This Chocolate Cake Recipe is seriously a chocolate lover’s dream! The combination of Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream Frosting make the perfect pair for this recipe. You’ll definitely be sneaking late night slices of this fluffy chocolate cake!
Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
There is something romantic about dark, bittersweet chocolate and espresso, am I right? Or maybe it’s my love affair with the two? Either way, the rich and velvety combination of these flavors are what I crave most. This cake is brought to you by our amazing contributor Ashley Twilley, and what a more perfect time to bake this chocolate-y cake than for Valentine’s Day! Get your forks ready because you won’t want to put this cake down.
How to Make Chocolate Cake
One thing I love about this chocolate cake recipe is the fact that it only requires one bowl! Yep, you read that right — one bowl. And with that comes super easy clean up and more time for you to eat cake! ;) In that bowl with a whisk attachment, combine all dry ingredients. Then add in all wet ingredients and mix on low-medium until there are no large clumps. Finally, bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. So simple!
Best Chocolate Ganache Recipe
This Chocolate Ganache is SO simple and only takes two ingredients to make! Add your bittersweet chocolate chips to a mixing bowl and set aside. On medium heat, heat up heavy cream in a saucepan and wait until it just starts to boil around the edges. Slowly add the heavy cream to the chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes then whisk together until smooth. You’ll want it to be the consistency of peanut butter for the cake filling, so leave it in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Perfect Espresso Buttercream Recipe
This buttercream is filled with so much flavor and pairs perfectly with the chocolate ganache filling. Combine instant coffee with water in a small bowl until dissolved. In a separate bowl, beat butter on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes using a paddle attachment until smooth. Slow the speed down to low-medium and slowly add in coffee and vanilla mixing for another 2 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in heavy cream, salt, and powdered sugar (one cup at a time). Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Perfect Dark Chocolate Cake
I am seriously in love with the flavors of this amazing cake recipe! You all know that I have a mild sweet tooth (ha!), so this dark chocolate and espresso combination is right up my alley! ;) For the sake of Valentine’s Day, we used the Swiss Meringue Buttercream to ice the outside with a perfect shade of pink. If you aren’t set on a specific color and want more of that amazing espresso buttercream just double the recipe! I could seriously eat this buttercream by itself with a spoon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
How to Use Chocolate Ganache Filling
This cake has the perfect number of sprinkles and pink on the outside to match the amazing burst of flavor on the inside! In order to keep the ganache from spilling out the sides of your cake, lay a layer of buttercream first then pipe a border of more buttercream around the edge. Then you can lay a layer of ganache without it making a huge mess! You can use the rest of the ganache to create the drip decoration on the top of the cake. Now you can feel like even more of a pro when you show your friends the amazing cake you created.
Chocolate Party Cake
This chocolate cake recipe is a serious contender for my top favorite! I mean, it has two of my favorite things — cake and coffee! If you use this cake recipe for your next Galentine’s Day party, I would love to see how you all decide to decorate your cakes. Let me know in the comments if you prefer the espresso or swiss meringue buttercream on the outside. If anyone needs me, I’ll be indulging on another piece of this incredible cake!
Perfect Chocolate Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake:
- 1 cup heaping regular cocoa powder
- ¼ cup heaping dark cocoa powder
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 5 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- 1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, slightly cold and cubed
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- ½ tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Dark Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add all dry ingredients (cocoa powders, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, white sugar, brown sugar) and mix on low-medium speed until combined.
- Add the eggs+ yolk, water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on low-medium until fully incorporated and there are no big lumps. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter evenly into three 8-inch cake pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the middle is mostly set. Use a toothpick to test; if it comes out with a few crumbs then it is ready.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to countertop covered with parchment paper by running a knife around the cake edges, then turning the cake pan upside down to release the cake. Once completely cool, you can wrap these in saran wrap and place in a gallon size freezer bag; you can freeze the cake layers for about 2 months. When ready to fill the cake, use frozen cake layers to prevent the cake from crumbling while decorating.
- Chocolate Ganache Filling
- Add chocolate to mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add heavy cream to a saucepan, and heat on medium until it just starts to boil around the edges and center (be careful as this can boil over very quickly).
- Remove cream from heat and slowly pour over the chocolate. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then use a whisk to stir the chocolate/cream mixture until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Let sit at room temperature, or refrigerate, until it is the same consistency as peanut butter. This makes it easy to fill the cake layers.
Espresso Buttercream (adapted from Cake By Courtney’s Latte Frosting):
- Combine instant coffee granules and water in small dish and let dissolve.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium/high for 3-5 minutes until light in color and smooth.
- Reduce mixer speed to low-medium and slowly add the coffee and vanilla extract; continue beating for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar (one cup at a time), heavy cream, and salt. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue beating for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Note: I covered this cake with a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But if you prefer to cover it in espresso buttercream, double or triple the recipe above.
- If the cake layers do not bake evenly, you can use a bread knife to trim the top off and make it flat which is easier for decorating. You will need to let the cake layers thaw just a bit before trimming.
- Start with the frozen chocolate cake layers, and place one layer on a cake board. You can use a spoonful of buttercream as “glue” between the cake layer and cake board if you like.
- Spread an even layer of espresso buttercream over the top of the 1st cake layer. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the perimeter of the cake layer to create a barrier before adding the chocolate ganache (this will prevent the ganache from spilling over the edges of the cake).
- Spread an even layer of chocolate ganache over the espresso buttercream.
- Repeat with remaining cake layers and frost the outside with either the swiss meringue buttercream or espresso buttercream.