Heavenly Southern Chocolate Cake for Dessert Lovers

I invite you to delve into the luscious and velvety world of southern desserts with my mouthwatering Southern Chocolate Cake Recipe. This is no ordinary chocolate cake recipe, but a true masterpiece made with love and soul that will satisfy your sweet cravings on any occasion.

Get ready to indulge in layers of tender and moist buttermilk chocolate cake, coupled with rich dark chocolate frosting. A perfect balance of sweetness and depth, this cake promises to be a heavenly treat for your taste buds.

Whether you’re looking to impress your guests at a dinner party or simply want to indulge in a decadent dessert, this recipe is the perfect choice. Prepare yourselves for a truly unforgettable experience that will have you coming back for more. Are you ready to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey? Then let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Chocolate Cake
Southern Chocolate Cake

Picture this: a moist and deeply chocolatey slice of southern-style chocolate cake, topped with homemade chocolate frosting, and served up with a tall glass of cold milk. Can you almost taste it now?

I promise you, my recipe for Southern Chocolate Cake is nothing short of heavenly. And why will you love it? Well, there are a few reasons.

First of all, this cake is unbelievably moist and tender, thanks to the addition of mayonnaise and buttermilk. It’s like biting into a cloud of melted chocolate – rich and indulgent but with a light texture that keeps you coming back for more.

Secondly, the chocolate flavor itself is nothing short of perfect. I’ve combined unsweetened cocoa powder, dark brown sugar, and pure vanilla extract to create a complex, nuanced flavor that’s not too sweet or too overpowering. It’s the best kind of chocolate – the kind that makes your toes curl.

Finally, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can serve it up as a simple sheet cake or stack it high into a towering layer cake for special occasions. You can frost it with classic chocolate buttercream or experiment with different flavors like creamy pecan frosting or dark chocolate ganache. No matter how you slice it (see what I did there?), this cake is sure to impress.

So, whether you’re looking to celebrate a special event or just want to treat yourself to something decadent and delicious, my Southern Chocolate Cake Recipe has got you covered. Trust me – your taste buds will thank you later.

Ingredient List

 Friday night plans: baking this heaven in a pan!
Friday night plans: baking this heaven in a pan!

Gather Ingredients for a Heavenly Chocolate Cake

For this best chocolate cake recipe, you will need several key ingredients to capture the true essence of a Southern chocolate cake. You will need:

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, room temperature (yes, mayonnaise!)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee or hot water

Chocolate Ganache Frosting Ingredients (Optional)

  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter

These ingredients can be found in your local grocery store and are not-too-different from your usual baking arsenal. Once you have these gathered and measured out properly, you can then move on to creating this moist and delicious chocolate cake that everyone will love.

The Recipe How-To

 Moist, chocolatey, and utterly decadent.
Moist, chocolatey, and utterly decadent.

Now, our moment of truth: the recipe itself. Hold on tight, friends, we’re taking a ride on a devil’s food chocolate cake to remember!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

  3. In another mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix well until you have a smooth liquid.

  4. Add your wet mixture to your dry mixture slowly in thirds while mixing with your stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Alternate with hot water until batter is smooth.

  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans (about 3 cups per pan).

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  7. Allow the cakes to cool completely in their pans before removing.

And voila! You’ve got yourself a perfectly made southern chocolate cake recipe that is sure to impress everyone who tries it! Enjoy this delectable treat with a tall glass of cold milk or a steaming cup of coffee for an extra kick in each bite. With this easy-to-follow recipe by your side, anyone can make southern-style chocolate cake like a pro chef in their own kitchen!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect comfort food that will warm your soul.
The perfect comfort food that will warm your soul.

As a chef, I’m all about creativity and experimentation in the kitchen. While this Southern Chocolate Cake recipe is already absolutely heavenly, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can make if you’re feeling adventurous.

Firstly, if you don’t have unsalted butter on hand, feel free to substitute it with regular butter. The only difference will be a slightly saltier taste, which can actually complement the rich chocolate flavor well.

For those who want a healthier twist on this classic dessert, you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour or oat flour. This will result in a denser texture for the cake, but it’s still absolutely delicious.

Additionally, another fun variation is to replace some of the heavy cream with sour cream for a tangier taste. You could also try using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a bit of added protein.

For those who are true chocoholics, why not try making this cake as triple chocolate cake? Simply add some dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate to the batter before pouring it into the pans. You could also mix in some cocoa nibs for an added crunch.

Finally, while this recipe calls for a layer cake presentation, you could easily bake it in a bundt or sheet pan instead. The time and temperature may need to be adjusted slightly, so keep an eye on it in the oven!

These substitutions and variations are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make this Southern Chocolate Cake your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Let's talk about the ultimate chocolate cake!
Let’s talk about the ultimate chocolate cake!

My Southern Chocolate Cake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream that deserves to be served with love and care. This recipe produces a moist and delicious chocolate cake that could stand well on its own, but adding the right serving and pairing can take it to another level.

For serving, I suggest letting the cake cool for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Once cooled, you can remove it from the pans and let it cool completely on wire racks before frosting. This will ensure that your frosting stays put and doesn’t melt or slide off before serving.

As for pairing, there are many options to consider. If you’re looking to keep things simple, you can always serve this delicious chocolate cake with a tall glass of cold milk. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try pairing it with something more composed like whipped cream and fresh berries or vanilla ice cream topped with sweet caramel sauce.

You could also consider dark chocolate shavings, sprinkled on top of creamy frosting creating an appealing contrast that looks as good as it tastes. You can get creative with how you present the cake by using unique adornments such as candied hazelnuts or orange zest. These are sure to elevate this recipe to new heights.

This versatile chocolate cake pairs exceptionally well with a variety of beverages such as coffee, tea or red wine. A bold red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for complementing the rich flavor notes of this Southern delicacy.

With this incredible Southern Chocolate Cake at your fingertips, let your creativity soar when considering pairing options that will make any occasion unforgettable.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Pamper yourself and indulge in a slice of happiness.
Pamper yourself and indulge in a slice of happiness.

When it comes to making a delectable southern-style chocolate cake, there’s no denying that it requires some time and effort. Luckily, this recipe is wonderfully adaptable to prepare ahead of time, store appropriately, and reheat for later consumption.

To make ahead the cake layers, bake them according to the recipe instructions and allow them to cool down fully before wrapping them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped cake layers into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to two days, or place them into the freezer for up to two months. When it’s time to assemble the cake, simply thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.

If you’ve already assembled the entire cake but wish to store it for later enjoyment, make sure it’s tightly wrapped with plastic film and stored in the refrigerator. This should keep your moist chocolate layers fresh for a few days. Keep in mind that frosting may harden when stored in the refrigerator. However, you can restore its consistency by leaving it out at room temperature for an hour before serving.

To reheat slices of this decadent dessert effectively, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place your portioned slices onto a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil paper. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are heated through but be careful not to dry them! You can also opt to microwave individual portions for 15-20 seconds if you prefer.

Overall, being aware of a few tips on storing and reheating can allow you to indulge in an outstanding slice of chocolate heaven whenever you feel like it.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Satisfy your sweet tooth with a luscious Southern Chocolate Cake.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a luscious Southern Chocolate Cake.

As a southern-style chef, I know that nailing a recipe doesn’t always come easy. While making this southern chocolate cake recipe, it’s important to pay attention to a few key details to ensure the perfect result. The following tips will help guide you towards success.

Firstly, when measuring ingredients be sure to do so accurately. This isn’t the time to eyeball measurements or simply guess at quantities. For example, when measuring flour be sure to fluff your flour first with a fork and then scoop the measuring spoon into the flour, leveling off any excess with a flat tool or knife.

Another tip is to make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before beginning to mix them together. Room temperature butter and eggs will blend together better, and mixing these ingredients smoothly is essential for creating an airy, light cake.

When it comes to combining your dry ingredients including flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt- sift them together in one bowl before adding them into your wet ingredients mixture. This not only mixes them thoroughly but also eliminates any clumps of flour or cocoa that could cause an inconsistent final texture.

As for mixing everything together itself, I highly recommend mixing on low speed with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer until just combined – over-mixing will toughen the cake! Once everything is just combined and smooth, you can then fold in any add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts.

Before pouring your mixture into cake pans, ensure they are evenly greased and dusted with flour or cocoa powder- this will help prevent sticking and create an even finish. Additionally, use parchment paper to line the bottom of each pan for even easier removal after baking.

Lastly, be patient! Let cakes cool completely before frosting and decorating as this will help set the moisture and prevent the icing from melting off. Just keep these simple tips in mind while baking this southern-style chocolate cake recipe for perfect results every time!

Bottom Line

And there you have it, my fellow food enthusiasts, the recipe for the best southern chocolate cake you’ll ever taste. With its moist buttermilk chocolate layers topped with homemade chocolate frosting, this recipe is sure to make any occasion unforgettable.

The use of quality ingredients such as unsalted butter, heavy cream, and dark brown sugar elevates the chocolate flavor to heavenly heights, making each bite a truly decadent experience.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try. Whether it’s for a special celebration or just because, I guarantee that this cake will quickly become a family favorite. And hey, if you’re feeling generous, why not share some with your neighbors? They’ll be singing your praises for weeks to come!

Remember, baking is an art that requires patience and attention to detail. But with these step-by-step instructions and tips I’ve provided for perfect results, you’ll be well on your way to creating an absolutely delicious dessert that will be the talk of the town.

Trust me when I say that this southern-style chocolate cake will soon become a staple in your recipe collection. So get ready to indulge in a slice (or two) of pure chocolate bliss!

Southern Chocolate Cake

Southern Chocolate Cake Recipe

Adapted from Welcome Home
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 1075.7 kcal


For the Cake

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened, more for the pans
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour, more for the pans
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 ounces unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, preferably low fat, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise


  • 1 lb semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (preferably 58% cacao)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter, softened


  • Make the Frosting first. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream directly over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, stir in the center of the mixture in a small, tight circular motion until fully combined. Add the butter and stir until it is fully incorporated. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate mixture and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Make the Cake.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment paper round. Butter the parchment paper and dust with flour. Tap out any excess.
  • With a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder onto a piece of parchment paper. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting. Using the parchment as a chute, add one-quarter of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue to alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Using a whisk, fold the mayonnaise into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan slightly, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and parchment. Cool the cakes completely.
  • With a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Put one of the base layers on a cake plate and tuck strips of waxed paper under the cake to keep the plate clean while icing the cake.
  • Top the cake with about 1/3 cup of the chocolate frosting, spreading it evenly over the top. Add another cake layer, top with frosting, and repeat until the last layer is in place.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in any crumbs. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Remove the waxed paper. I patted some shaved chocolate curls all around the sides of the cake for garnish.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 200gCalories: 1075.7kcalCarbohydrates: 103.4gProtein: 17.3gFat: 77.8gSaturated Fat: 46.7gCholesterol: 208.3mgSodium: 643.8mgFiber: 12.8gSugar: 57g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert
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