One Bowl Chocolate Cake (made from scratch!)

I LOVE chocolate cake . . . especially when it’s made from scratch!
However, I hate doing dishes.
And some cake recipes call for so many separate bowls for mixing different ingredients . . . why would I do all that extra work?!
Well, this recipe is here to save the day!
One bowl, dump in all the ingredients, mix together and you are done!
And it’s full of delicious chocolate goodness. 🙂
You are welcome.

Serves: 15

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (made from scratch!)

10 minPrep Time

33 minCook Time

43 minTotal Time

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles (completely optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix in the oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Once the eggs are fully incorporated, pour in the hot water and mix well (your batter will seem runny, but I promise that it will work out!).
  3. Grease a 9x13" baking pan and pour batter into pan. Bake for 33-38 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean- mine was done at 33 minutes). When the cake is completely cool, top with frosting and decorate with sprinkles (if so desired).



1053 cal


5 g


206 g


41 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

*Don’t have buttermilk? No worries! It’s simple to make your own!

how to make buttermilkTake one cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the milk. Stir it up and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Use immediately.

Recipe source: Taste of Home

Related Recipe: This Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake is so easy to make, and every bite is filled with cherry chocolate goodness. You will love how easy this cake is, to make, but you will love even more, how delicious it is.  Get the recipe HERE!

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88 Responses to “One Bowl Chocolate Cake (made from scratch!)”

  1. Ashlyn
    Just took my first bite, and oh yum! I made it with the frosting recipe as well and it's delicious! Just wondered how you store it? In the fridge or just set out and covered? Thanks for a super delicious, EASY, chocolate cake! I'm pregnant and have been craving this! :)
  2. I have made this cake a bunch of times with that wonderful frosting! It's my new "go-to" cake. I will be making one tonight for my son's birthday party, which is tomorrow night. I love it because it is large enough to serve 10 hunger 13 & 14 year olds!
  3. I made this today and we are very pleased with the taste! The only challenge I had was the middle of my 9x13 cake domed greatly! After 35 minutes, I took my cake tester, poked holes and the middle was still very liquid. I cooked it for about 5 more minutes, poked some more holes in it and cooked it for another 4 minutes. The outside edges are very cooked; middle is sunk in and gooey. Taste is great, looks are well, so-so. :)
  4. I think this cake is delish, moist, and easy to prepare! I baked in (2) 8in round pans for my son's birthday a few days ago. One cake took longer to bake than the other one--about 7 min longer. I made the night before so I just cooled and wrapped them separate and it turned out wonderful when I frosted the next night with that wonderful frosting recipe. I was very worried about that 1-cup of oil but because there is no butter I thought it made sense and I SO trust this blog and recipes you provide. It def worked out and my whole family loved it. I will bake this for two of my kids' birthday parties this weekend. thanks :)
  5. It's 6am Christmas Morning & I just pulled this cake out of the oven! My SIL's birthday is today & I don't like her to feel put aside on Christmas. :) I baked it in a ceramic 9x13 pan & it took almost 45 min until it tested done. I did switch out the oil for unsweetened applesauce. It smells good, lets hope it tastes good too!
  6. I made this cake for my hubby's birthday and paired it with this buttercream frosting recipe I found on Pinterest. The cake was spectacular. Not too sweet and it had a great chocolate flavor and perfect texture. I actually took a chance and used coconut milk with vinegar instead of buttermilk only because I had some leftover in the fridge and wanted to use it up. It turned out great!! Nothing against Mom's chocolate frosting but you should try it with this buttercream frosting it really was a great combo.
  7. I have a very similar recipe, that my mom made for us all the time. Ingredients are the same but only 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and she would put 2 tsp of instant coffee in with the hot water. Always a great cake recipe, and it doesn't need icing, just dust it with powered sugar.
  8. Jessica Stemmons
    I made the cake in two round pans. The fell in the middle. I made a different recipe a few weeks ago and it also fell. I've made lots of cakes and these two are my first to fall. Yours and the other had hot water in them don't know if that's why. Also I cooked them both at the same time on the same rake. Please help.
    • Camille
      Hi Jessica! I am so sorry that it fell! I honestly don't know what could have been the cause- the hot water might be an issue? I did find this online about why cakes fall- I hope it helps! Have a great night! Camille
  9. I made this cake yesterday. I always try recipes if I like the picture I see. In that picture the cake seem moist and soft. And THAT it is. It is just delicious, easy and fast. And the icing the same. Everybody loved it. This cake is just fabulicious. Thank you so much for this recipe. Greetings from Holland.
  10. Robin B.
    My 12 year old just made this cake for us this week. So yummy and easy! It was gone in a few days. We made it in a large lasagna pan and it was perfect, shortened the baking time just a bit. That frosting is so good! And the cake was moist and flavorful.
  11. Hopefully mine works out--I live at high altitude (7,600 feet!!) so I had to make adjustments. I know from experience that your recipes are bomb so when I saw you had a recipe for scratch cake I knew I could count on it, as long as I could get conversions right hahaha!
  12. This recipe is and has been my absolute favorite for over a year now! All our birthdays fall Dec-Feb so I have to find excuses to make it more often :) It is so moist and delicious! I do recommend the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa takes the richness to a whole new level!
  13. I just wanted to say that I've been making this cake for a couple of years now. It is so simple to make and turns out fabulously moist every single time. I made it today & had it in the oven in under five minutes! I've even made substitutions like using coconut oil & applesauce instead of the cooking oil, reducing the amount of sugar, & also halving the recipe & baking it in an 8x8 pan. Always great. I also adore your mom's chocolate frosting, but have made several different kinds to adorn this cake with great results every time (white chocolate peppermint frosting at Christmas time & peanut butter frosting were two that were exceptionally good). Thank you so much for a recipe that I'll continue to use for many years to come!
    • 1 stick margarine or butter (1/2 cup), softened 2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 tablespoons of cocoa 3 cups of powdered sugar For the frosting: Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or milk until you reach desired consistency and spread on top of cooled cake.
    What a GREAT CAKE. I made it this weekend all the way in Southern Africa Zimbabwe. Wow. I have baked before but this one boosted my confidence. Thank you for the recipe. It is for keeps. I did not ice it though my family started eating before the icing. It's also great without icing.
  15. Dorothy Eppich
    I think I followed the recipe exactly, except that I used two 9" cake pans. The middle on both cakes, did not rise. I did the toothpick test and they were done, but just didn't rise. Any suggestions? I am at 4150 feet altitude. Maybe that made a difference?
    • HI Dorothy. I did a little detective work to try and find answers for you and why your cake may have fallen. I'm so sorry they were cooked through and that the middle sank. That is always so frustrating. Here's a link you can check out.
    • Hi Kristina, You have totally made our day with your sweet comment! Thanks so much for stopping by our website and letting us know what you think. So glad to hear that you like the cake. And to not have a sink full of dirty dishes is a WIN!! Enjoy your cake and have a great week!
  16. Sherrell
    I’m head Chef at Pi Beta Phi Sorority house and this is the only chocolate cake recipe I use!!! Honestly the best chocolate cake ever!! My Senior girls have asked for the recipe to be put in their cookbook we give them every year for Graduation. I wish the frosting recipe was still linked in the recipe.
    • Hi Sherrell. We are absolutely flattered to hear that this is your go to cake recipe! This is the frosting recipe. Add more powdered sugar or milk to get the right frosting consistency. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup softened butter until creamy. Beat in 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup baking cocoa, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 3-4 tablespoons 2% milk to achieve desired consistency.
  17. We love this cake! It’s our favourite chocolate cake recipe. I’m having a hard time finding an equally delicious vanilla/white cake recipe. I wanted your thoughts if we omit the cocoa would it be white? My daughter wants a vanilla/white cake and I can’t find that is as good as this one. Suggestions? Thanks
    • Hi Angela. We have not made this one bowl chocolate cake as a vanilla cake. You may have to experiment omitting the cocoa. We do have some white cakes from scratch.
    • A chocolate buttercream frosting: frosting: 1/2 cup butter (softened) 2 Tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 3-4 Tablespoons of cocoa 3 cups powdered sugar Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or milk until you reach desired consistency and spread

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