The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Of the hundreds of dessert recipes I have on my blog, I realized that I didn’t have a chocolate cake recipe so I changed that.

With the easiest, one-bowl, five minute, from-scratch chocolate cake you’ll ever make.

If you’re addicted to cake mix, you can break free. I’ve been there.

I made this cake without a mixer and it was ready to go from bowl to oven in less than five minutes with just a couple turns of the whisk.


I’m the first to admit that cake mixes can be great because they’re convenient, the results are nearly guaranteed, and they produce moist and light cakes.

This scratch cake does the same.

Except it’s darker, richer, and more intensely chocolaty than a cake mix chocolate cake, which is a good thing if you like a nice dark, deeply chocolaty, chocolate cake.

One way in which I kept the cake moist was by adding yogurt, which can be replaced with sour cream if that’s what you have on hand. Just don’t use light or diet yogurt or sour cream. Use thicker or Greek-style full-fat yogurt. You’re making chocolate cake, not diet food, so forego the watery diet yogurt.

I also kept the use of baking powder to a bare minimum because I find it dries out cupcakes, muffins, and cakes. The recipe uses just enough to give the cake lightness and lift so that it isn’t confused with the denser and flatter chocolate slab that we all know as a brownie.

Finally, I do love butter and will almost always choose butter over oil in baking; except when baking a cake. Oil produces a moister cake in my experience and since all that lovely buttery flavor is going to be masked anyway from the cocoa powder, you’re not giving up anything in the flavor department and gaining worlds in the moisture category by using oil rather than butter. A win-win for oil.

Not sold on the cake yet? Allow me to sell you on the chocolate ganache.

Ganache is made by heating cream and pouring it over chocolate and I kept this ganache super simple by heating the cream in the microwave. You could heat it over the stove, but why bother.

The beauty of the ganache is that even after it sets up, it still has a juicy quality to it in comparison to say buttercream frosting, which can become a bit hardened around the edges after it’s been exposed to air for a few hours. Crunchy frosting is never a good thing.

If frosting can taste elegant and classy, this ganache is how; as opposed to this frosting which is more along the lines of a finger-lickin’ good frosting.

There’s no sugar added to the ganache and it’s only as sweet as the chocolate you select, which in my case was semi-sweet chocolate chips. Go as milky or dark as you enjoy. Feel free to spike your ganache with a couple tablespoons of bourbon, rum, or a fancy flavored liqueur.

Skylar requested this cake for her next birthday and Scott said, “Good idea, honey. This cake does taste like chocolate birthday cake tastes.”

Yes, of course it does because most chocolate birthday cakes are cake mix cakes.

Now you can bypass the cake mix and make this in five minutes instead.

The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache - The best chocolate cake I've ever had, and the easiest to make! Nothing fussy or complicated & delivers amazing results every time! 

The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache

This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had or made, and it’s the easiest. One bowl, no-mixer, no creaming ingredients, and nothing funny. This cake is fast, easy, and always delivers amazing results. You can bake it as cupcakes, too. The ganache is rich and velvety, and the perfect pairing with this deep, dark, not-too-sweet, and very moist cake. The cake is a reader favorite!


Chocolate Cake

1 large egg

1 cup granulated sugar

6 ounces plain, vanilla, or chocolate yogurt (thicker Greek-style preferred, do not use diet, fat-free or light yogurt; sour cream may be substituted)

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temperature or warm

1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Chocolate Ganache

9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)

3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons rum, bourbon, coffee-, orange-, raspberry-, chocolate-flavored liqueur)


Cake – Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined. Add coffee, cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s), and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute. Note about coffee: The coffee does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake. Rather, it brings out and enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; I highly recommend coffee but use water if you must. The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg.

Pour batter, which is a loose and fairly runny batter, into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan completely, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache or frosting the cake, or before slicing and serving. Unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Ganache – Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, heat the cream (I used half-and-half) on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds.

Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety.

Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit. Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife. Allow ganache to set up for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving the cake; or speed this process up by placing pan in the refrigerator or freezer briefly.

Only Eats

Related Recipes

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars – these use cake mix but the preparation method isn’t traditional

Mounds Bar Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – my favorite brownie base recipe which is as easy as making brownies from a box, I promise; and it’s the brownie base I use for all brownies before doctoring them up with other add-ins or tweaks

Frozen Chocolate Pudding and Wafer Cake (No-Bake, 3 ingredients)

Chocolate Cake Batter Milkshake

Do you have a favorite from scratch cake recipe?

Feel free to link it up; chocolate, yellow, vanilla, carrot, red velvet, whatever it is as long as it’s amazing.

How often do you use cake mixes?

I did a 15 Recipes Using Cake Mix (But None of Them Actually Make a Cake) post and since then, I’ve really cut down on the amount of cake mix I use. They have their time and place, and I will always use them I’m sure.

However, I’d like to post more classic type recipes on my blog and an easy, but practical, tasty, and moist chocolate cake from scratch was a good place to start.

434 comments on “The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache”

  1. Pingback: Čokoládový zázrak z jedného vajíčka

  2. Pingback: Najjednoduchšií a najlepšií čokoládový koláčik z jedného vajíčka | Božské recepty

  3. What can I use instead of the yogurt or sour cream? 

  4. I wanted to bake a chocolate cake for a special occasion and was apprehensive about trying a new recipe, but this cake turned out wonderful! Thank you for the great recipe!

  5. Hi…if I want to make this into a 2 layer round cake,would I double the recipe? Thanks so much.

  6. Pingback: Najjednoduchšií a najlepšií čokoládový koláčik z jedného vajíčka -

  7. Hello id just like to ask gow many cups is 6ounces of yogurt? Im planning to bake this for my dads birthday. It looks very delicious :)

  8. Hi Averie,
    Just made this great chocolate cake today, to take to a dance for supper (bring a plate)
    It was so easy and light in texture, and the gnache was just beautiful. I always have trouble
    when melting chocolate either overcook it or something just doesn’t work!! So thank you for this 
    great best ever chocolate cake, speaks for itself.

  9. Pingback: Chocolate Cake Recipe – Site Title

  10. Baked this today and my wife and I are smiling.. The moist, fluffy texture is exactly what I have been trying to find..

    I am 77 and recently started baking.. I bought 6″ cake pans and started reading sites for small batch desserts.. I have made cakes from 4 different recipes.. Each was good but, just too dense and a bit dry.. Your recipe is the 5th I have tried and it is perfect…Perfect… As an aside, this recipes fills two 6″ cake pans perfectly.. Now I hope to find the same moist fluffy results in your white, lemon, etc., recipes..
    Thank you…. :O)

    • Glad you took up baking in your 70s, what a great story!

      Glad you love the cake and that the 5th one is a charm :) You will not find a dry cake on my site because I hate dry cake, so I can assure you all my other cakes are just as moist and soft. Keep me posted if you try any others.

      Great little tip about this recipe filling two 6″ pans perfectly!

  11. Oh my god. This is the cake recipe I have been looking for. I cannot explain how fantastic this turned out.
    I made it for my birthday to take to work, and I am packing it up right away to take home so I can eat the rest of it.
    So incredibly moist, without being heavy. Both the cake and the ganache are absolutely spot on. I don’t think I will ever make another chocolate cake recipe again, this one is that good. I would go so far as to say life-changing. Amazing! Thank you so so much!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it turned out great for you! And thank you so much for all your praise and compliments! Glad it’s a life-changer and that you won’t need another chocolate cake again! :)

  12. I have tried most of your recipes and each one of them have turned out fabulously! This one in particular I make almost every second day (family and friends just love it!). I have a quick question though… If I had to turn this into an eggless cake, what do you suggest I use in place of the egg?

    Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!

    • I’m glad you love this cake so much! The fact you make it so frequently is awesome!

      I’ve never tried to make it eggless but being there is only one egg, you could possibly try to just add an extra 2-3 tbsp of Greek yogurt. Let me know what happens!

  13. “Oil produces a moister cake in my experience and since all that lovely buttery flavor is going to be masked anyway from the cocoa powder, you’re not giving up anything in the flavor department and gaining worlds in the moisture category by using oil rather than butter. ”

    Super advice and so very true.

  14. I made this today and it’s very dense without much rise. I rebranded the squares I cut as rich brownies with powdered sugar. Not sure what I did wrong but coworkers will gobble up anything that’s homemade.

    • Cakes that don’t rise much and are dense…a few things come to mind. First thing would be baking powder/soda that aren’t at their freshest. Next would be over-adding the flour, i.e. hard packing it into the cup, and/or over-mixing after it’s added. I have made this cake a ton of times, adapted other cakes based on it, and it’s always a winner. Readers love it too. So I would say the soda/powder issue or the flour are your culprits.

      Glad that you at least re-purposed into brownies!

  15. Thank you for this great recipe! I made it yesterday with amazing results. It was the exact chocolate cake recipe I was looking for–moist, light and chocolately! A huge plus was that it was very easy. Again, thank you for sharing!

  16. Can i use warm water instead of coffee?

  17. Hello there,

    In your pic the ganache frosting looks really good. I am really curious which kind of chocolate you used for the frosting. Also, did you use heavy cream or half and half? I’m asking because I made this cake the other day and it turned out yummy, but your frosting doesn’t look like mine. Yours is better. :)

    Your tips are appreciated!

    • Actually I made this cake at a vacation home on a Caribbean island. Selection of chips was very bare bones and I used some sort of store-brand generic chips, only think I could find. And half-and-half because I had it on hand for coffee.

      Ganache can be a tricky thing sometimes. Sometimes just a smidge too little/too much of one thing can cause the consistency to set up very differently. Keep playing around and experimenting.

  18. Can i use whipping cream instead of half and half cream for the ganache?

  19. I just tried this recipe, mine rose to a point where the top is cracked, almost like a soufle but a bit denser, and more stable, should i wait for it to deflate? Will it even deflate? Lol sorry i’m really new to this. Thanks!


  21. This looks delicious! If I want to make this in a larger pan (9X13) as I’m feeding more people, can I just double the recipe w/ no other changes?

  22. Hi! I will probably be making these tonight, so excited! Just two quick questions:
    1) For the greek yoghurt, would you recommend just plain natural greek yoghurt or a vanilla flavoured?
    2) Can this recipe be used for cupcakes?


  23. Can one use Buttermilk instead of the yogurt? And if so, at what qty?

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