Whether you’re just learning how to bake or just busy, this rich, moist cake recipe from former culinary staffer Grant Melton will be your go-to. It’s just as quick and easy as boxed cake mix (comes together in minutes and doesn’t dirty extra dishes)—but WAY more delicious.

For another easy cake recipe, try this Easy Sponge Cake.


For the cake
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
For the frosting
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream, as needed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkles, for topping


Serves: 8


Prepare the cake: Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk in sugar, salt and espresso powder. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, egg and canola oil. Using a hand mixer, beat the wet and dry ingredients together until smooth. Beat in the warm water until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat once more. Pour batter into a 10-inch springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Prepare the frosting: Place the butter and half of the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar along with the heavy cream. Once mixed thoroughly, add in the cocoa powder and beat until fluffy and smooth. If the frosting looks a little dry, add a few splashes of heavy cream and mix for the desired consistency. Mix in the salt.

Release the cake from the springform pan. Transfer to a cake plate and spread the frosting on top, leaving the sides bare, then top with the sprinkles.