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How to Make Chocolate Cake Mix

Use this homemade chocolate cake mix recipe for quick and easy baking from scratch without all the dubious ingredients of a store bought boxed cake mix.

This homemade cake mix is perfect for keeping on your pantry shelf and for giving to friends and family in care packages and more!

Using simple ingredients this easy recipe comes together in no time and can have you baking up a moist chocolate cake any time the urge hits.

A frosted chocolate cake sits on a glass cake plate with a red cloth surrounding it. A jar of cake mix sits to the right. Text overlay reads: homemade chocolate cake mix.

Basic Ingredients

There’s nothing fancy here at all. You likely already have the necessary ingredients to whip up the mix right in your kitchen.

Sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt are the most necessary ingredients.

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting sits on a plate with a fork. In the background the remaining cake sits on a cake plate with a jar of chocolate cake mix.

A quick word about the salt – I most often make the actual cake with melted salted butter so when making the mix for myself I only use 1/2 teaspoon of salt. When making the mix for someone else I had the entire teaspoon of salt. If they use salted butter, it won’t be too salty by any means but if they use unsalted butter or vegetable oil the additional salt is necessary for flavor.

The espresso powder is optional and is only 1 teaspoon which isn’t enough to make the taste like coffee but rather just add a special depth of flavor to the cocoa. You could easily skip it or add more if you would prefer a mocha cake.

This recipe is a bit lighter in sugar than most homemade chocolate cake mixes I’ve seen. It’s still plenty sweet without being overly sweet in my opinion. Plus once its frosted, the sweetness is perfect in my opinion. That being said you can easily add more or less sugar to taste.

Mixing Up a Batch

You can, obviously, mix up a batch and bake it up right away. However, if you’re going to make on batch of the mix, make two. It won’t really take any more time and you’ll have some on hand for later.

Simply do it assembly line style. Place two large bowls on the counter and put the ingredients in each. Whisk up and then store one, bake with one.

How to Store

Once the mix is made, simply store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Plastic bags will also work.

Close-up of a jar of chocolate cake with some red cloth and a bit of frosted cake in the background.

As long as the dry cake mix, does indeed stay dry it should last for at least year on at room temperature.

We’ve got more easy to whip mixes to keep in your pantry here!

How to Bake

The recipe for baking up a cake from the mix is included below. It will whip up quickly and easily for you or anyone you give it too.

A frosted chocolate cake sits on a glass cake plate with a red cloth surrounding it. A jar of cake mix sits to the right.

The recipe includes time for baking in two 9 inch layers or a 9X13″ rectangular pan.

You could likely make three 8 inch cake layers, a bundt cake, or even cupcakes if desired, just watch the bake times.

Optional Additions

​You could easily add a cup of chocolate chips to the mix or to the cake right before baking for a delicious dessert.

Chopped nuts or even dried fruits could be added. Again, feel free to add those things directly to the mix if you’d like to give it away that way – but know the extra bulk may make it hard to fit into standard quart containers.

How to Serve

Once your cake is baked and cooled, the options for decorating and serving are endless.

For the ultimate chocolate cake, top a layer with a creamy chocolate frosting and drizzle with some melted chocolate or top with chocolate curls for something beautiful enough to serve on a special occasion.

Top with cream cheese frosting for a creamy delight. Truly choose your favorite frosting and know that it will be amazing with this homemade chocolate cake recipe.

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting sits on a plate with a fork. In the background the remaining cake sits on a cake plate with a jar of chocolate cake mix.

If you want to skip making homemade frosting, simply dust the cake with some powdered sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a simple but lovely dessert.

Serve slices with chocolate or vanilla ice cream on a hot day.

How to Give

The best part of this simple mix recipe is that makes an easy chocolate cake gift for folks near and far.

​Use it as a gift-in-a-jar style present by placing the mix into pretty jars with a label including instructions to bake and include it in a gift basket with some tea or coffee. It’s a great gift for most any occasion.

To mail the cake mix, place the mix into plastic bags and write the baking instructions on the bag. Skipping the jar makes the box lighter and avoids any worries about breakage in the shipping process.

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Yield: 1 Cake

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a plate with a fork. In the background the remaining cake sits on an cake plate next to a jar of chocolate cake mix.

Whip up an easy chocolate cake mix to make homemade chocolate cakes in a hurry or to give away as gifts.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cup Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Espresso Powder, Optional

To Bake the Cake

  • The Above Cake Mix
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water


To Make the Mix

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix extremely well. A balloon whisk is ideal for this task.
  2. Pour the cake mix into a glass jar or other airtight container and store until ready to use.

To Bake a Cake from the Mix

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease two 9" round cake pans or a 9X13 inch pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, dump the cake mix. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla until completely combined.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the boiling water into the mix, stirring to combine completely. It will be a thin cake batter.
  7. Pour into the prepared baking pans.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven: 25-30 minutes for the round pans 35-40 minutes for the rectangular pan. An inserted cake tester will come out clean when done.
  9. Let cool on wire rack and frost as desired when cool.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 775mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 6g

We try but cannot promise the accuracy of these results.

Thanks for sharing!

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