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homemade chocolate birthday cake

Best Ever Homemade Chocolate Cake

Homemade Chocolate Birthday Cake is indulgent and moist, made from scratch and ready in under 45 minutes! 
Course Dessert
Keyword birthday, buttermilk, cake, chocolate, coffee, easy recipe, moist
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Author Jenna Shaughnessy


  • 2 cups sugar 400 grams
  • 1 ¾ cups pastry flour I use Bob's Red Mill (210 grams)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 64 grams
  • 2 tbsp extra dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk 240 mL
  • 1 cup strong black coffee, cooled I used Green Mountain's Dark Magic (240 mL)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 120 mL
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

For The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened (but not melted!)
  • 3 ½ cups cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk or heavy cream


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoas, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes. The resulting batter will be thin.
  • Pour batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on wire racks.
  • Frost as desired.

To Make The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • In a stand mix with the paddle attachment on, cream butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes. You may need to scrape down the sides once. Turn off the mixer.
  • Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
  • Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.


If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk/cream 1 tablespoon at a time.