The Best Ever Chocolate Cake

The most simple yet decadent eggless chocolate cake with your kitchen pantry staples.

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Today I would like to share a little positive thing that has come out of this pandemic for me. When I first started baking, I would bake things I liked. Obviously! Right? Cakes I had eaten and enjoyed, desserts that made me nostalgic, etc. but over the time, it became more commercial and industry driven. To be honest, on some days it felt very monotonous to bake and I thought I was losing my creative outlet.

However, the last few months, connecting with hundreds of people on Facebook and Instagram, many of them first time bakers, made me realize that it wasn’t always about how much we knew, but how much we could share and inspire. In the last couple months, hundreds of you have tried my recipes. So many have written to me with words of encouragement and appreciation, many have helped me spread the word further by sharing the blog. It’s given me a whole new perspective about my work. The kindness and love shown by all of you makes all my efforts worthwhile.

So today, I would like to thank each one of you for being a part of my journey and I’m sharing a recipe that’s amongst the first few I started to bake. It’s a basic chocolate cake that’s also called the ‘Depression Cake’ because it was invented during the Great Depression of 1929 when resources like eggs, butter, and milk were scarce. Yes! It’s a time-tested recipe that’s used till date because of how simple yet amazing it is. I must have made this cake at least 500 times, if not more in the last 5 years and it’s never failed me. Not even once! My version is nearly the same as the original recipe with very few tweaks. Today, when we are all facing a crisis due to the pandemic, this cake is my way to spread some smiles and savor the simple things in life.

I am not exaggerating when I say this is the simplest chocolate cake recipe ever. You need only a couple of ingredients that are easily available in the kitchen and honestly, there is no technique involved in making this cake. It’s a simple add-mix-bake that one can’t possibly mess up. The only key is to measure your ingredients correctly and you’ll have a great cake in no time.

There’s really nothing technical about the process here but I’ll share a quick step-by-step for you.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients, i.e. flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

In another bowl, pour water and add oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, coffee powder and sugar to it.


Mix well and gradually, add the dry ingredients to this. keep mixing in between to make sure there are no flour pockets.

add dry ingredients and mix well to make a smooth batter.

Make a smooth batter and transfer it to a prepared tin, gently tapping to release air bubbles.

Bake it at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes and Tada! your fuss-free chocolate cake is ready.

Bake at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

This cake is good to eat as it is, but it also makes a great sponge for celebration cakes. I’ve shared a simple chocolate frosting, if you’d like to frost your cake for any special occasion.

Eggless Chocolate Cake

You can also have a look at my Best Chocolate Ganache recipe if you want to make this cake absolutely sinful.

To bake this cake on the stovetop, follow the same steps to make the batter and then read this post to set up your stovetop equipment 


Do let me know in the comments if you make this cake and follow me on Instagram for more fun and simple recipes.

If you like this recipe, you may also like


The Best Ever Chocolate Cake

A time-tested recipe for a chocolate sponge cake that can be used to make your favorite black forests or truffle or other classic chocolate cakes!
Makes: One 8 or 9 inch round cake
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins


  • 1.5 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Water
  • cup Oil
  • 1 cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional)
  • ½ tsp Instant Coffee (optional)

For the Frosting

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk



  • Grease or line a 9-inch round/square pan or a loaf pan and keep aside. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  • In another bowl, measure the water.
  • Add oil.
  • Add vinegar.
  • Add vanilla and coffee powder.
  • Add the sugar and mix well.
  • Start adding the dry mix to the wet mix, one tbsp. at a time so as to not create lumps. Keep whisking till you get a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with nuts/chocolate chips if you like.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

For the Frosting

  • In a bowl, melt the butter.
  • Add to it the cocoa powder and mix. It will become a thick paste.
  • Add the sugar and milk and whisk till you get a smooth frosting.
  • If you want thicker frosting, add more sugar. If you want a thinner frosting, add more milk.
  • Spread on your cake, top with nuts or sprinkles. Serve.


  • Instant coffee brings out a richer, deeper flavor of chocolate. 
  • Use a neutral, non-flavored oil like sunflower, but avoid peanut, sesame, or other oils with a strong smell.
  • Sieve powdered sugar before adding because it tends to form lumps if kept for a while.

Join the Conversation

  1. Hey i really love ur recipes..kind of diffrent nd unique from others♥️
    i’m soon going to give it a try.
    keep making those delicious cravings????

    1. Thank you so much Mariyam. Keep baking 🙂

      1. Neha Mehra says:

        Hi so was wondering if I’m the same recipe I can add one cup orange juice instead of water and chocolate chunks to make it an orange chocolate cake.

        1. Hi Neha, yes you could. Just be careful with the sweetness of the orange juice and adjust the sugar levels accordingly.

  2. What is the substitute for vinegar ?please tell

    1. Hi Prachi, you can use lemon juice in the same quantity.

      1. Thanku

  3. Darshana Bhatia says:

    Thank you so much for an easy peasy eggless chocolate cake recipe! I have a query – can i use cooking soda instead of baking soda that you have mentioned. In case i have to use baking powder what will be the quantity?

    1. Hi Darshana, cooking soda and baking soda are the same thing. So yes, you can use that. However, you can’t substitute baking soda with baking powder.

      1. Hi Pooja.. you didn’t use baking powder. Can we skip baking powder?

  4. Ridhi Goel says:

    Can we use normal sugar if we don’t have caster sugar?

    1. Hi Ridhi,I’m guessing by normal sugar you mean granulated sugar – yes you can. Just make sure it dissolves in the water first.

  5. prachi agarwal says:

    Hi Pooja, I followed your recipe and cake was wonderful!! Justbthat it had a strong taste of soda. What should I do? Reduce the soda by 1/2 tap??

  6. prachi agarwal says:

    Can I use 1/3 cup of butter instead of oil? Also can I use 1 cup of milk I stead of 1 cup of water? Will that change the chemistry of batter??

    1. Hi can i use whole wheat flour instead APF

  7. Radhika B says:


    Thanks for the recipe. Can we make this cake in the microwave using the convection mode?

    1. Hi Radhika, yes it can be made in the convection mode with no changes to the recipe. Just be wary of the baking time though as that might decrease.

  8. Chhaya Parikh says:

    Hi Pooja…tried this recipe today. I halved the recipe. The texture of the cake was perfect but it had a bitter taste to it. Could it be due to the baking soda being a old ? Am not sure of when I had bought it. Maybe a month back. Kindly advise. TIA.

    1. Hi Chhaya, yes baking soda being old is the main reason why a cake could have a bitter aftertaste. Do check it and replace the pack with another one. Also make sure the soda is mixed well with the dry ingredients before adding the wet mix.

      1. Chhaya Parikh says:

        Ok. Will do the needful and try again. Thanks so much Pooja.

      2. Hi pooja…can I use wheat flour instead of all purpose flour

    2. Can I opt of a pan and a vessel instead of an oven? If yes what will be the required time for it?

      1. Hi Shradha, look for my article on baking on a stovetop under the tips and tricks section.

  9. Cake was super spongy and moist. But I felt soda was more…we can reduce it to 1/2 two instead of 1 tap. Also sugar was less .

    1. Hi sanjeeta, This recipe calls for that amount of soda. using less will alter the texture of the cake. If you wish, you can add more sugar as per your taste.

  10. Can u pls tell me cup size??

    1. Hi Nitu it’s 240 ml

  11. Anusha Basavaraj says:

    Hi Pooja, can I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder(Hershey’s)?

    1. Hi Anusha, yes you can. I’ve used unsweetened cocoa powder too

  12. Hi.. thank you for the recipe.. I have another question,I have followed the same procedure and equal quantities as mentioned. but cake smells as that of the base Powder (if wheat like a wheat powder). Y is that so???

    1. Hi Gouri, Using wheat flour can sometimes leave a little aftertaste.

  13. Tanishka Jain says:


    1. Hello Tanishka, you can certainly use powdered sugar but sieve it so that there are no lumps.

  14. Srishti Agarwal says:

    Hola! Can the cake recipe be used as a base?

    1. Hi Srishti. Yes, you can definitely use it as a base too.

  15. Hi.
    1. Can I replace butter in frosting with simple milk cream? Also, if not, the butter used has to be unsalted?
    2. Can I replace baking soda with baking powder?
    3. If cocoa powder is sweetened, can you please tell how much quantity should be used in the batter and the frosting respectively and also, how would it affect the quantity of sugar to be added?

    1. Hi,

      No please use butter. You cannot replace baking soda with powder
      You’ll have to reduce the qty of sugar depending on how much sugar is in your cocoa. I always use unsweetened coco powder

  16. Hi Pooja! Thanks for the lovely recipe, it turned out amazing like all your other cakes. I just had one question, can I sub the oil for the same quantity of butter?

    1. Hi Mitali, thank you so much 🙂 Glad you like the recipes.
      Yes you can substitute oil with butter in the same qty.

  17. Nikita Tantia says:

    Can this same recipe be used to make cupcakes? And can we substitute caster sugar with powdered(regular) sugar?

    1. Hi Nikita, yes you can use powdered sugar and make this recipe into cupcakes as well

  18. Vrinda S Darira says:

    Hello.. I want to make a chocolate cake with egg.. can u guide me for the same.

  19. Hi
    Thanks for amazing recipe..may I know why my cake had crakes on top ? In picture as I can see there is no crakes .

  20. Hi
    Why cake had crakes on top after baking..I always having same problem each time..

  21. Hello
    I tried to make the cake today and it broke into three pieces when I flipped it on the cooling rack, and just crumbled when I tried to lift it. What do I need to do to fix it? It tastes good thou:)

  22. Hi Pooja
    My cake cracked and fell apart when I flipped it out of the pan and it was very dry. Any remedy??

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