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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

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!

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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.

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

  1. Hello Avery!

    Will this recipe work at high altitude? Or should I adjust it? It looks too delicious to pass up and I’m new at baking at high altitudes.
    Thank you!!

  2. Hi Averie,
    I only have an 8×8 pan. Will I need to add a few minutes or do I need to just buy the 9in pan? thanks in advance. :) Hope you and your family are well

  3. I see some chocolate cake recipes call for coffee.. just curious as to why and do I really have to use it in the recipe for it to taste better?

  4. Looks wonderful. Making it today for my son’s birthday.

    Your site is a little frustrating to use though. All the ads slow it down tremendously. When I printed the recipe all sorts of ads popped up and bogged it down and made my browser crash the first try. There are so many great food blogs out there that I usually won’t come to a site like this twice just for this reason alone.

    Really looking forward to this cake though.

    • Sorry about the slowness. My site experience record-breaking traffic over the weekend and there were literally hundreds of thousands of people who came to my site over the weekend and with all that traffic, it will run slower. I just upgraded my servers so hopefully that will not happen in the future.

      Enjoy the cake! It’s one of my favorites!

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  8. can u please tell me, u said coffee,is it coffee powder or liquid coffee that we drink.thanks in advance

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  10. Made this cake thrice already and it is always a hit in the crowd. I even paired it with cupcakes and put some shaved dark chocolate as an added decorations on top. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe of yours, Averie.

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  16. You do a great job of explaining every step of making this cake. Can’t wait to try!

  17. great receipe…..but I have dark cooking chocolate instead of chocolate chips…..how much do u think I should use it….

  18. Hi Averie, the chocolate ganache cake looks absolutely delicious! I was going to make this for a small get together with friends. One concern I had is if I make the cake in the morning and needs to be served the same evening, do I keep the cake with the ganache refrigerated and then leave it our for about 30 mins before serving?

    I do not want the ganache to harden while serving. Please advice!

    Thanks!

  19. Hi Averie,

    Thanks for your reply. I live in the US and its winter now hence I asked. Also, would adding sour cream make the cake taste little sour?

  20. I’ve made this cake about 10 times and every time it comes out perfect. Thank you so much for this awesome recipes. I follow the recipe to the T. I use a really good chocolate bar for the ganache which makes a big difference.

  21. Ms. Averie…in the recipe above, you have a 9 x9 inch pan, cover with foil,
    then grease and flour a 10 inch round pan
    am I reading this correctly?
    did you mean just the 9 x 9 inch pan which is covered with foil, greased, and floured?
    Thank you for your kind attention.

    • You can use a 9-inch SQUARE or a 10-inch ROUND. A 9-inch round will not likely be large enough to hold all the batter which is why I specified that; but I always make this in a 9×9 square. Enjoy the cake!

  22. Ms. Averie…thank you so much for your timely reply!
    understood!
    I used the 9 inch square pan and it turned out really super well!
    I am just beginning to bake and the first time for anything is an ok thing–
    THIS TIME, great success!
    Thank you!!

  23. I just put this in the oven as my son picked this cake for his birthday today. Fingers crossed cause I just saw that you said the batter will be very runny….mine was more like chocolate pudding and I double checked that I didn’t miss any ingredients so I guess we’ll see.

  24. Sorry, it wouldn’t let me comment to your reply. I use Fage 2% plain and my flour was not packed. Not sure why, but must have had a bad baking day. The ganache didn’t get very thick and kept running all over lol. I made a round cake in a spring form. Cut part of the top of it to make it more flat and I think it helped too cause some of the ganache went into the cake. My younger son who doesn’t like anything cake was happy to have ganache on his ice cream though. My birthday boy loved it and will most likely eat the rest of the cake himself as I am not a fan of cake, especially chocolate and I think hubby said he thought it was too much chocolate as well. But as long as the birthday boy was happy I am too :) I will most likely try it again when he liked it so much and maybe try it with sour cream to see if it makes a difference. BTW My son says Thank you!

    • Thanks for LMK what you used. Your Fage sounds similar to what my yogurt is probably like…I have made the cake with Greek yogurt, yogurt, sour cream, lite versions, whatever I have had on hand and it’s never came out anything but great for me – but it sounds like your cake itself was great!

      Sounds like the ganache was a little thin. If that happens again to you, just add more chocolate! And/or with this recipe now that you know this, reduce the amount of cream you add and keep the chocolate the same.

      As long as your bday boy was happy, that’s all that matters! Thanks for trying the recipe!

  25. Hi Averie,

    I’ve used this chocolate cake recipe often enough now that I have had to Pin it. At our house it’s called BS cake. Last year my husband asked for an impromptu chocolate cake for his birthday. Okay. I found your recipe. Soon enough, it became not just his birthday, but his “Birthday Season,” which guaranteed a few more of these chocolate cakes before all was said and done (his purpose in declaring it birthday season in the first place).

    Today is my nine-year-old’s birthday party, and she has asked for BS cake, too. I guess I’d better make sure I can always find your recipe!

    Thanks so much for sharing it—
    Melanie

    • I love the stories you have associated with this cake! How fun and so glad it’s turned into an all-seasons, and all-birthdays, ‘BS Cake’. Thanks for pinning and so glad you and your family love this cake!

  26. Can I use the ganache frosting to frost a 3-layer cake? Is it thick enough to hold up on it’s own between the layers of cake and sides of cake? Thank you!

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  28. Glad to see someone else was confused by it saying “Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking or grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan; set aside”. “or” makes much more sense here than “and”! I wasn’t sure if I had to make some kind of bain marie with two pans.

    I’ve got the oven preheating and coffee cooling in a cup ready to get started. Now I’ve sorted out the confusion over the pans (from reading the print-out), I can get started :-D

    • The recipe did say OR (I went back and re-read it…but I also just updated it). I get so many questions, can I bake this in a muffin pan, as cupcakes, in a round pan, etc that I try to ‘accommodate’ many in my directions but I just took it all out to say, square pan, done :)

      Enjoy the cake!

  29. That’s odd, because I copy/pasted the instructions to my print-out. It doesn’t matter anyway. Once I saw your reply to the previous comment, I realised that I only needed one tin!

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  31. This cake looks moist and delicious. Can I make this using oat, rice, or spelt flour?

  32. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made it today for my mom’s birthday. I wrote happy birthday mama with buttercream frosting when the ganache set. I did use a 9 inch springform pan though because thats all i have and it turned out fine :)

    • You are so sweet to bake for your mom on her bday! And so glad the cake was a hit and I love that you wrote in the ganache with buttercream…so creative and I bet she was just thrilled!!

  33. I have one question though. So you don’t use butter in any type of cake or just chocolate cake? Will a yellow cake turn iut fine if i replace butter with oil? Do i substitute the same amount? And what about those recipes that require creaming the butter and sugar together? Butter is kinda expensive so if i replace it with oil, it’ll be nice.

  34. I have just discovered your fabulous website and the recipes I’ve tried so far are terrific! Soft sugar cookies with sprinkles is now my favorite cookie! I do have a question. I notice that you almost always line a baking pan with foil. Is that simply for easier clean-up or have you found a baking advantage to using the foil. I’m just curious and don’t want to miss anything! Your recipes are easy to follow and the photography is amazing! Thanks! By the way, I almost always put some form of coffee in chocolate cakes.

  35. I made this cake and I hate to say it but it was bland. Going back over my measurements I’m fairly certain I used half a cup of cocoa but the cake, just wasn’t there for me. My fiancé accidentally used all our semi sweet chips so in the heat of the moment I grabbed white chocolate chips. I knew the batter would run thin and the flavor was a tad overly sweet but that made the cake worth it. Any ideas on how I can do a better job next time?

    • Sounds like you deviated from the recipe quite a bit by adding white chocolate. Make sure you’re using strong brewed coffee and decent cocoa powder and don’t add things that aren’t called for, i.e. white chocolate, and I think you will love this cake. Thanks for trying it and sorry it wasn’t for you…I have honestly in 3-4 years of having this recipe up, NEVER had anyone say the cake was bland. I think maybe re-make it using really good quality ingredients, not anything more, not anything less that’s written in the recipe, and you’ll love it.

  36. This cake was a great hit with my family, especially my step-son, who adores chocolate! It was so simple and fast and I am glad that it is a smaller cake so that the “temptation” is not around long enough to tempt me to endulge! Thanks so much for the recipe and I love your blog!

  37. do you take cake out of pan to ice?
    thanks!

  38. Thank you Ms Sunshine for this easy yet delicious chocolate cake , which i made it in 2 different occasions and turned out very good and I felt soooo proud.

  39. This has to be the absolute best chocolate cake I have ever tried in my life. This is not an exaggeration. T is so fluffy and moist and full of flavor. I will never make any other chocolate cake again.  Thank you so much!!!!!

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  41. Dear Averie,

    I found your recipe while searching for yet another moist chocolate cake recipe, having been let down by so many that promise so much but end up being a disappointment. Your recipe was an absolute winnner – this is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten and I am very proud to say I have made – thank you! If you don’t mind, I will be sharing this far and wide with credit to you. Thank you again!

  42. I had been looking for an easy yet delicious chocolate cake recipe all day to use some of the frozen sour cherries in the fridge. 
    I just made a chocolate sour cherry cake based on your recipe and it turned out fantastic! First,  I cut the recipe in half except for the egg and I had to leave out vanilla, coffee and unfortunately the ganache. I am kinda short of ingredients.
    I only had homemade full fat yogurt and I used it. I added my frozen sour cherries on top of the batter.  
    I am very pleased with the result, in fact right now I am heading kitchen for one more slice before bed :) Next time I am gonna make it with the chocolate ganache. 
    Thanks

  43. Would it be possible to almost double the ingredients and make this a little larger in a 9×13 pan? Baking longer, of course…

  44. Hi Averie, I tried your chocolate cake, and it was just awesome! My husband doesn’t like chocolate cake because its always so dry and not moist, but this he ate and told me he can eat it all day!

  45. Hi, so I’d like to try this cake out but I live in Asia and as we’ve had quite a few oil scandals here, I’m rather reluctant to use the local vegetable oil here. I only have access to overseas Olive oil and overseas butter. Which should I use for this cake? And if it’s butter, should I be using 1/4 cup? 

    Thanks so much! Awesome looking cake by the way!

    • It’s hard to say because I’ve only made this cake with oil. That’s what keeps it softer. I’d be reluctant to use butter. I also know that olive oil will add a distinct flavor that I know some people bake with it, but I don’t. Take a risk and use the local oil is my suggestion!

  46. Unfortunately the last time I tried local oil in cake, my kiddo got the runs till I put two and two together and started using butter (yes, I did multiple attempts…I am not the smartest of mothers, I admit). 

    Thanks anyway!

  47. Do you have to refrigerate this cake?

  48. Averie the chocolate cake was amazing! My husband had two slices and he says he is trying to loose weight. My question is, could I add walnuts in the batter next time? I was just craving a bit of crunch with it. 
    Thank you ! 

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! So much for your husband’s diet, huh! :)

      I think you could definitely add walnuts to the batter next time. Enjoy!

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