Better Than Box Mix Chocolate Cake

We all know that box mix makes for an easy cake baking experience. There’s no denying that it makes for a reliable one too – with a boxed mix you rarely have a fallen cake or an off-putting flavor. But we also all know that nothing quite compares to a cake baked totally from scratch. (It must be something to do with the love that goes into it.) Luckily, with our Better Than Box Mix Chocolate Cake recipe, you can have your cake and eat it too. This recipe always delivers the same reliable results that a box mix is known for, but it has that irreplaceable homemade flavor that no box mix can come close to matching.

It’s is a simple one-bowl cake, which means there isn’t a ton of clean up to worry about and you can bake it as two 9-inch rounds or in a 9×13 pan for a more casual cake experience. It’s studded with chopped chocolate, so the moist and soft crumb of the cake is dotted with pockets of melted chocolate. What we’re saying is that it’s an extra chocolatey chocolate cake. If you can handle even more chocolate, this pairs wonderfully with a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, but if you need a little contrast a classic marshmallowy Seven Minute Frosting does the trick.
Next time you need a crowd-pleaser of a cake, there’s no reason to rely on a boxed mix off the grocery store shelf. This cake is just as simple, just as reliable, and tastes even better!

Better Than Box Mix Chocolate Cake

45 minutes to prepare serves 8-10


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
Gently stir in boiling water, then fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: To bake in a 9×13-inch baking dish, bake 35-40 minutes at 350°F.

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