One Bowl Chocolate Birthday Cake

Makes three 8-inch round layers, two 9-inch round layers, one 9-by-13 inch sheet or 3 to 4 dozen cupcakes

This recipe calls for mixing all the ingredients together into a bowl, then dividing the batter into cake pans, then baking them. How easy is that?


  • Unsalted butter, for pans

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Chocolate Frosting for One-Bowl Chocolate Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter round or square cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa.

  2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.

  3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes for 8-inch layers, depending on amount of batter.

  4. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely, right side up on rack.

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