This Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe with frosting is an old-fashioned classic American dessert that will never, ever disappoint. Simple and simply the best.
☞ READ DAVID’S ARTICLE: Forever and Completely, in which he explains that few things in life are truly forever and completely, save for his adoration for this chocolate cake and his partner of umpteen years. We consider your comments about this article, found beneath the recipe below, to be a testament to how intermingled food and love are for all of us.
Hershey's Chocolate Cake Redux
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 55 M
- Serves 10 to 12
Crank your oven to 350°F (180°C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, tapping out any excess flour.
Plop the eggs into the well and pour in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Using a handheld electric mixer (c’mon, surely you still have one of those, too?!), beat the ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in the boiling water. The batter will appear alarmingly thin but fear not, that’s the way it should be. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly.
Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, turn the cakes right side up, and let them cool completely.
Place a single cake layer on a platter or cake stand and spread a goodly amount of frosting on top. Place the second cake layer on the first and frost the sides and top, creating as few or as many lavish swoops and swirls with the frosting as desired.
Cut the chocolate cake into gargantuan wedges—none of those diminutive slivers for us, thank you very much—and serve.
Tower of Chocolate Cake Variation
For a more elegant take on this cake, make a double batch of frosting, slice each layer in half horizontally, fill, and frost. You’ll end up with a towering cake with four layers. Pull out the linen napkins.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This really is the best chocolate cake! I’ve made lots of cakes, and this chocolate cake is absolutely the best.
I tend to prefer using butter in baking; however, I make an exception with this cake, which calls for oil. Yes, the batter is thin, but that’s okay. And the frosting comes together beautifully, complements the cake, spreads easily, and isn’t overpowering.
The first time I made this cake, I brought it to a small dinner gathering. After everyone had their cake, the room went silent, given that everyone was blissfully sated.
If I’d been wearing pearls, it would’ve been a Donna Reed moment, maybe June Cleaver. Imagine mixing all of the ingredients with a hand mixer before dinner, whipping up some frosting after dinner, and serving up the most delicious chocolate layer cake shortly thereafter...nothing complicated, nothing fancy, just a cake that screams perfection.
Wooden spoons and hand mixers get perfect use here. Just make sure your bowls are deep enough so that the flour doesn’t go flying; same for the confectioners' sugar in the frosting. Too bad there are only two of us, and one of us watches our weight! No gargantuan pieces here, but small slivers with a cold glass of milk (skim is fine as a beverage but use whole for the cake!). I actually prefer the cake as cold as the milk—I tested that out this morning before my husband took the rest of the cake to work. He will be making new friends today.
It’s a perfect cake for a celebration or just because you love chocolate. The espresso powder adds a nice undertone and cuts the chocolate just a bit.