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The Chocolate Cake on a light blue plate with a glass of milk and two forks
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5 from 1 vote

Matilda Chocolate Cake Recipe

A rich, moist, creamy, melt in your mouth, chocolatey chocolate cake that you saw in the movie Matilda! Make one for yourself today! Here's how!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
resting time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: matilda chocolate cake, matilda chocolate cake recipe
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 602kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes
Cost: $10


  • oven
  • 2-9" non stick cake pans
  • Parchment Paper
  • scissors
  • cake plate
  • Off set spatula
  • stand mixer
  • rubber spatula
  • measuring cups and spoons


For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp instant espresso
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups butter 3 sticks – allow to come completely to room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk plus more, depending on thickness of icing
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1 pinch kosher salt


For the Cake

  • Several hours before making this cake, lay the eggs and butter out to come to room temp.
  • Put the water on to boil when you get the ingredients out for the cake.  It will be boiling by the time you put the cake together.
  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying heavily with baking spray (very important to use the spray for baking – not just cooking spray) or buttering and lightly flouring. (I also cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the cake pans, place it in the cake pan and then spray an additional coat of baking spray on this - that might be overkill, but this cake is very sticky).
  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  • Add cream, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla, almond and a pinch of salt to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed to low and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool completely.

For the Icing

  • Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  • Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. DO NOT try to use butter that has not come to room temperature on its own – this recipe will not work with refrigerated cold butter or with butter that is softened in the microwave.
  • Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  • Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and a pinch of salt and combine well.
  • If the icing is too thick – add a tbs of milk, if too wet – add more confectioner’s sugar a small amount at a time until the icing reaches the consistency that you want. I have found that this recipe consistently makes PLENTY of icing at the right consistency.



  • Put the water on to boil as soon as you get ready to make cake and it will be boiling when you are ready to add it. 
  • Gather all of your ingredients before you start, that way you won't forget one. 
  • If you don't have any instant espresso, it's fine to use instant coffee OR substitute 1/2 of the water you will add with liquid coffee. 
  • You can find instant espresso at Williams Sonoma if you can't find it anywhere else. 
  • The final cake batter will be very loose and liquidy.  No worries, that is how it is supposed to look.  
  • You'll note that the cake batter, if you have whipped it up right, will have a LOT Of bubbles in it. That's perfect! 
  • Use the best Cocoa that you can find.  I usually use Hershey's (it is what is at my local grocery).  Don't use the off brand. 
  • OK to substitute margarine for butter. 
  • Leave off the espresso if you can't find it or don't have it. 


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 801IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg