Si, you darling genius, that did the trick! It was Mary-Poppins-perfect. You’re the best!! Now it’s the best-tasting *and* best-looking chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Thanks for saving the day!!

        Fatter and happier than ever,
        Jess xo

  12. Hi Si,

    In the cake part of the recipe you say to use butter, but don’t specify if it is unsalted. But for the frosting you DO specify unsalted. I know in a previous answer you said “I always use unsalted butter,” so I’m sorry to be paranoid and double check, but do you truly mean to use unsalted in both the cake AND the frosting? I’m making this cake tonight for my daughter’s 18th birthday party tomorrow and want it to be every bit as delicious as everyone says it is!

  13. 5 stars
    Amazing as promised! Froze and thawed several times over three days in order to make ahead and then transport 13 hours. It was fantastic. Everyone has asked that it be made again. My baking is limited to about twice a year. This recipe made me look like a pro.

  14. I have yet to try this and I look forward to making this. Is it possible to make this a 3 layer versus a 2 layer cake? I was hoping to make it a little taller. Have you 1 and halfed this recipe? If so, does it turn out the same or should I make some modifications? I live in a high altitude area and hope the modifications would work with that. Thanks so much!

    1. Heather, Yes it is possible. This recipe makes two 9 inch layers or you can make 3 -6 inch layers. In the recipe it states: a double recipe makes two 10″ layers plus two 8″ layers or four 9″ layers. When I double this recipe I usually freeze the extra layers and use within a month to 6 weeks. Hope you love this, it is by far the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.

  15. How much butter is called for. The recipe confuses me. Is it 1 1/4 cups plus 20 tablespoons? Or just 1 1/4 cups?

    1. Hi Kimberley, sorry for the confusion. It’s just 1 1/4 cups of butter, which is also 20 tablespoons. Hope this helps and thanks for reading ABK!


  16. I can’t wait to try this cake! Once removed from the freezer for the final time, how long does the cake take to thaw so it’s ready to eat?

  17. 5 stars
    I have made this cake twice in the past week and everyone who has had some has told me it is the best chocolate cake they have ever had. So super delicious and pretty easy to make! Thank you! This will become famous in our family.

    1. Hi Lindsay, this cake has always been one of my favorites too. So easy and so delicious! Thanks for your comment and for reading ABK!

  18. 5 stars
    Oh my! This is THE cake! It was my MIL’s birthday and she is a dark chocolate lover. I found this cake and made it with everything dark chocolate (ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, hershey’s Special dark cocoa powder, and a ghirardelli (60% cocoa) chocolate bar, chopped, to top it all)! It was amazing! Si named this cake perfectly. This is now my favorite chocolate cake! If you’ve seen the movie Matilda, this is that Bruce cake! And if it wasn’t already amazing on the first day, it was super delicious on the second day. I didn’t think it would last an extra day but we had some family members come down with a cold and I got to eat the rest on the third day and it was still amazing! So moist and beautiful! I’m making it again this week for a party. I cannot rave about this cake enough!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Emily! This is definitely the favorite chocolate cake in our home, and perfect for bdays and serious chocolate lovers.

  19. 3 stars
    A friend of mine made this cake and I thought it was amazing and at the time would have given it 5 stars, but I have since tried to make it myself twice and been disappointed both times.

    It came out dry. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if it’s just not as moist a recipe as I remember. I did the freezing step, wrapping it while warm, so the only thing I can think of is that maybe I overbaked them a bit?

    Either way I’d say it’s at best a finicky recipe, despite the many excellent reviews. It is very chocolatey and more dense than your average cake, but getting it to come out moist is no easy feat.

    1. 4 stars
      This cake was much better tge next morning. I think the trick is to let it thaw for at least 12 hrs. It became more moist.

    2. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as well for you, Oddy. Sometimes the altitude and/or gas ovens can change the cooking time and texture of the cake. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Hi Sabrina, yes I usually wrap it in plastic if I freeze it. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  20. I have been desperately looking for a delicious moist chocolate cake that will work at higher altitudes. I am hoping to attempt this cake this weekend. I am at 5500 feet in Colorado and using a gas convection oven. Do you have any suggestions for changes?
    Thank you so much for any help you can give!

    1. Hi Tressa,
      I haven’t baked at 5500 feet, so I can’t say for sure. Gas is also tricky when it comes to cakes or bread… I’d do a google search and look a some cake recipes for high elevation. Hope this helps!

      1. 5 stars
        I live in Colorado also at a very high altitude (7500 feet). I made the cake without any modifications and both layers fell quite a bit in the middle. I made it again and followed all the recommendations from King Arthur flour for high altitude (google it and adjust according to your altitude). I added an extra egg, 3 T more flour, less baking soda, baked at 375 and started checking the cake at 25 minutes. It came out perfectly the second time. Now my only problem is I have 4 layers of cake for my son’s birthday! I guess it’s not really a problem 😉

  21. 5 stars
    Okay, wow! This cake was so yummy! It was for my dads 60th birthday and was a huge hit! I was nervous to make my first cake from scratch, but because of the easy to follow instructions it was “a piece of cake!” Make sure to make the cake ahead of the time and freeze. This helped so much with frosting the cake and cutting it to serve! I used chocolate chips and it was still super delicious. Highly recommend!

    1. Thank you Ellie! I agree, freezing the cake does help with frosting the cake and it’s so great for birthdays. Thanks for reading ABK,

  22. 5 stars
    I made this for my son’s 5th birthday since he requested chocolate cake and we all loved it. I had to trim the cake bit to lay how I needed it and he was eating the scraps even without frosting. Thank you for another amazing cake recipe!

    1. I’m so glad he loves this cake, Ciara, we absolutely love it too! Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK,

  23. 5 stars
    I made this cake for the second time, and it is the best chocolate cake EVER!!!! So moist, the frosting is perfectly silky, and the addition of the chopped chocolate adds the perfect texture! This will be my go-to chocolate cake, nothing else can compare!! Thank you so much for sharing all your amazing recipes!!!

    I had a quick question: how do I stop my cakes from sinking in the middle? It isn’t the worst, and I end up just filling it in with more frosting. I only had 8 inch pans and I had lowered the oven temp to 325 degrees and baked for 40 minutes. I don’t know if that affected it? I also live at 5600 elevation. Most of my cakes sink though, and I was wondering if you had any tips?

    1. Hi, I looked through another comment who had a similar situation and she recommended that you add around 3 tbsp of flour to your mixture.

    2. Hi Amy,
      Because you live at a higher elevation, you may want to increase the temp of your oven by 15-25 degrees and decrease the amount of cooking time. Also add a Tablespoon more flour to the recipe. Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven and the oven is fully preheated. Don’t open the oven door until the cake looks fully cooked- the change in temperature can affect the rising. I hope those recommendations help! Let me know.
      Thanks for reading ABK!

  24. Hi, I came to make this cake and it mentions “checking the original post” for info on cake pans, but when I click on the link to the original post it says that page no longer exists, so I’m not sure exactly what I need for a pan. Will it be okay to just use normal 9″ cake pans that I have on hand? Thanks!

    1. Hi Britny!
      This recipe makes 2 x 9″ circular cake pans. Here are the words from the original post:When purchasing cake pans, make sure the pans are professional quality. The sides should be straight and the pans should not be able to fit all the way into each other when stacked. If they fit inside of each other, the sides are slightly angled, which will not produce cakes with straight sides.
      This cake really is amazing! Thanks for reading ABK.

  25. 3 stars
    I’ve made several cakes and this one just didn’t turn out well. After letting cool for quite sometime, I picked up the cake to transfer to some Saran Wrap and both layers broke into 3-4 pieces. Frosting tasted too buttery and wasn’t the best chocolate cake I’ve had.

    1. Kelly,
      Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry this cake didn’t turn out well for you. I wonder what happened? I hope you continue to try recipes from ABK.
      Thanks for reading!

      1. I made this cake twice in the same day. One was a double batch of three big 9” layers and the second time was gluten free. Both turned out AMAZING!

        It was quite possibly the best GF conversion I have ever tasted. I subbed 2 cups King Arthur gf flour and 1 TBL xantham gum for the flour. I just ate the last slice and I am sad it’s gone!

        Thank you for sharing such tried and true recipes!

        1. Abby, I am so glad that both versions worked out well for you! Thank you for your positive feedback and for reading ABK!

  26. Probably 30 years ago I had this amazing chocolate dessert at Market Street Grill called chocolate decadence. For years I’ve tried to find something similar but never did until I tried this recipe! It truly is amazing and by far my favorite chocolate dessert! Thank you for creating and sharing this!💗