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Homemade Chocolate Cake

A rich chocolate frosting is the flavorful finishing touch to this moist from-scratch cake that's mixed in one bowl. It always turns out and is quickly gobbled up by friends and family. I'm asked to fix this favorite so often that the recipe card is an absolute mess! —Cindy Miller, Riverside, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • Dash salt
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add the water, oil, vanilla and vinegar; mix well (batter will be thin).
  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, salt, milk and vanilla; mix well. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Editor's Note
This recipe does not use eggs.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 413 calories, 17g fat (5g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 385mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Carrie
    Dec 23, 2020

    This is a cake that I have made probably twenty times. It is delicious each and every time. I'm not sure what people are doing to create a tasteless cake but I've never had any issues with it. I've served this at numerous birthday parties, and people inhale it!

  • Theresa
    Jun 7, 2020

    I have never made a chocolate cake from scratch before. I always used boxed cakes but now I’m getting away from all the chemicals and unnecessary ingredients in them. With that said I didn’t add the white vinegar this recipe called for and added two eggs instead. It also took longer to bake (35 minutes). 1 also doubled the frosting recipe. I like a lot of frosting. The end result was pretty good. The cake was moist and tasty. The frosting was delicious with the cream cheese added.

  • Maria
    May 23, 2020

    My family loved this cake! Made it for Mother’s Day and it was a hit.

  • Jesse
    May 9, 2020

    Ok, some of these people made mistakes for sure. If you don’t like a dense cake maybe don’t make it or add an egg. I’ve made this cake twice the first time was a little off but it was a mistake I made in the frosting. I put sugar in instead of confection sugar. So it was grainy. But it still tasted really good. This time I made it correctly and it was delicious. Also my house smelled delicious! And the flavor was great!

  • Haley
    Apr 2, 2020

    I’m sorry, but this cake is not good. Chocolate cake is one of my favorite desserts and this is probably the first time I haven’t finished a piece. I had to bake it for at least 10 minutes longer than recommended and it was still super mushy on the inside. It had no flavor, but just tasted like flour. I felt like I was eating a cake they would have made back in the 1800s. Just not good.

  • Monica
    Dec 16, 2019

    I followed the recipe and it was horrible. And it smell bad.not tasty at all.

  • 2124arizona
    Jul 3, 2017

    I'm a sucker for a great chocolate cake and this one is great!!

  • lisa53202
    May 9, 2017

    Very good chocolate cake and frosting--it was gone in a flash!

  • Kendra
    Mar 29, 2017

    Dense, flavorless besides a flour aftertaste. Followed the recipe exactly. Worst cake I've ever made.

  • nightnurse53
    Feb 20, 2016

    We made this recipe of chocolate cake with the chocolate cream cheese icing for my grand daughters birthday today. It was awesome, good flavor, and good texture. We added an egg to the cake batter and it turned out really good. We highly recommend this recipe.