The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

The Best Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting — This truly is the best chocolate cake EVER. It’s topped with a silky smooth chocolate ganache frosting, and it takes just 10 minutes of hands-on prep!

Best Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting on white plate

The Best Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

This is the easiest, one-bowl, five minute, from-scratch chocolate cake you’ll ever make. I originally posted this recipe August 27, 2012 and in that time, there have been thousands of very satisfied readers out there who swear by this cake.

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

But this chocolate cake from 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 homemade chocolate 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 fat-free 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. This recipe for the best ever chocolate cake 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.

three slices of moist chocolate cake on white plate

What is Ganache?

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

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 frosting 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.

Best Chocolate Cake Ever with Ganache Frosting

What’s in Chocolate Ganache Cake? 

For the moist chocolate cake, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Yogurt
  • Canola oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brewed coffee
  • Cocoa powder
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Salt

And for the chocolate ganache frosting, you’ll need:

  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract

homemade chocolate cake recipe with ganache frosting

How to Make Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

To make the moist chocolate cake, you’ll need to whisk together the egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Add in the cocoa powder and coffee and stir to combine. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk until just combined. 

Pour the homemade chocolate cake batter into a greased 9×9-inch baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Once the chocolate cake is out of the oven, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until just starting to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Let it stand for about a minute before whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract, then let the chocolate ganache cool for around 10 minutes to thicken up. 

Once the chocolate cake is completely cool, pour over the ganache frosting. The frosting will need about 30 minutes to set up before you can dig in. 

chocolate cake recipe from scratch

Can I Use Another Type of Chocolate for the Ganache? 

There’s no sugar added to the ganache, so 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.

If you don’t have chocolate chips, you can chop a bar of chocolate instead. 

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Yes, this recipe doubles quite easily. Just note that if you double the ingredients you’ll need to bake this homemade chocolate cake in a 9×13-inch pan. 

slice of chocolate ganache cake

Can I Make This Into Cupcakes? 

Yes that will likely be fine. Cupcakes generally take about 20 minutes to bake, but some are done in 18 minutes, but baking times vary depending on how full you fill your cupcake liners, your oven and climate, and so forth.

Can I Make This Into A Layer Cake?

Many readers have asked me if they can make this as a double layer cake, as a bundt cake, and so on, and the answer to all of those questions is that I’ve only made the cake exactly as the recipe is written below. However, I have had readers write in the comments that they’ve doubled the cake recipe, baked in a 9×13-inch pan, cut the cake in half, doubled the ganache recipe, added ganache on top of the bottom layer, topped with the other half of the cake, and added more ganache on top.

Definitely give the comments section a read if you have a very specific question about turning this chocolate cake recipe into anything other than a 9×9-inch square cake.

And if you do switch up this recipe and are successful, please leave a comment so you can help future readers! 

Do I Have to Use Brewed Coffee in the Batter? 

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 using coffee in the chocolate cake batter, but use water if you must. 

moist chocolate cake recipe

Can I Make This in a 9-Inch Round Cake Pan? 

A 9-inch round cake pan is probably okay, but just make sure when you’re filling it that it’s not getting too full.

Should I Refrigerate This Cake? 

Once the ganache frosting is on the cake and it’s had 30 minutes at room temperature to set up, yes, I refrigerate the leftover cake I have.

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!

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cake

When adding the brewed coffee to the cake batter, note that it can be any temperature other than piping hot. If you add the coffee while it’s still hot, you’ll scramble the egg! 

I typically use vanilla extract in the ganache frosting, but feel free to spike your ganache with a couple tablespoons of bourbon, rum, Kahlua, or a complementary liqueur. 

The Best Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting — This truly is the best chocolate cake EVER. It's topped with a silky smooth chocolate ganache frosting, and it takes just 10 minutes of hands-on prep!

The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This truly is the best chocolate cake EVER. It's topped with a silky smooth chocolate ganache frosting, and it takes just 10 minutes of hands on prep.

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

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**

Instructions

Cake

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute.
  4. 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

  1. Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety.
  4. Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit.
  5. Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife.
  6. 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.

Notes

*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.

**Or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons rum, bourbon, coffee-, orange-, raspberry-, chocolate-flavored liqueur.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 33mg Sodium: 238mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 33g Protein: 4g

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The Best Triple Chocolate Layer Cake — This is the chocolate layer cake to beat all and the best. It’s rich, decadent, and everything you want in a chocolate cake.

Chocolate Turtle Cake — This decadent poke cake is topped with whipped topping, salted caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. It’s so easy to make, and a huge hit at parties!

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

  1. Hi there, I’ve used this recipe before and it was delicious! It was a huge hitI’ve been asked to make it again but a slightly healthier option. Can the sugar be substituted for stevia? Also, would I be able to use double thick Greek yoghurt to make the cake a bit more moist? Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe :)

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was delicious! That being said, I wouldn’t mess with ‘delicious’ too much to try to make it healthier since it’s cake after all. I would just make it less often personally :)

      I have never tried experimenting with trying to healthify this cake so can’t give advice on that one. Good luck though.

  2. K. Thanks. I made the yellow but opened oven to turn 1/2 way through and it f=
    ell a little. I=E2=80=99m at 5280 ft altitude (Colorado) so May have to twea=
    k a little. But the flavor was good. Gonna serve with fresh peaches and whip=
    ped cream – no frosting – but will definitely try the chocolate

  3. This looks amazing! I need this in my life asap!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  4. I made the mistake of making this recipe before and now my husband constantly requests it. A HUGE hit and love the fact I don’t have to get the stand mixer out to make it. I live in Colorado above 7000 ft and added a couple of extra tablespoons of flour and bake at 340 and it turned out great every time. Thank you very much for sharing the very best chocolate cake recipe….because it is!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that this is a HUGE hit with your husband! Sorry you are the one having to do the baking all the time but as you said it’s so easy and you don’t even have to get your stand mixer!

      I am glad you think it’s the best chocolate cake recipe!!

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