Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

No eggs. No butter. No mixer. One bowl. My frosting has a little butter but you can omit the butter and use it as a glaze.. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup cool water
  • 6 Tablespoons oil (I use extra-light olive oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup combine water, oil, juice or vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Add liquids to bowl & gently stir until there are no lumps (about 30 seconds).
  5. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely in the pan and frost, glaze, or dust with powdered sugar.

Notes: I make my frosting with 2 Tbsp. softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp. vanilla + about 3 tsp. milk. I frost only the top - right in the pan.

For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake

108 Comments on "Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake"

  1. The first girl

    I love ur recipes, ur tips and the presentation. Everything is wonderful. Can u post some tasty recipes suitable for diabetic people. Thank you.

  2. SteveinEngland

    I made the cake which turned out well. The frosting was much less successful as it was too fluid and poured out of the mixing bowl. I used the exact measurements that are on the website. I tried increasing the sugar – diabetes alert! I increased the chocolate powder, to no avail. It must work because I saw you do it on the video. What chocolate alchemy do I need to learn please Jenny,

    • Jenny

      You have to add the milk VERY SLOWLY, like 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Once you add too much, it’s impossible to thicken it back. (I tried to make that clear in my video)

  3. Linda

    I have made this delicious cake so many times that I should remember the recipe

  4. Henna

    Hi Jenny,
    I just found you and this recipe. With one son allergic to eggs I always look for no-egg recipies and this was great! The cake disappeared into the mouths of teen boys in seconds. Served it with fresh rasberries. So yummy, thanks!

  5. Sehrish

    Hi Jenny, I tried this cake for my hubby’s birthday frosted with classic ganache and strawberries. This cake turned out a hit !! It melts in your mouth and so easy to make 🙂 thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipes 🙂

  6. KathyB

    I made this cake today and my husband and adult son who was visiting and they loved it. My son said it taste like something you’d order in an expensive restaurant. I just used a throw away aluminum round cake pan. The cake was easy to make and the frosting was a snap.

    I am so happy I found your YouTube videos and website. I just love your recipes! I’ve made many of them and they are all winners. When I first saw one I knew you looked familiar. I used to watch your talk show all the time.

    Note: I use organic Equal Exchange baking cocoa from in all my recipes calling for cocoa and it’s wonderful.

  7. Sandra

    Hi there jenny,
    I’ve followed the exact recipe you showed but i have no idea why my cake are so small than yours?its but thick too.i wonder why? Pls help..thanks alot!

    • Jenny

      Can you please list (exactly, by brand) all the ingredients you used, what you used to mix, and the size of your pan and I will try to help.

  8. Mady

    I made this cake , I didn’t care for it at all.

    • Lori

      Can you say ‘why’ you didn’t like it. That would be helpful.

  9. Betsy

    Lemon juice or distilled white vinegar: I’d have never imagined! I cook every day, but have rarely baked, especially for the last 20 years, so I haven’t read that many cake recipes to know. Is this unusual, adding a tart acid, even just one tablespoon? How did you come upon this as an ingredient to add? Does it have similar effect (rising or leavening, possibly) as adding baking powder?

    • Jenny

      I did not invent this method but you can get a more qualified explanation of how this works with an internet search.

  10. Anna

    I made this tonight for an early Mother’s Day treat for Mom. She loved it! Everyone at the dinner table loved it! The richness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the cake is just right. This is now my go to cake for pot luck parties. Thanks So Much for sharing this recipe!

  11. Mady

    Hi Jenny, just wanted to know could you bake this in a bundt pan ? How long would I bake for? Ty

  12. Joyce

    I made your one bowl chocolate cake & instead of regular sugar I used unrefined coconut sugar which I understand is much better for you than regular white sugar &I it came out WONDERFUL u should try it & see what u think

  13. Ami

    I made the cake again this time without the choco chips.
    It turned out lighter and more moist and I’m sure by tonight it will be all gone.

  14. Ami

    oh and I also added chocolate chips will this make any difference(apart from the taste)?I also want to say how good this is already smelling cant wait to taste

    • Jenny

      I hope your cake turned out. Vanilla is important to include when baking with chocolate but I only use vanilla extract so I can’t advise on using pods. I suggest looking for any chocolate cake recipe that uses vanilla pods for the quantity and then you can try using them with my recipe, but vanilla extract is the more popular (and easier) form to use.

      • Ami

        thanks for your help jenny ,it did turn out good anyway.

  15. Ami

    oh and I also added chocolate chips will this make any difference(apart from the taste)?

  16. Ami

    Hi Jenny I just found this website and wanted to make this cake it is in the oven now. I love baking and I’m only 12 I cooked it without the vanilla though.
    Can you use vanilla pods instead?

  17. Rachie

    Hiya Jenny.

    I don’t have any vinegar or lemon juice! Could I leave it out or no?

  18. Judy

    Hi Jenny,
    I’m horrible when it comes to baking; cookies never spread in my oven and my cakes always taste doughy (like not cooked enough). I have a gas oven so maybe they heat differently than an electric oven. However I tried this one bowl chocolate cake and I had huge success!! I cooked it for 40mins instead of 30. And I followed the recipe exactly as it is, and it worked amazing! I’m a vegetarian so the fact that this recipe was eggless was pretty sweet. I’m officially a huge fan and I’d recommend this recipe to anyone who wants a healthy chocolate cake recipe. Thank you Jenny this recipe was a huge confidence booster for my baking skills!

    • Judy

      Jenny do you have more eggless recipes I could try out? 🙂

  19. Sherri

    Tried this cake tonight and absolutely love it. It’s super easy to make and turns out nice and moist. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 airbake pan. It took longer to bake since it was doubled, but the toothpick test worked perfect for determining when it was done. Thanks for the recipe Jenny. I’ll be making this again, probably without the frosting next time – just because I tend to find all frostings too sweet for my taste. Jenny’s frosting is pretty good though, even to me.

  20. Cassie

    Hi Jenny. your video was chanced upon when I was doing my bed time recipe ‘read’. Love how detail the video is and how engaging you made the viewers feel like a close aunt sharing recipes.
    I’m can’t wait to try your easy no knead crusty bread really soon before this Christmas.
    But what I had earlier were perfect for this all-in-a-bowl chocolate cake. I loved how easy it is to prepare and bake since as a working mom in Singapore, time is always a constant battle to include baking after tending to the needs of my children.
    The texture was great, moist in the inside and a little firm springy exterior with excellent color.
    The sweetness level was just perfect (I omitted the frosting and only dusted some icing super over it) but the taste seems a little ‘rubber-soda’ and would probably need a richer chocolatey taste like a melted chocolate?
    I used Hershey coco powder and bicarbonate soda. I would love to hear your recommendation. Thanks in advance!

    • Jenny

      Try using Dutch process cocoa. It’s the only kind I use because it’s darker, richer, and never bitter.

  21. Frances

    Can I use apple cider vinegar instead? This great recipe for vegan people. Thank you so much for all great recipes.

    • Jenny

      Yes, I have seen recipes for this kind of cake using cider vinegar.

  22. Gitika

    Hi Jenny, I made this cake and its turned out moist and soft but slightly bitter. I am not sure what it could be. I used lemon juice.

    • Jenny

      I don’t think it’s the lemon juice but more likely the cocoa you are using that is bitter. I recommend Dutch process cocoa because it is never bitter. Assuming you followed the recipe EXACTLY, the cocoa is likely the problem. If you can’t find Dutch process, perhaps you can try a different brand.

  23. Brad

    I made this today for my spouse’s birthday. We don’t like to have a lot of sweets around the house for health reasons, but I thought this simple cake would be nice for a birthday treat. Wow! For a simple little cake it’s quite the delicious treat without the high fat and cholesterol. At first I was wondering if maybe I should make double the frosting and cover the whole thing. I discovered that the layer on top is plenty as the frosting tastes amazing! Both the cake and the frosting taste very rich. It was quite the treat and we both loved it. I made it in a spring-form cake pan which makes it easy to pop out. I’m having fun trying your recipes and so far they’ve been great! Thanks for doing this website and the YouTube videos.

  24. Debbie

    Jenny I tried your yellow cake and loved it we ate every bit of it in the two days. So I thought you were chocolate cake would be divine I made it and it was about a fourth of an inch tall. I don’t understand what went wrong so I made it again and again it turned out 1/4 inch tall and rubbery. I racked my brain trying to think what the difference would be in your two cakes and it finally hit me your yellow cake had no soda in it and your chocolate when did so I tested my soda and sure enough it was flat. My husband just came home with a new box and I tried it again for the third time. Wala! It turned out perfect! So you if you have any readers out there that there cake didn’t rise that could be the reason their soda was flat. Thanks again for such a delicious recipes I’ve copied almost every one of them

  25. Ally

    Dear Jenny!!! Thank you so much for this recipe! easy, really easy and delicious!! I have changed a bit the recipe sometimes depending on what I have in the kitchen: sometimes i used 2 tbs of coconut oil, 2 of sesame oil and 2 olive oil. Sometimes just all 6 spoons of regular veg oil. Sometimes, i added a banana into the mix and other nuts… it works great everytime!! I made my first cake using your recipe and im so thankful! now i just want to keep baking!

  26. Curla

    Im very tempted to try this recipe but i only have pressure pan.i dont have oven.can i make this with pressure pan only? Pls help…

    • Jenny

      I have never used a pressure pan but I suggest looking at the instructions that came with it (or find them online). See if they have any recipes for cake and you might be able to follow those instructions with my recipe. Secondly, try googling “How to bake a cake in a pressure cooker” and that may help. Third, since I believe you have a stove top, you could also try looking for “stove top cake.” I’m sorry I am not able to help more.

  27. Christeen

    Thank you so much Jenny!

    I was searching recipe for a cake which I can make with ingredients that I already have at home, without going to the store. And I found it!
    Cake is just perfect, it’s fluffy, light and of course so delicious.
    Keep it up! Looking forward for other great heaven food 🙂

  28. Fabio

    Could you use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose? Or at least substitute a portion of the all purpose?

    • Jenny

      I always use whole wheat flour when it works but for me, it does not work with this cake. I have other cakes where it (whole wheat PASTRY flour) works very well like my carrot cake, oatmeal snacking cake, lemon brownies, and most of my cookies.

  29. Valerie

    Instead of olive oil can i use any veg cooking oil?

  30. Aida

    Hi Jenny,

    Can I use honey instead of sugar for this recipe?

    • Jenny

      I don’t think so. You’d be better off with a different recipe that uses honey.

  31. Aasha

    Hi Jenny cool water is room temperature water or cold water???
    Planning to make this cake with your one bowl yellow cake for a Checkerboard Cake

    • Jenny

      I would say room temperature, definitely not cold.

  32. Vanessa

    Hey Jenny
    Just wanted to say how delish and popular the cake is. I was googling recipes for baking without butter, as I have not done the shopping yet, and came across u and this recipe. I followed it exact but used cheap cocoa (I live in NewZealand), it’s amazing. Thank u, you are a life saver.

  33. susan

    hi jenny,
    just made your recipe for one bowl choco cake for the second time…no frosting, just toasted almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar…oh and i did add a pinch of cinnamon and this time some instant expresso…we shall see…have a great day!

  34. LaChandra

    I’m allergic to eggs, so glad for this recipe. I’ve made this several times. 100% kid approved!

  35. Dorna .griffin

    Jenny is that the only type cocoa that will work.? Thanks

    • Jenny

      Any unsweetened cocoa powder will work but Dutch process cocoa makes a much better cake and it’s worth looking for if you can find it.

  36. Joyce

    Jenny, thank you with a grateful heart for sharing good recipes.
    I love, love this cake recipes!
    Just one question here. If I don’t do the icing because I can’t take butter. I like to dust it with more coco pwd. When should I dust it, before or after the cake is baked?

    • Jenny

      You would dust it after the cake is baked and cooled. You won’t really see cocoa powder on a brown cake and since the cocoa we use is unsweetened, you can use powdered sugar or a mixture of powdered sugar and cocoa.

  37. Abeer

    Do you think I can sub the baking soda for baking powder? Will it be the same amount? Would I need to add lemon/vinegar as well or omit?


    • Jenny

      No. Baking soda and baking powder are completely different. Since there are no eggs, this cake needs baking SODA, which is acidic, and the lemon/vinegar that it reacts with to make the cake rise.

  38. Mel

    What’s the purpose of the white distilled vinegar?

    • Jenny

      When not using eggs, the vinegar or lemon juice react with the baking soda to give the cake body and rise.

  39. Mel

    Can I use Hershey’s cocoa natural unsweetened

    • Jenny

      Yes, but it’s worth looking for Dutch process cocoa, which is less bitter and has a much better flavor.

  40. Nan

    Jenny, where do you get your colored gloves you use in your videos? Thanks

  41. Barb


    This recipe is fantastic! Thanks so much for posting these delicious and healthier versions of wonderful recipes!!

  42. Mel

    Can I use coconut oil for the batter, or will it taste like coconut.

    • Jenny

      Coconut oil does not taste like coconut and can be used in lots of baking.

  43. Nan

    Jenny, I have several chocolate cake recipes but I have to say this will be my “go to” recipe for chocolate cake if I’m baking just for the two of us. It’s amazing delicious. The icing is also very good and easy. I read where some were asking where to purchase the Dutch Processed Cocoa. I buy mine from Penzeys Spices and can be ordered or sold in the stores. Thank you for all you do. Have a smiling great day. 🙂

  44. Lara

    Hi jenny, I dont know if you remmeber but I tried your cinnamon sultana bread and it was a complete success. I had to try this easy one bowl cake- its in the oven right now, and I can’t wait. Thank you for all your delicious recipes, I’ll definitely be back for more! 🙂

  45. Bachu Elvie

    I tried it without the frost and my cousins love it, me too of course 😉 . It was delicious. Thanks a lot for sharing your recipes.

  46. Serge

    Jenny, I was wondering if you left the cocoa powder out can you make a simple white cake?

    • Jenny

      I think you could. I am planning to try that this week. I would increase the flour by 3 tablespoons and I would white vinegar rather than lemon juice.

    • Jenny

      I tried it without the cocoa to make a white cake and it does not work. The taste and texture were both off so it’s best to keep this as is – a delicious chocolate cake.

  47. Diana

    Hi Jenny! My sister and I have been watching your videos for a while, and while she is a great cook, I am unfortunately not gifted with that talent in the family. However, for Fourth of July, I was very motivated to make this chocolate cake. Everyone loved it so much, that they asked me to bake it the next day! So, this is the second day that I have been making this cake, and with the same result as yesterday. Thank you so much for your work that you put into your videos. It’s very appreciated!

  48. Francine

    Hi Jenny!i just try that chocolate cake of you and,i find it delicious,thank you so much.

  49. Marilyn

    Jenny, I use your site and many of your recipes….the chocolate cake….was such a hit with the children last night….Made it and put the icing recipe on ….then, put sprinkles and tiny M&Ms….just love your videos….so imformative….thanks!

  50. Julia

    Just finished baking your 1 bowl chocolate cake. DELICIOUS!!! So nice to make a dessert without a big fuss (or mess). Didn’t make the icing though, serving it with vanilla ice cream, yum!
    LOVE the videos ( along with the humor) and the simple, healthy, yummy recipes. DON’ T STOP JEN, LOVE EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING!

  51. Joyce

    Can u use pastery flour when baking cakes or muffins instead of all purpose flour?

    • Jenny

      I would not recommend pastry flour (I assume you mean the fine cake flour) unless a recipe specifically calls for it.

  52. Pauline

    I made your cake after watching the video and it was excellent! My husband said that was the best chocolate cake he’s had in a long while. Also like the smaller size, which still allowed me to freeze a few pieces for next week. Thanks Jenny, that’s another 5-star recipe!

  53. Bernadette

    I made this cake with vinegar. SO DELICIOUS!
    For the icing; if you like the taste of butter just use liquid butter to thin your icing. Wilton makes clear butter flavoring.

  54. Joyce

    Can u use pastery flour instead of all purpose the reason being I purchased pastery flor & I want to use it before it is to old. Thank u

    • Jenny

      I would not recommend pastry flour for this recipe – it may not have enough body for this cake. With baking it’s best to try to stick to the recipe exactly.

  55. Alice Fong

    I have made this cake, but it seem abit hard, isn’t the way it is? Or am I doing something wrong? I follow all the instructions , it’s very moist that’s true..

    • Jenny

      This cake should not be hard at all. If it’s soft in the middle and hard on the outside, it could be your oven was too hot or you baked it too long. That might also happen if you use a dark colored cake pan which absorbs more heat than a light colored pan. Also a glass pan might be the problem. When you bake in glass you should reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.

      • Alice Fong

        I was using the light color cake pan and follow your time 30mins, or isn’t my oven is smaller than yours, so isn’t have to reduce the timing?

        • Jenny

          Rather than reduce the cooking time, I would start checking at 20 minutes and again at 25 minutes. You can do this with a toothpick or a piece of spaghetti. Stick it in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

          • Alice Fong

            Okay I’ll try it next time,Thanks for your help 🙂

  56. Cherry

    What would be a good distilled white vinegar substitute?

    • Jenny

      Fresh lemon juice works just as well. In fact, I just added it to the recipe since most people may not have distilled vinegar.

  57. joey

    hi are doing

  58. Cassie

    Would it be possible to make this cake in another type of pan?

  59. tricia

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I really appreciate it 🙂

  60. Debbie

    Jenny, first of all, I LOVE your recipes! This cake is the same recipe I learned many years ago as a child from my grandmother. We called it 3 Hole Cake. We doubled the ingredients, first putting all the dry ingredients in a ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Then, you put 3 “holes” in the mixture, and put the oil in one, the vinegar in another, and the vanilla in the last. Finally you pour the water over it all and mix. Bake, and voila! A very moist tasty cake. A super easy recipe to do with small children. Thanks so much for posting it. It brought back fond memories. I might even make this today!

  61. Fortunate

    Love you Jenny!!

  62. Fortunate

    I love your videos and your always pretty & very funny,Thank-You:) Keep it up!!!!

  63. sophia

    I will make this sometime soon, can’t wait. Thanks again for something yummy:-)

    • sophia

      I tried it, never using box mix again, super easy! Thanks jenny:-)

  64. Arlene

    This cake look’s yummy! I will be making this cake next week.
    Thank you Jenny.

  65. Jennie


    Where can I find Dutch Processed cocoa? I checked Walmart and Publix but didn’t see it. I am not sure if there is a certain aisle where they would keep it, I only saw Hersheys cocoa.

    • Jenny

      You might find it at World Market or Trader Joe’s or possibly a high end grocery store (it’s usually in the baking aisle). If not, you can probably find it online.

      • Jennie

        Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try the chocolate cake. I am sure it will taste as good as it looks.

        • Jenny

          I was at World Market today and they had it but it’s not in the baking section, only in the hot chocolate section. So if you go, please ask for it – each store may have it someplace different.

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