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A slice of frosted chocolate cake topped with rainbow sprinkles on a white plate.

Moist Chocolate Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 20 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 46 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy homemade Chocolate Cake is ultra-moist and fluffy, topped with a silky chocolate cream cheese frosting. Decorate it any way that you’d like, it’s the ultimate chocolate cake recipe for any occasion!


For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup (40 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder  (optional)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 6 ounces (170g) full-fat cream cheese, cold
  • ½ cup (40 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 34 (390-520 g) powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the pan with coking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, followed by half of the coffee, and mix until the flour is just incorporated at a low speed. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and coffee. Beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 26-28 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 3-4  minutes until it’s softened.
  2. Then add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scrape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat until well combined,
  4. Next, add the confectionary sugar 2 cups at a time, followed by one tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, and beat for 60-90 seconds until completely smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and cream and beat until desired consistency, at least 2 minutes.
  5. Spread frosting over the cooled cake and then cover it with sprinkles.


  • Frosting consistency: the amount of powdered sugar you’ll want to use in the frosting will vary between 3-4 cups. Start with 3 cups and if you’d like a sweeter or thicker consistency, add an additional cup.

Ingredients & Substitutions 

  • Cocoa powder: I prefer to use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder for a nice rich flavor and color. Otherwise, a natural, unsweetened cocoa powder is the next best option. 
  • Coffee substitute: I recommend using milk. You should still heat the milk in the microwave for approximately 60 seconds. 
  • Sour Cream. Use plain or Greek yogurt.

Storing and Freezing:

  • Once frosted, this cake can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 3 days. Refrigerating the cake is suggested if you live in a hot or humid climate. In which case, use an airtight container and serve at room temperature for best results. 
  • To freeze an unfrosted cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap with an extra layer of foil. Store the cake frozen for up to 3 months, and defrost it in the fridge before letting it come to room temperature for frosting. 


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 606
  • Sugar: 70.1g
  • Sodium: 394.7mg
  • Fat: 25.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 92.1g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Protein: 6.5g
  • Cholesterol: 87.4mg