Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

This super moist dark chocolate mousse cake combines unsweetened natural cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder for an extra rich flavor. Fill the cake with a simplified chocolate mousse and cover the whole dessert with semi-sweet chocolate ganache. If needed, you can prepare the ganache and mousse ahead of time.

slice of dark chocolate mousse cake on a cake server

My s’mores chocolate mousse inspired me to play around in the kitchen the other week. I’ve always loved chocolate mousse, back to my childhood when my mom served it as an easy (yet totally elegant) dessert on the holiday table. Chocolate mousse is simple divinity in its own right, but when paired with chocolate cake, it’s downright decadent.

I made this chocolate mousse cake for my husband Kevin’s birthday. This cake basically demands a huge gathering because– trust me– you don’t want to be left alone with its temptation. It WILL call out your name each time you open the refrigerator.

Taunting you.

chocolate layer cake on a wooden cake stand

3 Parts to Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

Let’s break down each component of this intensely rich cake:

  1. Dark Chocolate Cake: This is actually a variation of my tuxedo cake, which originated from my chocolate cake recipe. In recent years, I’ve found that replacing sour cream for some of the buttermilk gives the cake more structure.
  2. Chocolate Mousse: I researched simplified ways to make a fluffy chocolate mousse filling without the use of eggs or gelatin. This chocolate mousse filling combines real chocolate and homemade whipped cream.
  3. Chocolate Ganache: Top the whole cake with 2 ingredient semi-sweet chocolate ganache. You should be a chocolate ganache pro by now!

Video Tutorial: Chocolate Mousse Cake

Stick-to-the-back-of-your-fork moist. This is every chocolate lover’s dream!

4 layer chocolate cake

Dark Chocolate Cake

Use this chocolate cake as the starting point. For a sturdier, yet moister crumb, swap some sour cream in for the buttermilk and reduce the hot liquid. The acidity in both sour cream and buttermilk is a must to properly leaven this cake. (If desired, see baking powder vs baking soda for more information.) This cake has a natural dark chocolate taste, but to deepen that flavor, use a mix of natural cocoa and Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. A touch of espresso powder and hot coffee further enhances the chocolate flavor. The cake will not taste like coffee– rather, the two add depth to the cake’s chocolate flavor.

  • Why hot liquid? The hot liquid encourages the cocoa powder to bloom and dissolve. If you don’t drink coffee, you can use hot water.

You have options! You can make this cake into 2, 3, or 4 layers. I highly recommend 3 or 4 layers because there’s over 4 cups of chocolate mousse to spread inside. You can use 8 inch or 9 inch pans. The bake times are similar, see recipe notes.

A cup of chocolate chips adds even more chocolate flavor. I used 1 cup (180g) of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in this pictured cake, but left them out in the video. They’re optional– but definitely worth the addition!!

chocolate cake batter in glass bowl

Simplified Chocolate Mousse

The chocolate mousse adds a creamy and light contrast to the dark chocolate layers. You need 6 ingredients:

  1. Hot Water
  2. Cocoa Powdernatural or dutch-process
  3. Melted Chocolateuse two 4-ounce chocolate baking bars found in the baking aisle
  4. Heavy Cream
  5. Confectioners’ Sugar
  6. Vanilla Extract

Whisk the hot water and cocoa powder together. Pour into melted chocolate. The hot water breaks up the chocolate, adding to the airy mousse consistency. Cocoa powder creates additional chocolate flavor. Fold this chocolate mixture into whipped cream– a combination of heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract.

2 images of making chocolate mousse including whipped cream and chocolate mixture in glass bowls

Whipped cream + our chocolate mixture. ↑

Fold them together to make our chocolate mousse filling. ↓

chocolate mousse for chocolate cake in glass bowl and between cake layers

Baker’s Tip: The chocolate mousse must chill in the refrigerator before using, so it’s a good idea to make it ahead of time or as the chocolate cake layers are cooling. The mousse is best cold, so I actually recommend serving the cake cold. (Additionally, the cake is much easier to assemble if the mousse is cold!)

2 images of chocolate ganache in glass bowl and pouring on chocolate cake

Chocolate Ganache

I won’t go into a lot of detail about the chocolate ganache because I have a complete chocolate ganache recipe tutorial for you! Like the chocolate mousse, it’s imperative to use pure chocolate. Wait about 20 minutes for the ganache to thicken before pouring onto the cake.

How to Assemble & Decorate Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate ganache enrobes 4 cake layers and 3 mousse layers. Place bottom cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Using a large icing spatula, evenly cover the top with about 1.5 cups of chilled chocolate mousse. Top with 2nd cake layer and another 1.5 cups of mousse. Top with the third cake layer, then spread another 1.5 cups mousse evenly on top. (Save a large spoonful of mousse for a thin crumb coat.) Top with final 4th cake layer. Spread any remaining mousse around the sides as a crumb coat. Run a bench scraper around the cake to smooth it out. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Chocolate mousse is pretty fluffy, so the cake won’t hold its shape unless it’s properly chilled.

Pour ganache on top then run a bench scraper around the sides to smooth it out. You can serve the cake immediately or wait for the chocolate ganache to set. 🙂

top of chocolate mousse cake with berries and chocolate shavings

slice of chocolate mousse cake on a white plate

What About Cupcakes?

Instead of a big cake, you can make chocolate mousse cupcakes. Use my chocolate cupcakes recipe and halve the chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache recipes below. Fill the cupcakes with chocolate mousse using my Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes as an example. Drizzle cooled cupcakes with ganache. Eat your heart out!

More Indulgent Chocolate Desserts

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4 layer chocolate cake

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This super moist dark chocolate cake combines unsweetened natural cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder for an extra rich flavor. Fill the cake with a simplified chocolate mousse and cover it with semi-sweet chocolate ganache. If needed, you can prepare the ganache and mousse ahead of time. See notes.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder* (see note)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180g) full fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water or coffee*
  • optional: 1 cup (180g) mini or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • optional garnish: fresh berries and/or chocolate shavings

Chocolate Mousse

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water
  • 1/4 cup (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder* (see note)
  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped*
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped*
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease four 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using) together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a whisk) mix the oil, eggs, and sour cream together on medium-high speed until combined. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the hot water/coffee, and whisk or beat on low speed until the batter is completely combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Divide batter evenly between 4 pans. Bake for 19-23 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  5. As the cakes cool, prepare the chocolate mousse so it can chill and be ready at the same time as the cake layers. You can also prepare the mousse 1-2 days ahead of time. Whisk the hot water and cocoa powder together. Set aside. Melt the chopped chocolate bars in a double boiler or use the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Pour hot water/cocoa mixture into melted chocolate and stir until thick and smooth. Set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks. Pour in the chocolate mixture and using a spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold together. Avoid over-mixing which can deflate/thin out the mousse. Cover mousse and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Makes about 4.5 cups chocolate mousse.
  6. Assemble layers before preparing chocolate ganache: First, level the cakes if needed: using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Using a large icing spatula, evenly cover the top with about 1.5 cups chocolate mousse. Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with 1.5 cups chocolate mousse. Top with the third cake layer, then spread another 1.5 cups mousse evenly on top. Save a large spoonful of mousse for a thin crumb coat. Top with final 4th cake layer. Spread any remaining mousse around the sides as a crumb coat. Run a bench scraper around the cake to smooth out crumb coat. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Prepare the ganache as you wait.
  7. Chocolate Ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. With a metal spoon or small rubber spatula, very slowly stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. The finer you chopped the chocolate, the quicker it will melt with the cream. If it’s not melting, do not microwave it. If needed, see Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache. Once ganache mixture is smooth, let it cool for 20 minutes at room temperature before spreading on chilled cake.
  8. Pour/spoon ganache on chilled cake. Smooth the top with an icing spatula and the sides with a bench scraper. Top with optional garnish such as fresh berries and/or chocolate shavings. Serve cake immediately or chill, uncovered, for up to 4-6 hours before serving. Cake can be served at room temperature or chilled.
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cake through step 4. Wrap the individual baked and cooled cake layers tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, make mousse filling, then continue with step 6. You can prepare the chocolate mousse in advance. See step 5. You can also prepare the chocolate ganache ahead of time too. Refrigerate prepared ganache for up to 2-3 days. Bring to room temperature before spreading onto cake. Frosted cake freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or serve cold.
  2. 3 Layer Cake: You can also prepare this cake as a 3 layer cake. Divide batter between three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Use about 2 cups of chocolate mousse between each layer.
  3. Espresso Powder/Coffee: Espresso powder and coffee will not make the cake taste like coffee. Rather, they deepen the chocolate flavor. I highly recommend them both. If coffee isn’t your thing, you can leave out the espresso powder and use extra hot water instead of the hot coffee.
  4. Cocoa Powder: For the best dark chocolate flavor in the cake, I recommend using a blend of unsweetened natural cocoa powder (1/4 cup; 22g) and Hershey’s “Special Dark” cocoa powder (1/2 cup; 43g). Hershey’s Special Dark is actually a mix of natural cocoa powder (an acid) and dutch-process cocoa powder (a base) and it worked fine in this recipe. This recipe needs acidic natural cocoa powder, so do not use ALL dutch-process cocoa powder. For best results, use 3/4 cup (65g) natural or the blend of natural/Special Dark I used. For the chocolate mousse, you can use either unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder. (Or the Hershey’s Special Dark.)
  5. Why Room Temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information. Instead of sour cream, you can use plain yogurt. The cake won’t taste as rich, but it’s a fine substitute.
  6. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  7. Chocolate in Mousse & Ganache: Mousse & ganache will only set if the correct chocolate is used. You can use high quality chocolate chips if needed (I prefer Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips), but I recommend using pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands.

Keywords: cake, chocolate mousse, dark chocolate

 

701 Comments

  1. I have a request for Chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate Mousse .. I have never made chocolate mousse and came across this recipe when googling. I have read thru all the comments.. This is for a wedding .. What is the recommendation time for chilling the mousse before applying to cupcakes and it keeping its shape using a 1M tip. And how long is the stability of the mousse being in a room temperature enviroment.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim, If you need to let the cupcakes sit out, we recommend filling the cupcakes with the mousse (see the above paragraph called “What About Cupcakes” and then frosting them with chocolate ganache (you can whip the ganache if you would like to pipe it). Refrigerate the cupcakes until setting them out – they should be ok for an hour or two at room temperature.

  2. Made this for my son’s 20th as I wanted an impressive cake and it did the trick. I used Bakers brand chocolate and a Starbucks Via instant coffee stick for the espresso powder and it couldn’t have been better. Thanks for posting. One question- what kind of knife do you use to make a nice cut? It is so rich that I was trying to make thinner slices but was butchering it. The cake was chilled before cutting and I wiped the knife clean after each cut. Any suggestions?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mona! We just use a large, sharp knife. It can be tricky to get perfect slices with such a tender crumb!

  3. Sally is it possible for me make the cake (with dutched process cocoa and no mousse) as a sheet cake? How long would it take to bake?

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa! You can make this recipe as a sheet cake (same oven temperature, about 35-40 minutes bake time), but you need mostly natural cocoa powder for the batter (see recipe notes for details).

      1. Thanks Trina!

        Additional question – should I cover the cake with aluminum foil half way through or is it unnecessary?

  4. Hi Sally! For the mousse – can I use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate bars? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mimi! We recommend using pure chocolate baking bars to ensure the mousse will set. See recipe note for details!

      1. Thank you for the quick reply!

  5. Instead of using sour cream, any other ingredients reccomended? Since its hard to find a sour cream in my place

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maggie, Instead of sour cream, you can use plain yogurt. The cake won’t taste as rich, but it’s a fine substitute. Enjoy!

  6. This is hands-down the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! Thank you for the recipe! Its become a staple now and I have to avoid making it sometimes unless I give it away otherwise I’d eat it all. Delicious!

  7. I had never made a cake, much less a layered one, with mousse and ganache, before, but I attempted this a couple of weeks before my birthday and it came out amazing!! We ate half of it that week and then sliced it up, wrapped the slices individually in tin foil, and froze it for a couple of weeks before thawing it overnight in the fridge and ate it the day of my birthday and it was just as good! This recipe is amazing. I can’t believe I was not only able to make a cake but mousse and ganache too. Highly recommended!

    My only critique is I put the mini chips in the cake and didn’t like the crunch they brought to it. Would have preferred the smooth experience but it wasn’t a big deal.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this cake, Renee. You can certainly leave out the chocolate chips for next time. Thank you again for giving this recipe a try!

  8. Hi there,

    Do I need to make any adjustments to this recipe if I am at high altitude? I live at 6,000 feet.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kory, I wish we could help, but have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  9. YVETTE SELVARATNAM says:

    Hello Sally!

    Many thanks for your glorious chocolate cake recipe. I made all the components for the cake, but didn’t have the time to frost with the Chocolate mousse. It’s now sitting in my fridge. Is there any way I can freeze it for later use? Also, if it is possible, how do I bring it to life?

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yvette! The cake layers can be frozen and saved for later. You can also assemble the whole cake and freeze it for later. See recipe notes for details!

  10. YVETTE SELVARATNAM says:

    Thanks very much for your prompt response, but what I needed to know is if I could freeze just the chocolate mousse frosting for use later.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yvette, sorry for misunderstanding your question! You can freeze mousse, but the texture is always a little different after thawing. It’s not quite as light and airy. Best to enjoy it right away!

  11. Hi,

    Can’t wait to try this recipe… but I’m thinking of making this for a smaller group (around 5-6 people) so was thinking of halving the recipe and using two six inch pans… would that work? What would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ayeesha, we recommend using this chocolate cupcakes recipe as the batter to make a 3 layer 6 inch cake (or you can make two layers and use the leftover batter for a few cupcakes). See our 6 inch cake recipes as a guide. Halve the chocolate mousse and ganache from this recipe so there’s just enough. Hope this helps!

  12. HI! I would like to make this cake but I was wondering how to change the measurements and baking time if I want to make the recipe fit 6inch baking pans?
    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cynthia, we recommend using this chocolate cupcakes recipe as the batter to make a 3 layer 6 inch cake. See our 6 inch cake recipes post as a guide. Halve the chocolate mousse and ganache from this recipe so there’s just enough. Hope this helps!

  13. This is legit the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. It’s moist and decadent and pairs great with a cup of coffee. Totally worth the time it takes to make. Thanks Sally!

  14. Debra Jones says:

    I only used the recipe for the mousse and it was wonderful. I have made mousse before and this was the best. Thank you for sharing

  15. Hey Sally, quick question! But first of all I just wanted to say how Amazing this cake was! I made it for a wedding and everybody was like ” Oh my Gosh, this is the best thing I have ever eaten! This must be from Sally!” lol, but I didn’t use coffee in it for fear of it tasting like coffee… if I add it into my next cake, will it taste like coffee? I have a fam that isn’t a fan of coffee. Thanks and God Bless
    K.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brooks, so great to hear this cake was a hit at the wedding! Espresso powder and coffee will not make the cake taste like coffee. Rather, they deepen the chocolate flavor. We highly recommend them both!

  16. Robert Hale says:

    First Miss Sally I’d open a pie and cake shop except for the fact I’d have to send a fat royalty check to you weekly because the only recipes I’d use are your recipes.
    Second I guess heads up because if you use 9” pans you only get 3 pans with 15oz each for the cake. They baked just fine and the size of the cakes looks fine in the pan only rising 1/2 way up the pan. So I guess 8” would be best for a true 3 layer. Guess I’ll just have to but 2 more 8”s.
    Thanks so much for your recipes. I’ve only ever heard the best things about them. Never never anything negative. You are awesome. If you have any books I need to buy them.

    1. Thank you so much, Robert! I’m glad to read how much you enjoy the recipes on my website. I appreciate your kind words so much! I typically use 9 inch cake pans for this recipe but 8 inch cake pans would definitely produce thicker layers.
      I do have a few published cookbooks, but they are backordered through many channels at the moment. Here they are: Sally’s Baking Addiction, Sally’s Cookie Addiction, and Sally’s Candy Addiction. Thanks again!

  17. We decided to make the mousse a day early just to be safe. However, our mouse turned out bitter tasting, I mean, I guess like the semi-sweet chocolate. We used Bakers semi-sweet squares, 56% cocoa. I thought it would be more sweet and also lighter in color, per the picture. I’m wondering if I did something wrong making the mousse? Or am I just not trusting the whole cake making process and it all comes together tasting differently in the end? I did add more sugar, it was just too bitter to seem like it would be good. By the time I put the cake together its too late to adjust flavors. I’m scared!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi P! You can fold in some confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar to help sweeten the mousse to your liking. That should help!

      1. Thank you! The cake turned out great. Everyone loved it. I did have to sweeten it up a bit, but it did say dark chocolate! Very moist and loved the different flavors. Thanks for a great cake.

  18. Hi! can I fill this all in one pan?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jai, we don’t suggest it. The cake would take a very long time to cook through and would potentially collapse. Best to stick to 3 or 4 layers for best results!

  19. First off, I am so grateful for your site! YOU have really kicked up my cooking several notches. Thanks to your easy to follow instructions and videos, I no longer buy bread from the store!

    I am planning on making this for my soon to be 6 year olds birthday. He’s as chocolate crazy as me. I currently only have 2 bars of Bakers semi sweet bars. But, I also have 2 bars of milk chocolate Ghirardelli. I’m only doing online shopping and I fear if I order more it won’t be here in time. Could I sub the milk chocolate bars in the ganache or the mousse? If yes which would you recommend? Thanks!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristine, it would work in either! The mousse or ganache will taste sweeter, of course.

  20. Hi Sally. I have been wanting to make this cake recipe for awhile now, but i didnt have all the ingredients it called for. I did a shopping trip just for this, and I want to make it asap. I clicked on the ‘print’ icon on your website to print the recipe, but I noticed that the image was a broken link. Can you check this out for me please? I know its not a huge ordeal to not have the image, but with me it does help when i can look at the image and see what the cake is supposed to look like as I make it. Thanks so much.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rayne! It seems to be working just fine on our end – so sorry you’re having trouble. Perhaps it would work for you in a different browser. Hope you enjoy this cake!

  21. Hi Sally,

    Can gelatin be used to stabilise the mousse? I have to make a double barrell cake and im scared if its left outside for too long it might collapse..thanks 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Zakiya, we haven’t tested this mousse with gelatin — we find it to be plenty sturdy without. Hope you enjoy the cake!

  22. Christina Baker says:

    Hi Sally! I am wanting to make the mousse, but looking to substitute the heavy cream, would coconut cream be ok? I unfortunately can’t have heavy cream and I’m worried that the dairy free heavy cream won’t work so well so I thought about trying coconut. Thanks!

    1. Hi Christina, we’ve only tested the recipe with heavy cream, but if you try that substitution, let us know how it goes.

  23. Hi sally,I want to make this cake for my sons birthday as an alphabet cake, do u think it will b possible to bake it in a tray and is it sturdy enough to cut the alphabet? Thanks

    1. Hi Maria, I fear the cake will be too spongey and light for that kind of shaping. You can certainly try it, but we wouldn’t want you to waste your time! A vanilla cake may be more ideal and you could use chocolate frosting if you’d like.

  24. Hi Sally! I love your recipes – I’ve made at least 10 of them and they’ve always turned out great. I’m a novice trying to understand the science of baking (and *why* things work) so that I can generalize my knowledge to future recipes – how is it that the chocolate won’t seize when you mix in the water and cocoa powder mix?

    I’m making this recipe next weekend for my partner’s birthday and am looking forward to it!

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Jess, thank you so much for visiting our site and trusting my recipes! We appreciate it so much. Since the chocolate is already melted and the water is mixed with cocoa powder, there’s little risk that the chocolate will seize. It’s usually plain water that’s the issue.

  25. Ohhhh my!!!! Just tried this today for my parents’ anniversary and it was insanely delicious!!!! Super rich and decadent. Everyone said it was the best chocolate cake they have ever eaten! I made it gluten free by swapping out flour for Cup4Cup. I was a little nervous since I haven’t tried doing that before (I usually stick to recipes designed for GF), but I read up ahead of time and decided to go for it. The key is to match the measurement by weight instead of matching the number of cups. Since C4C is great in pastries and I had some on hand, I decided it was my best option for a substitute. Came out perfect – moist and soft and dreamy! I’m sure all the extra fats in this recipe helped it to avoid the stereotypical dried out gf dessert problem too. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  26. Have you ever tried making it using gluten free flour? Would be a great all rounder cake for a party if I can sub the flour and not have to make another gluten free option!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, we haven’t tested this recipe using gluten-free flour, but let us know if you give it a try!

  27. Hello Sally. Thx for the recipe.Have tried other yum recipes. Planning on trying this one now. I however have just two 8” baking pans. So shall have to bake in two batches . Wanted to know if the remaining cake batter could be left on the counter top , until the cakes are well cooled in the cake tin(as mentioned).. which shall take a while. Would it be ok to keep it out for a couple of hours? Don’t want to mess it up . Thanks in advance.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sheela, you may bake the first two layers and keep the remaining batter covered at room temperature while the first 2 layers bake. Hope you enjoy the cake!

      1. Thx for always replying promptly. Shall let you know how it turns. Many thanks

  28. Hi Sally!
    I love all your recipes. I’m planning to make a cake for my daughter’s fourth birthday on Sunday and wanted to pair the chocolate mousse filling from here with the white cake, so that the cake layers can be coloured pink. Do you think that combination would still taste good?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely! Sounds delicious – happy baking!

  29. Hi Sally. Shall be trying out this recipe. Won’t be using the expresso powder. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup coffee. How many teaspoons of instant coffee powder to make it? Thanks in advance.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sheela! You can follow the directions on your instant coffee package to make the correct strength.

  30. Hi
    can I substitute buttermilk for plain yogurt?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi there! Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed – see recipe notes for details!

    2. Hi. Would using cake flour instead of all purpose flour make a difference?

      1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Delores, we don’t recommend using cake flour in this recipe. Chocolate cakes already have cocoa powder— which is a VERY fine dry ingredient. The combination of cake flour and cocoa powder usually results in a flimsy cake.

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About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

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