I’m not stretching the truth when I say that this is the best chocolate cake you’ve probably ever had in your life. Sure, it may not be enrobed in a layer of fancy ganache, or umpteen pencil-thin layers. This is a cake your grandmother would have made. I entered it in my local fair last year, and it took 1st prize. For this small town, that is a whole lot of prestige, people.

The cake is dark and super moist – yet, very light and airy. The secret is the hot cup of coffee in the batter. And then, there’s the frosting. Oh, the frosting. Rich and chocolaty with a hint of coffee from a touch of instant espresso powder. Isn’t it funny how adding a bit of coffee can really help to boost the different notes in chocolate? Love it! It’s an easy cake to make too. Bakes beautifully, and the frosting is very easy to spread and work with. My favorite cake, hands down. I’m confident it will continue to be a favorite for many years to come!


  1. Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    This looks like the perfect chocolate cake…the coffee is a great addition and brings out the chocolate flavor so well. Will have to try this out!

  2. Beth
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    This is absolutely the most decadent and chocolaty cake around.

  3. Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    That looks so decadent and delicious.

  4. Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    This is my favorite recipe for a chocolate cake, too! It always turns out. Sooo yummy. I want to make one right now. 🙂

  5. Connie
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Boy, does this ever sound like it will take care of my chocolate cravings! Will definitely try this!

  6. Meryl
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    I agree – this is a great cake, but what annoys me is that it’s a direct rip-off of Hershey’s Black Magic Cake, which I’ve been making for many years:

    • Laura
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

      Wow, I know Ina got busted a couple of years back for claiming one of Martha’s recipes as her own. Never the less, it’s where I found this glorious recipe. To whoever came up with it, I bow down!

  7. Jo
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it. Is this cake firm enough for a fondant covering? Thank you!

    • Laura
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

      Jo, I think it’s a little bit too delicate of a texture for fondant. Would probably cave under the weight! Can’t say for certain though, as I’ve never tried. Let me know if you do!

  8. Jeannine
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    It’s on the back of the Hershey’s Baking Cocoa container. Have made it for years and it’s the only chocolate cake I make and have not had anyone eat it who hasn’t loved it! (Recently made it for my youngest Daughter’s 24th birthday and her boyfriend said, “I want a pillow made of this cake!” 🙂

    • Laura
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

      Ina mentions in the recipe that she got the recipe from an old friend who’s father was a milkman, he’d deliver the recipe with the milk to garner more sales. Hershey’s now lists “Perfectly Chocolate Cake” on their boxes, which uses 1 cup of milk vs. the 1 cup of coffee. I like using dutch process cocoa powder, which is a finer mill than Hershey’s, and I think lends alot to the cakes final texture. Not that there’s anything wrong with Hershey’s! Love them.

  9. Sharon
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Oh, who cares where it’s from originally, recipes go round and round on the internet. As long as such great recipes end up on my screen, I’m happy 🙂 Thanks for posting this Laura, I will definitely try this one out!

  10. Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    I’ve heard so many things about this cake, I guess it’s time to make it! Looks great!

  11. Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    You’ve got to trust a cake that’s been first place. Looks awesome!

  12. Posted May 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    This looks very good… I have a favourite chocolate cake recipe I always fall back on, but I’m going to give yours a go… love the idea of buttermilk in it.

  13. Justin
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Awesome Cake! Just made, as 24 cupcakes, and turned out great. Will be my go to chocolate recipe from here on out.

  14. Posted May 17, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    This cake looks incredible! I am going to the store right now to grab some buttermilk and get to baking! Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Oh this looks wonderful

  16. Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    I really love this photo!

  17. Posted July 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    The cake looks lovely. I’ve made this recipe into cupcakes many times, but they always come out very flat. I tried to increase the baking powder, to no avail. Have you experienced this, if making cupcakes? Also, were you concerned with using raw egg yolks in the buttercream?

    • Laura
      Posted August 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

      I haven’t tried them as cupcakes, so I’m no help there. Sorry! As for the egg yolks – we don’t have any pregnant women or elderly folks in the house at the moment, so it wasn’t a concern for me. You can probably just leave it out, maybe add a splash of milk in it’s place?

  18. Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    OMG that cake looks delicious!!!

  19. Samantha
    Posted December 13, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    I recommend subbing the 1/2 c vegetable oil for butter. Butter gives the cake an even more richness and a little more density and with the coffee, OMG it’s heaven!

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