Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix is an easy, from-scratch pantry staple to whip up light, moist chocolate cake or cupcakes in a matter of minutes!

Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix with text overlay


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If you're a fan of chocolate decadence, you'll also enjoy Warm Chocolate Cobbler, Homemade Chocolate Syrup, Chocolate Bread Pudding, or Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies!

Well, birthday season at our house is officially coming to a close. With all five of our birthdays falling within a span of ten weeks, this is the time of year that I find myself wrapping gifts and hanging balloons and baking a cake (or pie, in my hubby's case) every couple of weeks.

And while I love celebrating the birthdays in our family each year, I have to admit that I get a little worn out doing alllll of them in such close succession. So when birthday #4 out of 5 rolled around a couple weeks ago and I found myself needing to bake a batch of cupcakes before bed, I was relieved to discover that I had a bag of Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix waiting in the pantry!

Chocolate Cupcake with Frosting

I'm not ashamed to admit that I grew up on cakes made from store-bought cake mix, and they were some of the first things I learned how to bake on my own. The ease! The speed! The convenience!

But then when I had kids and started paying more attention to the ingredients I was feeding my family, I reluctantly traded in my beloved cake mixes and start baking from scratch.

Chocolate Cupcakes made from Homemade Cake Mix

Reasons to Make Homemade Cake Mix

Even though it's a little more work and takes a little more time, I discovered that I love baking homemade treats that don't end up with the weird chemically aftertaste that can come from store-bought baking mixes. But to make from-scratch baking as easy as possible, I've been stocking my pantry with homemade mixes for the last several years, from Homemade Cornbread Mix to Homemade Waffle Mix to Homemade Pancake Mix and more.

This Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix is simply my newest addition to the arsenal!

  • It's quick to assemble.
  • I can control the ingredients. For example, I can bake a cake using wholesome whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose white flour if I so fancy.
  • When I'm ready to whip up a homemade cake, I can do so in a flash!
Homemade Cake Mix whisked in a bowl

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

Since chocolate tends to an oft-requested cake around here, that's the first flavor I decided to concoct. So for this Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix, I took inspiration from my favorite chocolate cake recipe (thank you, Hershey's). And it was SO EASY!

  1. Measure out and whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a gallon-sized plastic bag.
  3. Write up directions for adding the wet ingredients and baking. (Or print my handy-dandy, ready-made directions by scrolling just below the recipe!)
  4. Repeat a couple more times for additional cake mixes.
  5. And finally, store your from-scratch bags of cake mix in the pantry for future last-minute baking emergencies!
Baking rack of moist chocolate cupcakes

The BEST Chocolate Cake

This Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix produces a light, airy, delectable chocolate cake (or cupcakes, as seen in this post). In fact, I recently used this cake mix to bake a cake for my daughter's birthday. My husband raved about how that Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix cake was so much better than the fancy bakery chocolate cake that he'd bought for my birthday a few weeks prior. The proof is in the pudding -- er, cake mix -- folks!

But to me, an equally impressive aspect of this recipe is its convenience. When I stumble into the pantry after putting the kids to bed because I need to bake a cake for the next day (which letsbehonest is the last thing I feel like doing at the end of a long day), I inwardly do a little cartwheel when I spy a homemade cake mix waiting for me on the shelf.

It's amazing how much time and energy are shaved off the cake baking process simply by not having to measure out dry ingredients! And y'all know I'm all for shortcuts while still being able to maintain "unprocessed ingredients status."

Frosted cupcakes made from cake mix

Options for Baking

This Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix can be made in the following variations:

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

So the next time you need to bake a chocolate cake, save time by using a cake mix...a Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix, that is! It's oven-ready in a flash with no icky ingredients, and the resulting cake tastes amazing. You'll only wish you'd thought to do it sooner. 😉

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • Pouring boiling water into cake batter seems weird, I know. And the resulting batter is alarmingly thin. But this trick produces a light, moist, tender crumb, so don't be afraid to give it a go!
  • I always use fresh baking powder and baking soda when I assemble homemade baking mixes, which ensures that they will keep fresh in the pantry longer. Because, you know, it's important that your baked goods actually rise when baked. 😉
  • Along those same lines, I like to mix up three Homemade Chocolate Cake Mixes at a time. But I do so with the intent to use them up within six months or so. And I'm sure to write the date on the bags so I remember how old they are!
  • I prefer whisking the dry ingredients together in a bowl, transferring the resulting mix to a baggie, and then repeating the steps in the same bowl for each additional cake mix I wish to assemble.
  • Finally, I frosted the cupcakes in these photos using Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and my favorite disposable plastic baggie trick.
Homemade cake mix chocolate cupcakes

More Made-from-Scratch Kitchen Staples

Homemade Cake Mix Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix is an easy, from-scratch pantry staple for whipping up light, moist chocolate cake or cupcakes in a matter of minutes!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Approximate Batter Making/Baking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 156kcal
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  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup light vegetable oil, such as sunflower or safflower
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water



  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until very well combined. Transfer to a gallon-sized plastic baggie. (Repeat for as many cake mixes as you wish to assemble.)


  • Adjust oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a (9- by 13-inch) rectangular baking pan, OR two (9-inch) round baking pans, OR line 24 muffins cups with paper baking liners.
  • Pour the Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix into a large bowl. Blend in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla using an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Gradually stir in the boiling water (¼ cup at a time) until the batter is well-combined (it will be thin and runny).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, using these times as a guideline: one (9- by 13-inch) rectangular baking pan = 35 to 40 minutes; two (9-inch) round baking pans = 30 to 35 minutes; 24 cupcakes = 20 to 22 minutes.
  • Cool cake(s) in pans for 10 minutes (only 5 minutes for cupcakes) before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.



  • I prefer whisking the dry ingredients together in a bowl, transferring the resulting mix to a baggie, and then repeating the steps in the same bowl for each additional cake mix I wish to assemble.
  • I like to mix up three Homemade Chocolate Cake Mixes at a time with the intent to use them up within six months. Just be sure to write the date on the bags so you remember how old they are.
  • Always use fresh baking powder and baking soda when assembling homemade baking mixes to ensure that they will keep fresh in the pantry longer.
  • After you pour the boiling water into the batter, it will seem unusually thin. But don't be alarmed! This method produces a light, moist, and tender cake.
  • Nutrition values below are calculated for one serving of chocolate cake (not just one serving of cake mix), when made as directed using all ingredients.


Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on November 9, 2017, and updated on October 14, 2019.

Printable Labels of Cake Mix Directions

Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix Directions


From-Scratch Chocolate Cupcake with frosting and sprinkles

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4.70 from 20 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, I use it all the time, if I ever make cake. Easy to assemble and tastes amazing.

    However, I'm finding it the cakes or cupcakes, don't easily come out of the molds or cake dishes. even if I pre spray it. Rather annoying.

    any suggestions? maybe they need to to be baked longer?

    1. This cake does have a rather sticky surface. Have you tried greasing and flouring your cake pans instead of spraying? I find that doing so is more consistent than spray when it comes to preventing sticking.

    2. If you're having a hard time with any type of recipe, I've found that spraying your pan and then adding a lining of parchment paper (spraying 1st ensures the paper will mostly stick so you don't have fly aways, and spraying again (spraying the top ensures no sticking to the paper, yes, it happens sometimes, especially if you've over baked the item), it will ensure that you can peel the parchment off and not have any issues with sticking! I always pre-measure and pre- cut my papers to a dry pan, making it much easier while applying to a sprayed pan! if your using a square pan, make the paper larger so you can cut a line down the corners to fold it behind the bottom piece (keeping it 1 large piece of paper), for round pans you cut the bottom circle and also make a long strip to go around the outer walls of the pan. I hope this helps everyone!?! Good Luck and Enjoy your Baking projects! 🍰

  2. Lots of people said this was great but I politely disagree with this. I made this at home following your exact detections and I was so exited too make this for my family! But sadly the cake started to over flow after a couple minutes, I am sure I did it all right. I am an experienced baker and was a little disappointed. I was not able to use this cake, I wasted ingredients and my time, I’m glad it worked out for others but obviously not for me. This is not meant to be a hate comment I just want you too know my view.

  3. Hi Samantha,

    When measuring flour, some recipes call for the "spoon and level" method and others just call for scooping and leveling. And then some don't specify. I was wondering if you could tell me how you measure your flour for this recipe.


  4. 5 stars
    This is amazing, the cake turns out so good and moist, we loved it!! I will definitely be using this mix to prep in advance for the holidays.

  5. Hi, I can see that the nutritional values are for one serving but I can't see anywhere what one serving is in terms of weight

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Grant! I'm sorry that serving weight isn't provided...the nutrition calculator built into my recipe card isn't quite that sophisticated. It basically just takes the cumulative nutrition info for the entire recipe and divides it into a fraction based on number of servings. So for this recipe, nutrition info is given for 1/24 of a chocolate cake prepared from this cake mix.

      1. Hi Samantha,
        Thanks for getting back to me, the number of servings is perfect i just needed someway to work out size or weight for calories per serving

        thank you again


    1. I think that's a brilliant idea, Joscelin! Coffee is so great for enhancing the flavor of chocolate. 🙂

    1. I'm not sure, David, but I do know what you're talking about! It reminds me of how a boxed mix cake does the same thing. At any rate, it doesn't affect the flavor and the top is usually covered with frosting. 😉

  6. 4 stars
    Cake went over top of baking dish. Used a 13x 9. I would only use about 3/4 of the batch in the pan. It will make another 9” round as well. Great cake though. A little emergency clean up in the middle of baking and right back in. I keep my oven sparkly clean so none went to waste lol. Yum yum.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this cake last night. It is delicious! I like this cake better than store bought. I was a little weery of the boiling water and cup at that...but it turned out great...it rose making a nice cake.

    1. So happy to hear it was a hit, Donna! And I totally agree...the boiling water and thin batter do seem strange, but the cake always turns out amazing. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the recipe. For those looking at a vegan option.. What do you propose instead of egg amd milk for your mix? Nothing fancy.. Something available cheaply at Walmart say

      1. I have not personally tried making this cake vegan so I can't guarantee the outcome, but here is what I would try: I would use plain almond milk in place of regular milk and 1/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana in place of the egg. That being said, you should be able to use any variety of unsweetened dairy-free milk that you prefer, and if you google "egg replacement in cake," there are a several different substitutions you can try. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Wow! That's a lot of birthday cake making for you! It's no wonder you came up with this idea, you must be a master at chocolate cake after 5 birthdays within 10 weeks!! I thought this may be fun to make up for my college daughter so she has a cake for her birthday kinda made from home!!

    1. I couldn't remember for sure, Lauryn, but in the post I wrote that I frosted the pictured cupcakes with a Chocolate Buttercream. I don't have a recipe for that on my site, so I must have just Googled one! Sorry I can't supply the exact recipe for you.

    2. 1 star
      Wanted to like this cake but did not care for. Cake was sticky/spongey taste was off.. not sure if it was the water/milk or both that threw off taste 🤷‍♀️ It was worth a shot though as I like trying new recipes but my clients and I did not enjoy sadly(but maybe others will as there seems to be good reviews)

  9. 5 stars
    i made this cake with buttermilk!! it is so easy and totally yummmmmyyy!!! i love it and will definitely repeat it.

      1. In case Fateha doesn't answer, I'm guessing she just substituted buttermilk for the milk in the recipe (using the same amount)...

  10. 5 stars
    What a great idea! I’m so glad you thought of this...I appreciate anything that eliminates steps and still is from scratch! Thanks, Sam....☺️