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One Bowl Chocolate Cake
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4.46 from 22 votes

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

This rich, moist, weeknight-friendly chocolate cake is made with just one bowl. No mixer needed! The cake is great the day of baking, but even better a day or two later. It bakes in an 8x8 pan and is naturally egg-free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef


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 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)

Optional Topping:

  • 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 8x8 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.)


Make Ahead: The cake can be made up to three days ahead and stored (covered) in the fridge. It can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Vegan: For a vegan cake, be sure to use vegan chocolate chips or skip those.
Kitchen scale: If you have a kitchen scale, this is a great place to use it - just put the bowl on the scale and add the ingredients by weight (zero'ing the scale after each addition). You'll have almost no dishes to wash if you make the cake this way!
9x9 Pan: To bake the cake in a 9x9 pan, reduce bake time to 27 to 30 minutes. As always, check to be sure that the cake is set in the center before removing it from the oven. 
Layer Cake: For a layer cake, make a double batch of the cake and divide between three 8-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes.
Coffee sub: For an even more intense chocolate flavor, try using brewed coffee (cooled to room temperature) in place of the water. The finished cake doesn't taste like coffee, but the coffee really intensifies the chocolate flavor.