My older son’s favorite food is chocolate. He will take it any way he can get it! Of course, when I started baking cakes, the first recipe I tried was a chocolate cake. As any chocoholic will tell you, it’s hard to go wrong with a basic chocolate cake. However, I quickly learned that as delicious as the cake may be, if it doesn’t stack well for a layer cake, it would be short-lived in my kitchen for two reasons.

First, the cake and I have to get along. If the cake isn’t going to do it’s job, one of us will have to go–and between me and the cake, I vote the cake. If you ask my son, however–he may have a different answer. Which brings us to my second reason–it would be quickly inhaled by anyone passing through the kitchen. My cake fiasco is no problem for everyone else!

I set off to find the best chocolate cake recipe that would satisfy my construction needs and my son’s chocolate needs. After trying a few candidates, I came up with this recipe and it is a keeper!

Chocolate Cake

This is the only chocolate cake recipe you will ever need!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 x 6" pans
Author Jess


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup hot coffee DO NOT OMIT! You won't be able to taste the coffee, I promise!
  • 1 cup milk any kind is fine, I keep 2% in my fridge so that's what I use
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Prepare 3 x 6" baking pans with baking spray or butter and flour.

  3. Sift dry ingredients.
  4. Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Scrape down the sides; add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 more minutes
  6. Bake for 45 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just 1 crumb.
  7. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.




Jess Fuller is the baker and blogger behind Llama in the Kitchen. She is an attorney with a passion for food, with a particular interest in cakes. She loves creating beautiful cakes that taste even better than they look, as well as food suitable for various health conditions and eating styles.

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