Slice of old fashioned chocolate cake

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Vera Zecevic
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake is a dangerously delicious, rich and decadent chocolate cake recipe! It’s the perfect birthday cake because chocolate is just about everyone’s favorite! A supremely moist cake with tender texture, and a large helping of sweet chocolate frosting.


For the Cake:

  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate (or bittersweet with max. 61% cacao)- chopped
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cups mayonnaise (not reduced-fat or fat-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting:

  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate (or bittersweet with max. 61% cacao)-chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter-softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Tablespoons milk-optional


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 9 inch diameter pans with at least 2.5 inch high sides or three 8 inch- cake pans with 1.5-2-inch-high sides. Then, line the bottom of each pan with circle of parchment paper and set aside.
  2. First, in a medium bowl whisk sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside, too.
  3. Then, in a medium heat proof bowl combine cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Pour with 1 and 3/4 cups boiling water and stir until all chocolate is melted and the mixture looks smooth.
  4. Now, in another large bowl mix both sugars and mayonnaise until well blended.
  5. Add one by one eggs at the time and mix well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  6. Alternately add flour mixture in 4 additions and chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Mix well after each addition. Start with ¼ flour mixture, mix, add 1/3 chocolate mixture, mix and continue until all ingredients are added and well blended.
  7. Divide cake batter among prepared cake pans and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean(30 to 32 minutes for 8 inch pans or 35-40 minutes for 9 inch pans). Do not overbake or the cake will be dry!!!
  8. Cool cakes in pans on for 15-20 minutes, then run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen and carefully invert cakes onto racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Melt 10 oz. chopped chocolate and set aside to cool.
  2. Beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Add melted chocolate and mix until silky and smooth.
  4. If the frosting is too thick add 1 Tbsp. milk at the time.
  5. Place first cake layer onto serving plate, spread approximately ¾ cup frosting onto each layer (for 8 inch cake) or 1 -1 ½ cup (for 9 inch cake), spread remaining frosting on top and sides of the cake.


Original recipe calls for three 8 x 1.5 inch round cake pans and make three layers cake. I used two 9 x 3 inch round cake pans and made two layers cake. My 9 inch cake layer was between 1.5- 2 inch thick when baked. You have enough frosting for either two layers of 9 inch cake or three layers of 8 inch cake.