Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Ever!

Welcome to my new blog! I have a little kitchen (hence the name) and I’m always trying some new recipe or baking something up. I hope you find my blog helpful and informative.

I first tried this cake when our friends, Joe and Tricia, made it for a Thanksgiving pot luck at my office and they called it the best homemade chocolate cake ever. I totally agree with the name and I think what really makes it moist and very tasty is the interesting ingredient of coffee and also the buttermilk.

Joe and Tricia happily shared the recipe with us and I have been making this recipe for a few years now (my family loves this recipe). A family friend shared the recipe with them. One day, I was watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and saw her making this exact recipe! She had a different recipe for the icing though. When Joe and Tricia shared the recipe, they had an icing recipe for a whipped icing that I will share at a later date.

Chocolate Cupcakes

When I made these cupcakes, I used a buttercream icing called Buttercream Dream that I found on This is a very popular and versatile icing. I really like it because it’s not as sweet as many other buttercream recipes. If you use less milk in it, it will be thicker so you can actually decorate with it. Buttercream Dream is the icing I use almost all of the time when I decorate cakes. I used tip #22 to do the rosette and sprinkled these wonderful pink ribbon sprinkles on them.

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

Beatty's Chocolate Cake aka the Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I always use unbleached flour)

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup baking cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup black strong coffee (1 Tbsp coffee with 8 oz boiling water) - I use Starbucks Breakfast blend always!

1 cup buttermilk OR combine 1 Tbsp vinegar with 1 cup milk OR 1 cup equivalent of buttermilk powder & water

1 tsp vanilla (I use Vanilla Bean Extract 'Crush' which I learned about from Cassie from How to Eat a Cupcake when she guest blogged on Cupcakes Take the Cake).


  1. In a mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Then take a rubber spatula and thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together.

  2. Mix in all of the wet ingredients and do a quick mix with your rubber spatula and then mix with an electric mixer until well blended.

  3. Grease a 13 x 9 inch cake pan (or two 9 inch round pans for round cake or makes about 36 cupcakes).

  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes (my oven usually takes about 28-30 minutes).


  • The first thing I do when making this recipe, is to brew the coffee. That way it's mostly cooled by the time I mix it in and it doesn't start cooking the eggs.

  • This cake batter is a lot wetter than most other cake batters, just for your information.

  • I usually put the buttermilk in a measuring cup and then measure the oil in the same cup, that way the oil isn't stuck at the bottom of the measuring cup when you pour it out.

  • Be sure to crack the eggs in another small bowl before adding to your cake, that way if you drop in any shells, it's easier to fish out (yes, I'm speaking from experience).

  • This recipe makes about 30-36 cupcakes depending how much you like to put in each liner.

  • I use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop with trigger handle to fill my cupcake liners, I got this tip from Cassie from How to Eat a Cupcake when she guest blogged on Cupcakes Take the Cake (the same entry mentioned above). I had a hard time finding one that said 1/4 cup and surprisingly enough I found one at my local grocery store (Publix). I bought a couple of sizes and measured it by pouring water into the scooper and pouring into a measuring cup to see which one was a 1/4 cup. This is a great time saving tip, filling cupcakes are still messy (because this is such a wet recipe) but as Cassie says, you get more uniform cupcakes this way!

  • A great time saver tip (that I learned from a forum and use ALL of the time) is to mix all of your dry ingredients ahead of time and put in a plastic zip bag or a plastic container, this way when you're ready to bake, you just pour into your mixing bowl and add wet ingredients. It's kind of like making your own cake mix. Be sure it's sealed tight and you date the container so you know when you mixed it.

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18 Responses to “Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Ever!”

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  2. 2
    Robin @ Yankee Kitchen — March 10, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    I am going to have to try this. I have baked plenty of cakes from scratch, but always shy away from making chocolate cake.

    Guess I should put on my big girl pants & try it :)


    • JulieD replied: March 10th, 2011 @ 9:14 am

      Hi Robin!

      You found my very post on TLK! You should definitely try it, you won’t regret it. It’s the only chocolate cake I’ll eat. Let me know if you do!


  3. 3
    Patience — December 5, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    My kids (8, 5 and 2) are throwing me an early birthday party tomorrow, so I’m looking for a homemade chocolate cake to make for their cupcakes. This looks soooooooo good!! I don’t have buttermilk, so I’ll have to use vinegar and milk instead. Thanks for such an awesome recipe!


  4. 4
    naomi — May 18, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    I love this first post!


  5. 5
    Arizona Hubby — November 4, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    I was nervous with the batter being SO thin almost the consistency of a potato soup. It did rise ALot in the oven and went over the edge of the cake pans. I am not sure what I did wrong. All my measurements were leveled.


    • Julie Deily replied: November 4th, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

      Hi there, I wonder if you overfilled the cake pans? They should only be filled about halfway. Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. And yes, the cake batter is really thin, I mentioned that in the post…I think that’s what lends it to being such a moist cake.


  6. 6
    Arizona Hubby — November 5, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    I guess I filled the pans up to 3/4 full. I really want to try this recipe out
    again so please don’t take my comments negatively. I remember reading the tips
    on the thinness of the batter but was surprised with the consistency.


    • Julie Deily replied: November 5th, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      Hi again! I never took your comments negatively at all! I wonder if I should bold the words that say this batter is really thin… Hope you try it again because it works really well and is a family favorite here! :-)


  7. 7
    carrie — January 16, 2013 @ 12:36 am

    BEST EVER!! I am not a huge cake fan but my kids and husband are, so I thought I would make them one for after supper. My 9 year old ended up helping! YUM! The most moist cake ever, & I couldnt even taste the coffee. Now that everyone is in bed, I might swing back by the kitchen for round two. ..ok three. DEFINITE KEEPER. Thank you


  8. 8
    Ginger — February 22, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    I made your cake today and it is wonderful – excellent texture, and very moist. Definitely a keeper.


  9. 9
    Jaime — February 27, 2013 @ 12:03 am

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. Have you ever tried omitting the coffee? i want to make this for my daughters birthday but am a little worried about feeding coffee to a bunch of kids??? What do you think?


  10. 10
    Mandie — March 22, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

    I did this and I forgot to let my coffee cool! Yikes! luckily I had put it in BEFORE I put in the eggs, then it was just mixed, poured into the cakepan and put in the oven! I was nervous about the outcome, the batter was VERY thin (just as she said), like water though and I thought I had done something wrong, but I didn’t! 10/10!!! This was a delicious recipe! I recommend this greatly to anyone wanting to try something new!

    Very moist! Next time I’m going to add some chocolate chips to the batter!


  11. 11
    Michelle — April 30, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    I had to make a cake for a function tomorrow and I just finished letting my cakes cool. I used your recipe and of course had to taste it without icing. It was delightful! I did not add 2 cups of sugar, only 1-1/2 cups. I will use this recipe every time I bake a cake for functions!!!


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  13. 12
    Nawila K — August 11, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

    Hi. My best friend’s birthday is coming up and I am planning to try this recipe. I have never been successful at baking moist fluffy cakes. I bake good brownies and cookies though. I am really nervous since I don’t want my ingredients to go to waste. Any tips for an amateur baker? Thanks. =)


  14. 13
    Cheryl — October 25, 2015 @ 5:08 pm

    Hi Julie, I have a question regarding the eggs. Barefoot Contessa uses extra large eggs in all of her recipes. Did you use large or extra large?


    • Julie Deily replied: October 25th, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I use large eggs for this recipe every time! But I know what you’re talking about…this recipe was originally shared with me through friends (I later discovered it was a an Ina recipe) and I have made it sooo many times (I swear like at least 50) and have always used large eggs.


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