Homemade chocolate cake from scratch is one of life's true pleasures. Baked with love, a scratch cake has a depth of flavor that is difficult to duplicate with a dry mix. This collection of chocolate cake recipes range from light and fluffy to dense and fudgy, but they do have one thing in common: they are all better baked with love.
Tips for a Moist, Tender Scratch Cake
- Follow the recipe. Use the ingredients, pan sizes, oven temp, etc., as outlined in the recipe, especially if you haven't made the recipe before.
- Start with everything at room temperature. That includes butter, shortening, eggs, flour, sugar: everything.
- Use cake flour.
- Measure everything correctly. Even if you are a pinch and throw cook (I am!), you need to be a meticulous measurer when it comes to baking cakes. Flour is probably the worst culprit when it comes to mis-measuring. When measuring flour, use a spoon level method, in which you spoon the flour from the container into the measuring cup, and then level it off. Do not dip the flour directly out of the bin with your measuring cup, as that can cause the flour to compact, and will dramatically throw off the measurement. (We actually weigh most ingredients now, instead of using a measuring cup. Doing so makes baking more accurate, and cuts down on dishes! A cup of all-purpose flour weighs 120 gm. )
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once you add the dry ingredients, do not mix the cake more than necessary or you may over-activate the gluten in the flour, which in turn will cause your cake to be too dense.
- Carefully prepare the cake pans before filling. No one wants to go through the trouble of making a delicious scratch cake, only to have it stick to the pan. For best results, grease the pan with shortening and then line it with parchment paper.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure even layers.
- Always preheat the oven. Cake is not one of those things you can just put in a cold oven and let it come up to temperature. Part of the magic happens because you are putting the relatively cold cake batter into the hot oven.
- Do not open the oven door to check until roughly 85% of the cooking time has passed. (So for a cake that bakes for an hour, do not check it until it has baked at least 50 minutes.)
Chocolate Cake Holidays (U.S.)
Throughout the year, there are dozens of Food Holidays dedicated to chocolate. These five are devoted to exclusively to chocolate cakes!
- January 27 - Chocolate Cake Day
- March 28 - National Black Forest Cake Day
- May 19 - National Devil's Food Cake Day
- June 11 - National German Chocolate Cake Day
- October 18 - National Chocolate Cupcake Day
Chocolate Cake Recipes from Scratch
Chocolate Wacky Cake is the easiest scratch cake you will ever make! (No eggs, no milk, no butter, no clean-up.) Made exclusively with pantry staples, this surprisingly moist, delicious snack cake mixes up in a jiffy, right in the pan! (Kid-friendly recipe!)
Supreme Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling
For serious chocolate lovers! This decadent chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling is just the thing to satisfy your chocolate cravings!
Double Chocolate Bundt Cake
Double chocolate bundt cake is the star of any dessert table. Moist, decadent, and not overly sweet, this bundt cake is infused with coffee and topped with delicious dark chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Almond Pound Cake
This chocolate cake has a moist, tender, dense, and almost chewy texture, with a full chocolate flavor balanced by an equally assertive almond flavor.
Chocolate Caramel & Pecan Bundt Cake
Busy families: Keep a box of chocolate cake mix, a box of instant chocolate pudding, a jar of your favorite caramel sauce, and pecans in your pantry. Then you’ll be ready the next time you need to make a quick dessert — and no one will know the difference!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cake
Chewy, dark chocolate brownie, smeared with fluffy peanut butter frosting and stacked, then topped with Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Champagne Brownie Cake
A moist and delicious cake-like brownie with the subtle flavor of champagne.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake
An ultra-moist gluten-free chocolate cake that's as simple as throwing sweet potatoes and a handful of other ingredients in the blender.
Chocolate Coca Cola Cake Recipe
A moist pillowy chocolate cake topped with a fudgy chocolate Coca Cola Frosting.
Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake
Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is cool, dark, moist, and decadent — keep a batch in the fridge at all times! It’s a copy cat version of the famous Sara Lee chocolate cake, and it’s utterly irresistible.
The Best Chocolate Mud Cake
You only need one chocolate mud cake recipe… and this is it! It really is the best chocolate mud cake recipe ever! Dense, rich and oh-so-delicious!
Strawberry Chocolate Cake
Light and seasonal, this chocolate cake is layered with a lightly sweetened whipped cream and a fresh strawberry reduction.
Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake
Perfect for any holiday or dinner party, this fudgy chocolate cake is chocolatey and rich, but not too rich and not too sweet.
Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake
This boozy bundt cake was rich, dense and chocolatey. You can easily serve smaller slices of it than most cakes, because it really packs a punch.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they do help keep this site up and running. As always, all opinions and images are my own. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Recipe Updated March 7, 2022 (Originally published January 27, 2015)
Melanie | Melanie Makes says
Thanks so much for including my cake in this amazing collection!
Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife says
Why oh why did I look at this post at midnight? Now I want -- no, now I NEED chocolate cake! Wonderful collection of recipes, Renee. Love the way you broke them down. I need cake now. Have I mentioned how much this post makes me yearn for just a sliver of a bite of any one of these cakes? YUM.
Renée ♥ says
So... what you're saying is that you would like to have some cake? Am I reading that correctly, Marlynn? 🙂
Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy says
So many great cakes here for Valentine's Day or any holiday. Chocolate is a favorite in our house. Thanks for including my Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake. I've been making it for a long time, and every time someone asks for the recipe. Next time I'm going to venture out and try something irresistible from this great roundup.
Lucy @ Bake Play Smile says
Wow there is just so much yumminess here I don't even know where to start!! Thanks for featuring my layer cake! xx
National Chocolate Cake Day. I mean, come on!!! Amazing!
Thanks so much for featuring my cake, Renée. Such a beautiful, diverse collection of chocolate cakes. Inspiring. Now I'm drooling too. 🙂
Renée ♥ says
Thanks so much! I was amazed at the diversity both of preparation and presentation when I started putting it together!
Boooooo now I am insanely craving moist dense chocolate cake. This post is way too appealing...
Okay I'm officially drooling! Who knew it was such a blessed holiday today 😉
I will definitely have to celebrate!
OK, I'll have a bite of each one. That should be enough!
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
Love this roundup, and especially your categories! Thanks for including my Bundt in the mix. Love this line, too: "as long as you can pick it up with a fork [or your fingers] and get it past your teeth," Made me laugh.
Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom says
What a decadent and devilish round-up for sure!! Pinned, tweeted, and shared on google 🙂
these are seriously making me drool! yum!
So many gorgeous cakes here! Making me hungry!
Wow. GreAt collection! And no, I can't pick a favorite. But I might be back next time I need to bake.
Katie @ Recipe for Perfection says
What a gorgeous roundup! Talk about sweet temptation! No guilt here, just happiness. 🙂 Thanks for including my Champagne Brownie Cake!
Renée ♥ says
Thanks so much for sharing it, Katie! I love your presentation - it looks so fancy!