How to keep chocolate cake moist

Updated July 19, 2017

A common pitfall in the world of baking, especially for beginners, is a dry cake. Baking a delicious cake with just the right texture and the perfect look can seem impossible; however, with just a few basic techniques you can produce a fresh and soft chocolate cake. To retain the moistness, a cake must have a balanced amount of liquid, sugar and fat, which together prevent moisture from slowly leaving the cake.

Search for a chocolate cake recipe that has either boiling water or hot coffee as one of the listed ingredients. This adds more liquid to the recipe, thus creating a more moist cake.

Prepare the cake as the recipe states, keeping the oven door closed the entire cooking time. Opening the oven door too soon can create a draft of air, which will almost always cause the top of the cake to fall.

Once the cake and been removed from the oven and has had time to cool, frost the cake, which can help to lock in the moisture.

When boxing up the cake, you can place half an apple in the box with the cake to keep the chocolate cake moist. Also make sure you have sealed the box, taping all edges and flaps down securely.


To enhance the moistness of a chocolate cake, simply mix the specified amount of baking soda with 1 tsp of vinegar before adding it to your cake recipe. Another tip to increase the moistness of a cake is to add boiling water to the batter as the very last ingredient before pouring into your pan. According to, a great recipe for a moist chocolate cake starts by preheating the oven to 148 degrees C then lightly greasing and flouring your cake pan with shortening and flour. Place all the ingredients listed above in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour the batter into your baking pan and bake for one hour. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake; it is done when the toothpick comes out clean.


After adding the boiling water to your cake batter, be advised that it will become very runny, unlike a typical cake batter. This is exactly as it should be, so don't make the mistake of throwing it out. Simply stir the water in until well blended and pour into baking pans.

Things You'll Need

  • 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan
  • Shortening
  • Flour
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
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About the Author

Based in Texas, Klaire Brown has spent the past nine years working in secondary education, contributing sports articles to a local newspaper, "The Big Lake Wildcat." She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in marketing from Angelo State University and also holds a teaching certificate.