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HERSHEY'S Deep Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

HERSHEY'S Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

Recipe Rating


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  • 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.) Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING. Makes 12 servings.
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
  • -- Decrease sugar to 1-3/4 cups
  • -- Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
  • -- Decrease baking powder to 1-1/4 teaspoons
  • -- Decrease baking soda to 1-1/4 teaspoons
  • -- Increase milk to 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • -- Bake at 375°F, 30 to 35 minutes for both pan sizes

Ratings & Reviews

    Super easy and turns out perfect every time I make this. It is a must try!
    My husband has used this recipe for years. I inherited it from him when we got married 15 years ago and he still asks me to make it for him. Always moist and rich!
    I make this cake nearly every year for my son's birthday, he's 22 now and still requests it when I ask "what kind of cake do you want for your birthday." I don't think I'm a very good cook but this cake is a no fail cake and I'm proud that he asks me to make it for him.
    This cake is pretty much the gold standard for chocolate cake. as far as I'm concerned. It's even delicious without frosting.
    Just made this cake - It was incredibly easy! It tastes amazing and the one bowl frosting is light and fluffy! No canned icing here. I would make this cake and frosting again for any occasion... Or Just Because! :)
    made the deep dark chocolate cake/ perfect chocolate the other day in 13 x 9 x 2 pan with the frosting. it's still moist and delicious and will make it again soon but, use the high altitude adjustment - will do a classid chocolate layer cake! thank you, the baker nchef!
    This is my favorite cho. cake recipe. It's great per the recipe Although I have also added hot coffee for the water, a dash of cinnamon, nmini chips, pecans, cocoanut, make it what ever is around and if I feel like adding something to it. One time I made 22 mini bunt pan cakes of this recipe. Drizzled chocolate ganache along the top, added a chocolate dipped strawberry to the top with a dab of freshly made whipped cream. It was enjoyed by each dinner guest. Great reciepe that I share with many people.
    LOVED this cake! It was a hit!!!
    Delicious and easy! I used a half dark and half regular cocoa combo and it was great. Dark, moist, devil's food-like cake with a rich chocolate flavor. Not too sweet-great balance. An easy go-to recipe...why would anyone ever use boxed cake mix?? Frosting is easy and delicious too. Don't hesitate-make it, you'll love it!
    This is THE BEST chocolate cake ever! The boiling water is the key. My grandmother gave me a Hershey's cookbook with this recipe in it for Christmas 20 years ago. That makes it special! I double the icing recipe AND double that cocoa. The powdered sugar is reduced by that extra cocoa amount. ...then there is a little bit of icing to store in the fridge for that quick chocolate fix! Everyone requests my chocolate cake for gatherings...must be good!
    I use coffee instead of boiling water, and modify it a couple of other ways, as well. This receipe is so versatile I can use it for ANY occaision. I fill it with fruit preserves or jams (raspberry/orange marmalaide), or peanut butter and cream cheese and frost it with whipped cream. Or even a dusting of powdered sugar when it's in a bundt pan. PERFECT chocolate cake is my name for it.
    We loved this cake! The best Dark Chocolate cake I have ever had. I couldn't stop eating it! Used the "Special Dark" Cocoa
    Wonderfully moist chocolate cake! I use peanut butter icing and it's a huge hit!! Requested often!
    My family loves this recipe.
    I took it into work for a co-worker's birthday, and everyone said it was their new favorite cake! I believe you can never have too much chocolate so I made the round to layer cake and added mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in the frosting between the layers. It was amazing!
    This is a deep dark chocolate cake and I prefer Hershey's Fudge Frosting made with Special Dark Cocoa!
    I have been making this recipe for over 20 years. It is hands down the best cake ever. I never use any other chocolate cake recipe but this one. It never fails, is moist and delectable with the best fudge taste in the world. What mix can say the same? And in my opinion it is just as easy to make as a mix.
    This is the best chocolate cake. I cut the oil to 2Tbs & add 3/4 cup of light sour cream ( only to lighten the fat grms & keep moist)
    This is my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe and everyone loves it's moist chocolatey flavor...
    This recipe was easy and fast to make. Oh! But best of all the results were amazing. What a tasty caked! The frosting was so good --- you didn't even need the cake.
    Forget about ever buying another box of chocolate cake mix! This is the best I've ever tried.
    This cake reminds me so much of the great chocolate cakes that would be served after church on Sundays, yum! The cake is SUPER MOIST! Don't change anything and follow the recipe! I used the dutch-processed cocoa powder for both the cake and the icing. I also used organic cane sugar and sifted the dry ingredients. Be sure your butter and eggs are room temperature -- it really does make a difference. I also used organic whole milk and organic salted butter. This will be a keeper to pass down within my family!
    I have made this cake for years. It's rich moist and very chocolately!!! What a wonderful dessert