Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hershey's Chocolate Cake

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake is so delectable that you will find any excuse to make it! Bake one for your next party or a weeknight dessert.

While I have a special place in my heart for complicated, over-the-top cakes (like my Death By Chocolate recipe), this Hershey’s perfectly chocolate cake yields magnificent results from such a simple, straightforward process.

From cocoa bombs and crockpot turtles to fudgy smores brownies, I love creating chocolatey treats! And it’s a no brainer that Hershey’s® continues to reign supreme.

I also have plenty of no-bake treats that are just as tasty as the ones that come out of an oven!

Hershey's Chocolate Cake on a cake lifter

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake - Tips and Tricks

  • Grease and flour your pans. Not only does this ensure that your baked product can be removed with ease, but the flour grips the sides and allows the batter to rise evenly.
  • Tip for heating your coffee: Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, then 30 second intervals after that. Also, keep a close eye on it as it may overflow.
  • Use fabric baking strips! This product insulates the pan so that your baked layers come out perfectly level with no crowns, crusty edges, or cracks. Simply soak them in water and wrap them around the pans prior to putting them in the oven.
  • Stick with unsalted butter. Since salt content varies by brand, unsalted sticks are the best choice for frosting. If salted is all you have on hand, simply leave out the additional salt.
hershey's perfectly chocolate cake ingredients

How To Decorate Like A Pro

A crumb coat is a sure fire way to not have any crumbs in the frosting! To do this, simply apply a thin layer all over your Hershey’s chocolate cake.

Then, refrigerate so it sets and gives you a smooth surface to decorate on. Or, leave it as is if you’re a fan of the “naked” look on your baked goods.

If you’re planning on doing a more elaborate decoration, place your frosted cake in the fridge and allow it to set for 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow you to decorate around the edges with ease.

I used the 32 and M1 Wilton decorating tips, but you can use a variety of tips to get the final look you’re going for!

hershey's perfectly chocolate cake batter

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Mixing Bowls - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • 8” Cake Pans - You’ll need two for this recipe.
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl - Not only does it make boiling the coffee granules easier, but you can use it to quickly steam vegetables too!
  • Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer for whipping up the frosting.
Hershey's Chocolate Cake frosting

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Why are instant coffee granules used in this Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe?

Adding coffee really enhances the chocolate flavor and gives it a deep richness. Don’t worry - you won’t taste it!

How will I know when the cakes are done baking?

Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of each. If it comes out clean (meaning without any batter or moist crumbs on it), they’re cooked through!

Can I make this Hershey’s perfectly chocolate cake ahead of time?

Yes! Bake the cakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack first. Then, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to lock in the moisture. When you’re ready to assemble, remove the plastic wrap and frost!

If storing for longer, place the plastic wrapped layers in the refrigerator where they can be kept fresh for a few days. Then, simply take them out of the fridge and carry on with the recipe!

Hershey's Chocolate Cake slice removed from cake


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Hershey's Chocolate Cake slice wide photo

Yield: 8
Author: Donna Elick
Hershey's Chocolate Cake

Hershey's Chocolate Cake

This Hershey’s Chocolate Cake is so delectable that you will find any excuse to make it! Bake one for your next party or a weeknight dessert.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 MTotal time: 1 H & 45 M


  • 1 cup water water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round baking pans or spray with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Place 1 cup of water and coffee granules in the microwave and bring to boiling, I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup for this. Microwave for 1 minute, then for 30 seconds. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to overflow. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in boiling coffee (batter will be thin).
  6. Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
  8. For the frosting, while the cakes are cooling: start by melting the butter. Stir in cocoa and salt. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  9. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

Hershey's Chocolate Cake closeup

Originally published April 2012, updated and republished January 2022

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  1. The cake looks perfect for Easter with the candies and the bright colors. I love it. I have a recipe for a very similar cake that is delicious, but I've never added the instant coffee. You know me, I LOVE a simple dessert that tastes fabulous. :)

  2. your right everything about that is perfect!

  3. decorated that cake beautifully! It IS perfect!!

  4. My mom's birthday is this sunday and I'd like to make her this cake but the family can be somehwat particular, does this cake have a deep rich chocolate flavour but a moist light crumb?

  5. Beautiful cake! Perfect for an Easter dinner!

  6. That cake is just gorgeous! beautifully executed... I've used that perfectly chocolate frosting before, and I am interested in trying out the cake :) Thanks for sharing this!

  7. OMG, what a beautiful cake, no wonder you couldn't wait to share with us! I like the way you took the picture, the way you decorated the cake & it looks so yummy to me but it's also a torturing for me coz I can only enjoy this visually but can't have a bite on it!

  8. Cute cake and it's Hersheys! I can't wait to make this cake. My mom and siblings will definitely be ecstatic with this.

    Yes,people love it. I've been making this cake for years!! My grandmother used to make the same cake. But she did something a little bit different. secret :)


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