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.

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

  1. Oh My Goodness!! I gotta go and make this. Stat! I think I’m gonna be somebody’s favorite mommy today! :)

  2. Yum!!! Why do I read blogs in the morning? So hungry!

  3. Thanks for another inspiring post and recipe. I’m not a health nut but I like the idea of scratch baking so I can control what I’m feeding my husband and son.
    Incidentally, they are both huge fans of yellow cake. Do you think I could make that with this recipe by just eliminating the cocoa powder and coffee? Maybe up the vanilla?

  4. I think I can spare to break away from my cake mix one time and make this! Holy cow, it looks divine! That ganache frosting is UNREAL, girl. I want to lick the entire bowl of the stuff!!

  5. oh my gosh that looks insanely delicious! so fudgy and decadent! i love that it uses greek yogurt too! yummy!

  6. Oh Em Gee – that ganache is no joke! I want to roll around in it (don’t judge me) – it looks delicious.

  7. this makes me want to dive right in, and I am not even a FAN of chocolate cake!!!
    Looks delicious!

  8. Guilty as charged…I use cake mixes all the time. Funny thing is that growing up all I ever made were the from scratch cakes. I’m thinking I need to go back to my roots and do some more “real” baking:-) Ok, is it totally bad that I just want to lick the ganache off every single piece? Awesome photo captures…everything looks perfect!!!

    • I’m guilty as charged, too, not using them to make cake so much as the base layer for pans of bars. A stick of butter, 1 egg, and a box of cake mix is the perfect base to build upon but I want to move past this :)

  9. This looks incredible, Averie! Props to you for leaving the beach to bake it…can’t say I’d be willing to do the same. :)

  10. Gosh Averie, you have really out done yourself this time!

  11. This looks so good, Averie! I love chocolate cake, especially from-scratch. The ganache is perfect!

  12. Your ganache looks so perfect and I’m pretty sure it would be good on anything!

  13. I’m pretty sure I’ve bookmarked every recipe you’ve posted this past week! You’re on fire ;) This cake looks too good to pass up!!

  14. I love using oil in cakes; it makes them so yummy! I don’t have any favorite cake recipes yet, but I’m sure I will soon, as I love making cakes. My life has been free of boxed mixes for awhile, though they were certainly quite tasty when I used them, and I am having so much fun seeing what I can create without relying on them.

  15. I can’t believe how perfect that cake looks. I want to wash it down with a huge glass of Chocolate Stout.

  16. Ha, every blog needs at least one chocolate cake recipe, right? Yours looks like a particularly strong entry- I’d be so tempted to stick a finger in that glossy, gooey frosting!

  17. Can I just say ditto to ALL of the above comments, and one more…the tooth marks in the ganache frosting shots are some of the most drool-inducing images I’ve ever seen!

    • I actually made them with a fork and let me tell you, my hands were shaking when I did it because I knew I had one chance to do it – and it all worked out :)

      And I think I left a comment on your blog or you replied to me something about as bloggers we get caught up in making the latest and greatest when really, all you need are the classics sometimes!

  18. Woah. This cake is seriously mind-numbingly, mind-blowingly AMAZING. Totally agree with all of the comments above: photos are DELICIOUS and I LOVE the from-scratch recipe. Just PERFECT!!

  19. That chocolate cake looks AMAZING. Like do a double take amazing. With a tall, cold glass of milk….YUM!

  20. The cake looks delicious! I love how you made your own frosting, it looked so wonderful!

  21. Pure chocolatey perfection! I love easy cakes from scratch. And the ganache – heaven!!

  22. 2 amazing recipes in a week, what are you doing to me? I saw both of these photos (this and your banana bread) via facebook and had to, I mean literally had to check them out. My kids will love this, (me to) as its dark chocolate. Who doesn’t like dark chocolate? Also, its proven to be good for you, and on a daily basis. That’s all I need to know. Do you have a cookbook in the works? That is what I am really seeing for you girl!

    you MN and now Cali buddy

    • I know you use coffee in your choc cake and I know you’d love this cake – you’ll have to tell me how it compares to the one you make which is that Ina G./Beatty’s cake recipe, I think.

      And as always, thank you for your support and high praise :) xo

  23. mmmmm, i kind of want to make it right now. great photos too!

  24. I`m not even a HUGE fan of chocolate cake, but you have me drooling!

  25. What a treat! I love chocolate cakes and you can’t go wrong with a delicious ganache on top!

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