The BEST Chocolate Cake

This is hands-down the BEST basic chocolate cake recipe with buttercream frosting EVER!

Basic Chocolate Cake Recipe - It is a Keeper

I am so excited to be sending some happy birthday wishes to one incredible lady and blogger – Aubrey from Real Housemoms.  Today a bunch of us are getting together to help her celebrate by throwing her a virtual birthday party!

Aubrey's Birthday Party Collage Horizontal

Since we know that Aubrey is a chocoholic (just poke around her site for a bit), I’m sharing this recipe for the BEST chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

This is no cake-from-a-box concoction (although I’m not ashamed to admit that I use them).  This is the real McCoy.  Homemade.  From scratch.  With love.  And, so is the frosting.

Basic Chocolate Cake Recipe - It is a Keeper

This is a classic buttercream frosting.  I love it because I can add any flavorings or colors that I want.

Once you see how easy this cake is, you’ll think twice about using boxed cake mixes or  canned frosting.

Everyone needs a basic chocolate cake recipe.  This is definitely a recipe you want to book mark, print out, pin and save for your next special occasion.

So Aubrey, I hope you’re enjoying lots of family and fun today.  And, of course, a big piece of cake!  Happy birthday!

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs celebrating Aubrey’s special day!

Bacon-Wrapped Chorizo Stuffed Dates from Bread Booze Bacon

Free Printable Birthday Card from I Should Be Mopping The Floor

Tropical Sangria Poke Cake from Frugal Foodie Mama

S’moretini from Life Tastes Good

Margarita Cupcakes from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits from Self Proclaimed Foodie

Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Bites from {i love} my disorganized life

DIY Wine Charms from Home.Made.Interest

Fancy Feathered Drink Stirrers from View From The Fridge

Classic Chocolate Cake from It Is A Keeper

Citrus Sangria from Noshing with the Nolands

Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes from Around My Family Table

Lightened-Up Cake Batter Truffles from Happy Food Healthy Life

Samoa Martini from Wine & Glue

Buffalo Chicken Flautas from The Magical Slow Cooker

Cake Batter Shooters from A Night Owl

The Best Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

The BEST Chocolate Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup melted margarine or butter
Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add melted butter, vanilla, water and vinegar.
  4. Grease a 13x9 inch pan and coat with cocoa.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool before frosting.
  1. In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with a mixer on low speed.
  2. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  3. Gradually mix in additional tablespoon of milk until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  4. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, a few drops at a time.
  5. If frosting is too thin, gradually add small amounts of powdered sugar until thickened.


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Hi! I'm Christina, the chief cook and bottle washer here at It Is a Keeper! I scour cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have my seal of approval. Most of my recipes are easy enough for busy weeknights and simple enough for those that think they can't cook. Thanks for stopping by!

Latest posts by Christina Hitchcock (see all)


  1. says

    My mom always made a chocolate sheet cake with buttercream frosting. Seriously nothing better in the world. I’m must try your from scratch version!

  2. Kate says

    This cake was awesome. My husband said it was the best chocolate cake he ever had. I had to bake it about 40 till it was done.

  3. Stacy says

    Hi!! New follower from the hop. Mmmmm…..chocolate cake!!! I love the blog, and always looking for new recipes!!

  4. NPO says

    I have a recipe from my husband’s family called “Garbage Cake” (because you dump it all in the mixer like this one) that they all love, but I find not worth the calories. This one is very similar, but slightly different in a few important ingredients (butter vs. oil and less vinegar) – not the least of which is the icing. I’m definitely going to try this cake in the future and pass it off as the Garbage Cake to see what they think! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I Play Outside The Box says

    I look forward to trying this recipe! Thanks for sharing…and congrats on your “15 seconds of fame” too…Ü

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