Hershey’s Chocolate Cake {traditional and gluten free recipes}

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This cake. Hershey’s Chocolate Cake is truly the most versatile and easiest perfect one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I have ever made.

As long as I can remember, I’ve seen the well-known chocolate cake recipe on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa box and I’ve made it countless times. On a whim, I decided to try making a gluten-free version of the Hershey’s Cake a few years ago.

WOW.

It turned out beautifully the very first time and I have made this cake many more times since then. There is nothing quite like having a lightning-fast homemade cake recipe that turns out perfectly every single time. 

Hershey's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake is truly perfect!

The cake is sturdy enough to hold together in layers, as cupcakes or to slice as a bundt cake. I’ve made this as cupcakes and topped them with Fresh Strawberry Frosting.

I’ve made a layer cake filled with the strawberry frosting, a layer of berries and then topped with the chocolate frosting.

I’ve made bundt cakes and simply poured the warm frosting over the cake. Every way I’ve served this cake, it has disappeared in no time at all!

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

Nothing sparks that warm fuzzy feeling like the aroma of chocolate cake baking in your home. Put something chocolatey in the oven and watch as all the members of your family suddenly flock to the kitchen like moths to an iridescent light.

Don’t get me wrong. I love an adventurous dessert ( hello, Flourless Hot Chocolate Cake) and sometimes you need an elegant showstopper like Chocolate Lava Cakes to wow a table.

But at the end of the day, it’s hard to beat the familiar pleasure of a simple homemade chocolate cake.

The Best One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

The original version of this recipe has been on the side of the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa box for decades so chances are you grew up eating this cake or something close to it.

There’s something fun and a little magical about recreating a familiar dessert from childhood! And if you didn’t get to experience this deliciously perfect chocolate cake as a kid, now’s your time.

Living without gluten shouldn’t mean having to live without enjoying a classic Hershey’s chocolate cake, which is why I devised this gluten-free version of Hershey’s famous cake.

Hershey's Chocolate Cake is a classic that never goes out of style.

For an ultra-rich and unforgettable gluten-free chocolate cake, be sure to try The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake too!

 Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe makes killer cupcakes as well!

Simply fill two cupcake pans evenly with batter and bake for slightly less time than you would a sheet or bundt cake.

Hershey's One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Cake Frosting Recipes

This Hershey’s Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe includes directions for making a creamy chocolate icing that you pour over the cake once cooled. It’s an easy way to create a visually appealing cake without a ton of extra fuss.

That said, this cake is an amazing vehicle for all kinds of frostings. Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting would be a dream on top of this Hershey’s cake, as would Fresh Strawberry Frosting.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Irresistible Pourable Frosting!

Make this one bowl cake over and over again and have fun experimenting with different toppings.

Hershey’s Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake is

  • Rich and chocolatey
  • Easy and quick to make from scratch
  • Versatile
  • Easily made gluten-free 

Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this site!

Hershey's Chocolate Cake with traditional and gluten free recipes

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and lightly flour it with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder. (Alternatively, grease (2) 9″ round pans or prepare (24) cupcake liners.)
  2. Stir together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the boiling water and continue stirring to combine. The batter should be very thin and watery. Pour into prepared bundt pan or divide between two round pans or cupcake holders.
  3. Bake the bundt cake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (2) 9″ rounds will bake in 30-35 minutes and cupcakes will bake in 22-24 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. Frosting Directions: Heat the cream on the stove-top over low heat until steaming, or in a medium size glass bowl in the microwave until simmering. (About 2 minutes at high heat was all it took in the microwave.)
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the hot cream. Let this sit for a few minutes. Stir or whisk to combine, until the chocolate mixture is smooth and glossy.
  6. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until completely smooth. Pour the frosting over the cooled cake. Serve immediately or place the cake in the refrigerator to chill until the frosting is set.
Not many things can beat a slice of classic chocolate cake.

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Hershey's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake is truly perfect!

Hershey’s Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake {traditional and gluten free recipes}

4.84 from 6 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Hershey’s Cocoa
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings or 24 cupcakes

Ingredients 

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour *
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips 6 ounces worth
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and lightly flour it with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder. (Alternatively, grease (2) 9″ round pans or prepare (24) cupcake liners.)
  • Stir together the sugar, flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the boiling water and continue stirring to combine. The batter should be very thin and watery. Pour into prepared bundt pan or divide between two round pans or cupcake holders.
  • Bake the bundt cake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (2) 9″ rounds will bake in 30-35 minutes and cupcakes will bake in 22-24 minutes. Cool completely.
  • To Make The Frosting: Heat the cream on the stove-top over low heat until steaming, or in a medium size glass bowl in the microwave until simmering. (About 2 minutes at high heat was all it took in the microwave.) Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the hot cream. Let this sit for a few minutes. Stir or whisk to combine, until the chocolate mixture is smooth and glossy.
  • Add the sugar and cocoa powder and whisk or stir until completely smooth. Pour the frosting over the cooled cake. Serve immediately or place the cake in the refrigerator to chill until the frosting is set. Enjoy!

Notes

For a gluten free variation of this recipe, just swap the following ingredients for the all-purpose flour listed above: 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum 

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal · Carbohydrates: 54g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 18g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Cholesterol: 43mg · Sodium: 281mg · Potassium: 315mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 34g · Vitamin A: 280IU · Vitamin C: 0.2mg · Calcium: 65mg · Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally published 4/30/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 10/5/20}

Hershey's Classic Cake - with traditional and gluten free variations included!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. connie says

    The frosting on your cake looks absolutely delightful! The Hershey's recipe is a great one to have on hand for when you need to pull something together quick. I love that cake, so versatile, soft and moist but still sturdy. Easy and fast, as well. For the gluten free version, is that 1/4 teaspoon tapioca starch, or 1/4 cup? I don't need to eat gluten-free but sometimes I need gluten-free for friends/coworkers. Thanks for posting!

  2. Tricia Buice says

    Wow Mary – this is beautiful. I think I had their chocolate cake once at a wedding – it was the groom's cake. This is so pretty with the rich chocolate ganache icing – absolutely beautiful! Hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Anonymous says

    Sounds like a wonderful cake but do you know how to make this cake gluten free and totally vegan? I need a special dessert to serve on May 7th to my book club. Can you help me? My email is: [email protected]

    • Anonymous says

      Thanks Mary. I appreciate your help. I'll let you know how it turns out. I was actually thinking about maybe substituting chia seeds for the eggs and coconut milk for the milk and seeing how your recipe turns out.
      Be well,

      Robyn

  4. Anonymous says

    What is meant by "light flavored Olive Oil? Can Canola or Vegetable Oil be substituted in place of the Olive Oil?

    • Mary says

      Light flavored olive oil is my personal preference for baking. Extra virgin olive oil will give a distinct olive oil flavor, so I choose the lighter flavored oil.

      Yes, you can substitute canola or vegetable oil without any problem.

  5. Tanya Walker says

    Funny, you have this cake on your blog! My mom made this cake all through my growing up. Once I was old enough to help her I asked where she got it from…a cookbook and she said "No, the Hershey box." I was astounded even as a teen! But the cake never lasted long especially if my older brother was around and he loved it with chocolate ice cream…double overload!! LOL!

  6. skoochack says

    I made this tonight it am blown away! it's delicious and the texture is perfect. just like your "perfect white cake," you'd never know it was gluten free. Thanks!

  7. Anonymous says

    This recipe is wrong in the fact that there should never be more sugar in the cake than flour. There is a better version by Hershey, that has less sugar. I always cut the sugar in the recipes and have had huge success doing so. I feel if you can't look at a recipe and see where it went wrong then you shouldn't have a food blog.

    • Mary says

      Sorry, hon, feel free to skip this recipe, but maybe you should dial back your rudeness a wee bit? This recipe is older than I am and I'm fairly certain Hershey's chocolate didn't "go wrong" here. Reduce the sugar all you like.

      The beauty of cooking and sharing recipes is that nothing is set in stone. I often reduce the sugar in recipes myself, but that in no way invalidates this classic recipe. I wanted to share the original version of this much loved classic recipe and on MY blog, I'm able to do that. Feel free to bake and share whatever recipes and opinions you'd like on your own.

    • Kakefanatic says

      Yes Mary! You are so very correct. Many times, it’s people that don’t understand the science of baking that make mistakes such as cutting the sugar or replacing it with incorrect ingredients. Sometimes cutting sugar works, sometimes it doesn’t. This particular recipe that you have posted needs this amount of sugar due to the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe. I have made this chocolate cake recipe for at least 8 years and no one has ever complained about it being too sweet. Keep on blogging!!

    • Barbara S. says

      Along with needing to lighten-the-heck up (after all, we’re talking about CAKE here!), Anonymous needs to read the recipe more closely. With the other flour components, it asks for 3/4 cup very bitter, powdery-dry, straight-up cocoa. Hence, the sugar measurement DOES NOT equal “the dries.” In addition, as that bitter cocoa powder is in fact one of “the dries,” I’d be willing to bet that if Anon decreased the sugar and tasted the batter, he or she would reaching for the sugar canister and adding more – probably bringing it up to the recipe’s specification – before pouring it into the pan. (By the way, sugar has a hydrocscopic impact, bringing much needed moisture into play with a powdered-cocoa dependent chocolate cake.)

  8. Stacy says

    Made the gluten free version and it was fantastic!! Will definitely make again and again. Very much appreciate all your gluten free recipes – keep them coming!!

  9. Irum says

    Tried this recipe and it turned out delicious. I never thought a gluten free cake can be so good! So soft fluffy,moist and literally melts in mouth. It’s worth trying!5 stars

  10. Christina Goding says

    Would this work with Bob’s Red Mill All purpose GF flour substituted for the items that are starred?

    • Mary says

      I haven’t tried that myself, so I can’t speak to how it will work. It’s certainly worth a try. If you try it, let us know how it works.

    • Marianela says

      Hi! I used that Fluor and worked great. My family loved it! The cake was fluffy and tasted incredible. Had to use my kids cocoa since I forgot to buy one (but it worked awesome).5 stars

  11. Michelle Cantrell says

    Thank you so much for all your recipes, Mary. I love your blog and read it almost daily. I’ve tried many of the easier, 30 minutes of less type recipes, like your recent sweet and sour stir fry, so deliciously awesome and easy! I’m 65 with a 73 year old husband that asks me daily “What’s for dinner?” while eating his breakfast. My response to him is “Let me see what I can find in while I’m bare feet in the kitchen.” He has never understood that response because I’m always barefoot too! I just ant to thank you dear lady and btw, this cake is delicious! I made it for our card club and everyone loved it! They asked for the recipe, instead of giving it to them, I wrote down your website for them. ❤️😘

  12. CINDY FEINZIMER says

    Could you tell me if the Hershey’s Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake can be made with coconut cream instead of using milk? Also, can the frosting be made with coconut cream instead of heavy cream?

    • Mary Younkin says

      You should be able to add a handful of chocolate chips (1/2 a cup or so) without affecting the results too much. That said, I haven’t tried that myself. It’s a very rich and chocolate-y cake without extra chips in it.

  13. Luquita Kroll says

    The Hershey Bar Cake I remember actually had cocoa in it, Swans Flour, and Hershey candy bars. It was made with Hershey Bar frosting or even without frosting. So good. Have yet to find mama’s recipe.