Hershey’s Cocoa Cake
Yield: 2 (9-inch round) cakes
This recipe for classic chocolate cake mixes up quickly in a single bowl with ingredients you likely have on hand. It's light, moist, and perfect for any celebration!


  • 2 cups (384g) granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups (222g) all-purpose flour (I’ve used this gluten-free flour blend and the brands listed in the recipe notes with outstanding results*)
  • ¾ cups (60g) Hershey’s cocoa (regular, not Dutched)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk (I typically use 2%; a non-dairy milk may be used)
  • ½ cup (112ml) canola or safflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla
  • 1 cup (227ml) boiling water**


  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with a hand or stand mixer until completely mixed, 30 seconds to one minute. Stir in the boiling water. The batter will be thin.
  2. Pour into two, well greased or parchment lined, 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350℉ for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. I always check a few minutes early but find 25 minutes is perfect in my oven. Keep in mind that dark-coated baking pans tend to cook a bit faster than light-colored pans. The trick to a perfect cake is to remove it from the oven when it is just cooked through, so check a few minutes early to avoid overcooking.
  3. Cool the cakes for 10-15 minutes in the pans, and then remove to baking racks and cool completely. Frost as desired.


*When baking gluten-free: More recently I have used King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill cup-for-cup gluten-free flours with excellent results. I always use the same weight as for standard all-purpose flour (some GF blends are heavier than others) and allow the mixture to rest in the cake pans for 5-10 minute before baking. Resting allows the flours to absorb some moisture prior to baking and is especially helpful when rice flour is an ingredient. By following those guidelines with this recipe, nobody ever can tell the difference between GF and regular!

**For a deeper, richer chocolatey flavor, hot brewed coffee may be used in place of the boiling water.

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