The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe

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A few words about this cake recipe:  if you want gluten free, this is not the cake recipe for you. If you want low-fat, this is not the cake recipe for you. If you want vegan, this is not the cake recipe for you. But if you want the easiest, most delicious, YUM-inducing, oh-my-god-please-make-this-for-me chocolate cake in the world, then this is the cake recipe for you. Because, screw it, it’s someone’s birthday, and you all deserve a great cake.

My children request this cake every year. Batman cake? No problem. Monster High cake? No problem. I can do it all with this cake.

best chocolate birthday cake recipe

Wren’s Monster High cake

The cooking times below assume that you are baking this cake in a bundt pan, but I have baked this in a Monster High cake pan, as well. That was a thinner pan, so the cooking times were different. Just keep your eye on it and be prepared to make cupcakes with the extra batter. Poor thing! Extra cupcakes for the chef…


However, you can be incredibly creative with a fancy bundt pan. I bought a Nordic Ware castle bundt pan one year, and I have made many excellent birthday cakes with it. My daughter got a princess cake, of course. But it also made a very fine Batman cake for my son. I just added a few figurines on top, a little creative design, and voilà! A superhero cake. Next year, he tells me he wants a Harry Potter cake. Hogwarts, anyone?

This cake needs no frosting, honestly, but for a birthday theme, my go-to frosting is butter cream. Who doesn’t love that? For some of the colored accents, though, I have been known to buy colored frosting tubes that you can just fit the attachment on. It does simplify things… In the Monster High cake, my only caveat is that the butter cream frosting should be well chilled. The heat from your hands tends to warm it up, making it hard to deal with. But it’s worth it! Trust me on this.

chocolate birthday cake ideas

Harry’s Batman cake

Hawkesworth Chocolate Poundcake Recipe

1½ cups butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 cups pastry flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325º.

Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan (or whatever pan you’re using).

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, starting with the flour.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan, at least 20 minutes. Turn it out and allow it to cool completely. You can either frost it or dust it with powdered sugar.

Basic Butter Cream Frosting Recipe

1 lb confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
½ cup butter
5-6 Tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended and creamy. For stiffer frosting, use less cream; for thinner frosting, use more.
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Asha Hawkesworth

Asha is passionate about enjoying life and making the most of what she has. She is a writer and painter and enjoys being with her family. She has written children's books and a book about the inner child (, as well as other blogs at and

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