everyday chocolate cake

Chocolate gets stiffed every summer in my kitchen and this one has been no different. Apparently, the only time I have come near chocolate with a ten foot pole this summer was more than six weeks ago, when I made some impromptu chocolate doughnut holes in the lull between rhubarb/strawberry season and every awesome fruit since. And I love chocolate like some people love bagels. This isn’t right.

softened butter + two sugarsbutter, sugar, eggs
beat in buttermilksift in dry ingredients

It’s just that every time I think about making something with chocolate in it, I push it back to the fall, and then the winter. How boring I have become since I started aligning my cooking with the seasons! I reason that I can make chocolate goodies any time of year, but nectarines will only be as brilliant as they are right this very minute and then not again until next summer and I will miss them the whole time and thus we must focus only on each other for as long as we can. Me and summer fruit, we get intimate.

a shiny dark batter
spread in pan
everyday chocolate cake, baked

I almost felt like I was cheating on my berries and stone fruits when I made this simple chocolate cake this week, save one thing: this isn’t a dead-of-winter, blanket-of-snow, stuck-inside kind of chocolate cake. For that, there are chocolate souffles with white chocolate cream and this rich slab; show me them on a broiling summer day and I might actually opt for “just tea” for dessert, likely for the first time in my life. But not every chocolate craving demands a swan dive into a vat of chocolate-draped chocolate truffles to be satisfied. Sometimes you just want a slice of cake. Often those times are Tuesday night and they deserve a one-bowl, one-loaf cake like this.

everyday chocolate cake

One year ago: Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Two years ago: Blueberry Pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, Blueberry Crumb Bars and Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Three years ago: Quick Zucchini Sauté

Everyday Chocolate Cake

My changes were to streamline the recipe (and shirk some recipe-writing conventions) to make this a one bowl cake, because anything called “everyday” really oughta be in one bowl. I added weights (because then your bowl becomes your measuring cups and look how few dishes you have to do!).

Dutched cocoa makes this cake much darker and more rich. If you don’t have it, however, many people have made it with natural or non-Dutched cocoa (think: classic Hershey’s or Hershey’s dark) but it tends to sink in the middle a little. Nothing a little extra whipped cream cannot cover up though, right?

In 2018, this recipe got fresh photos!

  • 1/2 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (190 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (235 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt

Heat your oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a standard loaf pan (shown in a 9″x5″, but not so full in it that you couldn’t use an 8″x4″ or something in-between), or spray it with a butter-flour spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan.

Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, if you’re feeling fancy.

Planning ahead? This cake is even better on days 2 and 3; wrap it tightly in foil and store it at room temperature.

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997 comments on everyday chocolate cake

    1. Idara-Haidee

      I always make this chocolate cake. It is my go-to cake. Absolutely yummy. A little tweak; I add mixed fruits and switch the measurements for baking powder and baking soda and this helps the cake not to sink in the middle! Perfect cake! Share-worthy!!!

  1. Deb, I’m the same way when it comes to obsessing over summer fruit. I feel like I just cannot consume enough peaches. That said, I too am a chocolate fiend, so it’s nice to see a recipe for a cake that feels like enough for summer.

    1. deb

      Emily — They really work differently. In general, you’d want to use a bunch more baking powder than baking soda (baking powder has baking soda in it, but also an acidic ingredient — cream of tartar, thus the “double acting” label — so it doesn’t need acidic ingredients nearby to work) but I am not sure exactly how much. Perhaps 3xs? I am sure someone else will jump in with a suggestion.

  2. limes

    Oh. Em. Gee. That looks good. It’s too hot to turn on the oven right now, but I just might have to make that in the next couple of days.

  3. EG

    Sounds great! My grandmother had a wealth of simple, comforting everyday kind of cakes (and yes, she made a cake EVERY DAY for her kids after school) but nothing with chocolate. Thanks!

  4. Wow, that looks terrific…though I really do not need to be making tasty chocolate cakes right now! I might just have to, though…such a good base for summer berries! I wonder if you can toast it like poundcake!

    FWIW – I never keep buttermilk in my fridge, but I’ve discovered you can sub a well-mixed combination of 1/2 milk and 1/2 plain regular (not Greek) yogurt. (You can probably do this with strained Greek-style yogurts as well, I just haven’t sussed the proportions) Works in baking and in marinades.

    1. Nikolett Burd

      Thanks for the information! I never use buttermilk either. Shall I put the same amount of the milk-yoghurt mixture then?

  5. Alex

    One of the first 25 commenters? A personal record for me. Although by the time I post it I’m sure I’ll be #49 in line.

    Looks fantastic, I’ve been needing a solid recipe for this.

  6. Emily

    I swear your baby is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. The only reason I don’t say THE cutest is because I have so much fondness for my nephew’s baby photos.

  7. You won’t touch chocolate with a ten foot pole in the summer? I want it IN my mouth 24/7/265! Ahh! I’ve bookmarked this recipe for the next time I have the chance to bake a cake. It looks delish!

  8. As someone who eats chocolate at least once every day, I was horrified by your 6-weeks anecdote. If you hadn’t posted a chocolate cake recipe straightafter telling us that, I might have swooned onto the floor in misery. Phew! Saved!

  9. Char

    I have a dumb question – and, honestly, I’ve tried to find the answer elsewhere, but other people’s explanations (eg., David Lebovitz, who maybe knows too much about chocolate) have only confused me more. How do I know if the cocoa I have is natural or dutched… my cocoa doesn’t say which it is. The tin says “Fry’s Premium Cocoa” and the ingredient list is “cocoa, sodium carbonate.” Does that mean it’s dutched? Does anyone know?

  10. I love the look of this everyday (ooh I wish) chocolate cake. I will definitely give it a go, especially if it was adapted from Magnolia Bakery! I baked an adapted recipe from Magnolia Bakery for the first time on the weekend and it was wonderful (lemon and raspberry-lime layer cake).

  11. This cake looks delish – I can eat chocolate cake all year around. That said, your handsome little man is the real star of this post. Holy moly, what a sweetheart he is!

  12. JRM

    This cake looks awesome! You know what goes with chocolate and is seasonal, though? Chocolate zucchini cake. I have some zucchini sitting in my fridge just waiting for the time to get shredded baked and devoured.

  13. Oh, why couldn’t this have been posted earlier in the day while there was a shot at it being made before my early morning flight tomorrow! Well, I guess that just means I have something to look forward to when I get back.

  14. Just a note–today is obviously a banner day for you since I have had, um, every single other thing you wrote on this day in heavy rotation all summer. My son tucks away the carrots for the salad as fast as I can make them, and the zucchini saute is awesome. Clearly must make cake immediately.

  15. Jen

    I think it’s hilarious that this is “everyday” chocolate cake. Thanks for giving me permission for cake every day–not that I needed it!

  16. As far as I can see, this is a loaf of bread, right? And you can have as much of that as you want, right? There would be nothing wrong with say, making a sadwich out of it, right? And it would only make sense to fill it with fruit and cream, right? Right.

  17. Eileah

    I think I will be making this some time this week!! And I agree with Jen, everyday chocolate cake?? I’ve got to check outside to see if pigs are flying, because dreams do come true!

  18. Jennifer B

    to Char:

    Fry’s is a dutch processed cocoa – the sodium carbonate gives it away. Regular cocoa won’t have any other ingredients other than “cocoa”.


  19. Kallison

    OH. Awesome. A one-bowl cake that requires no special ingredients. Thank you, thank you for not forgetting entirely about chocolate. We can always eat the peaches for dinner, right? That is, if it’s not huevos rancheros night. Oh, and btw, that boy is too ridiculously cute for words. And the charm just keeps coming!

  20. Casemann

    I enjoy your recipes very much. I’m going to make the chocolate cake this weekend. I’m toying with the idea of adding a little orange zest as I like that combo in a loaf style cake.. It should work great!

  21. Gosh the cake looks so luxurious and decadent in its deep chocolatey color. It’s no wonder you felt like you were cheating on this season’s berries. Fortunately, the cake looks even more seductive with the draping of the velvety rich whipped cream and crimson plump raspberries.

  22. Aya

    uggg…. I wish I saw this earlier. me and my husband was feeling peckish all day and couldn’t quite explain what we wanted. I’m pretty sure that was it.

  23. I’ll be honest, this still seems like a cold weather cake to me. Especially the part where you turn the oven on and leave it on for an hour. However, this does kind of seem like it would be awesome with really good ice cream and fresh berries, so maybe it’s got some summer style after all…

  24. I am glad you said this is everyday cake, now I can eat it everyday! :-) many cake and dessert recipes are created for special occasion and are time consuming, this simple recipe has everything, sweetness, basic and yet rich in taste. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Susan

    Valrohna cocoa is dutched and the containers that they sell of it at Whole Foods aren’t labeled that it’s Dutch processed…just to let you know, if you didn’t already. We can always look it up online (Thank God for the internet) if we’re in doubt.

    I’ve only made chocolate cake by request for birthdays this summer. I have used a lot of your hot fudge sauce this summer, though! It’s practically a staple here. Our new favorite is a scoop of vanilla over a slab of banana or zucchini bread and blanketed with the fudge sauce. Oh, Mama! Can’t wait to make this little chocolate loaf for the same application with some added cherries or strawberries. I like these one-bowl jobbies!

  26. Beckey

    I like buckles and brown betties but…. now we’re talkin! The 2 raspberries on top in the picture are all the fruit I need. It looks so deeply chocolaty and moist. Wish I had some buttermilk.

  27. matti

    YUM! I’m totally baking this one for my mother-in-law’s birthday this Sunday! One problem- is there any non-dairy alternative to buttermilk? If so, will it still be yummy? I’ve heard of curdling soymilk with vinegar or lemon juice… any other ideas?

  28. joanser

    HI, DEB! Thanks for the lovely posting. Could I make a request for a “tutorial” on how you use the “weights”? I can’t quite get my brain wrapped around how you can measure everything into the bowl. (and isn’t that a statement of the state of my brain?!!) Wonderful photos, as usual. Jacob ROCKS.

  29. Louise

    This is almost the same as one of my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate cake, except we go one step further and melt the butter and simply combine all ingredients and beat for a minute and ta-da. So good it was my wedding cake!Freezes well and somehow becomes even more moist and luscious after freezing. Thanks for reminding me of it, I feel some cake coming on!

  30. sugarpaste88

    I love the utensils you have, can I please ask where you get your colander/sieve from?
    PS Love your blog, thank you for sharing your recipes.

  31. Petro in South Africa

    OK, will restart the diet next week. Luckily we are on the other side of the equator and have no problem with having the oven on now – not that I’d mind if the result could produce this cake! I will make a tripple batch and bake it in large muffin tins to freeze. It can only be a treat to have this available with (at this stage my frozen raspberries) for that emergency pudding moments.

  32. My boyfriend’s nieces are on a plane to Holland from Greece right now. This means I’m gonna have to deal with two little munchkins that love chocolate for a couple of weeks. I believe they’re gonna love this as will I. Just one bowl? :)

  33. Silvia

    Well, I love the idea of seasonal cooking, though somehow it eems to me that it’s always chocolate season. Unfortunately in Italy we do not get to choose different kinds of cocoa, one has to fit all needs.

  34. Oh, I didn’t know that part about baking soda reacting with cocoa at all! My German cocoa says “dutch tradition since 1840” and contains two acidity regulators: potassium carbonate and sodium hydroxide. Does this mean the baking soda won’t properly react due to these ingredients? I always thought combining buttermilk and baking soda was the clue, so I would love to learn more about this. Any good resources? Or might this even be something where you could enlighten us, Deb?

  35. Emily

    @Alice & Deb – thanks for the input! I think I am going to be adventurous and try out the baking powder. My boyfriend is coming home from a trip this weekend so I think I’ll make it for him…I’ll report on the results!

  36. ariana

    Deb, if I were to substitute agave syrup (which has a great caramelized taste) for the brown sugar, how should I adjust the flour/liquid content? It’s substantially runnier than honey… Thanks!

  37. butterfly

    I have been baking for over 40 years and also on a professional basis.
    I have tried a variety of Dutched Coaoa products and although the cocoa has been processed with alkali, one can certainly use baking soda and or baking powder in a recipe with the product. I have actuially seen recipes on the box of Dutch cocoa that list baking soda as an ingredient in the recipe.!
    Just wanted to comment, I have used baking soda in Dutch cocoa recipes that came out perfectly fine in taste as well as texture

  38. Sandra M, Atkinson, NH

    This looks delicious I am going to make it this weekend when my daughter comes to visit. Any progress on Thai Green Papaya salad?? I am sure you can create it!

  39. Sherri

    Oh that looks relish. I was hoping it was a pound cake and I’m a little surprised at the amount of brown sugar. I’m going to try this tonight.

  40. Dear Deb,
    Your link to your huevos rancheros directs me to your blueberry pancake more. While I love pancakes, I love beans more! Just thought I’d let you know.

  41. bergamot

    Simple cake but looks just amazing. The color of chocolate cake slices is so rich and dark. I would like to try this out.

  42. leu2500

    Memories of Laurie Colwin again, and her essays on chocolate/chocolate cake. Thank you.

    I’m going to have to try this. I LOVE that it uses cocoa (I just happen to have some Valrohna I splurged on). I bet my office will love it, too.

  43. Now that you mention it, I can’t remember the last time I made something chocolate either. Only summer fruit desserts are getting special attention right now.

    This cake looks so moist and rich–I think I could sneak it into the mix without any complaints!

  44. Deb, when you say “Everyday Chocolate Cake” . . . I just want to be clear about what that means. Are you saying we should have one slice every day, or should we be eating the entire cake? Much like medication, I think the dose here is probably pretty important. ;)

  45. Tamsin

    Hooray for weights! Yippee!

    @joanser (71) – It’s very straight forward; I learned to cook this way. Weigh the ingredients as you go, ‘tearing off’ (re-zeroing the scales) at each addition. This is how it goes:

    Weigh butter into bowl. Re-zero scale and weigh in sugar. Cream and beat in eggs followed by buttermilk and vanilla. Put sieve over bowl and put the whole lot back on scale (making sure it’s zeroed again). Weigh flour etc into the sieve (over the bowl) and then sift away. If you want to add anything to the batter just pop it back on the zeroed scale and weigh it in. Simples!

    Of course it doesn’t work if you have a balance scale (with weights on one side), only a flat, preferably digital, scale. Happy baking!

  46. I just made a light chocolate cake to test out the recipe. I’m pretty sure yours blows mine to smithereens! I’m going to try my other cake again, but it that doesn’t work, I’ll be testing this recipe, thanks!

    I’ll have the light chocolate cake post up soon. :)

  47. Salpy

    Baking powder v. baking soda.

    1/4 tsp baking soda is the equivalent of 1 tsp baking powder. A general rule of thumb/guideline is 1 tsp baking powder (or 1/4 tsp baking soda) per 1 cup of flour. So this recipe has A LOT of baking soda. At this point, I just usually assume the authors know what they’re doing and go along with it. If it comes out heavy (because the high amount of leavener caused the bubbles to get too big, run into each other, and burst, so the cake fell and was dense), then I’ll adjust my baking powder/soda amounts for the second go-around. Deb–this may be why there was no peak; or, rather, there was a peak at one point, but by the time it finished baking, your bubbles collapsed and so did your peak.

    As to whether you use baking soda v. baking powder, they can usually be swapped, except when you have a recipe that calls for acidic ingredients…like buttermilk. At that point, you would want to use baking soda over baking powder because the soda, in addition to making your cake light, will also interact with the acidity and neutralize it (though some bakers prefer a more acidic batter for various reasons).

  48. Travels4Food

    To Matti – My supermarket has soy yogurt. Maybe you could try the same proportions suggested for a dairy buttermilk substitute: 1/2 milk and 1/2 yogurt? The only thing is, I don’t think I’ve seen plain soy yogurt, so you might have to settle for raspberry or some other flavor and have that be another “dimension” of the cake. Hope that helps – let us know how it goes if you try it!

  49. Andrea


    I’m not able to have dairy or soy, since my little guy is sensitive to both of them. I’ve been able to “sour” almond milk with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and sub it for buttermilk in a number of recipes (although I haven’t tried this particular one). You can do it with soy too typically.

  50. I made a cake this week too! I think we all need to eat more cake during the week. There is something so lovely about a nice Monday night dessert, simple and sweet, as compared to the fancy, guests-are-coming-it’s-a-weekend deal. I think the thing about everyday cakes is that they are pretty much just selfish, which is how it should be.

  51. i’m going to put this in my file of desserts to make for football sundays…since it looks easy and delicious. But it needs to wait for the fall, because I’m just not ready to leave my summer fruit yet!

  52. Eily

    Thank you! This looks amazing — and like it would be amazing in a summer berry/chocolate cake trifle. The best of both worlds, and you wouldn’t be cheating on all that summer goodness.

  53. Kim in MD

    Look at Jacob knawing on that bagel…too cute! How is it possible that he gets more adorable everyday?

    This cake looks so good! I have this cookbook in my collection, and the recipedoes call for dutch cocoa…strange, huh? Well, your cake looks fabulous, so I wouldn’t worry about the puffed up dome, either! :-)

  54. Yummmmm a slice of this cake and a cup of coffee – WOOT WOOT! And I am READY FOR FALL – sorry – I can’t take this heat and humidity – just not into it any more!

    1. deb

      Sarah — Unsweetened.

      Melissa — That was a whole wheat bagel from Ess-a-Bagel on 1st Avenue. Their bagels are pretty decent.

      Salpy — Thank you. That was very educational. So, it sounds like based on what you’re saying, that a more accurate leavener level would be 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder for this recipe, or, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. If one is using Dutched cocoa, they’d want to use the baking powder and if using natural or alkalized cocoa, they should go with the baking soda. I’m going to see if I can find an excuse to make this cake again soon (we’re going away on Saturday so it might not happen) or if there are any testers out there that would like to audition either of these levels and report back, I would be ridiculously grateful.

      Branny — Thanks, fixed now!

      Butterfly — Thank you. Great to know. Like I said, the cake wasn’t overly dense. I thought it had some rise. But now I suspect it was more a case of too much leavener as I could see from the top that it had risen then fell a bit. Nevertheless, it was delicious. Phew.

      ariana — I’ve never used agave before but I’m sure someone else can chime in.

      Malkah — Typo. Fixed now.

      sugarpaste — I bought it as part of a set of three nested ones 5 years ago at Crate and Barrel. Not wonderful quality, the little feet all fell off. There are much better available on Amazon.

      joanser — A few others already explained, but just to help too: It’s about taring, or zeroing out the weights. You can do this easily with a digital kitchen scale. You put your bowl on, zero out the weight, then add the first ingredient, tare it again, etc. By zeroing out the weight after each addition, you end up only weighing the newest ingredient. It’s WONDERFUL. In a recipe that’s fully in weights (this is not), you don’t need to use measuring cups or spoons. Nothing could be simpler or more dishwasher-friendly.

  55. Melissa

    Deb –

    Where do you get your delicious NY bagels? I’m heading up there for the weekend and a real bagel is on my to-do list. Thanks!

  56. The same thing happens with us…our beloved chocolate gets pushed aside to make room for berries and peaches and ice creams. Funny that we were just looking at a chocolate loaf cake yesterday and thinking how delicious it sounded…and now you’ve posted and even better looking recipe…the baking gods clearly want us to make this!

  57. Ideally, I think every cake should be an everyday, one-bowl, ingredients-measured-by-weight-cake. Especially for those with insubstantial counter space, and no dishwasher. :-D
    That, plus the fact that the cake looks DELICIOUS means I will definitely have to try to make this soon…will let you know how it goes!

  58. Caroline

    Glad to know I’m not the only one with hang-ups about summer baking. My sister and mom are visiting this weekend, and I wanted to have some kind of quick breakfast/snack thing on hand. Your chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake first came to mind, as it is always a winner, but I felt it wasn’t seasonal enough. I mean, my god, the thing even has a few teaspoons of cinnamon in it! I opted to make blueberry muffins instead.

  59. Nothing says chocolate like 3/4 of a cup of cocoa…yum!

    I agree with no summer baking, but sometimes a girl needs chocolate in the form of fluffy, perfect cake. And it’s always cute to watch the little ones have a piece now and then too right? :)

  60. Marcia

    Wouldn’t the buttermilk be acidic enough to react with the baking soda? Usually if a cake calls for sour cream or buttermilk it does need some soda..maybe this cake needs both.

  61. It is true now that you mention it; easy to ignore my best friend chocolate when all the new kids in town are vying for attention.

    So this is reminiscent of the Girl Scout motto, ‘Make new friends but keep the old. Adding raspberries…isn’t it like introducing them both to each other?

  62. My word this looks fantastic! What a yummy slice of cake…with maybe a spoon full of icecream…could justify it for summer!

    Also, Deb, thanks SO MUCH for the weights. Makes life (and dishes) so much easier. I’m much more likely to test out a recipe if I don’t have to dirty a thousand different bowls. THANK YOU.

  63. I have no season for chocolate cake and could eat it every day! This one looks perfect, I love the deseness and a crumb between pound cake and cake sounds perfect to me. Toss a few raspberries or strawberries alongside and it’s a perfect summer treat!

  64. Cheska

    I went to bed thinking about this cake and the first thing I did when I woke up today was taking out all the ingredients and now it’s in the oven, the batter was super yummy I can tell it’s gonna be the best breakfast ever with espresso :D

    Thanks Again, you never fail me!

  65. Debbie

    OK! I just took this cake out of my oven and it smells heavenly. However, I have major clean up to do in the oven as my cake bubbled over and left smokey drips on the racks and bottom. I used the baking soda and non-Dutch process cocoa. (Hershey’s) Should I use a slightly bigger loaf pan next time, ya think? I used a glass loaf pan, an old one I picked up at a flea market, so maybe those 9X5’s were a tad smaller than current 9X5’s ??? If it tastes as good as it smells I will want to make it again, but do not want the mess in my oven! Thanks for any suggestions!

    1. deb

      Debbie — Oh no! I’m terribly sorry. I’m going to update the recipe to suggest what I used (Dutch cocoa + 1 teaspoon baking soda) until I have a chance to audition out my Dutch cocoa + 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder theory.

  66. I’ll definitely be trying this! And the pictures are great — I saw your tweet about 75% of people thinking your husband is the photographer. I don’t know why that would be, either — I know it’s you!

    1. deb

      Jane — Yikes. It is 8 ounces. Fixed now, thanks.

      Baking powder baking soda Dutch cocoa — I have come to an executive decision. Until I get to retest this recipe with varying amounts of baking powder and soda (hopefully today, but only if a certain bagel-eater cooperates), I’m going to tell you to do as I did (Dutched cocoa + 1 teaspoon baking soda) and not as I said. Why? Because we loved the cake. And it worked for us. And I don’t want any more cakes exploding in your oven!

      I’ll re-update the recipe after I test it again.

      1. Hi Deb – I commented earlier and have just gone back through the comments and saw this. The recipe still says 4 ounces (which I converted to aprox 114g), which I think is why my batter looked different to yours. In Aus our sticks of butter are about 250g, so that makes sense. The cake seems to have turned out okay (I’ll know better tomorrow once I’ve tried it)! But just wanted to let you know.

  67. Elaine

    I’m confused about the chemistry. Dutched cocoa is non-acidic, which would not react with baking soda alone, but doesn’t the buttermilk add the necessary acid so the Dutched would work?

  68. omg, I have the exact amount of leftover buttermilk from the brown butter buckle to make this RIGHT NOW. AND non-dutch Valrhona. There is a heavenly chorus in my kitchen.

    P.S. addition of TBSP of lemon juice to cake batter for nectarine buckle: not at all bad. Really really not.

  69. Every time that I read your blog, I leave hungry!
    Your pictures are great and proves that the saying “You first eat with your eyes” is true! :D
    Now, to find some chocolate…

  70. Jami

    I don’t know if I missed this in the comments above, but I’ve had success adding 1/8 tsp cream of tartar per every 3 tablespoons of dutched cocoa powder. FYI!

  71. Ariel

    About how long should the baking time be if we use a muffin pan and make little individual cakes? I just moved and I can’t find a loaf or bundt or cake pan in all these boxes, but I need chocolate cake NOW!

  72. Salpy

    Deb, glad to help! I think I would still stick with the baking soda, just so you could have that neutralizing effect on the buttermilk (and avoid an acidic-tasting batter). And yes, it would be a 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp of baking soda. OR if you really dislike baking soda, you could do a baking powder/soda combination. 1/4 tsp baking soda will leaven 1 cup of flour & neutralize a half cup of your buttermilk, and a 1/2 tsp of baking powder will leaven the remaining 1/2 cup flour. This way, you still have some of your acid neutralized.

    I am doing my best to stay out of my own kitchen and away from this recipe. We’re going out of town soon–as in, before we’d be able to finish this cake! But oh boy, everyday chocolate cake–so tempting!

  73. Salpy

    P.S. All of this info I have comes from BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher, not cause I’m some super fabulous baker (though I’m working at it!). GREAT book! She really explains baking in detail!!

  74. Nancie

    I’m really bummed, that I don’t have an oven in my cubicle right now. Maybe I should go home sick so I can bake this as soon as possible.

  75. This looks wonderful! I’ve been thinking the same thing about chocolate – it takes a back seat in the summer time to all the citrus and fruit-type cakes. I can’t wait to try it.

  76. I love that this is called ‘everyday’ cake. Because in my world, cake should be eaten every day! Would every meal be too much? Coffee cake for breakfast, crab cakes for lunch (not a real cake, but close enough), chocolate cake for dinner. Yum!

  77. Rayven

    Oh my something about a chocolate moist yet thick decadent cake makes me all happy inside. Going to toss some chopped pecan and walnuts in the batter, love love it! Also your rootbeer float cupcakes were incredible!!!

  78. Katherine

    I will save this recipe for the winter, but for another reason. My mom won’t let me bake in the summer. Period. She says baking will make the house too hot (and that’ll overwork the aircon). And she says if we bake in the winter, it’ll make the house warmer (so the heater can take a break). I guess that kinda makes sense :(

    It looks really delicious! And I’m so craving homemade baked goods now…

  79. Irene

    Ummmm, I just took this out of my oven. Made it exactly according to directions, but with non-dutch. It smells awesome, as does my entire house, but there is a a deep crater down the middle where it fell. I’m sure it’s gonna be extra dense there and taste fine, but what the heck happened? Never, ever had a cake fall on me before. Seriously, I measured the crater with chopsticks and it’s 1 1/2 inches deep.

    1. Hannah

      Irene–just made the cake and this is exactly what happened to me! Did you ever figure it out? And was it ok to eat? (I’m bringing to a party tomorrow so don’t want to crack into it…) (also as though you will remember a cake you made 7 years ago!)

  80. traci

    just put this into the oven…used 1/2 c dark cocoa powder and 1/4 regular cocoa powder. the batter tastes divine so I’m anxious to try the rich, dark cake!

  81. I got the deep crater/fall with the non-Dutched cocoa as well (though it still tasted divine!). Perhaps the Dutched portion was not, after all, a mistake? I’m going to test the other way right now.

    Oh, I also have a broken mixer so I did this by hand, no troubles.

  82. Garry

    This looks awesome! Any consensus on how much baking powder/baking soda Ii need if using natural cocoa?? Don’t have the dutch processed one on hand.

  83. Marcia

    A Maida Heatter cake(chocolate cake squares) with similar proportions calls for 1tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder.

  84. Rebecca

    This cake looks so fantastic! I just had to made it. But I had the plan to make muffins with damsons so I combined them and made chocolate-damson-muffins! Tastes delicious!

  85. Meagan

    I just tried my first piece :) Yum except it wasn’t as moist as I would have wanted but it wasn’t really dry either. I’m a new baker so I don’t know if it isn’t supposed to be a very moist cake or if I did something wrong…I used the non-dutch cocoa, (I can’t even get Dutch Cocoa at my grocery store) and my egg wasn’t room temp – close but not completely. I also didn’t have buttermilk (would you believe I threw mine out yesterday morning!) so I did the lemon juice and milk trick…Anyone have suggestions for next time?

  86. Lynn

    Your cake “looks” scruptious and I have been following this thread with great interest. I am a biochemist so I do understand some of the chemistry issues.

    I’m writing to tell you that in my own recent detailed experiments with buttermilk biscuits over the past year that I have come to the conclusion that the “standard” formulae for baking soda amounts are not working optimally in the current day setting.

    In biscuits I am balancing the ratio of baking powder and soda, so perhaps it is more complex than your issue. I have come to suspect that “buttermilk” being a fermented product may be the issue. USDA does not require a specific pH, but their description allows ~ a half point pH range (given that this is a log scale, this is quite significant).

    For my own purposes, I have settled on using 1 specific brand (Friendship light (1.5%) ) and on 2 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of baking soda,
    which I feel give optimum rise to my biscuits. (I am also using a slightly higher oven temperature and a wetter batter than standard–though that changed after the baking soda issue was settled). Bobby Flay also uses a wetter batter.

    This is more baking soda and less baking powder than the “classical” formula for a 2 C flour recipe. (Neither the baking soda brand nor the kind of flour seems to matter very much. For example it is still the best ratio for biscuits made with half buckwheat flour.) But presumably the classic formula was developed with whole milk buttermilk was typical? or perhaps most people used home made and the pH values were all over the place?

    On a different topic: I am curious about the color of the top of your cake when cooked (Because you have powdered sugar on it, I can’t see whether it is exactly the same uniform dark color as the internal portion of the cake? or is it somewhat lighter or swirly colored?

    I’m waiting for your revised version before I try it. But I’m looking forward to it!

  87. I happened to be working from home today and as soon as I saw this I just had to make it. I did not have buttermilk so I mixed low fat milk with 1T vinegar and used Hersheys natural unsweetened cocoa instead of Dutch. Oh soooo good. Tastes like biscotti! Thanks for the recipe!

  88. SusanPrincess

    Jane and Deb: 1 stick butter IS 4 oz; there are 4 sticks in a pound, which is 16 oz. There are 8 tablespoons in a stick, 2 T per oz. Important details when weighing ingredients!

    1. deb

      SusanPrincess, Jane, Me — Yes, thank you. Can you all tell I am completely and totally discombobulated this week? The original measurement is correct. Which is good because I was probably pulling an alphabet magnet out of a 10 month-old’s mouth instead of editing it earlier today. Because who know educational toys could be so deadly, right?

      Lynn — I’m digging up a photo of it now. Top was not lighter, I’ll let you know when I’ve uploaded it. [Updated: Here you go!]

  89. Printed this recipe the minute I saw it this morning. It’s in the oven now… I hope I don’t have any surprises since I didn’t read these comments until now. I’m sure, by the looks of your pictures, it will be tasting really good no matter what the amounts of baking soda vs. cocoa.

  90. Okay, this time I used (no mixer again, just a semi-strong arm and) this “special blend of natural and Dutched cocoa” that I had in the pantry, and it turned out perfectly. Thanks again for the recipe!

  91. Just took it out of the oven. There’s a crater in the center, but boy does it smell divine. My kids can’t wait to take a bite. Might have to try it again with the other type of cocoa.

  92. Monica

    Hi Deb, any chance that you will add in gram measurements when you re-test this? I have a digital scale which does ounces, but not to the degree of 6 7/8 ox, so I prefer to use grams for accuracy over oz and cups.
    This looks divine, and I totally agree with you and other comments, that while I have been craving chocolate I have been focussing on all the seasonal fruit, and it is time to reddress the balance.

    1. deb

      Monica — Google will put it in grams for you. Just type in “6 7/8 ounces in grams” and it will literally pull up the amount before you even hit enter. I too prefer gram measurements, but was pressed for time this round.

      Retested cake — Oof, guys, not my afternoon. (Did you know that 10 month olds can entirely evolve beyond naps? True story!) Tomorrow morning it is. Admittedly: I will not be sad to eat more chocolate cake.

  93. This looks delicious and as I don’t have to worry about meltingly hot temperatures in Ireland I will be giving it a go soon, though haven’t heard of Dutch cocoa powder so will be on the look-out for that. It looks divinely dark yet luciously moist. Great photography. I made some cookies with chunks of 85% chocolate today and they lasted about 5 minutes.

  94. Kathy

    The cake looks great. Can’t wait to bake it! What do you think about using the Hershey’s natural/Dutch cocoa blend? It’s the only cocoa I can get in my grocery store.

  95. This cake looks great. Definitely my style – I love cakes that are simple and not super decadent (example in the chocolate category – I love David Leibovitz’s Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes.) I’ll no doubt be making this cake soon… The fact that it is summer won’t stop me on this one! Thanks for another great recipe!

  96. Stacey

    **Warning** This does NOT fit in a 5 x 9 x 3 loaf pan! I have mine in the oven right now and I should have split the batter up even more than I did. I scooped out a 6 x 1 round (after eyeballing the full amount in the loaf pan) and that one is about to bubble over….and the loaf pan is above the sides and just caved in on itself before it’s finished. I think my finished product in the loaf pan will look like your “outtake” shot. It’s not a photogenic cake, but soon I’ll know if it’s a tasty cake!! I saw one other poster had the same issue I did with it not fitting in the pan. What the heck did we do differently than you, Deb?

  97. Symphonic Chef

    Everyday cake is my favorite thing in the world! I’m still waiting for it to get its own category in your archives, Deb :) Also hope you have a section of everyday cakes in your cookbook. I feel like you are a champion of the concept!

  98. Jami P

    Deb- I just HAD to make this cake tonight…it did not dissapoint. It was so easy and couldn’t have been a more perfect desert! Deliciously moist, not too rich, light and totally satisfying. I was worried when I added the buttermilk to the mixer and it looked a little “off” but as soon as I incorporated the dry ingredients I knew I was on to something! It is nice enough for company and simple enough for a Wednesday night….Thanks for such a perfect recipe :)

  99. Emily

    I sort of think loaf cakes shouldn’t necessarily be super domed. However, if you do want to have a fluffier cake and still use Dutch-process cocoa, it SHOULD work to add about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the batter close to the end. The acidic vinegar will react with the baking soda and help the cake rise. I haven’t tried that with this cake, but I do make another everyday sort of chocolate cake that uses that technique.

  100. It’s so true though! There are so many fresh berries around this time a year, chocolate gets pushed to the back of my mind too. But winter is long, dark, and cold and calls for lots and lots of chocolate. But you’re right; I don’t know if I can wait that long for this!

  101. Julie

    I love that in the amount of time it took for me to print this recipie and get this cake into the oven, it has already been edited(!) to warn me against the drippings in the oven from regular cocoa powder :) Good thing I always leave a cookie sheet down there (I’ve made one too many pies that dripped to do otherwise).

  102. Made this tonight exactly as written. Used Dutch processed cocoa. It had a huge crater down the middle, but that was a great place to put a cloud of whip cream! It was dense and squiggly and utterly delicious. My 5 year old just asked for another piece – off to get myself one as well.

  103. Vrushali

    I used some local cocoa powder and the same baking soda proportions and the cake turned out exactly the same like the flickr photo. Thanks Deb!

  104. ellina

    Hello there! I’m definitely making this today when I come home from work. I’m pregnant, so maybe I shouldn’t be checking here so often! One word for those who are probably still scrubbing their oven and muttering under their breath: int he past I’ve had this problem one too many times. So I decided to stop using the oven rack, and instead put the loaf pan (pie dish, or any other baking pan I’m using) on the half sheet flat pan that came with the oven. It’s always far easier to wash the pan if anything happens, than to get down and scrub the oven. I’ve never looked back, and now the oven only ever needs the occasional wipe-down with a damp cloth. I hope this helps!

  105. Jen

    Made this last night while feeling a bit poorly. It is easy AND tasty. YUM!

    I’m in the UK and I’ve never even heard of dutch-processed cocoa before!!! So as for that debate I used “cocoa” and self raising flour (which I’ve never seen written on a US blog) and also a pinch of baking powder, just for extra fluffiness. Plus I just used ordinary milk rather than buttermilk since that’s quite hard to get over here too.

    The cake is the lightest and softest chocolate cake I have EVER made, it will be my go-to recipe from now on. :)

  106. WhoDat

    Grams version. Via Google.

    113 g unsalted butter, softened
    195 g light brown sugar
    113 g granulated sugar
    1 large egg, at room temperature
    240 ml buttermilk
    5 g vanilla extract
    190 g all-purpose flour
    75 g Dutch cocoa powder
    5 g baking soda
    1 g teaspoon salt

  107. I’m so sorry about the butter question. Well I finally know that 1 stick of butter = 4 ounces! I hope I didn’t mess you up or anything. Love your blog!

  108. Judy Hendricks

    Looks absolutely scrumpstious! Can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Thank You, Always look forward to your e’mails

  109. I had the same experience as Debbie (#130). Massive overflow. Don’t know if it’s because of the baking soda (my cocoa was not Dutched), or because I also used a glass loaf pan that measured 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5. I knew it was smaller than your 9x5x3, but didn’t expect it to make that much difference. Also like Debbie, the inside of my cake seems to be fine – it’s just ugly. Based on your feedback in #113, am I understanding correctly that if using non-Dutch cocoa I should cut the baking soda back to 1/4-1/2 tsp? This was so easy to make and the batter was so awesome that I want to figure out where I went wrong.

  110. EG

    I’m so confused now I’m just waiting for an update. :)

    In the meantime… my #1 son got RSV at 9 months and wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Except bagels. Huh?!

  111. sweet revenge

    i made this with natural (not dutch) cocoa and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (rather than the 1/4 plus 1/8). i read the comment (susan’s?) that said hers overflowed her 9×5 pan, so i filled mine about half way and put the rest into four small souffle cups. those took about 30 minutes, and i pulledout the loaf cake at 60. mine didn’t collapse at all, but it also didn’t rise. it is maybe an inch and a half high; it looks like chocolate biscotti when it’s sliced! so i could have put the entire batter into the loaf pan, but i hate wasted cake batter even more than having to scrub the oven. priorities…

    i don’t know why mine didn’t rise at all, but the flavor is lovely. i get a chocolate craving every now and again which promptly disappears once the beast is sated, and this did it. and since who likes to leave well enough alone, i’m pouring a chocolate ganache over the top.

  112. Barbara S

    Buttermilk question: I like using buttermilk in baking, but found that I never used the whole quart and ended up throwing out a lot of past-dated buttermilk. I found a powdered buttermilk (Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend). You use 4 T. of the powder to 1 C. of water to make 1C. of buttermilk, but adding the powder to the dry ingredients and the water to the liquid ingredients. I sometimes just use regular milk instead of the water. Anyone with professional baking or science knowledge know if this would work for this cake as well?

    Thanks for this recipe, Deb; your blog is always so inspiring.

  113. babuloki

    We made this last night using natural cocoa and the reduced baking soda – result was a divine not too sweet chocolate cake that we topped with whipped cream and homemade blackberry jam. I just love your everyday cakes – even if my waistline doesn’t.

  114. Ah, looks divine & elegant. I enjoy chocolate any time of the year, though there certain things that just don’t seem right in certain seasons. Like pumpkin pie in July.

      1. deb

        Re-tester cake two is in the oven. I hope someone is going to come pick these up when they are done. We still have some of the first one left! Sendhelp.

  115. Amy

    I made a chocolate zucchini cake yesterday as a means for using up the obscene amount of zucchini on the counter and cursed the three-bowl recipe as I was making it. (I’m not minding how messy the recipe was now that I’m eating it though! It has vegetables, therefore it is health food.) Today’s recipe doesn’t use zucchini, but I’m all about simple chocolate cakes.

  116. This was an amazing cake! I made it with your Dutch cocoa/1 teaspoon of baking soda instructions, plus I added 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the buttermilk and 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Like I said, amazing. Next time, I’ll probably use bittersweet chips. I also had the crater (as did a friend who also made it) but none of my grateful coworkers minded. People who don’t go near sweets had seconds of this cake. I’m glad this one talked you into straying from your fruit baking!

  117. I made this last night using Valrhona Dutch-processed cocoa that’s been sitting in my pantry untouched for over a year. I’m so glad I got to use it and it was well worth it! It really is a great everyday chocolate cake. The cake isn’t too sweet which is what I liked most about it.

    Just wanted to add that for the people who were getting craters in the center of the cake, could it be that the ingredients weren’t combined well enough? I know I’ve come across this problem with making cupcakes. I get too worried about overmixing the dry ingredients with the wet and the cupcakes would end up sinking in the middle.

  118. Jean Marie

    Made it yesterday exactly as written. It didn’t bubble over and is really good. Are you going to the BlogHer convention with everyone else? You don’t have to travel far for this one!

    1. deb

      Jean Marie — No, we’re heading out of town on Saturday for a desperately-needed vacation. Such a bummer! So many awesome people are in town. I see photos popping up on Flickr and Facebook and Twitter and people are like, right in my hood! So close! I want to wave hi.

      Cake one is out of the oven, crate-free. I should have an updated recipe very soon!

  119. …Or it’s sinking because the oven isn’t hot enough. I had to increase my oven 10 degrees higher because my little thermometer inside was under 325.

  120. Patti

    THIS CAME OUT AMAZING,so moist and not too sweet, just sweet enough! I am a bit of purist when it comes to chocolate, so didn’t eat it with any fruit, just a little whip cream! It was a big hit!

  121. AmyLynn

    Deb, do you think this would work in non-loaf pans? Mine has been borrowed, and I don’t know how long I can wait to make this cake!

    1. deb

      AmyLynn — It should work in a 9-inch or 8-inch round, possibly a square too. To be on the safe side, line it with parchment. Can’t hurt. Wouldn’t want to find out it wanted to stick after not using it, of course!

  122. Gayle S

    My cake is just partly cooled, but I had to try a thin slice off the end – utterly delicious! I used natural cocoa with the smaller amount of baking soda, and dark brown sugar (what I had). There are several cracks in the top but who cares, it’s moist and not too sweet. Some berries will be the crowning touch. Thanks for a winner, Deb!

  123. Stephanie

    I’ve got an idea for the leftover cake: trifle. Really, just take that bottom photo with the whipped cream and fresh raspberries and multiply it (perhaps adding a little vanilla or chocolate pudding/custard) and voila! New dessert.

  124. This post is tantalizing and reminds me of my favorite chocolate poundcake (baked in a bundt pan) that I have been trying to recreate from my days working at Alice Medrich’s Cocolat. (It’s not in any of Alice’s cookbooks!)

    And thank you for the simplification of the Magnolia recipe. I am going to bust out my treasured Valrhona cocoa when I make this for a dinner party tomorrow evening. And because I can’t leave well enough alone and like a buzz with my chocolate, I am going to add some dark rum and espresso powder. I’ll be sure to check back for your retesting notes and to let you know how my additions work out!

    1. deb

      Hey all — Finally got it retested and have updated the recipe accordingly. I’m going with a recommendation of Dutch cocoa with an adjustment listed in the headnote for if you only have a non-Dutch or natural cocoa. I found the Dutch one darker and richer and flavor, with a lovelier dome. Then again, I was comparing Valrhona cocoa powder with Hershey’s; it wasn’t exactly evenly matched! What matters is that both versions work, both domed a bit, neither sank and both were delicious. For a visual on the two cakes, click over here. Thanks for your patience!

  125. In the summer chocolate gets stiffed in my kitchen too. That was until I discovered the bars hidden away at the back of the cupboard, and promptly nearly made myself sick last night.

    I digress. A fantastic looking choco cake you have here! I absolutely love the idea of a chocolate cake a day.

  126. Susan

    Well due to the controversy I decided to do a test too. I used the dutched cocoa (Droste) and adjusted the leavening to 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder after checking with Irma of the Joy. Some conflicting advice there, so I used one piece of it based on using the buttermilk and dutched cocoa. It didn’t rise in the middle. Note! I didn’t say it sank! I looked at it every 5 minutes and watched as at first it all rose nicely, then the sides continued to rise but the middle remained level with the top of the loaf pan. It never was at risk to overflow, the center just didn’t rise or dome along with the sides.’s tasty and after all is said and done..isn’t that the point with an everyday cake? I do love to take on the little challanges like this!

  127. Sharon

    Uh-oh.. I WAYY overmixed the batter. Usually I never do this, but I was trying to do 5 things at once and didn’t pay attention to what I was doing: instead of mixing the dry ingredients by hand, I let it run in the mixer and beat it on med-high for a few minutes. Yikes! I googled “how to fix overmixed cake batter” and no answers!! Now I’m terrified to bake it. I’m going to leave it out for 30 minutes, and hopefully the gluten will de-develop… is that possible? My batter looks glossy, like a mousse, because of all that added air. Does anyone know of any solutions to overmixing?

    1. deb

      Sharon — Don’t sweat it. Put it in the pan, bake it. Worst thing that happens is that it’s a little denser than it should be. Dense chocolate cake: that sounds terrible, doesn’t it? :)

  128. Anne

    I know it’s late in the game here, and Deb, you’ve already adjusted the recipe, but I thought I’d chime in to say I made this yesterday with your original measurements with no issues. Sure, it didn’t dome in the middle, but who cares? It tasted great, and the recipe couldn’t be easier. Thanks for the update, though, and I’ll have to make the readjusted recipe for guests (so they can oo/ah about the dome, of course). Have fun on vacation, Deb!

  129. Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it yesterday for an afternoon tea with kidlets. It was gobbled down. I loved that their was no icing necessary. I substituted plain natural yogurt for the buttermilk with no issue.

  130. I have had a long term love affair with chocolate, I mean really its there when your happy and when your sad, when your having a bad day or need that afternoon pick me up. Really what more can a girl ask for…well…except for a slice of this cake!

  131. Jenny

    The chocolate cake is in there baking right now! I had no plans to make chocolate cake today, in fact I was gonna make some cookies and then I saw this recipe and just had to try it. The batter tasted yummy but definitely didn’t look as smooth as yours!

  132. I definitely run toward the lemony-berry side of desserts, no matter the season, but the color of this cake looks irresistible! Is it wrong that I want to add espresso powder? Or maybe an espresso whipped cream? The everyday accessibility of these ingredients is just too tempting!

  133. Cindy

    *swoon* This cake is stupid-good. Mine is attempting to cool on the rack, but I refuse to allow that and have gobbled down two slices already. Nothing better than warm chocolate cake. I used King Arthur’s Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa (mix of Dutch and black cocoa) and the original 1 tsp soda. Mine never domed, but it didn’t sink either. It was truly sublime.

    1. deb

      Cindy — WOW. I must buy some of that cocoa. Love love love the sound of it. Sounds like your results were like my original (photos here); not much of a dome but no crater and great crumb.

  134. Danielle

    Thanks for sharing!
    I’m not sure if this is the first recipe of yours that I’ve tried, but definitely my first comment. I made the cake this afternoon using regular ol’ cocoa (specifically some Trader Joe organic that I’ve had forever), plus the initially recommended 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking soda. No dome, but I prefer the mostly flat look and most important of all, it tastes amazing!

    Almost forgot – the cake turned out nice and dark, too. Not sure why, considering the non-Dutched cocoa, but I’m not complaining. thanks again!

  135. Jancd

    Made the cake today for my daughters and grandchildren and served with strawberries and whipped cream. Everyone loved the cake. My daughter took what was left and served it tonight for her company. So I ended up getting only one piece. Will have to make it again for me!!

  136. amy

    Thank you for this recipe! This is the answer to my search for a simply yet delicious chocolate cake! perfect for my dinner party! =)

  137. Soos E.

    I love every day chocolate cakes! The recipe turned out great, Deb, even though I didn’t use dutch cocoa (but I will next time). I don’t know if it has something to do with my oven, but I will use less heat or leave it in for less time, my cake could have been a tad more moist.

  138. I made this cake today to bring to tea with our new neighbors. It was a complete success. I had to do one sub as I was out of buttermilk and didn’t have time to run to the store. I used 2% plain greek yogurt, with a small amount of almond milk mixed in to thin out consistency. It worked great. This one is going in my recipe box as a standard. Thanks!

  139. Ingrid

    Thanks for this recipe – it is cooling on my counter and I am hard pressed to wait for the steam to subside before I pull off a hunk! The smell in my kitchen is sheer bliss.

    FYI: I made the updated recipe (regular cocoa – Trader Joe’s) with 1/2 tsp soda. I used a longer and narrower loaf pan, an 11x3x4, baked it for 52 minutes and it looks beautiful! No crevasses, just lovely cracks in the dark richness. Life is good.

  140. Kristine

    Deb, you are amazing! I can’t believe you did all of that testing to figure out the perfect recipe. I’m making this tonight for my working party on saturday, I think they’ll love it!

  141. EG

    I made this last night – I can’t advise anyone ’cause I had not quite enough dutch cocoa to go the distance, so I used half dutched and half non-dutched. I just want to comment about the flavor – YUM. It’s rich and almost coffee-ish. Thanks, Deb!

    1. Marcia

      Perfect For quarantine cooking… only one egg and not a whole lot of flour. I am running out of
      both. Trying to keep cake around to boost everyone’s spirits. The pumpkin bread was a big favorite too. Thank you Deb for continued inspiration.

  142. Kathy

    Hi Deb! I swore I wasn’t going to bake yesterday. I haven’t even been to your site this week in an effort to resist the temptation. Then I saw this on Facebook and it all changed. I bring baked goods into work two or three times a week, so it’s high praise when people tell me this is their all-time favorite out of, oh, I think it’s up to 70 recipes now. Just wanted to pass that along as further confirmation that you absolutely rock!

  143. This is a bite of chocolate heaven!! No matter what season of the year, chocolate is always a favorite in my household and this cake was certainly not a disappointment! I was meeting a friend for dinner last night and wanted to take her a little sweet treat and so I made this cake but in tea loaf size so that I had some to try and some to share! They turned out wonderful!!!

  144. Linked over from Snippet & Ink: this is perfection! And I greatly appreciate the sidexside photo, too — I’ve never used proper baking cocoa, but my best friend from high school is coming into town on Sunday + moving to New York, and I was thinking of making something from the Magnolia cookbook I have — and this is even better: an already adapted recipe :) Thank you!

  145. I made this with the original proportions (Dutch cocoa, 1 tsp baking soda) and everything was going great until about 3/4 of the way through baking I decided the cake was on the wrong rack and moved it, and when I did it fell. It fell hard. It rose back up a little through the rest of the baking time, but not much. Then in transporting it to a friend’s house I was not as gentle as I should have been and it kinda broke in half. But not to worry! It was still amazing! One of my friends dubbed it a “brownie cake”. I may have had two slices…

  146. Ally

    As soon as I saw this, I had to run to the grocery story to make it that night! Told my husband, “no time to cook dinner, have to make chocolate cake”! Nevermind that it’s 113 outside. Used trader joe’s unsweetened cocoa and 1tsp baking soda, and the results were a beautiful, decadent, and velvety cake. Hubby said it was the best dinner ever! Deb, is there a brand of cocoa that you prefer?

    1. deb

      Ally — I am completely obsessed with Valrhona cocoa. I didn’t mean to be; it’s quite expensive but it really is one of those products that seems heads and shoulders above the rest. It is responsible for that rich color. That said, when I’m out of stock on it, I’ve used Droste and Penzey’s happily. I also have nostalgia for Hershey’s, because that’s all we had growing up and although the chocolate flavor isn’t as strong, it tastes familiar to me. Anyway, not every cake requires the very best cocoa. But in this one, where the chocolate flavor entirely hinges on the intensity of your cocoa, is a good excuse to bust out the good stuff.

      Bernadette — Great, I have three of these cakes on hand and can only think about my next version: an Oreo cake. Brilliant suggestion.

      Lucia — Not if you share.

  147. Jenny

    The end product looked great and had a nice little dome that didn’t fall flat after cooling. The cake itself is not too rich and doesn’t make me feel like I have to go out and run 5 miles to burn it off! Thanks for the recipe!

  148. I always said that I’m going to behave with chocolate… but now I’m inspired to add some walnuts and chocolate chips to this cake. Oh, and probably some Kalhua…

  149. Now that this recipe seems FULLY tested and retested and tested again, and is clearly approaching perfection, I think I have no choice but to give in and make it. I have been wanting to make a simple chocolate loaf cake from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris and so I think I will just make them both and compare them side by side! :) Also, I love the photos and the idea of dusting with just a tiny bit of powdered sugar. Make chocolate look more summery.

  150. vinylhaven

    in the oven now. awaiting….awaiting…actually bringing this to an outdoor opera concert tonight here in portland. wanted something special, but not fancy. i’m sure it will fill the bill. wondering if an addition of expresso powder might up the indulgence level. anyone?

  151. Melissa D

    Hi guys,
    I absolutely love this blog!

    I made this cake the other night, and it is delicious and very simple to make. However, I was wondering if anyone tried it with 2 eggs as opposed to one? I though the flavor and density was absolutely perfect…just not as moist as I would have liked. Of course the whipped cream that.


  152. Kathy

    This is my first time commenting. I love this blog. You have replaced as my first-look site when I need a recipe. And Jacob as a bonus! Well, I read you BJ (before Jacob), but will admit that I check more frequently because a new post means a new picture.

    I made this cake today and it smells heavenly and tastes great. Another winner.

  153. Elizabeth

    Regarding great cocoa–I once came across some Brazilian cocoa at bulk food store and it was spectacular: Nearly black and as fine as icing sugar. It was expensive but so worth it. We have since moved and I have not seen it anywhere else.

  154. Elaine

    I made this afternoon and while the cake was totally delicious and it was cooked through, it sank! I bought my cocoa at our local coop in the bulk section. Alas, I had put it into the Hershey tin. I called them and they told me it was Dutch Cocoa so I made the recipe with the soda and powder. It really did sink quite a bit. I am going to make again as the flavor was so chocolately and the crumb was perfect. I would love to make it and have it keep its lovely rise though. Maybe I will try it with no powder. Will watch and see if you make any other changes.

  155. Thanks for giving advice about the different cocoa available, too often cooks neglect that there is a chemical difference that will upset the balance of a recipe. I’ll be sure to try out the cake soon!

  156. “How boring I have become since I started aligning my cooking with the seasons!”

    Best line EVER in a food blog. Ain’t it the truth? Also, I’m bookmarking this cake recipe. It sounds delicious.

  157. Lin

    OMG. I made two on Friday and am already planning to repeat that tomorrow morning. Sooooooo good sliced and served warm with some vanilla ice-cream and a simple chocolate ganache.

  158. This cake is so easy! I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter (used Ghiradelli unsweetened baking cocoa and had to make my own buttermilk substitute using 1% milk reacting with lemon juice) and it turned out just like a big brownie. Not overly sweet on its own, but delicious warm with cool vanilla ice cream and a touch of chocolate syrup on top.

  159. Laura

    I made this tonight using Saco Coca, which claims to be a combo of dutch and natural cocoa. After much debate, I chose to make the cake as though the cocoa were just natural, with only a 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Definitely the right choice. The cake rose to the top of the loaf pan and has a gorgeous crumb. And tastes scrumptious. I was going to take it to friends tomorrow, but that may be difficult, as it might be gone by then!

  160. Carollina

    A cocoa suggestion-if you haven’t already, try Pernigotti cocoa (it’s dutch-process). We actually preferred it to the Valrhona when we had both in the house. It has a lovely rich, round, smooth taste that fills the mouth and I could swear it improves the mouthfeel of a baked good. I read somewhere that Pernigotti has a higher fat content than many other cocoas which must be what makes it so good. : /

    Pernigotti is available in kilo-sized bags, and it’s less expensive than Valrhona.

    PS-I am so making this cake.

  161. Ems

    So happy to see you using weights (grams too would be good) instead of just cups. I hope you will use weights in your book. I have a rule now that I never buy a cookbook with baking recipes in it that only uses cups. Weights just make everything so much easier and the recipe more reliable.
    Before reading this, last weekend, I actually made Nigella’s damp chocolate loaf (I have her UK version of Domestic Goddess with weights in!) as I had houseguests and it was adored by all (especially me since its make ahead) … despite it being summer time. I shall try this one next!

  162. Kris

    Okay, I have to ask the obvious silly question: where do y’all get these special bad-ass cocoas? I live in Daytona Beach, and it seems like our grocery stores are limited to Nestles, Hershey’s, and Ghiradelli. Does anyone else live in Florida and know a good place to get great cocoa?

  163. Barbara S

    Just made the cake yesterday and it is delicious! I used the powdered buttermilk (Saco brand) because I didn’t have the liquid one and it was fine. I used Scharfen Berger natural cocoa, 1/2 tsp baking soda and also added 1-1/2 tsp. espresso powder. The cake didn’t dome in the center, but it rose fine and didn’t sink. The house smelled wonderful…until I made fish for dinner.

  164. sharon

    How can I get a copy of the recipe without all of the other verbage? I enjoy reading the comments but don’t like to waste so much paper printing it to get the recipe. What am I doing wrong?

    1. deb

      sharon — There’s a print link at the bottom of each post, before the comments begin.

      Ems — The book will have weights. I insisted! It makes my recipe retesting much easier too.

      Kris — I’m a little spoiled living in NYC. But I still mail-order a lot for convenience. Penzey’s, for instance, has a great natural cocoa and a good mail order catalog (I have a local Penzey’s too but I know it’s one of the few!).

  165. Marcia

    Have been using Double Dutch Dark cocoa from the King Arthur Flour Bakers Catalog..this makes amazing dark and delicious cakes.

  166. Shari

    That baby just keeps getting cuter!!! I didn’t think that was possible! Anyway, I’m a little confused on which way to make this cake now. I would actually prefer to make the original recipe that fell a little in the middle. I may be weird, but I’ve always loved the texture of a cake that sinks a little bit. My Grandma always said that a cake that falls will be one of the best cakes you ever eat, they’re just not very pretty. So, I was wondering what the original recipe was? Or is it still there, and I’m missing it?

  167. Sharon

    Oh my god, it turned out amazing even w/ the overmixing (aug 5)! The crumb was soo super tender and delicious. Had some leftover ganache that I spread on top. Definitely making this again, but would like to make it w/ matcha instead of cocoa. The texture reminded me of Asian roll cakes. So good, thanks, Deb!

  168. gurrrrl, if i had to chose one thing to eat everday for the rest of my life it would be chocolate cake. This looks truly amazing and maybe I will have to eat this one everyday! MUST. MAKE. THIS. CAKE. -gotta say that like captain kirk. LOL. Have a great weekend!

  169. joant

    Deb – LOVE Jacob. One yummy baby!!! Lucky you.

    Now…moving to chocolate cake. We have one cooler day – and you spurred me to turn on the oven. :) Going to friends in the W. Village for a BBQ tonight (even though we know that the LES and the EV are far cooler. LOL).

    OK – You should see how bea-U-tee-ful the cake (with dome) looks!!! Pleeeesssee let it taste as good as it looks. I even went to Whole Foods to get the Valrhona chocolate. I’m picking up some Starbucks Coffee ice cream to go along with it.

    Hmmmmmm…somewhere along the way I said I was going to start a diet today. But…when I saw your Everyday Chocolate Cake…one bowl…recipe…oh well. You know how it goes.

    JT’s Testers will be digging into this tonight. Will tell you how it goes. Thanks, Deb.

  170. Michal

    It’s baking! I hope it will be great :D I’ve got question, because in my country, we don’t have buttermilk, and i added milk. Can it be?

    Thanks for recipe

  171. Yara

    Aaaah it looks fantastic but they don’t sell buttermilk where I live (Italy) is there anything I can use instead? (this happens to me a LOT with American recipes, and I still haven’t found a decent replacement). THANKS

    1. deb

      Danielle — I think I bought them at Crate and Barrel a bunch of years ago. I was mostly delighted that they were the standard size (so many loaf tins are different, which is fine, but you really want a cake designed for a 9×5 pan to fit neatly in one). They’re nonstick, which I’m still not in love with but they’ve held up great and are heavy for their size, a good thing.

      Yara — You can make your own.

  172. Kristine

    I made this cake today and it was EVERYTHING that I look for in a chocolate cake. Choc cakes so often disappoint but this one was flavoursome, fluffy, moist, had a gorgeous crumb, and rose perfectly in my dodgy uneven oven. I used cadbury normal cocoa and 1/2 a tsp of bicarb. perfect! Brought it still warm to share at my volunteer group in a beautiful London cemetery. Sounds macabre, but eating chocolate cake on a sunny afternoon amongst the lovely old graves and ivy was wonderful!

  173. Rachel

    I just made this cake and it cam out amazingly! The perfect summer chocolate treat – light and most importantly, yummy. Am going to bring it to brunch tomorrow in Prospect Park. My friends are going to go crazy for this cake. I can’t wait to share!!

  174. sharon

    DEB—thanks so much. Don’t know why I hadn’t seen that. Now I don’t have to copy the recipe before I try it. If anyone is ever in Austin Texas, my son and his friend own Hey Cupcake where they sell cupcakes out of airstreams. Their twist is that they inject fresh whipped cream into the inside of the cupcake if you request it. Came from when I made cupcakes for my children and injected a cream filling. I agree all of the pics look wonderful and am now eager to try this cake along with some homemade ice cream.

  175. sharon

    Several years ago my husband and I took a chocolate walking tour in Paris lead by David Lebovitz. Don’t know if you know him but he is delightful. Has done several cooking classes in Austin and I’ve attended most of them. If anyone has a chance to do his tours in France, do it.

  176. Sara

    Mmm. Making this right now. The batter is delicious, and I cannot wait until the cake comes out! I just hope it doesn’t fall . . .

  177. joant

    Deb – The taste of the cake was really delish…and it certainly was one beautiful cake; truly. Unfortunately, it was a little dry. I baked it for 60 minutes; we all know how ovens differ. Soooo…I’m thinking next time it could be a 50 minute bake. Btw – I poured a little liquer over my slice. The taste became even yummier and, of course, moist. Perhaps baking it with a tablespoon of bourbon wouldn’t hurt. What do you think could have been the “dryness” problem…I followed your recipe exactly.

  178. Thank you–this is perfect timing! My daughter’s second birthday was today and I got a big fat fail on the first cake I made for her (carrot with cream cheese frosting). I’ll be trying this one tomorrow to see if she likes it better!

  179. Jill

    This looked so good that I started making it before I read through all of the ingredients… Fortunately we have had these little tins of Dutch cocoa in the pantry forever, and there was just enough (about 1 1/4 oz in each). These little tins of dutch cocoa were apparently for some fancy hot chocolate, but the interesting thing is that they were flavored (but still unsweetened). One tin was raspberry and the other was amaretto. So, I figured this was a good way to use these up and just went with it. The raspberry flavor came out in the cake beautifully. Also, I substituted the buttermilk out, since we didn’t have any, and I don’t do dairy. I used 1 cup of soymilk (plain) and 1 T of white vinegar. The cake turned out so well, it raised perfectly, was just moist enough, very rich, everyone loved it. For everyone else I served it topped it with some raspberry fudge ice cream and some fresh raspberries, and I wiped mine through some homemade raspberry jam I found in the fridge. And paired with coffee it was perfect.

  180. Have you ever tried Hershey Special Dark cocoa? My dad and I use it for just about everything. It’s very good. It says it’s a blend of natural and Dutch cocoa and that it won’t work with baking soda, just powder.
    My dad makes this whoopie cake with it that is to die for. It’s a-freaking-mazing.
    If you have tried the Special Dark I’d love to hear your thoughts, if you haven’t had a chance yet I would suggest you keep a look out.

  181. linda

    so glad i am late to this party… having read all the comments &
    your replies deb…
    i am definitely baking this version for the holidays which are fast approaching!
    & i eagerly await your “oreo cake” version!

    1. Monica

      I didn’t read the reviews, because SK recipes are always perfect and I fully trust. But this one came out dry for me too. Second day, still dry. Nice flavor and very easy, but this one sadly is not a keeper.

  182. erin

    Having been a tad bit disappointed that my technique yielded a dry cake for my boyfriend’s birthday, I did something scandalous: Chocolate cake french toast for Sunday Brunch.

  183. Mallory

    Can I take this everyday chocolate cake and bake it in two 6inch rounds? I am looking for a deep, dark in color chocolate cake such as this to decorate for a birthday cake? Is this something that will hold up and if so, how long should I bake the 6inch rounds for? Thanks and I can’t wait to give this one a try.

  184. I made this cake yesterday and followed directions as written. it was a little dry – I probably left in the oven a bit too long. I was thinking this cake was not for me, UNTIL I tried it today! So much better today with the flavors going thru. This is definitely a keeper for our family. Thank you!

  185. Deidre

    I have this baking in the oven right now, and it smells wonderful! If the batter that I tasted is any indication, this is another winner!

  186. Claire

    I just made this, and it is delicious! For you high altitude-ers out there, here’s what I did at 5,000 feet elevation. Removed about 1/2 Tablespoon from both sugars. Added 2 Tablespoons flour, and used an entire half pint container of buttermilk, which usually has about 2 extra Tablespoons of liquid above a cup. I baked it in my smaller Bundt pan, as loaf cakes do not do well here, at 340 degrees. I set the timer for 45 minutes, and could have checked at 35, since it was definitely done at 45, maybe a little over. I used the Dutch processed cocoa, and for the leavening, just made both the baking soda and baking powder measurements a teeny bit “scant.” I hope that’s helpful – this is a beautiful, moist, super chocolaty cake. Unfortunately, my husband thinks it needs frosting or a glaze, which leaves me speechless. Not sure where I’ll go there. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  187. I made this cake with Hershey’s Dutch Processed Special Dark Chocolate and it was fabulous. I then made it with Hershey’s regular cocoa powder and adjusted the soda as specified. The first cake was noticibly darker, more moist and tasted a lot richer in flavor and overall much better.

  188. Alicia

    I made this for a family friends birthday this weekend. One word- DIVINE! It was absolutely lovely with just a small bit of sweet cream. The birthday girl was in heaven! Thank you so much for the recipe, I will be using it often!

  189. Jake

    This was so simple and delicious! If you have trouble making cakes, you should really try this recipe. I added 1/4 tsp of cinnamon to give it a little more flavor and it was fantastic. This cake isn’t as sweet as others so the sugar doesn’t overpower the chocolate… great!

  190. Rachael

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog and trying recipes for a year or so now and wanted to let you know how much fun my little boys and I had making this cake…it did take AGES for the boys to run off the chocolate high but well worth it. I do need to also mention I can’t believe how many comments have been left! Quite a big community! Many thanks for all the good eats Deb.

  191. Deidre

    I made this last night and cooled it in the pan for about 15 minutes as directed, but the loaf fell completely apart when I tried to remove it from the pan. Instead of using real buttermilk, I soured skim milk using lemon juice. Would this have caused the problem I encountered? It was a total mess, albeit a delicious one.

  192. This reminds me of a chocolate pound cake I buy my daughter be the slice at Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia. It is her favorite, and I am always looking for a recipe that comes close. I can only imagine her reaction upon seeing your photos! Maybe we’ll have a mother-daughter baking day!

  193. Aliza_M

    Deirdre, I had the same problem but used real buttermilk, so I doubt that was the problem. My loaf pan wasn’t non-stick and also seemed to hold the heat more so than other pans I own, so maybe it just needed to cool in the pan for a little longer? My solution when stuff like that happens is to make an impromptu trifle! Whipped cream makes everything better :-).

  194. Aliza_M

    Clarice – yes -that is exactly what it reminded me of! I’m not in Philly anymore and I miss Metropolitan Bakery, their chocolate cherry bread and their granola.

  195. I made this last night with regular cocoa, and while it tasted good, it didn’t look nearly as great and moist as yours… I must try it again with dutch cocoa… also I partly blame my horrible oven… it is cursed when it comes to baking ANYTHING.

  196. Oh… and mine fell apart too… I just read the other comments… I thought that was because of my wonky oven…. however I did notice after the fact that I had purchased light buttermilk… maybe that had something to do with it.

    1. deb

      Oh no. I used light buttermilk (it’s the only thing I can readily get around here) too so I don’t think that is it. I made this cake 3 times with no crumbling issues. However, was it getting stuck in the pan? Do you think it got flipped out too soon? I always use the 10 to 15 minutes cooling in pan suggestion, but rarely time the amount I wait down to the minute.

  197. Elza

    I baked this cake last night and I used Ghirardeli cocoa powder and adjusted the baking soda as suggested. The cake came out perfectly, intense dark. Yummy!! Very fudgy. It is, by far, the best and the easiest recipe of chocolate cake I ever baked. Thank you for the recipe.

  198. I made this cake twice this weekend, once for a dinner party and once to photograph for my blog (the first loaf went photographed, as our mouths are quicker than my camera). It’s divine.

    A few notes about my experience with this recipe:

    – The second time around, I reverted to the standard method of adding the flour alternately with the buttermilk, as I was turned off by the buttermilk addition curdling the butter-sugar-egg mixture the first time. (The batter came back together when I added the flour, but what can I say? I’m stuck in my ways.)

    – I added a teaspoon of dark Myers’s rum and two teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the butter-sugar-egg mixture both times, to deepen and enhance the cocoa flavor.

    – I used Valrhona cocoa powder, which I buy in bulk from Surfas in Los Angeles ( Valrhona’s taste and color are highly desirable in this cake.

    – I used low-fat (1%) buttermilk, as whole buttermilk is not available in my area. In my experience the fat content of the buttermilk doesn’t make a difference in baked goods.

    Have I mentioned this cake is DIVINE? Rich, moist and not too sweet. Perfect with a dollop of creme fraiche, fresh raspberries and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

  199. JoanV

    I baked this cake yesterday and served it with freshly made chantilly creme–it was perfection personified. It was a tad sunken in the middle, but the taste was out of this world! And my theory is, since it’s an “every day cake” and not a “special occasion cake”, the calorie count is low-to non-existent. That being said, I’m going to roll myself into the kitchen for another slice :-)

  200. Karla — If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (or you don’t want to buy a whole quart just for this recipe), you can make your own from milk and distilled white vinegar, cream of tartar OR lemon juice.

    Simply heat 1 cup 2% or whole milk in the microwave for about 15 seconds (or until warm), stir in 1 teaspoon vinegar, cream of tartar OR lemon juice, and let stand at room temp until it curdles, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes.


  201. Jenn

    I agree this cake was incredibly easy to make! The perfect recipe when I was craving chocolate yesterday and was too lazy to go to the store. It turned out beautifully, but unfortunately was a tad dry. Any tips for how to combat dryness? I used Hershey’s Cocoa and powdered buttermilk, but several commenters seem to have used those with great results.

  202. Camillia

    This cake looked soOo easy and yummy I thought I would jump on the ‘everyday chocolate’ bandwagon. I was relieved to read that I’m not the only one who ended up with crater cake! Perhaps black hole is a better name, the sides of the cake are all leaning in towards the cavern in the center!
    I substituted goats milk yogurt for the butter milk, and used regular cocoa and the recommended 1/2 tsp bk soda. I’ve never had this problem before! Taste is to be determined (must pick up bf from airport first) but if the raw batter was any indication (giggle) it should be great. ;o)
    Deb, any suggestions? I’d love to make it again – one bowl is my kind of technique!

  203. Cate

    Made this cake this afternoon and the apartment smelled heavenly… I accidentally added only 1/4 tsp baking sode (using non-Dutch cocoa) which made me worried about crater-cake but it still rose (and stayed that way). Checked it after 50 minutes and it was still too wet… checked it after 58 minutes and declared it done. Pretty good flavor (probably should invest in some higher quality cocoa) but, like a few commenters above, found it too dry and crumbly for my liking. Probably needs that dollop of whipped cream or ice cream to sop up the crumbs :)

  204. Another winner, Deb! Thank you so much. It took a full 70 minutes to bake, but it was well worth the wait! I love a dense, not-too-sweet chocolate cake. Instead of buttermilk, I use a powdered buttermilk substitution (4 tbsp of the powder + 1 cup of water). Do you think it would mess with the chemistry too much if next time I replaced that cup of water with coffee or tea?

  205. So funny – i was searching the internet and all of my cookbooks on Saturday for a simple ‘everyday’ chocolate cake recipe…and then I come on here and what was the lead recipe?

    I made this into cupcakes and like everyone said….divine. Super moist, deep rich dark chocolate flavor that wasn’t too sweet ( I followed the exact recipe). It is the absolutely perfect chocolate cake that I will use as my standby from now on. It worked marvelously for cupcakes as well – baking time took about 20-25 minutes for 12. Tasted great with both vanilla buttercream and whipped cream.

    I so appreciate a recipe tailored to dutch cocoa as well – I live in Germany and its exceptionally difficult to find cocoa that isn’t dutched.

  206. also – i just want to add a note about converting to grams….

    Each ingredient should not be converted using the same method – for example the recipe with grams from Google, posted above, is not at all correct. Butter, sugar etc all should be converted specifically for that ingredient. 1 cup flour does not equal the same amount in weight (grams) that 1 cup butter does, for example. Butter is much heavier. There are several websites that do this, here is the one I use:

  207. Alison

    Ooh – I was thinking about attempting the Devil Dog cake recipe on your site, but I might cheat and try this one instead, with the addition of a dollop of some 7-minute frosting per slice.

  208. deb

    Julie — I’m not sure I agree. I was speaking of converting by typing right into the Google bar… 4 ounces (of butter) in grams is 113 grams, which is 100% correct; ditto with the other provided weights. You’d run into trouble with items that are a teaspoon or less, listed in ounces, but I don’t put those in because I find ounce weights on tiny measurements to be unreliable. (In the book, I’ll put them in the more-precise grams.)

  209. Ah! You’re killing me here! If I hadn’t just baked a different chocolate cake, and then baked it again because it didn’t turn out, I would be in the kitchen AS WE SPEAK making this one. I’ve already gained 5 pounds this week, so I’ll need to give it a break :(

  210. Deb – if you are converting weights to weights (oz to grams) that should work. If however you are converting from volume (cups) to weights – that method will be slightly off. 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar do not weigh the same – butter is 113 g, sugar is 95 (just as an example) NOT 113, and likewise 1 cup brown sugar would be 201 g not 195. Also, 3/4 cocoa would be 83 grams, not 75. Might not seem like big differences but then I don’t see the point in using grams if its going to be imprecise. Anyway, not trying to be annoying or anything…just pointing out that different items of the same volume will not necessarily have the same weight. Even different types of flours will be very slightly different weights if you are converting from cups (1 cup all purpose is 125 g – 1 cup whole wheat flour is 120 g for example).

    1. deb

      Julie — Of course. But I was only suggesting that the ounce weights would convert. It’s a solid system if a recipe is in the wrong kinds of weights, and a great tool to know about.

  211. Oh wow! This looks amazing. Thanks for the advice regarding the cocoa. I prefer dutch cocoa powder anyday though. Love the ingredients you’ve used here…buttermilk makes the world go around! Looks dense and perfect your cake :)

  212. barnee

    I tried baking this this morning. Yummy, but not at all the same deep, rich colour as yours. What brand of cocoa do you use? I used Fry’s and it was more reddish.

  213. Anna

    I just made this with my 2yr old assistant chef and a baby sleeping on my back in a carrier. It was great and very easy and kid-helper friendly! I subbed yogurt with a splash of milk for the buttermilk and used Ghiradelli natural cocoa powder. I didn’t get that deep black color either, I’ll have to try using Dutch processed cocoa next time and maybe some expresso powder. This is totally becoming my go-to chocolate cake from now on. Most chocolate cake recipes turn out too dense and dry for me and I loved how airy and light this is.

  214. Anna

    I just wanted to ask, is there a difference in using yogurt vs. buttermilk? My cake still turned out good but I’m guessing there’s a difference in acidity, so do you think that makes a difference in the end product? I usually have plain greek yogurt on hand but not buttermilk, so just I’m wondering if it is worth it for me to buy buttermilk when a recipe calls for it.

  215. Arabidopsis

    I made this today for work, and it was so tasty with whipped cream and blueberries. I doubled it and used a bundt pan since it is a large group. It’s just the right amount of chocolate for summer!

  216. Pam

    Had to make this and even went out and bought some buttermilk. Used dagoba cocoa and baking soda (per the directions). It was delicious BUT I followed directions and took out of pan after 15 minutes and it absolutely collapsed/broke into major chunks. Of course, still tastes great, but wonder what happened?

  217. Tanya in Tucson

    Just made this cake with regular cocoa (not Dutch processed) and made the adjustments to the recipe as instructed – deleting all baking powder and reducing the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon. The cake totally collapsed in the middle! It tasted OK but looks embarrassing. Any suggestions?

  218. Tanya in Tucson

    Ok, truth is I used a baking strip wrapped around the loaf pan. Could that have been why the cake didn’t rise in the middle?
    For those of you who might not be familiar with what baking strips are, they are like a strip of… cloth that you soak in water and are supposed to help the outside of the cake bake evenly with the middle of the cake so the crust doesn’t end up over baked. You wrap them around the pan.
    I’m going out to get the Valhrona. If I had only known that it is Dutch processed! I was standing right there at the specialty store looking for Dutch processed cocoa and couldn’t find any!! grrrrr…

  219. thanks for this recipe! It is a new and easy favorite. I have made 3 already :) One for my family and 2 for friends that just had new babies and needed dinners. It is a hit. I made it with the natural cocoa with your update. It is most delicious hot with ice cream.

  220. Eileen

    Made this using natural cocoa and the 1/2 tsp baking powder. The rise was perfect, but my cake took a full 70 min and by the time the innards were cooked the outer edge was crispy. I used a pyrex pan, perhaps that is the problem? I love it for bananna bread but maybe to achieve the soft beautiful edge like your cake I need metal pans?

  221. elizabeth

    OMG. Made it right away and thought i had a bad batch of buttermilk when it seemed to curdle after mixing it into wet ingredients. Threw out wet ingredients and saved [thank the baking gods] the premeasured dry. Took me a couple of days to buy more buttermilk, finally got to putting it together again and noticed the same “curdling” thing going on…i guess i learned my lesson about buttermilk…. got the two loaves [ i doubled the recipe] out of the oven and WOW. We’ve been incredibly decadent and have been consuming slabs of cake with vanilla ice cream. Amazing. Thankyou! …now for that daily 5 mile walk…

  222. kristy

    I just made this today because i had alot of leftover buttermilk. It has a rich chocolate taste, but the cake itself is very dry and crumbly. I think it would be best with whipped cream, ice cream or a very large glass of milk. I ate mine plain and it felt a bit naked.

  223. amy e

    dearest little smitten kitten friends– i made this cake tonight–super yummy–but mine turned out rather crumbly. it was very moist with delicious cocoa flavor, but i had a hard time even slicing it due to the crumbles. i followed recipe to a T, with dutch cocoa, buttermilk, etc. only thought is that maybe my pan was too small and that somehow affected the texture? it also dipped a bit in the middle of the cake. any suggestions?

  224. Rachel

    I have yet to try one of your recipes that wasn’t just delicious (my fave still being those strawberry shortcakes). This one is no different. I made it last night using Penzey’s “high fat dutch chocolate” and it is delicious. Best of all, because it comes in a loaf pan, I can call it “bread” and eat it for breakfast, too.

  225. I made this cake the other day and it came out well except that i added raisins and the buttermilk substiture. I didnt wait for the cake to cool so it just broke as i pulled it out of the pan… But the taste… was absolute yumm… Im making the round version right now…

  226. Everyday chocolate cake? That sounded like “run-of-the-mill 14K gold” or “commonplace flawless b’jillion carat diamond.” Well I didn’t ponder long – I multiplied everything times six and made a BUNCH of these for our church youth group. SUPER yum! Plus, I understand the title. This is a chocolate cake you WANT every day and is easy enough to make your wish come true! Thanks!!

  227. Jennifer

    I made this cake 2 days ago. It was very easy to prepare. However, the result was dry. I even under cooked the cake slightly. I followed the recipe as noted. The only good thing about the cake was the edges. They were crunchy and delicious, the inside, not so much.

  228. Audrey

    I agree with Jennifer and the other people who stated that the cake was a tad dry. It turned out crumbly…hmmmph. Tasted good, but the slices fall apart when cut.

  229. Katie Holeman

    This cake + a cup of coffee has been the perfect start to my day. I have an excuse for breakfasts that involve cake, since I am 6 months pregnant. I added just a little bit of chocolate chips and have been microwaving it to get them gooey. Also the other day I had a little heavy whipping cream I needed to use, so I beat it with some peppermint extract and had it on the cake :)

  230. Jessie Schuh

    Made this cake today and was impressed with the results! It is moist, beautiful, and most importantly DELICIOUS! Thanks for the great recipe.

  231. Emily in Chicago

    I made this the other day, and I found it to be a sturdy, delicious and moist cake. Even with a major substitution (margarine instead of butter- it was all my parents had at their house and I was desperate for cake), it was perfect.Probably would have been even better with real butter! Also, to anyone who hasn’t tried the make your own buttermilk tip, it worked fine!
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  232. Michellers

    I made this cake for a family gathering and it tasted great and was gone in about 30 minutes…but I have to agree that it was a little dry. I thought maybe I cooked it too long, but now I see other commenters had the same result. Maybe more butter?


  233. LeeY

    I’ve made this cake twice already. I used 3/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda instead of the half recommended (using non Dutch cocoa – Van Houten) and it came together REALLY nicely. I don’t understand why there are so many comments of the cake sinking. I greased my loaf with a mixture of butter and flour and it flipped out intact even after letting it rest for about 10 minutes. The cake rises quite a bit in the oven over the first 40 mins of baking. It doesn’t deflate at all. I hope everyone tries to bake this as it is really easy to do – under 20 mins once your butter is soft – even with a hand mixer. Also I baked it at 175C for 50 mins – not dry at all!!! Love it!

  234. I made this cake over the weekend using Dutched cocoa. What an amazing cake! I had no problems with it sinking. I actually made two smaller loafs; portion control, you know? :)

    Anyway, I’m a long-time lurker and so many of your recipes are fabulous. Thanks for sharing!

  235. Angela

    Delicious! I made this cake three times while my husband’s family was visiting! They absolutely loved it. (Made a chocolate cream cheese icing for the top).

  236. Maria


    I just tried out this recipe today but my cake sunk. I only had Hersheys’s cocoa…it was half natural and half dutch and I did not use any baking powder (treating it as if it was natural cocoa). Is that the reason why my cake sunk? Do you have any idea how much baking powder/soda to use for this type of cocoa? Also, is it ok to use PAM to grease the loaf pan instead? That was what I used.

  237. Deb,
    I made this cake over the weekend and it’s fantastic. It is sooo chocolaty! Next time I am going to add a shot of espresso though, to see where that leads my palate.

  238. Jenn

    I was determined to make this cake today but discovered that I had no cocoa powder. Four ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate seems to be a fine substitute, melted and beaten in with the butter. It came out beautifully!

  239. Heather Y

    Made the other night when I was super tired… that’s what normal people do, right? Bake?
    Anyway, didn’t have a loaf pan (must be in storage) so used a springform, greased with butter and flour, used Hershey natural/unsweetened, 1/2 tsp baking soda, made my own buttermilk with milk + vinegar, cooked about 50 minutes and holy cow my husband can’t stop eating it! Tonight I had a slice with a dollop of strawberry preserves and a sprinkling of powdered sugar and my tummy is so very happy.
    Thank you!!

  240. I made this cake today using Hershey and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. When I checked after 60 minutes to see if if was done, the center totally fell. The taste was still delicious. Just wondering if I should use the baking powder also?

  241. I’m 10 years old and just started baking. This is one of my mom’s favorite sites and she told me to look at the recipe. I just made it today all by myself (even looked up how make a substitute for buttermilk) and we are bringing it to a dinner party tonight! It looks perfect and I just want to eat it right now.

  242. Meg

    I made this today using plain lowfat yogurt in place of buttermilk, since I didn’t have any. We used natural cocoa (Ghirardelli) and followed your instructions to use only the baking soda. I felt the need to sample it before serving it to guests……hope the guests aren’t too hungry! Mmmmmmm – this one’s a keeper!

  243. So…I did do it in the toaster oven…but I forgot I had to be somewhere, and had to let the timer take care of it (don’t worry, I had a neighbor check in to make sure I didn’t burn down the house) It did bake well, but it really needed about 10 more minutes, the top was fudgy (it ate just fine.) I also did it with Ghirardelli cocoa! So, in theory, this should work as written in a preheated toaster oven – which won’t heat up your kitchen as much.

    Those of you who posted it was dry – maybe you baked it a tad too long? My version was almost like a brownie in the less-satisfactorily-baked parts (the bottom was cooked perfectly.)

  244. Elena

    I did it with ordinary caster sugar, as I was out of brown and with 250 g of white yoghurt instead of butter milk. Was absolutely delicious, very moist, perfect to dip in cold milk or add cream as indicated above.

  245. I just made this! Looks divine. I only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar, as thats all i had, but used 1 whole cup of caster sugar. I also made my own butter milk with milk and lemon juice, it made the mixture a mess, but in the end it worked out.

    thanks for such an easy one bowl chocolate cake. love it!

  246. Lisa van der Plas

    I made this a few weeks ago just as you suggest (baking soda & powder, dutch cocoa and all). It rose perfectly and looked beautiful, however I expected it to be a bit richer and a bit fudgie (moister in any event). Someone above suggested it it’s a tad dry, that maybe it was too long in the oven. My question is if Yogurt is a better ingredient than buttermilk, qua having a moister cake? I’m trying it again, this time i’m adding cherries and chocolate chips…I’ll keep you posted how it works…

  247. Sheena

    I made this with Camino organic dutch processed cocoa and it was absolutely amazing. I also added mini chocolate chips for an extra hit of chocolate. The perfect cure for PMS :P

  248. What a beautiful chocolate cake, I loved that you put it into a loaf pan, generally when I make my chocolate cake it simply goes into an 8 x 8 pan. I think your cake is more dense and the chocolate flavor comes through so well. I think I want to slip in a few pieces of mint chips in there.

  249. I made this using the natural cocoa adjustment. Tasted Great – was a big hit with the family! Looked like photo #2 but was tasty for sure. Will use again…will hopefully have some Dutch cocoa on-hand next time to taste the difference.

  250. Lisa van der Plas

    It was a huge Success w/ cheeries and choco chips and this time I tried taking it out of the oven bit earlier, so it wasn’t dry at all:)
    But I’m still wondering what the difference will be if I use yogurt in place of buttermilk??? Guess I’ll have to make it again.
    Thanks much for this recipe and all the good tips everyone shared…can’t wait for the next recipe:P

  251. Josh

    @Thomis. I made this cake yesterday and frosted it. Worked fine. I went for a chocolate frosting because you can never have enough chocolate right?

  252. BaileyLayne

    Ok, so I feel stupid commenting on this as the like 400 billionth person, but I just wanted to say, I made this cake the other day… very good, but not great. AND THEN… I took a sip of merlot with a bite of the cake, and WAOW. The cocoa flavor came alive and the texture was brought out beautifully. Definitely better the second day, but if one cannot wait to eat it… try it with a glass of merlot. MMMmmmm.

  253. Symphonic Chef

    Made this with regular cocoa and it came out well. I have to admit I put a bit more cocoa than the recipe called for, to try to get that darker color in the cake. It worked! It was rich and moist, very simple and good. Would be great with a scoop of excellent vanilla ice cream for minimalist perfection!

  254. Lynne

    Made this cake two nights in a row. First try, needed to increase baking time by at least 10 minutes (oven temp 325) to have cake tester emerge clean from the center. Tonight repeated my efforts with all the same ingredients and had the same dilemma with having to extend my baking time considerably, actually taking it out before testing “clean”. My oven has always cooked/baked well, I bake often, and have made many of your recipes, every one with success. Both cakes rose beautifully, look and smell sensational, but the texture for the first was a bit dry towards the edges although fine in the center, and sliced beautifully. Any thoughts on what’s going on (not yet tested cake #2 as it’s cooling)?

  255. Bob Y

    Interesting discussions. There’s a whole discussion on the Serious Eats site about people who found this cake very dry. I must admit that mine was the same and very disappointing.

  256. To #323 Claire:
    Thank you SO MUCH for posting your high altitude changes! I made this cake “your way” today for a birthday party tomorrow and it turned out perfect — even at over 8,000 feet here in Ecuador!

  257. rose

    i live at 6200 ft, so i am always having to make adjustments when baking. for this i used mostly dutch process cocoa but also mixed in some natural to get rid of a canister. here is what i did:
    eased up on the sugar (a little of both sugars) by about 1.5-2 T
    added extra buttermilk (about 3 T)
    decreased the baking powder/soda by half
    increased the flour by 2 T
    i also baked the cake in a bundt pan because loaf cakes always sink in the middle up here.
    the cake was good…very chocolatey (maybe even a tad rich?), fairly moist (although maybe next time i will bake it for a bit less – i think i baked the bundt for 45 minutes) and had great color.
    thanks deb – love the simple recipe!

  258. Well this cake is named EVERYDAY CHOCOLATE CAKE for a reason! I recently discovered this blog, I read back as far as… the chocolate cake… and TADA! THAT’S what I was going to make… I made it the other day. First of all, it’s beautiful (and it was very helpful that you showed pictures of one cake made with dutch cocoa and one made with regular cocoa, the difference was HUGE, and I surely would have made it with the regular had I not seen the photos!), it’s quick and easy AND it’s delightful! However, the first thing my husband said was “what? cake with no frosting?” ugh… be quiet and eat, ha ha… I whipped some cream, rolled a few raspberries in sugar and oila! A dessert fit for a king! I will make this well… everyday, ha ha… well, not quite, but very often… THANKS!

  259. David M

    First time on your site, and had to make this cake. It is INSANELY dark in color, and not sweet at all, so I could huge slices with a little good vanilla ice cream. I loved how dark chocolatey the color is. Thanks, I will definitely be back to try more of your enticing recipes, thanks to that irresistable photography.

  260. I just made this chocolate cake a few hours ago and although the batter looked promising, I have to say that I didn’t like the outcome as much as I thought I would based on your photos. First of all, my batter was a bit lighter in color compared to yours which almost look black. Second, I was looking for a bit more back flavor to the chocolate cake. Perhaps, cinnamon or nutmeg thrown in there. The cake also came out just a tad bit dry after the tooth pick test at 60 minutes and more so when it finally cooled. It looked and definitely was more crumbly unlike yours which looks packed and dense.

    I use a lot of your recipes and follow every instruction but unfortunately, this isn’t going to be my everyday chocolate cake as I wanted it to be. :(

  261. dee

    Hi! I just discovered your website,when I went on a google cake hunt.Today is a really lucky day.DEFINITELY will start making this recipe as soon as I get this comment done with.CAN’T WAIT! Oh,and your photos are UNBELIEVABLE,just a total feast for the eyes,afraid I’m HOOKED ONTO THIS TREASURE FIND,THANKS

  262. AmyLynn

    I made this in an 8 inch round pan this weekend and it turned out really well. I baked it at the original 325 degrees for about 50 minutes and was pretty pleased with the consistency, and was thrilled with the flavor! I used natural cocoa, followed Deb’s adjustment, and had no troubles.

  263. Monsieur K

    Hi Deb, I prepared this no-fuss recipe last night and brought it into the office today…it was finished before the intended morning tea time. YUM-O!

  264. I’m going to make this tonight for dessert for a tailgate brunch tomorrow morning. I think I’m going to have to double it though because it looks really good!

  265. abby

    Made this over the weekend and it turned out great! I used the update notes – non-Dutched cocoa and 1/2 t baking soda, and I baked it in a bundt pan for 60 minutes – it turned out perfect! I made a simple powdered-sugar glaze, and sprinkled mini semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of the glaze – it disappeared awfully quickly on game night! I’ll definitely be making this again. And again. And again.

  266. karen

    I don’t bake much, if at all, and certainly never make cake from scratch (my mom was all “that’s what boxed mixes are FOR, silly!”) I took the plunge and tackled this recipe to take to a small dinner party. WHAT A HIT! I even forgot the salt and it turned out rich and not too sweet, just perfect with a dollop of whipped cream and a few raspberries. My daughter is begging for another cake SOON. Thanks for being my go-to recipe location. I always have success at your site – and the photos and your sense of humor make me feel at home. Thanks!

  267. Christina

    Hi Deb, do you think this would keep for a couple of days? I’ve got a work party on Monday afternoon, but no time to bake on Sunday. If I made this Saturday night do you think it would still be yummy and OK to serve on Monday? The recipe looks STUNNING and I would love to make it!

  268. Thanks for testing the leavening so thoroughly and giving all the notes – I had to improvise a new recipe because I am living in Mexico where a lot of baking ingredients aren’t available and it was extremely useful for adapting the recipe. If you want to see just how drastically this recipe can be changed and still come out delicious:

  269. jo

    deep. dark. chocolate. bliss. as usual, i substituted … forgot to pick up buttermilk, so i used a combination of sour cream and milk. also used what hershey’s calls “special dark” cocoa – a mixture of natural and dutch processed. i made 2 smaller loaves – they were almost black in color! i don’t think the substitution made much of a difference. yummy!!!

  270. j.

    Oh – that smell!Just made this cake and my appartment turned into one big chocolate cake, at least if I trust my nose! It better tastes as good as it smells….

  271. j.

    Ok, that smell was not deceiving! Yumm, yumm, yumm! Has already become one of my favorite cakes! Quick to prepare, no funky ingredients and incredibly tasty!

  272. pooja

    Dear Deb
    made this cake as a give-away for my sister in law who couldnt visit us this time with FIL+MIL.. and this turned out to be one of the most gorgeous chocolate cakes! Hubby loved it to bits..
    just another query (though you havnt replied to my previous two but still taking chance :) )
    In carrot cake with maple syrup cream frosting, are you sure its 2 tsp baking soda and not 2 tsp baking powder? I am asking coz by role of 1/4 tsp baking soda for one cup flour, 2 tsp baking soda should be for 8 cup flour…or is it because of that huge amount of carrots?? .i dont know..sorry if i am pestering you with all this…but it was first cake from ur blog that didnt turn out well, which is like blasphemous….i wont bother you anymore on this..Love your blog and your food!


  273. laurie

    Couldn’t get this cake out of my head. And we actually had all the ingredients! Had only about 1/2 cup of Valrhona cocoa so I supplemented it with plain Hershey’s. Evened out the baking soda/baking powder to reflect the cocoa combo. We don’t have the large-size loaf pan so I split the batter into two smaller ones and baked them for about 30 min. They both came out flat with no dome; the larger one sunk ever so slightly, but they’re still attractive. And they taste great!! It’s like you’re eating a fudgy brownie and an ethereal piece of cake at the SAME time. How is this possible??

  274. I made this tonight to accompany a lasagna dinner that I made to a group of 5 men and it was a huge hit. I didn’t have buttermilk, so I just used regular milk. It was so delicious. I served it with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

    Ps. You’re definitely my favorite food blogger. Keep up the amazing work.

  275. pooja

    Dear Deb
    Thanks for the reply..I was wondering about so many possibilities, you have ruled out atleast one..Would love to try it again till I perfect it like you. By the way I am trying mushroom lasagna today. Can you make out I am obsessed with your blog and food!


  276. erin

    this is a gorgeous cake, and so easy! once again, not at all disappointed with the outcome of a smitten kitchen recipe. have made this twice and great each time.

    i used store-brand semi sweet cocoa, and turned out dark and rich.

  277. Melissa

    This cake looks amazing and as always, your presentation is beautiful! Where did you find the serving plate? Looks like the perfect size for a loaf cake!

  278. Marcia

    Your website is awesome. Your red velvet cake has my friends swooning. Quick question, I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe that would be good to use in a cake mold. Do you think this is dense enough to do the job?

  279. amy

    Does this work as mini cupcakes?
    Would it be better to adapt your yellow cake recipe to mini cupcakes?
    Thought I had a great chocolate cupcake recipe and with all my testing I am now on the look out for something better.
    Please let me know your thoughts!

  280. Andrew

    it’s way too dry. i’m so disappointed! the flavor doesn’t come through as strong as it could and dutch chocolate is too expensive to be making mediocre cakes with it. it was a very disappointing result to be showing all of my housemates who feigned delight while slugging down milk by the gallon alongside. :(

  281. finally got around to making this!
    just wanted to say it’s very dense and wonderful(somehow both fudgy and kinda fluffy?)
    and also that
    1. i made one batch into 24 cupcakes, and 20 minutes baking was about right
    2. i didn’t have buttermilk OR white vinegar to do the conversion with, so I used balsamic vinegar (1 TBL balsamic, and then enough milk to fill up the cup), and this seemed to work great and i didn’t notice any balsamic taste

  282. amy

    This cake is currently in the oven and smells soooooooooo good. Can’t wait to eat it. I love this blog so much, I am not a chef and everything I make from here turns out awesome.

  283. Trinity

    This cake was very nice. :) I found it a little lacking in chocolate flavour, but I guess this is mostly because of my taste for mudcakes… which sadly a cake like this never will quite match! Otherwise lovely texture. :)

  284. Dear Deb
    Thanks for the reply..I was wondering about so many possibilities, you have ruled out atleast one..Would love to try it again till I perfect it like you. By the way I am trying mushroom lasagna today. Can you make out I am obsessed with your blog and food!

  285. Yupyupyup

    I think i’ve hit a bump. either i messed up on an ingredient or two, or my buttermilk’s gone sour, but is the cake supposed to be slightly sour tasting?

  286. robin

    I was looking for a recipe for a chocolate cake to make for my husband’s birthday and I found your fabulous website. The cake was exactly what I was looking for – not too big for just the two of us but something special to be made with love. I used a milk/sour cream combo instead of buttermilk. I also threw in a generous heap of chocolate chips. The cake was delish. Special enough for a special occasion and easy enough to make “everyday.” Thank you!

  287. Carly

    perfect. i threw in a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg, and dusted it with a powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture and ta-da: winter cake! I’m currently enjoying a piece from 2 days ago and it is still delicious.

  288. Tried this recipe, and it worked out amazingly! I paired with some vanilla bean ice cream and a homemade apple caramel sauce on top, which made it a little more elegant and fancy and more dinner-party friendly.

  289. Corey

    Now that it’s winter, and the snow falling outside looks a bit like confectioners sugar, I’m ready to try this. I’m wondering what the addition of some alcohol – say, bourbon – to this might be like.

  290. Laura

    This cake is absolutely terrific and easy to make. I just turned it into a delicious batch of beautiful cupcakes! They’re sturdy and they stay fresh!

  291. Corey

    I made it this weekend with Dutch cocoa and it rose beautifully and didn’t sink at all. I added almost 3 tablespoons of Maker’s Mark, and I can just begin to taste it. Might add a bit more next time. I’ve been serving it with a bit of chocolate salted caramel sauce from Kumquat Cupcakery, which is delicious. I’m finding this not-so-heavy cake to be the perfect chocolate fix after some holiday gluttony.

  292. Rachel

    I made this cake today and served it with fresh (albeit imported) blackberries, and it was the trippiest looking dessert! We’ve taken to calling it “Icelandic obsidian cake,” “shadow cake,” etc. Phenomenal flavor, and Dutch cocoa? What a great find! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  293. Sugar Ashley

    Awesome recipe! Just took mine out of the oven and it smells delish!! =) 1 quick question though; how do i store this cake? In the fridge wrapped up in foil? Or in an air-tight container? =)

  294. Andra

    I made this tonight. I doubled it and put it in a bundt. I made a few changes, we were light on brown sugar, so the ratios were basically flipped. I followed the natural cocoa leavening tweak. I also didn’t have buttermilk, so I mixed plain nonfat yogurt (homemade) and 1% milk. SO easy. SO delicious! SO chocolatey! THANK YOU!

  295. OMG, Delish. Just like an Oreo – I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa and all the noted measurements (1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder) and mine didn’t sink – kept it in the oven the full 60 minutes before opening the oven to check, then I left it in there for 5 more with the oven turned off. Thanks Deb!

  296. kathy in st. louis

    The tastiest, fullest-chocolate-flavor chocolate cake I’ve probably ever made, and certainly among the best I’ve ever tasted. It puts my long-used family recipe to shame (don’t tell my grandmother), but then, the ratio of cocoa to the rest of the ingredients says it all.

    – instead of light brown sugar, just poured in a significant dab of molasses
    – used vinegar-soured whole milk instead of buttermilk
    – used white whole wheat flour instead of AP
    – used plain ol’ Hershey’s cocoa
    – then went a Mexican-inspired route with the additions of ground ancho powder, cinnamon, and ginger

    After the first knife test, the center did collapse somewhat, but that happens sometimes. No big deal. We did find that the finished product was a bit dry, but I suspect that’s due to at least two reasons: my sweetheart cut into the loaf before it was cool, and it’s winter. If it were to happen again soon, I’d probably cut back on the flour by a tablespoon or so, and make sure that we let it cool completely first. I could hardly blame him, though; its aroma was entirely seductive.

    As it was cooling, he asked me if I was going to make frosting for the cake, since one of the things we both crave is “cake with frosting” (it’s become a silly joke now). He was disappointed to hear that, no, I wasn’t, but I told him that he could if he wanted!

  297. I made it today and it turned out perfectly. From here on out I will think of it as my go-to grownup cake. I adore everything about it — the loaf shape, the rich dark chocolate (I used 100% Valrhona), the not-to-sweet taste, and that no frosting is necessary. We ate it with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. Perfection, really.

  298. C

    I’ve made this cake several times, and it’s always well-loved and quickly devoured. It has now transcended everyday for us, as my daughter requested it above all other cakes for her 13th birthday. Thank you, Deb!

  299. Karen in Concord, MA

    I find cakes baked with cocoa powder can be dry. I added two eggs instead of one, 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce and 1/2 cup of micro choco chips to the batter to amplify the chocolate factor. The additional liquid necessitated baking the cake 10 minutes longer (in my case 75 minutes) but the result was perfection…deeply satisfying chocolate flavor and wonderful texture..

  300. Megan

    I’ve been secretly following your site for years, but I just had to comment after trying this cake! Incredibly delicious – and I don’t particularly like chocolate! More importantly for this cake lover, it’s become my go-to recipe for any kind of quick cake. The first variation I tried was to take out the chocolate all together and make a rum cake:
    – upped the flour to 2+ cups (it was probably 2 cups and a tablespoon) and added a little extra vanilla; put a layer of chopped walnuts on the bottom, batter on top, baked, flipped it over out of the pan, and poured a rum sauce on top (butter melted on the stove, stir in sugar until it dissolves, pour in rum and simmer until it reduces to a spoon-coating consistency). The rum cake was even better sliced and toasted for breakfast with strawberries then it was fresh.
    Next, almond cake – subbed in almond meal for the chocolate powder and almond extract for the vanilla. I think it would have tasted better with an amaretto glaze on top, but I think I was still remembering the rum cake… =)
    Next, I’m trying a plain cake but adding cinnamon chips. I have high hopes for the taste, but very low hopes for my waistline at this point…

    The only downside to the non-chocolate versions I’ve found is that it can be a bit dense with all that flour. I’m going to try using cake flour instead of AP in the next one and see if that lightens it up a bit without making the recipe more complicated. Thanks so much for this recipe!!

  301. Justin

    I just took the cake out of the oven. It looks great! I could not find Valrhona cocoa, but they had two types of Hershey’s Cocoa. The regular was natural cocoa and the other one, Hershey’s Special Dark, is a blend of natural and dutched cocoa. I used the Special Dark and it came out looking like the pic of the cake using Valrhona cocoa. Can’t wait to taste it. It was a breeze to make. Great directions.

  302. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s been hard to find a simple cake to make for someone cooking for one. My chocolate craving and chick-flick night loves you, but my skinny jeans now frown at you. ;-)

  303. Brenda

    I want to make this cake today and don’t have buttermilk, but have sour cream. would I use the same amount of sour cream as buttermilk?

  304. Michelle

    I made this cake for a simple dinner party dessert. I did not have buttermilk but substituted with regular milk with 1 table spoon of vinegar stirred into it. The cake was very good and the hostess served it with ice cream. A perfect ending to a great meal!

  305. I made it for a doll cake. I thought I would need four batches of the recipe because it looks so small (based on ingredient list) but I only doubled it and it filled my mixer bowl and the small bundt pan I used for the doll cake.

    It rose three inches over my mixer! Amazing. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe. It was sturdy enough for fondant, easy to cut into layers, didn’t even have to refrigerate. It was a tad crumbly but easily fixable. I don’t mind a little dryness. This cake was very compact and easy to lift. So good for decorating IMO. The people who ate it loved it.

    This is a pic of the cake I made using this recipe

  306. Olivia

    I just made this last night and it was delicious!!! I made one change, though.

    Brenda, I did not have buttermilk, and I did not have milk with which to make a substitute, as Michelle did. Instead, I used sour cream and a little water (to thin the sour cream a bit) – I kind of eye-balled it but I’d say I used about 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup water. My “batter” came out very very thick – not at all pourable. It was more like a fluffy dough that I had to scoop and spread into the loaf pan.

    Because of how thick the batter was, I was kind of worried the cake would turn out dry, but it was not dry at all! Moist, a delightful texture, and so chocolatey (I used Valrhona cocoa too). This recipe is a winner!! :-D

  307. Kryston

    Hershey’s makes a Dark Chocolate cocoa powder that is half dutch process and half natural cocoa.

    If I were to use that in this cake, how might I go about adjusting the leaveners?

  308. Cameron

    Just made this cake tonight; I used the Hershey’s half/half cocoa with the Dutch guidelines. I’ll try it tomorrow, as it’s cooling overnight. However, it looks and smells amazing! The only anomaly was that it took 110 minutes to bake through!

  309. Gordon

    This is long overdue but here it goes: Absolutely awesome chocolate cake! Easy and fast to make and just tastes like chocolately goodness without being too sweet. Everyone who tastes it in my circle of friends is really enthusiastic about this cake. As am I! :) Thank you very much for posting this!

    One question though: Is there anything like a white cocoa powder, so a “white chocolate cake” could be baked with this?

  310. Because chocolate cake EVERYDAY is the best thing ever!

    I just made this recipe. I had to leave after making the cake batter and when I came home, there was a thin film formed over the surface. When I baked it, I think the film formed over it made the cake more crunchy on the surface! Yum. I also used a 8 x 5 pan so when I dump it out later it will look taller. I used undutched cocoa and it taste fine!

  311. This…is…CHOCOLATE. Made this yesterday, and all I can think about are how there are still three slices sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for me.

    I used the best (aka fanciest and priciest) cocoa I could find, seeing as that’s where pretty much all the chocolate flavor comes from. Definitely a must. If you like earthy, deep chocolate flavor, don’t use Hershey’s on this thing. (Also threw in a handful or two of Ghirardelli bittersweet chips, which I think was nice.)

    Also, not sure if anyone else had this problem, but I took my cake out when it was just a few minutes shy of totally done (crumbs but no batter sticking to the toothpick), and very happy I did so. Dense and fairly moist. However, I’d still consider this cake a missing link between cake and “bread”. It’s got the denseness and crumbliness of a banana bread. I’m thinking of splitting the fats between oil and butter next time to see what happens…

  312. Giulia

    I made this cake for Easter, and did it exactly per the recipe, for non-Dutch cocoa. Then added in a bit of expresso powder and some brandy. And baked it in a Le Creuset pate pan, that made a nice rectangular loaf that did not cave in at all. It was moist and simple, and looked very pretty with the confectioner’s sugar on top. I’ll definitely make again. Thanks a lot. Oh wait, I didn’t have light brown sugar, so used dark brown sugar, which made it exactly the deep brown color in the photo, though I had the cheapo Hershey’s cocoa.

  313. Terri

    Hi – Can anyone tell me why the top of mine cracked and kind of came off in hunks? I went exactly by the recipe using the regular cocoa. Thanks!!

    PS – it tastes delicious though!!

  314. Johanna VL

    This is my new go-to chocolate cake recipe. Every time I make it, my roommates and I polish it off within a day. :)
    I’ve found that switching out half the buttermilk for brewed coffee adds an interesting complexity to the flavor.

  315. Beverly De

    Hi Deb, I made this cake using the Saco Dutch Cocoa Blend and used the baking soda & baking powder measurement. The cake rose nicely but there were alot of cracks on top. I found the cake to be a bit dry after baking for 60 min. I’m going to try checking bake time @ 45-50 min. next time. I refuse to give up but I’d like it to be moist. I’ve read most of the comments and for a cake that has so much possibility, I’d wish there were a more general recipe. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  316. Neera

    Deb, I was thinking of putting the loaf pan on a baking sheet in the oven when making this. Any reason not to?


  317. Johanna’s sub of coffee for half of the buttermilk is interesting. At first I thought this would throw off the leavening, as buttermilk is acidic. Then I remembered that coffee is acidic, also, so I guess the cake-chemistry is still in balance. I’m making this today for my sweet husband’s birthday.


  318. I just made the cake in a 9″springform pan. No crater, few cracks. I used half strong coffee, half plain yogurt for the buttermilk. Everything else followed the recipe exactly. It took 40 minutes to bake at 350 deg. It is hidden until tomorrow, otherwise the birthday boy would have cut into it already. I justified hiding it when I read that it tastes better the second day. I’m not really mean — we’ve already had an almond/coconut torte (Joy of Cooking) to kick off birthday week.
    Thanks for giving measurements by weight — more accurate that way.

  319. Kari

    Try it with a tablespoon of espresso powder and chocolate chips for a richer chocolate flavor. Very easy and delicious cake!

  320. katy

    i had the same problem as amy e in post #390. my cake crumbled and i used exact measurements using a kitchen scale. i only had natural cocoa powder and omitted the baking soda, but the cake was so crumbly! i also made smaller loaves.

  321. Joy

    Easy to make, but it doesn’t beat a proper chocolate cake with real melted choc and more butter! I’m not a fan of cocoa-based cakes and I’m afraid this recipe didn’t change my mind.

  322. Anna Malina

    I couldn’t find any buttermilk in my fridge but there was some red wine left, so I used it instead, as it’s also acidic and goes well with strong chocolate flavours…as I think! : ) Does that make any sense? However, the cake is still warm so I haven’t tried yet but so far it looks just perfect. Next time I’ll use buttermilk to see if there is a big difference in taste and texture…

  323. Another brilliant recipe, thankyou! I cobbled together something similar from what I had in my kitchen (no buttermilk, ordinary non-dutch cocoa powder, self raising flour, no brown sugar only white) and it came out wonderfully. Really moist and rich. Planning to try it with coffee or mint cream swirls next time.

    I love your blog, deb – it gives me endless inspiration and pleasure. Great writing and your photos are gorgeous. Can’t wait for the book, I will be the first to buy it. Thanks so much!

    Here’s my version:

  324. It is so true–aside from its ice cream manifestation, chocolate truly is neglected in the summertime. And how tragic this is! Whilst skimming through your old posts, I saw this, and poor overlooked chocolate demanded I attend to it. So. I made your cake two nights ago, and it was blissfully simple and utterly delicious. Thank you!

  325. I really like this cake and how it stays in shape. It’s a perfect gift for friends. I prepared it again a while ago (see my commentary above nr. 513). This time, I made two cakes: one for a friend’s birthday and for friends to say thank you for borrowing us something. Here is the photo:
    Next time, I’ll bake at least one for ourselves, though

  326. Nicole

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to find a recipe that is not only good as a cake but is also good for cupcakes and mini cupcakes. Most chocolate cake batters become so unstable when in tiny cupcake wrappers and this was perfect! Not only did they rise but they maintained the dome and didn’t crumble apart when they came out of the wrapper! Fantastic!

  327. Anna Malina

    Deb, I did it again!
    This time I made cupcakes from this wonderful batter and used buttermilk like you usually do. I’d say that red wine works just as well as buttermilk and cupcakes work just as well as a cake. There is a slight difference in taste as you can imagine but both versions are more than delicious!
    I could imagine the red wine version would be even better (if that’s possible at all) with a hint of cinnamon! (It’s rainy and almost chilly out there today, maybe that’s why I feel like cinnamon…)
    I made these cupcakes for a friend’s birthday with a mocca-buttercream tuff on top (The way my German family does ‘mocca-buttercream’. It consists of a quite firm vanilla custard mixed with 1/4 the amout of butter plus a sip of strong espresso).
    These sweet treats are waiting in the fridge now, I’m excited for tonight!

  328. robin

    I have this cake in the oven for the second time this week. The first was for a friend who just had a new baby, and I got the ultimate compliment–her almost 4 year-old son asked if I would bake his birthday cake next week. This time I’m making it for my co-workers. This is a ridiculously easy cake and so delicious. Will definitely become a regular around here.

  329. Hi! I made this cake this morning before work and you are right–it is a cinch to pull together without a minimum of fuss! I used plain yogurt in place of buttermilk, since I never have buttermilk and I ran out of regular milk, so I couldn’t just sour some milk. I like how it is sort of like chocolate bread, but way sweeter. Thanks for sharing the link to this in your latest red-wine cake entry. I’m going to try that one next.

  330. Teresa

    This cake is wonderful! I have made it several times and every time it is delicious! I am alredy planning to make a whole bunch and give them to my children’s teachers at the holidays. Thnks, Deb!

  331. dancing gal

    Hi there! This cake looks amazing, and the boy agreed, so I have no other choice but to make it! I read the recipe and comments thoroughly, and I have a question:
    In the recipe it says that 1/2 cup granulated sugar equals 4oz, which according to Google equals 113 grams. But according to your conversions page and other recipes on the site (for example the strawberry summer cake) 1/2 cup granulated sugar equals 100 grams…
    When given, I prefer using grams measurements with my digital scale, but I have also a measuring cup and I usually don’t get confused. But this time I’m not sure if the recipe calls for 100 or 113 grams of sugar and I don’t want to mess it up…

    Thanks in advance for your response,


  332. dancing gal

    Thanks so much! This weekend in Paris is summer-y hot, so I think I’ll stick to my very last berries, but next weekend, I’m definitely going for everyday chocolate cake. The kind you can eat every single day that is :p I’ll let you know how it went.

    Thanks again,


  333. OMG I love chocolate, I read someone omitted the baking soda, don’t forget that. I have a recipe where you mix all the dry ingredients together then pour over boiling water. After cooking it come out all moist and gooey and chocolaty and yummy!

  334. c. stone

    THIS is one awesome cake, for sure. For three days I researched “dutched” cocoa (yes, I’m a novice baker). It was daunting – I couldn’t find a BRAND! So finally, off I went to the Whole Foods and the Fresh Market in search of “dutched” cocoa. Found some at the FM – some crazy off-brand. If anyone has brand names to share, list them. My cake turned out rich and dark and beautiful with powdered sugar on top. I’m kinda proud! GREAT RECIPE … thanks!

  335. dancing gal

    Oh my, it was soooo good!!! I usually use Van Houten cocoa, which is Dutch-processed (most cocoas are in France) and I’m always pleased with the tasty results and the dark, rich color of my myffins/cookies/etc. But this time I wanted it to be extra special, so Valrhona it was! Dusted with powdered sugar, served with lightly whipped cream, not excessively sweet but with an amazingly rich chocolate flavour, it was an ultimate pleasure to the eyes and taste buds. We absolutely loved it, I think it won’t be long before I’ll be asked to make it again ;)

    Once again, thanks for the recipe and for the assistance :)


  336. Mak

    I had no buttermilk, so added about three tablespoons of Fage Greek yogurt to a cup of whole milk. I didn’t have quite enough Valrhona cocoa, so topped it up with non-Dutched Hersheys cocoa. I replaced the brown sugar with turbinado.
    I’m glad I read you comment about the batter appearing uneven, because it was a rather ugly soup until I added the dry ingredients.
    I think its a nice simple cake, which I will definitely make again. Next time I’ll try adding more yogurt, and take it out of the oven 5-10 minutes earlier so that it is a bit more moist.

  337. James Cheng

    I made a double batch into cupcakes. They turned out great! Each cupcake tin was filled with about 50g of batter. Baked for 21-22 minutes. The double batch made 39 cupcakes.

    They’re still cooling, so I haven’t tasted them yet, but they smell great!

  338. Kim

    Christened our new range with this today…cake in the oven and homemade beer on the top….used whole milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar instead of buttermilk and green and blacks cocoa…..soo good…just a bit of a chew to the crust and so moist….my husband wants this for his birthday cake next september but will make many more in the interim i’m sure :)

  339. sl

    AAAAHHH, this is the BEST chocolate cake, actually the best cake all in all I have EVER made, and do I bake a lot!
    Its moist, soft, not chewey, delicate in flavor everything you want in a cake, Im not sure if its the buttermilk or the few eggs it has but it is soooo good.
    I am seriously thinking of adopting this recipe as a base to all my cakes, adjusting that is the amount of liquids accordingly after removing the cocoa.
    thanks soooooo muuuch!!!

  340. lori

    abha (#549), since this recipe only calls for 1 egg, you can easily skip it. instead, just add 1 Tablespoon of water with the other liquids, the buttermilk and vanilla. i don’t bake with eggs, so i substitute all the time.
    you should definitely buy Energ egg replacer. it is a tapioca and potato starch mix. you can buy it online or at natural food stores. i use it for recipes that call for more than 1 egg.

  341. I just had to make this the moment I set eyes on it! I used normal milk because it’s not easy to find buttermilk where I am and the cake turned out good, but not as moist as how it looks like in your pictures. But the flavour was awesome and I just got buttermilk to try again. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  342. I made this exactly as described with the addition of a bit of raspberry liquor to the berries and loved it. I am anxious to try with Greek yogurt to see if the flavor and texture is as great, with a few less calories though.

  343. Dev

    This recipe worked out perfectly for me. I used Dutch-processed cocoa and the adjusted recipe and I got a perfect little dome. It was very chocolate-y without being overly sweet. It inspired me to perhaps make my son’s birthday cake next year!

  344. Leslie

    Made this last night and its AMAZING. Could not find buttermilk at the super market so I substituted Half-n-Half and used dutch process cocoa. Also made in a bunt-pan because I don’t own a loaf pan. Baked 40 minutes, checked with toothpick, wasn’t ready so baked 8 more minutes. Pretty sure I’ll be making this whenever I’m craving chocolate from here on out.

  345. OMGG!!! This cake is came out AMAZING!!!! :) I loved it!!!
    All I need is some strawberries now to go with it. Or I’m going to use the blueberries I have now with it. I’m definitely gonna try and vegan-ize this cake and see if it still comes out as good!!

  346. heather

    in light of the fact that i just read an article about the efficacy of desserts at breakfast as a diet tool, i think i have just discovered my favorite breakfast. mmmm, yummy.

  347. Amanda

    First time I made this I didn’t use dutch processed cocoa and it fell and was a little too dense. Made it again tonight with the good stuff and it is PERFECT. Great color, good height, fluffy texture. And I’m at high altitude – making everything stupidly difficult.

    I made a half-batch and split it between two ceramic ramekins. In one of them, I poured about 1/2 C. of salted caramel sauce in the ramekin before the cake batter. I can’t wait to break into that one tomorrow night! I wasn’t sure if the caramel would make a molten cake, so I figured I’d just try this way.

    Thanks for another failproof recipe!

  348. Lindsay

    Hi there,

    I am very excited to try this recipe. However, do you think I can use a smaller pan (8.5×4.5 loaf pan)? Also, if I bake it in the toaster oven would I have to adjust the temperature at all?



    1. deb

      Hi Lindsay — I think it will be just fine. You don’t change baking temps for smaller pans, you just need to check for doneness sooner.

  349. Rama

    Nice cake, took it to work and everyone liked it. I am making another one today but . AAARGH! forgot to flour the pan, :( hope it still works.

  350. Leilu14

    @CiCi Veganizing this recipe definitely works! I used a stick of Earth Balance “butter” silken& tofu for an egg substitute. I also used turbinado sugar in place of granulated sugar and they came out great. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Deb, thanks for sharing!

  351. Aubrie

    I made this and used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, that’s the only thing close to dutched that I can find where I live. I used the leavening in the recipe for the dutched cocoa but the cake fell and sank in the middle. Still tasted delicious but I want it to also look delicious! How do I fix the leavening for the 50/50 dutched/natural?

  352. simple & delicious. the batter was so light and fluffy, the finished cake was delightful!
    i had to do some modifications but was very happy with the results
    ~didn’t have any cocoa = melted a bar of 74% dark choc
    ~didn’t have buttermilk = used a cup of milk minus a tbsp BUT plus a tbsp of lemon juiceThank you once again for another fantastic recipe :)

  353. Keeley

    I decided last minute to make this at 9 tonight, and it was super easy to make. The hardest part is resisting the urge to take it out of the oven before it’s done! I will definitely be making this to fulfill my sweet tooth! :)

  354. I used natural cocoa powder and 1/2 t. baking powder instead of soda (due to not entirely concentrating while reading, I’m sure), and it turned out WONDERFULLY! Makes me wonder how it would have been with soda. I will have to try next time. I topped it with the mascarpone cream from the Red Wine chocolate cake recipe, and strawberries from my garden, wild blueberries and wild strawberries from the woods next door. Amazing!

  355. Adrianne

    I’m looking for a chocolate cake that I can make a day ahead – will this one keep well overnight? Or should I maybe just try to rearrange my schedule…?

  356. Ginga

    I love this cake! It’s really easy to make, has a beautiful dense and moist texture and a delicious bittersweet, rich chocolate flavour. I used double-dutch dark cocoa that I got as part of a Joy the Baker gift and it turned out so well. I’ll definitely make it again.

  357. Karin

    I’ve made this a few times using Trader Joe’s non-Dutched (is that a word) cocoa and baking according to Deb’s suggestions. It comes out awesome. I baked two yesterday side-by-side and found that a smaller loaf pan yielded a better result (no falling). I also sliced it into three layers and packed in a mascarpone, whipped cream, sugar filling to make our everyday a little more special. Deb, you are the best.

  358. Jennifer

    I made this today with KAF’s black cocoa, and the cakes look great! I doubled the recipe because I have lots of people to feed, and it made two very generous loaves. They smell so great right now and the little bits that clung to the pans are wonderful. I’m just waiting for the cakes to cool to ‘test’ them before taking them to share.

    Thanks for this recipe!

  359. Marcia

    Oh, shame on me. I should have realized during the last few years of living at 7,000′ feet that in baking weights are more important than volume. Everything is so DRY up here.
    But I felt so good after making your unbelievably delicious triple berry bundt cake(thanks so much for that recipe!) this summer, that I blithely thought all would be well.
    NOT. I made this beauty last night and it turned out to be the heaviest, least appetizing (but amazingly aromatic) loaf cake ever. Proverbial hockey pucks could not be more dense.
    So, Deb, do you think it was the weight vs volume issue? That’s the only thing I can come up with. I’m a fairly experienced cook/baker and yet this altitude situation has me flummoxed.

    1. deb

      Marcia — No, I think it was the altitude. The sad thing is, I am absolutely no help in adjusting for altitude. I’ve never baked at anything but sea level! But I know it will really count the higher up you get. If you Google around, you’ll find a lot of websites with high-altitude baking tips. I’ve also seen some in the front pages of Joy of Cooking. All will help. Sorry it was not more of a success. It’s worth trying again!

  360. Marcia

    Thanks, Deb. Makes me feel a little better. I will do as you suggest, and I do know that it’s much trickier at this high altitude. Back to “Joy” and google! And I will try it again. Can’t wait for your book and I hope you enjoy your tour.

  361. Hi Deb! Just wondering, I thought that baking soda doesn’t really expire? I wonder if the sinking when you first made the cake was due to over-leavening in the recipe rather than ‘off’ leavening – Shirley Corriher would say that 1 tsp of baking soda is over-leavening for 1 1/2 cups of flour haha! :)

    1. deb

      Hi Henry — It can. If you’re in doubt, no reason not to replace yours (boxes are like $2, right?). Shirley Corriher is right, but I do find that her math works better for layer cakes. For cakes with more depth (bundts, loaves), a little more is needed.

  362. CJ

    I made this last night exactly as written. It was SO GOOD omg. I was startled at first that the top was completely flat (I mean it rose fine, but completely evenly, so the surface was appropriately high, but not domed the way, like, a banana bread would have been.) But then I realized that this means that I could glaze it. Not that it needs glaze — it doesn’t need anything, it’s perfect. But I COULD.

  363. laurie

    Oh my, this cake is heavenly! I doubled and baked in a bundt pan. It only needed a sprinkle of powdered sugar to dress it up, and now it’s a perfect size for a dinner party. (It took a little more than 50 minutes to bake.) Added a handful of Callebaut semi sweet choc chips, too. So so good!
    I used 0% Greek yogurt thinned with milk to equal 8 oz. as a sub for buttermilk. Also added some instant espresso to that mixture. Deep, dark, rich flavor.

  364. Sri

    I made this cake yesterday for my mom’s birthday and boy, was it good! Added 2 tbsp of strong coffee to the batter, and used 1/2 cup yoghurt and 1/2 cup milk instead of the buttermilk. Also for the topping, I made a simple berry sauce using frozen berries and some sugar, strained it after the berries had cooked down, and whipped some cream up. Thankyou Deb for an increadible recipe!

  365. Nicole

    Just made this and it was excellent! I used just normal cocoa powder- no dutch and was out of buttermilk so used keifer. I also split into two loaves as I didn’t want to wait as long as it took to cook! Added 1 cup of chocolate chips as well and it was done int 35 minutes.

  366. upali madana

    it was excellent,and just so good . delicious triple berry bundt thanks very much darling.yours ever lover…………………..hi.

  367. Karen M

    I can’t imagine anybody will read this far down in the comments, but I wanted to say that This cake was an resounding success, even though I only used about 1/3 dutch cocoa (I ran out and subbed Hershey’s cocoa powder for the rest) and used the 1 tsp. soda/ half tsp. baking powder combo. I also only had powdered buttermilk on hand (which i highly recommend, as it never spoils!). I combined the buttermilk powder with the dry ingredients, adding water to the creamed butter, sugar and egg. It looked like a clotted gross mess for a few seconds, but once I added the dry ingredients, it came together into a beautiful, glossy batter. Oh, yeah and I “over-mixed” (because i like to live on the edge). I it at medium speed about 30 seconds. The cake did not fall in the oven. It came out moist, springy. And delicious. My family loved it, especially my three year old son, who proclaimed it “amazing!” High praise, indeed.

  368. This was disappointingly dry and relatively flavorless, sadly. It goes down as the only recipe from Deb in which I’ve ever been disappointed (which, despite following the recipe exactly — with the exclusion of adding a bit of espresso powder — makes me think it’s something I did?). There are too many other fabulous Smitten options to bother with making this again.

  369. Hi, Deb! I used Dutch process — bought some fresh just for this recipe — but did, against my better judgement, use regular milk that I soured. I’ve never done that before (unlike seemingly everyone else I always have buttermilk on hand) but had only about 1/4 cup to use for this recipe so created my own faux buttermilk. Was that my problem? BTW, I can’t stop raving about the new cookbook. I NEVER buy cookbooks and had to buy this one. It rocks.

  370. Scarlett

    Deb, I heard you talking about this cake on WNYC yesterday (you were great, btw) and had to try it! Tasted delish but sunk a lot, and it took forever to be done–almost 1 1/2 hrs. I used natural cocoa and 1/2 tsp baking soda. This is making me think my oven temp is off. Could that be the cause? I did notice a few commenters who had the same problem, even after you adjusted your recipe, but I didn’t see responses to them. Just want to say also that I’m a long-time devotee and love your blog. Thanks so much!

  371. Grace

    This is a very good chocolate cake without having to melt chocolate! I tried the recipe using a very strong Dutch processed cocoa powder from Cocoa Berry. After adding the buttermilk, it looked a bit too dry compaired to the picture above, so I increased the amount of buttermilk to 1-1/4 cups. The problem I had though is that the cake was still wet in the middle after 70 minutes of baking, and I ended up baking it for 80 minutes and I find that the outside of the cake was too dry. My oven temperature is perfect; so it might just be how different some cocoa powder works. The cake was rising fine for me.
    The second time, I adjusted the recipe a bit – basically I increased all the ingredients to 1.3 times, used 2 eggs, and baked it in a bundt pan. It was not as dry as the first time since the cake was done in 60 minutes, but I might try to add one more tablespoon of butter next time to see how it goes.

    1. deb

      Hi Grace — If the outside ends up overcooked before the center is cooked through, you might benefit from baking it at 25 degrees less in your oven. (Are you perchance using a glass or darker colored pan? For these, the same recommendation can be helpful.)

  372. Melissa

    This cake made me feel like I’m not a failure at cake-making. I actually didn’t overcook it. Because I used an 8×8, I only set the timer for 50 minutes. That was a little too short, because my spaghetti tester came out wet. Another 9 minutes did it. Also, because I didn’t have dutch process cocoa, but only Equal Exchange baking cocoa, I was afraid it would look like your less chocolatey picture and I wanted more chocolate! So I added some melted chocolate (3 squares of ghiradelli). I was happy with the results. I did think it could be improved though, but it was definitely more than an every day cake. I don’t know if it was because I tampered with it, but I felt like it was missing something…sweetness maybe? a shot of espresso? vanilla? more butter? I wasn’t sure. Maybe my problem is I’m comparing it to a bakery cake, which seems much sweeter. I was also eyeing your (or Mr. Lebovitz’s) chocolate yogurt snack cakes, but I didn’t know if I could easily convert those into a loaf pan. ?? I suppose those are also less chocolatey than this cake, so I probably settled on the right one. You have a lovely collection of recipes on this site.

  373. AH

    I wonder if you might consider adding a review section to your site. The reason is that so many of your readers probably try the recipes and, I’m betting, that the input they share would be a great resource for your readers (and maybe you too).

  374. Tegan

    Thank you! This saved me on Monday from a terrible case on the Monday blues! And wow this recipe is wonderful, best chocolate cake I’ve ever made :)

  375. Carla MF

    I tried this today & it was delicious! & very easy to put together even suffering from the flu as i am currently. I used 1/2 cup dutch processed & slightly over 1/4 cup natural cocoa, oil & forgot to cream the sugar but it was great nonetheless. Excited to try many more recipes.

  376. Tina

    Oh wow! I tried it and it worked so beautifully and is so delicious and my kids love it! I only had natural cacao powder, so I used only soda (as suggested) and got the most juicy but still fluffy and chocolatey cake I ever dreamed of. Thank you!

  377. Madeline Kruger

    This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve been obsessed with this one recipe of chocolate cake for my whole life, but I’m going to have to change things around and try this one. I’m allergic to raspberries, but I am sure it would taste just as good with some strawberries or blueberries. Thanks for outlining the steps so clearly, I’ll be sure to tell you how amazing it tastes when I’m done drooling over it!

    Thanks again!

    Madeline Kruger, Tulane University

  378. Katie C.

    I made this last night and we devoured half of it while it was still warm. Very good. I just had Hershey’s cocoa powder. I’m not sure what kind it is so I just followed the recipe as written. No problems.

  379. Rachael K

    While searching through the comments for tips on using red wine in the cake/loaf I noticed commenter #543 used commenter #532’s words as their own in order to promote their website. I think that’s lame.

  380. It’s true… if you use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, it TASTES LIKE AN OREO. Oh God, and with vanilla bean ice cream? Stop it. Just stop it.

    I think mine was a tad overdone (STILL DELICIOUS – who doesn’t love chewy corners?!). I’ll do it for 55 minutes next time.

  381. Kris

    This cake really is a perfect everyday cake…I was craving chocolate last night and decided to give it a try. It’s crumbly but still really moist, and is such a nice simple dessert with a cup of tea. I used Dutch-process (a very good quality brand – it makes such a difference!) and the recipe worked great.

  382. Natasha

    Made this tonight!
    I used 1 3/4 C Sprouted Spelt Flour, 1/2 C honey to replace all sugar, browned butter, 1/2 C raw cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp almond extract and replaced buttermilk with raw soured milk…pre-bake, topped with coarse Celtic Sea Salt and handful of uber dark chocolate chips~ cus that is just how I do things… EXCELLENT!

  383. therufs

    A question that I /think/ nobody has asked yet …. how do you survive keeping your oven on for over an hour when it’s a zillion degrees out?? ^_^;;;;

  384. Camille

    Needed a great dessert that came together quickly (and with as little mess as possible!) to take to my brother’s for dinner tonight. Going through my trusted binder of recipes I saw this and remembered the sheer bliss it was the first time I made it, so I decided it was time for round two. I went to my fridge and found that I had no buttermilk and no milk, either (gasp!). I whipped it together with some greek yogurt and it turned out great, just thought I would mention it in case anyone else ever finds themselves in such a terrible situation.

  385. Deniz

    I just baked this and the loaf completely fell apart. It just became a heap of crumbles. Next time I am going to try it with more eggs to bind it together.

  386. Ces

    I baked this cake and the top came out cracked, but the taste was lovely. I suspect I reduced too much sugar (100grams) which caused the dryness of the cake. I did not have buttermilk so just used plain milk. I will definitely try baking this again, just have to stock up on valhorna cocoa powder :).

  387. Emily

    This is delicious. Dense, moist and extremely flavorful. I paired it with fresh raspberries and whipped cream and my family adored it. You never fail to amaze me with these delicious recipes.

  388. Vicky Lynn

    I try to have some sort of dessert every night and am always on the lookout for a yummy, quick recipe for weeknights. I’ve had this in my “gonna give it a try” pile for quite a while and finally made it last night. Mine was not quite as lovely looking as yours. I’d read the recipe thoroughly last week but didn’t last night and overlooked the note about natural cocoa powder. I also didn’t have any buttermilk and subbed whole milk. And probably didn’t cream the butter and sugars as long as I should have. It had all the hallmarks of failure with my errors, but surprisingly the end result was a large 9×5 brownie. It wasn’t what I was going for, but was well received and had great flavor. Really, the world could do with more 9×5 brownies. I look forward to a do-over with the right ingredients and attention span. Thanks for the great recipe.

  389. Trina Mendita

    I baked this bad boy last night and it was heavenly. Dark, fragrant, sweet and moist. I baked Nigella’s Dense Chocolate Loaf and Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake and I must say, this the best version of chocolate loaf I’ve tried. Thank you for this recipe. Even my husband told me that this is the best chocolate cake I’ve made. And to think that the loaf sank a little bit in the middle because I misread the amount of baking soda–I put 1/2 tsp instead of 1/4–, my husband devoured 2 slices after the loaf cooled down, nonetheless. Thank you Deb. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes. (I hope your book reaches the Philippines as well, I’ll definitely get one.)

  390. angela

    I am totally new to cake baking and I just added the buttermilk before the egg and the wet ingredients were very very lumpy. Sadness. The cake is in the oven now, but will it be ruined? I’m never going to watch a murder mystery and mix cake batter at the same time ever again…

  391. angela

    Hi Deb! You are absolutely right :) The cake turned out a treat and was immediately scoffed down by my boyfriend and his friends! I was so sure that it wouldn’t recover from the curdling. Thanks so much. Now I can continue to watch murder mysteries and bake at the same time with impunity!

  392. angela

    Incidentally, if I wanted to make the cake less sweet, could I reduce the amount of plain white sugar? If so, by how much? Thanks!

  393. Just found and baked this tonight! I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9 x 9 cake pan and it turned out amazingly moist and dense! Thanks so much for sharing this. I didn’t have any Dutch process to used the natural cocoa and it ended up as dark as your Dutch picture. I’ve been looking for this recipe for a while now. So glad I found it!

  394. LeslieAnn

    This cake was an absolute winner!! It couldn’t have been easier to make or more successful (even the next day). I used the bittersweet half natural, half alkaline (Dutch) process cocoa. One recipe was perfect in my standard 9 x 5 loaf pan. Thanks!

  395. Stefanie

    Smelled so great and looked gorgeous, beautiful rich color- but when we cut into it, YUCK! it’s so dry- I will try it again by adding another egg, as others have suggested, adding to the liquid content, and by changing my sweetener- but only doing it because i have this fine cocoa to use! This cake gave me nightmares it was so dry.

  396. AG

    Deb, I’m thinking of using this and halving your yellow cake recipe to make a marble cake… think it’ll work? (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE figure out the perfect marble cake recipe… it’s my husband’s FAVORITE and I have yet to find the perfect recipe… I have complete faith that you will be able to!!! :-) And I’ll report back either way…

    Thanks for your fabulous blog and your generosity with responding to your readers! Oh, and Happy New Year!

    1. deb

      AG — Happy New Year to you too! That might work, but here’s how I’d do it: I’d make this batter up to the dry ingredients, then divide it into two bowls. Then, I’d divide the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt between two other bowls evenly. Into one, I’d add 1/3 cup cocoa. Into the other, an additional 1/3 cup flour. Mix one set of dry ingredients into one wet batter, the other into the other, creating a half-chocolate, half-non-chocolate batter. Then, marble them together.

      For some reason, I’ve never been able to get into marble cakes. They’re pretty but it bugs me that they taste like neither chocolate nor vanilla. I like a clear flavor of each in a bite, and it always tastes muddled. I know, I know, I’m no fun at all.

  397. Firepoi

    I made this cake for my Valentines last night and boy did it smell wonderful throughout the house while baking. This cake has great flavor but it really misses the mark on texture and it is just too dry. Something that looks and taste so good should be rich and moist. I was saved somewhat served with ice cream or even with milk but my husband said he can’t eat it, it’s just too dry.

    1. deb

      Firepoi — Can you tell me more about the ingredients you used (i.e. kind of cocoa); maybe I can help troubleshoot. We always find it to be terrifically moist and soft so it sounds like something went wrong. It’s even better on the second day, after being stored at room temperature.

  398. Amanda

    I don’t know if anyone else has posted about this, but a vanilla version of this cake is awesome. I was making the chocolate for my son’s third birthday, not really thinking about the fact that a single loaf was NOT going to be enough for 20ish people (doh!). So when that realization sunk in, I decided to just make two. The butter and sugar were already creaming when I realized that I did not, in fact, have another full container of cocoa powder in my pantry. Might as well try it without, right? All I did was add a tiny splash of extra vanilla extract, and several people at the party (including myself) thought it was actually better than the chocolate! (The chocolate was good, don’t get me wrong, but the vanilla just had that little something something). Only downside was the color, looked more like banana bread.

    Also, I found on the chocolate cake that 1 hour was probably too much time in my oven…it wasn’t dry, but it was right on the edge. I took the vanilla cake out a little sooner and it did have a better texture. In case that helps Firepoi.

  399. Jens

    I made an adaption of this, well, made 6 servings. Can never have too much Chocolate Cake! It did fine on time, but then I never really use timers – I use a knife or similar to check and decide.. I was incredibly moist :). I can only recommend it as a base for any type of chocolate cake. Made for a large 9″ cake pan version :D!

    Added chopped chocolate to recipe (half a cup coarsely chopped). Instead of vanilla sugar/concentrate I use vanilla pod/stick which I heated with the vanilla seeds and buttermilk for 5 min while stirring at medium heat added syrup to this to get it to cool as I was out of brown sugar.

    Lemon cream cheese frosting spread in-between layers, sides and top to make up for the otherwise heavy chocolate taste (I’m no chocolate lover, but my family is :)!). Use some heavy/double cream that you stiffen in the cream cheese frosting to make it more even more sinful :).

  400. Alexis

    I have “Saco premium cocoa” which says its a blend of natural and dutched cocoas. What baking soda and baking powder ratios do I use with that? I tried reading through the comments, but I think I confused myself more!

  401. Alexis

    Well I just googled Saco Cocoa and now I want to throw it in the trash. I’m going to see if I can find some 100% Dutch cocoa tomorrow, but if I have no luck and I’m stuck with Saco- will the cake be awful?

  402. I love love this chocolate cake recipe! Soft, moist, and oh so easy. I recently adapted it adding in some whole grains, and making it dairy free. It was delicious as is, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cake that doesn’t break the bank calorically. Either way, though, thanks so much for introducing the world to a chocolate cake that is totally approachable for a weekday!

  403. kcsnedah

    The last time my roommate made a (different) chocolate cake, it raised over the cake pan and went all over the oven. I had to run the cleaning cycle TWICE in order to get it all out. The part left in the pan sunk so bad it was a flat disc, but it was tasty at least. She got so mad at her recipe (what cake recipe calls for a full CUP of coffee?!) and I told her repeatedly I have this no fail one that we had all the ingredients for! No melting chocolate, no making fake coffee, no explosions!

    For some damn reason she’s REFUSED to try it. I don’t know why, because Deb, this cake is magic. I made it in February in two 9″ rounds, filled with blackberry preserves and topped with cream cheese frosting for a birthday. I’ve made it a few times for dinner parties as written. I’ve even made the luscious red wine version and I have NEVER had issues.

    I made it tonight for my boyfriend’s birthday tomorrow and even though I didn’t have enough dutched cocoa and had to use 2/3 regular cocoa, dropped the powder to 1/2 tsp and left the soda at 1/2 tsp. I used 3-6″ rounds and had no idea how long they would take and I didn’t even divide the batter evenly!

    Guess what? PERFECTION! It’s not as dark as written with full dutch cocoa, but that’s ok because I’m going to be frosting it with buttercream. But it didn’t fall, it didn’t raise over the edges, it’s moist and tasty (crumbs!) and I have a 3rd thin layer to share with folks. Maybe NOW my roommate will relent???

  404. Song

    Making this tonight. Used whole plain yogurt instead of buttermilk, since I lacked the latter. Had to increase the amount of it since it wasn’t as watery as the buttermilk. Probably used 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 yogurt. We shall see, but how wrong can you go with all those ingredients.

    I have fresh cherries and blueberries to serve with it. The perfect, still cold, Spring cake.

    Thanks Deb!

  405. JR

    This cake is easy and cooked up just perfectly. I used a decorative loaf pan with lovely results. Used natural cocoa. I’ll try the Dutched when I can get some. It disappeared, so my family must have liked it too.

  406. Marcia

    Your new cake looks.nIce, but I love, love, love this one in the summer with whipped cream, or ice cream and berries. My sons are starting to roll in tomorrow, and they eat like wolves..if I doubled this and put it in a Bundt pan??? Think it would work ?