Moist Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake is super moist and great for birthday cakes and cupcakes. It’s not very sweet, making it perfect for frostings (which are generally very sweet). If you like a sweeter cake, feel free to add more sugar. We also adapted the recipe just a little by adding in some instant coffee which will bring the chocolate flavor out more. You can leave this out if you want.

This is the second time we’ve made this cake, and it has been awesome every time! This time, we made this cake for the birthday of our friend, Wingel. We topped it with whipped ganache frosting AKA No-Heavy Cream “Mousse” (which is our recipe for ganache, whipped with a hand mixer while over an ice bath; see details in our post for No-Heavy-Cream Chocolate Ganache and Mousse). We decorated it with white chocolate decorations. The cake fed 16 people (though we’re pretty sure it would be fine for just a couple people too… if you know what we mean…)

This recipe is a Woodland Bakery recipe found on

This is their Best Moist Chocolate Cake recipe. They have a video showing you the process of making this cake on their website. Check it out!

Oven Temperature: 350˚F

Baking Time: 25-40 minutes

Makes: 1 8in/9in cake with 3 thinner layers or 2 thicker layers OR 24 regular sized cupcakes

This served 16 people though it could serve 20+


4 oz. (or 113g) Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate (any semi sweet chocolate bar will work; or you can use baking chocolate found in baking aisle, a popular brand is the Baker’s brand)

4 Tablespoons Unsweetened DUTCH PROCESS Cocoa Powder (this is not the same as regular unsweetened cocoa powder; if you can’t find dutch process cocoa, Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder will work)

1/2 cup hot water

12 Tablespoons or 3/4 cup softened butter (you can soften butter by putting it on the counter for an hour or so, or you can put it in the microwave for 10-25 seconds. Be careful not to melt the butter)

4 eggs at room temperature (you can bring eggs to room temp by putting them on the counter for a couple hours, or you can put them in a bowl of warm water for 10-20 minutes until the eggs are not cool to the touch)P1060849

2 egg yolks at room temperature (bring the eggs to room temp, then separate out the yolks)

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the chocolate and brings the cake to a new level)

1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease your cake pans or cupcake pans with baking spray.

In a large bowl, whip the eggs and the egg yolks on high speed with a mixer until foamy, and gradually start adding in your sugar very slowly. (If your mixer has a whisk attachment, use it for this recipe.)

P1060897The eggs will take about 5 minutes (if using a strong mixer like a Kitchenaid mixer; if you are using a hand mixer or other less heavy duty mixer, it will take about 8-15 minutes) to reach the ribbon stage.

The ribbon stage of the eggs and sugar mixture is when the eggs become a pale yellow color, get thicker, and make a ribbon effect when you run the mixture off a spatula or your mixer blade. The ribbon effect is when the mixture creates ribbons in the batter before disappearing back into the mixture. You can look at the video on The Woodland Bakery’s blog for more help if needed.

While the eggs are whipping, you can sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and milk and set aside.

P1060876Melt your chocolate (either in a microwave in 30 second increments or in double boiler on top of the stove).

In another medium sized bowl, add the cocoa powder to the hot water and whisk until smooth. This will have a muddy consistency. Next, add the melted chocolate.

P1060890Lastly, you will add your softened butter, vanilla extract, and instant coffee or espresso, and whisk until smooth. If your mixture doesn’t seem to be coming together, then your butter was probably not soft enough. You can fix this by heating up your mixture slightly for 20 seconds in the microwave or on top of a double boiler.

P1060900At this point your eggs should be ready, and you will add the entire melted chocolate/cocoa powder mixture to the whipped egg mixture, and whip until uniform, just about 30 seconds more (if you have a Kitchenaid. Other mixers may take slightly longer).

Next, begin alternating the dry ingredients with the liquid milk/yogurt mixture. You do this by putting a third of the dry mixture and mix until incorporated. Then, do the same with 1/2 of the liquid mixture. Then, do another third of the dry and mix. Then, the rest of the liquid. Finish with the rest of the dry mixture and mix until the the cake batter is smooth.

Make sure to stop to scrape the sides of your bowl from time to time.

Pour the batter into your greased 8″ or 9″ cake pans for a round cake, or your cupcake pan.

Bake at 350˚F for about 25-40 minutes (for the cake; for cupcakes, bake 15-20 minutes) until it is springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for 20-30 minutes and then completely cool the cakes on a wire rack.

Once cooled, the cakes are ready for decorating with frosting! Enjoy!


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