Best Moist Chocolate Cake

UPDATE:
In the video I know I specified you must use Dutched Process Cocoa powder with this recipe, however, since there has been so much confusion with this cake and the obtaining the Dutched Process cocoa vs Natural Cocoa, I had to try the recipe both ways and here is what I found.
THE RECIPE WORKS WITH EITHER DUTCHED PROCESS OR WITH NATURAL COCOA.
I did not find much difference except that the one made with Dutch Process had a deeper, richer chocolate taste. They both baked up about the same height, and baked just fine from start to finish.

Chocolate Cake
This recipe will make 2 thick 8″ Layers or 18 standard sized cupcakes

For  1- 12″ X 18″ Layer Sheet Pan, you must DOUBLE the recipe
Click here for more info on Pan Sizes.
I always recommend using parchment paper to line the bottom of any cake pans in addition to the pan grease. This will ensure clean release each and everytime.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate 113g (3/4 cup) 4 ounces
Cocoa Powder 24g (4 Tablespoons)
HOT water 4 fl oz (1/2 cup)
SOFT Unsalted Butter 169g (12 Tablespoons)
Whole Eggs room temperature 200g (4 Large)
Yolks room temperature 36g (2 large)
Sugar 200g (1 cup)
Vanilla X 1/2 fl oz (1 Tablespoon)
Yogurt 123g (1/2 cup)
Milk 4 fl oz (1/2 cup)
All Purpose Flour 225g (1 3/4 cup)
Baking Soda 7 g (1 1/2 teaspoons)
Salt 3g (1/2 teaspoons)

Mix Method:
In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer whip the eggs and the egg yolks on high speed with the whip attachment until foamy, and gradually start adding in your sugar very slowly.

The eggs will take about 5 minutes to reach the ribbon stage.
The ribbon stage is a stage where the egg/sugar mixture is very light in color, very thick and when you run the mixture off of a spatula or the beater blades, it makes a ribbon like effect before disappearing back into the mixture. You can also do a “figure 8″ pattern with the mixture and if it stays visible for a few seconds before disappearing you know you have achieved ribbon stage.

In the meantime while the eggs are whipping you can sift together the flour, baking soda and the salt and set that aside.

In a separate bowl combine the yogurt and milk together and set aside.

Next in another bowl add the cocoa powder to the hot water and whisk it smooth. This will be a muddy mixture to which you will next add the melted chocolate. Last you will add your SOFTENED butter and vanilla extract to this and whisk all smooth.

At this point your eggs should be ready, and you will add the entire melted chocolate/cocoa powder mixture to the whipped egg mixture, and whip until it is all uniform, just about 30 seconds more.

Next we begin the alternating of the dry ingredients with the liquid milk/yogurt mixture, beginning with the dry ingredients and ending with the dry, in 3 and 2 additions. (DRY-LIQUID-DRY-LIQUID-DRY)
Mixing just until incorporated between each addition as well as stopping to scrape the sides of your bowl from time to time too.

Pour the batter into your desired pans as listed above, and bake at 350 degrees F for approx 25-40 minutes or until it is springy to the touch and read UNTIL ITS DONE for more clarity on bake times!

Comments

  1. Jester says

    Hey Gretchen I have question for u. If your using hot water to dissolve the cocoa powder and then add the butter, wouldn’t the butter melt?

    • Gretchen Price says

      the water is not boiling, and once you add the cocoa to it, it cools it considerably, so the butter can go in like a nice soft mix.
      Great question though!

  2. bharati says

    Hi Gretchen,
    Regards to u all the way from united arab emirates.
    Thank u from the depth of my heart, for teaching all ur recipes with such perfection and detailed explanation.
    u inspired the baker in me.
    This cake is the 1st cake i have ever baked,
    and thanx to ur detailed explanation and ur expertise knowledge,
    it turned out excelllent,beyond any expectations.
    Itz not eazy to find dutch processed cocoa,so i uzed valrhona cocoa and
    in the cocoa powder muddy mixture,i subsituted half hot water with hazelnut baileys.
    Looking forward to bake everything learning from thee bezt!
    I really admire u and ur zest for baking and passing on ur precious knowledge to the whole world.
    going to make fudge icing and assemble the cake with it and chocolate ganache glaze.
    Wish for u to come to uae sumtime ..for ur fans here!
    thank u again.

  3. says

    Hi Gretchen,

    British, but live in Dubai…I’m new to your blog and am totally hooked…I find myself sleeping so late at night and having dreams of baking! Gosh its crazy!
    I love your videos and your website for awesome recipes. It’s 12.30am here and guess what I just bakes? Your best moist chocolate cake into 18 cupcakes….they’re divine!!!!

    My 5 year old son woke up from sleep and asked what that delicious smell was hehe

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and putting in all the time and effort. It is very much appreciated x

    Regards, Aisha

  4. AprilRuth says

    hi Gretchen!!

    just a quick question..is it possible to replace the yogurt with a different ingredient??and what would it be..Thanks in Advance..God Bless!!

  5. Jun Yan says

    I baked this chocolate cake and it tasted great. It is indeed the best moist chocolate cake! It stays moist even after refrigeration. However, when I baked this cake, it cracked on the surface. Can you please tell me what caused the cracking on the surface of the cake and how to prevent it from happening. Thank you.

    • Gretchen Price says

      this is normal, many cakes crack on the surface as they bake, not to worry (that’s why we trim sometimes to make them even)

  6. Ray says

    good afternoon from the UK, well this will be my first atempt to make a chocolate cake, and I have picked your recipe as it looks very moist and yummy, hope she indoors likes it otherwise I might be wearing it (kidding I hope) lol, so thank you for posting and making the video. Here goes nothing

    kind regards
    ray from the UK lol x

  7. cheryl says

    hi grethen:

    I love this recipe and have made it many times into cakes as well as cupcakes with no problem. in any event, I need to make three 9 inch layers. do I double the recipe or can I do it as is?

  8. MIchelle says

    Hi Gretchen. I just made this recipe into cupcakes but they’re not as moist as i expected them to be. In fact they’re a bit dry and the outer part of the whole cupcake was ligher in color than the inside. I’m not sure if I overmixed the eggs (I used a hand held mixer) or overbaked them but I followed the 25mins at 350F. Should I have reduced the temp or lowered the baking time? They also didn’t dome unlike when I made your red velvet cupcakes recipe. Any thoughts on this?

    • Gretchen Price says

      well I’m sorry this happened to you, but I am not really sure honestly where the problem lies since it could be a number of things as you suggested.
      As for the bake time I prefer to use the FINGER TEST to know but as always learning to know WHEN IT IS DONE is very important to, the 25 minutes is just a guide really since all ovens are different
      If you oven seemed to be running hot (or the placement of them in the oven) was off, then it is a good idea to lower temp, its so hard for me to say though.
      I do love this recipe (it is my fav) since it really is (when done correctly) very moist and delicious, so Im sorry again that this happened to you

      I often say that if you did it exactly as me, with exactly the same ingredients, it should really come out the same, but there are many factors as you can see that play to a different result

  9. Christine says

    Hey Gretchen do you use 8×2 pans or 8×3 sized pans? I have two 8×3 sized pans? I was wondering if I would need to split the batter or could I use the whole batter for one pan?

    • Gretchen Price says

      I use 2″ AND do not use all the batter for 1 pan
      Use your 3″ heights and still split the batter evenly- don’t be confused by the extra inch…its un-important the cake will bake the same

  10. ChocoFan says

    Hi Gretchen, Can i ask how hot the water should be? Is it boiling water or just hot water at around 60 degree celsius? I am asking because I am afraid if the hot temperature would affect the egg mixture and make it watery. I would also like to ask if the Yogurt and milk should be at room temperature? How much is the milk and water in ml?

    Sorry to bother you, I did read though all the comments but i didnt find any questions pertaining to it. Thanks for providing this recipe :) Regards from Singapore

      • ChocoFan says

        Hi Gretchen, I just finish baking the cake. I halved the recipe but I didnt half the butter because the amount of butter you used in the video seems to be more than 169g thus i think you might have made a mistake with the amount of butter used. Is the butter stated in the recipe for 1 cake or is it for 2 cake? My batter turn out to be more watery as compared to yours and the batter didnt increase in volume while baking. Is it because I added 90ml of water and 110ml of milk while i should only add 59ml of each of them as according to the recipe? I added more than 59ml of each because it seems like you added more than that amount in the video. The final result texture turn out to be like a moist sponge cake, the taste was alright though =).

        Thanks for your reply. Hope you can address my questions since I am rather new to baking cakes. =)

        • Gretchen Price says

          Don’t ever go by what “it looks like I am using on the video
          The written blog is always correct.

          The yields are written under the header for the title of the recipe and all of the instructions are written as well, for a an additional guide along side the videos.

          Storage instructions are also written at the END of each blog post , so be sure to always read the instructions and the ENTIRE blog from start to finish before beginning

          • ChocoFan says

            Thanks! I will follow your recipe exactly the next time I attempt this cake. Thankfully the cake I made became harder after I put it in the fridge and it no longer have the moist sponge-like texture. Now it seems more like a cake. Will update you on my progress when I attempt the cake next week =)

            Thanks for the wonderful recipe ^_^

  11. Dominique says

    Hello Gretchen,

    I’m Dominique and am one of your fans from France! (and also, my apologies if my English is not perfect).
    Thank you so much for this recipe! it REALLY IS the Best Moist chocolate cake recipe i have ever tried! My husband put the leftover in the fridge and forgot to wrap it : well, after around 24 hours in the fridge without being covered, it was still moist as if it were recently cut.

    Just for my personal knowledge, why do you put chocolate and cocoa powder in the ingredients? I mean, in the end, cocoa powder + hot water is pretty much the same thing as melted chocolate, to me.

    Thanks!

  12. Mark Flores says

    Hi Gretchen,

    I tried this recipe and it was really nice. My nephew said it was very tasty. However, i had some issues along the way. The batter was a bit bubbly, not sure is i over mixed it. After baking and cooling, the cake was a bit stiff.

  13. May says

    Gretchen-
    This is the recipe I’m using in my sister’s wedding cake. I’ve made it before and it was awesome! To frost the cake I’m using your swiss buttercream. I know that this combination is going to be sooooooo delicious. Thanks for all the great recipes and videos. (your video on making a wedding cake was extremely helpful, this is the first wedding cake I’ve ever made)

  14. Norelle says

    Hi Gretchen, I only have unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate on hand. Can I just use them and add sugar instead? If yes, around how much? Thanks.

  15. mary anne says

    hello Gretchen

    You have a very delicious recipe here. But I have a question can I use buttermilk instead of yogurt and have the same result? Thanks!

  16. says

    Hi Gretchen please please someone answer!!!! You know Goethe butter’s added to the cocoa and chocolate mixture and it’ll eventually be melted can I use oil??!!!! So the cake wouldnt be hard upon refrigerating and stay moist!!!! Please answer!! And love all your vids verbs subscriber since day one!!

  17. Silvia says

    Hi Gretchen ,you are amazing .
    I love the way of your passion for your work ,see it in all you done.
    I often do your recipes .
    But I have just a problem hope you can help me.
    My question is for the best moist chocolate cake I have every time the problem when I put the flour mixture and the yogurt milk mixture together it will be liquid and the ribbons stage break
    I live in Switzerland and we can’t find semi sweet baking chocolate I use half dark and half milk baking chocolate I don’t know, if it’s this a problem or the kind of yogurt witch we used here
    the taste is wonderful but the consistency Is not so fluffy like yours
    And it doesn’t rice ap so much maybe I used to much liquid
    in my conversion table 4fl oz are 118ml
    If I remember right you recommend 113 ml I just trite it but it’s every time the same consistency
    What do I wrong I’m so sad hope you can help me thank you very much

    • Gretchen Price says

      AWE! Thanks, but don’t be sad.
      I have to really wonder how different the ingredients are in your country from mine.
      You are probably right since you seem to be doing everything correctly and are very aware of your ingredients and the stages at which they are great (and then not so great) this awareness if very great and you should be proud, its just now we have to figure out WHY.
      I doubt it is the chocolate
      What kind of flour are you using?
      What kind of coco powder?
      And last what is the consistency of the yogurt? Or tell me more about it.
      My yogurt is more like sour cream. Plain and thick.

      • Silvia says

        Hy Gretchen i have used this time mascarpone I think it was better
        I use dutch Cocoa powder and allpoupors flower and usually the yogurt is very liquid and this is the reason why many people ask about using the milk because if you mix it with the yogurt you wrote not see any difference it’s just the same liquid
        This time I used even bake stripes it comes out more fluffy and it rice up more
        Thanks a lot for your help you’re the best I hope we will have more from this beautiful recipes

  18. Rayane says

    Hi Gretchen, thanks for all your help. You always have the best recipes on the internet!!! I was just wondering: I did the Best Moist Chocolate cake and the Golden Vanilla cake so that I can attempt the checkerboard cake. The taste is absolutely fabulous of course. My problem is that the Chocolate cake turned out a lot shorter than the vanilla cake, like half the height maybe. I baked each recipe in two 8″ pans. What could I have done wrong???? I noticed the chocolate cake has baking soda and the vanilla one has baking powder. Is it the brands I am using, can I use Baking Powder for both, would it work?? Thanks again and keep up the great work.

    • Gretchen Price says

      Yeah, the Golden cake IS a bit thicker (more batter in the yield) than the chocolate cake.
      I don’t think you did anything wrong, its just that different recipes give slightly different results (as you can see here)
      Perhaps next time split the golden batter between 3 pans?

      • Rayane says

        Thank you soo soo much !! Will try it as you said.
        The taste was fantastic I covered them with your “magical” buttercream and everybody went crazy!! 1 recipe chocolate cake, 1 recipe vanilla cake and 1 recipe buttercream were all eaten in 1 afternoon LOOL!

  19. Mary says

    Hi Gretchen,

    Would this recipe be sufficient for 3 6″ cake layers or would I need to use 1 1/2 of the recipe ?

    Thanks

  20. Felicia says

    I made this cake twice in two days. I made it yesterday and it came out of the oven and fell. I knew it wouldnt be enough for a 4 layer cake with just two cakes, so i baked another batch this morning. Come to find out, i put baking powder in the batch yesterday and changed it to baking soda today. The newest batch looks identical to the one yesterday. HELP!!!

  21. Ester says

    Hi Gretchen,
    My Brother is celebrating his birthday next weekend and he wants me to bake him a chocolate cake with nuts in it. Can I just add some nuts in the batter and then bake the cake or is it not that simple ;-)? I made this chocolatecake before and it tastes delicious!! Gonna use your chocolate fudge too (Yum).
    Love from your biggest fan.

  22. Patty says

    Hi Gretchen,

    I love this recipe and have made it several times in 8 inch pans and 6 inch pans. I needed sheet cakes this week (12×18) and used the recipe. This recipe definitely does not make a sheet cake. Not enough batter. I questioned it when I poured the batter in the sheet cake pan and it just covered the pan. It came out of the oven about 1/3 inch high. I made the recipe again for an 12×18 sheet cake and doubled the recipe. Much better! So the recipe needs to be doubled for a 12×18 sheet cake.

      • Dee says

        Hmm, think you had a point. On next attempt I microwaved the milk/yogurt mix until the cool edge was taken off it and kept the butter out for 2 full days to soften. The result was so much better. Thanks.

        By the way – could you use white chocolate in this recipe?

        • Gretchen Price says

          I actually have a white chocolate cake recipe, but we lost some of the video footage so I have to refilm :(

  23. Dawood says

    Hello,
    I am from belgium and i am going to make this cake for the first time. But i want to make checkerbaord cake. so ill need 1 vanilla cake and 1 choco cake. can i take half of each ingredients from both recipies? Thank you

  24. ma. cecilia tua says

    hi Gretchen,

    From the batter, it says use 8″ round pan… what if I want to use 10″ round pan and the batter for sure has an excess… can I standby the remaining batter till I make the second batch and add?…

  25. BazanRj says

    Just want to say thanks for all your help and recipes , I’ve made this cake 3 times already first time it came out perfect and the past two times I don’t know what im doing wrong the cake batter is so runny and the cake comes out flat, do you have any ideas? Thanks for ur time
    

  26. Heather says

    Hi! Can you by chance tell me what happens when the eggs do not reach ribbon stage? I am having a dusy of a time trying to figure out my problem. When I bake my cakes (I’ve been making 3″ minis) they rise very nice in the oven, get done baking, but then as they cool they “deflate” and end up with an hourglass type of shape. I thought maybe I was over whipping the eggs but then I watch the video and I’m sure my eggs are not quite that thick. I love this cake and I want to figure out why this is happening to me. Haha. I do live at 4500 ft. And have tried reducing baking soda but it still happened. Thank you very much for sharing.!

    • Heather says

      I made the cake again this morning and went beyond what I “thought” was the ribbon stage. That was the whole problem. I was not getting to ribbon stage! I hope this helps others having this problem as well. Thanks again for these recipes I enjoy them daily!

      • steffie says

        hello heather another way to make sure your cake doesn’t deflate is instead of removing it from the oven when it has cooked, switch off the oven crack open the oven door and leave to cool down in oven it will not deflate. the sudden change of air when removing cake causes cake to deflate is something people don’t realize, and when its a large batch do not open the oven door to much because this can cause deflation also and do not slam door be gentle cakes can be temperamental lol. i hope that helps happy baking!

  27. Zeny Balonso says

    Hi Gretchen just want to ask if this recipe can be covered with fondant?? I love your blog and I learned a lot..keep up the Good work

  28. Janet says

    Hello!
    I found your site last night and stayed up WAY TOO LATE checking it out. I’m officially hooked! I’m really anxious to try your Best Moist Chocolate Cake, but I have a question about it. (I saw that this question was already asked, but sorry, I couldn’t find the answer.)……..
    Will this cake will hold up under fondant? and esp. stacking?

    Also,if I purchase your ebooks, will I get all of the recipes you’ve shared, or will I still need to get some from your blog? I don’t want to miss any of them!

    Thank you in advance.

    • Gretchen Price says

      YAY! I love when someone new gets HOOKED! LOL
      You have some catching up to do, so you are allowed to stay up late!

      The only ebook with BONUS recipes is Vol 3
      the rest are step by step with picture instructions from the current blogs (but not all)

  29. Sheila says

    Hi Gretchen!
    I just want to start off by saying that your recipes are fantastic and your videos and tips are so very helpful!!!
    I tried to read as many comments and answers as I possibly could to make sure you weren’t answering the same questions all the time, but I couldn’t find my question in there.
    I have an order for and dairy free cake……What would you recommend substituting the milk with? Almonds milk? soymilk? Do you have any other suggestions?
    thank you!!!!

    • Gretchen Price says

      Great thanks and thanks for looking first!
      I would use almond milk yes
      But what about the yogurt, do you have another option?
      (Im just learning vegan baking so I am not so sure myself….)

    • stella karamitsou says

      Hey sheila,in my country we use orange juice, or any other juice you like in the same ammount with the milk

  30. lisa says

    I love this recipe and have made it a few times now and it goes down a storm with my family. I was wondering though could I add some coffee and/or even bourbon just to intensify the flavour even more? If so do i just replace some of the Water or milk with the same volume? how much would you recommend? Or is this just a total no no?
    Thank you very much in advance
    Lisa

      • lisa says

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. This is great i will be trying this tomorrow :) Can i just double check which is better to replace, the milk or the water or does it matter? I know the water has to be hot to dissolve the cocoa powder. And should i replace all the half cup or just some? Im not sure how much the bourbon flavour comes through in the baked cake?
        Many many thanks in advance
        Lisa

          • lisa says

            Brilliant. Thanks again for replying. Much appreciated and all the best with your move and i cant wait for the new videos :) You are so kind in sharing them :)

  31. Leena says

    This website is just awesome. Being a culinary arts student I am going to try all recipes. I would like to request you to post a video on an Eggless Cake.

    • Gretchen Price says

      Great thanks! I am working on Vegan baking-but its a lot of research for me and testing recipes….and I cannot share anything until I know it myself so….its a learning process for me

  32. jennifer kelly says

    Hi gretchen, I have a very quick question that I know u have addressed many times before but I cant for the life of me remember what it is you said. If I want to make a 10inch cake using any one of your cake recipes do I make 1.5 of the recipe?.& if that’s the case do I double the recipe for a 12inch cake? Many thanks gretchen, sincerely, jen kelly

  33. lisa says

    Hi Gretchen, bit nervous this morn got a last minute order for a fresh cream chocolate cake yesterday and rather than use my normal recipe that is usually firmer for under fondant I used yours for the first time! Ive made your smbc and vanilla cake many many times. I put ganache and fresh cream between layers and frosted with fresh cream I cant taste it before it goes out so I’m taking a risk but I have to say it turned out exactly how yours looked and smelled divine!! Is this gonna be ok with fresh cream?

  34. Barbara says

    Gretchen you and Jason are great but you are the best thing that has ever hit the internet I have learned alot from you and by the way your buttercream is to die for I love it keep up the videos please

    • Don says

      I agree. I finally have an excuse to make the chocolate cake and it was sooooo easy and so delicious. And finally getting to know my new oven – it was a learning curve. Making the chocolate buttercream tonight or tomorrow morning for my 92 year old mom-in-law’s birthday party! Every day is a blessing!

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