Black Magic Cake

As an Amazon affiliate, and affiliate with other businesses, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Featured Image for post Black Magic Cake

Buttermilk and a hint of espresso are the secrets to this Black Magic cake. A moist, rich, deep, dark chocolate cake perfect for a special occasion or any day at all.

Claire K Creations is my Secret Recipe Club blog this month. Claire and I have been blogging friends for a while now. She lives in the land down under, Brisbane, Australia and we often comment on each other’s posts. I remember commenting a long while back that I wanted to try the Black Magic Cake she posted, so I was excited when I was assigned Claire’s blog this month to finally give it a try.

Black Magic Cake

The Black Magic Cake has been posted about many times on many blogs with rave reviews, so I knew it was a great one. It’s a recipe on the Hershey’s website, and it’s often on the back of their cocoa package as well.

Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in this cake, but since I’m not a coffee drinker, I opted to use just a bit of King Arthur espresso powder and hot water in place of the coffee. I also adapted the cake for high altitude baking. For the original recipe, visit the Hershey’s website.


I needed a great cake because I was making it for my twin boys 17th birthday. I can’t believe how fast time passes. It really doesn’t seem that long ago I was bringing them home from the hospital. I took some pictures of them blowing out the candles on their cake, but my son was making funny faces in most of them, so instead I’m sharing this picture I snapped of them before they left for Junior prom. They truly have been a double blessing.

Featured Image for post Black Magic Cake
Yield: 10-12 servings.

Black Magic Cake adapted for High Altitude

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes



  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa (I used King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk *
  • 1/4 teaspoon King Arthur Flour Espresso powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup Hershey's Cocoa (I used King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk (or sour milk), espresso powder, boiling water, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired.

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  1. Place melted butter in large mixer bowl. Add cocoa, stirring until smooth.
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. If necessary add additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency. About 3 cups frosting.

Thanks Claire for posting this recipe. It was the perfect chocolate cake for my twins birthday. There were so many other recipes I thought about baking, you really should stop by Claire K Creations to check out all her delicious recipes.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
originally published April 8, 2013 — last updated March 4, 2019
Categories: Cakes