Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hershey's Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake {traditional and gluten free recipes}

Hershey's Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
This cake. It is truly the most versatile and easiest chocolate cake recipe I have ever made. For years, I've seen the recipe on the side of the Hershey's cocoa box. On a whim, I decided to try making a gluten free version of the well-known chocolate cake a few weeks ago. It turned out beautifully the very first time and I have made this cake three more times since then. (Clearly, we've had several occasions for dessert lately!) There is nothing quite like having a lightning fast cake recipe that turns out perfectly every single time.

The cake is sturdy enough to hold together in layers, as cupcakes or to slice as a bundt cake.  I've made this as cupcakes and topped them with Fresh Strawberry Frosting. I've made a layer cake filled with the strawberry frosting, a layer of berries and then topped with the chocolate frosting. I've made two bundt cakes and simply poured the warm frosting over the cake. Every way I've served this cake, it has disappeared in no time at all!

COOK'S NOTE: The ingredient list looks lengthy at first glance, but trust me when I tell you that this is a very simple recipe. The cake is all made in one bowl and it comes together in minutes. You can frost this cake however you choose and know that it will be delicious!

Hershey's Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake {traditional and gluten free recipes included}
recipe adapted from Hershey's cocoa
Yield: 16 servings or 24 cupcakes
(printable recipe)

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour *
1/2 cup potato starch *
1/4 cup tapioca starch *
1 teaspoon xanthan gum *
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
* If you are not in need of a gluten free recipe, substitute a total of 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour for the items marked with an *

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, 6 ounces worth
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and lightly flour it with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder. (Alternatively, grease (2) 9" round pans or prepare (24) cupcake liners.)

Stir together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the boiling water and continue stirring to combine. The batter should be very thin and watery. Pour into prepared bundt pan or divide between two round pans or cupcake holders.

Bake the bundt cake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (2) 9" rounds will bake in 30-35 minutes and cupcakes will bake in 22-24 minutes. Cool completely.

Frosting Directions:
Heat the cream on the stove-top over low heat until steaming, or in a medium size glass bowl in the microwave until simmering. (About 2 minutes at high heat was all it took in the microwave.) Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the hot cream. Let this sit for a few minutes. Stir or whisk to combine, until the chocolate mixture is smooth and glossy.

Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until completely smooth. Pour the frosting over the cooled cake. Serve immediately or place the cake in the refrigerator to chill until the frosting is set. Enjoy!

Hershey's One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Monster Cookie Dough Bites
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Coconut Lemon Sour


  1. Mmmmm....chocolate on chocolate! Looks delicious!

  2. The frosting on your cake looks absolutely delightful! The Hershey's recipe is a great one to have on hand for when you need to pull something together quick. I love that cake, so versatile, soft and moist but still sturdy. Easy and fast, as well. For the gluten free version, is that 1/4 teaspoon tapioca starch, or 1/4 cup? I don't need to eat gluten-free but sometimes I need gluten-free for friends/coworkers. Thanks for posting!

    1. Thank you for catching that, Connie! It is 1/4 cup of tapioca starch.

  3. Wow Mary - this is beautiful. I think I had their chocolate cake once at a wedding - it was the groom's cake. This is so pretty with the rich chocolate ganache icing - absolutely beautiful! Hope you have a great weekend.

  4. What a gorgeous cake! that frosting looks so thick and delicious!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful cake but do you know how to make this cake gluten free and totally vegan? I need a special dessert to serve on May 7th to my book club. Can you help me? My email is:

    1. Hi Robyn,
      I do not have an egg free version of this cake. However, this old fashioned cake is naturally vegan and you should be able to use a GF flour blend for the all purpose flour in the recipe.

      I hope that helps!

    2. Thanks Mary. I appreciate your help. I'll let you know how it turns out. I was actually thinking about maybe substituting chia seeds for the eggs and coconut milk for the milk and seeing how your recipe turns out.
      Be well,


  6. What is meant by "light flavored Olive Oil? Can Canola or Vegetable Oil be substituted in place of the Olive Oil?

    1. Light flavored olive oil is my personal preference for baking. Extra virgin olive oil will give a distinct olive oil flavor, so I choose the lighter flavored oil.

      Yes, you can substitute canola or vegetable oil without any problem.

  7. Hi. Can I bake this in a 9 x 13 cake pan?

    1. Yes, it should work just fine. Test for doneness before removing it from the oven, you'll probably need a few extra minutes. Enjoy!

  8. Funny, you have this cake on your blog! My mom made this cake all through my growing up. Once I was old enough to help her I asked where she got it from...a cookbook and she said "No, the Hershey box." I was astounded even as a teen! But the cake never lasted long especially if my older brother was around and he loved it with chocolate ice cream...double overload!! LOL!

  9. Mary, this cake is sooo amazing. I have made it several times. No one ever thinks this could be a gluten free cake! Thanks!

  10. I made this tonight it am blown away! it's delicious and the texture is perfect. just like your "perfect white cake," you'd never know it was gluten free. Thanks!

  11. This recipe is wrong in the fact that there should never be more sugar in the cake than flour. There is a better version by Hershey, that has less sugar. I always cut the sugar in the recipes and have had huge success doing so. I feel if you can't look at a recipe and see where it went wrong then you shouldn't have a food blog.

    1. Sorry, hon, feel free to skip this recipe, but maybe you should dial back your rudeness a wee bit? This recipe is older than I am and I'm fairly certain Hershey's chocolate didn't "go wrong" here. Reduce the sugar all you like.

      The beauty of cooking and sharing recipes is that nothing is set in stone. I often reduce the sugar in recipes myself, but that in no way invalidates this classic recipe. I wanted to share the original version of this much loved classic recipe and on MY blog, I'm able to do that. Feel free to bake and share whatever recipes and opinions you'd like on your own.