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4.1 from 10 votes

Super-Moist Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This 'Depression-era' Chocolate Cake has a secret ingredient that was used as an economic substitution for butter and eggs and it gives this cake it's super-moist super powers and it's still one of the most preferred chocolate cake recipes out there today!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Author: Kim Lange


Super-Moist Chocolate Cake

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate do not exceed 61% cacao, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder or regular unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise do not use reduced-fat,fat-free or Miracle Whip, Hellman’s
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups butter softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for dark frosting, use part Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Butter and flour three 8" diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides, or two 9" pans.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, then whisk in boiling water until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beating until blended after each addition.
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
  • Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes.
  • Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen.
  • Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.
  • Frost when completely cooled.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Using mixer, cream butter, add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Place cake on a platter.
  • Frost top of first layer.
  • Place second layer on cake.
  • Frost sides and top.
  • Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
  • Serves 10-12.