Homemade Mocha Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Slice on white dish.For those of us who grew up on cake mixes, it can be hard to find a homemade cake recipe that isn’t dense or dry compared to a mix. This recipe for Mocha Chocolate Cake is the best of all worlds: easy to make, very moist and tender. The coffee flavor is subtle rather than strong, so if you have someone who is not a coffee fan it won’t be an issue.

It’s also nice that you mix the dry ingredients, throw in the moist stuff and mix it up. No complicated steps or delicate baking techniques!

Mocha Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee or
2 tsp. instant coffee plus
1 cup boiling water
1 TBS white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch pan (or spray with non-stick coating). In large mixer bowl, blend sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, coffee, sour milk mixture, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (My oven took 32 minutes). Cool completely and frost as desired.

(adapted from a 1991 Hershey’s Homemade cookbook, our favorite dessert cookbook!)

Leave a comment and let us know how your cake turned out!


  1. I made this in a gluten-free version and using coconut sugar and oil and it turned out fabulous! I’m making this for a girlfriend for her birthday. She is going to love it! Thx Charlotte!

    1. Amity… I’d love to know what flour you used in your gluten-free version. Did you have to adapt amount of coconut sugar and oil? I’m also wondering how this would do with stevia instead of the sugar?

      The cake sounds like something Mom use to make and that I would love to eat. Thanks Charlotte for posting it.


  2. Tom Sawyer Gluten Free flour is what I used. I’ve been using this sugar for over 2 years and my husband likes it even thought he isn’t gluten free. I like using it since it is one cup of regular flour to one cup Tom Sawyer GF. I can use regular recipes and use this GF instead and it typically turns out great! It already has the zanthum gum in it so there isn’t anything to add. I’ve been using it for years. I’m not sure how to use stevia since I have never used it. I know it is very sweet so maybe try using half of what the recipe calls for regarding the sugar. I used the same amount of coconut sugar and oil the recipe called for

  3. wat about the boiling water!! can we replace curd with vinegar!?

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Nik, I’m not sure about curd. The vinegar helps “sour” the milk so a better replacement might be buttermilk. And the boiling water helps dissolve everything (that’s my guess anyway!).

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