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The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

This week, my dad had a birthday. Happy birthday, dad! I was trying to be a good daughter, so I wanted to make him his favorite cake (chocolate cake with vanilla frosting) for the festivities. In the past, I’ve grabbed a box cake mix and tub of frosting at the store and prepared the celebratory cake. This year, however, I decided to be an overachiever and make the cake and frosting from scratch. Because it was such a success, I wanted to share with you all. And seriously, you wont regret trying it out.


So, a while back, I wanted to find a 100%-made-from-scratch chocolate cake recipe.  I eventually found and decided to make this Good Housekeeping recipe titled, “The Best Chocolate Layer Cake You’ll Ever Make”. If I may be so bold, I’m changing this to The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need. Yeah, I said it.


One of the things that intrigued me when I first tried this recipe last year, was that it included buttermilk. I know that buttermilk is not uncommon in chocolate cake recipes, but I had never made one using it — boxed cake mixes aside.




Anyway, I knew I wanted to make this cake for my dad. I’ve made this before with fabulous results. It’s fudgy, rich, and chocolatey. And I feel like a total domestic pro while making it.20140522-182310-66190162.jpg

Because homemade chocolate cake is everything. Everything. 


A little side-note, this recipe is also fabulous for cupcakes or a 13×9″ cake. The original recipe includes a frosting recipe that is oh. so. tasty. But for this special birthday cake, I wanted to make something different. Also, the only this I really changed was the amount of vanilla and baking soda.


So I found two recipes for vanilla bean frosting and then combined them into heaven in a bowl. And I’ll be sharing that recipe soon.


But, back to the recipe at hand. My family loved this cake. I’ll probably be required to make it for all bdays now. Like that’s a bad thing. 



  • 2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 8-in. round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until blended. Increase speed to high and beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium-low, adding eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. With small knife, loosen layers from sides of pans; invert onto wire racks. Carefully remove and discard waxed paper; cool completely, about 45 minutes. If you like, wrap layers well and store at room temperature up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before frosting cake.




Soon I will be posting the most amazing vanilla bean frosting recipe for you little loves. I don’t want to give anything away too early, but let’s just say I definitely used a rubber spatula to get every last bit of frosting out of my mixing bowl. Stay tuned!


Update: Here’s a link to the Vanilla Bean Frosting post with the recipe. Let me know how you like it!


About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

5 responses »

  1. Gah this totally adds to my constant desire to eat cake!

  2. Pingback: Vanilla Bean Frosting | In Natalie's Shoes

  3. Pingback: Vanilla Bean Frosting | In Natalie's Shoes

  4. Pingback: Super Easy Oven Roasted Chicken | In Natalie's Shoes

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