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Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1-3 8" cake layers 1x


This chocolate cake recipe is tender and moist, but still sturdy enough to create beautiful layers or decadent cupcakes. A one bowl recipe, it’s also incredibly easy to make!



For 1 8″ or 2 6″ cakes:

  • 3/4 cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (20g) dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp. (5 g) salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. (4 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract



For 2 8″ or 4 6″ cakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (40g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (6 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) baking soda 
  • 1 tsp. (9 g) salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (8 g) cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

For 3 8″ cakes:

  • 2 1/4 cup (270 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (60g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. (9 g) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (14 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (12 g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees f, then grease two 8” cake tins and sprinkle them with cocoa powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the wet ingredients together and mix on low until well combine. Sift in the dry ingredients, then stir on medium low for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure that all of the ingredients are being mixed together.

Divide the cake batter between the two cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when you tap it very gently. Alternately, you can insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean or with only one or two crumbs on it.

Remove the baked cakes from the oven and allow them to sit in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto cooling racks. Allow them to cool completely before leveling or decorating.


  • To ensure that your cake will come out without leaving any chunks behind in the pan, I recommend spraying it well with baking spray, then sprinkling with cocoa powder. Tap and turn the pan around to spread the cocoa powder and cover all of the surface.

  • Using cocoa powder rather than flour to dust the pan helps keep the cake crust looking dark and chocolatey. Flour works also, but it may leave a lighter “film” around the edges of the cakes.

  • This cake gets a really, really good rise. So don’t be worried if the batter seems too shallow in the pan—it’ll puff up into cake layers at least an inch thick

  • Let the cake cool completely before handling and leveling it. It is fairly delicate when warm, and you don’t want it falling apart on you.

  • These cake layers will freeze like a dream! Wrap each one well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two week.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe, Layer Cake