The Absolute Best Chocolate Cakes In America, According To Foodies

These days, it's hard to imagine a birthday, fine dining meal, or even a pick-me-up after a rough day without the classic yet decadent, and sweet but rich, chocolate cake. However, chocolate cake has actually only been a staple in the U.S. for less than 150 years, as the first chocolate cake to emerge from an American oven came about in 1886. Now, every kind of baker from the home cook to the Michelin-starred has put their own spin on chocolate cake. And although they're all delicious in their own way, we at Mashed put our forks to the test and narrowed down the best.

To decide which chocolate cakes were always worth seconds, we took a look at cake accolades, customer reviews, uniqueness, moistness, and richness to determine the best of the best. With a glass of milk in one hand and an empty plate in the other, here's what we found. Or, if you want to make your own chocolate cake, make sure you avoid these mistakes everyone makes when baking with chocolate

Chocolate Mini-Me Cake at Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York City

Can't decide which type of chocolate cake you're craving? The $62 Chocolate Mini Me Cake at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho has a little bit of everything. That means in every bite, chocolate lovers can get the decadence of chocolate sponge cake made with chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, and cocoa powder, all of which is topped with chocolate mini meringues (also known as "Mini Me's"). "I have tried pretty much everything on their menu. It's all scrumptious. My favorite is the mini-me chocolate cake. It's layers of deliciousness," said Shrutikapoor on Tripadvisor. To get it, customers can only head to the bakery itself, as the cake cannot be shipped. However, it can be customized with a message on a chocolate plaque.

But despite the chocolate overload in this 8-inch cake perfect for six to eight people, it's actually not overly sweet, and since it's also gluten-free, it's perfect for your pals with gluten sensitivities, too. It's no surprise that pastry chef Dominique Ansel has created such a delectable chocolate cake. He has plenty of accolades, including a James Beard award, being named the 2017 World's Best Pastry Chef by the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards, and the "most fêted pastry chef in the world" by Daily Mail UK.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

(212) 219-2773

189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Take-n-Bake Dark Decadence Molten Chocolate Cake at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Seattle, Washington

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, which began selling miniature molten chocolate cake kits with gooey centers at farmers' markets in Seattle, knows this staple like the back of its oven — and you can too, if you read about the science behind molten chocolate lava cakes. They've been making the same recipe of their Dark Decadence Dark Chocolate Cake in a mason jar, which is just as popular as ever. Made with an entire bar of Theo chocolate, dry-burned caramel, cocoa nib toffee, and vanilla ice cream, it's a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and organic cake that's both tasty and less guilt-inducing than its not-so-artisanal counterparts. Top this $15 treat with add-ons ($1.50 each) such as graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter fudge, candied peanuts, or salty toasted cashews.

Unlike many other desserts, the Dark Decadence Molten Chocolate Cake is also scrumptious at home. Chocolate fiends can purchase take-home kits and simply pop the $8 batter-filled mason jars in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 F, and out comes a bakery-fresh chocolate cake. "It's obvious why it's a fan favorite," said Fei Yu on Google. "Rich, warm, gooey — get a scoop of ice cream, then dig into the hot cake to have both in a single bite." 

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery


5427 Ballard Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107


1650 E Olive Way Seattle, WA 98102

Warm Chocolate Tart with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream and Red Wine Sauce at ChikaLicious Dessert Bar, New York City

Wine goes with chocolate after a fancy meal, but what if wine and chocolate was the meal? That's how it's done at ChikaLicious Dessert Bar, which serves a Japanese-style $26 omakase tasting (which means "I Leave The Details Up to You") that includes a plated dessert of your choice, palate cleanser, and petits fours chosen by Chef Chika Tillman. Among the plated dessert options is the warm chocolate tart with pink peppercorn ice cream and red wine sauce, which brings a typical wine and chocolate pairing to new heights. An elegantly plated yet compact dish, a bite of this flavorfully-layered tart packs a punch. "If you pick up the tart and bite into it, you'll be in for a very chocolatey surprise," said TheKudzuKid on Tripadvisor.

It includes a base of the gooey brownie-like tart, the refreshing yet distinctive taste of peppercorn ice cream, and luscious red wine sauce to top it all off. You can also opt to pair it with the dessert bar's recommended Kopke Fine Tawny Porto for $14. If you want to try this dish — plus others, considering the whole menu is heaven for dessert lovers — bring a group so you can try everything. Make your reservation in advance, as it gets popular after dinnertime.


(212) 995-9511

203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

Gwendolyn's Famous Earl's Court Chocolate Cake at The Cake Bake Shop in Carmel and Indianapolis, Indiana

This chocolate cake has fans ranging from Sir Elton John to Oprah, but it actually got its start as baker Gwendolyn Rogers' son's ninth birthday cake. After the former modeling agent baked up the cake, she submitted it to the London Cake & Bake Show and it was named as the best chocolate cake out of 3,000 entries. Today, it remains her bakery's most popular item, which is just as delicious as it is beautiful. The smooth and elegant dark fudge Callebaut frosting gets just the right touch of salt from Fleur de Sel Sea salt, which is imported from the South of France only a quarter per year.

That fudge and salt wraps around three layers of French Valrhona chocolate cake, Callebaut Belgian chocolate ganache, and chocolate malted cream in a dessert that can range from 6 inches for $115 to 12 inches for $215. And for $8 more, customers can add on a pink bow-like peony to sit atop the chocolate masterpiece. If you want to send it to someone special, it can be wrapped in a pink and gold cake box adorned with a satin ribbon.

The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers

Multiple locations in Indiana

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Cake at Sugaree's Bakery, New Albany, Mississippi

This chocolate buttercream frosting cake isn't served on a trendy street corner, nor does it include internationally-acclaimed artisan ingredients and fanciful adornments that make it look more like a piece of art than dessert. But what this cake does have is a taste of Southern down-home baking, which is exactly what Sugaree's Bakery brings to all of its traditional desserts. "This cake was amazing. No frills, no over-the-top decorations, just incredible taste," said Andy M. on Goldbelly.

This cake only uses ingredients like sugar, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and cocoa. The 9-inch cake costs $64 and serves 10-14 people, and even if you're a plane ride away from Mississippi, you can order a frozen cake packed with dry ice for delivery, which is made-to-order before it's shipped. Made from scratch, the moist, layered chocolate buttercream frosting cake is created with premium ingredients and techniques that span lifetimes of Southern bakers. Clearly, there's a reason they've been passed down, as the bakery's cake sales make up nearly all of its profits. It all started in 1997, when home baker Mary Jennifer Russell was busy serving up sweets from her kitchen. Four years later, she opened the bakery's storefront in her hometown, and the rest is history.

Sugaree's Bakery

(662) 534-0031

110 W Bankhead St, New Albany, MS 38652

Classic Chocolate Cake at Bakery Nouveau, Seattle and Burien, Washington

SeattleBakery Nouveau is serious about chocolate — so much so that the bakery makes their own from chocolate beans imported from around the world, making it the first bakery on the continent to do so. That means that items like their classic chocolate cake, topped with a dark chocolate glaze and filled with three layers of chocolate mousse, is made from homemade chocolate right from the baker's hands. Dessert lovers can order a 6-inch cake for $40, an 8-inch cake for $48, or a slice for $6.75.

But despite the relatively low price, this chocolate cake is beautiful inside and outside. It's adorned with bark-like strips of dark chocolate surrounding the cake and is topped with macarons held in place by a whimsical chocolate spiral. "Every single thing is good here. Would lay my life for their chocolate cake," said Bobby S. on Yelp. Baker and founder William Leaman has worked in pastries and chocolate for two decades and since then, he's won a slew of awards, such as leading the winning USA team at the World Cup of Baking in 2005 and receiving the honor of Seattle Magazine's Best Bakery in 2015.

Bakery Nouveau

Multiple locations throughout Seattle and Burien, Washington

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cake at Dark Chocolate Bakery, Dallas, Texas

The name of this bakery is as literal as it gets. The Dark Chocolate Bakery knows its dark chocolate, as founder and baker Jill Frank is serious about ensuring that her chocolatey desserts look and taste good, even if they're being shipped across the country. That's true for all of her desserts, but especially the two-layer Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cake, filled with both cream and bits of toffee before being smothered in chocolate buttercream. Surrounding the 8-inch $88 cake (it can feed up to 16 people) is even more toffee crumbles, leading to bites of sweet-and-salty morsels both inside and outside the decadent slices. 

"Best chocolate cake ever," said Bhavesh Patel on Google. "We have tried many bakeries in the Dallas area and this chocolate cake is the best we have tried." But despite the cake's delightful taste, it's made with simple ingredients. For more than a decade, Frank has created all of her cakes with fresh butter, Grade A eggs, natural milk, and quality flour for a wholesome cake that goes back to basics. Plus, you can get these cakes delivered right to your home for free in the Dallas area or nationwide for an additional cost.

Dark Chocolate Bakery

(469) 662-0997

24 Layer Chocolate Cake from Strip House, New York City and Las Vegas, Nevada

Posh steakhouse Strip House may know its meats, but that's clearly not the only item on the menu that they know how to give a glamorous entrance to. Its 24 layer cake is made with two dozen precise layers of chocolate cake, chocolate filling with custard, and French semisweet chocolate ganache to culminate in one dessert that always impresses. The $129 cake feeds 12-16 people and even impressed the Food Network – so much so that they named it the best chocolate dessert in the country.

And, if 24 layers of goodness aren't enough to impress your guests, you can also add edible, preserved flowers to the top of your cake for an additional $30, which gives the cake both a splash of color and a taste of spring. "Oh my goodness this is the best chocolate cake!" said Emma T. on Goldbelly. "So rich and creamy!!" Want to get this cake delivered right to your door? Just make sure to order it at least three days in advance, and soon enough, you'll have a decadent (yet frozen) piece of New York City and Las Vegas at your door. To get it ready for indulging, simply thaw the cake overnight in the fridge and then let it sit for half an hour until it reaches room temperature.

Strip House

Locations throughout New York City and Las Vegas, Nevada

Chocolate Merlot Cake at Cake Studio, Alaska

ChikaLicious Dessert Bar isn't the only bakery on this list to pair wine and chocolate together — but at the Cake Studio, they fuse the flavors of wine and chocolate together to create their Chocolate Merlot Cake. The six-inch cake that can serve 6-8 people for $34 is also a steal, considering that this delectable cake is completely handmade with decadent chocolate cake infused with Merlot, chocolate ganache buttercream frosting, and chocolate cake crumbs for a textured, delicious finish. Unsurprisingly, it's also the most popular of Cake Studio's offerings. If some of the Chocolate Merlot Cake made it onto your shirt instead of into your mouth, then try this method to remove chocolate stains

"I got the chocolate merlot and they were able to write a quick happy birthday on it!" said Sarah P. on Yelp. "Everything looked amazingly delicious and smelled great." Owned by Johnson & Wales University's Culinary Arts Program graduate Will McDonald and pastry chef Kirsten Roseberry since the bakery opened in 2010, the Cake Studio no doubt knows its cakes as it specializes in the dessert for special occasions and the everyday.

Cake Studio

Multiple locations throughout Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska

Au Chocolate Cake from Extraordinary Desserts, San Diego, California

As evidenced by its name ("au" means "the" in French), Extraordinary Desserts' chocolate cake is truly the chocolate cake. Flourless chocolate cake — which also means that this cake is gluten-free — is the base of this dessert, combined with cocoa beans, vanilla, and French salt, then topped with Valrhona dark chocolate mousse, dark chocolate ganache, and chocolate macarons. Diners can get a 6-inch cake for $66 (serves 6-8); an 8-inch cake for $77 (serves 10-12); or a 10-inch cake for $88 (serves 16-20). Despite the price tag, customers continue to clamor for the cake. "It was the best chocolate cake I ever had," said lollypop30 on Tripadvisor. "The chocolate mouse and the ganache frosting just took this yummy cake over the top."

With Parisian vibes at the Bankers Hill location that make customers feel like they're in a French café, diners enjoy their au chocolate cake among cozy digs perfect for everything from getting in an evening chocolate fix or a post-dinner dessert out on the town. However, you'll have to be a little lucky to snag the au chocolate cake, since the café's menu rotates and not all items are available everyday.

Extraordinary Desserts

Multiple locations in California

Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Cake at Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti in Westport, Connecticut

Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti may be in Connecticut, but they sure know their Kentucky bourbon, as evidenced by the fact that the shop's Kentucky bourbon truffles are their most-ordered truffle variety. So, on the heels of that success, Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti baked up a ganache cake infused with the same Kentucky bourbon. Made with white chocolate or dark chocolate ganache (although they recommend the white chocolate), the $45-$65 cake can also be adorned with pecans. However, you'll have to make a trip to the Constitution State to get it, since it can't be shipped like some of the shop's other products. And if you make your own chocolate ganache at home and you can't understand why it's not coming out right, this may be why your chocolate ganache's texture is off

Baker and founder Aarti Khosla makes all of her desserts in small batches to ensure quality, and she also hand-paints and hand-decorates them, so you know your Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Ganache Cake is one that's made with love. Plus, she only uses fair-trade dark chocolate, so you know it's ethical, too.

Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti

(203) 293-6106

Brooklyn Blackout Cake at Little Cupcake Bakeshop, New York City

The Brooklyn Blackout cake's name may reflect its hometown borough, but it's actually a cake with international ingredients, served at the Little Cupcake Bakeshop (owned by three Italian brothers). One of the most popular items at Little Cupcake, the Brooklyn Blackout cake is made with Dutch-process cocoa from Holland, semisweet Belgian chocolate, Madagascar vanilla beans, as well as decadent chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream.

The cake variety originally got its start at German bakery Ebinger's in Brooklyn, likely after 1906. The "blackout" cake name was inspired by World War II blackout drills, when New Yorkers were asked to turn off their lights and cover their windows so they couldn't be seen by German planes. Although these days, plenty of New York bakeries continue to make and sell the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, the Little Cupcake Bakeshop is known for serving one of the best. "Full of taste!" said carloscharmy on Tripadvisor. "It is defo one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had! I highly recommend you grabbing a piece of that cake if you pass by."

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Multiple locations in New York City


It doesn't matter if it's made by your neighbor or by the best baker in town — there's a good chance that any chocolate cake is going to be a good one. That's what made choosing the best chocolate cakes in the U.S. even more difficult. But in order to steer our readers right, Mashed had to do the dirty work. To choose the cakes on this list, Mashed combed through dozens of highly-acclaimed chocolate cakes all over the country to determine which stood above the rest. 

These cakes have received slews of awards and other recognition by renowned publications. Plus, they have scores of reviews from customers just like you on sites like Google, Tripadvisor, and Yelp, all proclaiming them the best, no matter their price tag. Better yet, they're unique. While some of them have towers of two dozen slices and others are infused with Merlot, they all have tasty elements that make them different from the rest.