The Best Ever Chocolate Cake for Cake Decorating

Best Ever Chocolate Cake for cCake Decorating

I’ve been teasing you with this recipe for a while on <Facebook>, and it’s finally here.

This is my own recipe I came up with after never finding a chocolate cake I really loved, either eating or working with.  I’ve always disliked using baking soda in recipes, and while I like the moistness of chocolate cakes made with oil, I prefer the flavour of them with butter.  After years I still hadn’t found “The One”, until now.

Let me tell you a bit about this:

It makes a good sized cake – baking in 8″ tins ends up with a decent, tall cake which is a great size for decorating – about 5-6″ tall depending on what you layer it with.

Baking in a 6″ tin ends up with an extra tall cake, which is perfect if you like the look of super tall cakes double barrel cakes.

It stays tasting fresh for days – infact, just this week I had a spare layer that I accidently left uncovered in the microwave for two nights, and it still tasted perfect.

I use <Wilton Bake Even Strips> and the layers come out perfectly flat.  Absolutely no waste, no cracks, no peaks or dips.  I believe it will still be fairly flat without but I haven’t tried it recently.  It certainly won’t need any peak cutting off, it may just not be as tall on the edges depending on your cake pan.

No – it doesn’t make good cupcakes.  The thing about cakes and cupcakes is that you want different things from them.  For cake decorating you want nice even layers, for cupcakes you want a rounded dome.  I have adapted this for cupcakes and will post that recipe soon.

Line the base and sides of your tin.  I know it can be a hassle but you get a good result, and with such a moist cake you don’t want the risk of sticking.

This is a basic layer cake recipe, great for use with buttercream cakes or under fondant.  I am just posting the cake recipe on it’s own and I hope that you can take it and use it for your own creations!  It’s up to you what you want to fill and cover with, this is a great, well tested and trustworthy base for you to put your own stamp on.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake for Cake Decorating
1 cup cocoa
1 cup boiling water

250g softened butter
1/2 cup oil (any type is fine, I usually use canola)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk

1. Combine cocoa and boiling water in a bowl, whisk until smooth.  This activates your cocoa for a better flavour!  Set aside to cool.

2.  Beat together butter, oil, sugar and vanilla until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.

3.  Add flour and baking powder to your bowl, then add in milk as you mix to combine.  Adding the milk as you mix helps prevent lumps.

4.  Add the cocoa mix to your cake batter and mix until combined.

Line an 8″ pan with baking paper, then add 3 cups of cake batter to your tin.  Bake for 30-35mins at 180C, until a knife comes out clean.

I bake this in three layers, one after another – if you have three pans you can do it all at once!   Another benefit to lining the base and sides of your pan is that you can remove the layer while it’s still warm without it cracking, then get the next layer in to save time.

The mix is basically exactly 9 cups, so by measuring your batter you end up with even layers which is great for presentation.  If you want 4 layers, use 2 1/4 cups per layer.  I wouldn’t recommend baking it all at once unless you are using a wider, flatter shaped cake pan (like the <Wilton Novelty Pans>).  For an extra tall 6 inch round cake, I did 6 layers of 1 1/2 cups.


Let me know if you have any questions, or give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Best Ever Chocolate Cake in 8" size, 3 layers
Best Ever Chocolate Cake in 8″ size, 3 layers


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16 thoughts on “The Best Ever Chocolate Cake for Cake Decorating

  1. Wunny

    Hello what is your recommendation for number of layers for a 10 inch cake?

    1. Cake Warehouse

      I’d do 4 layers probably – if you still wanted it to be a taller cake I’d do 1.5x the recipe

  2. rachel thompson

    I made this yesterday for a birthday cake to share at a playgroup. I did a whipped fudge filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. Everyone loved it. It was perfect. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Cake Warehouse

      Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks it’s a great recipe!

      1. Rachel Thompson

        I made this again recently for the bottom tier of a wedding cake. For the top tier I made a caramel mud cake and filled it with your whipped salted caramel filling, the top was drizzled in the unwhipped salted caramel sauce. Everyone LOVED it. Thank you! Is there any way to post pics on here?

        1. Cake Warehouse

          Hi, I don’t think there’s a way to post pictures in comments, but if you’re on Facebook post it on the page ,I’d love to see!

          1. Sandra

            Wow this cake was so yum light and fluffy perfect for a 21st cake yesterday will be my new favourite thanks

  3. […] goes perfectly with my Best Ever Chocolate Cake, and I recently used the two together to make a pinky bar flavoured […]

  4. […] is the little sister to the Best Ever Chocolate Cake – a cake I’ve been told by quite a few people really lives up to its name.  This […]

  5. Shal

    I’d love to try this recipe is the wilton 8in layer cake pan (just bought from your website too!). Will the recipe make too much batter for that tin or will it be enough?

    1. Cake Warehouse

      It will make too much. I know the 6″ layer pan takes 1 cup per tin, so I would say the 8″ would be 1.5-2cups of batter to each pan. This recipe makes about 9 cups of batter so there will be a little left over.

  6. Tracy James

    Am going to make this cake and love the photo of the decorated cake using this recipe. Am wondering what colour did you use for the crumb coating please?

    1. Cake Warehouse

      Sorry Tracy, I’m just finding comments I wasn’t notified of! If you mean the colour of the decorated cake at the end, it’s got no added colour – just taken it’s colour from the caramel I added to the buttercream

  7. Sophie C

    I need to make a big cake for my son’s birthday cake to take to daycare. A tall cake isn’t really that great for little hands, and would be a pain for the teachers to cut up. I was thinking of making this in my big roasting oven dish (I have a banana cake that I make it in and it works fine) I was wanting to check if it would be ok to cook it like this? If so what temp and how long would you suggest? Thanks

    1. Cake Warehouse

      Definitely! Bake at 170C, couldn’t give you an exact time but I’d guess 30-40mins (just keep an eye on it!)

      1. Sophie

        Thanks so much :)

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