Chocolate Blackout Cake

This amazing Chocolate Blackout Cake has 3 large cake layers, chocolate custard pudding filling, whipped chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries. A naked cake recipe like no other!

A large chocolate cake sitting on top of a table

Chocolate Blackout Cake

If you love chocolate as much as do, we sure do have a special treat for you today! Over-the-top, chocolate blackout cake. Three huge cake layers. Custard filling. Whipped ganache. Chocolate drips. Chocolate swirls and chocolate covered cherries to decorate the top. This cake has it all. And yes, it’s going to take some time. It’s not a quick easy recipe, but if you have an upcoming birthday or special occasion, this cake will definitely bring the “wows”!

Make the Chocolate Custard

The first step in making this chocolate cake is to prepare the custard. You’ll need to plan for this because the custard is cooked and needs to cool.

  • Melt the chocolate and set it aside. *For all of these steps, do not use mini chocolate chips. They don’t melt smoothly! Use regular size chocolate chips. We find semi-sweet or even dark chocolate chips melt the best.*
  • Heat the milk and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, but do not let the mixture boil. Remove it from the heat right before it boils. Pour it into a bowl to cool.
  • In the same saucepan, add the eggs and sugar, whisking until they are combined, then add in the flour and vanilla.
  • Add the milk mixture back in and cook & stir over low heat, whisking constantly.
  • Add the melted chocolate in and cook until the mixture is thickened. You’ll want it to be like a runny pudding.
  • Cover the custard and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

how to make chocolate custard collage

Make the Chocolate Cake

The chocolate cake is a fairly straight-forward recipe. It starts with two boxed cake mixes (yes, this is a BIG cake). You’ll add sour cream to make the cake taste like homemade. Fold in chocolate chips after mixing also for more chocolate flavor.

Be sure to use 10″ round cake pans so the cakes don’t overflow. Grease the pans with shortening then dust them with flour, or use the cake release that we love!

Bake the cakes and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

how to make chocolate cake collage

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is one of my favorite things to make. Heat heavy cream, add chocolate (remember…not mini chocolate chips!), cover the bowl to allow time for the chips to melt, then use a spoon to mix it until it is shiny and smooth.

For this recipe you’ll set half aside at room temperature and place the other half in the refrigerator so it can cool. Once it has cooled you’ll whip it along with the heavy cream using a stand mixer to make a chocolate whipped cream ganache. Absolutely amazing.

Assemble the Cake / Drip Cake

Here’s the layers:

  • Chocolate Cake
  • Half of the custard
  • Chocolate Cake
  • The remaning chocolate custard
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Spread the whipped chocolate ganache on the outside of the cake, scraping the sides to make a “naked cake”.
  • Take the ganache that has cooled a bit to room temperature and spoon it over the top, allowing it to “drip” down the sides of the cake.

Beautiful as is, right? But now it’s time to add chocolate swirls and chocolate covered strawberries.

how to assemble a chocolate cake collage

Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Chocolate Swirls

Melt the almond bark and chocolate chips together. Remember to take your time melting the chocolate and stir between each interval. Chocolate can burn and seize up easily and nobody wants that!

First, dip the cleaned and dried strawberries in the melted chocolate and place them on a piece of waxed paper to set. Then, spoon the rest of the chocolate into a plastic baggie, snip the corner and make chocolate circles on wax paper. Allow them to set and use them to decorate the top of the cake!

strawberry and chocolate decorations for chocolate cake

Beautiful Triple Chocolate Cake

OK, so I feel like this chocolate blackout cake is really more than a triple chocolate cake. You have chocolate cake, chocolate custard and chocolate ganache. but then you have the beautiful chocolate decorations. So yeah…chocolate overload here, but could it be any prettier?

chocolate covered strawberries on a cake

Store this cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it!

Other Chocolate Cake Recipes

Tools to Make This Cake

chocolate blackout cake tutorial
chocolate blackout cake tutorial

Chocolate Blackout Cake

5 from 1 vote
This amazing Chocolate Blackout Cake has 3 large cake layers, chocolate custard pudding filling, whipped chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries. A naked cake recipe like no other!
Servings 18
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

Custard Pudding Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of devils food cake mix
  • 2 instant boxes of chocolate pudding (3.9 ounces each)
  • 32 ounces sour cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • cup melted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 ½ cups chocolate chips

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup heavy cream (divided)
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For Decorating:

  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 4 ounces chocolate almond bark (4 squares)
  • ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

Instructions for Custard:

  • The first step is to make the custard because it needs to cool in the refrigerator.
  • Melt chocolate in the microwave in a small microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring between each interval until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Over low heat in a medium saucepan combine milk and cream. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from heat right before it starts to boil.
  • Remove the milk from heat, pour into a bowl and let it cool to warm.
  • In the same saucepan as you had the milk, add the egg yolks and sugar, whisking until combined. Then add flour and vanilla. 
  • Place over low heat adding back in the warm milk and cream mixture. Whisk constantly and add the melted chocolate. Mixture will thicken as you stir.
  • Once the mixture thickens, take the pan off the heat. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl into the fridge to cool for 2 hours.

Instructions for Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease 3 10-inch round cake pans with shortening, then dust the pans with flour.
  • Add the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, melted butter and water into a stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • After cake mix is combined fold in chocolate chips. The cake mix will be thick. Spoon in equal amounts to each prepared cake pan.
  • Bake time will be about 45-50 minutes. Check the cake at about 30 minutes to see if it is looking done. Exact baking times depend on ovens and the type of pans used. The cake is done when the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. 
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Instructions for Ganache:

  • Place 1 cup of the cream into a microwave safe bowl. Cook for about 45 seconds, making sure not to boil over. 
  • Add the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow it to sit for 3 minutes so the chocolate can melt. 
  • Stir the mixture until creamy and smooth. 
  • Divide the mixture in two equal parts. Place half the ganache into the refrigerator and leave the other half on the counter to cool.

Instructions for the Decorations:

  • Wash and pat dry the strawberries.
  • Set aside.
  • Place the chocolate chips and almond bark into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave in 20 seconds increments, stirring between each interval until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Dip strawberries into chocolate and place on parchment paper to harden.
  • Place the remaining chocolate mixture into a plastic baggie.
  • Cut off the tip of a corner of the baggie and squeeze out using a circular motion to make chocolate twirls as shown in the pictures.
  • Allow to harden. You can place into the freezer for a couple of minutes to speed up the hardening process.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Looking at your cakes make sure the tops are even. Even the tops by slicing off the domes if needed.
  • Place one of the cakes on the cake plate. The custard pudding will be your filling between layers. So divide pudding in half and frost the top of the first and second layers. Once you've frosted two layers, place the third layer on the very top of the cake.
  • Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and place it into a mixing bowl along with ¾ cup heavy whipping cream. 
  • Whip until soft peaks form. This makes a ganache whipped cream.
  • Using a spatula cover the cake in the whipped cream. This is a naked cake so make sure you remove excess whipped cream frosting.
  • Do this by running spatula around cake removing excess whipped cream frosting. Use excess whipped cream frosting to pipe small flowers or stars around cake.
  • The ganache mixture left out of fridge will be the drip for the edges of the cake.
  • Using a spoon, spoon the ganache around the top edge of cake allowing it to drip down the sides.
  • Arrange strawberries and twirls any way you desire on the top of the cake.
  • Store cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
  • Prep time 30 min Cook time 120 min Serves 8-10

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 18 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake (using all of the frosting, custard and strawberries). Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 801kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 1235IU | Vitamin C: 15.6mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 4.3mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 801
Keyword birthday, chocolate, custard, frosting, strawberry

chocolate blackout cake title image

About Julie Clark

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5 stars
My cake turned out perfect. With the custard I just microwaved the cream/milk mixture in a glass measuring cup. I also waited until after the custard had fully thickened before I mixed in the melted chocolate, this is how I was taught to do it.