Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you are a fan of dark chocolate, you’ll love this dark chocolate cake recipe. The ultimate moist chocolate cake with a dark chocolate infused buttercream frosting.

If you are a fan of dark chocolate, you'll love this dark chocolate cake recipe. The ultimate moist chocolate cake with a dark chocolate infused buttercream frosting.

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

This cake you guys, is unbelievable. My all-time favorite homemade cake to bake.

So I know some of you think that homemade chocolate cakes can be dry, but I have found a  trick to make your chocolate cake soft and spongy! This special ingredient is called “Buttermilk.” The acid in buttermilk breaks down the long strands of gluten, making the cake so airy and delicious!

Another secret ingredient in this dark chocolate cake recipe is coffee. This might sound weird, but it won’t change the flavor of your cake at all. Instead, the coffee intensifies the chocolaty flavor! If you are 100% against adding coffee to cake, water will work too, but I highly recommend coffee.

If you are a fan of dark chocolate, you'll love this dark chocolate cake recipe. The ultimate moist chocolate cake with a dark chocolate infused buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The presentation of this cake might look difficult, but the dark chocolate infused buttercream icing spreads super easy. Yes, I said chocolate infused buttercream icing. You have to use some high quality dark chocolate (60% cacao) if you want it to taste extra-chocolaty. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting the edges perfectly straight when decorating this cake. because we have this handy-dandy edge designer that gives us a great edge.

If you are a fan of dark chocolate, you'll love this dark chocolate cake recipe. The ultimate moist chocolate cake with a dark chocolate infused buttercream frosting.

I hope you enjoy our classic, from-scratch chocolate cake recipe!

Tools to Make This Cake

A close up of a piece of chocolate cake on a plate, with Dark chocolate and Buttercream
A close up of a piece of chocolate cake on a plate, with Dark chocolate and Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Cake

4.60 from 47 votes
Servings 15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

Chocolate Layer Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong hot coffee
  • 2 recipes dark chocolate buttercream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans.
  • For the cake, put flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • In a stand mixer, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla together. Slowly add in the mix of dry ingredients while the mixer is on low. Add the coffee and make sure everything is combined. The batter will be very thin.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. 
  • Make the Dark Chocolate Buttercream (double the recipe).
  • Now it's time to put your cake together!
  • Frost the top of the first cake. Then layer the other half of the cake on top. Frost the outside of the cake.
  • Use a decorating comb to smooth the outside edge and to make lines, if desired.
  • Pipe stars using Wilton tip 1M on the top outer edge of the cake. 
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top of the cake.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 478

About Julie Clark

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5 stars
Is there a substitute for the coffee? I don’t care for that taste in my chocolate.

For Halloween, I was originally going to make Halloween colored bundt cakes for my grandchildren…until my daughters told me that they didn’t want me to use food coloring and they only wanted small cakes. I saw this recipe and decided to convert it to two small (6 cup) bundt cakes with the delicious chocolate buttercream frosting. Wow! Not only did I think it was delicious but every adult who ate it. I added small Halloween candies to the top which made my grandkids happy…but I was so surprised at the reaction of the adults! One friend of my daughter couldn’t… Read more »

Has anyone made used this recipe for cupcakes? Do they bake up nicely?

Can this chocolate cake be made with self-rising flour? I do not have baking soda or baking powder. Also can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk?

5 stars
A most perfect and moist cake. I will try a
different icing than the chocolate buttercream next time. The cake is so rich the icing was a little too much chocolate.

Man oh man does this cake look and sound absofreakinlutly delicious. I love Dark Chocolate Cake !! I am definitely checking this recipe out 🙂 Thank you for sharing !!

4 stars
Looks yummy,need to try it out. May I have the frosting recipe to complete the cake

I’m a big fan of cakes too… I make a lot of chocolate cakes😍

I’m making the cake today for my daughter…but she doesn’t want a large cake. I’m going to try to make this in two small bundt cake pans…and hopefully, it will turn out as delicious as the layer cake sounds! Can’t wait to taste one tonight!

Are the ingredients for this cake measured for high altitude? You listed both baking soda and baking powder without any decrease in the measurements. Just curious.

5 stars
The recipe is amazing! Multiple people said it was the best chocolate cake they’ve EVER had. I’ll never make another chocolate cake recipe again.

5 stars
This cake is amazing! My husband is not a huge chocolate cake fan. But he said this is the best chocolate cakes he’s ever had.

5 stars
Best darn chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted, let alone made. Coffee is subtle, but adds an excellent flavor at the end of each bite. You won’t be disappointed.

Hi! should this cake be stored in the fridge?

delicious. I love coffee too so it was nice to put it in this cake. thank you

Hi. How many cupcakes will this recipe make? Thank you in advance.

5 stars
This is the best chocolate cake. I have been making this cake every year for my son’s birthday. It’s a hit with the grandchildren also.

5 stars
This cake is amazing. I have been trying to make my own cake but it always comes out dry. This was more moist then any box cake I have made. The coffee doesn’t taste like coffee. It just enhances the chocolate flavor. Thank you! Also, the dark chocolate butter cream was dangerously delicious. I wanted to just pipe the whole thing in my mouth.

5 stars
I’m about to make this cake now, but I’m confused, because the recipe states to use 9″ pans, but you recommend 8″. So which size pans should I use? Please respond quickly!!

This cake looks soooo amazing! I just HAVE to make it tomorrow. I am so looking forward to devouring uhhh making this cake! I’m a chocoholic by birth. ☺️ A couple of questions for you.
Do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe when using black cocoa? Also, can milk with vinegar work as a buttermilk substitute (since I don’t have any in the house) in this recipe??