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Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe

Chocolate Birthday Cake

This classic devil's food recipe makes a moist, rich cake perfect for a chocolate-lover's birthday party. Our kid testers found the batter easy to mix and particularly enjoyed stacking and frosting the cake layers.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting


Heat the oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans and set them aside. In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, measure 1 1/2 cups water. Add the unsweetened chocolate squares to the water. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the cocoa and set the mixture aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for 1 minute; add the granulated and brown sugars and cream for another 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs individually, beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Chocolate Birthday Cake Step 3

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beginning with about a third of the flour, add the flour mixture and chocolate mixture alternately to the butter and sugar, stirring well after each addition.

Chocolate Birthday Cake Step 4

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Place the pans on the middle oven rack and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then place a cooling rack atop each pan and, holding the edges to the pan, flip the cake onto the rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Place one layer on a plate and spread the top with chocolate frosting. Place the second layer on top and then frost the top and sides of the cake.

For a finishing touch, decorate the top and bottom edges of the cake with a piped icing border. Serves 8 to 10.