This is a rich black chocolate cake that uses cocoa powder and lots of sugar. My husband's all time favorite.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

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  • Melt the shortening in the boiling water, then stir into the flour mixture until blended. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the vanilla.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Nutrition Facts

336 calories; 13.4 g total fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 283 mg sodium. 53.4 g carbohydrates; 4.6 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (266)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2008
Isn't it interesting how so many people can make the same recipe with such different results? Also curious is how a submitted recipe is altered by some cooks and then given a bad review. Having said that I made this just as written (half recipe) in a mini egg shape pan from Williams Sonoma (eight to the pan). SO good! Fragrant dark moist luscious little dark chocolate cakes. I used "Hard Chocolate Glaze" (also fabulous) to dip them in then made a bakery style creamy white frosting to decorate them. These were to die for! Tasted like an infinitely better version of Hostess cupcakes! In fact I could easily see this made in a cupcake tin to duplicate them near exactly. I know I will definitely use this recipe (with the glaze) again--and again--and again. All around an easy to mix cake that yields perfect results! Read More
(165)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/24/2011
I gave this cake one star because it came out looking like a cake. It was easy to prepare and assemble. There are a few problems though. Shortening starts exploding when bringing to a boil. Grease fire hazard: use caution. In addition; the cake comes out very dry and crumbly. Don't let the batter fool you into thinking the cake will be fudgey and gooey. I followed the recipe to the exact measurements and it turned out an extremely dry cake. Either is only meant for low altitude or is a bad recipe. Read More
(8)
303 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 220
  • 4 star values: 45
  • 3 star values: 20
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 11
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2008
Isn't it interesting how so many people can make the same recipe with such different results? Also curious is how a submitted recipe is altered by some cooks and then given a bad review. Having said that I made this just as written (half recipe) in a mini egg shape pan from Williams Sonoma (eight to the pan). SO good! Fragrant dark moist luscious little dark chocolate cakes. I used "Hard Chocolate Glaze" (also fabulous) to dip them in then made a bakery style creamy white frosting to decorate them. These were to die for! Tasted like an infinitely better version of Hostess cupcakes! In fact I could easily see this made in a cupcake tin to duplicate them near exactly. I know I will definitely use this recipe (with the glaze) again--and again--and again. All around an easy to mix cake that yields perfect results! Read More
(165)
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2008
Isn't it interesting how so many people can make the same recipe with such different results? Also curious is how a submitted recipe is altered by some cooks and then given a bad review. Having said that I made this just as written (half recipe) in a mini egg shape pan from Williams Sonoma (eight to the pan). SO good! Fragrant dark moist luscious little dark chocolate cakes. I used "Hard Chocolate Glaze" (also fabulous) to dip them in then made a bakery style creamy white frosting to decorate them. These were to die for! Tasted like an infinitely better version of Hostess cupcakes! In fact I could easily see this made in a cupcake tin to duplicate them near exactly. I know I will definitely use this recipe (with the glaze) again--and again--and again. All around an easy to mix cake that yields perfect results! Read More
(165)
Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2004
I originally gave this 4 stars but after making it again with another modification I am adding another star. Here's the trick: instead of water heat up 2 c milk add 2 heaping teaspoons of instant coffee and use that to dissolve the shortening. It makes a big difference by bringing out the chocolate flavor rather than diluting it. Frosted with Caroline's Fudge Frosting from this site. Yum! Thanks! Read More
(71)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/27/2006
Everyone loves this cake. I used this recipe exactly. I've made a variation of this before, where I substituted 1 cup of boiling water with 1 cup of milk and the 1/2 cup butter for 1/2 cup applesauce. I prefer the recipe with applesauce because the applesauce makes it more moist and it doesn't affect the taste at all. Less guilt too. Read More
(44)
Rating: 5 stars
01/17/2004
This cake was absolutely delectable! And black just as the name says. I made a couple of modifications: I used 1/3 a cup of canola oil and 1/3 of a cup of low-fat yogurt to cut back on fat and it was still incredibly moist. I also cut back the sugar to 1 1/2 cups. I made a glaze with 1 cup of chocolate chips 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tsp of vanilla. There were raves all around when I served it. Thanks for a fantastic recipe that I'm planning to use very often! Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2006
I highly recommend this recipe. You can make it ahead and it stays moist. Freezes extremely well too. Much better result when mixed by hand. Big fav with both big and little kids! Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/23/2003
Thanks for a great recipe Jeanie! As is my habit I substituted 2 cups strong coffee for the water and added 1t more salt and 2T sugar if you can believe it! I like my cakes a touch sweeter....But even without my modifications this is a wonderful recipe! Read More
(19)
Rating: 4 stars
07/15/2003
I thought this cake was great! It was dense yet very moist and black as the recipe title indicates. It bakes nicely too - quite level. I didn't have to level the cake at all. I used 2-9" round cake pans. As per a couple of readers suggestions I did use 2 cups of boiling water with 2 heaping teaspoons of instant decaf coffee. One problem I did have is that despite greasing and flouring the pans the cakes stuck. One came out nearly perfect and the other one stuck so badly that I couldn't salvage it. I halved the recipe (halves perfectly) and made one more cake. It stuck pretty badly too but I was able to salvage it and use it anyway. For slightly thicker cake layers I would use this recipe plus 1/2 of it. It would be great alone or dusted with cocoa or confectioner's sugar. I iced it with a fabulous chocolate fudge frusting. MMMMMMM!!! I will make this recipe again - definitely. Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2004
This is undoubtedly the best and easiest chocolate cake ever after reading reviews I decided to go with the original recipe and not change a thing! It's perfect and my fiance loves it! It's not too sweet despite 2 Cups of sugar and is deliciously moist! Try it you'll love it! Heather Read More
(14)
Rating: 4 stars
11/04/2006
giving this 4 stars for ease of preparation. Used butter flavor crisco had 1 cup of leftover coffee so used that for part of the water and added some espresso powder to boil with the water. I didn't even use my beaters just a wire wisk. I think the espresso powder added to the flavor of the chocolate and although I just used Hershey's powder it tasted like it was a more expensive chocolate. Made this into a bundt cake and baked @55 minutes in my oven. Made a small review 'muffin' and although it did not puff up on top this would be a good cake to make into a layer because it does bake even. Not over the top sweet and drizzled the bundt cake with some leftover cream cheese frosting when it was slightly warm. Used butter cooking spray for the pan and had no trouble with it sticking. It was gone in 8 hours but I found it did crumble a bit although it was moist. I would maybe throw in a tablespoon or two of applesauce. Maybe using oil instead of shortening would help the crumble problem. Read More
(13)
Rating: 1 stars
05/24/2011
I gave this cake one star because it came out looking like a cake. It was easy to prepare and assemble. There are a few problems though. Shortening starts exploding when bringing to a boil. Grease fire hazard: use caution. In addition; the cake comes out very dry and crumbly. Don't let the batter fool you into thinking the cake will be fudgey and gooey. I followed the recipe to the exact measurements and it turned out an extremely dry cake. Either is only meant for low altitude or is a bad recipe. Read More
(8)