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!

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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.

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

  1. I made this this evening, never have I made a cake with yoghurt in but my, this was good. It’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made/eaten. Everyone loved it! I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate for the ganache which was really tasty and contrasted really well with the rich cake. I look forward to making more food from your recipes

    Rating: 5
  2. This is amazing! I couldn’t wait for the ganache to cool down and had a slice. Ganache was runny as expected Cos of my impatience but it tasted good. The cake is spot on! It was ready in exactly 25 mins! Perfect size too as we are a family of 3! I used lactose free dairy (cos of lactose intolerance) and used olive oil as i ran out of canola. It still all worked! Super easy cake but sooooo gooood! Thanks for your recipe :)

    Rating: 5
  3. Hi there! I plan on making this today but I’m wondering how much yogurt to use if I have to measure it out without a scale? Thank you!!

  4. I made this cake and it was the tastiest and moistest cake I have made in awhile. I would highly recommend trying this recipe if you like chocolate cake. It was also relatively easy. My husband loved it.

  5. Greetings, Averie:

    I love your recipes, thanks for sharing them. Can this recipe be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan?

    Vicki

  6. I’d like to turn this cake into a layer cake. Can I use this ganache in between layers as well?

  7. Can I make this recipe using a bundt pan? If so how much batter would be needed and how long should it cook? Thank you.

    • I’m sure you could make it in a Bundt pan I just never have so I couldn’t give you any details. You have to experiment.

    • I looked it up and it’s possibly double the batter and longer cooking time. I’ll be trying to make this in a bundt pan today, we shall see how it turns out!

    • The cake was amazing! Made 2 layered cake with this recipe! <3 I want to try if it can be a cupcake. Have you tried doing cupcakes with this recipe?

      Rating: 5
      • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad to hear it worked well as a two layer cake! I personally never have done cupcakes but many others have written to say they have successfully.

  8. Can I make this as a cupcake?

  9. This recipe is amazing! Turned out so good! Cake turned out so moist. I couldn’t even wait for the ganache to set. I used sour cream instead of Greek yogurt. Thank you for sharing!!

    Rating: 5
  10. Hi Averie! Do you think I can cut down on sugar a little bit? If yes, how much do you suggest? Many thanks

  11. Can I make this recipe without the brew coffee? Would I just add more coco?
    Thanks

  12. Oh my gosh! Rich, not sickening sweet, and not a huge cake for our small family. I will say when I peeked through the oven window it was raising beautifully. Once out of the oven it sunk. Bummer. I made a chocolate buttercream frosting and slathered it on. Hit with my sons, making another batch tomorrow.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it checked off all the boxes for you and was great!

      The rising…cakes like this tend to rise a lot in the oven and do settle down upon cooling; to avoid that quite as much I would say bake it just a couple extra minutes OR possibly add an extra tablespoon or two of flour; or do nothing since it turned out so great, if you can live with the appearance then just enjoy the taste of it, as written.

  13. Will this work at cupcakes?

  14. fantastic recipe – be careful to not pour the bottom of the coffee pot where all the grounds are in into the cake! makes a bitter taste

    Rating: 5
  15. Is the coffee flavor super strong? Wanted to make this for a 4 year olds birthday cake but I’ll pick a different recipe if this one is too “grown up.” Thanks!

  16. Made this for my hubby’s 50th birthday and he says this is the best cake he’s ever had! :) When we were married, our wedding cake was chocolate with raspberry filing, which he loves, so I made a few revisions to the recipe by infusing it with raspberry jam and topping the chocolate ganache with sugared fresh raspberries. Wow … soooo good!! Thanks for sharing your baking awesomeness and this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  17. Terrific recipe. I dialed the sugar back to 2/3 cup because that’s what I always do (I like things on the less-sweet side) and to me it tasted great. For my oven it needed 35 minutes, but this could be because my yogurt was not that thick (it was homemade yogurt that I screwed up by scalding the milk and needed to use in baking instead of eating straight). But the consistency, flavor, everything was awesome.

    Rating: 5
  18. Hi can i skip the yogurt in this recipe ?if not is there any substitute ?thanks in advance

  19. Thank you for posting this – I’ve used your recipe a couple of times and it never fails. The best chocolate cake I have ever baked period.

    Rating: 5
  20. This recipe was easy to follow, made two cakes for the weekend. The cakes were gone by the evening and were delicious!! I hope to make this cake soon, it was not too sweet!

    Rating: 5

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