easy, homemade chocolate cake recipe and the best chocolate frosting ever!

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The best homemade chocolate cake! And easy, basic recipe!

My husband’s (Nate to those who know him. or you.) favorite, favorite, favorite cake is my homemade chocolate cake. And being that it’s his birthday today it seems only right to make him my chocolate cake. This is the best chocolate cake recipe. In the history of best. And chocolate. And cake. This is a simple cake to make and the homemade frosting and cake combo is the best it gets. Really, truly, pinky swear!

(We get a lot of questions about the cake stand.  Unfortunately, we can’t point you to where to buy this exact one.  If the color is what you like, though, you might like this square distressed one on Amazon.)

I’m not a pro-baker by any means. I am a believer in good, fast, and consistent. Make it, eat it, enjoy it…move on. This homemade chocolate cake recipe may not make it in the world of cake gurus. But, it WILL make it in the world of those you love. They will adore you. Bow at your feet adore! And, that’s what it’s really about, anyway.

Why is this cake called Desert Island Chocolate Cake? Well, because if you could only have 1 thing to bring with you to a Desert Island…this would be it.

Nope, I would bring my phone to call for help from the desert island. But, Nate would bring this cake to the desert island, not me-his wife? The cake rates higher (although, if he brought me I think I would kill him for taking me with him to his death) . Golly, I sound jealous of a cake.

Desert Island Homemade Chocolate Cake: a NellieBellie recipe. a chocolate cake recipe from scratch

This cake is not sweet. It is a perfect match for the sweet, smooth frosting. This specific cake and frosting combo is what works. Maybe it’s the “from scratch” part that makes it? Cake and frosting. Chocolate and smooth. They just go together. the end.

chocolate cake

Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe
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  1. 3/4 cup soft butter
  2. 3 eggs at room temperature
  3. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup cocoa
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 cup sugar
  9. 2 tsp vanilla
  10. 1 1/2 cup milk
  1. grease bottom of pan (I use 2 round pans or 1 9 by 13). preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter for 30 seconds or so. slowly add sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time beating after each one. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients beating after each addition.
  5. Add 1/2 of the milk, beat. Then add the other 1/2. Beat just until everything is combined nicely.
  6. Spread batter evenly into pans.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes for round pans, 5 min longer or so for the 9 by 13 pan. Watch it though! a knife coming out clean from the center means it is done.
  1. One of our readers has let us know that, when making cupcakes with this recipe, 375 degrees for 17 minutes is perfect. (Thanks, Dina!)
NellieBellie http://www.nelliebellie.com/
THE FROSTING: Click here for the video tutorial.


  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. beat ingredients until smooth.

NOTE: this frosting is my go-to all the time frosting recipe.

If you like this homemade chocolate cake recipe, but want something simpler, you might like our chocolate cupcakes with mallow filling.  Super easy and super delicious.  Katie’s chocolate chip cookies are also super good.  Oohh.. hot chocolate, too.  Okay, done now.  No more chocolatey goodness.

Made this cake today for my boyfriend and my son. No special occasion, just wanted to make it! It is wonderful, and that is coming from a girl who isn’t really a cake eater! I make it, but don’t really like eating it. But this cake is delicious!

 This cake is incredible. I made it this weekend for my sons birthday and everyone agreed this was the best cake chocolate cake they had tasted. I did use buttermilk in place of the milk but that was my only change. I will make this cake again and again and again!! Thank you!!

Excellent delish made this for my husband thank you so much for the recipe

Made this cake for my 12 year anniversary. Turned out delicious. I prefer homemade cakes to box mixes ever since I tried them 2 years ago and this one is a definite keeper. It is my new go-to for a chocolate cake. I used a different frosting, thought it would be chocolate overload, but was very happy with the richness and density of the cake. Thanks for a great recipe!

More great cake recipes:

Best white cake
Best carrot cake
Butternut Cake (Naturally-sweetened)
Better-than-sex cake
Angel food Cake
Butter Cake
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cake (Gluten-Free)

Other chocolate recipes to try:

chocolate chip cookies
microwave fudge
Peppermint chocolate covered pretzels
hot chocolate

Other oldies that are goodies:

butternut cake
molasses cookies

Have you made our homemade chocolate cake yet?  What did you think?



  1. Pam says

    My Mother has been making this frosting/icing since I was a little girl. I am now 50 years old. It’s the only recipe I use. Leave out cocoa & add vanilla for a white buttercream frosting.

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