Chocolate Cake Recipe From Scratch

This chocolate cake is so rich and full of flavour, and it’s all from scratch.  This may take a couple of more minutes that dumping the mix from the box in, but it is well worth it, trust me.  Actually, the recipe on my hand written sheet is called Six Minute Chocolate Cake.

I got this from a friend many years ago (thanks, Cher) and have made it over and over, and it never gets old.  My kids even request it for their birthday cakes.  It can be topped with icing, fruit, or our favourite is with whipped cream and caramel sauce (I will include this in the recipe, but you can do whatever you like after it has cooled).

Ingredientschocolate cake from scratch

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water or brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In approx 9″ x 9″ pan (I use a square 8″ x 8″ glass pan) sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into pan.  Stir well with a fork until combined throughout.
  3. In a measuring cup (2 cup or larger) mix together the oil, water (or coffee) and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the baking pan and mix with a fork.
  5. When batter is smooth, add vinegar and stir quickly until vinegar is evenly distributed.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Cool cake.  Add desired toppings….I will now add my toppings, follow along if you like.
  8. Using a knife, poke through to the bottom of the pan and twist at least once per piece that you would be serving.
  9. Squeeze caramel sauce (we use the stuff that does not harden on ice cream) into each of the holes that you just poked, just enough so that it gets in the hole and overflows a bit.
  10. Top with whipped topping (if the cake is not completely cooled by this point, the whipped topping will melt and this is not what we want….it’s just more appealing if it doesn’t look soupy).
  11. Squeeze caramel sauce in whatever pattern you desire over the top.  You could even go a step further and add your favourite crushed chocolate bar, I think Skor bars would make this a Skor cake.
  12. Bon Appetite!

chocolate cake from scratch


16 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Recipe From Scratch”

  1. Hello Amanda,
    This looks like a great recipe and very fast which I like. Now I’m no baker, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cake recipe with vinegar as an ingredient. Any idea what the vinegar does? Is it for the baking process /texture or taste? Love the idea can use brewed coffee in it, love anything with coffee.
    Keep sharing the great recipes!

    1. Paul, thanks for the comments. This recipe doesn’t use eggs, and so I think the vinegar acts with the baking soda to help it rise as it bakes. This is not one to lick the spoon with as it only tastes yummy after it is baked! I’ve tried with the coffee and the water and don’t really notice much of a difference, but the thought of the coffee in it is what’s most appealing to me. I hope you enjoy it


  2. Mummy mmmmm looks delicious could eat all that to my self but I know my misses would love that so be a right fight to the death, how many calories does this cake have and what’s the fat content etc, only reason I ask is I run a fitness website/weightloss and would love to treat my readers

    1. Steve, I guess I haven’t thought that far ahead…the health factor, other than being homemade. I will see how to calculate that and let you know! Thanks for the comment

  3. Definitely bookmarking your website!! As a single dad of a 5 year old who is very picky and particular when it comes to food, I’m always trying to find different ways and methods of cooking to find out what he will like. The chocolate cake recipe looks pretty delicious!! Please keep coming up with different types of recipes!!! Hope to become a established dad chef one day lol

    1. Joon, single parenting is tough and when we can utilize any and all resources we can, it sure helps. My kids were very picky too, and most of the recipes on my site were kid-friendly (well, for my kids anyway), except the ones with onions in them (the visible ones). Have fun baking/cooking with your 5 year old and I hope you both enjoy.

  4. I love cooking but I’m not much of a baker. The precision of ingredients always seem to be my down fall. However this cake looks delicious and seems to be easy enough to bake, even for me. Have to try it out this weekend, going to go all out with chocolate toppings!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. I’m a cake-addict, this recipe is awesome and easy to follow! It’ll save me lots of money from having to constantly visit my local bakeries to buy cakes, as I have a very addictive sweet-tooth, that can’t…really be quenched. This is actually the first recipe i’ve seen that doesn’t use eggs, I would be great in combining this with some of the chocolates my folks brought over from the Philippines.

    1. Yes, I’ve found it nice that and convenient that this recipe doesn’t use eggs, especially If I’ve run out! It is delicious, and I would like to hear how yours turns out when you make it.

      Thanks for the kind comments!


  6. I love a chocolate cake and, although I have never tried this recipe, looking at your pictures made me hungry.
    The cake looks very moist (what I like, not being dry) and has some substance.
    I like that you can top it with different things, according to everyone’s personal taste, and in that way the cake would taste differently every time – like you are making different cakes, not the old 6-minute one 🙂
    I think I would give this recipe a try this weekend, together with my kids

    1. Thanks Ellie! I would love to hear what you do with it, or if you stick with the basic recipe, which is still pretty fabulous.

      Bon Appetite!

  7. Hi,
    This is a great recipe. Do you have any suggestions for those people who have food sensitivites, such as gluten or on a special type of diet?

    Can some of the ingredients be replaced with healthier versions that you know of? For instance, is there an alternative to the vegetable oil in a healthier version?


    1. Sofia,

      I am sure there are lots of alternatives you could utilize. I have made this cake with roger’s syrup instead of the white sugar it calls for, as the diabetic who requested it said that was one alternative he could have. If you regularly use the gluten free flour as an alternative, I am sure any differences is denseness or flavor would not even be an issue with the cocoa in the recipe. Give it a try with what you would like to use and let me know how it turns out!

      Thanks for the comments, Sofia.


  8. Hello, Amanda, this one sounds like an easy to make cake. No eggs but 2tblsp of vinegar that is interesting. I will try it out for sure because I love making cakes from scratch. As you said, it only takes two more minutes to make. What size of the baking pan would you recommend? Is the cake big enough to feed a family of five or would you rather double the measurements?
    I shared this recipe on my FB page because so many of my friends love baking.
    All the best from Anke

    1. Thank you Anke , nice to hear from you.

      I usually use a 9×9 or 8×11 glass baking pan, and will easily feed a family of 5. I have doubled this recipe, but be aware that the cooking time will take much longer. Just keep checking it with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean, and you should be good. The first time I doubled it for a birthday/family get-together and took it out at the regular cooking time….it was more a pudding cake and I was soooo embarrassed. My family doubted my kitchen skills for a bit after that, but I did eventually redeem myself!

      Thank you for sharing the recipe, and I look forward to hearing how it turns out!


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