This incredible homemade chocolate cake has been in my life for more than five years now (remember the six-layer chocolate cake with marshmallow filling and chocolate malt frosting?), And you've seen it paraded as other cakes (hello, Snickers, and peanuts) butter cup cake overload), but I haven't presented it to you in all the glory of simple chocolate cake. This is the way, the delayed way.
So, here it is! My absolute favorite chocolate cake in one of the easiest and easiest ways to prepare it - a three-layer cake that is smeared in my favorite chocolate frosting. It gets a warm welcome every time I serve it, with most people calling out that it's the best chocolate cake they have ever eaten, and wondering how it can be so moist.
MY OTHER RECIPES
I share all my chocolate cake tips below, so let's dig!
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Cakes
I love to bake because even the simplest people get oooh and aaah and can be total entertainers. Almost everyone likes cake, and this is a defacto celebration dessert. Birthday? Graduation? Baptism? Pension? Birthday? The answer is almost always CAKE.
So let's talk about the ingredients needed to make truly amazing chocolate cakes ...
Dutch cacao powder - I know, is not easy to find in most grocery stores, but I beg of you - order (you can get it on Amazon or from King Arthur Flour) and store it in your kitchen. It produces an intense and rich chocolate taste and a deeper, darker color than unsweetened cocoa powder. I consider it a kitchen staple.
Vegetable oil - No butter here! When talking about cakes, oil is really powerful. Why? Vegetable oil is 100% fat, while butter contains about 80%. More fat means more layers around the flour protein, preventing the flour from absorbing moisture in the cake to make gluten. When this happens, not surprisingly, pastries. So for very moist cakes, we use vegetable oil.
Coffee - You may have seen many chocolate cake recipes that require coffee or brownie recipes that require espresso powder, and there are good reasons for that. Coffee helps significantly improve the taste of chocolate, a kind of turbo enhancer for cocoa powder.
Buttermilk - Buttermilk plays two roles in cakes; First and foremost, it reacts with baking soda to create a beautiful rise for high cake layers. Second, the lactic acid produces a slightly acidic dough, which keeps the cake moist and soft by breaking down gluten.
But Seriously, Do I HAVE To Use Coffee?
Perhaps you’re afraid that your chocolate cake is going to taste like coffee, and you don’t even LIKE coffee. I hear you, trust me. I am not a coffee drinker and don’t particularly care for the flavor, but I will always, always, add coffee or espresso powder to my chocolate baked goods because of the boost it gives to the chocolate flavor. And please trust me, you will not be able to taste the coffee at all.
If your concern is the caffeine content, you can absolutely substitute decaf coffee for regular. I did this all of the time when I was pregnant, and I do it if I know kids are going to be eating the cake.
If you cannot consume coffee due to medical, religious, or personal reasons, then you can substitute hot water. You’ll just loose that turbo boost effect, but the cake will still be delicious!
What If I Don’t Have Buttermilk?
It’s truly worth picking up for this recipe, but if you are in an absolute pinch or do not have it readily available where you live, you can make the following substitution:
Add 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a 2-cup measuring cup, then add enough milk to make 1½ cups. Stir together, then use as directed in the recipe
So that's how it is! The best homemade chocolate cake you would ever expect comes out of the kitchen. Simple, dare I say easy, very moist, and can be dressed or dressed with an unlimited number of patches and ornaments (as proven by the example above!).
If you have one chocolate cake recipe in your recipe box, it really has to be this recipe!
This triple-layer chocolate cake from scratch is easy to make and turns out moist every single time. It's the only chocolate cake recipe you'll ever need!
For the Cake
2½cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3cups granulated sugar
1cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1tablespoon baking soda
1½teaspoons baking powder
3eggs (at room temperature)
1½cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½cups strong black coffee, hot
¾cup vegetable oil
4½teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Frosting
8ounces semisweet chocolate (finely chopped)
2cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5cups powdered sugar
2teaspoons vanilla extract
- Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).
- Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely. [Make-Ahead Tip! At this point you can wrap the layers in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerate for up to 3 days before frosting and serving. You can also wrap in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before frosting and serving.]
- Make the Chocolate Frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments on 50% power, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate.
- Assemble the Cake: Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter or cake stand and spread 1 cup of the frosting over the top in an even layer. Place another cake layer on top of the frosting and spread with another 1 cup of the frosting. Place the last cake layer on top of the frosting upside-down, then frost the top and sides of the cake and decorate as desired. The cake can be kept, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the cake, well-wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 1 month.
- You can substitute 9-inch cake pans, but will need to reduce the baking time. Rotate the pans after 15 minutes, then start checking for doneness after 10 additional minutes.
- If you are concerned about the caffeine in the coffee, you can substitute decaf coffee.
- If you cannot consume coffee, substitute hot water.
- You can make this cake (and the frosting!) using a hand mixer or stand mixer.I have not been successful at converting this recipe to cupcakes, despite multiple attempts. I recommend my Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes if you need a chocolate cupcake recipe.
- Cake stand from Sur la Table
Nutritional values are based on one serving
- Calories: 580kcal
- Fat: 54g
- Saturated fat: 36g
- Cholesterol: 126mg
- Sodium: 622mg
- Potassium: 374mg
- Carbohydrates: 135g
- Fiber: 4g
- Sugar: 107g
- Protein: 7g
- Vitamin A: 1065%
- Calcium: 96%
- Iron: 3.7%