This homemade chocolate cake mix recipe is better than Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, plus it’s made from scratch! It’s SO moist & fluffy, you’ll never go back to unhealthy boxed cake mixes again! The process is simple and the outcome is DELICIOUS! Make a cake or cupcakes and top them with my homemade chocolate whipped cream!
One of my proudest couponing moments (before we switched to real food, and obviously before I quit couponing) was buying boxed cake mix for 25¢ each. I stacked e-coupons with paper coupons on top of a great sale and filled two cabinets with all sorts of flavors.
Then I remember the day when I cleaned out the kitchen of hydrogenated oils (both partial and fully) and every single one of those boxes of cake mix had to go!
Fortunately, making homemade cake mix isn’t hard at all. I made homemade yellow cake mix a few years ago, and now I’m adding homemade chocolate cake mix to the cabinet too!
Believe me, this homemade cake mix will be THE BEST chocolate cake you’ll ever have – and you can say good-bye to those boxed mixes forever!
Here’s why you should use this easy chocolate cake mix:
- Everyone will love it! I used this homemade chocolate cake mix recipe to make cupcakes for both of my kids’ classes. They both reported that it was everyone’s favorite cupcake ever!
- It’s super easy. I promise this homemade chocolate cake mix recipe is just as easy as using a boxed mix. Except you’re saving yourself all of the unhealthy ingredients found in most boxed mixes!
- Frugal. Making your own chocolate cake mix saves you money because you can stretch the ingredients to make way more than one batch!
Here’s What You Need for Homemade Cake Mix
(Note: See recipe card for complete ingredient amounts)
Notes on Ingredients
- You can use all-purpose flour or whole grain flour.
- Most people have all-purpose flour in their pantry, so that’s what I used for this recipe. You can substitute up to 50% of the flour with whole-grain flour, but note that it will likely cause the finished cake to be a bit denser and dryer
- It took us some time but we finally quit processed white sugar. We currently use Turbinado sugar for all of our baking needs, including healthier sugar cookies and this homemade chocolate cake mix recipe.
- Turbinado sugar is less sweet than white sugar, and the granules are larger. This means that you’re actually getting less sugar in a ½ cup when you use Turbinado sugar compared to white sugar. This is a double win because I reduced the amount of sugar in this recipe too!!
- Avid bakers will likely have Dutch-process cocoa on hand, and that’s what this recipe calls for. It’s darker in color and is mellower in flavor than natural cocoa.
- If you’re not sure what type of cocoa you have, check the label. Most Dutch-process cocoa will say so, whereas natural cocoa will likely just say “cocoa.”
- Natural cocoa is typically found in grocery store aisles, under brand names like Hershey’s or Ghiradelli. Dutch-process cocoa is often found in a specialty or natural foods aisle.
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Make a Chocolate Cake Using this Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe
- 1 batch homemade chocolate cake mix recipe (see recipe card)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled slightly to room temperature
- 1-1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (make your own)
Step by Step Instructions for Making a Homemade Chocolate Cake
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the homemade chocolate cake mix recipe as directed in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until JUST combined. Do not over stir the batter. A few lumps are fine.
Step 2. Butter and flour two 8″x8″ cake pans, one 9″x13″ cake pan, or line two 12-cup muffin pans with liners.
For use with:
- Two 8″x8″ cake pans: Divide the batter evenly between the pans
- One 9″x13″ cake pan: Pour the batter into the pan
- Cupcakes: Fill the muffin tins HALFWAY full
Step 3. Bake for 13-15 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Check the cakes at this time too, adding additional time as necessary. Allow to cool completely before icing and/or decorating.
Recipe Tips and Tricks for Chocolate Cake Mix
- If you want to use natural cocoa powder, reduce the baking powder to 1 ½ tsp and add 1 ½ tsp baking soda to the mix.
- If you make this recipe and make a cake or cupcakes and find that they’re not as sweet as you’re used to, that’s my goal. These are sweet enough to be considered dessert, but not so sweet that they’ll put you in a sugar coma.
- You can make multiple batches and make a layer of cake mix chocolate. Make sure to use a cooling rack to let the cakes cool down before you frost.
- If you want them to be sweeter, you always have the option of icing them. Try making a chocolate frosting or this peanut butter frosting!
When you make the chocolate cake mix, adding milk instead of water helps make the texture denser.
If you’re left feeling like you need more than just chocolate flavor, adding mix-ins will definitely spice up your homemade chocolate cake recipe. Try adding a handful of chocolate chips, nuts, or even fruit! You have a lot of options, get creative and have fun with it!
Sifting the flour before adding it to the batter adds air and makes the blend light. When you do this it will result in an extremely spongy and fluffy cake!
More Cake Recipes
- No-Bake Cheesecake
- Chocolate Brownie Cake
- Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
- Overnight Einkorn Coffee
- Homemade Lemon Cake Mix
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Watch How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix
Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe
My homemade chocolate cake mix recipe is better than Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, and it’s entirely from scratch! It’s SO moist and delicious, you’ll never go back to unhealthy boxed cake mixes again!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 “box” of chocolate cake 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bowl
- Cuisine: American
Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used Turbinado)
- 3/4 cup dutch-process cocoa*
- 1 Tbsp baking powder*
- 1/2 tsp salt
Make a Homemade Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- 1 batch homemade chocolate cake mix recipe (above)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled slightly to room temperature
- 1–1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (make your own)
How to Make Homemade Cake Mix
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Alternatively, you can layer the ingredients if you’re giving this as a gift.
- This mix will just fit into a quart glass jar. Store with a lid in the pantry and use it anytime you want to make chocolate cake!
How to Make a Homemade Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the homemade chocolate cake mix recipe as directed in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until JUST combined. Do not overstir the batter. A few lumps are fine.
- Butter and flour two 8″x8″ cake pans, one 9″x13″ cake pan or line two 12-cup muffin pans with liners.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Check the cakes at this time too, adding additional time as necessary. Allow to cool completely before icing and/or decorating.
For cakes or cupcakes, use:
- for two 8″x8″ cake pans: divide the batter evenly between the pans
- for one 9″x13″ cake pan: pour the batter into the pan
- for cupcakes: fill the muffin tins HALFWAY full
* If your cocoa does not say “Dutch-process,” it is likely natural cocoa. If you use natural cocoa, reduce the baking powder to 1 1/2 tsp and add 1 1/2 tsp baking soda.
- Calories: 632
Keywords: chocolate cake mix
I finally purchased a canoe pan on Amazon for my birthday. This being said, I wonder if any of your cake mixes can be made into a spongecake. I think that’s what Twinkies are like, right? If this is true, how would I do this? I’d certainly like to try it one day!
Can you please tell me what size canning jar you use to store the mix for future use please.
Brittany @ Team Crumbs
32 oz works! This is what we use.
I am definitely trying this! That imaginary person at the beginning of your post? Totally me. I work four ten-hour days so I can have 3-day weekends to work on my blog, and by the time I walk in the door at the end of a work day I can hardly think straight, let alone make a time-consuming recipe. This kind of dinner is just what I need!
I made fun cake shapes with your chocolate cake mix a few weeks ago, and they tasted amazing! However, Mama Jane noted that they may have been slightly overcooked, so I may have to try again. When my provider, Mary and I were making these, we put them in the oven for 25 minutes, then when we put a toothpick in the cake, it came out mushy. We added on an additional 7 minutes, then the toothpick came out clean. Do you think 32 minutes is a bit much for two 9″x9″ cake pans?
I wonder if this cake mix can be made into a homemade version of Oreo Cakesters. I’ve combine your cake mix recipe with the wet ingredients from a recipe for “soft Oreo cookies” from a woman named Melissa Griffiths. Her original idea was to use a box of Devil’s Food Cake Mix, but I told her yours would be better since it’s free of stuff you can’t pronounce. This even includes a recipe for royal icing from a woman named Holly. Here’s the recipe I’ve put together. Tell me if this looks right to you.
Classic Oreo Cakesters
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups Turbinado sugar
¾ cup cocoa Powder
½ Tablespoon baking powder*
½ Tablespoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon salt
½ cup oil
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4½ cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon arrowroot powder
1/16 Teaspoon salt
⅓ cup water
food coloring, (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add the cake mix, eggs, and oil to a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.
3. Roll the dough into balls that are a little bigger than a quarter, and place them on a greased baking sheet 2 inches apart.
4. Use the bottom of a glass cup to flatten the dough balls to 1/2-inch thick.
5. Bake the cookies for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow the cookies
to remain on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
6. Place the cookies on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before adding cream filling and icing.
7. Using a stand mixer with a cookie paddle attachment, mix the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla
extract together. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time, if needed, until the mixture resembles a thick dough that is about the consistency of play dough.
8. Divide the filling in half and roll it into a log that is about 2 inches wide. Roll the log in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge while the cookies
9. After the cookies are cool, it’s time to assemble! Remove the filling from the plastic wrap.
10. Using a sharp knife, slice off a piece that is between 1/4
to a 1/2 inch thick. This is the fun part of making your own Oreos. You can have traditional cream thickness, double stuffed, or even triple stuffed.
11. Stack a cookie, cream, and then another cookie. Press lightly together. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
12. Make the icing by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Beat at low speed for 1 minute, or until everything is thoroughly combined.
13. With the mixer running, drizzle ⅓ cup water down the side of the bowl so it doesn’t splatter, slowly increasing mixer speed until sugar is incorporated. Beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
14. The icing should be thick and stiff enough so that the beaters or whisk attachment leaves ridges when drawn through.
15. Divide icing into however many colors you would like and color to your liking and decorate cookies as you would with regular royal icing, watering down
slightly to fill piped lines.
16. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
I don’t see where is says how long to bake a 9×13 pan.
Hi Nicole! The recipe is for the cake MIX itself, not the cake. I’d say try 350 for 15-20 min and go from there!
Thank you very much for sharing such kind of recipe. i loved it and i also try it
I was just wondering how long the jars of cake mix stay good for? I am so Grateful for your recipes! I have a young growing family, and I want to give them the best and healthiest meals I can so that we can live better, healthier lives. Thank you so much for your help!
Hi Mckell! I’m using a cake mix that’s about a year old. I’d say it’s good as long as those ingredients individually would be, just keep your cake mix sealed!
Awesome! Thank you so much!
I just made a batch of your chocolate cake this afternoon, and let me tell you, it tastes like Heaven in the stars! My mom said even she was amazed at how light and fluffy it turned out to be. I had her try a bite, then I tried a piece tonight, and I’ve got to say, both of us think you’re absolutely right. This cake is 1,000,000,000,000,000 times better than store-bought cake mixes! When we were mixing the ingredients together, she found it strange that we mixed the wet ingredients separate from the dry ingredients. We put the eggs in a bowl, then added them one at a time. That would be hard for me, especially after I’ve whipped 3 eggs in a bowl. Since I can’t see, it would be hard to tell how much is one egg, as opposed to just putting all three in at once. When we combined the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla, the mixer sounded like it was literally blowing bubbles! Tooooooooo funny! Mom thought it was a bit too lumpy when we started adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, so she had to pour them in, little bits at a time. The reason why mom found it unusual is because she’s used to making cakes where you cream the butter and sugar together, and then gradually combine the rest of the ingredients into the mix. That way it’s a bit smoother and blends easier.
Well thank you for the glowing review Annabelle! I’ve heard of creaming butter and sugar for cookies, but not in cakes. The key though, is to not overbeat the mix otherwise you activate the gluten and get more bread-like cake, instead of airy cake…. like in bread, you WANT to activate the gluten, which is why you knead for 10 minutes. But cake, it’s just enough to combine and call it quits!
Even more amazing is, I let mom have a piece yesterday, and like me, she says it tastes amazing! She even gave a piece to Crista, the property manager at the apartment complex where I live, and even Crista says it tastes wonderful! I captured the making of this cake on one of my episodes of “Cooking With Delight”, and I said, once you try this, I bet you’ll never wanna turn back the clock and buy boxed cake mixes again!”. We did, however, make a slight blunder, as Mom thought I said 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I was like, “No, Mama Jane, I said 1 tablespoon!”. Maybe next time we’ll put a tablespoon in there. We baked the cake on two 9″x9″ cake pans, and it took a total of 25 minutes. We turned the cakes after 20 minutes, then baked for 5 more minutes. we let them cool while we went grocery shopping. We then made a layer cake, then put frosting in the middle between the two layers, and frosting on the top. The hardest part is that the cakes stuck to the plate once they cooled. Is that natural? The only part we didn’t make was the frosting. The frosting I used was a store-bought version of chocolate frosting with rainbow chips. Do you have a from-scratch recipe for that? I wonder what it would be like to make a peanut butter chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting? Would the cake mix recipe be the same?
Mom and I made homemade chocolate twinkies with your cake mix. However, putting the pudding in the center was a bit difficult, as the cakes were still warm, so not only
did they explode like cake bombs, but the pudding melted and absorbed in the cakes! Mom and I will try again, and hopefully we’ll make it so the pudding
won’t melt. Also, since I don’t have a canoe pan, I made rectangular twinkies instead, as I had to settle for a rectangular loaf pan.
I wonder, would it be possible to make a sponge cake with this recipe? I think that’s how twinkies are made.
I can’t wait to make up this recipe to stock in my pantry! I’m excited to try the first cake made from this recipe mix! I’m wondering though if I use CACAO powder instead of cocoa powder, would I still need to decrease the baking powder and add the baking soda to the recipe?
Ooh – good question. I don’t bake much with cacao powder, so you’d need to check the acidity level before jumping in!
What is a great timer for a 9×13 cake?
One flavor combination I like is chocolate and peanut butter. Another I like is chocolate and coffee. I wonder what those would be like in a cake. I’d like to try making a homemade version of those combinations.
That would be good! I bet you can make frosting for each of those flavors and the cake would be SOOOO good!
Do you know if I can substitute gluten free flour in this recipe? If so I Also wanted to know if it will work with just 100% pure pumpkin purée instead of the wet ingredients? Our house has tons of food allergies and Celiac.
Kyare - Team Crumbs
I would say yes on the gluten free flour and I am not sure on the pumpkin. I would love to hear your results if you try these adjustments though!
Have you made a white cake with this same recipe minus the cocoa?
Not yet Marie!
Looks and sounds delicious. Love revamping recipes into healthier version’s
Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for you to make this recipe. Thank you. I can’t wain until the weekend–that’s when I have my sweet and/or salty snacks. Happy Monday, Tiffany.
I thought you were JoAnn!! Enjoy!!
How much flour do I put in?
Karen @ Team Crumbs
You can find this info in the recipe card at the end of each post. For this one, it’s 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour. Hope this helps. 🙂