easy, homemade chocolate cake & 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 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. 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!

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 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

Desert Island Chocolate Cake



  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 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.




  • 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, 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.


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  1. Deb says

    The cake looks amazing and I would really want to try it. My father in law has birthday on Monday so I want to make it for him but I am really confused by the amounts of the products. Is it possible to give me the exact grams/ounces because honestly I have no idea how much a stick of butter weighs or how much 3/4 cup cocoa is. It is just easier for me to work with grams/ounces. Thanks in advance!

    • Liz says

      Liquid measurements:
      1 cup = 8 ounces
      1 tsp = 5 ml

      Dry ingredients
      1 cup = @ 250 grams (according to my kitchen scale)

      2 sticks of butter is 1/2 a pound or 226 grams

  2. Kim says

    I made this last week for a birthday party – tried it in a bundt pan and it turned out really well! Delicious, thanks!! Will definitely use this recipe again!

  3. A says

    Omg thank you for this yummy recipe! Also thanks for not understanding this insane trend of cake “pops” just like me. I think it’s gross to eat a bunch of cake crumbs people roll and smoosh into a ball with their hands…..wth…I just don’t get it.

  4. Anonymous says

    Sorry to bother you because a similar question was already asked, but how much is a stick of butter in cups?

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