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Easy Chocolate Cake – moist and not too sweet!

This is the easiest Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe ever! The cake is soft, moist, and not too sweet. No elaborate decorations, no complicated frosting. Perfect for impromptu gatherings, surprise date nights at home, and birthdays.

easy moist chocolate cake slice

Hello! It has been a while and I’m so glad to be back after a much-needed break.

I feel refreshed, excited yet anxious at the same time. Still trying to slowly get back to doing my usual rhythm of things. The goal is to finish all my backlog before this month-end. Whew!

First on the list is, of course, our recipe for today that I am so excited to share with all of you.

I made this for Christmas and everyone loved it including the husband who is not usually a fan of cakes.

Hearing words such “can I have another slice?” was music to my ears.

Why I love this chocolate cake recipe

I actually often call this my Emergency Chocolate cake because it’s simple and easy to make.

  • It’s a sheet cake or a single-layer cake – this means I don’t have to spend time stacking and frosting multiple layers of cake.
  • Not overly sweet – the amount of sugar I used in this recipe perfectly balances the bitterness of the cocoa powder. It almost tastes like a bar of dark chocolate. But not too dark.
  • Ganache frosting – my favorite chocolate frosting ever! The name may sound fancy but I find that it’s the easiest and simplest frosting to make. You will only need two ingredients to make it–cream and semi-sweet chocolates. That is it!
  • No fancy-schmancy elaborate decoration – once the cake has cooled, pour and spread the ganache frosting on top it’s done! You can also decorate with icing sugar (chevron style or swirl) but that’s is totally optional!
  • Ready-to-serve – I baked this cake using a glass baking dish which looks a bit more elegant than a regular tin pan. So once the cake is done, cooled and frosted, it’s ready-to-serve! No need to transfer to another serving dish.

What you need + secret ingredient

There are no fancy ingredients in this chocolate cake recipe. It doesn’t even have butter! All you need are flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, oil, milk, water, and leavening agents. That’s it!

For the cocoa powder, I recommend using unsweetened natural cocoa powder. My favorite is Hershey’s.

And now for the secret ingredient. Ready? It is…….bread flour! Yes, just a small amount of it combined with all-purpose flour does wonder to the overall texture of the cake–soft, moist yet fluffy. Almost like a donut cake. Yum! yum!

How to make the ganache frosting

There are two ways to make a ganache. Both are easy methods so choose whatever works for you.

Ganache in microwave

In a microwave-safe bowl, add dark chocolate chips and whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH for 40 seconds.  Whisk together. Microwave for another 20 seconds more if needed. Whisk until smooth, creamy, and in pourable consistency.

Stove-top ganache using a makeshift double boiler

  1. Place chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate bars in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small pot over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil). Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to soften the chocolate. Stir with a metal spoon until smooth.

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate cake–tips!

  • For a smoother workflow, gather all the ingredients and tools (bowls, measuring cups and spoons, whisk, spatula and baking dish) before starting. This not only saves time but also ensures that you have everything you need.
  • Have all the ingredients at room temperature including the milk and eggs.
  • I recommend making two single-layer cakes rather than just one for shorter baking time. Note that the thicker the batter, the longer baking time. If you’re using two racks, switch the trays after 28 minutes so the cakes bake evenly.
  • Make it into cupcakes – This recipe will make about 20 regular size cupcakes. Bake at 350f /180 c for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • If using a bundt pan, grease with oil or melted butter. The baking time will be about 50-55 minutes. Cool before inverting into a rack or serving dish.
  • Make-ahead tip: After the cake has cooled, wrapped tightly with a freezer-safe plastic wrap then place in a container. Freeze for up to 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 1 week without frosting.
  • Shelf-life with frosting is 3 to 4 days. Store in an airtight container to keep it moist and fresh.

More dessert recipes for you to try!

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Easy Chocolate Cake – moist and not too sweet!

This is the easiest Chocolate Cake recipe ever! The cake is soft, moist, and not too sweet. It has no elaborate decorations, no complicated frosting. Perfect for impromptu gatherings, surprise date nights at home, and birthdays.
Print Pin
Servings: 12 -16
Author: Mella
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fine white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Simple Ganache Frosting

Icing Sugar for decorating (optional)

  • 6 tbsp icing sugar (/powdered sugar/confectioners sugar)
  • 2 tsp water

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven at 350f/180c. Grease two 7"x10" baking dish with oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients except for sugar. Whisk until well combined and lumps are removed.
  • In another bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk, and oil. Stir until well combined. Add to dry ingredients, beat until just combined. Pour boiling water then stir to incorporate. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour batter into baking pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden thin stick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes before frosting.

Icing Sugar

  • In a small cup, whisk together the icing sugar and water until smooth, thick and just almost pourable. Pour in a small zip bag or pastry bag. Set aside.

Frosting

  • Place chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate bars in a heat-proof bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a small pot over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil). Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to soften the chocolate. Stir with a metal spoon until smooth.
  • Divide evenly into two portions then spread on top of each of the cake using a spatula.
  • Snip the tip off the zip bag. Immediately, before the ganache sets, pipe parallel lines about 1 inch apart on the entire cake, stopping just short of the edge. Lightly drag the skewer through the ganache perpendicular to the white lines also 1 inch apart, alternating directions (first left to right, then right to left, and so on) and covering the whole cake. Allow the ganache and icing to set. Cut into serving pieces and serve.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Sugar can be adjusted up to 1 1/4 cup. Taste the batter before adding more.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips can be substituted with dark plain chocolate bars. Chop them into fine pieces before pouring the hot cream.
  • Have all the ingredients at room temperature including the milk and eggs.
  • I recommend making two single-layer cakes using this recipe rather than just one for a shorter baking time. Note that the thicker the batter, the longer baking time. If you’re using two racks, switch the trays after 28 minutes so both cakes bake evenly.
  • MAKE THE GANACHE IN A MICROWAVE - In a microwave-safe bowl, add dark chocolate chips and whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH for 40 seconds.  Whisk together. Microwave for another 20 seconds more if needed. Whisk until smooth, creamy, and in pourable consistency.
  • MAKE IT INTO CUPCAKES – This recipe will make about 20 regular size cupcakes. Bake at 350f /180 c for 18 to 22 minutes.
  • If using a bundt pan, grease with oil or melted butter. The baking time will be about 50-55 minutes. Cool before inverting into a rack or serving dish.
  • Make-ahead tip: After the cake has cooled, wrapped tightly with a freezer-safe plastic wrap then place in a container. Freeze for up to 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 1 week without frosting.
  • Shelf-life with frosting is 3 to 4 days. Store in an airtight container to keep it moist and fresh.
Course : Dessert
Keyword : chocolate sheet cake recipe, dark chocolate cake, milk chocolate cake
Nutrition Facts
Easy Chocolate Cake – moist and not too sweet!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 412 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 440mg19%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 299IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @rivertenkitchen and hashtag it #rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

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*Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate cake.

 

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    One lazy Sat afternoon, i was craving for something comforting when I remembered this cake that you posted on insta. It is not fussy to make yet it came out superb. Couple of days later I was looking for leftover but the husband has got to it first even the day before! 🤣

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