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Chocolate Snack Cake is a moist and fluffy chocolate cake made with basic pantry ingredients. It’s ready for snacking in under an hour, and it’s all mixed and baked in the same pan for easy clean up!
When a chocolate craving hits, this chocolate snack cake is my perfect vice. It’s super simple to make, using ingredients I already have on hand, and it’s so moist it doesn’t even need frosting!
This easy chocolate cake is perfect for when I don’t want to spend a lot of time whipping up a Chocolate Cream Pie or baking Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. It takes about 10 minutes to mix up in the baking dish (no bowls needed) and bakes up in about 35 minutes. I like to dust it with powdered sugar because it looks pretty, but you can add frosting or a glaze if you want.
Chocolate Snack Cake Ingredients
- Flour, baking soda, and salt – dry ingredients that provide the structure and height.
- Sugar – you can actually use brown or white sugar for this recipe. Brown sugar will give a warmer flavor and white sugar is just nice and sweet. I’ve used both with great results.
- Cocoa – Use a good quality cocoa for baking. Hershey’s is ok, but Ghirardelli is even better.
- Vegetable oil
- White vinegar – The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to aerate the cake and give it height. I promise you can’t taste it, and it plays a very important part in the recipe.
- Vanilla extract
Step by Step instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients. Grab an 8×8 baking dish and start adding the dry ingredients. Use a fork to mix them up really well. I use a fork because even a small whisk can’t get in the corners and some of the powder might be missed.
Add wet ingredients. Pour in water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Give it a good stir, making sure that everything is incorporated by scraping the sides and corners.
Chocolate Chips. If you want to use them, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top for extra chocolate.
Bake. Place the pan in the preheated oven, uncovered, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick or cake tester. Let it cool for at least 20-30 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar (also optional).
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Storage: If you end up with leftovers, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Cool cake completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Enhance the chocolate flavor with coffee! I know it sounds weird, but coffee actually gives the cocoa a boost and you get a richer, deeper chocolate flavor. Instead of water, use a cup of cooled coffee. You can also use milk for a smoother chocolate taste.
- Chocolate frosting (optional): Beat ½ cup softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons milk until fluffy; about 2-3 minutes. Spread over cooled cake. Note – if you add the frosting, you’ll need to refrigerate the cake when storing.
More Chocolate Recipes You’ll Love
- Hot Chocolate (Slow Cooker)
- Chocolate Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Chocolate Pudding Cake
- No-Bake Chocolate Lasagna
Chocolate Snack Cake
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional) milk or semi-sweet
- Powdered sugar (optional) for dusting
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients with a fork in an ungreased 8″x8″ square pan.
- Stir in remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Make sure to scrape the the edges and corners to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.
- Store leftovers, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, cool cake completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- For a richer and deeper chocolate flavor, instead of water use a cup of cooled coffee. You can also use milk for a smoother chocolate taste.
- Chocolate frosting (optional): Beat ½ cup softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons milk until fluffy; about 2-3 minutes. Spread over cooled cake.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
I love this cake, but want to give to 2 neighbors for a snack. Do you think I can make it in 2 approx size 4×4 pans? Would you suggest the same oven temperature and maybe a shorter cooking time? Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
Same baking temperature, but adjust the time a bit. I would check after about 20 minutes and see how they are doing, then go from there.
It was perfect! Not too sweet, no frosting needed. So yummy for exactly what it is, a snack, with a cold glass of milk. Easy and quick to bake. Will definitely be making it again.
Nice! Thanks for stopping by Dolly.
This little cake looks FANTASTIC!! I’ve been wanting a little something sweet and I am going into the kitchen NOW to make this!!
Thanks for sharing!