How to Make THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE | Michelle S. | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x


teacher avatar Michelle S., Teacher, Baker and Cupcake Maker!

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Chocolate Cake


    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      History of Chocolate Cake


    • 4.

      Tips to Bake a great cake


    • 5.

      Tips for a Moist Cake


    • 6.

      Chocolate Cake Recipe


    • 7.

      Yummy Buttercream Icing


    • 8.

      Chocolate Frosting Hacks


    • 9.

      Frosting the Cake


    • 10.

      Chocolate Cake Course Summary


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

If you love working chocolate cake and want a fail proof and easy recipe, this class is for you!

Michelle has spent over a decade baking and tweaking recipes. In this course she is sharing her go-to recipe for chocolate cake. In fact, 67% of people prefer CHOCOLATE CAKE!!* So… in this course, she will teach you how to make the BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE!** You will never make a boxed chocolate cake again.

In this class you’ll learn:

  • The history of chocolate cake.
  • Tips for baking a great, moist cake
  • An easy and delicious chocolate cake recipe
  • A classic buttercream icing with hacks to turn it into chocolate frosting
  • Basic frosting techniques for a rustic looking chocolate cake

You’ll bake, frost and enjoy a delicious chocolate cake!

This recipe is for all skill levels - beginners to experienced bakers. 

*A recent poll conducted on her social media pages.. ;-)

**As determined by her friends, family and customers. :-D

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Michelle S.

Teacher, Baker and Cupcake Maker!


Hello, I'm Michelle!

Cake Decorating and Baking Instructor

I was a Wilton Certified Instructor for 10 years! I have taught over 1,000 students techniques such as buttercream, royal icing, fondant, gum paste, tiered cakes, cupcakes, breads, cookies and more! During my time as a WMI, I found that my true passion is teaching and empowering other to make beautiful and unique treats.

Self-Taught and Professional Baker/Cake Decorator

Shortly after beginning my cake decorating career, I began working at a high-end, professional bakery where I refined my skills and honed my techniques.


YouTube Creator

Sweetwater Cakes – have you seen it? I have over 750,000 views on my YouTube channel, and I am helping others “sweeten the world... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction to Chocolate Cake: This is the only chocolate cake recipe you will ever need. This is the recipe for the chocolate cake that my mom, who's a major chocolate lover once every year for her birthday. She's not the only one that loves this cake. This chocolate cake holds up really well. For birthday cakes, cupcakes, he been wedding cakes. You can stack this chocolate cake, layers and layers high to make a beautiful wedding cake. I'm Michelle said 10 and I have a passion for teaching others how to bake yummy, delicious looking cakes for their families. I've YouTube channel with nearly a million views. And really I just love helping people fleet in the world and make beautiful creations. The project for this class will be to bake your own chocolate cake, no matter the outs to the ER at this cake should turn out pretty tasty. I'm so thankful that you are here and I'm really thrilled to be sharing my award-winning chocolate cake recipe with you. 2. Class Project: I bet you know the project for this class, right? And you're going to bake a chocolate cake. Now, I don't care if you bake cupcakes or if you bake a cake, but they get frosted, share it with your friends and family and let me know what you all think. I would love it if you would post a picture of the cake that you make in the video notes here. 3. History of Chocolate Cake: So where did talk, what Kate come from? What is the history? In this lesson, I'm going to share with you where talk, what Kate came from, and why. We love it so much today. Prior to the late 18 nineties, Chocolate was mostly used in drink recipes. No wonder I love hot chocolate so much. Then Chocolate was added to cakes. But only really for the filling is in glazes. This is great, but let's take a few steps back, or rather centuries that chocolate cake actually dates back to the 17th century when cocoa from the Americas was added to cake recipes. A Dutch chemist named Conrad Johanas one Houghton, became a chocolate maker and discovered how to treat column mass with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make chocolate solids more soluble. The result, a Dutch process chocolate, which is the superior type of cocoa powder. In my opinion, this newly discovered cocoa powder was an attitude, traditional vanilla cakes and voila. Now we have chocolate cake. Let's fast forward to the Great Depression era of the 1930s. Many baking ingredients were not readily available due to rationing. Bakers and homemakers had to become creative with their cakes with a limited supply of eggs and butter. The crazy cake or wacky cake was invented. This delicious chocolate cake is a spongy cocoa based cake. Now here we are nearly 100 years later. And this crazy cake is my preferred chocolate cake recipe. I hope you enjoy my version as much as your ancestors enjoyed this deductible treat years ago. 4. Tips to Bake a great cake: Now before you can begin to have success in frosting your cake, you actually have to bake the cake. So here are 10 tips on how to bake a great cake. The first tip is to make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Now this is really important because as you're combining the ingredients together, you don't want temperatures such as cold eggs or cooled butter to affect the quality or the end product of your cake. If all of your ingredients are at room temperature, you'll be able to mix the ingredients together properly, as well as have all of the leavening agents in the cake work together to create that perfect cake. Tip number 2 is to measure correctly. Honestly, a lot of people don't quite measure correctly. So if your cake has a tendency to not turn out correctly, well maybe events because you're not measuring very well. So you want to make sure that your ingredients, your dry ingredients are nice and smooth on the top as he level them out. And make sure that when you measure those liquid ingredients that you get way down to eye level in order to see them well. Tip number 3 is to scrape the bowl. Now whether you're using a hand mixer, mixer, or just mixing by hand, it's going to be really important to use a rubber scraper or spatula to scrape the bowl well, so that all of your ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Tip number four is to mix just right. Now. This means you don't want to over mix your batter and you don't want to under mixed your batter. If you are over mixing or under mixing your battery, you might have clumps, or it's over mixed. Ingredients, might rise a bit too much or your cake might become a little bit. Chewy. Tip number five is parchment paper. This is something that I swear by. So this is just a little parchment circle. You can cut them out very easily and place it in the bottom of your pants. Your cake will never stick to the pan again. And honestly, you don't even need to grease the sides of the pan because your cake will come out every single time with this parchment on the bottom. Tip number 6, don't open the oven. Some cakes can be a little finicky, especially German chocolate or red velvet. And if you open the oven a little bit too early, the cake might drop. And then you have to read bake the cake, which is definitely not something that we wanna do. So try not to open the oven until the cake is almost done. Or you could open the oven halfway through, turn it, and then don't open the oven again until the cake is nearly done. Tip number 7, put your cake directly into the oven once you have it next. Once the ingredients had been next for leavening, agents start working together creating little air bubbles within your cake. And if you wait maybe half an hour to an hour before you put your cake in the oven. Well, those air bubbles will have already began to pop, and therefore your cake will not rise correctly. Tip number eight is to poke your cake. Don't prick your cake. So basically using a little toothpick to test if it's done, no, no. This can cause your cake to actually sink in the middle if you use a toothpick before the cake is done. So what I like to do is just use my finger and poke my cake. And if it springs back, then I know that the cake is done. If it doesn't spring back, then I know that I need to have my take on the oven a little bit longer. Tip number nine is to freeze the layers. This can be really helpful because it makes the cake a little bit sturdier. If you bake a cake, cool it, and then directly frosted, your cake will be much more fragile and more difficult to frost and decorate. Tip number ten is to take your cake early, your cake, a day before or two days before. Baking a cake actually on the day of, can cause a lot of stress because it might not be cool enough when it's time to decorate your cake. And then you're fasting is going to start to melt, which will cause a lot of problems. Now here's a bonus tip for all of you that are located at a high altitude. You want to make sure that you follow a recipe that aligns with the high altitude. So that might mean to decrease the sugar and increase maybe the water or the milk. You might also have to increase the flower a little bit or decreased the baking soda. If you are at a high altitude, use recipes that work really well for you, you might need to take a few recipes that you enjoy and kind of tweak them and play with them just a little bit until you get a cake. That turns out really well. Now make sure that you follow these ten tips for great cakes. So that you can actually have a great cake so that you can frost and decorate a beautiful cake. 5. Tips for a Moist Cake: Have you ever had a dried out chocolate cake? Now we definitely do not want to do that ever with this cake. So I'm going to share with you my trick on how to make your chocolate cake, or really any cake. Always moist and delicious. So simple syrup is incredibly easy to me. We just have two ingredients. So I'm going to put in one cup of boiling water. And then I'm going to add equal portion, so one cup of sugar. And then I'm just going to stir it until the sugar dissolves. And as you can see, it doesn't take much time for this water to absorb all of the sugar. Typically simple syrup on the cake. There are two different techniques. My favorite technique is just using a spray bottle. I spray the cupcakes are the cake with a simple syrup and like it because it's a really nice way to evenly distribute the simple syrup all over the entire cake or cupcake. Another technique is just using a pastry brush and dipping into the simple syrup and kinda drizzling it over the cake. This technique is definitely missed a year, but it totally works. The fun thing about simple serves it. You can actually customize them. So you can add a little bit of lemon juice, Grandma Yay, almond extract, any type of flavoring to intensify the simple syrup, which then intensify as the flavor of the cake. And so then not only were the cake be extra moist, but it will be extra delicious. 6. Chocolate Cake Recipe: Ingredients we will need for this cake. 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour, one cup of white sugar, and one-quarter cup of cocoa powder. When teaspoon, baking soda with a teaspoon of salt. And for our wet ingredients. The third of a cup of vegetable or canola oil. One cup of water, like mine to be slightly warm, one teaspoon of white vinegar, but sometimes I even do a little bit extra. And one teaspoon of vanilla. Now, you can make it, so it's not your best vanilla because it's actually just to make the chocolate not so battery. So now I'm going to use this nice little mesh save and put all of my dry ingredients through it. I really like using a mesh steve, like this because it's just so good at making it so that there are no clumps in anything, especially cocoa powder here, it tends to have a whole lot of clumps. So you had all of my dry ingredients right to this. A little bit. My songs here, my baking soda. And then I like to just use a little spatula and scrape it through. I oftentimes leaving use my hands as well. And this is a really nice way to incorporate all of the dry ingredients together. And now I just stir it with my little whisk. Now for my bled ingredients, I like to start by adding the water and the oil. Now using my seam teeth, then I'm going to add my vanilla. Vanilla inherit. Actually just adding a little bit of flavor, but not too much because it's a chocolate cake, but it's actually going to mask the bitterness that a chocolate might have. Okay, now make sure that the vinegars the last because this is going to activate it. And like I said, I like to do an extra, He's been vinegar. And now we just mix it up. You can really see the vinegar and baking soda, a working together how ready to really make this cake? Start rising? So this cake is really important to pop it right in the oven, right away so that it doesn't become deflated. Say blindfold with my cake pans here, which is a little piece of parchment paper which is going to make it so make cakes don't stick. And now I will just add my chocolate cake about halfway up. And remember this recipe, you can very easily double or triple or quadruple. I don't even need an 8 times the batch. So now I will pop these in the oven 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. 7. Yummy Buttercream Icing: This is a beginners butter cream and that is sweet and absolutely delicious. So you're going to need some clutter that is softened at room temperature, a little bit of salt to make announces feet. Powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar or vanilla from a delicious labor. And no, to meet their fasting, nice green. If your powdered sugar has any clumps, then your IC is going to have pumps as well. So I like to sit action or sugar using this Kline mentioned CIF. Now using a spatula and just kind of working through it is my favorite way to do it. Perceived enzyme. Then it's my hand which gets a little messy, but it gets the job done very efficiently. Yes. Crafting side my letter, eating a bowl and an uneasy a hand mixer here. But you can certainly use a standard mixer as well. So I'll leave that letter intelligence, icing cream, Ellie adding a little bit of milk, which will basically make our frosting not asked of us death. The salt here. We'll make the butter or frosting rather not as sweet, because sometimes this recipe can be a little on this side. And you can certainly use other extracts of the sides. And now let me be a peppermint oil are all lid and it will really just give your IC flavor. I'm going to add my 100 sugar into different stages. Just mix it all together. It is a lung, are free. Now keep in mind, Katara jigger tends to come up in the air kind of like a cloud. So this can't yell little on this ys right? Now, I'm going to add the rest of my powdered sugar. And again, just need Roberto or that goal loud at her Jaeger to go every evil here. Now this is a nice beginner fast. He can offsite years. Pbs Swiss meringue, buttercream or and its hind meringue buttercream. A very different flavor of letters still delicious and bring well, but you need to know for Calvin, nice and creamy as fast. But like kinda generalized match. Let doesn't really fall over 2 minus sine key to add some little fat or milk, which will make it a lot easier to frost our cake and it's dying. He's D, It's so much easier to press to eat when you're fasting is a little bit thinner. So let me stick my fetch like in. Although we're a little bit just resting is ready to go. 8. Chocolate Frosting Hacks: In the last video, I showed you how to make a delicious vanilla frosting. Well, in this video, I'm going to show you how to take that vanilla frosting and actually turn it into a budge or chocolate frosting. And this is amazing. I kid you not. It really taste like budge. I could probably eat a whole bowl full of it and then get a tummy ache. I'm also going to show you how to turn basically a rainbow of older frosting, previous cake into chocolate frosting that can be used on my current cake. So I'm going to be using here Hershey's cocoa. However, if you have a higher-quality cocoa, I actually recommend that it'll make the frosting teased even better. So here I have my vanilla frosting and what I'm going to do is take this a little sifter because cocoa powder has a tendency to be a little clumpy. And then see that look at all those clumps in there. Then I'm going to just put it through my little sister and added directly to my frosting. And now I just mix it up. Now one thing to keep in mind is your frosting might get a little bit stiffer, so you may need to add a little bit more milk or water to your frosting. And now just like that, my vanilla fasting is now chocolate frosting. Now one thing to keep in mind, I can't really put a lot of cocoa powder in mind. And so it's a really soft, or I guess, light chocolate. If you want more chocolate, definitely add angular cocoa powder. It doesn't matter how much you put in. Up to a certain extent, you don't want your frosting, is the little bit of fur adding too much chocolate. And again, the higher quality chocolate that you have, the better flavor of frosting you're actually going to have. Now, this fasting here is from a previous cake that I made. And you can see here I have just a random variety of colors. So one thing is I never throw my frosting away when I am done with my cake and they have leftover frosting, I basically just squeeze it into a bowl and have that frosting in the freezer. Then whenever I need chocolate frosting, this is what I do. So I'm basically going to do the same thing that I did with my vanilla frosting. And that is used to add cocoa powder directly to my fasting. Now I lay a mountain of cocoa powder and I'm just going to turn this rainbow into chocolate for us to watch out. If you can get a little messy. My two chocolate frostings are made and ready to go. I'm just going to mix them together and then we will frost our cake. Now my frosting here, it's pretty thick. It's actually the thickness that you would use when you're making a rose or something like that. So if you look at my spoon, doesn't really jiggle. So I need to add a little bit more milk or water to this to make it so that it's a smoother consistency or rather thinner consistency so that I can more easily frost make. When you're doing this hack, I have two tricks for you. First, make sure that you mix your frosting, mythic cocoa powder really, really well. You don't want to be able to see any streaks of those other colors. And second tip, you want to make sure that you avoid really dark colors, such as black or Ethan. Super dark red. So just use lighter colors if you can, and mix it up. 9. Frosting the Cake: Okay guys, it's grabbed. My cake is baked, cool, ready to go. And my fasting has been turned into chocolate frosting and thin down just a little bit, so it's the perfect consistency to frost my cake. The end this video here I'm going to show you how to frost the cake, but I'm going to do it fairly quickly if you would like a full tutorial. How to frosted cake like a pro, definitely make sure that you check out my other Skillshare class that's called that has a cake like a pro. Platelets get started. So I'm using a turntable here. We'll just a little cardboard on top. And his cardboard has a fancy design. But of course you don't have to do this to code is just use a plate. So the first thing I'll do is purchase a little bit of frosting on the base of my planner so that my cake doesn't slide around my first layer. And he's loved when you cut into a cake in there is that nice thick layer of frosting, especially when it's fasting like this that tastes so me and Biji. Now when I'm putting on my second layer, I always like to invert it, which means have the bottom part of the cake on the top because that's the flattest, even though I cut it already. You can start with it. Sides or the top. I kinda like to start with the sides here. And I'm using my nine inch spatula here to kind of frost it. Don't worry about the crumbs because we'll be doing another frosting layer. Okay, This is why I like to use a turntable so much. But of course you could always use like a Lazy Susan, anything that turns, but it really just makes frosting your cakes so much simpler. Secures my nice crumb coat, and I'm going to just smooth it out here as best as I can by not worrying too much, since it's not the final coat of my cake. Now mango pop my cake in the fridge and tell the frosting, have had a chance to harden up a bit. Cake is chilled for about half an hour and now when I touch it, it's definitely definitely heart. So all those crumbs are locked inside. And now when I do my next code of frosting, the Chrome's are not going to be through. So I'm just going to France to in the same way I did before. I like to start on the sides, but you can definitely start on the top as well. My Chrome code is on, and now my final fasting at the cake is ready to go. So at this point, I could definitely decorate my cake however I want. However, I am going to actually disrupt my fostering a little bit to give it more of a rustic look. So I'm going to take my spatula and basic legal up and down on along the sides of the cake. And this is going to give it just a little bit of a texture. And then my chocolate cake can actually just stand alone like this without being decorated at all. Now I could smooth at top out and write Happy birthday or something like that. But I know she going to add a little bit of texture. The top 10. My favorite ways to do it is to have your spatula on the side and then use the power of your firm table. And this is a good center. Let's try that again. Okay, so right at the edge and they spin my turn table. And then I'm just going to sort of work, work my way in this pen care of it. Well, what more red than three, right. 10. Chocolate Cake Course Summary: If you've enjoyed this course, do me a huge favor and put a little heart next to it that will really tell Skillshare that this is a quality class that maybe should be shared with more people. All right, Here we go. Knife and spatula, ready to cut into this cake. Never be sad when you cut into your cakes. So when you cut into your creation, because that's what you made it for. You made it for people to enjoy. Oh yeah, Me. Look at how moist it looks and you can really see that nice thick layer frosting right in the middle, or shall we call it ij. My cake year is done, and I am so excited to eat it. I've eaten this chocolate cake many times. And every time I've just think of how, how those recipes just so good. So I hope that you enjoyed this cake as much as I do. Thank you so much for watching and definitely make sure that you check out my other Skillshare classes on cakes. And of course, you go sweeten the world and have just such a beautiful day. Bye guys.