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Nanny’s Black Midnight Cake is a rich and delicious chocolate cake recipe passed down through generations.

Nanny's Black Midnight Cake

We originally shared Nanny’s Black Midnight Cake here on A Family Feast almost five years ago. After making this cake again recently, we decided to take some new photos and re-share this delicious chocolate cake recipe. While the cake photos are new, the photos of the kids in our family are five years old, and those cute little kids are now a lot more grown up!

My husband Jack and his brothers and sisters all have very fond memories of their mother (Nanny to us) baking this delicious Black Midnight Cake – a dark, chocolate layer cake with a rich dark chocolate frosting.  It’s perfectly sweet and super moist and light, and if you are a chocolate lover – this is the cake for you!


Black Midnight Cake

Jack and his siblings (as well as a few cousins who had an uncanny knack of always showing up for dinner whenever Nanny made this cake for dessert) would fight over who got the biggest piece of cake – it’s so good!  Years later, the younger kids in our family all love this cake too.

In fact, a love of cooking seems to run in our family, and we have some budding chefs among most of Nanny’s grandchildren. This past weekend, some of the kids got together at our house to bake Nanny’s black midnight cake, and here are some of the photos from our cooking adventures:
















They did a fantastic job baking this cake – don’t you agree?  And Nanny loved the cake too – of course!


Black Midnight Cake

This black midnight cake recipe is adapted from one originally published in the Betty Crocker Cookbook many years ago with some updates of our own, as well as additional inspiration thanks to the cake recipe on the back of the can of Hershey’s cocoa. We’ve updated it to include some coffee as well as a pinch of cayenne in the batter – both ingredients really enhance the flavor of the chocolate.

Black Midnight Cake

P.S. Over the years, we’ve received an occasional reader comment that the cake came out dry when they made this recipe. We’re always sad when our readers don’t see good results from our recipes. And, this recipe in particular has us puzzled because other readers have said their cake is very moist, and our own experience making this recipe has yielded a moist cake as well.  Without knowing exactly where things went wrong for some of our readers, our advice is to:

  • Make sure that when you measure out the flour (and cocoa) scoop out the flour from your canister with a spoon and place it into your measuring cup. (Scooping out right from the canister can pack the flour down.)
  • Watch the baking time. Check after 20 to 25 minutes to see if your cake is done, especially if your oven runs hot, or you are using dark metal cake pans.


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Black Midnight Cake

Nanny’s Black Midnight Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


For the Cake:

  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder (we used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder to get that deep dark color)
  • 1 cup hot strong brewed coffee
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • Two parchment circles, cut the size of the bottom of your cake pans
  • Cocoa for dusting the pans

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup dark cocoa (we used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to get that deep dark color)
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract


To Prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder and cayenne with hot brewed coffee and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream oil and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add eggs and beat until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. This process beats air into the mixture. Scrape paddle and bowl and beat once.
  5. Slowly add in coffee/cocoa mixture, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until batter is smooth. Scrape paddle and bowl and beat once.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat on low speed to incorporate. Scrape down bowl and mix just until all ingredients are combined, do not over mix once flour is in.
  7. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans and place a round parchment circle in each. Butter the top of the parchment then sprinkle the whole inside of the parchment and pan with cocoa powder, shaking out excess. Pour batter evenly between two pans and place in center of oven. (note, aluminum baking pans are by far, the best for baking cakes. Non-stick and dark colored pans can change the cake by browning it more than it needs to)
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate cake pans half way through. During our baking, one cake was done in 30 minutes and the second in 32 minutes. Do not over bake.
  9. Cool pans on wire racks for ten minutes then carefully invert out of pan onto rack to cool further.

To Prepare the Frosting;

  1. Sift cocoa powder with confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and cocoa powder mixture along with buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional buttermilk or whole milk if frosting is too thick.
  2. Place a small dollop of frosting on a cake dish to hold the cake from sliding and place one cake on the frosting. Frost the top of that layer. Place the second cake on the first and frost the entire cake, top and sides.

Keywords: chocolate cake, Nanny's Black Midnight Cake

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Nanny's Black Midnight Cake - A delicious black midnight chocolate cake - an old family recipe that has been passed down through generations!

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  • Linda Brown wrote:

    What should I substitute for the coffee? Don’t like it, don’t own a coffee maker.

    Thanks in advance for responding!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – You can just leave it out.

  • Melissa wrote:

    This is an absolutely fantastic cake. Responding to a commenter below, I can also say that I made it with black cocoa powder as I needed a black cake and buttercream for a specific cake decorating project, and it turned out beautifully. I had to add only a few drops of black colour to the buttercream to get it truly black.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Melissa!

  • Loree Sy wrote:

    Can you use instant coffee? We’re not really coffee drinkers at home so we only have instant coffee in our pantry

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Loree – Instant coffee will work!

  • Cheryl-Anne Jones wrote:

    I wondered if I could use 8 inch pans with the same result? Have you ever tried?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cheryl-Anne – An 8 inch pan would work but the baking time will differ. (We haven’t tested it ourselves to give you a precise time.)

  • Mary wrote:

    Hi! Looking forward to making this cake!
    Question though, is the cocoa you use, is it Dutch process or natural. I have a Ghirardelli Majestic Dutch process cocoa that I love to bake with. I do know that there’s a difference between natural and Dutch cocoa. I just wanted to make sure I use the right one. Thanks for your time!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mary – We’ve always used Hershey’s cocoa for this recipe ourselves (which is not Dutch processed) – if you try this with the Ghiraradelli brand, please let us know how it comes out. I’d love to know!

  • Debbie wrote:

    I have 4 friends/family I’ve enlisted to rate new dessert recipes I try and give their honest opinions. This decadent chocolate cake was given a 5 out of 5 by all 4!
    I didn’t have access to my KitchenAid mixer with paddle attachment so I just used my hand mixer and the cake still came out moist and delicious.
    So glad I’ve found your site and will continue to try new recipes! Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Debbie – so glad the cake was a hit!

  • Adriene wrote:

    This recipe is now my absolute favorite and go to chocolate cake. The frosting is impeccable and the cake is so delicious. The only two adjustments I made is a) adding a chocolate simple syrup to the top of each cake layer an hour before frosting and b) chilling the cake layers overnight. I would give this 10 out of 5 stars if I could!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Adriene – Great suggestion!

  • Sue wrote:

    Can you use gluten free flour?

    • Martha wrote:

      We’ve never tried doing so Sue – if you try, please let us know how the cake comes out!

  • Baking Dad wrote:

    Not sure if anyone pointed this out or questioned it. The recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour. However, in one of the pictures where the kids were sifting ingredients, I noticed a box of Pillsbury Softasilk Cake Flour. Looking for some clarification on which flour type I should use.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Baking Dad – We’ve had one other reader comment on that as well – good eyes! Either can be used. We’ve made it both ways and using the more expensive cake flour really didn’t make much of a difference, so we updated the recipe to just state all-purpose.

  • Sophia Ryan wrote:

    It’s missing the amount of cream to put in the cake. Maybe that’s why everyone’s is coming out dry? I had to guess at the amount of cream to put in.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sophia – There isn’t any cream in this recipe…in step 2 of the instructions, the word cream is a verb. In baking, “creaming” means mixing butter and sugar together on a moderately high speed until well blended, fluffy and pale yellow. It’s often the first step in a cookie or cake recipe and forms the base to which other ingredients are added.

  • Sherry. DeRoch wrote:

    Butter for the frosting, unsalted or salted.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sherry – Either will work. We typically use unsalted because it is what we keep on hand, but a touch of salt in sweet desserts often enhances the flavors – so you can use whichever you have on hand.

  • Susan wrote:

    I have made this cake. The recipe I have is in Hershey’s cookbooks, but no cayenne is listed in the ingredients. This recipe ( with or without the cayenne) is a moist, rich, chocolatey cake. In other words it is the perfect chocolate cake. If you love chocolate, don’t pass on this one.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susan!

  • Anne Keating wrote:

    Can you substitute “Black” cocoa powder for the dark cocoa powder in this recipe?

    • Martha wrote:

      I’ve never tried the black cocoa powder Anne – only the special dark Hershey’s. I suspect you would be fine using the black cocoa.

  • geneen graziano wrote:

    I plan on making this in a few days and CANNOT wait!BUT (!!!) I always get concerned when some ppl say its MOIST and others say DRY. If everyone follows the same can that be? I can see humidity if youre making bread, but cake? IDK.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Geneen – Every oven is different so I suppose it’s possible that some of our readers might have over-baked the cake slightly and found it dry. (But not 100% sure either!) I’d suggest keeping an eye on the layers as they bake, maybe check to see if they are done sooner than the timing called for in the instructions.

  • Theresa Kelley wrote:

    This is by far one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made. The recipe is easy and the cake is moist. I got rave reviews by everyone last night. This is now my go to chocolate cake recipe. I’ve read some reviews stating the cake was dry. Either they didn’t follow the recipe or they over baked it. Just saying.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the cake Theresa! 🙂

  • ChinaRain wrote:

    This recipe is very easy to follow, and delivers on all levels of moistness and delicious-ness.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • Jeannie wrote:

    Hello! I wanted to let you know how amazing this cake is and every time I make it everyone loves it!
    I veganized it; flax egg instead of eggs, almond (even used coconut milk once) milk with lemon for buttermilk substitute and avocado butter instead of cows butter. It is a big hit! My dad grew up loving this cake and asked me to make it a few years ago for his birthday. Now everyone else wants it for their birthday too. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh wow Jeannie! I always appreciate it when our readers let us know about their successful adaptations! Glad to know this recipe can be so successfully made with some vegan swaps. Thank you!

  • Oly Smith wrote:

    Hi. Can you freeze the cake before adding the frosting? Thank you

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Oly – I don’t see why not! I’d suggest wrapping each layer individually.

  • Marcy Miller wrote:

    OMG! This cake was moist, soft and delicious! I love dark chocolate and this was my dream. My husband loved it too! I will be saving this one! Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Marcy – so glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • Gryphonisle wrote:

    Made this as per the recipe for the cake, finished with a ganache from elsewhere. Wonderfully moist and flavorful but I wonder if the chocolate would be even more pronounced with a regular cocoa as black/dark cocoa is more for color than taste?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – We’ve only made the recipe as written, but it’s possible! If you try it with a regular cocoa, please let us know!

  • Oly Smith wrote:

    Please can you give metric weights.
    Thank you

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Oly – We write our recipes based on how we cook and measure ingredients in our own kitchen and in this case, how the recipe was handed down to us. Since we don’t bake using metric measurements, we don’t list them in our recipes. This might be a helpful link to reference, but I can’t guarantee the success of the recipe baked on their metric calculations: Hope this helps.

  • Susan Paschen wrote:

    I made Nanny’s black midnight cake for my husband’s birthday. It was amazing! He wanted a cake he remembered his grandmother making from his childhood with coffee in it. I added an extra egg so it was really moist. Our grocery store was out of buttermilk so I substituted vinegar with milk. The icing was so creamy and the best I’ve ever made! I highly recommend this cake for true chocolate lovers!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susan – So glad you enjoyed the cake, and happy birthday to your husband!

  • Dana wrote:

    I loved this recipe! I made a bailey’s buttercream frosting instead of the listed one with the recipe. I can only imagine those that felt the cake was too dry over baked it because it truly is fantastic.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dana – love the idea of a Bailey’s buttercream!!

  • DORIS wrote:


  • Deb wrote:

    My husband said this cake is definitely 5star !!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank Deb!!

  • Briana wrote:

    Hi! I absolutely LOVE this recipe. It is by far the best chocolate cake I have ever had. With that being said, I am interested in using this same recipe for cupcakes instead of a cake. Are there any adjustments I need to make with this recipe, do you have any tips for me for turning these into cupcakes? Thank you so much!

  • Mette wrote:

    This cake is SOOOO good ❤️ it’s a winner every single time so Thank you for sharing ❤️

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Mette – so glad you enjoyed the cake as much as we do! <3

  • Tracey Overton wrote:

    Perfect cake!
    Does it freeze well once frosted?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tracey – We’ve never tried freezing this cake. Like any food, you’ll want to wrap it tightly so I do suspect that the frosting will get smudged off as you do that. If that doesn’t bother you, I suspect the cake would freeze and thaw nicely.

  • Danielle Brillhart wrote:

    Such a great chocolate cake! I have made this recipe 4 different times now.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you are enjoying the recipe as much as we do Danielle!

  • mel wrote:

    hi there. how much can u reduce the sugar for the cake n frosting? and, can u use butter instead of oil?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mel – We’ve only made the recipe as written so without some testing, I don’t have specific advice for you on reducing the sugar. In terms of swapping in butter for oil – generally, that won’t work. Butter is a solid when at room temp, while oil is a liquid. Swapping will definitely impact the texture of the finished baked cake. Sorry I can’t be more help…baking is a fairly exact science so it’s not really easy to guess at changes and if it will work without testing on our end.

  • Michelle wrote:

    This cake is divine and so sinful. I find myself thinking about this cake regularly and have to force myself to try new things instead of remaking this over and over. BUT it is so hard because I have literally found cake perfection!!! Thank you Nanny for sharing this recipe with your loved ones who have shared it with the world. Everyone who has tried this cake cannot stop the complements. And every time I make something different, they say oh that chocolate cake you make with the coffee is still the best and it is regularly mentioned in everyday conversations, lol.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you are all enjoying the recipe as much as we are! <3

  • Amy Meravi wrote:

    I kobe this cake, but I don’t remember the batter getting frothy? and then clumps of white in it?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – I’m sorry – are you seeing that written in the recipe someplace or experiencing it today when you make it?

  • Kristine Boydstun wrote:

    Have you ever made this cake as a bundt cake? Just wondering if it would work in a bundt pan. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kristine – I’m sorry – we haven’t tried this in a bundt pan ourselves. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Teresa wrote:

    When you say “strong brewed coffee”, how strong do you mean?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Teresa – Coffee brewed at double strength (more or less).

  • L wrote:

    Hi, I’m your recipe you say to use all purpose flour, but I noticed in your photos a box of cake flour. Which do you prefer? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi L – Either can be used. We’ve made it both ways and using the more expensive cake flour really didn’t make much of a difference, so we updated the recipe to just state all-purpose.

  • Rosaleighanne wrote:

    Wow! I was looking for a while for a dark chocolate cake to make for my father’s birthday, and after some time on Pinterest, I came across yours. I made it today, whilst my husband barbecued, and everyone was seriously impressed!
    My husband and I are not dark chocolate lovers, but even we were super impressed. It was so moist and delicious, and the frosting was perfect as well.
    The only things I did differently were adding vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract in the cake. I accidentally forgot to add the vanilla into the frosting (honestly, it was delicious without it though). I added more buttermilk into the frosting as well, just little bits at a time until it was perfectly spreadable (but not runny). And lastly, I took a 78% cocoa dark chocolate bar, and added shavings on top of the frosted cake. Perfection. Thank you so much for this recipe, it was an absolute hit!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome – so glad you all enjoyed the recipe! Love the idea of adding chocolate shavings to the top!

  • Jackie wrote:

    My husband loves this cake! Thank you sooo much!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Jackie! So glad you are enjoying the recipe!

  • Beth wrote:

    Made this for my husbands’s birthday today. So many compliments from our guests. Great recipe…thank you for sharing this. Will definitely make this one again. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the cake Beth!

  • Marie wrote:

    Regarding your comment about some people having this cake turn out dry. I live in a higher altitude, but not quite at the level noted on the Betty Crocker boxes (for shame!) where you should adapt to a high altitude. Nevertheless, I do adapt, and find everyone comments on my moist cakes. Yes, I do use boxed cakes for bake sales. One as deliciously wonderful as this recipe is simply not leaving the house!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you for that information Marie – it’s entirely possible that was the cause. Glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks again for your suggestion!

  • Mary Jean Jones wrote:

    I tried cupcakes instead let’s see what happens

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope they turned out well Mary Jean! I know we’ve had other readers do the same with good results.

  • DeboraHarv wrote:

    Delicious! You’ve created a chocolate cake recipe that tastes like chocolate without all the fuss.. Thank you!!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe Debora!

  • pat wrote:

    I can’t wait to make Black Midnight cake

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you love it Pat!

  • Sheila wrote:

    Happy to report my half cake was a big success…. it kind of sank in the middle, but I just piled on the icing. Everyone loved it! Thanks fora great recuse!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for letting us know Sheila! Glad everyone enjoyed the cake!

  • Sheila wrote:

    Do you have any advice for cutting the recipe in half other than doing the math accurately? Want to make a snacking cake and this looks delicious. Really like the addition of the coffee and the cayenne pepper. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sheila – No advice – if I were attempting a snacking cake, I’d cut the ingredients in half. The baking time will be less too so definitely watch it while it bakes in the oven.

  • Judy Vandersteen wrote:

    Made this black cocoa cake in a bundt pan. Was delicious, not too sweet.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Judy!

  • Rose wrote:

    Have you made this cake with a sugar alternative?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Rose – No…we’ve only made the recipe as written. If you try it with a sugar alternative, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Karen wrote:

    Looks delicious

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Karen – hope you’ll give the recipe a try!

  • Neeraj Sharma wrote:

    Hi Martha, I tried this recipe and it turns out delicious. Very thankful for sharing this recipe but will appreciate if you could also give measurements in gms as those are much convenient and accurate.
    Warm regards

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestion Neeraj – we may add weight measurements and/or metric measurements in the future!

  • Beverly Sawyer wrote:

    Can you make Nannys black midnight cake into cupcakes. If so what temperature and how long.

  • Suzanne wrote:

    Best chocolate cake I’ve ever made!! Fantastic recipe made with all the ingredients you probably already have! Be sure to use Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Suzanne! Glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • Dorothy Brohard wrote:

    Made the Black Midnight is great…

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dorothy!

  • Della wrote:

    Can the Black Midnight cake be made in a 9×13 pan

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Della – We haven’t tried this in a 13×9 pan – but I’m guessing it would be fine! Let us know how it comes out!

  • Mark wrote:

    Delicious-I increased the cayenne to 1 tsp and added some chopped hazelnuts after it was frosted. A hit all around!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds delicious Mark – glad you enjoyed the cake recipe!

  • Samantha wrote:

    I need this recipe for a 12×2 and a 10 x 2 cake please help me !!!!

    • Jack wrote:

      If I understand your question, you don’t own 9″ cake pans and want to bake the cakes in two different sized pans? Once baked, one would have to be trimmed to fit the 10″ size when stacked. But if you meant you are baking two layer cakes, one 12″ inch and one 10″, the recipe wouldn’t change much except that since the pans are wider (which means the batter is spread out more), they would bake in less time by a few minutes. I would do the toothpick test at 25 minutes. If I have misunderstood your question, I apologize. Elaborate further and I will do my best to answer.

  • Zayna wrote:

    My son searched the Internet for the most deep dark chocolate cake, for his birthday, and chose this recipe. It was very simple to make and tasted delicious. I heeded your advice and closely watched my oven; which I know runs hot. The cake was so moist!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Zayna – I’m so glad you all enjoyed the cake recipe! Happy Birthday to your son!

  • Danielle Brillhart wrote:

    This is the best chocolate cake! I have made 3 times now, and am making again this week for my sons birthday party. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Danielle! So glad you are enjoying the recipe as much as we do!

  • Korre Woods wrote:

    This was the best cake I have ever made.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Korre!

  • Rosalie wrote:

    I don’t have a stand mixer. Are there any changes in the instructions if I were to use a hand mixer? Hopefully one day soon I’ll have a stand mixer. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Rosalie – No changes needed – it’s fine to use a hand mixer! We hope you love the cake!

  • Gaby wrote:


    I made this recipe last night and it was delicious! One of the moistest cakes I’ve ever made, and couldn’t taste the coffee or cayenne – just rich chocolate. One comment I have is that since I followed the instructions to the letter, I greased the pans AFTER mixing the dry and wet ingredients. This was pretty time consuming, and meant the cake sat out losing air, so I think it lost some volume. I think it might help us less seasoned bakers if that step were earlier in the recipe. Otherwise, perfect!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Great suggestion Gaby! Thank you for taking the time to write to us today.

  • M, Rose wrote:

    This revised version of the black midnight cake is 5 star. I had made your older version, and the measurements weren’t as easy as this new recipe, and the quantity of buttermilk in the frosting was twice what it should have been. Also, it is much better without the shortening (which had been an ingredient in the first recipe). Without the shortening, I can stay with my pledge to not buy palm oil, and thus not contribute to rainforest destruction.
    Thank you for making the corrections and changes . This one is a keeper.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Barb wrote:

    Made this last weekend and it was a hit! Made it in a Bundt pan…It is so incredible it doesn’t even need the frosting! This will become a family favorite. Thank you so much!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Barb! Good to know that baking this in a budnt pan also works – we appreciate the info!

  • NAMRATA wrote:

    One request. If you could upload a video showing your recipe. I could exactly be able to get the idea of the texture of each and every step of making cake.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi again – We don’t currently have plans to film a video of this recipe, but we will consider doing so in the future. Thanks for the suggestion. In the meantime, if you want to follow a recipe with a video, here is one to try: (I totally understand if you decide to make her recipe instead of ours!) Hope this helps!

  • NAMRATA wrote:

    Hey I am trying this recipe back and again, and still having a problem of rubbery texture of the cake. While making the cake along with following the recipe with minute details I have come across one more point I think that might solve my problem. Your recipe calls for “cream oil and sugar” which I am not able to, it turns into a big dollop and doesn’t turn creamy. So later I add buttermilk and melt the sugar, but as no aeration is form while mixing oil and sugar, so my cake turns rubbery. So my query is, does the oil and sugar really turn creamy while mixing?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Namrata – The term “creaming” in baking recipes simply means mixing until well blended – this article (with photos) may be helpful. (Note – the photos in this example are shown using butter, while our recipe calls for oil and sugar, so it may not exactly resemble those photos – you want it will mixed as well as possible.) I would also be careful not to overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added – doing so can activate the gluten in the flour and that can also be the culprit in making your cake rubbery. Hope that helps!

  • Aidan wrote:

    So in the pics I see y’all are using cake flour but the recipe calls for all-purpose. Have you made it both ways?

    • Jack wrote:

      We tried it both ways but the finished cake didn’t seem to justify the cake flour.

  • Stephanie wrote:

    Hi there, just baked this cake. I followed exactly the measurements and the method but my texture of the batter was very runny and thin. Was in a doubt. But went on and baked it for 45minutes in 170c and the texture of the baked cake looks a little undone. Not sure where it went wrong or was it supposed to be like that. Leaving it to cool now and will be checking them tomorrow morning. Cheers.!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stephanie – It’s always so hard to troubleshoot what might have been the issue…every oven is different but as long as the toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean, it should be done. Fingers crossed!

  • Jacquetta Williamson wrote:

    Mine was little tough but I’m sure it’s because I over mixed a little. Other than that it was moist and delicious. I like this recipe and I will try it again soon. I just thought that the batter was too runny but I still kept to the recipe. I think I will use less buttermilk and coffee next time. though. Thank You for sharing this recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jacquetta!

  • Craig wrote:

    Seriously the best cake I’ve ever made. Absolutely perfect. Do be sure to check the cakes at the 23-25 minute mark, as they do seem to be done sooner than the recipe suggests.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Craig!

  • Joyce wrote:

    I recently discovered that better quality flour makes a big difference in all my baking. I’d had disappointing results and switching back to name-brand flour solved my problems.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joyce! You may be on to something…we always use King Arthur!

  • Andrea wrote:

    Beautiful recipe I was wondering if I could also make this in a 9×13 pan?

  • Katie wrote:

    Can you taste the cayenne, I don’t like hot stuff,. so not sure if I should use it or not . Besides that it sounds awesome

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Katie – No – you can’t taste the cayenne – it just enhances the chocolate but so little is used you won’t taste it or feel the heat. (If you prefer, just leave it out.)

  • Namrata wrote:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.. its just amazingly beautiful and tasty cake.. I have a slight query for this cake. I make the vegetarian version by using curd instead of eggs. And my query is that my cake turns a bit rubbery in texture. I have tried several times. But don’t know why it’s turning out that way.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Namrata – We’ve only made this cake as written in the recipe and I’m not familiar with the curds you are swapping in for the eggs. I suspect those curds are interacting with one of the ingredients to give you that rubbery texture – but without doing some testing on our end, I’m afraid I’m not sure how to help you. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • mamta wrote:

    am allergic to eggs. any substitute?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mamta – We’ve only made the recipe as written so I can’t say for sure, but you could try aquafaba – the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas. Typically, 3 Tablespoons of the liquid equals one egg. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Petal From the wonderful island of Trinidad wrote:

    ‘Super Moist’ and delicious cake. I used the Saco Buttermilk Blend and didn’t have vegetable oil so I used coconut oil and 11/2 cups of sugar instead. I followed the instructions to the letter and was very pleased with the result. Thanks for this recipe Martha.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Petal! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Avie wrote:

    Drooling over pics – must try it asap. Could I use strong instant coffee instead of brewed?? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes – brewing some strong instant coffee is definitely an easy swap. Enjoy!

  • Leah Arndt wrote:

    Thanks for this recipe! I made this cake last night for my husband’s birthday. He loves dark chocolate and it came out fantastic! All of kids loved it and even I (who does not enjoy dark chocolate) ate 2 pieces. I love the surprising blackish color of this cake when we cut into it… truly living up to it’s name. Besides loving this fantastic cake, I really enjoyed following your recipe instructions. They were very well written and I LOVED the tips you gave! Even after 13 years of marriage I learned new things to do for baking! Thank you so much!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Leah! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • ANNE M KEATING wrote:

    Could you use Black Cocoa Powder instead of the dark cocoa powder?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Anne – I’ve never used black cocoa powder – only the Hershey’s Special Dark which bakes up much darker than the regular cocoa powder. But I suspect it will work! (Maybe we’re talking about the same type of dark chocolate cocoa powder – just different names?)

  • Linda wrote:

    This looks fantastic. Can coconut oil (melted) be substituted for the vegetable oil?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – We’ve never tried swapping in coconut oil in this recipe so I can’t say for sure. Just remember that when cooled, coconut oil is firm, while cooled vegetable oil remains liquid – so I suspect that the finished texture of the cake would be quite different. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Christie wrote:

    Made this cake just yesterday with my family for Christmas and it was a HIT! The cake had a delicious dark chocolate flavor and was complimented wonderfully by the frosting. Not sure how other’s attempts ended up dry, but I followed the recipe exactly and it couldn’t have been more moist. Will be making again, and again!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Christine!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • dp wrote:

    What size cake pans did you use?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – We used 9-inch pans but 8-inch will also work. The 8-inch pans will yield slightly thicker layers and you may need to adjust the baking time.

  • Dominador wrote:

    OMG I didn’t realize that you use two 9 inch because I put it in a 1 go
    Because I think you’ll use smaller pan than I use and it looks thin when I divide into two.

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes – we used two pans. The batter will rise as it bakes.

  • Samantha wrote:

    This looks so good I want to try this and make a mousse to go in the middle of the cakes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Samantha!

  • Gin Humphrey wrote:

    This is the driest cake I’ve ever made and eaten in my life. I will not follow the instructions if I make it again. Add extra oil if you decide to give this recipe a try.

    • Martha wrote:

      So sorry to hear you had issues with our recipe Gin!

  • Glenis Iki wrote:

    I love these recipes, so many recipes to choose, Ive got a sister thats asking me for a really nice Chocolate Cake recipe.
    I’m an average baker & decorator. So I trying Chocolate Cake recipes. I’ll make & present these Chocolate Cakes to my family, there in for treat of life time. All these Cakes are just incredible. Thankyou.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Glenis! Enjoy!

  • Laba wrote:

    Hi. What’s the size of the cake pans??

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Laba – Great question! We used 9-inch cake pans. 8-inch pans will also work (the cooking time will vary a bit).

  • Patsey Ward wrote:

    What a beautiful family activity. Just think someday they’ll do the same with their families. Generations of the past will live on in yours. Thank you for sharing. It’s truly a blessing.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Patsey! It was a very special day – and a very special cake! 🙂

  • Trisha wrote:

    Hi, this looks absolutely delicious and I would like to try it sometime. I generally don’t use shortening in my cooking, do you have any tried and tested suggestions for shortening substitute for this recipe? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Trish – No – I’m sorry, we’ve only made this recipe as written in the posted recipe.

  • Mary Anne wrote:

    Flavor was good, but the cake was dry as the Sahrara. Won’t make again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sorry to hear Mary Anne!

  • Marjie wrote:

    This cake sounds delicious. I live in Denver. Is this recipe for high altitude? Thanks.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marjie – I’m afraid I don’t know how it will bake in a higher altitude. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  • Tom W wrote:

    Does this cake need to be kept refrigerated once made? It looks delicious. I think I will make it for a dinner at our church.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tom – It should be OK for a day or two without refrigeration. The frosting might be soft but it should be fine otherwise.

  • Andrea Anderson wrote:

    Does this cake have to be refrigerated? I’m making it right now. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      No – it should be OK at room temperature for a day or so!

  • Sherry Rotering wrote:

    Can you substitute something else for coffee? I don’t like the taste of coffee but recipe sounds good and looks delicious. Thank you for sharing

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sherry – You really won’t taste the coffee as a standalone flavor in the cake – it just enhances the flavor of the chocolate. But if you’d rather leave it out, just replace it with water. The cake will still be very chocolatey. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Janie wrote:

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe. It is so moist. This is a cake you might find at a 4 star restaurant. Very very good!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Janie! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Just discovered your blog and I am thoroughly enjoying browsing! Love how dark this chocolate cake is–mmm…..

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Fran!

  • Wendie wrote:

    I wonder how this recipe would work in a 9×13 pan. Have you tried it?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Wendie – we haven’t tried this in a 13×9 pan – but I’m guessing it would be fine! Let us know how it comes out!

  • Medeja wrote:

    Black delicious cake! I really like the picture of the baking process 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja!

  • [email protected] and More wrote:

    Fabulous cake and wonderful job by your bakers!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joan!!

  • Jocelyn @BruCrew Life wrote:

    What an absolutely fun cake for the kids to make!!! I am dying over how deep and dark it is…I need this cake for sure!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jocelyn!

  • tanya wrote:

    Cute pictures! The best part is always licking the spoon! This cake looks incredible Martha!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Tanya! The kids had a great time!

    • Deborahrn wrote:

      I really liked the beautiful presentation, but what I most enjoyed was seeing the involvement of the whole family. it brought back precious memories. Thanks again, Deborah

      • Martha wrote:

        Thank you so much Deborah! We totally agree – those precious family memories are the best thing of all! Martha

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