The Best Chocolate Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

The Most Delicious Life-Changing Chocolate Cake – rich, moist, and decadent chocolate cake layers with a silky smooth chocolate buttercream.

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The Best Chocolate Cake of Your Life

I don’t know how on earth I’ve gone six years without putting a basic chocolate cake recipe on my blog. I mean, I have these layers and this buttercream paired with SO many different cakes, but not the two of them together by themselves. Preposterous, I know! Well, the wait is finally over! I’m so excited to share with you The Most Delicious Chocolate Cake you’ll ever eat. Seriously! It’s that good that I’m making such a bold claim.

Plus, it’s an easy chocolate cake recipe. You can whip this up in no time!

Check out how moist these layers are! We have a combination of buttermilk, hot water (or you can use coffee), oil, and eggs to thank for that.

NOTE: The cake batter in this cake recipe is thinner than many of my other cake batters. Don’t let that scare you. It’s going to rise beautifully and taste incredible. Truly the best chocolate cake ever!

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Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate

It’s important to note that this recipe uses dark chocolate for a reason. Because we’re adding cream, butter, and powdered sugar to the chocolate, the flavor gets diluted just a bit. If you use milk chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chips, you’re going to lose a lot of the chocolate flavor. Additionally, the buttercream will simply taste overly sweet. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love all things sweet, but it’s important to have balance. The dark chocolate in the layers and the buttercream help provide a balance to the sweetness because dark cocoa is bittersweet. However, the cake and buttercream frosting don’t taste bittersweet because we’ve added other ingredients to them (i.e. sugar!).

So trust me on this one. Use dark chocolate!

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What Dark Chocolate Should I Buy?

It’s important to use a good quality dark chocolate for the best tasting results. I use and recommend either Callebaut Chocolate or Guittard Chocolate. You can find both at Orson Gygi or Guittard can be found at most grocery stores.

How to Make Cake

When making the cake layers, don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it

I also shared the baking process on my Instagram the other day. Click the icon below to check it out.

Take a look at how moist these chocolate cake layers are. www.cakebycourtney.com

Best Chocolate Buttercream

I’m making a lot of big claims today, I know. But friends, I stand by them! This is the most delicious chocolate cake and this is THE BEST chocolate buttercream. You’ll be using 10 ounces of dark chocolate, some heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar (sifted, of course), vanilla and salt. I have some tips below for making the best buttercream frosting, plus, you’ll want to click the Instagram icon below to see how I make it.

How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

To get this silky smooth buttercream, make sure you follow my tips: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.

IMPORTANT For chocolate buttercream specifically, remember to heat the cream and chocolate together first. You’ll then stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth ganache. Once the ganache has cooled slightly, you’ll add the mixture to the butter and continue making the buttercream according to instructions.

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Other Cake Recipes You’ll Love

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The Most Delicious Chocolate Cake

4.99 from 138 votes
Tender and moist chocolate cake layers with silky, smooth chocolate buttercream.

Ingredients
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups (88.5 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g)  baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g)  buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) hot water 
  • 1/2 cup (109 g)  vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/3 cup ( 77 g) heavy whipping cream 
  • 10 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar measured then sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumsb on it.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use. 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and the cream for about one minute. Stir until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for about 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the ganache. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then mix on medium-high speed for about a minute, until the mixture is smooth.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, followed by the vanilla and salt.
  • Buttercream can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.
  • When you’re ready to frost the cake, bring the frosting back to room temperature and mix by hand with a wooden spoon to push out all of the air pockets. 

ASSEMBLY

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of a cake board or cake stand.
  • Evenly spread 1 cup of buttercream over the cake layer.
  • Place second cake layer, top side down, on top of the buttercream.
  • Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  • Once the crumb coat is set, finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword Beginner, chocolate buttercream, Chocolate Cake

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made it gf/df and it was perfect! The chocolate cake mixed with the buttercream frosting is the perfect combo for anyone who loves chocolate!

    1. I was just looking at this but need to make it dairy free. (I also need to do egg free so I may try a different cake base). Did you just use regular vegan milk to sub the heavy cream?

  2. Someone recommended this cake to me today as the absolute best chocolate cake. I am excited to try it and I have one question. Will Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa work for the dark cocoa powder? Thanks.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been on the hunt for the best chocolate cake recipe. I spent the night baking a couple different recipes and did a blind taste test with my family. For just the cake layers, this recipes was the favorite and I couldn’t agree more! The cake was very flavorful, it baked very well, and the flavor didn’t disappear as you were eating it. I found the explanation of ‘dark versus milk chocolate’ very helpful, too. I used hersheys special dark because that’s what I had on hand and it was excellent. The cake had good structure and didn’t easily fall apart like some other recipes I’ve tried.

  4. For this recipe it mentions flour but not your cake flour. Is it okay if I use your cake flour for this recipe or would it be best if I use regular flour?!(: thanks!!

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