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Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate cake from scratch. A simple recipe that turns out perfect every time. Another recipe from the files of my sister Rhoda. It's similar to a recipe we have from our mom's collection. Mom's had butter in the recipe instead of the oil used in this one.

Tips: When greasing a glass 9x13 pan for a cake only butter the bottom of the pan with butter (not cooking spray). The cake rises more evenly if the sides are not greased. You might think it will stick to the sides, but I don't ever find that it does. Another tip is to dust a little cocoa powder over the buttered pan. If you are baking a white or yellow cake use a thin dusting of flour. This dry dusting also helps cakes to not stick to the pan.
This cake freezes well plain or frosted. 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup hot coffee OR instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  1. Beat together eggs and oil.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients and then mix into the eggs and oil. Beat until all dry ingredients are well mixed in.
  3. Add milk and mix in.
  4. Lastly add in the hot coffee and mix.
  5. Pour batter into a grease 9x13 pan and bake in 350ºF oven for approximately 35-45 minutes.
Cream cheese Frosting:
  •  1 8ounce block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and beat.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and beat well until the frosting is fluffy and smooth. 
  3. Frost cake. Keep cake in refrigerator once frosted. 


  1. I like the addition of hot coffee! And your presentation photo is beautiful!

  2. How long would they have to be baked if made into muffins?

    1. If you bake as cupcakes I'd suggest start with 15-18 minutes. Test with a toothpick. If it comes out still with dough....bake a few more minutes and then check again. They will be really nice as cupcakes. Spray the pans or use liners for cupcakes.

  3. Yes, beautiful picture; your colours are so up to date! Anyways, the instant espresso powder is something I've looked for before and couldn't find - can you help with that? Thanks so much and keep posting!

    1. I have found it in the coffee isle of grocery stores. I hope you find it.

  4. Sounds yummy! I look forward to making this. I'll probably decrease the sugar a bit.

  5. Could you substitute instant coffee granules for the instant espresso powder?

    1. Yes that would work fine. Just dissolve them in the hot water.

  6. This batter is very liquidy, is that right?

    1. I've re looked at the recipe and also checked with my sister who gave it to me. How did the cake turn out? There is a lot of liquid with the eggs and total of 2 cups other liquid, so it most likely is a bit thinner than some cake batters.