Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

My favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe. And it’s the fudgiest! 

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is not a Monday post. I wish I could say sorry for sharing this chocolate monstrosity with you today, but I’m not. I mean, look at it.  Ain’t she a beaut? Chocolate to the max.

The cake hidden under that fabulous milk chocolate frosting is a mock-devil’s food cake. You know the Devil’s Food chocolate cake you get in a box?  I made a homemade version that’s infinitely better. And I know this because I made THREE chocolate cakes this weekend and finally came out with a winner.

I only give you the best of the best.

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

So you have a dark devil’s food chocolate double layer cake with a rich, decadent milk chocolate frosting.  It’s a similar milk chocolate frosting that  I used for my first Homemade Funfetti Cupcake recipe. I decorated the chocolate layer cake with chocolate in its cutest form – chocolate chips.  I chose to use dark chocolate chips as the cake’s decor, but you may decorate the cake however you like.

The chocolate chips kind of looks like little spikes, don’t they?  This chocolate cake certainly generated a buzz this morning when I brought it into work. Cake for Monday breakfast? Why not.

Let’s discuss how this cake came to life.

Attempting a chocolate cake three times this weekend, I finally perfected the recipe. Chocolate cake is not something you mess around with.  It should be extra moist, rich, decadent, with an honest chocolate taste and a smooth velvety crumb.  Today’s recipe embodies all that – and then some.

You’ll need 1 cup (8 oz) of freshly brewed strong black coffee. The cake will NOT taste like coffee. Rather, the coffee will accentuate the chocolate flavor, sort of like how Guinness deepens the chocolate in my Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes (posted on Bed Bath & Beyond’s blog last month).  You’ll also need 1 cup (8 oz) of buttermilk. Buttermilk is one of the culprits for how moist the cake’s crumb is.  Trust me, you can’t leave it out!  Sadly, I know from experience.  It’s required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake.

Don’t have buttermilk? You can make a DIY version. Measure 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Notice the reddish tint to the cake?  That’s where the name Devil’s Food comes from. The baking soda in this recipe reacts with the unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT dutch processed), which results in the red hue.  Do not use dutch processed cocoa for this recipe.

The fat in this cake? Oil. I’ve mentioned it a lot recently, but I prefer to use oil in certain cake recipes because it makes cakes more moist than butter.  I used oil in my Super Moist Carrot Cake recipe (rave reviews from all of you on that).  The reason I used oil today and not butter is because I didn’t need a buttery taste in this recipe. This cake’s taste is pure chocolate and the cocoa powder would overtake the butter flavor if I used butter instead of oil anyway.    Another moistening agent (besides the buttermilk and oil) are the two eggs.  Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.  Room temperature eggs whisk to a higher volume and ensure your cake will rise properly. The warmer temperature of the eggs will also allow them to be dispensed evenly when mixed with the other wet ingredients.

*Using cold eggs will ruin your cake.

How to bring your eggs to room temperature quickly? I always use this trick: Place eggs in a bowl of warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes as you get your other ingredients ready. Easy!

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I played around a lot with the flour and sugar ratios in this recipe as well.  I settled on equal amounts of both (1 and 3/4 cup), which resulted in the winning recipe.  Yes, I had a lot of cake lying around the apartment this weekend.

The frosting? Easy peasy.  2.5 sticks of softened butter – not cold and not melted in the slightest, 4 cups of powdered sugar, 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, heavy cream (or half-and-half), and salt.  Start by creaming the butter for a good 3-4 minutes with your hand mixer or stand mixer.  Luckily, I’m giving a stand mixer away right now!  Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and 3/4 cup of cocoa.  Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.  Add more heavy cream is the mixture is too thick. Add more cocoa powder if the mixture is too buttery tasting. Add salt if the mixture is too sweet.

The frosting recipe is very forgiving; add more/less of each ingredient to obtain the consistency and taste you desire. 

The decor? Use whatever you wish!  I have a plethora of dark chocolate chips on hand, so I used 1.5 bags to line the cake.  Use sprinkles, candy bars, M&Ms, Oreo crumbs or leave the cake plain.

I am in LOVE with this chocolate cake. By far the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten before. And you are getting that from a gal who baked three chocolate cakes this weekend, two chocolate cupcakes last month, and whose favorite dessert was chocolate cake when she was little. If chocolate cake was on the menu (and I was well behaved), I got it for dessert.

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Trust me on this: you have to try this recipe.  Soft, moist, tender, intensified with chocolate flavor, creamy frosting, velvety smooth texture – everything is working in its favor. This cake is a chocoholics dream!

*If you are making this cake, I strongly urge you to read the text above about why certain ingredients are used and how certain ingredients may not be replaced.

 

PrintPrint

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

A double layer homemade devil's food chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting and chocolate chips on top. Why do I call it triple chocolate layer cake but only has two layers? Well, chocolate is used three times: chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate decoration.

Yield: serves 12

Ingredients:

Devil's Food Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cup (350g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil, or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) freshly brewed strong hot coffee

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1.25 cups (2.5 sticks or 290g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (360-480g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-5 Tablespoons (45-75ml) heavy cream (or half-and-half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 15 oz (1.5 bags) chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter & flour two 9 inch round cake pans, or use non-stick spray. See note about 9x13 pan option.
  2. For the cake: Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer on high speed, mix the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee. The batter will be VERY thin. This is ok.
  4. Pour the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cakes took exactly 24 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
  5. For the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 2 full minutes. This creates a creamy base for the frosting. Turn speed to LOW and slowly add 3.5 cups of confectioners' sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat until sugar/cocoa are absorbed into the butter, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla and cream. Once added, turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add up to 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar if you'd like to increase the frosting's thickness. Taste, and add salt to taste.
  6. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with chocolate chips or as desired.
  7. Cake stays fresh, moist, and soft at room temperature (covered) for up to 4 days. Cake may be refrigerated (covered) for up to 7 days.

*Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You may make your own buttermilk at home by measuring 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) in the same measuring glass to reach 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

*Cake will not set up properly if using cold eggs. Please see note in the text of the post for a shortcut to bring eggs to room temperature.

*A 9×13 pan will work since that takes the same amount of cups of batter as 2 round cake pans. However, I am unsure of the baking time.

 

Cake adapted from Ina Garten, frosting by sallysbakingaddiction.com

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Do you like chocolate? Is that even a question? Chocoholics unite!

 

1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie (recipe for ONE large cookie)

1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie

 

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

 

Ultimate Fudge Brownies

Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Peanut Butter Chips

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Nutella Frosting

 

Cookies n Cream Peanut Butter Bark

Cookies n Cream Peanut Butter Bark by Sallys Baking Addiction

 

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

 

See all of my chocolate recipes.

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. The fudgiest homemade chocolate cake ever! sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

 

 

   

514 Responses to “Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.”

  1. #
    301
    Tiffanyposted November 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I love the way you lined the cake with chocolate chips. How exactly did you do it?

    Reply

  2. #
    302
    Tiffayposted November 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Does this cake *taste* like coffee or is it just an added element?

    Reply

    • Tiffanyreplied on November 16th, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Lol please don’t Answer me! Now I see where it says it will not taste like coffee! Doh!

      Reply

  3. #
    303
    Aleetaposted November 16, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I just made this for my sons birthday. He saw it on Pinterest and had to have it. I made it exactly as you have it and even made my own buttermilk and it was truly amazing!

    Reply

  4. #
    304
    Alexis V.posted November 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I made this cake and topped it with a 1.5 batch of your mint chocolate chip frosting and it was AWESOME! The cake is SO MOIST, probably the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. The mint choclate frosting goes so perfectly with it. Yummmm.

    Reply

  5. #
    305
    Aymenposted November 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Dearest Sally, I don’t like the reddish colour, I want a brown/black cake. What do I have to do for that? Should I replace baking soda entirely with baking powder? Please reply ASAP, I have to make it this week.

    Reply

  6. #
    306
    Corriposted November 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Is baking cocoa the same as unsweetened cocoa powder?

    Reply

    • Aymenreplied on November 19th, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Yes. Baking cocoa powder and unsweetened is same. Just check on u r baking cocoa if it says sweetened or unsweetened.

      Reply

  7. #
    307
    brunaposted November 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Hi!! I would like to make this for my sons bday this coming sunday..and was wondering how many recipes I have to make for 30 people?

    Thank you so much! cant wait to try this cake!

    Reply

    • Kim M.replied on December 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      I’d say double it and put it in a half-sheet pan, or two 9×13’s. That should feed 30 people pretty easily. Unless you plan on serving ginormous pieces.

      Reply

  8. #
    308
    Katerinaposted November 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Hi Sally!!! I’m in loooooooove with ur blog!! it’s really awesome!
    I’ve already successfully cooked nutella filled cupcakes. sweet rolls with cinnamon were a bit far from perfection

    Reply

  9. #
    309
    Katerinaposted November 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Now this cake is in my oven but I believe it’s failed…. it didn’t not rise and undercooked in the middle. I put it again for 10 extra minutes.. hope it will be eatable.
    I didn’t have baking soda so I put 4 teaspoons of baking powder instead. may this be a reason for not rising??
    cream is super tasty tho lol

    Reply

    • Kim M.replied on December 17th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      That is definitely the reason. Baking powder and baking soda can never, ever be substituted for each other, ever. One is acidic and one is alkaline and will react differently in recipes based on the alkalinity or acidity of the other ingredients. Or something to that effect, anyway :p

      Reply

  10. #
    310
    Anuradhaposted November 23, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I really want to make this cake, it looks really good. Only problem is I need it to be eggless, do you have any suggestions? thanks in advance :)

    Reply

    • Amandareplied on November 24th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      You can make an easy egg substitute by mixing one tbsp of ground flax with 3 tbsp water, mix and let sit for a few minutes to thicken. This equals one egg. It also works with ground Chia seeds and water, same amounts.

      Reply

  11. #
    311
    Ashleyposted November 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Okay the cake was good, but the frosting recipe is off. I followed exact directions and when mixing the frosting it was so thick it broke my mixer….I looked up another recipe and it called for more butter. It came out perfect. So cake I rate a 10 frosting a 1

    Reply

  12. #
    312
    Amandaposted November 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Has anyone tried making this cake in a 9×13 pan? I want to use this recipe for the pirate cake I’m making for my sons birthday party this coming weekend and I was hoping someone would be able to give me an idea of how long to bake it in that format. Thanks.

    Reply

  13. #
    313
    Meghanposted November 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I had my high school Baking & Pastry students read your post and make this cake. It received rave reviews! I have several kids who plan to explore your website and try some new recipes for Thanksgiving :)

    Reply

  14. #
    314
    Laurinaposted November 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    can you leave the coffee out? What adjustments would you make? The cake looks so good but we don’t drink coffee. Help?

    Reply

  15. #
    315
    Samanthaposted November 26, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Just wana say a big thank you to Sally, your cakes are a total hit.
    Tried the chocolate cake and lemon blueberry , absolutely heavenly.

    What a kind person with a big heart to share your recipes.

    Thanks again
    Lotsa love

    Reply

  16. #
    316
    Lily Jonesposted December 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Sally! I am wondering whether I could make some sort of coffee frosting instead because I can’t go past this recipe but my brother wants choc/coffee. Thanks :D

    Reply

  17. #
    317
    Pollyposted December 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Hello SAlly,

    The triple chocolate cake is so amazing but i had a problem when we cut it, it gets destroyed. Could you please tell me what is the mistake I have made?

    Reply

  18. #
    318
    glenngenerosoposted December 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Sally ! Can I
    use this recipe under a fondant.?

    Reply

  19. #
    319
    Aimeeposted December 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Sally!

    Have just discovered your website and have been making lots and lots of recipes, all a huge success! I’m desperate to make this cake, but wanted to know first whether it’s crucial to have both baking POWDER and baking SODA, or if I could just use 1 type for all 3 tsps. I’m living it Italy at the moment, and there’s no such thing as baking powder here, they only do soda. What is the difference, anyway?

    Thanks a bunch! Love the blog, it’s my new obsession! Aimee

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 7th, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Hi Aimee, I’m sure that you could only use baking soda, I am just unsure of the amount (3 tsp would be too much). I also fear using all baking soda may leave a chemical taste. Baking powder and soda are both chemical leavening agents. Even though both are used in this recipe, the baking powder does most of the leavening. Baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe (plus to add tenderness).

      Reply

  20. #
    320
    Inesposted December 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Oh.my.god.
    Seriously. This is AMAZING. Quite possibly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, and definitely the most chocolatey. Thank you, Sally!

    On a sidenote, I used only baking powder (3 tsp) since that was all I had, and considerably less sugar for both the dough and the frosting (as I do any time I bake). I also made the buttermilk myself according to your directions since I couldn’t get buttermilk.

    Reply

  21. #
    321
    Sarahposted December 9, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Hey Sally,
    I want to bake this cake but I only have one 8 inch springform pan. Would it be okay if I bake one full cake and cut it into two layers? Or should I just bake in batches?

    Sarah xx

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 9th, 2014 at 7:40 am

      I suggest baking in batches.

      Reply

  22. #
    322
    Zahnposted December 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Made those once and am making again. Chocolate is my birthmark and this cake is MARVELOUS. Thank you for sharing

    Reply

  23. #
    323
    Carolinaposted December 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Hey, Sally! Can I make this recipe on an 30cm round pan and cut the cake in half? I’m afraid it could break apart when I cut it :(

    Reply

  24. #
    324
    Carolinaposted December 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Oh, sorry… I just read the same question and your answer :)

    Reply

  25. #
    325
    Kimposted December 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    First I love your site, and so does my family. You’ve made me an even better baker. Question about the flour. I know you used AP flour, would it be ok to substitute cake flour for the AP?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 14th, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Yep, you may use cake flour. Though you’ll have to play around with the amount– you’ll likely need more than just 1 and 3/4 cups.

      Reply

  26. #
    326
    K Nelsonposted December 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Cookwise and Bakewise author/food scientist Shirley Corriher gives the rule of 1 t Baking POWDER to leaven each cup flour OR 1/4 t baking SODA to leaven a cup of flour. In The Gift of Southern Cooking(Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock) there is a formula for homemade baking ‘powder’ using a combination of 2 T baking soda and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Personally have had limited success with the homemade one.

    Reply

1 4 5 6

Leave a Comment