A super moist, ridiculously soft, perfectly decadent Double Chocolate Layer Cake. With creamy chocolate buttercream – it’s the BEST chocolate cake you’ll eat!
I’ve shied away from making a layer cake on Just So Tasty for a long time. I feared leaning cake towers, failed photography and kitchen tears. But since today marks the one hundredth recipe on Just So Tasty. (Like 1-0-0). I figured it’s time to get over it and celebrate with a Double Chocolate Layer Cake.
It’s tall. It’s slathered with a thick layer of creamy chocolate frosting. And it’s the quintessential celebration cake for true chocolate lovers.
(I also support digging into this cake just with a fork if you feel like going quasi Matilda style…) But otherwise, it’s the perfect dessert that looks impressive and tastes even better.
The cake recipe is based off of Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake. It’s ridiculously moist with a super soft crumb because we’re using oil and buttermilk in the batter. The oil keeps the cake soft because oil is liquid at room temperature, as opposed to butter which is solid. I would never recommend using oil in a vanilla cake – but in chocolate cake the rich flavor disguises any taste of the oil. Then buttermilk has a way of creating the softest cake crumb. For the perfect cake texture – there’s no substitutions here.
However – while Ina’s cake is delicious we’re making a few changes to up the ante. First, we’re adding a little extra cocoa for more chocolate flavor. Then we’re using a combo of granulated sugar and brown sugar instead of just granulated sugar. The brown sugar adds more depth to the flavor with its caramel undertones and adds more moisture.
The last secret to this cake is adding 1 cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee to the batter. The hot coffee helps the cocoa “bloom” and the chocolate flavor really come to life. You won’t taste the coffee and instead you’ll be left with a rich, flavorful, not too sweet chocolate flavor.
Then for the icing. Oh my…. Here we’re going for a delicious, creamy, smooth chocolate buttercream. Ina uses a mocha frosting in her recipe – but I decided for chocolate on chocolate. You’ll notice that this frosting might seem a little unorthodox with the ingredient list but let me explain. First, we’re using a combo of cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate for our delicious chocolate flavor. Then to cut the sweetness we’re adding sour cream to the frosting. By no means is this sour cream frosting, but the addition of ¼ cup sour cream helps to keep the frosting from being too sweet. Finally, I like to add a little corn syrup to the chocolate buttercream. It adds shine and keeps the consistency smooth.
At the end of the day – the cake is moist, perfectly chocolatey, and definitely not too challenging to make. So thank you for being my internet friends. Now let’s eat cake!
Double Chocolate Layer Cake
For the Chocolate Cake
- 1 and ¾ cups all purpose flour , spooned & leveled
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oil
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk , room temperature
- 1 cup hot freshly brewed coffee
For the Frosting
- ¾ cup butter , softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 oz dark chocolate , melted
- ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa
- 3 and ½ to 4 and ½ cups icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom of two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt for about 30 seconds.
- In a separate large bowl using a hand-held or electric mixer on medium speed beat together the oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined (about 3 minutes). Turn down the mixer to low and beat in ½ of the buttermilk followed by half of the flour mixture. Repeat with the second half of the buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture, turning off the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Carefully add in the hot coffee beating on low speed until combined.
- Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for at least 30 minutes before removing and continuing to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting in a large bowl using a hand-held or stand electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and no lumps remain (about 2 minutes). Add in the sour cream and melted chocolate and continue beating until well combined. Add in the cocoa powder, followed by the icing sugar about ½ cup at a time while scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, beat in the corn syrup, salt and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream at a time, adding more icing sugar as necessary.
- To assemble the cake, place one cake on a plate or cake stand. Using a flat edge knife frost the top of the cake with approximately ⅓ of of the frosting. Place the second cake on top of the first. Frost the top of the second cake with a thin layer of frosting, followed by the sides of the cake with a thin layer. Finally, go over the top of the cake and sides with the remaining frosting to make a swirl pattern.