Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake is so decadent and moist that you will find any excuse to make it! It’s a simple layer cake recipe, so it’s quick and easy to make for any party, or even a weeknight dessert! Chocolate lovers will love that every bite has the perfect amount of sweetness! Make this for a special occasion! 

titled (shown on serving spatula) Hershey chocolate cake


From cocoa bombs and crockpot candy to fudgy smores brownies, I love creating chocolatey desserts! 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!

There’s really nothing quite like the flavor of a homemade chocolate cake.

This might just be my favorite recipe, and the good news is that this moist chocolate cake recipe isn’t hard to make. You’ll agree that I have good reason for loving this frosted cake! 

hershey's perfectly chocolate cake ingredients in small bowls on wooden counter

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

While I have a special place in my heart for complicated, over-the-top cakes like my Death By Chocolate bundt recipe, this Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe yields magnificent results even though it’s a simple, straightforward process.

This is one of my favorite chocolate chip recipes to make, but to make the best cake, you’ll want to pay attention to a few tips and tricks.

There are always tips when it comes to making new recipes! 

adding milk to cake batter

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 this Hershey’s chocolate frosting. 

    If salted is all you have on hand, simply leave out the additional salt.
  • Whole milk is best. To get the most out of this Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe, use whole milk. While it can be swapped, it won’t be as rich and flavorful.
wooden spoon in bowl of cake batter

How To Decorate Cakes Like A Pro

A crumb coat is a sure fire way not to have any crumbs in your Hershey’s chocolate frosting! To do this, simply apply a thin layer all over your Hershey 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 on the Hershey’s chocolate cake, place the frosted layer 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 use Wilton piping tips, the 32 and M-1, but you can use a variety of tips to get the final look you’re going for!

baked chocolate cakes

Recipe Variations

  • Cupcakes: Add liners to a cupcake pan. Add batter, filling each cupcake 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool all the way, then frost.
  • Rectangle cake: Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until done. Cool, then frost. 
  • Bundt cake: Grease a bundt pan well, then sprinkle with flour. Add the cake batter and bake for 50-55 minutes. 

    After it cools for 10-15 minutes, invert it onto a serving platter. After it’s cooled, add frosting.
applying creamy frosting to a chocolaty dessert

Hershey Chocolate Cake FAQ

Why are instant coffee granules in Hershey chocolate cake?

Adding coffee really enhances the flavor of chocolate, adding a deep richness. It’s just a small amount, so it doesn’t affect the flavor of the Hershey cake at all.

How do I know when cakes are done baking?

Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of each layer of the Hershey cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it, it’s time to remove them from the oven!

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

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

If you’ll be making the cake more than 3 days later, refrigerate the plastic wrapped layers, so they stay fresh for a few days. Then, simply take them out of the fridge and carry on with the recipe!

Can I use Dutch cocoa?

Yes, you’ll just need to follow the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe as written, except swap the unsweetened cocoa for Dutch cocoa.

Can I use sweetened cocoa powder?

No, if you make either the cake or the Hershey’s chocolate frosting with sweetened cocoa, it will be too sweet to eat. 

What equipment is needed to make this easy chocolate cake?

Before you start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, be sure that you have everything on hand to make this cake.

You’ll need to have a large bowl for mixing, wire racks, a hand mixer or stand electric mixer, round cake pans, or sheet cake pans.

How do I store leftovers of this rich chocolate cake? 

This classic chocolate cake makes a big batch, perfect for those chocolate cravings. One of my favorite things to do is to enjoy this easy cake the next day as well. The very first time that you make this cake, you’ll love that perfect rich chocolate flavor so much, that you’re going to want to store it so that you can enjoy it again. 

For great success, add leftovers of this chocolate chocolate cake to an airtight container, and then store it in the fridge. 

serving slice of super moist chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

slice of frosted chocolate layer cake on cake server

Other Simple Cake Recipes

serving of Hershey chocolate cake on spatula

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake Recipe

Donna Elick
Hershey's Chocolate Cake is a decadent and rich, super chocolaty frosted layer cake. This recipe for Hershey chocolate cake is a must-make!
3.67 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 10


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Hershey's is what I use
  • 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 unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round baking pans or spray with non-stick baking spray.
  • 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 on high power for 1 minute 30 seconds. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to overflow. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
    Stir in boiling coffee (batter will be thin).
  • Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Let cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans onto a wire cooling racks. Cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

  • While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
    Melt the butter and pour into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in cocoa powder and salt. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, alternately add portions of the powdered sugar first, then milk.
    Continue beating until frosting is spreading consistency. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 554cal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 458mg | Sugar: 77g | Fiber: 5g | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for hershey's chocolate cake

Originally published April 2012, updated and republished January 2024

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  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. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.
    Sorry….trade secret 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe is an absolute winner! Super easy to make and the end result is just heavenly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating