Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

Some of the best recipes are on the back of boxes. Quaker has a great oatmeal cookie recipe on the back of their box. Libby’s has their famous pumpkin pie recipe on the back of their can. So of course you’d expect Hershey’s to have a fabulous chocolate cake recipe on the back of their box and they do.

The Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake is a scrumptious chocolate cake. It’s chocolately, rich, moist, and delicious. Perfect for beginners. It’s nearly as easy to make as a box cake and it tastes so much better than a cake mix cake. You’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before. I know I did.

I mentioned in my Queso Bacon Burger post I was hosting a BBQ/birthday party and every birthday party needs a perfect birthday cake. I needed two cakes for our crowd. (I’ll post the Tropcial Carrot Cake recipe next week.) I love this picture of the birthday girl with her cakes and my daughter and soon to be born grandson.

For those who don’t like veggies in their cake, I decided to make chocolate cake. But not just any chocolate cake, the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake that I’ve seen posted dozens of times with rave reviews. I was a bit surprised when I read the instructions. After the batter is mixed, you add one cup of boiling water which creates a really runny batter. After baking though, it has a perfect texture –  not too heavy not too light. It got great reviews from my crowd too.

I made a couple high altitude changes to the recipe because at my altitude cakes can be temperamental. I used the great guide Bonnie, City Home / Country Home, posted last year to modify the recipe. Just a few simple tweaks can make a big difference when baking cakes at altitude.

I’m sure I’ll be baking this back of the box cake again. Do you have a favorite recipe you got from the back of a box?

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 12 - 16 servings

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting


  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons sugar*
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder*
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk*
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; With a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Carefully, stir in boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

*Before high altitude changes: 2 cups sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 cup milk

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


slightly adapted from Hershey's.com


Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Bars, Mangio da Sola
Libby’s Pumpkin Pie, The Food Librarian
Peanut Butter Blossoms, How Sweet It Is

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    Wow Barbara, I have to admit, I don’t think I would ever have even looked at this recipe- but after reading this post I might just have to change my mind. I think I will try it this coming weekend. Thanks for the great post
    Best, Sandie

  2. says

    This cake definitely looks like the perfect chocolate cake! Bookmarking it for the next time I want to make a cake. One of my favorite back of the box recipes (or under the lid, actually) is Quaker’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

  3. says

    Thanks for the shout-out Barbara. I have never tried this cake but I will. Maybe for the cake table I need to contribute to this Wednesday night. I forgot that I agreed to help and I need something quick but beautiful. As always, your cake is beautiful.

  4. says

    There is nothing more festive or delicious than a homemade chocolate cake. It’s a dessert I know everyone will love. Your sweet mama to be looks radiant and very happy. Congratulations to you and your family, Barbara, on the impending birth of a grandson.

  5. says

    Your birthday friend must be so happy and grateful! Baked 2 cakes, you are such a dear friend! So kind of you to cater the cakes for both vege and non-vege!

    And both cakes are equally delicious! The chocolate frosting is calling out my name :-)

  6. says

    I used to copy recipes from the backs of boxes and I remember copying chocolate cake from Hershey’s, I haven’t tried making it yet but after reading your post and seeing that moist fudgy slice, I think it’s time I do!

  7. says

    What a perfectly gorgeous cake! Who can resist a good chocolate cake for their birthday? And I love the photo of the birthday girl with your daughter – thanks for sharing.

  8. Shelby says

    This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe!! I have never made it in round pans though, I always do a 13×9. I add an overflowing 1/4 cup of sour cream and add some brewed coffee to the batter. Yum!!

  9. says

    I love checking out recipes on the back of boxes. I’ve made this cake quite a few times and it never fails to taste fantastic. Funny because I was just thinking about making this again this week!!!!

  10. says

    i want to grab a fork and dig into this beauty! i agree about some of the best recipes being on the back of boxes, i’ve had that experience several times too. this looks amazing, so perfect for the chocoholic in all of us!

  11. says

    I’ve made this recipe as a sheet cake and as cupcakes and it is always delicious. Love how moist the cake is and the frosting is so fluffy. Some of the best recipes are the classics and the ones you find on back of product packages.

  12. says

    I added this to my faves. Looks Delectable. Can’t wait to make it.
    you know what’s perfectly perfect? YOU! xx
    PS. I made the peanut butter cookies w/ nutella.
    I looooooooooooooove nutella! Smashing. My kids loved them.

  13. says

    There are reasons some of those box standards are still there. They’re so good. I use the German’s Sweet Chocolate recipe for German Chocolate cake too…and love it as much as I’m sure I would love this cake. Um um good.

  14. says

    Aww Barbara, such a precious photo and chocolate cake too. I know what you mean about sometimes the best recipes are just on the back of the carton. this looks like a perefct b-day cake to bake for my son on the 28th this month just before he heads back to college. I got a feeling he will like it!

  15. says

    You are so right about recipes on the back of the box! My favorite fudge that my mom used to make was on the Hershey’s cocoa container… they don’t print it there anymore, but I’ve got it and have made sure that it’s in a safe place.

    This chocolate cake looks so decadent and delicious… but, then I’m a sucker for anything chocolate!

  16. says

    It looks perfect, it sounds perfect and I wish I could eat it to make my day perfect! Seriously, AMAZING and Beautiful. You have been hooked so next cake I will be making is this one. Your daughter is gorgeous and so exciting you will be a grandmother! yeah

  17. says

    Thanks for the reminder about this excellent cake – your photo looks scrumptious. Sometimes in my constant blog-hopping quest for the next new recipe, I forget about the tried-and-true ones! I’ve tried others, and liked some, but I haven’t found a pumpkin pie yet that equals Libby’s back of the can recipe, and that is my go-to for Thanksgiving.

    Congratulations on future grandmother-hood. There is nothing quite as grand! :) Your daughter is beautiful.

  18. says

    Well your cake does look simply perfect :) Ive been wanting to try this recipe for a while, have yet to read a bad review, and you have definitely given me the final push needed to go for it. Great post that has me craving choccy something awful! :)

  19. says

    I can’t recall exactly the recipe quantities, but I remember I loved the chocolate cake recipe from the cocoa powder (Nestlé, Brazil) box, and it was very similar to this one and I loved it! Oh my God, I’ll have to do it, I suddenly craved for this chocolate cake that I haven’t made in ages!

  20. says

    moist cake is the most delicious cake – and this look fantastic! hershey’s cocoa is a little hard to come by here in australia but i’m sure i’ll manage giving this a try.

  21. says

    I’ve made the cake too and my family loved it. It was unbelievably easy to make and also very, very delicious. In fact, my family requested that I make it again the next day. :) (We ran out because I brought it to a birthday party.)

  22. says

    Barbara, I’ve made this frosting a coupke of times, but never the cake~I see that I need to! Looks perfectly beautiful.
    You’re going to love being a grandma:)

  23. says

    I’ve got quite a few back of the box favorites! :-) I made this cake last month and I absolutely agree that it’s fabulous. It’s really amazing to me to see how incredibly runny that batter is and how it transforms into a terrifically moist cake.

  24. says

    Looks GREAT! The Texas Sheet Cake I make has a cup of boiling water also, and it is currently my favorite cake so I gotta try this one! BTW, your daughter is so darling and Congrats on the grandson! :)

  25. says

    i have always wanted to try this recipe – and I love that you have high-altitude directions! I don’t usually make any changes, although I know I need to. Definitely going to try this!

  26. says

    This recipe (with a few changes) is without a doubt my go-to recipe for chocolate cake and has been for a very long time. In fact, I used it in my Chocolate Overload Cake (or chocolate mousse cake). Instead of milk I use buttermilk, and instead of boiling water I use coffee or espresso. The cake comes out even more moist with a stronger chocolate flavor. It’s so good!!!!!! Your daughter looks so lovely!

  27. says

    I’ve heard rave reviews about this cake, and as a matter of fact, there’s a fancy shmancy restaurant in the city (NYC) that makes it, but changes one ingredient amount ever so slightly, and uses Guittard vanilla chocolate for the frosting. It’s THIS cake, period, with fancier frosting!

    Your cake(s) look beautiful, as does your daughter and the ‘B-Day Girl’ sitting together in celebration! Congrats on becoming a new Grandma! You certainly do not look the part!

    Finally, first lasagna I ever made – back of a Ronzoni lasagna box. Still make it..just use my homemade meat sauce in lieu of the jarred called for in the recipe :)