Cocoa Cake Recipe


quick and easy cocoa cake


Easy Cocoa Cake Recipe is the best moist, quick and easy cocoa cake you can make.

When growing up Mama made delicious cakes using self-rising flour in one bowl like this.


Absent modern electric or hand mixers, she mixed her cakes with a spoon or fork.

Enjoy this quick and easy, old fashioned cake recipe  from scratch in a jiffy.

Easy Cocoa Cake Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups sifted self-rising flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons hot water

  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Sift flour, measure and add to mixing bowl.


Add baking soda, brown sugar and cocoa powder. 


Whisk together.

Drop in butter and egg.


Add milk and vanilla extract.

Mix together 1 minute on low speed.


Scrape down sides and bottom.

Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds.

Add hot water and beat 30 seconds more.

Scrape down sides and bottom and pour batter (it will be thin) into one prepared* 8" x 8" x 2" square baking pan.

With a spoon or spatula smooth the top evenly getting batter into all four corners of cake.

This will help achieve a flat top for dusting.

Tap sides lightly to release any large air bubbles and place in preheated 350F. oven.

Bake 25-30 minutes until center tests done with a toothpick or point of kitchen knife.

Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Run a knife blade around the edges to loosen sides and invert cake on a serving plate or cake rack to cool.

Dust top with sifted powdered sugar, if choosing to serve plain and not frost.

Makes 9 serving squares.

*To prepare pan, cut parchment paper to fit in bottom of pan.

Place paper in pan and grease the paper and sides of pan with butter or vegetable spray.

Sour Cream Cocoa Cake

  • 1/2 cup cocoa

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 egg whites


Mix cocoa with boiling water and stir until smooth.


Let cool.


Cream shortening gradually.


Add half of the sugar and cream until it is light and fluffy.


Add the cocoa mixture.


Sift together cake flour, baking soda and salt.


Stir into cocoa mixture alternately with the combined vanilla extract and sour cream.


Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.


Gradually, add rest of sugar until peaks round over gently.


Fold into the batter.


Pour into two 9" round layer cake pans that have been greased and lined with paper.


Bake in a pre-heated 350F. oven for about 25-30 minutes until the caked test done when probed with a toothpick.


Remove cakes from the oven and invert on a cake cooling rack.

When completely cooled, frost with the Mocha Frosting.

Mocha Frosting Recipe

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

  • 2/3 cup Hersey's Special Dark Cocoa

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/3 cup strong coffee that has cooled


Melt the butter and stir in the cocoa alternately with the coffee. 


Frost the middle, sides and tip of the cake.


If the frosting seems to be too thin, stir in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to thicken it up a little.


If the frosting seems to be a little too thick, add one tablespoon powdered at a time until it reaches the right consistency for spreading on your cake.

Serving Suggestions


Serve plain hot or cold.

Serve or with a dollop of ice cream.


Either Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate or Napoleon are delicious

Peach or Peanut Butter ice cream is awesome paired with this cake, also.

Top with your favorite fruits such as bananas, fresh cherries and various berries like strawberries and blueberries.

Top with Homemade Whipped Cream and drizzle with hot or cold Chocolate Sauce.

Split cake crosswise and fill with your favorite puddings between the layers.


Vanilla Custard Filling
, or Lemon and Coconut puddings are excellent.


Add the top layer of cake and sprinkle it with powdered sugar.


Sprinkle the powdered sugar lightly with cinnamon for added flavor.

Frost with Creamy Chocolate Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Mocha Frosting or Seven Minute Frosting topped with toasted coconut.


There are endless, creative ideas for this wonderful Cocoa Cake Recipe.


Cake Tips


Individual serving size pieces can be frozen and thawed to room temperature or defrosted in the microwave for an instant dessert.

The dry ingredients of flour, sugar, soda and cocoa powder can be measured out, mixed together and stored in individual plastic baggies to make this cake even quicker to make as needed.

To make a two layer cake double the Cocoa Cake Recipe.

Return to Old Fashioned Cake Recipes

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