chocolate cake recipes

11 Best Chocolate Cake Recipes for Any Occasion

Dense, decadent and deliciously moist, a good chocolate cake is the perfect addition to any birthday, morning tea or shared lunch. It’s one of the most popular cake options and for a good reason! But, as this list will show you, there are so many ways to change up your favorite.

Here, you’ll find every chocolate cake recipe you could ever need. From one-bowl chocolate cakes that are ready in minutes to multi-layer cakes slathered with frosting, there are also some chocolate cake recipes with unique variations that might be better than the original ones.

1. Chocolate Fudge Cake

This chocolate cake recipe makes a beautiful three-layer cake frosted with thick, luscious buttercream. It uses dutch cocoa for a fuller chocolate flavor and a combination of butter and vegetable oil for a super moist cake. It’s a great base recipe to use for other creations and you can easily mix up the buttercream flavor. Try white chocolate, peanut butter or strawberry frosting for something a bit different. Try this recipe for a special occasion!

2. German Chocolate Cake

A German chocolate cake takes a super moist dark chocolate cake and stuffs it with a gooey toasted pecan and coconut filling. Then it’s topped off with chocolate buttercream, more toasted coconut and a sprinkle of pecans. The sides are left ‘naked’ to show the beautiful layers, making this an absolute show-stopper. This is definitely one to make when you want to impress a crowd.

3. Black Forest Cake

A black forest cake is a popular German version of chocolate cake, consisting of moist chocolate layers, vanilla cream and cherries. The star of this cake is the cherry syrup, made from cherry brandy and pitted cherries which is drizzled over the cakes to make them extra moist. The chocolate curls on top might look sophisticated, but they’re super easy and definitely worth the effort for the traditional finished look.

4. Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Buttercream

Not just for St Patrick’s Day, this easy yet decadent cake is a chocolatey, boozy treat at any time of the year. The Guinness gives the cake a deep, toasted flavor and almost-black color that makes it stand out from the crowd of regular chocolate cakes. Plus, the light and fluffy buttercream is made with sweet Irish cream liqueur, which pairs perfectly with the decadent cake.

5. Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

Raspberries and chocolate are a timeless combination, but this recipe really takes it up a notch with the addition of raspberry liqueur and a chocolate cream cheese frosting. Buttermilk in the cake batter gives this chocolate cake a slight tang that offsets the sweetness of the fresh raspberries beautifully. We love this recipe for how easy it is and how impressive it looks on the summer picnic table.

6. Chocolate Depression Cake

Because it uses no butter, eggs or milk, this chocolate cake was popular in the Great Depression when rationing meant low supplies. It remains a staple recipe today and is perfect for those who have dairy or egg allergies as it’s difficult to tell this cake from the traditional version. The magic trick of this cake is to use baking soda and vinegar in place of the eggs. The result is a light, fluffy and richly flavored cake that can be whipped up in no time using pantry staples.

7. Chocolate Orange Cake with Chocolate Orange Ganache

This recipe combines citrusy orange peel and rich, dark chocolate to create a moist delicious cake. Using olive oil instead of butter and adding orange juice to the batter gives this chocolate orange cake an unmatched softness and the ganache is just the icing on the cake. You can even turn this recipe into chocolate orange cupcakes! There are no artificial flavors or essences in this recipe, the flavor comes from orange juice and zest.

8. Flourless Chocolate Cake

One for the gluten-free chocolate lovers! This intensely decadent chocolate cake has no flour. A fudgy single-layer cake to get your chocolate fix, this recipe can be made in either a circular cake tin or a rectangular slice tin depending on your liking. It’s sweet and decadent enough to be served with just a sprinkle of icing sugar and some fresh berries. A beautiful indulgent cake even if you don’t eat gluten-free foods.

9. Nutella Cake

Dense and delicate, this cake has three layers of rich chocolate cake covered in a velvety Swiss meringue frosting. The chocolate hazelnut cake base is soft and delicate, and the whipped frosting is wonderfully spreadable, making this one a cake to remember! Plus, the recipe is quick to whip up and baking the batter in separate cake tins makes it super easy to create perfect layers.

10. Chocolate Mousse Mud Cake

This one is for those occasions when you really want to impress your guests. A dense chocolate cake base covered with a luscious mousse – it’s like two desserts in one! Plus it’s finished with a beautifully shiny mirror glaze. Cut into this cake and everyone will be queuing up for a slice, trust me!

11. Chocolate Coffee Cake

Chocolate and coffee must surely be one of the most popular flavor combinations of the last few decades. Coffee flavor is infused into the cakes which are then stacked with a mascarpone coffee cream frosting and finished off with a chocolate ganache. Even non-coffee drinkers love this recipe as the sweetness of the chocolate balances the bitterness of the coffee resulting in a moist cake that is packed with flavor in every bite.

AboutAshleigh Crump

Ashleigh Crump is an author, food writer and all-round lover of everything sweet! She has published a cookbook and loves to use classic and unique flavor combinations. When not cooking, she's usually reading.