Easy Chocolate Cake
Published Apr 21, 2022•Updated Mar 24, 2023
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The best (and easiest) chocolate cake recipe! Made in one bowl, no mixer needed, and baked in an 8×8 pan.
If you’ve been following this site for some time, you know that my favorite type of recipes are quick, easy, and weeknight friendly. And this chocolate cake is IT. Whether you’re an experienced baker or not, you will love this easy chocolate cake.
What makes this chocolate cake so easy?
This chocolate cake recipe uses just one bowl and the cake is naturally dairy-free. No milk, eggs, or butter needed. You can mix it all by hand and it bakes in under 30 minutes.
What is a Depression Chocolate Cake?
This style of cake is known as a Depression Chocolate Cake because it doesn’t use milk, butter, or eggs – ingredients that were expensive and difficult to find during the Great Depression. However, the resulting cake doesn’t taste like any sacrifice has been made – it is rich, moist, and incredibly delicious.
This is my go-to cake recipe. It’s easy, delicious, and endlessly adaptable for different occasions! – AB
This Chocolate Cake is perfect for:
- Taking to friends with a new baby, new house, or who just need a little love
- Baking with kids
- Late-night chocolate cravings
- St. Patrick’s Day (try this Guinness version with an Irish twist)
- Tuesday nights
Chocolate Cake without Eggs
One of the surprising perks of this recipe is that it doesn’t require eggs! It is naturally egg-free and naturally vegan. But whether you came here looking for an egg-free / vegan cake or not, you’ll love this cake. It is tender and full of chocolate flavor.
This was amazing! First time baking without eggs! Me and my family loved it.
- Flour – All-Purpose Flour is the best bet here. I’ve also tested with White Whole Wheat flour with great results. (I’d guess that a gluten-free blend / sub would also work really well in this simple recipe, though I haven’t tried it.)
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Look for natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa powder labeled Dutch-process. Regular Hershey’s Cocoa Powder is my go-to, but I also make this recipe with Hershey’s Special Dark and the results are great.
- Vegetable Oil – I keep vegetable oil on-hand for baking, but any other neutral oil would work.
- Mini Chocolate Chips – These are optional, but add a great bonus chocolate element. Mini chocolate chips work best – they bake evenly into the cake and you get a little in each bite. Standard-sized chocolate chips would work too, but will be more pronounced in the final product.
- Sugar, Pure Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Salt – Standard baking ingredients.
How to make chocolate cake
- Prepare a baking pan. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray. You can line it with parchment paper to make the cake easy to remove.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. until the cake pulls away from the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool completely.
- Just before serving, add frosting (optional).
- Slice and serve!
Best Toppings for Chocolate Cake
All chocolate cake really needs is a dusting of powdered sugar, but it’s also great with any of these
Store frosted or unfrosted chocolate cake in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If the cake is not frosted it can also be stored at room temperature, but with this chocolate cake recipe, I prefer the fudgy texture it gets in the fridge. 😉
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Allow a baked cake to cool completely at room temperature. Wrap or cover it well and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours. Frost just before serving.
I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it would work. Just keep a close eye on it as it bakes because the cook time may vary. Or just use my favorite recipe for the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake.
This recipe works great as a batch of cupcakes. Divide the cake batter between the spaces in a muffin tin. Update the baking time to between 13 and 17 minutes.
Yes! It’s naturally vegan. Just be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips if you choose to add some to the recipe.
Yes! Bake multiple recipes in separate cake pans and let cool completely before completing the frosted cake.
More 8×8 Cake Recipes
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Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan
One Bowl Chocolate Cake:
- 1 1/4 cup (150 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (200 g) Sugar, granulated
- 3/4 cup (60 g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (not Dutch-process cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)
- A dusting of powdered sugar (this is really all it needs!)
- Chocolate Frosting
- Whipped cream and chocolate shavings
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add oil, water, and vanilla extract all at once and stir just until everything is combined and no dry spots remain.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
- Bake until the cake is set in the middle, 27 to 30 minutes. (Note: In a thicker pan made of glass or ceramic, the cake may take up to an extra 5 minutes to cook all the way through.)
- Allow cake to cool completely. Once cool, top however you'd like (I like a simple dusting of powdered sugar or this chocolate frosting).
- Slice and serve! (This makes 9 generous slices or 12-16 smaller slices.)
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.