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How to Bake a Quick Chocolate Cake

Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

So moist!

So moist!

Faster Chocolate Cake

Need a dessert in an hour or less? Try this moist, easy, rich chocolate cake! You probably have the ingredients right in your kitchen now. With a chocoholic husband and lots of school and church events to cook for, this amazing recipe is one of my staples.

Even better is that my kids can make it because it doesn't matter:

  • In what order you add the ingredients
  • If your measurements are a bit sloppy
  • If you can't ice carefully

Inevitably, this recipe always comes out great. Moreover, even little kids can make it because they can mix it with a fork (mom can help with the boiling water). I've included the photos below to make it easy for kids to follow. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

two 8-inch layer cakes, or 13" x 9" cake


  • 1/2 cup marg. or butter, melted 30 seconds in microwave
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, or almond flavoring
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt, (can use milk)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water, (use coffee for mocha cake)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  1. Put ingredients in the bowl in the order given and mix after each one with a fork or mixer. Mix until smooth and not lumpy.
  2. Grease two 8-inch layer pans, or a 13" by 9" rectangle pan. Pour in batter.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched in the middle.


Frosting Recipe

Nothing is faster than this quick icing, but you will also never find a better-tasting one anywhere. This is my secret recipe for birthday cakes. One friend requests it every year. I also call it "Truffle Frosting" because it is basically made out of the same ingredients that are in chocolate truffles. French chefs call this "gauche." Mouthwatering? Here it is:


  • 1/2 cup cream (you can use milk but reduce it to 1/4 cup and add 2 more TB butter).
  • 2 TB butter (not margarine).
  • 12 oz package of chocolate chips.


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave for 1 minute.
  2. Stir until everything is melted and the mixture is thick and shiny. If the mixture isn't melted yet, put it back in microwave for 15 seconds at a time until it is.
  3. For a glaze: Pour this mixture over a cake that is in a rectangular pan. For a frosting that you can pour on a layer cake (like my example) mix in with a fork or mixer, and add 3–4 cups powdered sugar.
  4. Mix until the frosting is still soft but holds shape for a while. It will thicken more as it cools and sits. If you want a stiffer frosting that doesn't pour out, you can add 1–2 more cups of powdered sugar.

More Topping Ideas

1. Quick Praline Cake

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Cook as directed. The nuts and brown sugar will caramelize and taste delicious!

2. Quick S'mores Cake

After the batter has cooked, put on top of the cake layers:

  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Cook for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, or until chocolate chips have melted and marshmallows are lightly brown.

3. Heavenly Delight Cake

After cake has cooled, pour on top:

  • 1 cup of chocolate fudge or caramel ice cream topping

Spread on top of that:

  • 2 cups of whipped topping
  • Sprinkle with:
  • 1 cup of any of the following: chopped Oreos, toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, or crushed chocolate candies

4. White Chocolate Cake

Make the same frosting using white chocolate. You may need to add extra butter and cream.

5. Malted Milk Cake

Make the frosting with milk chocolate chips. Chop up malted milk balls to put on top of the first layer before you add the second layer. After frosting the top, pile on lots of malted milk balls. This cake is quite spectacular and a real hit at parties or even as a groom's cake. You can do the same thing with another favorite candy like Reese's Pieces, Milk Duds, or even a cookie, like Oreos.