Skip to main content

Black Magic Cake


3 hours
Skill Level
1 cake

Skip the boxed cake mix and make this beginner-friendly chocolate cake! This black magic cake recipe will have your friends wanting seconds. Flavored by rich HERSHEY'S Cocoa and kept moist with the addition of vegetable oil and buttermilk, the Black Magic Cake has a secret ingredient: coffee! Coffee boosts the flavor of chocolate, and you can use freshly brewed coffee or instant coffee, whichever you have on hand. Customize this chocolate cake with different pans and flavors of icing, like buttercream or vanilla bean.  Love the addition of coffee in this cake? Try the Espresso-Filled Mini Cakes for another flavorful treat.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
15 minutes
Bake Time
39 minutes
Cool Time
2 hours


  • 2 cups
  • 1-3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup
  • 2 tsps
    baking soda
  • 1 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1 tsp
  • 2
  • 1 cup
    buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 cup
    Coffee strong black or 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup
    vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
add a garnish Add a Garnish

Make our Quick Cocoa Glaze to complete this recipe as shown in the image.

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
oven oven
mixing bowl mixing bowl
mixer mixer
baking pan baking pan
measuring cups measuring cups
wire rack wire rack
rubber scraper rubber scraper
fluted tube pan fluted tube pan

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan, two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.


Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.


Bake 50 to 55 minutes for fluted tube pan, 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. Loosen cake from side of pan and 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.

Additional questions?