Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato)

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Best Italian Chocolate Cake Recipe. Soft and Rich! Easy to make.

This soft Italian chocolate cake is not too sweet and decadent with a deep chocolate flavor. The best part? It is an easy one bowl recipe, win-win! Enjoy it for breakfast, snack, or add whipped cream and berries and serve it for dessert.

You will also love these easy and simple cakes Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere) , Italian Apple Cake, Italian Crumble Cake Pastry Cream Filling, and my panettone recipe.

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Chocolate Lovers Cake

Truth- I eat chocolate every single day. I am eating a piece of chocolate as I type this post- I just can’t resist!

I prefer dark, but I’m not too picky when it is good quality chocolate!

This cake is a true representation of Italian cakes- simple ingredients, perfectly sweet, and rich in flavor. I know you will love it as much as we do!

You will also love this chocolate recipe – Olive Oil Chocolate Cake!

Simple Ingredients

  • Cacao powder
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Yogurt
  • Bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting

Secret to Adding Yogurt in Cakes

What does yogurt do in a cake? Yogurt adds moisture and fat in a cake batter, making the cake moist. A cake baked with yogurt is never dry. It’s always so soft, moist and absolutely delicious.

Another, aspect to adding yogurt in cakes is the acidity of the yogurt works with the baking powder to leaven the cake and make it extra tall and fluffy. You won’t taste the yogurt at all in the cake! It simple serves as a secret weapon to add moistness and help your cake rise!

Can I use Low-Fat Yogurt?

at dairy products are often filled with “junk” to stabilize the texture. As long as the brand of non fat yogurt doesn’t have any fillers it will work fine. One brand I recommend is Chobani non fat yogurt as an alternative.

Can I use Oil Instead of Butter?

Absolutely! You will use the same amount of oil as the melted butter. The cake will have a different flavor, and be a little lighter in the crumb. Try olive oil for a deep and rich flavor! If you prefer to keep it neutral use a non flavor oil such as, avocado oil.

Try this Italian Olive Oil Cake Orange Honey (easy) or this One Bowl Olive Oil Cake.

What Kind of Chocolate is Best

Baking chocolate, or ‘unsweetened chocolate’ is 100% chocolate and doesn’t contain any sugar or added flavor, which is why it is bitter. Baking chocolate is ideal to use as a base for cakes, since you add sugar to the recipe and balance the sweetness.

With that said, you can use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar that you already have on hand if you don’t have unsweetened baking chocolate. It will only add a little more sweetness!

What is the Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa Powder?

Cocoa powder and cacao powder are very similar, the only difference being that cocoa is processed at a much higher temperature (and often packaged cocoa contains added sugar and dairy).

Cacao powder is made from fermented beans that have not been roasted. They are processed at low temperatures and then milled into a powder. The result is a powder that’s bitter in taste and higher in nutritional content.

Cocoa powder, on the other hand is made from beans that are both fermented and roasted, and then processed at a much higher temperature. The result is a less bitter, slightly darker powder that has lost some of its nutritional value.

For this recipe I like to use cacao powder. We keep this on hand in our home to make our homemade chocolate syrup recipe.

Source: All Recipes

Best Pan

The traditional way to make this cake is in a round cake pan or springform pan lined with parchment paper. Lining the pan with parchment paper gives it those imperfect crimp edges that remind me of any cake that comes out of my mamas oven. You can certainly use cooking spray in a round pan.

Simple Process to Make this Italian Chocolate Cake

Left corner to bottom right-> beat the eggs and sugar until creamy with an electric mixer. Add the melted butter and yogurt. Mix until smooth with a fork or wooden spoon. Add melted and slightly cooled chocolate.

Left corner to bottom right-> mix chocolate with other wet ingredients. Sift in dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and cacao powder, mix to incorporate until smooth batter. Place in prepared round baking pan and bake!

Italian chocolate cake

With a few simple steps and only one bowl you are on your way to enjoy the most delicious Italian chocolate cake!

Gluten Free Variation  

I’ve had quite a few readers ask about using gluten-free flour in this Lemon Yogurt Loaf Recipe. I’ve only made the recipe as written, but readers have reported success using either Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.

I can’t say for sure if using a gluten-free flour will work, but this is what readers have recommended! 

Common Cake Baking Question: Why Do Cakes Sink in the Middle?


The most common reason why cakes sink in the middle is that they’re under baked.

If a cake isn’t fully baked through, the center doesn’t have a chance to set and it will sink. This creates a doughy, dense texture in the center of your cake layer.


Too much leavening agent like baking soda or powder can cause a cake to rise too high too quickly. The gas from the leavening agents builds up and escapes before the cake bakes through in the center.

This causes the center to collapse and makes your cake layers sink in the middle. Another reason is- the leaving is expired and the cake couldn’t rise properly. 


A gram is always a gram, but a cup is not always a cup. When in doubt measuring your ingredients by grams.


If the oven door is opened and slammed after it’s opened, it can cause partially baked cakes to sink in the middle. If the center isn’t set as the oven door is slammed, it can collapse and won’t be able to rise up properly again.

Opening the oven door will also cause a draft and decrease in temperature in the inside of the oven.  

From my cucina to your table… Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

Italian Cakes you will also enjoy…

Easy Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Cream

Vanilla Cake Roll with Cream and Berries

Heavenly Angel Food Cake (Strawberries and Cream


Have you checked out my NEW CBE PRODUCTS? Take a look at the 2-in-1 cutting and charcuterie board, gorgeous apron, and unique pasta server that you that you absolutely need. The wood products are all handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah. They make great gifts as well!

Timeless and sensational this chocolate cake is simple to make and easy to love. You will run to make this one bowl soft Italian chocolate cake whenever you get a chocolate craving!

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Italian chocolate cake on a plate

Soft Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This soft Italian chocolate cake is not too sweet and decadent with a deep chocolate flavor. The best part? It is an easy one bowl recipe, win-win! Enjoy it for breakfast, snack, or add whipped cream and berries and serve it for dessert.

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (14 g) baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons (21 g) cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (pinch) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cups (245 g) plain whole milk yogurt (also use greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) vanilla extract
  • Confectioner sugar for dusting
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet baking chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips, melted until smooth and cooled slightly


  1. Line a 9.5 inch round baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip the sugar and eggs until you obtain a creamy and fluffy texture. About 5-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the yogurt, butter, melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Use a fork or spatula to combine until smooth (not the electric mixer)
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients: flour, cacao or cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir gently until well combined.
  5. Place the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too much on top tent with the top with foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  7. Cool and dust cake with confectioner sugar. If desired, serve with freshly whipped cream. Enjoy!


* best if room temperature

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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  1. This cake is so light, not too sweet, absolute heaven! I love every recipe that I make from this website so much, you can tell how much time and passion went into every single recipe. I was going to share this cake with others but ended up eating it just with my little family lol it was too good!

  2. We love all three of your torte, but this one probably takes the cake, so to speak! Italians are the best at sweet but not too sweet! 🙂