One Bowl Chocolate Cake (from scratch)

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Brownie Batter Frosting and Ganache

Okay, it’s no secret that I don’t bake from scratch with the majority of my cake decorating ventures, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to bake from scratch or that I can’t bake from scratch.

I’ve been accused of that by the way – not really being a baker at all because I use cake mixes.  Um, those have to be baked too people.  Just sayin’.

But seriously, I just do what works for me and most often in my cake decorating business, that means doctored up cake mixes.  I’m happy and my clientss are happy, so I’m not sure why others have such a beef with it.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Brownies and Ganache

Anyway, that aside, my best friend Kathy recommended this One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe to me way back in 2011 (I know because I still have the email) and it’s been my most favorite from-scratch chocolate cake recipe ever since.

It’s so super moist and delicious!  And easy… you literally only mess up one bowl for the entire recipe.  Better yet, it’s never failed me a single time!!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Just last week Kathy and I were talking about how there are certain from-scratch recipes that work perfectly one time and totally flop the next and there’s never any way to know when you’ll have a success or failure.  This cake is not like that.  It has always worked for me!

I’ve made it as a sheet cake, round cakes and cupcakes and it’s always perfection!  For this particular cake pictured, I double the recipe, used some for cupcakes and then baked three 8″ round cakes to stack up and layer!  Normally it’ll only be enough batter for two 8″ or 9″ round pans, or one 9″x13″ sheet cake.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Brownie Batter Frosting and Ganache

My favorite way to eat this cake is just to top it off with poured ganache and call it a day because it’s simply delicious and perfect that way.  But the day I made this cake for these pics, I chose to make some more Brownie Batter Frosting to put on top of it.

And then I added some cubed up brownies (leftover brownie mix from the frosting put to good use).  And then… then I put on the ganache.  It was all that and more!

As I was writing this, I found one more picture of this cake covered with ganache then fresh whipped cream. I snapped this picture when there were only a couple of slices left.  But I clearly remember that day… this cake is just mouth-watering, lick the cake plate good.

Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Fresh Whipped Cream

Okay, that’s enough blabbing.  Here’s the recipe!  Make it soon!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake from  UPDATE:  Several of you pointed out that this is the original Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake.  I guess I’ve never read the side of a Hershey’s Cocoa box before because I’d honestly never heard of this before. 

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (from scratch)

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (from scratch)


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 8" or 9" round pans (or I've also used a 9"x13" sheet cake pan). You can either grease and flour the pans, use non-stick cooking spray, or use homemade cake pan release.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, then stir in the boiling water.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip them out on a wire rack and let completely cool before frosting.

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Chocolate Fudge Turtle Brownie Cake with Caramel & Walnuts

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This morning I delivered this Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake with Caramel & Nuts…. and this afternoon I snacked on the leftover brownie cubes and ganache.   Yes, yes I did.

And it was so, so delicious!!

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Wanna know how to make it?  Here you go:

First, I baked two layers of dark chocolate cake  and added a pile of semi-sweet chocolate chips baked into the batter.    I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mix, but adapted it like I usually do.  You could easily just follow the box directions, but I always like to add a little oomph to my cakes by doing the “doctored” recipe!

So, I followed this recipe and added in 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and then baked the two layers in 8″ round pans.

This cake was very similar to the Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake with Heath Bar Toffee Chips, Ganache & Hershey Kisses cake… but this was for a customer’s husband’s birthday and she told me that her husband loved brownies with lots of caramel and nuts, so I decided to make the cake similar to that one… except with caramel and nuts and well…. more brownies.

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I used a boxed Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies mix to bake a layer of brownie (also in an 8″round cake pan) and then I sandwiched that in between the cake!  I baked the extra batter in a 6″ square pan and then cubed it up to garnish the top of the cake.

So here’s how I put it together… I put down one layer of cake, then I drizzled it slathered it with ganache, then caramel, then chopped walnuts.   On top of that I added the 8″ round brownie and then more ganache, caramel and nuts.  Then I repeated the bottom layer… which included the other cake, even more ganache, caramel, and nuts.

Chocolate Fudge Turtle Brownie Cake Above

To make it pretty on top, I cubed up tiny bites of brownie and put them around the edges… and just for kicks I drizzled on just a little more ganache and caramel.    Isn’t that pretty?  Is your mouth-watering?  Mine is.

Goodness… it’s a good thing I make things like this for other people and don’t keep whole cakes like this at my house, because I’m pretty sure I’d have it for breakfast, lunch and supper until it was gone.  If it lasted for all three meals…

If you’re a brownie lover – you should make this.  Today.  If not today, then definitely tomorrow, but only if you need to run to the store first!

Do you love brownies?  Let me know if you make this cake… I’d love to hear what you think!


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