Basic Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

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I have four daughters and one son, so it can’t come as any surprise that chocolate is almost one of our food groups in our house. With all the estrogen, we crave chocolate often. We looked and looked and tried and tried recipe after recipe trying to find one that we could use as a simple basic dark chocolate cake recipe.

If you’re looking for something that you can kind of make your own, this recipe is it. Add berries, whipped cream, crushed nuts or powdered sugar. Decorate with fondant, sprinkles, frosting or simply just make the cake and eat it as is. It’s basic. But it’s delicious!

This is just a basic dark chocolate cake recipe we’ve adapted from the the original Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe. Only a couple of changes but those changes have made this cake very versatile which was my end goal. Do you have a Basic Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe you use as your go-to? Or do you simply just keep trying them all to find the one you love the bet? This is our favorite, and I have a feeling once you’ve made it, you’ll see it’s the perfect Basic Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Basic Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe
5 from 5 votes


  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 ¾ c. cake flour
  • ¾ c. dark cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. applesauce
  • 1 ½ tsp. almond extract we also sometimes use rum extract or other flavors - its very mild
  • 1 c. boiling water


  • Heat your oven to 350°F. I use a 13"x9" pan and greased it.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sugar, cake flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the eggs, milk, applesauce and almond extract; beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Next, stir in the boiling water. Pour the batter into your prepared pan..
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for an additional 10-20 minutes after pulling out.
  • You can serve warm.
  • Top with whipped cream and fresh berries or sauce.
  • So yummy! A nice quick treat.
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