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!

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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

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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

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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.

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

  1. I tried this recipe and the cake turned out moist and chocolatey! Thank you for the recipe!! :)

    Rating: 4
  2. This cake is so good! Have made it as written and have also made it as layers. Just wondering, if they were baked as cupcakes, how long you would have them in the oven for?

  3. Made this cake for my husband’s birthday. His favorite is “chocolate through-and-through cake.” Had to be easy–it WAS! We’re leaving for his birthday holiday in Bali tomorrow. We all LOVED this cake. Moist and chocolatey! Will make this again and again! Thank you for sharing, Averie!

    Rating: 5
  4. Thank you Averie for posting this cake; It looks delicious and I want to make it but I have a question
    Can I substitute the sugar and yogurt for sweetened condensed milk??
    Thank you

  5. May I use full cream yogurt in place of Greek yogurt

  6. I love this cake! It came out so moist and tender that I decided to just leave it as is and not add a frosting. It was so easy to make I know I’ll be making it a lot!

    Rating: 5
  7. Can this be made using a bundt pan?

  8. Made this today as cupcakes and halved the ganache which worked out just nice. This is really fantastic! So easy and yummy! My kids love it! Thanks for this great recipe. Second time I’ve used your recipe, the first time being a few years ago, the no knead honey rolls. Will try out more recipes when I have the chance! Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  9. Hands down, best scratch chocolate cake I’ve ever made! The cake is perfectly moist and the ganache topping is so decadent – truly a chocolate lovers dream. I made it twice in a week when my family was in town because it does not last, it’s that good!

    Rating: 5
  10. Hi, Averie. I made this cake last week. It has to be one of the best desserts that I have EVER made! Delicious! I reduced the regular cocoa powder and replaced it with black cocoa as an experiment. I got several compliments. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  11. Just wondered the reason for lining the cake pan with foil rather than parchment paper? And do you think parchment paper would work as well?

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. So easy to make and it was rich, moist and delicious. I have more enthusiasm for baking than skill so this is definitely going on the list of crowd pleaser recipes 😊

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this cake delivered for you! I like how you said this: have more enthusiasm for baking than skill. Now you have something you KNOW will turn out and is easy!

  13. Thinking of making this recipe and was wondering if I only have ground espresso how much would I need? Thank you!

  14. If I wanted to make this for a layer cake how should I adjust the recipe? I feel like doubling it will be too much. Could I bake it in an 8 inch round and slice that in half for my two layers? I’ve made it as is for my husbands birthday and it was unreal and delicious! It was quick enough to make while my infant napped!

    Rating: 5
  15. Pingback: Devil's Food Cupcakes - Recipe Girl

  16. I want this cake without egg.

  17. I did make this cake. Thank goodness the author mentions the cake is a thinner batter than regular cake. I used sour cream instead of yogurt. The cake is so moist and I didn’t find it too chocolate. No coffee taste either. But I did have trouble with the ganache. It was very runny. Add more chips and tried to melt them in the ganache. Probably would melt them separately next time or just add more at the beginning. I couldn’t tell how melted the chips should be or really how hot the cream should be. So my ganache is chunky and NOT gooey. Guess I’ll just have to make it again and again and again. I still give it five stars. Just cuz I can’t make ganache doesn’t mean it can’t be done. LOL

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review! The ganache – yes it will be a bit runny at first but it does set up. I think the problem is that you added more chips than called for, hence the chunky situation. Maybe try melting the chips on their own and then adding warm cream to them and see how that goes.

  18. Oh my ganache was like gravy. And it never did “set up”. Let it sit for for about 15 minutes. Still like barely gravy consistency. But like I said before I’ll just have to keep making it til I get it right. It’ll be a chore to eat this cake again and again until I get the ganache correct. Might take me years. LOL. VBG. Maybe I’ll never get correct and be doomed to a life of exceptional chocolate cake. Oh the horror of it all.

    Rating: 5
  19. A wonderful keeper recipe. I added halved glace cherries and chopped pecans to the mix and only used half quantity of the topping. This will become one of my regular bakes! Thank you.

    Rating: 5
  20. I love your recipe.. I just made it right now and the taste was perfect,totally amazing. I made chocolate cake before but not the same as this. BTW, I used 30cm by 32cm baking pan as i dont have a spring form pan. I was really scared at baking process coz it rises a lot but then it was deflated.. after i baked it and cooled down, i cut it in half coz it was a bit thin for me and made it as a layer.. I made a bit changes tho as I dont have the other ingredients. I used table margarine (this what i have at the moment ) , and half cup of yogurt, and the for the ganache, I used 1 cup thick cream, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup sugar amd 1 tsp vanilla… I dont have chocolate chips so I searched what ganache I can do without it.Love to have ur new recipe soon..

    Rating: 5
  21. what can I substitute for the coffee?

  22. Do you think I would get good results baking in a glass pan? I don’t have a metal square pan, which I need to do something about. If not glass, maybe I could double and bake in two round metal pans? The goal is a birthday cake. Sorry, I hate when reviews ask, “Can I completely change your recipe and get the same results?” I hope my question doesn’t sound like that. LOL.

    • Honestly your question does sound like that. The very short and honest answer is spend 10 bucks, buy a metal pan, get great results, case closed. Any other variables and permutations I cannot comment on bc I have not tried. Since it’s a bday, I would imagine you are looking for tried and true results – metal pan, yep, tried and true results with hundreds of positive comments.

  23. The best chocolate cake recipe i have ever tried 😍So glad i found your recipe, thank you!

    Rating: 4

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