Easy Million Dollar Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is one delicious, melt in your mouth, easy chocolate cake recipe! Even those who don't consider themselves to be bakers can make this cake. It's perfect for a birthday party when you have a million other things on your to-do list and you want a no-fuss cake recipe you can whip up quickly and easily.

Delicious and Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe that Melts In Your Mouth!

Made this Cake for My Son's First Birthday

Well, our Baby Grayson isn't technically a baby anymore. He just turned one this weekend so we threw him a big party, which of course, called for a yummy cake! I shied away from cupcakes as we've done that for Gabriel two years in a row, and knew exactly which recipe I would use for the cake.

Comes from One of My Grandmother's Cookbooks

Making recipes that have been handed down through the generations is so special, isn't it? It helps me feel connected to the past, and especially to my grandmothers, both of whom have passed.

I pulled this recipe out of my maternal grandmama's “Mountain Heritage Recipes” cookbook that her little Methodist church in the Georgia mountains put together in 1998. It's full of delicious, authentically┬áSouthern gems and includes some of my favorite recipes.

This easy chocolate cake recipe was created by a lady named Carolyn Barrett, which she aptly named the “Million Dollar Chocolate Cake.” I imagine it got it's name because it is delicious, easy and is impossible to mess up. But I'd love to ask Mrs. Barrett about the real story behind the name. For now, I'm happy to have a recipe for my kids' birthday cakes!

Chocolate cake recipe for birthday parties

Easy Million Dollar Chocolate Cake Recipe

This is a delicious, melt in your mouth and easy chocolate cake recipe! It's one that anyone, even non-bakers can do well.

  • Author: Sara McFall
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: One sheet cake – about 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar (coconut palm sugar is a healthier substitute)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup oil (I like to use coconut oil for this recipe)
  • 1 stick butter or ghee
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa or natural cacao
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda


  • Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • In a saucepan, mix water, vegetable oil, butter, and cocoa.
  • Bring to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add this to the sugar and flour mixture and beat.
  • Then add buttermilk, eggs, and soda.
  • Put in a 13x9x2 greased and floured pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


Don't have buttermilk on hand? No problem. Just add 1 tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar or lemon juice to the milk, stir well, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Once you see bubbles form on the top, you'll know it's ready!

Also, if you are sensitive to butter, you can substitute it for ghee or coconut oil.

For the vegetable oil, I like to use coconut oil in this recipe as it adds a lovely coconut flavor. Plus, you get the added healthy fats.

How to make easy chocolate cake icing from scratch

Easy Chocolate Icing Recipe

This is an easy and delicious chocolate icing recipe to put on top of the Million Dollar easy chocolate cake recipe.

  • Author: Sara McFall
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5-10 mins
  • Total Time: 10-15 mins
  • Category: Dessert


  • 4 tbs. milk
  • 4 tbs. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar


While the cake is in the oven, begin making the icing. Combine milk, cocoa, vanilla and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over top and side of cake.


My mom says that my grandmama said that the secret to perfectly frosted cakes is to ice them while they're still hot!

The party was a huge success and the weather held out for us – warm and no rain!

See my other dessert recipes here!

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