you-are-owed-chocolate-cake Recipes

double chocolate layer cake

Last week, when it was 95 hateful, humid degrees outside and the 13-block walk home had entirely sucked what traces of motivation remained out of me, I had what I still consider The Best Dinner Idea Ever: chocolate cake with chocolate icing and watermelon.

I’ll give you a moment to absorb my utter genius.

double chocolate layer cake

Let’s just be honest here: when you were of single-digit age and night after night your dinner plate was filled with, ecch, vegetables and protein and your glass with what seemed like a gallon of milk, did you not swear that one day, no, One Day With the Capital Letters and the Chest-Thumping Conviction of Grownups that you would eat cake and watermelon for dinner and Nobody would be able to stop you.

Well, I called in that promise on Tuesday and night, and this boy, this suddenly and inconveniently acting-like-a-grownup person I married did not share in my enthusiasm. And despite my thpbbblt-ing and threats to tell the whole internet how Not Fun he is, he was not swayed and we had a 33 minute meal instead.


double chocolate layer cake

But chocolate cake with chocolate icing can only be put in the corner for so long, and in this case, that was just over 48-hours when the excuse to eat cake and watermelon reemerged with my mother-in-law’s birthday barbeque on Saturday. And let me just tell you that if I had known that the chocolate layer cake recipe I had in mind–and it’s ganache frosting–would be this transcendent, there would have been no chili. No beans. And no excuse to tell my husband how wrong he was.

double chocolate layer cake

Because chocolate layer cake this good needs to be made immediately. It needs to be matted in your Top Honors Cookbook for every chocolate-lovers birthday to come, for all time. The cake, it’s so moist, it’s not so much a solid baked good but gigantic dewy crumbs loosely aligned in a disc-like format. With the slightest pressure from a fork, they’ll bend and scatter about, only to be gathered back together with a frosting-tipped spoon. The cake is so perfect in every way, frosting and filling are afterthoughts–I can personally vouch that the cake alone is a perfectly decadent late-evening snack. But with split layers oozing with raspberry sauce and coated with bittersweet, shiny ganache and decked out with lavender and yellow flowers, it’s fit for the grandest of parties.

double chocolate layer cake

That is, if you are willing to share. Because this cake doesn’t make it easy to bestow generosity on others. I kind of wanted to swat people off with a spoon. I’m not sure that chocolate cake with chocolate icing served with wedges of cut fruit brings out my maturity and I’m not sure that when I’m finally sinking my teeth into it that I really care. But I have a feeling you’re better than that. More mature, perhaps more rational in the face of chocolate desserts, and when you make it, everyone will have a grand old time; even more so if you don’t invite brats like me.

double chocolate layer cake

Hide the children! There’s a picture of my head so big in this Q&A with me last Friday on Serious Eats, I feel that it warrants a fair warning before you click over. Because the freckles, they are loud. Learn why my mother beams with pride over my pancake snobbery, what I keep tucked in my desk drawer at work and my idea of a perfect meal including the part I’d probably steal off your plate. Stay when you are done to take in all the other awesome on the site.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, March 1999

The recipe below is for 2 10-inch layers filled and coated in chocolate ganache. My adaptations were to split the layers to create a four-layer cake and use raspberry filling instead of chocolate. To do the same, use half the frosting and all of the raspberry filling, recipe at the end.

For cake layers
3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) hot brewed coffee
3 cups (600 grams) sugar
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (aprox. 130 grams; weights vary between brands) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) table salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting and filling (If you want to just use it for frosting, halve the recipe. A raspberry filling recipe is below.)

1 pound (455 grams) fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (40 grams) light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 55 grams) unsalted butter

Special equipment: two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting: Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). I found that stirring this over a bowl of ice water did a great job of cooling it off quickly and evenly.

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Raspberry Filling

2 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Puree the raspberries in a food processor, blender or immersion blender. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon, removing the seeds. Heat the puree in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly. As it boils, it should quickly thicken.

Let it cool complete before spreading it thinly over three layers.

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519 comments on double chocolate layer cake

  1. That is a gorgeous cake and it sounds like it was delicious. Very cute presentation (sorry, I used the word cute! must be the fact I’m female haha…). I just wanted to say that I just came across your blog and me being a total foodie and lover of cooking and the almighty Food Network, I wanted to tell you that I love your blog and will be a regular reader from here on out. Keep those great recipes and pictures coming!

  2. RA

    Oh, I loved your interview at Serious Eats! I read the bit about how you hadn’t had a madeleine before and chuckled to myself about how you have already made yourself an accidental fibber. And I thought the freckles were quaint, personally.

  3. deb

    RA– Not true! I answered those questions two weeks ago, sent them in, walked into the kitchen and made madeleines. Probably should have picked something else for a long lead time, but I tend to only think about five minutes ahead at a time. Usually less. :)

  4. karen

    Love this idea. So would my 3 year old. And, the interview was great. The freckles are beautiful! I just love your writing and your sense of humor and of course, your recipes! Thank you!

  5. Erica

    What a gorgeous cake!

    I headed over to serious eats & I wanted to share that I too hate chicken cutlets. The only way I will eat them is if they are breaded & pan fried.

  6. Jelena

    I would hate to sound like an adult, but watermelon and chocolate cake? Doesn`t sound great to me. I know what you mean though, when my parents go out of town, I eat dessert for dinner. Although, they might never leave again if they find out about this little secret, so keep it between us. The cake looks very good and once I get home and if the oven`s working (the knob broke off and so did the metal that was holding it) I`ll be sure to make it.

    P.S. You look so pretty in that picture! Why are freckles such a bad thing?

  7. I’m constantly grateful that I married a man as occasionally “throw down the towel lazy” and childish as me, since we regularly(ish) eat “naughty” foods for meals. Tortilla chips and salsa/cheese dip for lunch? Yep! Brownies for dinner? Absolutely! I’m just waiting for the day when one of our sons (yes, we’re parents too!) comes home after learning about nutrition and gives us “the look”.

  8. Deb – December 14th…Feel free to come to Texas, it’s a Friday and I happen to know a chocolate lover who’ll be turning 29 (for the first time) and might need a cake like that. And, Weight Watchers be damned.

  9. liz

    I love your dinner idea! I’m always trying to get J to go for a dinner of ice cream, but it’s a no-go, so far. I bet chocolate cake would sway him, though…

  10. Emily

    Quick question…I would love to make this, yet as much as I would like to, I couldn’t possibly consume the entire thing. Would making them into cupcakes be sacrilegious to bring to coworkers? If not, what changes would I make to the baking time?
    Thank you!
    (ps…Thanks for the fabulous recipes and awesome photos)

  11. LL

    Kiddo and I make dinner out of a wedge of blue cheese, wheat thins and tomato slices from time to time, so I’m not sure I see the problem with chocolate cake and watermelon. You can balance it out the next day.

    I need to tackle scratch cake baking again, don’t I?

  12. deb

    Kim — The base is actually a 10″ springform pan/cake carrier from Kaiser, but if you pop the sides off, it can hold any cake. Amazon has it. Here it is all packed up in an Envirosax tote.

    Emily — Thanks for reminding me. I wanted to tell everyone about this awesome thing I found on Martha Stewart the other day. I printed up the PDF the other day from this page and stuck the icons on my fridge–not only are they adorable, they have great info for bakers. The second one handily shows that each 10×2 round cake is equivalent to a 9x9x2 square pan, and a 9″ round (with 1.5″ sides) is about the same amount of batter as a standard 12-cup muffin tin. So, you’ll probably get between 26 and 30 cupcakes out of this batter. Let us know how it turns out!

  13. AngAk

    Emily, you could even put the raspberry filling into a piping bag and squeeze some into the middle of each cupcake after they cool, covering the top with the ganache. yum.

  14. I’ve made this cake. It’s every bit as good as described… though when tasked with baking the cake for my brother’s wedding (when I’d never baked a wedding cake before), it was more coffee-tasting than the deep-dark-chocolate I sought. I solved the problem by substituting an equal amount of Guinness stout – heated in a saucepan until simmering – for the hot brewed coffee. The end result was slightly nutty, chocolate-y goodness. Oh-my-god good… and a recommended alteration!

  15. kimmrz

    I am so tickled to hear about your “dream” of dessert dinner! From the time my kids were small, I would use the first strawberries of the summer as an excuse for celebration. Jam making and berry freezing all day, and for dinner–all we could eat strawberry shortcake! I think I’ll make this delicious-sounding cake for one of those kids’ 24th birthday this summer. Thanks so much for the lovely, lovely site.

    A fellow freckle-face.

  16. I think as an otherwise rational adult, if you want to eat watermelon and chocolate cake that no one should even consider stopping you. It’s YOUR dinner!! I have had ‘non traditional’ meals like that a lot…popcorn and cheese, tortilla chips and salsa, maybe some guacamole, toast with jam, a piece of bread with tapenade. The list is endless.

    Oh, and the cake is gorgeous!

  17. if we can have steak for breakfast…why can’t we have chocolate cake for dinner?? throw all caution and reservations and rules about food to the wind, i say! especially when it comes to chocolate cake :O)

  18. Liz

    Oh my gosh– I made this same cake yesterday! It was delicious and moist and mile-high– it looked like a bakery cake. I was proud of it. =) I’ll definitely make the raspberry modification next time, though. That sounds scrumptious, and it probably cut the richness of the ganache as well.

  19. Liz

    Well, thank goodness someone has the willpower to make the cake! While working late this evening I repeatedly said, “Can’t I just bake a chocolate cake instead of working on [assignment that will never end]?” I’ll muster up that willpower soon, but in the meantime I’ll just drool over your pictures.

  20. Shelly

    Deb help! I want to make this for my best friend for her birthday next week, however she is deathly allergic to eggs. Is there anyway you can make it without? Is there a decent substitute?

  21. L.

    That looks fantastic. Insane.

    Sometimes I eat kettle chips and hummus for dinner and call it even. That’s why I’m classy, and very sophisticated. At least with the watermelon and Chocolate Cake, you’ve got antioxidants and fiber. It’s like stealing a car, then giving it to Meals On Wheels.

  22. Oooh, yes, I’ve made this cake before. Isn’t it the one with the nine gajillion comments? It was for a birthday party, too, and it went over veeeeery well. The decoration is super cute! I love it.

  23. Jezzie

    This is the cake! I made when I ran on in comments the other day about Tina’s birthday. Only, I used cake flour, butter, egg substitute, no salt, and instead of ganache I made a nice glaze and topped it with fresh sliced strawberries. I also made it in a bunt pan, which is all I had, no 10 inch springforms on short notice :(
    I think it needs the 10 inch pans for uniform consistency, but still, it was amazing, and I whole heartedly second your review.

  24. deb

    Jezzie — That’s great. So egg subsitute worked? Just when I think, “I have no idea how to answer this question. NONE.” a new comment pops up! Jezzie, meet Shelly (33); Shelly, meet Jezzie (37). Thank you!

    Luisa — Like, at least that many gajillion, and then some. I’ve been dubious about finding a really great chocolate layer cake for so long (despite the Guinness one, which was about as close as I had come before to this level of awesome, but if possible, this one is even more moist and no hops-y taste, you know, if you were making it for an actual kid’s birthday) and as usual, you cannot go wrong with a 91%/952 reviews Epicurious recipe.

    Oh, and thanks to everyone who said nice things about the freckles. I swear, I don’t hate them. I just seriously scared the shit out of myself when I clicked back to Serious Eats on Friday trying to figure out the cause of all the inbound hits and saw MY HEAD THE SIZE OF THE PAGE. If I can make MYSELF jump a foot in the air, I can only imagine what that would do to an innocent bystander. Or the children. Especially the children.

  25. Dont! Cut! It!

    That’s what I’m screaming at that last photo. Because it’s so beautiful I just want to kiss you. Plus, I’m jealous that I don’t get any.

  26. Im in agreement with everyone here: you in more pictures! I didn’t know you were a professional writer, this explains the witty, well written entries… and now I am craving chocolate cake!

  27. I’ve made this before too, and I was also swooning, and laminating the recipe. I subbed some fragrant coconut oil for a bit more than half of the veggie oil, and I am pretty sure that only served to elevate the awesome. One thing to remember too is that aging the layers for a few days before eating serves to deepen the flavor even more, so it is a great one to make ahead (and I think it is thus a bit less crumbly). And for those of us who want to wait not a second longer to stir up a batch but lack an immediate occasion that merits a huge cake, cupcakes (and cake layers) will happily withstand some time in the freezer as long as they’re wrapped tightly. Yum, thanks Deb!!

  28. I tend to think of chocolate cake as more of a breakfast food. But here in the house of the occasional ice cream dinner I doubt I’ll hear many complaints. It looks absolutely charming!

  29. Shelly

    Ok, nice to meet you Jezzie! Now, my best friend says that egg substitute is made with potato starch and she’s tried it before and has really not liked the taste. So I hit the net once again in search of and found a few recipes that added a bit more oil, and vinegar, of all things. One also added soda (pop, fizzy drink, coke, etc.)
    Deb, if you want to experiment again, I can’t think of anyone better suited for it! hint hint! LOL, I’m not as brave as you are when it comes to trying new recipes.

  30. My mom always tells me about the cake batter. When she was a little girl, she always liked the taste of the batter better than the cake, but her mother wouldn’t let her eat it. So she promised herself that when she grew up, she would make a cake batter and just eat it all- and she did.

    On April Fool’s Day this year, I served my kids a dinner on desert. They thought it was really fun (who wouldn’t), so we will try to make a tradition out of it.

    I have 3 sons and they all request chocolate cakes so I have tried a lot of chocolate cake recipies. I made this recipe back in March for my youngest son’s 4th birthday. I didn’t use the ganache, but my own chocolate buttercream- which after quite a few years of expirementing is nearing perfection. Everyone raved about it, so I will certainly be making it again (and again and again!)

  31. I made this very same cake for my grandfather’s 98th..even though I had problems with it and it stuck to the pans, it was still a big hit..Yours is certainly lovelier to time I hope I have time for decorations.

  32. Jennifer

    As soon as I read that this was going to be your go-to birthday cake from now on, I KNEW that it had to be the 1999 Gourmet recipe. I LOVE this recipe. I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday the first year we were together and have made it every year following. Listen to deb, people– you will need no other chocolate cake recipe.

  33. Ann

    Oh my goodness. I’ll have to make that one for my son’s birthday in September! And one question: the recipe calls for cocoa, but specifically mentions to not use Dutch processed cocoa. Why is that? Thanks!

  34. Jessica

    Shelly #46, I have a recipe that might work for your friend. My mom has been making it for as long as I can remember and it’s the best chocolate cake I have ever had. It is known in my family as wacky cake (because it has vinegar in it and no eggs) and is incredible, moist and obscenely easy.

    Wacky Cake
    3 c. flour
    2 c. sugar
    6 Tbs. cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s – this is not a picky recipe)
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2/3 c. oil
    2 Tbs. vinegar
    2 c. water
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350. Mix together and bake for 30 minutes (ish) in a 9×13 pan til tester shows clean. I have only ever frosted this with butter frosting, but if you were set on the ganache, I’m sure it would be fabulous. If you do want to use butter frosting, here is the recipe I have – it calls for an egg yolk, but I think that it is really only for color (and maybe added moisture), so omitting the egg yolk and adding a Tbs or two of milk to make up for the missing yolk would probably get the job done.

    Butter frosting
    1/2 c. butter, softened
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3 c. powdered sugar
    1 egg yolk
    2 Tbs. milk (or more to reach desired consistency)

    Mix together with a hand mixer. :-)

    If you or anyone else try this, e-mail me – I woud love to know what you thought! jessica (dot) diettrich (at) gmail (dot) com.

  35. Jessica

    BTW, it makes rocking cupcakes also, but it will only need to be baked for 15 – 20 minutes. :-) Oooh, I might have to make some…

  36. Seeing as how today is my birthday AND i’m a chocoholic, I’m going to say that there was divine intervention that you posted this recipe today!

    And I’ll be making it as soon as possible. :)

    It looks delicious and I LOVE your blog!

  37. Amy

    Oh, I shouldn’t have looked. I am currently on sweets overload from making 2 different types of cookies in 2 days. Yet, this is so tempting! If I should happen to break down and make it sometime soon, how long would those 26-30 cupcakes bake for? ;)

    Oh and I have leftover frozen raspberries from when I went berry picking. It is too tempting!

  38. Jezzie

    Shelly…well, the egg substitute I used was made with real eggs so i guess you should go with Jessica’s recipe, but as for taste I noticed no diff, I think ALL THAT AWESOME CHOCOLATE knocked any oddness out. Really, you just need egg for binding and air.
    I guess that is why carbonation substitutes well. six of one…. really mega goodness in this cake, no matter what you do to it, did I mention THE AWESOME CHOCOLATE POW-AH!

  39. Shelly

    You two have convinced me, I am definately giving this a go, but will opt for the ganache due to the fact that this particular friend is so in love with chocolate and will absolutely flip for this, I’ll go whole hog, what the heck, your birthday only comes around once a year! Mine just happens to be on the same day as hers! Yay!

  40. Stunning recipe, photos and blog as usual. Just love visiting and drooling:)

    Recovering from a hand op at the mo but have 14year old son who loves to cook and bake. Will be pointing him in your direction when school finishes for the summer on Thursday.

    Daughter, 12, is a chocolate queen so he may make this cake for her :)

    Thanks for keeping my mouth watering ! Sue (suenicholson.blogspot)

  41. Sharon

    Looks to die for, but I only have 8 or 9 inch cake pans.

    Any idea how to adapt? 2 9″ cakes and a cupcake or 2? My husband will kill me if I buy more baking pans!

  42. deb

    Amy — Most cupcakes bake for between 15 and 25 minutes, depending on the recipe, what’s in it and how full the liners are. I haven’t made these as cupcakes yet, so I’d just suggest that you start peaking at them every 2 to 3 minutes or so starting from the 15 minute mark, until a toothpick comes out clean. I’d also aim for 3/4 full. Most cupcakes need to be filled 2/3 to 3/4, but since these cakes didn’t rise terribly much (for me, at least), I think you’d be safe with 3/4. That said, the safest way to do it, and the way that will guarantee that you waste the least, if you have time to kill, is to put one in the oven alone to figure out the baking time and fullness you want from each and proceed from there.

    Sharon — I actually only had 9″ pans, too, so I made three layers, which worked great. (The other one is stashed away for future use. Or snacking.) From what I gleamed from other Epicurious reviewers, people had had overflow issues when making 2 9-inch layers instead of 10, so best to divide it by three. Or, as you said, make 2 to 4 cupcakes and two fuller 9-inch circles.

  43. That cake looks divine, and you are adorable!! The freckles and the hair and the mischievous expression, just adorable! (Sorry, I don’t mean to sound like your Aunt Mabel or anything, we’re probably close to the same age…)

  44. Aviva

    I actually dreamed about this last night. Joking, I am not– I am an occasional reader, and apparently this post left quite the impression on my subconscious. Around 4 am I found myself in a field of rolling berries, at a huge party, explaining to everyone the genius of the pictured chocolate cake and berries- for dinner.

    Perhaps I should keep these things to myself. Either way, thanks for the post!

  45. Oh, this was a big mistake. I’ve been craving chocolate lately – chocolate cake, to be precise – and winning the battle, but now I’ve seen your gorgeous cake and all resolve is out the window.

    Especially when you add a chilled slice of watermelon with it.


  46. Jim

    Cannot…stop…drooling. And I’m about to go inflict a “light” lunch on myself because I already indulged this week (Homer’s oreo ice cream, which is delicious but nowhere near as good as this cake looks!), so those pictures are KILLIN’ me. The recipe seems a little daunting for a newbie like me, but I have a pair of foodie pals who’ll wanna cook it when they return in a couple weeks. Thanks!

  47. Raspberry filling…brilliant! I made this same recipe from Gourmet, but as directed. It was probably one of the best chocolate cakes ever!
    Love your interview.

  48. Liz

    Hi Sharon–

    I actually have made this cake using 9 inch cake pans, and it worked fine. It made two beautiful, tall layers. It was ready after an hour (rather than an hour and ten minutes).

  49. Deb,
    I went to a dinner party on Saturday AND i had to make dessert (which I love to do) and I decided to make a chocolate cake with ganache and I sure would have LOVED to try your receipe. The one I found was from Epicurious and it was good, dense, and delish but not as pretty as yours, that’s for sure. I will be trying your recipe next.

  50. It’sTuesday

    This is cruel. I’m at work and about a second and a half from licking my monitor. Wonder if that would warrant a call from HR. This cake looks amazing, and has instantly catapulted itself to the top of my “things I must make” list. My favorite dessert of late is from a video recipe i found here:

    It’s a flourless chocolate cake, which is fairly simple to make but extremely delicious. Enjoyed learning the recipe via video — felt like I was in my own cooking class!

  51. sioux

    Ok so the second i saw this post i was possessed by the need to make this cake…but HELP!!! what is grease paper? i have parchment & waxed, but cannot find or figure out what greased paper is. can you enlighten? i’m in nyc too, so if you say ‘fairway has it’, i can process that!!! thanks, sioux

  52. deb

    Aw. “Grease paper” means that you should grease (like with butter or Crisco) the paper, on the side that you’ll be pouring the batter onto. Parchment paper is perfect for this. Should you not have it, waxed paper will do. Greasing the paper is like an extra layer of security, making sure when you peel it back, the cake doesn’t tear. (Especially this one, which is tremendously soft, moist, and I miss it a lot!) Good luck!

  53. sweet!

    It’s my birthday tomorrow and while i will not be able to bake the cake > i have been so inspired and will be having chocolate cupcakes and watermelon slices for dinner in celebration! Thank you oh goddess you!!

  54. Earl

    I have been looking on the web for cakes to serve as dessert in my restaurant…who or what is a reliable source? thanks ….ohhh the picture is great you look really happy and cute!

  55. Made this today for my wife’s birthday and it was fabulous. I swapped milk for the coffee, and did ganache all the way through… but still prepared the raspberry sauce to put on the individual slices of cake. Since I’m at a higher altitude I added another 10 minutes of cooking (probably could have done another 10, and maybe lowered the oven temperature to get more even cooking). Delicious—probably the best chocolate cake I’ve had (my wife sure thought so). Thanks for sharing.

  56. Helen

    Wow! I need to make a cake for my lil bro’s 21st – He’s a huge chocolate fan and I think this may just be THE recipie. However – I need a cake big enough to feed 50 people – or there abouts. Anyone have any ideas how I can make this recipie as a tray bake?

  57. you are killing me here!!! all i can think about is “chocolate chocolate chocolate must have yummy chocolate!!!” i go absoluetly crazy if i don’t have sugar when my cravings come!!! i would like anything that has chocolate and sugar in it!!! especially sugar!!! anything sugary right now would hit the spot!!! i know that you have to keep calm when you’re craving something yummy, but right now mmmm a hershy bar would do just the trick right now!!! my last craving was on thursday andi was so hungry that i ate a whole chocolate bar!!! i probaly should have just taken a little bite. but i was starving!!! i was craving it so bad!!! and now i’ve gotta have some more!!! i can’t wait to bake a cake it will take too long and i need something now!!! immedietly!!! oh thank goodness i just remembered there’s a bag of MnMs in the pantry!!! i’ve gotta have it!!! it may not be a big fat juicy hershy bar but if it’s chocolate it’s good enough for me!!! :drool: *GROWWWWLLLL* that was my hungry tummy!!! *GROWWWWLLLL* gotta go eat the yummy juicy chocolate maybe after i’ve satisfied my craving i’ll have a feast with that juicy big fat yummy cake!!! gotta go those chocolates aren’t going to eat themselves you know!!! *GROWWWWLLLL* i’ll be back to talk about food when all of the chocolates are gone bye!!!*GROWWWWLLLL you know what my tummy is saying? it’s saying “CHOCOLATE!!!” well i have to give my tummy what it wants now bye! mmmm chocolate yummy for my tummy!!! mmmm!!!

  58. elyse

    Oh Deb, you never fail to amaze. I made these into cupcakes and even without the frosting they are so chocolately and fantastic it’s hard to eat, ha. So good.

    Just for posterity/other readers, I made some substitutions: milk instead of coffee; greek yogurt + a little milk instead of heavy cream. They were fantastic :)

  59. Amy

    How long would I bake these for if I made them into cupcakes? Would I use the same oven temp? I’m horrible at figuring out how to use different sized pans! Thanks!

  60. Lee

    Oh my, you ain’t kidding. After months of stalking and re-bookmarking this recipe, I finally made it in cupcake form. It really is Amazing with a capital A. SO moist! and rich! and yummy! And still fantastic four days later (can you imagine the self-restraint?).
    For the benefit of future readers, I got 30 cupcakes plus a mini 8×8 cake out of this recipe. I filled the cups 2/3 of the way up (with a #20 scoop/disher), and they came out perfectly flat on top, which was great for pouring on a chocolate glaze. They baked for 22 minutes in my oven. Oh, and I subbed a 2 to 1 yogurt/milk mixture for buttermilk, and instant coffee+water rather than “real” coffee. Worked just fine :)
    The 8×8 cake is nestled in my freezer for the next time a cake occasion happens. Or, you know, tomorrow, when I can’t resist making the test batch of swiss buttercream any longer.

  61. Nice cake. I made it for my oldest son’s birthday last year and like most of the almost thousand people who had commented on epicurious when I decided to make it, it’s pretty good. What I can’t figure out is why I’m getting hits from this post on my site. Any clues? Tricks? Just curious. Even more funny? I think I may have had about 4 comments on my post when I baked it, so good on you for all this press. Nice job. ;)

  62. danielle

    Hi Deb thanks heaps for sharing this recipe!! :)

    I just got interested in baking recently and stumbled upon yr site. Found this recipe last wkend, and baked this chocolatey cake – the 1st cake I’ve baked!! – for my friend’s birthday today!! :) it was so yummy and sinful!! we took the recommendation and had milk with it – heavenly!! there were 14 of us girls trying to finish the cake but it was impossible!!

    The only thing is that my cakes didnt turn out flat on top (like yours in the pictures) and I don’t know why? I ended up inverting the upper-layer cake just to get a flat surface on top, and then there was this noticeable gap between the 2 layers at the sides where they wouldnt meet. Could you please shed some light on where I went wrong? I used two 8″ pans.

    Thanks in advance and for such a wonderful recipe!! :)

  63. deb

    Hi Danielle — I tend not to get a big dome on this recipe, but I know that there are a lot of variations in altitude and strength of baking powder and soda that can affect this. Nevertheless, if I get any noticeable dome on a layer cake, I simply level it with a long serrated knife. It makes the stacks more stable and less prone to cracking. Hope that helps (for next time at least!).

  64. Pam

    I made the cake today and need some help! I baked it at 300 for 55 min. – used 10″ pans but it was getting a bit brown around the edges and a tester came out clean. I cooled the cakes completely but couldn’t get the cakes out of the pans! I used Crisco to grease the pans and greased wax paper on the bottoms. Was it because I didn’t bake it long enough, should I have greased more generously or should I have floured the pan too? We’re having it tomorrow for hubby’s b-day. I tried to piece it together and I’m sure it will be delicious but I’d love to do better next time. My smitten kitchen e-mails are like a visit with a good friend. Thank-you (and all the people who post) for such wonderful tips!!

  65. Susanne

    I made this for a friend, and had *little* bit of a mix up with the chocolate amount that went in the cake. When reading the recipe, I read the amt of chocolate that went in the frosting and added that to the cake. Whoops. Amazingly, I salvaged the whole thing, and it was the richest thing I’ve ever eaten. Everyone wanted the recipe though! Here are pics and the details of my baking snafu:

    The takeaway lesson? Don’t cook when rushed and distracted!

  66. Lauren

    FANTASTIC! I made this cake for my chocoholic son’s 26th birthday. The entire family gave it a thumbs up (because their mouths were full of chocolate cake!) and demanded the recipe. I will happily share! For those of you who are afraid to make a cake from scratch don’t be, it is soooo easy! Follow the hints supplied above; grease the pans and parchment paper well with shortening, let the cakes cool completely before removing from the pans. I wrapped them in plastic wrap and assembled the cake the next day. I did not use the icing from this recipe but substituted another one that had a more fluffy appearance. Three days later the one remaining slice is still as moist as the first day (kept on a glass covered cake pedestal). Thank you, thank you. I love your website!

  67. Stella

    Ohhh, this looks beautiful, and just in time for my friend’s birthday :D.
    I will definitely be making this.
    I was just wondering, how did you make the coloured icing?

  68. pam

    i took the day off work to make this cake for a dinner party tonight. (gotta love a boss who so totally gets the importance of a well-made chocolate cake!)

    i only had 9″ rounds so i used the excess for cupcakes. baked at 300 for 20 minutes. they turned out great and provided my taste buds with a little teaser for tonight. ;-) i love that this cake is both rich in flavor but light in texture. wonderful! thanks, deb.

  69. Sarah D.

    I just baked your version of this cake (in heart shaped pans) for Valentine’s Day. Devine! The raspberry filling really takes it to the next level.

    I was thinking of baking this again as cupcakes with raspberry filling. Do you think it would work to bake it with the filling, or better to fill after baked? Thanks!

  70. Mel

    This cake is unbelievable. It’s dark and rich and just a bit sticky (though that might be because I erred on the side of underbaking) and utterly amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

  71. Brenda

    I have a chocolate lover’s birthday coming up so I made this cake, (though I haven’t assembled yet.) I baked the two ten inch cakes and made the raspberry filling and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. However, when taking the cakes out of the pans, one broke in half and fell all over the counter…………… the family has been picking up pieces off the counter and devouring them ever since. The broken one is already half gone! This cake is TO DIE FOR and I haven’t even leveled, torted, and frosted it yet! It is hands down the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted, and I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan (the texture usually turns me off) This is delicate, rich, moist, crumbly (I know that’s weird, but it’s true, it crumbles into these decedant little morsels, it’s heaven.) Today I’m going to half the cake recipe to replace the broken, devoured one and assemble the cake tomorrow. AMAZING recipe.

  72. Samphire

    I made this cake yesterday, and it is fantastic. Thanks Deb! I stupidly used someone else’s ganache recipe, supposedly foolproof, which went grainy, so I’ll use yours next time.

  73. I made this cake this afternoon, and it was amazing! I don’t even like chocolate cake all that much, and I was licking the plate. I followed it exactly as Deb wrote, and it turned out beautifully. Thanks so much, my family loved it. By far the best cake we’ve ever had!

  74. This recipe works fabulously even if you only have 2 oz. of chocolate and 1 cup of cocoa powder. I also only added 1/2 cup of oil because in previous attempts to bake cakes with oil instead of butter, they always seem too wet, like they never fully bake. I made the full recipe in a 9″ x 13″ pan. It didn’t dome at all. I lined the bottom with parchment and sprayed with Baker’s Joy and nothing stuck. It was frosted with a whipped cream/cream cheese frosting. I’ll never look at another chocolate cake recipe again. This one owns my heart!

  75. sezbse

    Two questions
    1. Is this cake coffee tasting or does the coffee just bring out the flavor of the chocolate. I want to make it for kids and it probably should be more chocolately than coffee tasting (I know I can use decaf)
    2. Can you give a recipe for the icing you tinted for decoration?
    your cake looks lovely

  76. sezbse

    Oh, and a third question (:-)

    Is the ganache frosting thick enough to pipe rosettes or stars (if I want to skip the plain icing decorations and want to decorate instead with the frosting for the cake?)

  77. deb

    I don’t taste the coffee, ever. If you’re sensitive to coffee, you might. The piping decorating is a quick buttercream, some butter whipped with powdered sugar and tinted with food coloring. Ganache can be cooled enough to pipe but it will never pipe as well as a real, whipped frosting. Ganache itself can be whipped, though — after a long time being beaten, it gets fluffy and lighter. You could pipe that instead.

  78. Hi Deb! Sorry if you’ve answered this elsewhere, but what’s your preferred greasing substance? I’ve read good things about Baker’s Joy but haven’t tried it yet, and Pam never quite works well for me. I’m kinda scared of shortening, but I’d be willing to brave it if it works best :) Thanks!

  79. Aurora

    Deb, I’m going to make this recipe into minicupcakes for a birthday party. I can’t wait.

    Any thoughts on frosting? I want a chocolate-something. I think the ganache might be too heavy? Any good chocolate buttercream recipes?

  80. Gracie B.

    Deb – I was just about to completely give up on you. I love your recipes, but I have several pairs of pants and a roommate who rue the day I discovered your site. The pants because I’m constantly cooking. The roommate because I’m always making a mess when I cook. Then I tasted the batter. Then I tasted one of the extra cupcakes that I made. And even though it was a little burned (was on the bottom rack) it was so yummy and just chocolatey enough and just sweet enough. I love you, but I hate you.

  81. Stella from SF

    Oh I am eating this cake as we speak for breakfast (dangerous!)! a met a woman at a party who made this yummy cake! she did slave over all the details but the end result that went in my tummy was delicious! hope to visit you nxt time i come by!!

  82. Gracie B.

    Haha – So Deb you can see that this cake is a HIT. I took it to a potluck and Stella (above) made sure to take a big piece home. And the anti-chocolate boyfriend scarfed down all but the last corner of cake + frosting (mostly frosting).

    Aurora, my buttercream frosting (which is what I used instead of ganache) is: 2 sticks butter, 4 oz unsweetened chocolate melted and 2+cups powdered sugar (I never measure). I get the butter fluffy then add about 1.5-2cups of sugar, then the melted chocolate, then more sugar as needed. To thin I add a little half and half or milk. I needed not quite 2 batches (one thinned with milk, one not) to cover this cake.

  83. Theadora

    Just wanted to thank you I made this for my friends birthday yesterday and it was my first layer cake ever! With your instructions plus cake tips it went off without a hitch! Ok, it leaned a little but the only person who said anything about it was my fiancee(silly silly man).Thank you so much!

  84. Carolyn

    I made this cake (with the raspberry filling) for a friend’s birthday/PhD defense party, and I hear it was a huge hit! (I sent the cake and went to a baby shower; busy night.) She pronounced it “the best birthday cake I’ve ever had”. I used melted white chocolate, another trick of yours, to pipe on the “Happy Birthday” and to draw salamanders (the birthday girl’s study animal) along the sides. Fun!

  85. Pam

    Hi Deb! I’m making this cake right now for my parents, who are both turning 52 this weekend. I can’t believe I have to wait until tomorrow after dinner to taste it!

  86. Nadia

    I made this cake today without the raspberry filling and using 2 x 8in cake tins. I split the cocoa between dutch and non-dutch process and used full fat natural yoghurt instead of the buttermilk. For the ganache, I increased the quantity of all the ingredients by 50 percent but at the same time used only 320g chocolate (2/3rds of which 70% dark choc and 1/3 creamy milk choc). I also used honey instead of the corn syrup, which I don’t have. The ganache was DREAMY, although next time I will tip it even more in the direction of milk choc and use less dark choc to lessen the chocolate intensity.

    The result was a stunning, gorgeously decadent cake but because I find it difficult to taste something properly until a day after I’ve made it, I have yet to savour it properly.

  87. Nadia

    Savoured properly, this is a stunning cake. I agree with Kelley (above) though in that I can see it working with just 1 cup of cocoa. I would want to take the chocolate intensity away from dark to milk overall but the overwhelming verdict on this cake from everyone at work is that it is gorgeous just the way it is . . .

  88. sandy

    sorry, but I thought this frosting was terrible, I tried to save it with some sweetened whipped cream to no avail. I used semi-sweet chocolate Valrhona, I can’t imagine if I had used bitter sweet, this is proof of different strokes for different folks.

  89. Amy

    Hi Deb. I love this site to pieces! I’m making this cake for a friend for a surprise party but I only have 9×13 pans and no time to buy the rounds. What allowances do I need to make for a 2 layer cake?

    1. deb

      Amy — Unless someone else in the comments has made this alteration — I have not — you’ll just need to watch the oven and the baking time to make it work. And then let us know how it goes so the next person who wants to make this change has your experience to pull from! Thanks.

  90. swapna

    The cake fantastic, my daughter was almost licking the frosting off the cake while we were piling it on………….lovely

  91. jennifer

    Can a simple syrup be used in place of the corn syrup in the frosting? I have a friend who’s allergic to corn (& all corn products), and I want to make her a birthday cake… thanks!

  92. Joyce

    I’m dying to try making this cake, but I want to use Callebaut cocoa powder (personal favorite), which is Dutch processed. Will that disastrously mess with the pH of the recipe? Is there anyway I can change up the baking powder to baking soda ratio in order to correct for that?

  93. Jess

    I’m just wondering if you can taste the coffee in this cake? I want to make this for a friend who is not a coffee fan. I’m afraid to leave it out and mess up the recipe. Also, I wanted to turn this into a Cookies n Cream type cake with vanilla frosting. Do you suggest this recipe or the Devil Dog/Hostess Cake recipe? I know they both use coffee. Thanks!

  94. deb

    I respond to other questions about the coffee in both comment 109 and 113. In short: I don’t notice the coffee but if you’re worried, skip it. This is the same basic cake recipe as the Devil Dog etc. cake.

  95. badcook

    Just made this last night-used the ganache filling because I didn’t have the raspberries. It was, I think, the very best cake I’ve ever had-THANK YOU! I can’t wait to make it with the raspberry…love your blog so much-thanks!!

  96. Caitlin

    I made this cake 2 nights ago and it was amazing. I used cake flour because for once, it was all I had. Normally, it’s the opposite…all I have is cake flour. I replaced 1 cup of the sugar with brown because I ran out of white, and I used a 1/2 cup less coffee because I was worried about the cake being too liquidy (as cake flour is lighter). It was the perfect texture and richness. I loved it. Very chocolately without being too dark; fudgey without being too rich. And for those worried about too pronunced of a coffee flavor, my sister who hates coffee never noticed it was in there and I brew my coffee very strongly. It complimented the chocolate without being over the top. This just became my new favorite chocolate cake recipe. Thank you!

  97. Caitlin

    Two more things: I didn’t have parchment or wax paper and I didn’t want to run out just for it so I heavily greased the sides of 3 8-inch pans. I used a little extra powder than called for and it rose beautifully. It was a little hard to get out but I did manage to do it (although I didn’t wait until it was completely cool — I never do). That said, next time I will make sure I use parchment or wax paper in the pans.

  98. katie

    I made this yesterday for my dh’s birthday and it is super rich and wonderfully moist. Though I bake nonstop, this was my first layer cake! I learned a few things (things I could have learned had I read the comments FIRST, mind you), like you canNOT just sub 9 inch pans for 10 inch. Definitely spilled over the sides. I took it out after 55 minutes because the edges looked definitely done and the tester cake out perfectly clean, but I will let it go longer next time because the it probably needed that extra 5 to firm up a tad more. I also made the raspberry sauce (YUM) but the layers were too moist for me to cut, so I just did a layer of raspberry on one cake and chocolate on the other and put them facing each other- this worked great. I didn’t think there was enough chocolate (for some reason..) and whipped 1 cup of cream with cocoa and folded it in- this lightenend the texture and extended the frosting- good thing because I used it all LOL! I think it was because I did a crumb coat maybe. Anyway, it was fantastic, enjoyed by all! THANK YOU!

  99. Nida

    I just came back from a BBQ for which I’d baked this and I just had to share the fact that everyone loved this! In fact, everyone loved it so much that no one ate a cheesecake someone else had made, making me feel so guilty that I insisted I loved the cheesecake so much I wanted to bring a large chunk of it home with me. Heh.

    Anyway, I made some changes.

    1. About 3oz of milk chocolate in the frosting (I didn’t have 1 lb dark chocolate leftover after making the layers)

    2. Used 8″ pans, so I got three layers about 2″ thick. I used all three, didn’t split them horizontally since I figured there was no need to do that as they weren’t too thick to begin with.


  100. Emma

    I would love to make this lovely cake for a friend’s birthday, however she has celiac…do you think I would get the same results with almond flour instead of regular flour?

    Thanks for all the lovely recipes!

  101. Diane

    Hi Deb. I have actually made this cake twice. Got the recipe from It is so decadent the only problem I have with this cake is that it falls apart when I’m decorating. It’s more like the sides of the cake that fall off when I cover it with frosting. From the comments I’ve read on epicurious and other sites quite a lot of other bakers have had the exact same problem. I wonder if you’ve ever had any such problems with this cake. I hope to fix it cause I really love this cake.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog.

  102. Sarah

    Deb – I made this cake for my mom and sister’s birthday recently. It was absolutely delicious!!!! Loved it!!!! The only problem I had was the middle of the cake kind of sank in. Do you know why this happened or have any suggestions to avoid this in the future?

  103. Krista

    This cake is fabulous! I made it (along with your ganache and raspberry filling) for the groom’s cake at my nieces wedding this past weekend. It was a huge hit! You were right about it being so moist though.. I had some trouble moving it around.. and almost lost the whole thing at one point. It was so worth the time that went into it though! Just need to make it on a smaller scale next time :) Thanks!

  104. Another fan here! Made the cake for my son’s 1st birthday. Covered it with while fondant and everyone “hated” me for making such a good cake. So, thank you for posting the recipe!
    Adding picture instead of website :)

  105. aliplus3

    This sounds absolutely amazing, and I’m plannign to make it for my husband’s birthday this weekend. Baking the layers tonigth adn freezing them (thanks for the tip Deb). But I don’t understand the diff between dutch process cocoa and non-Dutch processed cocoa. Is it terrible if I use the dependable Fry’s cocoa I always bake with (made by Cadbury’s)? Help? Also, what kind of icing did you use for the lovely coloured decorations on the cake?

  106. Mmmmm. I had this for my birthday, and it was incredibly moist and chocolatey. I put raspberry jam in the middle, and a fluffy meringue icing on top. The only thing was, we had a little communication error and ended up putting the whole of this 10-inch cake into 9-inch pans. There was some overflow. Still, it tasted AbFab. Thank you for it.

  107. Danielle

    I can easily agree with everyone else that this cake was amazing. Thank you! Also wanted to share the results of a happy accident: I forgot the butter in the ganache and let it cool a little too long. It tasted great, but didn’t look very pretty. Ended up coating the whole thing again with a dark chocolate ganache since I was out of semi-sweet chocolate. The combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate was delicious and I think I’d do the exact same thing next time.

  108. Lora

    Deb, I’ve been meaning to stop by here for a while and let you know that I’ve tried quite a few of your recipes (the french toast – awesome, the tomato soup – perfect, the fruit crumbles – drool…and this cake which is so awesome and perfect and drool worthy that it’s finally official…you are one of my very favorite food bloggers (I read A LOT of food blogs so in my universe this is a big deal). And you make delicious little babies too…!

  109. Emily

    if making this in a kitchenaid, should i use the whisk attachment or the paddle? i thought whisk, but then i saw the paddle in your picture.

  110. Kathy (Nina)

    I made this cake a day before I needed it. It was more moist the next day. I used
    made from scratch chocolate pudding for filling, only because someone ate the raspberries. It was outstanding. Everyone said it was the best chocolate cake
    ever to cross their lips.

  111. Rebecca

    I want to make this recipe in a few weeks, and I have a question, hopefully someone could please answer!

    My mom bakes a lot, but we never had buttermilk in the house growing up. I’ve tried and loved a bunch of recipes from this site, but I can definitely taste the buttermilk, and I think I’d prefer the taste of plain ol’ milk. Could I sub in plain milk without problems? Is the buttermilk just a flavor thing, or does it change the chemistry of the cake? Thanks!

  112. anna

    if you substitute buttermilk with regular milk, you’ll need do adjust the amounts of baking powder and baking soda, because of the higher acid content in buttermilk.
    For each cup of buttermilk used instead of milk you will want to use 2 teaspoons less baking powder and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

  113. Rebecca, and Anna, another way to sub regular milk for butter milk is to add 1 tsp vinegar to each cup of regular milk (ie 1 1/2 cups buttermilk=1 1/2 cups milk + 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar). I just pulled my cakes out of the over with this substitution and they’re the lightest, tenderest cakes I’ve ever made, just as Deb described. :o) Soooo happy!

  114. Rebecca

    At the last minute, I decided to just follow the recipe to the letter (including buttermilk) the first time I try it.

    And I just have to say a huge THANK YOU to Deb for the recipe, because this was probably the best cake I have ever made. I used the raspberry filling (bliss), and the whole thing was amazing, so moist and gooey with a deep chocolate flavor. Everyone who tried it loved it!

    I definitely wouldn’t call this an easy recipe (for me it was a serious labor of love spread out over two full evenings), but it was well worth it. I will definitely make it again!

  115. just finishing up this cake right now. I doubled it and made it in a 10 inch pan (or maybe it’s 11 hmm) anyway..the ganache came out perfect! FINALLY, tried making another time and went wrong somewhere! I am going to post pics later on my blog and fb page! It’s a birthday cake for my brother in law!! DId a little topper deco w/ some fondant!!
    I am obsessed (in a good way…not a scary way lol) with your website! I have a mess in my tiny little CT kitchen…always trying out these far the yellow cake is my ultimate favorite!! And I am not much of a cake eater…that cake is beyond delicious…it’s hard not to keep sneaking taste…

  116. Kristen

    You have NO idea how obsessed I am with your blog. It’s a little pathetic because whenever friends, family or coworkers ask where I got a recipe, 9 times out of 10 it’s from your blog and I seem terribly unoriginal (especially since I have gazillions of cookbooks that I love but are sorely underused!)

    I’ve looked through a whole bunch of your cake tips and skimmed through comments and didn’t see any tips on splitting layers (sorry if I missed it!). So, do you have any tips? I haven’t attempted it in a while, but I have trouble cutting through in a straight, even line down the middle. I have a long serrated knife, but it’s kind of an awkward angle to cut something so big. Also, once you have them cut, then you are left with fragile, thin, floppy layers that you have to safely maneuver while filling the cake. I guess freezing them first will help, but any other tips? Especially since I always seem to overestimate how much time I actually have to make something and get out the door….

    I’m baking this cake tonight and I’m sure my husband would appreciate any advice you could give so that I’m not a screaming crazy person in the kitchen tonight. I’ll be damned if I’m not going to have four layers and get all of that ooey gooey raspberry filling in.

    1. deb

      Kristen — I do use a long, sharp serrated knife to split layers. You can also buy a layer-splitting tool. However, no matter what you use, this ridiculously moist ridiculously delicious cake will be difficult because it is so soft. My trick is to freeze the layers, then cut them, which makes it a lot easier. Still fragile, but a little less so. They’ll defrost as you frost them, or within the hour that follows.

  117. Kate Cohen

    This is husband-related, not baking-related. Last June, around when Cook’s Illustrated came out with that super-easy method for making french fries, I declared to my kids that we would celebrate the last day of school with a dinner of french fries. There would be watermelon if they wanted but they were not required to eat anything healthy. French fries, watermelon, and margaritas for the grownups (we had two teacher friends over as well). And it totally freaked my husband out–he kept asking our guests if they wanted some real food too! He’s supposed to be the kid in this relationship for goodness sake. Perhaps he would have gone for the chocolate cake idea instead.

  118. Marie

    I made this cake this weekend for my mom’s birthday and it was SO GOOD! The cake is moist and lovely, the raspberry filling was tart and yummy, and the ganache was the perfect coating.
    I made it in 3 9in pans (as suggested by Love and Olive Oil) and it was just the right amount of batter, plus the 3 layers make for a very tall and dramatic cake.

  119. Tiny Kitchen

    Why are your recipes so good? Seriously, I read them and know they will turn out well — you can see why this cake is moist and soft with balanced flavors just by ticking through the ingredients. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, there is no better desert combination than raspberries and chocolate, so kudos on adding the filling. But question — in your experience, is this cake too soft to cover with fondant? I am dying to give this cake a whirl instead of the so-so Williams Sonoma devil’s food recipe I have used in the past, but am concerned about the sagging/crushing the fondant will cause if it’s as soft as you say.

  120. lauren

    heard great things about this cake and just tried it…massive fail! i don’t know what i did wrong but it overflowed the pans and burnt onto the bottom of my oven! so sad. my house is now stinky and smokey. :(

    the batter was super-tasty so i’m of to the store for a second try.

  121. Symphonic Chef

    I made this cake yesterday for my father-in-law’s 60th. Deb, you weren’t kidding, this cake is AMAZING. I used the raspberry filling, and decorated the top with raspberries as well. I also added a tiny bit of instant espresso to the ganache.. Yum. It was moist, rich, soft, and beautiful too! Thanks for the tips on making layer cakes- the freezing came in handy here!

  122. Tiny Kitchen

    I’ve made lots of other dishes from your site. Loved the oreo cookies, the icebox cake and the snickerdoodles. Have happily borrowed components from other recipes, such as the frosting for your cinammon buns. But this, this was TRANSCENDENT. My husband agreed and I that it was by far the best chocolate cake we’d ever eaten in our lives, no contest. My mother, a very harsh critic, wanted to take a quarter of the cake home. The cake was SO GOOD I ate around the frosting (I used buttercream instead of ganache). Next time (and there will be a next time), I will bake this in three separate cake pans with raspberry filling between each layer and will pour a simple glaze over it. Or squeeze raspberry filling into cupcakes and top with a glaze. It will not be as pretty, I’m sure, but I want to do nothing but highlight its perfect chocolate cake-i-ness. Actually, it would even be perfection in a bundt pan with a glaze and/or raspberry sauce poured over it. Oh my. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE.

  123. Jenn

    Again another super, fabulous recipe! I made these as St. Patty’s treats (with cream cheese frosting) and was told numerous times they were incredible. AND an experienced baker (and eater) told me this was hands down the best chocolate cake she’d ever had… thanks!

  124. Deborah

    Made this for a neighbor’s birthday this weekend. I used a bittersweet chocolate frosting from Cooks Illustrated, which is silky smooth & oh so yummy & I put store bought seedless raspberry preserves in the middle. All I can say is….”YUM!” I was a little scared of this cake, since the finished product felt like it weighed about 10 lbs–but my fears were put to rest with the very first bite. The cake got rave reviews and a little slice goes a long way, since it is rich. Thanks for the recipe.

  125. hey deb,
    question..I am making this cake, tonight, (AGAIN) but my friend wants a cherry filling? ANY suggestions..I went out and purchased cherry preserves..what do you think? I’ve never filled a cake w/ cherries!!!

  126. NCcook

    i love your blog!!! i talk about you and your recipes so much people think we actually know each other. creepy? yes. pathetic? yes. true? yes. anyway i made this yesterday and it is delish!

  127. Melanie

    I’m thinking of baking this cake for my chocolate lover roommate’s birthday, but I myself am not a huge fan of coffee, so I guess my first question is how noticeable is the coffee in the cake? If it is present, could I substitute it for some sort of raspberry liquiore? I’ve seen a bunch of recipes with it and they sound interesting. Thanks in advance!

  128. Elise

    I just made this cake for my daughter’s 7th birthday party. It is sitting on the counter waiting to be devoured. It looks absolutely incredible! I used 2 9″ pans because I don’t have 10″, and the layers ended up very tall, which was great because it made it easier to split them. I did a total of four layers. I used seedless raspberry preserves instead of making raspberry filling, and I used Ina Garten’s ganache recipe because it’s one I know well. I put ganache between the middle layers, and the raspberry preserves between the topmost and bottom-most layers. My daughter decorated the top with chocolate chips and fresh raspberries.

    This really does seem to fit the bill for the classic birthday cake. Rich, chocolatey, and beautiful. You can’t get much better than this!

  129. Kim

    Hi Deb,

    Was thinking about making a variation of this cake (thinking of doing a mascarpone cream filling with the jam) for my daughter’s 1st bday party this weekend and needed to feed about 30-35 people. Will this be enough? Would doubling it be enough, or would that yield an obscene amount of batter? Thanks for any help you can offer me. Love to read your posts.
    Take care,


    1. deb

      Kim — Will there be other desserts? Would you be interested in making a 1.5x cake, a towering three layers instead of two? Otherwise, looks like you could double it and make a two-layer 9×13 cake…

  130. Kim

    Thanks for the quick response. Yes, there will be other desserts. If I did the 3 layers – would I use 3 10″ pans? Could I still split the 3 layers (making 6 layers) – or would the cake not be able to handle this? I suppose making a square or rectangular cake would be slightly easier (maybe?), but I do like the idea of a round cake.

  131. Jasmine

    For those with gluten allergies, I have a gluten free version baking in the oven right now. Tasted the batter and it taste good, so hopefully the finished product will be great also. Here is what I did to modify it for gluten free.

    Add: 1tsp xanthum gum. (this will prevent the cake from crumbling)
    Replace all four with the following:
    1/2cp potato starch
    1/4cp Tapioca Starch
    < 1 3/4cps brown rice flour

    It is currently in the oven, so not sure how much longer it will take. One thing I have noticed with modifying recipies to be gluten free is to cook the cake longer than stated. If the bottom starts to burn, I will drop the temp and move to a top rack to finish baking. Baking for longer will dry the cake out and prevent it from crumbling.

  132. Hi Deb, made this and the southwest brisket, dead simple slaw, and pickled onions tonight for my friend’s birthday here in Edinburgh. Everything was amazing! I baked the cake in one 9 inch layer and one 10 inch layer, and tiered them. We had a bit of raspberry filling left over, and not quite enough ganache, but it was otherwise a huge success. And the brisket and slaw were fab!

  133. Lindsay

    This is, hands down, bar none, the BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER EATEN! I am a chocoholic, but chocolate cake is never rich enough for me. I always find myself wishing I was eating a brownie (or a chocolate-frosted brownie…or chocolate fudge…or a jar of nutella). This cake, however, is chocolate nirvana. Seriously. It’s so rich and so flavorful and so chock full of awesome that the mere thought of it is sending me into a tizzy. I baked the cake in two, 9-inch pans, which was a real mistake. I lit my oven on fire…woops! However, after fanning the flames, cleaning up the goopy mess, and popping the cakes back in, I assembled the messy monstrosity I created and covered up the ugly with uber-rich chocolate frosting. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest thing I have ever baked (largely due to my own incompetence), but it was without a doubt one of the most delicious things I have ever encountered! EVER! In sum, I kinda liked this cake. I guess.

  134. Lindsay: Sorry to hear about the flames, I had a similar experience too trying to cram Deb’s vanilla pound cake into one single loaf pan. My house was smokey till the next day!

    Deb: My friends and boyfriend can’t shut up about this cake. I’m planning to bake it for the THIRD time next weekend. Thank you so so much for the recipe!

  135. Lauren

    What a yummy cake!! I made this for my Mom’s birthday last week – she loved it…heck we all loved it! The coffee and raspberries makes this such a delicious treat! Easy to make too! Thanks :)

  136. pooja

    Dear Deb

    I am from India and big fan of your recipes and blog. I have tried quite a few of them and they have turned out just fabulous everytime. I intend to make one of your “celebration cakes” for my Husband’s birthday day after and i have zeroed on double chcocolate layer cake for the occassion. i have few doubts. it would be really nice of you if you could sort them out.

    1. How much does 2 1/2 cup of all purpose flour come to weight wise in grams? the cup here may not be similar to what you have back home. similarly one cup heavy cream amounts to how many ml and half cup butter again how many grams?

    2. my oven is just too small and only one tin can go in at a time. is it ok to keep the remaining batter in fridge for 1 hr duration that first layer is baking or should i make fresh batter?

    3. does taste differ too much if cake is served chilled? Im scared the chocolate may not hold at 45 degree celcius temp that we live in.

    i am praying you reply soon as i would be starting in about 10 hours and it will be easier with your inputs.

    Thanks a ton and congratulations for having one of the most wonderful food blogs. :)


    1. deb

      It should be about 320 grams. There are many ingredient converters online where you can enter the other ingredients. You can bake one at a time; I leave the other out on the counter, it doesn’t go bad that fast. I like my cakes chilled, anyhow, doesn’t matter though the frosting will be hard. Enjoy!

  137. pooja

    Dear Deb
    Thanks a ton for that quick response. I wont go in details as how some other “prominent bloggers” have NEVER replied to a doubt, but I must say that ur as fabulous a person as your blog. Shall let you know how it turns out.
    Thanks again


  138. pooja

    Dear Deb
    The first layer has come out beautifully and looks divine. Im resisting with all my might not to scrape too many bits from the edges :D
    the second layer has just gone in oven and im keeping my fingers crossed :)
    will let u know of the final outcome and the verdict. thanks again!


  139. pooja

    Dear Deb
    Well..I dont have enough words..i dont have right words to tell you what a smash hit this cake was! nobody could believe it was home baked in first place! everyone took a BIGGER slice back home! thanks a ton to you and your killer recipe! im coming back to you for many more :)


  140. Charlie

    Hey, firstly, I love your blog! Your pictures and descriptions make the food so much more exciting! :)
    I would love to make this cake for my birthday, but my problem is I don’t know the conversions into the British metric system, and I’m not sure how the “cup” system works. Do you know of a particular size equivalent I could use, so that I could create my own makeshift “cup”?
    If you do, that awesome, otherwise don’t worry, thank you!

  141. Charlie

    Heya! Just checking back in to say that I made this cake, and it was delicious!! My layers were very thick so I made it into two cakes, but covered in icing it still looked great (not as pretty as yours, though!)

  142. Claire

    This cake was (and will continue to be) amazing! I did make a few adjustments, because I only have an 11″ cake pan I made one fat layer, and covered it with rasberry frosting (I made it by mushing rasberries through a fine mesh strained and then adding that to powdered sugar and 1tsp vanilla) and it turned out adorably pink. This cake alway gets rave reviews! Love love love this cake, and smittenkitchen in general

  143. Hanna

    Of course you love this cake!!! I love this cake! I have made this a gazillion times including twice for wedding cakes. Delish—I think I will make it again.
    Thanks. Oh and I love your blog. We have babies about the same age–so I love seeing and hearing about yours.

  144. Sam

    I am making this cake with your swiss buttercream frosting for my grandparents 50th anniversary. I muust say, i’m very excited! What could i sub for the coffee to make it more chocolatey instead of coffee tasting, since my grandmother doesn’t like coffee?

  145. May

    Hi Deb! I love your website and have learned so much. I just wanted to ask a question about your delicious raspberry filling: Will it last several hours (6 or more) in a rolled fondant covered cake that will not be refrigerated?


  146. Sinead

    One of my very best friends, Emma, is moving to Taiwan in a few weeks and I wanted to make her something rather special for her surprise party tomorrow. I happened upon your blog because I know my mother reads it quite often, and you can never trust every recipe you get off the Internet. I spent the afternoon baking and the cake turned out beautifully. It came out of the pan just right and cooked evenly. But, more importantly, it is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever had the fortune to comsume. I used the raspberry filling idea, however I only made it 2 layers. I also had some fun decorating with a florentine technique I saw demonstrated by chance on a Julia Child cooking show. The chocolate harded very quickly so it did not work exactly how I had wanted it to. I would suggest that anyone who was up to trying this use something other than simply melted chocolate (maybe add cream? I am not sure.)

  147. Sandy

    Thanks you so much for your post! I stumbled across your blog and this *awesome* cake recipe when I was looking for a great birthday cake for my daughter. I made the chocolate cake with 3 layers in 9″ pans, with raspberry filling between the layers. I did not let the ganache cool as much as you recommended so that it would stay glossy on the cake. It turned out beautifully! And it was definitely my best attempt at a from-scratch chocolate cake. The only change I made (if it can even be considered one) is that instead of hot brewed coffee, I made 2 shots of espresso and then added hot water to equal 1-1/2 cups. Thank you! I look forward to exploring your blog some more now that I know about it!

  148. Erika

    Thanks for this recipe. My husband and I recently made a chocolate layer cake (the middle layer was chocolate cheesecake) and I needed an easy frosting. I didn’t have heavy cream so I substituted it with 2/3 c. 1% milk with 1/3 c. butter and it came out wonderfully. Everyone loved it. Thanks!

  149. Sarah

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been reading for months, and I love your site, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m hoping you can help me.
    This recipe is exactly what I was looking for for my mum’s 60th birthday party this weekend. Unfortunately, the party takes place at a cottage where kitchen facilities are limited. I’m going to pre-bake and freeze the cakes, but I am hoping to make the icing as well. Do you think, if I made it on a Wednesday night, it would keep, refrigerated, until Friday, when I’ll be icing the cake?

  150. deb

    The icing will get hard in the fridge. You might be able to bring it back to room temperature and rewhip it… I haven’t tried to do this, though.

  151. Sarah

    Hmmm, that does present a challenge. Whipping it there isn’t an option, no electricity = no electric mixer. I’m going to have to ponder this one for a day or two….

  152. Danielle

    @Sarah- I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday a few weeks ago. I refrigerated the icing and just took it out and stirred it well and it iced just fine. Although I haven’t made it any other way so I don’t actually have a comparison. Note- I did do a crumb coating right after making the icing so maybe that made the difference?

  153. laurie

    Hi Deb,
    Chocolate cakes and cookies are somewhat mystifying for me–such as, what effect does cocoa have vs. chocolate in the final product? I prefer (understatement) chocolate-only brownies so I thought that I might feel the same way about a cake. Reasons I chose this one: This one had both choc and cocoa, used buttermilk and called for AP flour instead of cake flour. Oil over butter was a plus. Just easier. I had callebaut chocolate and valrhona cocoa on hand. I used 9 inch pans and made an extra 8 cupcakes. Enough with the blabbering. It came out delicious. Thank you!

  154. laurie

    I make a icing that calls for more butter and powdered sugar, but otherwise is very similar. I whisk by hand first and get it smooth. Then I refrigerate it. About every 15-20 minutes I pull it out and give it another good whisk. The outside sets up faster than the middle of the bowl so you give it a good stir to even out the temperature as it cools. When it starts firming up, switch to a spoon. I find this an easier method than an ice bath if you have the time.

  155. Ann

    I have made this cake!! Got the recipe from Epicurious 3 years ago. It is now my only “celebration” chocolate cake recipe. Everyone says it is the best chocolate cake they’ve ever made. But, because I don’t love super sweet icings, I make a chocolate mousse icing instead.

  156. Jennifer Barclay

    Hi Deb. I’d like to make this cake for my son’s 2nd birthday on Sunday, but we aren’t coffee drinkers. Could I use hot water?? or another substitute?? Definitely going for the raspberry filling and thinking of doing your swiss butter cream?? Since we’d like to do a “cars” themed top. Thanks so much in advance for your response, and as always thank you for your wonderful pictures!!!

  157. eliza

    OMG i made this cake and can die a happy woman now!! Everyone raved about it and couldn’t believe I made it, and I kind of couldn’t either. The raspberry filling was great – I will put even more in there next time. It really helps to balance out the intense but awesome chocolateness. The freezer trick and the simple syrup tip were huge pluses and made such a difference – thanks Deb! My cakes will never be the same again!

  158. Hi, Ive recently fallen in love with this website, and firstly, I just wanted to say thank you for writing it and being such an inspiration! So heres my question: could I bake this cake without layers? As in, put all the batter into one cake tin? Also, would it go well with a caramel cream cheese frosting..? As I was thinking of doing this (for a birthday cake) and wanted your kind advice! Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hi Ismat — Glad you’re enjoying the site. I would halve it. It is probably too much batter for one pan, and would take forever to bake. That way you can make a single-layer cake.

  159. Cindy

    Hi – I made this cake today- as a matter of fact it is cooling right now. I used 3 9″ pans- they cooked in a bout 50 min- at least the tester came out clean. I am concerned that this is a very large difference in the baking time. Will the cake be tooo moist???? I have made a coconut custard filling and am planning on frosting it with a coconut Swiss butter cream coated with toasted coconut. Sort of that mounds bar thing. I will let you know how it turns out when I bring it to work tomorrow. I am debating wether or not I should split the layers- I think they may not be sturdy enough to support the heavy filling….any suggestions???? thanks- I love this site- I look forward to every new entry and thoroughly enjoy perusing the older ones. Thanks for such a wonderful distraction!!!

  160. Katie

    I have to say, I’m not a chocolate lover, or all that good of a baker by any stretch, and have never baked a moist cake in my life despite all my best efforts. But! I made this today for my dad’s birthday and WOW. I actually can say I can’t get enough of this cake! And it’s moist! And my dad even liked it, and he’s convinced that everything that isn’t german chocolate cake is a joke. He even stared at me bewildered when I said it had coffee in it (we used an organic dark roasted Peruvian blend that is hands down amazing in taste). We’re also using the left over ganache to dip strawberries in :).

    On another note, my favorite “dinner” is crackers and cheese. Any crackers and cheese. My sister in law and I have been known to say “Eff it!” and just scarf that down instead. We really love cheese. And not having to do dishes.

  161. Liz

    Deb, this cake is amazing. I had some rather unfortunate moments while baking it (not measuring my cake pans & consequently finding the source of “that burning smell” to be overflowing cake batter), but it still managed to be delectable and has been well loved. I also had a bit of trouble with the raspberry filling — how long did you let yours boil? And did you use all of the filling? Mine didn’t seem to readily thicken, and then when I put on the second layer, most of it oozed out. I salvaged it by providing the remaining filling (which was tons) on the side, but I wonder: did you have to refrigerate yours a while before putting on the second layer? Many thanks.

  162. Catherine

    I made the cake from your peanut butter chocolate cake..because it is so amazing and delicious, I thought why change a good thing :P I used the chocolate ganache recipe from here and I also made the raspberry filling, but instead of raspberries I used strawberries. For the layers I put chocolate ganache and strawberry filling and then coated the whole cake in the ganache. Incredibly delicious and a highly recommended combination, both the ganache and the filling were quick and easy to make. I used the extra strawberry sauce over icecream…mmmm!

  163. Val

    OMG, I did this today for my roomie’s and everyone loved it! But GOD… I don’t know what you used to mix the cake ingredients together because MY GOD there was a lot! I had to seperate the liquids into 2 bowl and then go cup by cup for the dry ingredients… I did a 4-berries filling, the ganache for the icing and used your cream cheese icing from another post you did to write and decorate the cake.

  164. Claudia

    This is also my very very favorite chocolate cake recipe!!

    Yes- prepare a large bowl! I usually make it with 3 smaller cake pans (I love my 6-inch pans!) and make cupcakes to store in the freezer as well. (I would say ‘just in case’, but really, its so I can eat my cake before everyone else can!)

  165. Claudia

    Additionally… I made the raspberry filling and it was delicious. I didn’t have a strainer so I included the seeds- I actually liked the texture there. I will definitely be making the filling from now on!

  166. I just did this recipe in a cupcake version. It was awesome! I made at least 34 cupcakes. I didn’t actually count at the end, but it was a bunch. I made the filling and used a round tip on a pastry bag and piped the filling into the cupcakes. It worked best when the cupcakes and filling were both totally cool. Then I just poured a layer of the ganache filling on top of the cupcakes while it was still warm. They kept great in the fridge for 5 or 6 days. The cake was delicious and moist, and the dark chocolately ness of it all was enhanced by the contrast to the tart raspberry filling. These were a huge hit at both events I served them at and will definitely be making these again!

  167. Grace

    DEB! Wow! Made this for myself for my birthday. MMMMMMMM, so so so good. My guests all raved about it too. I served the raspberry sauce on the side, and will increase the frosting by 50% next time (because there will certainly be a next time) as I had to skimp on the sides to cover 3 9-inch layers. Another Smitten Kitchen winner to add to my list. Thank you!

  168. laurie

    I made this a 2nd time and I liked it better than the first. Valhrona cocoa is just a bit too dark for my taste so I used 1 cup Valhrona and 1/2 Hershy’s. I think it’s absolutely perfect. I used 2 8×8 dark-coated round pans, filling them about 1/2 full. Baked 45 minutes. We had enough batter for an additional 17 cupcakes. Mmmm!

  169. Erica

    I was making the cake with the raspberry filling today and when i made the raspberry filling i added just a dash of orange juice and a couple sprigs of thyme leaves and it added just the perfect touch! Also, I made the cakes in 3 8″ pans instead and i had a little extra so i made a few cupcakes and i’m about to fill them with the raspberry! i thought it was a cute idea :)

    p.s. i have made so many of your recipes and loved them ALL!

  170. Sierra

    I made this today for a bridal shower. The bride-to-be has a lot of food allergies, so I had to adapt it a bit. I substituted the flour with a wheat-free all-purpose flour, used beet sugar, made my own version of corn syrup with the beet sugar, used a non-dairy buttermilk alternative…it was a lot of work and substitutions, but it’s a testament to the recipe that it came out perfectly. You can’t even tell that it’s not a perfectly normal amazing chocolate cake.

    I also used cherries instead of raspberries because of what I had available, and it is wonderful. I love your site and recipes, and I want to thank you especially for sharing this one.

  171. Helyn

    okay, i know this is an older post, but hoping someone will answer me. i have made cake from this recipe and now have three recipes worth of cake layers as i am planning on making a wedding cake for a family wedding celebration on thanksgiving day when everyone is gathered… i am sooooo excited, this cake batter is dreamy smooth, the batter is delish and the crumbs in the pans after i removed them were to die for!! : )

    i have triple wrapped and frozen the layers and plan to get up super early to create tiers and decorate. i know this is not the ideal time to ask this question, but has anyone had experience freezing this cake? my big fear now is it might dry it out. i plan to use simple syrup before frosting it. thanks!

  172. @anjali #218: It depends on your oven, check at the 50 minute mark.

    @Deb and @Helyn #238: I also recently made this cake in advance and froze it in triple clingfilm. Makes life much easier not to have to do everything in one day. I think this will be the fourth time I’m making this.

  173. Liz D.

    As usual, SK comes to the rescue. I wanted something spectacular for our 6th wedding anniversary (and our first with a baby). After searching around town for a beautiful, decadent chocolate cake and finding none (what is wrong with people?) I came to my favorite food blog, knowing that there would be a chocolate-cake-to-die-for on here (thanks to Deb’s talent, and Alex’s food preferences) and here it is.
    Now this cake is sitting in my dining room, tall and glorious (four layers – I went buck wild, people) and full of all the decadence I had been seeking. It only took me five hours (on and off, with the baby you know) and a mound of dishes. Totally worth every bit. Thanks, Deb.

  174. Helyn

    Oh so very good to hear that freezing is fine! : ) I am about to make the frosting and get everything ready for early morning assembly, thanks for everything! Will report back on how it went (myself? I can’t wait to sink my fork into a slice!).

  175. Sarah

    I’m currently in the process of making this cake for a friend’s birthday, with a few tweaks. First, I’m giving the cake an orangey hint by making an orange sugar syrup and pouring it over the cake layers as they cool. Second, I’ve made a pistachio mascarpone filling to go in the middle. Should be delicious but exotic. Can’t wait! Thanks for the great recipe. I feel like it can be basic or be edited in a millions ways.

  176. Carly

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I knew it was good when I made it for my boyfriend and he committed the ultimate sin by declaring it better than his mother’s cooking. With high expectations, I requested it for my birthday and and I absolutely love it. I’m still halfway through the first slice, but I know what I’ll be having for breakfast tomorrow. Great recipe Deb

  177. Debra

    This was FANTASTIC – a huge hit at my daughter’s birthday party. This was the first cake I ever made from scratch (sad, I know) and I’d do it again. I used a very ordinary chocolate buttercream instead of your ganache recipe, but the cake itself was the star. Fabulous! Thank you – I love your site.

  178. Carly

    I’m making the monkey cake for a first birthday this weekend (and knew I would be from the moment I saw it. I can’t believe the day is actually approaching!), but I’m afraid banana cake won’t be the crowd pleaser I think it should be. I want to do one layer of chocolate cake and one of banana for the big cake. These days I just don’t trust any recipes that haven’t been tested by you first so I’m trying to choose the best option from your chocolate cakes. I see that you mention that this one isn’t exactly the most stable, but do you think it would work as the top layer for the monkey cake?

    1. deb

      It will be delicious. It’s not the most sturdy cake (it’s soft) but this is not a bad thing — it’s incredibly moist with a wonderful crumb. It just means it’s a little trickier to move the layers.

  179. Robin

    I am usually not a proponant of “fake” baked goods (fake dairy, fake fat, fake sugar) but my Dad’s birthday is coming up and he loooooves chocolate but has recently become very lactose intolerant. Using margerine in frosting has worked for me before, but I am stumped on the buttermilk. Deb, have you ever tried using regular milk instead of buttermilk before? Lactaid is regularly available, but I don’t know about a buttermilk option.

  180. Chelsea

    I was wondering if I could make this in a 6 inch round cake pan? Obviously I would have to cut the recipe down, but I am not sure by how much. Would I cut the recipe in half? Or even more than that? Any help would be great. Thanks!

  181. Alice

    After being snowed in for 4 days (in Dallas!) my husband declared that he needed a layered chocolate cake. I knew this would be the one and it did not disappoint! Thank you for sharing this recipe – I love the deep flavors and soft crumb.

  182. Brenda

    A wonderful cake! I made this for my son’s first birthday – and surprise – he LOVED it! Next time, I’ll grease the pans more heavily as I had difficulty getting them out – I also used two 8-inch pans. The raspberry filling was a nice touch. I felt I could have used more ganache…it just barely covered the cake. I used the classic buttercream icing from the blog In sum, a wonderfully moist and delicious cake with great chocolate flavor – I also used Callebaut. Thanks!

  183. Kat

    Not that anyone should need more encouragement to make this cake, but I just wanted to 259th the recommendation. I have made this cake from Epicurious many times before, always to sighs and fork-licking and furtive midnight snacking. I love it so much that I actually experienced a moment of fear when I saw a double chocolate layer cake while browsing your celebration cakes archive–I was afraid I would have to reconcile your cake with “my” cake. Imagine my relief!

    I use the ganache for filling and frosting and just drizzle the raspberry on top. I also want to share that refrigerated, leftover cake drizzled with olive oil and sea salt is OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious. Gahhh.

  184. Chelsea
    I made a 4 layered 6 inch cake this past weekend. I made the full recipe, (because i wanted to make some cupcakes as well). only slightly more than half went into 2 six inch cake tins.. and i had 24 cupcakes as well.. =)

    btw.. this recipe is just divine! thanks so much!!

  185. Robin

    I don’t think I’ll ever need another chocolate cake recipe! My only change was that I didn’t have 10″ cake pans, so I just used 9″ and had thicker layers. I halved the layers so I had 4 (like you mentioned doing) and this cake is sinfully delicious. It’s only my boyfriend and me in the house, yet, embarrassingly, we may not even need to give some of this cake away!

  186. I LOVE this cake recipe! I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday and filled it with Oreo mousse and it was a huge hit. Then I made the mistake of attempting to make cupcakes out of the same recipe. The readers who commented above that they had a successful cupcake experience must be luckier in the kitchen than I am – mine were so crumbly that I finally gave in and made cake truffles out of the sad broken bits. Oh well – still absolutely delicious cake!

  187. Michelle

    I made this cake Saturday morning for my husbands birthday. OMGosh. It was so good.

    I used 2, 10 inch square pans so they were not as full and didn’t need the whole baking time….just about 32 minutes and the layers were thin enough that they didn’t need to be cut in half. I didn’t use the raspberry filling and I also used my favorite choclate frosting recipe.

    The cake was moist and delicious. There is non left as of this morning. This is a keeper for sure.

  188. I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday yesterday and it was a big success! I used 1 10-inch and 1 8-inch round pans so the cake was tiered – it worked a treat. The raspberry filling was pretty amazing as well. Thanks for the recipe.

  189. Totally just baked this cake. Waiting for it to cool so I can smother it with the frosting. Was asked to make a chocolate cake for 40 people for a 30th birthday tomorrow and was slightly devastated about having to make this beast and not getting to keep it for I’ve made another little one for myself and hubs to secretly demolish this evening, so freaking excited! Thanks for the recipe :)

  190. I made this tonight for my little boy’s first birthday on Friday (and froze the layers). I baked it in 2 nine inch pans and had enough batter for two “smash” cakes, too – one for the birthday boy, and one for us to try out tonight.
    The only change I made is that I did a fresh strawberry filling instead – 1 pint of fresh strawberries, 1/3 cup of sugar cooked down, and then 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Strawberries are beautifully in season right now in Louisiana and I wanted to use some as garnish on the cake, so I thought why not try them for the filling, too!

    Also, I’m really glad I read the rest of the cake tips – a crumb icing layer is a must with this super soft cake… and I’m hoping it will be easier to ice when I take it out of the freezer tomorrow afternoon.
    OH and instead of the ganache (which terrifies me a little) I made the fudge buttercream (listed with the monkey cake recipe)…

    Thanks so so much for the recipe! I’m glad my little boy’s first cake will be such a great one!

  191. Jenny

    I made this cake for my son’s baptism this past weekend. I ended up making a 12″ double layer cake, and doubled the recipe. I found that the cooking time still applied for this size cake. I did not use the frosting recipe listed in your blog post, but used a white chocolate cream cheese frosting with a hint of orange and people raved about it. The cake was so moist, even days later. I will definitely be using the recipe again. Thank you for sharing.

  192. Leila

    I made this cake for my best friend two days ago. It was truly great. I used it pretty much as instructed by the recipe and the cake was incredibly moist. To the point that it was difficult to handle the layers! But the result was just great. The only question I have is the following – the recipe states 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder. Is that right? Or is the other way around? 2 teaspoons of baking soda sounds like a lot! I ended up using 2 tsp of baking powder and 3/4 of baking soda – it turned out fine, although rose a lot and the dome cracked a little. I just cut it off of course, and had no problem icing it.

  193. Sarah

    I made this cake yesterday for my daughter’s 18th birthday celebration. A-mazing! It was a snap to put together, it baked beautifully and the ganache was delicious. This is going in my “best” recipe file!

  194. Jen

    I made this cake for my daughter’s sixth birthday (she’s a chocoholic) and it was a hit. I made it as 3 8-inch layers because I don’t have 10-inch pans, and it worked really well. Baking time for the 8-inch layers turned out to be about the same for me. Used the raspberry filling, but frosted it with chocolate cream cheese frosting. Piled about a pint of fresh raspberries on top, just to gild the lily. It was fabulous. (On a side note, I made the pink lady cake for her fifth birthday. I think we’re starting a smitten kitchen birthday cake tradition!)

  195. I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it was DELICIOUS. Oh my god. I brought it to the bar where we were having her party and was giving out some slices and literally had strangers telling me that I should go to culinary school.
    The only problems I had were entirely my own fault: my cake pans were too small, but I insisted on using all of the batter anyway, so each layer turned into a kind of muffin that draped over the top of the pan and had to be sliced off. No matter! Extra cake bits for me. :-) In addition, I was out of buttermilk, so I used a combination of half and half, 1% milk, and plain yogurt. I can see that the buttermilk might have given it a nice tang, but it was sooo beautifully moist that I almost don’t want to mess with it!
    The only other thing is that I might shop around for a different frosting because the cake itself is so chocolatey I almost want a contrast, rather than more chocolate. If I liked coffee, I would do an espresso buttercream. Since I don’t, I think a light orange-flavored cream cheese frosting is what I will try next, maybe with a little of the ganache in the middle. Thanks for such a great recipe!! This is the best cake I have ever made.

  196. Mia

    This really is the best chocolate cake that I’ve ever had! I made it for my fiance’s birthday party and it was a huge hit. I will for sure make this again!! Thank you :)

  197. Shanti

    Just finished this fantastic cake!

    I had some cream to use up a few months ago, and didn’t want it to go to waste, so knowing that I was going to make this cake for today, I made the ganache in advance and froze it. It defrosted to perfection in the microwave (though if you had more foresight than I, it’d probably work in the fridge as well), and was the perfect spreading consistency after firming up a bit in the fridge (I shouldn’t have microwaved it for so long).

    I’m not sure if this was supposed to happen, but the ganache formed a hard coating after sitting out for a while. It was surprising, but I liked it–it was a good contrast to the soft cake.

  198. tammy

    hi – I love love love this cake recipe – have been using it for almost 2 years for all sorts of cakes, BUT everytime it is being cut, it is really messy. I can’t imagine using it for any sort of formal situation, because it does not slice cleanly, no matter what type of knife is used….usually the taste makes up for it, but do you have any suggestions?

    1. deb

      Have you tried a serrated knife? Do you wipe the knife clean after every cut? Another option is to keep the cake chilled; it will be a bit more firm and might cut more cleanly.

  199. Kate

    The trick to cutting cakes cleanly is dipping the cake knife into hot water before each cut.

    It’s a trick I learned for Wedding banquets.

    It works.

  200. Karen

    Hey Deb! I was wondering how many cups of frosting this recipe makes. I wanted to combine this raspberry recipe with the Best Yellow Layer Cake and the Instant Fudge Frosting.

    Can I add this raspberry filling to the yellow cake with no problems? Or is there conversions and math involved?

    Thanks Deb!

  201. frances

    First of all, I need to get a third cake pan, because I’m tired of having to bake in batches! Besides that, the batter split well between 3 9″ pans, baking for about 40 minutes or so. Sifting at least the cocoa powder is important so you don’t have lumps in the batter. The cakes were slightly tricky to get out of the pans, but not awful, and although they were definitely soft, they weren’t terribly difficult to work with before I froze them. I used 2% milk because I didn’t notice I am out of buttermilk. For the ganache, I also made a 3/4 recipe to accommodate what I had. I used a strawberry filling, but even so I barely had enough frosting to cover the cake. Next time I will make the full recipe, and probably extra if I use it as filling, too. I would say the frosting probably only made about 2 cups or so at 3/4, and I had some difficulty getting it to the right consistency (which was probably operator error). But the cake was a HUGE hit with the birthday girl, not to mention the rest of the guests!

  202. Helen in CA

    Just made this for my husband’s birthday picnic yesterday, sans raspberries. It was so beloved, that my dd took the 2nd half w/ her to a friend’s picnic today. Everyone was amazed.

    I made up 8″ cakes and then used the rest of the batter for cupcakes, to send home w/ people from husband’s picnic. Full recipe was the right amt of frosting to fill the cake, and frost the cupcakes. YUM

  203. jennifer

    just made this for my husband’s birthday party. everyone LOVED it. i added a nutella filling instead of the raspberry filling. the cake was amazingly moist and delicate and the frosting was by far the best frosting i’ve ever made. a total success!

  204. Courtney

    I made this cake for a girlfriend’s birthday and everyone LOVED it!! I ended up going with 3 9” cakes since i didn’t own any 10” pans and it worked out perfectly. The baking time ended up being right around 45 minutes at 300 degrees. I’m in the process of moving so most of my equipment was packed so i wasn’t able to strain the seeds off the raspberry filling or to sift the flour but it still turned out delicious!! Thanks for all the amazing recipes Deb!! You’re the best!

  205. Jessica

    I made this for my birthday this week, but because we were having a picnic I made cupcakes. It was phenominal. It made 38 cupcakes, which I hollowed out with a cupcake corer and filled with the raspberry filling. I wanted to pipe the ganache, so I whipped it up (but need the full amount of frosting for all the cupcakes). The first half came out adorable, but I probably should have put half in the fridge for the 2nd half.

    I will never ever make another chocolate cake ever again– that fantastic.
    Thank you thank you Deb!

  206. I made this as filled cupcakes (idea from Annie’s Eats), using 1/2 the recipe of raspberry filling and topping with a raspberry buttercream. I filled my tins 3/4 full and ended up with 36 cupcakes. Not quite enough filling for all of them, I think I was shy about 5 cupcakes. No matter, they were delicious either way. My husband doesn’t typically like “from scratch” cakes – he much prefers mixes…..he said this was his favorite cake EVER. I can’t wait to make it as cake – so fantastic!

  207. erica

    Just making this amazing sounding cake with my 31/2 yo baker friend. It’s in the oven now and we can hardly wait to taste it!!! Thank you for this amazing website/blog and your excellent writing. food is grace.

  208. Elle

    For Emma #142, and anyone else wondering about making cakes gluten-free – I wouldn’t go with just almond flour. It’s heavy and adds an unwanted almondy flavor to things. Given the rave reviews for this recipe, it might still be delicious, but if you can you should make a mix of different gluten-free flours (almond, potato, etc) or buy one. You can find recipes for a substitute flour mix in gluten-free cookbooks, or buy one pre-made at some grocery stores. I’ve had good luck with Bob’s Red Mill (

    You sometimes have to tweak the recipe a bit when substituting flours, though the mixes help minimize that. The cookbook or packaging for your flour mix will usually give suggestions.

  209. Christine

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED this cake and so did everyone who ate it~

    It’s moist and perfectly chocolate!

    Thank You for sharing!

  210. Elizabeth

    Just strolling through the archives to find a good cake recipe and went to look at the meet & eat article. Deb- you are gorgeous! You should show us that stunning face more often.
    On another note, can’t wait to try this!

  211. clb72

    I made this for a birthday party on Saturday (oh, man), along with some Roseanne Cash potato salad. I will admit that I went totally cheap on the chocolate (Nestle) and it was amazing. Thanks!

  212. Twinmama

    I am the unofficial cake maker for all things family. My uncle has requested a chocolate cake for his retirement party. There will be around 100+ people there, but my dessert will not be the only one. I’m thinking the Double Chocolate Cake for the, well, cake with either the regular or espresso ganache. I have two 12×16 cake pans. I typically layer the two cakes on top of one another (I plan to put raspberry filling between the layers) and put the whole thing on my cake board (which is a well seasoned rectangular wooden cutting board.) What do you think? How many batches of the cake? 4? Thanks!!

  213. Twinmama

    Okay… I have made several things from this website and have LOVE every one. But, this morning, I’m frustrated. I made the Double Chocolate cake yesterday, and it is perfect. Delicious, moist, dense… great. I made the raspberry filling, and it didn’t set. I used a very tiny amount, so I guess it will be okay, but it’s not what I hoped it would be. And, then I used the recipe for the ganache. I am a pretty experienced baker and was a little concerned about the amount of liquid going in.. and with good reason. Two hours after first stirring the ganache over iced water and then refrigerating it to cool it down and thicken it, the ganache is still too soupy. I’m panicking. I have gone over the recipe and what I put into it a zillion times… I seem to have followed the recipe to a “t.” I am bringing this huge cake to a retirement party in four hours and I have to start the ganache over with a recipe that I know will work. :( I will continue to try these delicious recipes, but I won’t try something new when I have to bring it to a big party. The cake is awesome… the ganache was disappointing.

    1. deb

      Hi Twinmama — Give it more time and it will absolutely cool. Chocolate always firms back up once cool! You can stir it (constantly) over a bowl of ice water to speed it up. You mentioned the cake being dense, which concerns me. I find the cake to be so lightly and tender, it nearly falls apart. I hope it was enjoyed.

  214. Twinmama

    Hi Deb,
    If there were a way for me to remove/edit my post, I would. I owe you an apology!! I am so sorry… I was trying to rush the process. You were right…the ganache did thicken up; it just thickened up much more slowly than any other ganache I have ever made before. Once at the right consistency, I was able to spread it over the layer cake with raspberry filling. With regard to the cake, it was perfect. I should have been more clear by using the word “dense”… it was dense with outstanding chocolate flavor! It was a huge success at the party. Some of the partygoers described the cake as “the best they had ever eaten.” I owe it to you. I will use that recipe again, as well as all of the other amazingly delectable delights you post on your website. Yours is my new favorite!!

  215. Hello! I’m making this cake tomorrow for 2 girlfriends bdays. Their only directive for dessert was “chocolate” so I feel that I can’t go wrong with this :) At my store, the only Callebaut options were milk or belgian dark. Can I use the belgian dark here, or will it just be too much or too bitter? Would love your thought on that. Thank you!

  216. Haidy

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday. I thought I was venturing too far outside of my baking skills, and I was nervous about getting everything right, but it turned out to be incredibly simple and straight-forward. I’m used to frostings being made of a ridiculous amount of powdered sugar, and it being sickeningly sweet. What I loved about this recipe was that the frosting was made of heavy cream and melted chocolate….it was so delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe, everyone was astonished by the outcome.

  217. Andrea

    Best. Cake. Ever. I made this last Sunday for my boyfriend’s birthday, admittedly last minute, and it was incredible! I ended up having to use 3 8 1/2″ round foil pans (long story…) and it turned out gorgeous! It kept well covered and refrigerated, and most importantly…WE HAD THE CAKE FOR DINNER ON MONDAY!
    I’m not sure how I went so long without discovering your blog, but it is truly wonderful. The recipes, pictures, and stories are fun, beautiful, charming and addictive. Thanks so much for sharing!

  218. Anne K.

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my BFF’s bday and she loved it. I had difficult time straining the raspberry puree, but it was so worth it in the end. Definitely keeping this recipe for forever!

  219. Leena

    Lovely cake, even if a little time consuming :) (mostly due to the very sad fact that my kitchen does not include a dishwasher and numerous gadgets, like the extra long knife; however, looks like it’s doable nevertheless :) )

    I used two 9” pans and it came out just fine, although the baking time was 15 min longer.
    And I alternated the filling and replaced raspberry puree with 3 cups orange curd (one cup for each filling layer) – it was a wonderful idea!

    So, Deb, HUGE thanks from me and all my somewhat bratty crowd of family and friends – you made the B-day even more enjoyable for us! I would have never come close to this recipe if anyone else would have suggested it, at the panic fear of failing, but you just make it seem so… do-able :)

  220. adele

    I made this cake for my brother’s birthday and people didn’t believe that it was made at home. I used 10 ounces of strawberries and 10 ounces of raspberries, just for a little more texture. This is the moistest, most delicious cake that I’ve ever made. Thank you so much!

  221. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  222. myriam

    Deb: WOW!!! You have officially provided me with THE chocolate layer cake recipe! This was just what I was looking for… I made it this weekend for my son’s 10th and it was a total hit with everyone especially my son! The best part is that I live in year-round hot climate and ganaches are usually quite delicate, read look at me for more than a minute and I melt!!! But this ganache, with a more frosting-like consistency, was perfect and held up for several hours!

    But the cake comes with a little anecdote: I used pans that are 10″ but they were not quite 2″ high….you can imagine what began to happen: chocolate volcano in my oven! Luckily the pans were on a cookie sheet. In the end, it was not a calamity as everyone was happy to get a “preview” of the cake: my husband and kids happily ate up all the drippings!

    Thanks for helping me keep me rep!;-) And keep up the goos work! LOVE your BLOG!!!!

  223. dana

    deb, ended up making this one instead of the chocolate cake from the chocolate peanut butter cake – AMAZING. so happy i used this one instead! i added maybe a teaspoon of sea salt to the ganache which was great – and that was on top of the salted butter – so cut the sweetness a bit. i also made half a batch of the quick fudge buttercream frosting for the filling. it easily fed about 30 people. unfortunately there was none left for breakfast for me on sunday…. so sad. thanks again for working so tirelessly so that we can impress others!

  224. Kristin G

    Deb, I made this cake yesterday… for no reason, really. I was inspired by your story about the desire to eat cake for dinner, for no reason, just because. I was craving chocolate, so I started baking this at about 10 pm :) And although I didn’t eat it FOR dinner, my roommate and I enjoyed it for a late night treat. The cake is very moist, and I loved the ganache frosting. I also added salt and it was perfect! Will definitely make this again. Next stop – red wine chocolate cake.

  225. Alicia

    Made this last night to take to the birthday guy this morning. Knowing my fondness for fruit cakes he’d made a special request for an unadulterated chocolate cake, so I skipped the raspberry in favor of adding whipped cream to some of the ganache for a filling. It made it a little too moist if there can be such a thing, so next time I’ll probably stick to the regular ganache. Added an extra egg in the batter and a pinch of salt in the ganache per the suggestions in the Epicurious comments, and left out the corn syrup without noticing any difference. I decorated with chopped cacao nibs on the sides, which added a great nutty kind of crunch and was my favorite part. I somehow have two 9.5″ cake pans with removeable bottoms, the batter perfectly fit three pans of this size so there was a little scramble with baking, washing, and re-greasing a pan to get the third layer in the oven. You couldn’t tell the difference, despite having the batter sit for an hour on the counter top it rose just as high. Birthday guy and coworkers were very vocal in their approval.

    Next time I think I’ll try using booze instead of coffee. Ooh, and maybe brandied cherries in the filling. Because really, is there any dessert that can’t be improved with the addition of alcohol and fruit?

  226. I decided to make this cake for my friend’s birthday. I am quite excited to present it to her.
    I made my own adaptations here and there (I realized I had forgotten to pick up buttermilk so I substituted soy milk. My measuring could have been a little more careful but the end result looks fantastic and tastes amazing so I think the baking gods were letting me slide on this one. I only had one 10″ pan so I sliced that in half to fill with the raspberry filling and used the remaining batter to make cupcakes.)
    Of course I could not taste the cake itself without the birthday girl but I did lace some cupcakes with the raspberry filling and topped it off with left-over ganache frosting and OHH BOY were they dangerously delicious! My family–my ever-so-eager guinea pigs–seemed to thoroughly enjoy the cupcakes as well!
    I just started my own blog and this recipe is the first one I uploaded. I am still very much an amateur when it comes to food photography and blogging but Smitten Kitchen is such an inspiration to me.
    Thank you so much!

  227. I’m so late to this discussion––about 5 years––and it’s really not about this delectable-looking cake at all. I went to the link with the interview and read about how you hate chicken breast cutlets and I had to write! I had too! Thank you for acknowledging the vast Chicken Breast Conspiracy! I’m so sick of people walking around praising white meat chicken in general and chicken breast in particular. Unless I’m making chicken salad I just don’t want the breast. It’s almost always dry (unless you bathe it in olive oil or butter). It’s the least flavorful part of a pretty darn flavorful animal. When did everyone drink the Kool-Aid? How can we make it stop?

    Thank you for listening.

  228. Adrienne

    I must be the only one for whom this cake didn’t work. I am a professional chef and an experienced baker, and I followed the recipe exactly. I made no substitutions. The cake rounds were sunken in the middle, stuck to the pan, and were crumbly and dry after only 55 minutes in the oven. I can only conclude that this recipe does NOT work at altitude (7000 ft), perhaps because of the lower temp and longer cook time. I’m making a different recipe for the birthday cake, this one is destined for trifle.

  229. Lori

    This is the best chocolate cake I have ever made and tasted! I don’t like chocolate on chocolate… I used a white chocolate frosting instead and it was sublime heaven. Thank you so much this is another winner for me and my family when I make it. =)

  230. Tom

    Ok, everybody already agreed that this cake was really good, but I wanted to throw in my two cents and say yes, this cake is really good and thanks for the recipe! My friend David got married in South Carolina a couple weeks ago and I used this as a wedding cake- I made a double recipe in four sheet pans, filled it with salted pecans and bourbon caramel, and covered it in ganache. It was awesome. So yeah, thanks again

  231. mazzystarrr

    wow! made this for my partner’s 40th birthday on the weekend and I am not much of a baker but really wanted him to have a homemade cake. He loves chocolate, coffee and raspberries, and I swoon for ganache, so I knew this was the cake I was looking for. I used Aldi Choceur dark chocolate because we love it and the raspberry filling, however I didn’t think my layers weren’t quite thick enough to split with confidence so it was just raspberry in the middle. It came out amazing, I think your description is accurate and all the praise is justified. The only thing I would say is to repeat what others have already said, that the coffee gives it quite a strong flavour which is *divine* but if children are coming over next time I make it I’ll probably use hot water instead of most of the coffee. I had leftover ganache and raspberry filling so made another half-batch of the cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday today, it worked just as well. Thanks so much for such a great recipe your blog is wonderful.

  232. LG

    Just wanted to drop in and say that I made this for my Mom’s birthday and it was very well received. I did three 9″ layers (they needed to be baked for just under an hour) which worked great, and used the raspberry filling in between both and the ganache for frosting. I left out the coffee (and didn’t add another flavoring) and didn’t miss it. Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  233. Esme

    This cake works fine with dutch cocoa. I have always made it with Valrhona and have never had a complaint or problem with the taste or baking. The call for non-Dutch processed cocoa in the recipe probably has to do with the baking powder/baking soda ration, but honestly I’ve never had an issue.

  234. Hi,
    Ever since I saw this post I have been planning to try this and yesterday was the day..made one 8″ cake and 12 cup cakes. Covered the cup cake with chocolate ganache and they look so glossy and beautiful! And it tastes not able to stay away from them! My husband made me stand on the weighing scale before he left for work just to remind me that I should seriously stay away from gobbling too many of ’em and also ‘cos he too loved them:-)
    Thanks so much!

  235. Love!
    Thank you for giving me the perfect recipe for my sons 15th birthday! You never disappoint. I had gone out in search of a cake and turned away from the last one at the pastry shop, knowing you would have a great recipe for my chocolate and raspberry lovin son. I had NO idea it would be so moaningly good. I’m no baker so it wasn’t pretty (I forged ahead with two 8 inch pans which overflowed a little in the oven) but nobody cared! So I sliced the disks lengthwise and made a 3 layer cake, leaving the last quarter to eat later – maybe with a little whipped cream.

    Question: can I freeze it?

    Thank you,

  236. Katie

    I made this cake yesterday for my brother’s birthday and it was SO good! The cake was beautifully moist and chocolatey! We didn’t have 10 inch pans, so we made three 8 inch layers instead. Our raspberries were home grown and frozen with quite a bit of juice, so we had to use way more corn starch to thicken the filling. Also, the halved ganache recipe didn’t look like it would quite cover the cake, so we added more cream and whipped it up a bit which worked perfectly.
    Thanks for another great recipe!!

  237. Meg

    Hi Deb – long time reader and always have success with your excellent recipes. I have made this cake before and loved it, made it again tonight for a friend’s birthday (halved it) and wanted to let you know what happened: I accidentally used spelt flour! I was devastated when I realised as I thought it might turn into a brick, but it came out just like a mud or fudge cake and was incredibly moist and delicious with a lovely texture. Thanks for all the excellent recipes over the last two-three years.

  238. Catherine

    Made this cake for valentines day! I bought a set of 6″ round pans and halved the recipe. Unfortunately, one of the pans overflowed but I had parchment paper under it so it didn’t make a mess. Plus I had extra cake bits to sample! My changes: used a combination of plain yogurt & regular milk instead of buttermilk, used 1:1 coffee and water, used honey instead of corn syrup in the ganache, I also took a tip from your Almond Raspberry Layer cake and just spread raspberry jam as the filling. So moist and delicious! We loved it!!

  239. Meg

    Deb, I totally recommend it – I’m not giving up the original recipe as it’s an old favourite, but the spelt flour ‘version’ will be my go to for mud cake from now on!

  240. I love this cake and have taken the ganache and added mascarpone (to cut the chocolate a bit) and used that for the filling in between the layers and then the ganache on top. Thanks again.

  241. Becca

    Ohmygod. One word; Cupcakes. I made this for my friend’s 17th surprise birthday party and they had a crispy top and a super soft, moist, pillowy inside that would crumble when cut through. I made about 30 cupcakes with just 2/3s of the recipe and I had never been so proud of anything i’ve ever baked before. I just couldn’t bring myself to use a proper cupcake recipe because I knew this chocolate cake would beat the crap out of anything I search. I think I prefer the cupcakes over the cake honestly. But ohhhhh man this was so good. Craving it all day all night.

  242. Jay

    I have these cake layers in the oven now and the batter is delicious, but let’s have some Real Talk – this cake is a LOT more trouble and dishes than the sour cream chocolate cake recipe included as part of your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, which I have made twice. I made this recipe knowing how many extra steps it has because I don’t want to regret using the simpler recipe after biting into the fully assembled and ganached product. But, I will not use this recipe again if I think the ganache would have provided enough chocolatey-ness to make up for the sour cream cake’s plainer composition.

  243. nicole

    this looks amazing! definitely on the list to bake next. one question, is it possible to stir the raspberry filling through the individual cupcake batter before baking? or will it turn out weird?

  244. Meg

    Hi Deb, didn’t see your reply until I came back to look at the recipe again. Yep, it was very dense but still had a beautiful smooth texture, didn’t rise as much as the original, and was extremely moist, but still held together and was definitely cooked. I didn’t get a knife to come out clean but concluded it was cooked from the lack of wobble and crispiness of the outside.
    I would definitely use this as a fudge cake recipe in future! I used a ganache icing, which was a mistake as it blended too much with the cake – a lighter buttercream or just a dust with icing sugar would have been lovely.

  245. Charlotte

    This cake is so good,, i’ve made it for my sister b-day. I did salted caramel sauce between the layers and I’ve made a really thin ganache for the top and the sides.

  246. Alora

    It’s my husbands birthday this Friday. I’ve never baked a cake from scratch before. I’d like to try this do you think it’s too difficult without an electric mixer (my kitchen aid stand mixer is in storage) & I don’t own cake pans which should I buy? Thank You!

  247. Alora

    okaaay so I know I’m new here, however I have read ALL of you FAQ & the comments in this post & I am so sorry to already be asking, ANOTHER question. Yet before you think I’m trying to sneak away with a two for one special I no longer need the answer(s) to post 334.

    I have baked this best smell in the world cake, never knew eggs did that when beaten for 5 minutes cake, in two 9 inch rounds. Now I do not understand the three places to put the raspberry filling.

    Am I to use dental floss to make four 1 inch layers & fill that?

  248. deb

    Hi — I made 2 layers and split each of them, creating four layers. Four layers should have three layers of filling. Hope that clears it up and don’t ever worry about asking a question! I’m here to answer them. ;)

  249. Natasha

    Hi Deb!

    I’ve been trying to use this chocolate cake recipe to make black-bottom cupcakes as I love this cake but the cream cheese filling keeps sinking to the bottom! I tried your black-bottom recipe and thankfully the filling did not sink, but I just didn’t like the cake as much. All the sudden I thought, is it the low oven temp? Maybe it’s baking too slow and giving the cream cheese time to sink? Could I raise the temp and bake for less time or will that ruin this cake? Thanks!

  250. I just made this cake for a graduation party. If you are searching these comments (like I do constantly) for honest feedback, this is a truly amazing chocolate cake. Easy to make, and so impressive to serve. People were seriously LOVING it, not one piece left for a midnight snack, and amidst a billion coos and compliments I thought, Deb…you did it again!

  251. lisa

    Made this last night as cupcakes and they are sooo yummy! I was worried because the batter seemed really liquidy but they cooked up perfectly

  252. Karin

    I made this for the 3rd time yesterday (son’s 4th b-day) and it never ceases to amaze. This is the perfect chocolate cake. I make it with a simple sugary buttercream for birthdays. Wow. Yum. It is perfect. Thank you!

  253. I’ve tried several chocolate cake recipes and finally found the perfect one! Thank you Smitten Kitchen. I should have known you’d never fail me. My modifications – 1/2C coconut oil (melted) with 1/4C vegetable oil and cut the sugar down to 2 cups. I did cupcakes (it made over 24!) and they are moist and delicious. Highly recommend trying this recipe!

  254. Jocelyn

    Hi Deb,

    This cake looks perfect! The cooking times in the recipe are for 2 10-inch cake pans. Can you please let me know how I should adapt the recipe for 2 9-inch cake pans? Thanks!

  255. deb

    I made a suggestion in comment #65 that you could make 4 cupcakes and the rest of the cake in 9-inch pans. You cannot use the full volume in 9-inch pans, however; it will absolutely, definitely overflow (as many commenters have suggested!).

  256. Jamie

    This is it! The perfect chocolate-chocolate cake recipe! I feel like I’ve been searching for this cake my entire adult life. It’s decadent, for sure, but not overly sweet or rich, and the cake is perfectly moist. I didn’t have 10″ pans, so I did a three-layer, 9″ round cake. I halved the raspberry filling recipe and used both it and the ganache icing for in between the layers. I used the whole ganache recipe, and even with 3 layers, I had plenty. Decorated with fresh raspberries, it looked so beautiful when it was all done. Among the many positive comments I received were: “this was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten,” and “this is the best cake you’ve ever made” (I make a lot of cakes!). This is a keeper!!!

  257. bergamot

    I used this recipe to make cupcakes for my son’s first birthday today and it yielded about 30 regular cupcakes and 12 minis. Yikes! A lot more than I need hanging around the house, so the neighbours are going to very very happy with me. These were delicious, despite just using regular semi-sweet chips. I used the ganache recipe to frost them and baked the regular-sized ones for 14 minutes on convection (so 21 minutes of normal baking time) and the minis for 10 minutes (so 15 minutes).

  258. bergamot

    (Also, I used just hot water, not coffee, since it was for a baby. Turned out just fine, though I imagine the coffee would deepen the flavour nicely.)

  259. robin

    This is the best chocolate cake ever. I made it into cupcakes for my son’s birthday party and it got rave reviews from both kids and parents. Kids who typically only eat the frosting on cupcakes devoured the entire thing. I used your instant fudge frosting recipe (from the espresso chiffon cake) which was also wonderful, not too sweet. This made 3 dozen cupcakes for me (and I still had a little batter left over!) and they actually took about 35 minutes to bake in my oven.

  260. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    Per the pan conversion chart (love that thing!), I used five 8″ pans for this recipe as I don’t have 10″ pans and no time to shop for them. So, we enjoyed a lovely, TOWERING, five layer cake today. Twice actually, and the wee ones were thrilled that we had dessert after both lunch and dinner. :) Seriously, this cake was so big I had to use a carving knife to slice it! And the leftovers waiting in the fridge won’t last long, I’m sure. We still love the chocolate peanut butter cake best, but this was fabulous and the raspberry + chocolate combination is grand. Thanks for another great recipe.

  261. I have been making this cake for a restaurant in town and it is quite a hit. They have been asking for a rectangular version and I finally made it. Just in case it is useful to anyone else. I made the whole batter recipe and baked it in a roasting pan (15.5 x 11 x3- only size I could find). I baked it at 300 for about 45 min and it came out perfect. I split the cake in two layers and frosted as usual.

  262. Becca

    I made the cake part (with vanilla bean buttercream frosting) as cupcakes for my daughter’s first birthday party today . It yielded 28 very full cupcakes, baked at 300 for 25 mins. They received RAVE reviews – thank you for another fabulous recipe, Deb!!

  263. Aubrey

    I have made this recipe countless times and it is my absolute fave! Speaking of Absolute (horrid segue), I plan on making a Drunken S’mores cupcake tomorrow. I wanted to use the chocolate cake recipe for the cupcake part of it, but I wanted to add marshmallow vodka to it. Should I omit part of the coffee so that the balance of liquids is not off or can I just add it with reckless abandon and hope the batter is not too runny? Thanks for the advice!

  264. Aubrey

    actually, I think I have decided that I am going to baste the cupcakes in said vodka so that I do not have to alter the recipe and the alcohol will not cook out.

  265. Heather

    I just wanted to put my 2 cents in & RAVE about this recipe! I spent the better part of the last year baking one chocolate cake a month in search for the perfect chocolate cake for my little ones first birthday (on top of my usual baking of course!) – and after about 7 cakes, I came across this one & it is THE best chocolate cake EVER! I’ve made it a few times now, it’s the one I recommend to others. My search is over, no more new chocolate cake recipes that end in disappointment, this is the ONE! Thanks for posting a great recipe! I made a two tiered cake & combined it with the frosting from this website: and the two together are a chocolate lovers dream! The fillings consisted of an oreo whip cream filling & the other a fudge crunch layer (like in ice cream cakes) you should definitely try a fudge crunch filling! The cake & all it’s counterparts got rave reviews

  266. karen

    hi deb… i wonder what u cud suggest as substitute for the buttermilk if i dont have one??? i can see this wud be great for my husband’s birthday next month!

  267. Rachel

    Deb, this is the best chocolate cake ever. I have made a lot of cake in my life, and this is IT. I am the self-appointed birthday cake lady at work, and this (and jello poke cake) are the only things anyone ever requests. I made this two weeks ago, and already, I am baking this as cupcakes for our Halloween party tomorrow. Thank you!

  268. Deb – the cake bit of this has to be the most delicious chocolate cake ever. However, the ganache split on me twice and I had to search the internet at 1am to find a way to get it back (it worked thank heavens). I am usually not a ganache-splitter and to have it happen twice in a row is really frustrating. Any ideas? I did not have corn syrup so substituted golden syrup.

    1. deb

      thalia — I am not an expert on “rejoining” ganache but it splits when things get much too hot. Try melting it at a lower temperature, and pulling it off the stove when it’s half to 3/4 melted, stirring the rest until smooth.

  269. Kate S

    help! i am baking this cake right now and it has been in the oven for over an hour and a half at 150 degrees Celsius and is no where near done, it has started burning around the edges, what should i do?

  270. I just made this cake for christmas dinner and it was a huge success! I made it with raspberry filling, i think ganache would be too much, and put some pecans and raspberries in the batter. It cooked beautifully, but gave me double what I expected! It filled 4 cake tins, so I would suggest halving the batter or be prepared for a lot of (delicious!) cake.

  271. bergamot

    I made this for my son’s 4th birthday yesterday (yep, a Christmas baby) and it is a really great cake. I had planned to make the chocolate stout cake originally, but then he specifically requested a cake with chocolate, raspberries… and Spiderman. So I made the recipe as is, piped a spiderweb on top with vanilla icing and topped it with a figurine. He was over the moon and I have a new go-to chocolate cake recipe. Thanks! The raspberry filling really takes this to another level.

  272. deb

    Hi Kate — I have no idea what went wrong, I’m sorry. It looks like your temp is correct. I would (in the future) turn down the oven and cover it with foil until it is done baking if it bakes too fast. You’re definitely, definitely sure you added all the flour, right? (Because that burnt edge thing can relate often to flour, among other issues.)

  273. Catherine

    Oh dear. I had such high hopes of this for my birthday cake, but it was just a complete flop. I had some bad feelings about it when I tasted the batter and it was totally bitter (Too much coffee? Wrong kind of coffee?) I split it into two 9-inch pans and made a pan of cupcakes with the extra batter, but everything overflowed like crazy and made a huge mess. It just doesn’t look like there is a lot of saving to this one.

    I haven’t had a lot of baking flops and I usually have good luck with recipes I try from this site, so I don’t know what went wrong here. You win some, you lose some, I guess! Going to try my fallback Betty Crocker cookbook cocoa cake in the morning and put the raspberry spread in that one.

  274. I made this cake for work today. (Here in Australia, it’s customary to bring your own cake to work for your birthday!) It was a huge hit! I don’t usually like cake too much, especially chocolate cake, which is usually just brown-coloured regular cake. But this one has loads of chocolate flavour, and it is moist as can be! Seriously beautiful. I baked it for an hour at about 275F in my fan-forced oven and it only made slight mounds, which were easy to trim for layering. (I’ve read that baking cakes for a longer time at a lower temperature is good for preventing it mounding too much, and this proved true for me.) Another thing I love about it is its size – it completely fills two 9-inch rounds for nice, thick layers. This cake fed 16 of my co-workers and there’s still about 1/4 left. (And people are continuing to pick at it as the day goes on.) This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on.

  275. Fanny

    I’m just baking this unbelievable good looking cake and I really can’t stop nibbling the dough and the frosting and the rasperry sauce!! *_* I also wanted to say that your blog is so amazing that I even in Germany read it…sorry that my english isn’t so good. :)

  276. Jessica

    Hi Deb, I know this is a really old post but I was hoping for a little bit of help before I make the cake. Is there any chance I could make this in a slab tin? If so, how would the baking times be changed?

  277. JanM

    I made this cake yesterday for a birthday party and it was fantastic! So rich and chocolatey – it’s going to be my go-to chocolate cake from now on. Thanks for another great recipe, Deb.

  278. Melissa

    I’m fairly new to the site and have already made a dozen recipes. Thank you – I love it all. I want to know if there’s anything that will work as a substitute for coffee in the cake. I don’t drink it and don’t want to put it in the cake. I assume I can use hot water, but then will I be missing something in the flavor department? Or can you tell me something else I can use?

  279. Melissa

    I went out of order and posted my question before reading the other comments…Sorry. Rookie mistake. I have read your previous responses and will substitute water. Thanks.

  280. Love this cake and have made it a couple times (thank you!) I recently became obsessed with my scale and am wondering if you have weight measurements for this recipe? Thanks!

  281. Lauren

    Absolutely love this cake!!! I’ve made it (including the chocolate ganache) exactly as is twice and it’s turned out wonderfully both times. I got many compliments on it as well. I only have 9in pans, so I was able to make a triple layer cake. I think this also cut down the bake time by quite a bit (everyone’ ovens are different as well)- it took just under an hour both times, so definitely check your cake early if you’re using 9in pans instead of 10in ones. Excellent recipe that I will definitely be recommending to anyone who wants a chocolate cake.

  282. Liz

    I was able to make 36 cupcakes and three six-inch cakes from just one recipe! It was a lot of cake, but no one’s complaining.

  283. Hey Deb!
    I’ve been stuck in my house this past week due to an injury, and have used every spare second to continue baking through your recipes. I made this cake today, and had to literally hold myself back from eating the whole thing. So. Darn. Good! I have to get it out of my house asap.

  284. Lanny

    “It needs to be matted in your Top Honors Cookbook for every chocolate-lovers birthday to come, for all time.”

    I’ve never seen matted used this way before, what does it mean?

  285. naa

    Deb this cake is amazing and everyone loves it. Thanks so much for sharing it.made this many times now. Doubled the recipe, halved it, frosted with ganache, sour cream chocolate frosting,Swiss meringue buttercream, filled it with cherries…….the variations are endless.i am ghanaian and i am fairly new to baking and your recipes turn out so well. i have tried your best birthday cake with your swiss meringue buttercream which i commented on!.making this cake again in may,june, and august all for my brother’s, sister’s and aunty’s birthdays because they requested it.THANKS SO MUCH!

  286. Steph

    Would this cake work well with the sour cream chocolate frosting? I’m tempted to give that combination a try (because I love that frosting recipe so much!) but don’t want to risk clashing flavors/textures. Thanks!

  287. Steph

    Thanks! Follow up: I went for it, along with the raspberry filling and also (might’ve gone a tad overboard) Alice B. Toklas’s mocha cream filling from her sacher torte recipe. Glad moans all around.

  288. Laura

    !!Happy accident alert!!
    I read the ingredients wrong: I made it with fine unsweetened chocolate instead of semisweet. The cake was AMAZING. It was decadence and ecstasy embodied. It was like a choir of angels singing love songs in my mouth.

  289. Carrie in MN

    Well, I’m late to the party… this cake is really incredible! I made into cupcakes and yielded about 45… not sure why I ended up with so many more than other people did, but I have plenty of cupcakes to go around now! I baked at the standard 350′ for about 17 minutes. SO chocolatey, so moist… I just love how flavorful they are on their own, which doesn’t always happen with chocolate cake recipes (and why I typically don’t care for chocolate cake). Glad I found this! I’m also impressed by the 1500+ reviews on epicurious for this… really tells you how great this one is. My new go-to recipe!

  290. danielle drown

    I have made this recipe twice now and while I absolutely love it it overflows terribly.
    I only have 9 inch pans so the first time I made it I figured I filled them to full. The last time I made it I divided it between 3 pans and it still overflowed. Any suggestions? Do I need to divide it between 4 pans? Or could it be altitude? I live in salt lake city utah…

  291. Renee

    I’m really excited to try this cake, but i had a quick question. Could I use cake flour for it? That’s (surprisingly) all I have on hand.

    Thanks! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog.

  292. Lourdes

    Baked this cake last night! OMG! The best chocolate cake I’ve ever made, and its huge! Frosting is perfect, not to sweet…have lots of vanilla ice cream on hand.I made it in a sheet pan and it rose all the way up to the edge…We had pizza for dinner, cake for dessert. Perfect. L

  293. This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe–so delicious. I made it again last night for a friend’s graduation party and made it dairy-free: coconut milk for the buttermilk and coconut oil for the vegetable oil. (I usually use butter.) I also made an almond milk-coconut oil-cocoa frosting. I baked it in a 11×15 sheet cake pan because the cake was being transported several hours today and I thought that would be easier than layers. (I did not make any adjustments to the quantities; it fit perfectly in the 11×15 pan.) It has a slightly different flavor than normal, but great texture and still delicious!

  294. Grace

    I just made this for my husband’s birthday, and he loved it. This turned out to be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made! I’m not a die-hard fan of chocolate, but chocolate is his absolute favorite. Since I know he loves the rich stuff, I thought I’d give this recipe a try, and it was a winner! It is sooooo moist and dense, and the ganache is just… wonderful. My husband can’t stop raving about it and keeps telling me that it tastes like it came from a bakery!

    My slight modifications to the instructions were as follows: I halved the recipe exactly, and it was just enough to fill an 8″ round springform pan, which I baked it in. At 1 hour in the oven, the cake was still very wobbly and the center very liquidy, so I kept checking on it every 5-10 minutes afterward, and it was done at 1 hour and 25 minutes. Strange. It came out so lovely, though. I cooled it for about 15 minutes, wrapped it up tightly in plastic wrap, and left it out at room temperature overnight. I cut the single cake into two layers the next morning, made the frosting, and frosted the cake then. It tasted amazing, even after being left out. It’s been in the fridge now for 2 days, and it’s still just as moist and dense as it was on the first day. This recipe gets a gold star from me!

  295. patryce

    Lisette–about how thick was the 11×15 cake? This looks like just what I need to make grad cakes too. My pan is 12×16 and I’m not going to split and fill, just frost the top. I’ll mix a batch with Best Birthday Cake recipe to make a marble cake version also. Maybe I need a test run though.

  296. Ashby

    Made 3 9″ layers as a birthday cake, along with a batch of cupcakes. What a wonderful cake! I used hot water instead of coffee and was unexpectedly out of white sugar (who does that?) so I subbed in light brown sugar, and it was delicious.

  297. Mark

    Relly, I LOVE your recipes! I LOVE THEM!

    I made this cake for a birthday party and everybody was like “OH MY GOD!”, they were blown away!

    This cake is delicious, super easy to make, and you are the god of every party!

    Thank you Deb, thank you!

  298. Suneeta

    Hi Deb, I have been a lurker for long now. I love your writing, photos and the recipes. They always work for me.

    I have a question regarding this cake, would an eggless version of this cake (using egg replacer) turn out well? Do you have any recipes for eggless cakes?

    Look forward to hearing back from you.

    Thank You!

    1. deb

      Hi Suneeta — I have very few eggless cakes, sadly (I’ll update this comment if I think of one). I haven’t cooked much with egg replacer but it’s worth trying in any recipe that doesn’t separate eggs to achieve different textures.

  299. Arno

    Hi there!

    I live in South Korea and this was the first cake I ever baked in my life! I just wanted to let you know that it turned out absolutely fantastically. I baked it in a gas oven so the cooking time was a little less. The only problem I had was with the ganache which kind of stayed liquid and shiny even after hours of setting. No matter though! All the more reason to lick my fingers! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  300. Katerina

    Dear Deb,
    If I were to frost this cake with white frosting so I have a blank canvas for decorating, which one would you recommend so that the chocolate interior does not show? (I am a beginner in cakes…)
    Thanks (love u and your book xxxx)

    1. deb

      Katerina — Almost any will work, however, the most important thing will be to a) put a cup of the frosting in a separate bowl, b) do a really good crumb coat on the dark cake, c) let it fully chill, d) frost the rest of the cake, the final decorative layer, with frosting from the main bowl. The small crumb frosting bowl will be, indeed, full of dark crumbs!

  301. Katerina

    Thanks so much. What about the letters? What is a fast butter- caster sugar analogy to make A small amount of frosting to write the text on the cake?

  302. deb

    Basic quick buttercream is usually made with this recipe:
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    4 cups powdered sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

    Beat the butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then milk/cream 1 tablespoon at a time, beating only until you get a spreadable consistency.

    I don’t remember how much I scaled it down, but probably quite a bit; I only needed a large spoonful (1/2 cup, tops) to pipe the letters. Try:

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 to 2 teaspoons milk or cream, if needed
    A drop or two of food coloring

  303. Karin

    cupcake yield: 36+ at 2/3 full (I like a small, flat cupcake for preschoolers). time: 23 minutes at 300 in a hot oven. Thanks for the best chocolate cake recipe.

  304. jenni

    I decided to.take a leap.and change up my chocolate cake this.year for an annual my husband who is.not.a cake fan said… a brownie cake! Amazing, went amazingly well with my guiness buttercream frosting!

  305. Sarah

    This made amazing cupcakes. We got 35 average cupcakes from the recipe. They cooked in 18min. I did swap the oil for coconut oil and loved it. I used a frosting bag to fill the cupcakes with the raspberry filling and frosted with the chocolate. It took the whole ganache recipe. We topped them with a fresh raspberry. :) I’d make them again!

  306. Vicky

    This recipe looks great! Just wondering, would it be okay if I DID use dutch processed ( thats all i’ve got)? What exactly is the difference, would it impact the taste enough for it to be noticeable? Thanks so much

  307. deb

    Hi Vicky — I haven’t tried it, but a couple people in the comments say they have and it wasn’t a problem. Theoretically, Dutch process cocoa is has a neutral acidity, and baking soda needs the presence of an acid to work. However, seeing as there is buttermilk in here, it may not be an issue. For most people, non-Dutched (“natural”) cocoa is cheaper so they prefer it.

  308. mariel

    Could I possibly use unsweetened chocolate instead of the cocoa powder? I found a website that suggested yes, but I would need to remove some fat from elsewhere in the recipe. (I don’t have any cocoa powder right now and this humidity has eaten away any chances of a second Key Food run.) Does this sound like a good idea?

  309. Heidi

    Hi Deb, I was just wondering why this cake takes an hour to bake? Every other recipe I have looked at today for chocolate cake bakes for 30-40 minutes.

  310. mariel

    OH, thank you for that chart! It worked like a dream. For the cake I ended up using 3.5ish oz semi sweet chips, with another 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate, all dissolved in the coffee. I did end up adding about an ounce of Fancy Black Cocoa Powder (thanks Thomas Keller Oreo) to make up the difference. And I cut back on the oil and a smidgeon of sugar. Everything else was the same and it made a fantastically moist, delicious cake. I also whipped my ganache and didn’t break it this time! Hooray for Zoidberg!

  311. AnnaBanana662002

    My thoughts EXACTLY!: “did you not swear that one day, no, One Day With the Capital Letters and the Chest-Thumping Conviction of Grownups that you would eat cake and watermelon for dinner and Nobody would be able to stop you.”

  312. Erin Meier

    Hello Deb- I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but this is my first time commenting. First of all, I love your recipes. My husband gave me your new cookbook for Christmas, and we have so enjoyed the big breakfast latkes, the mushroom bourguignon, the grapefruit olive oil pound cake and of course your Mom’s epic apple cake. Probably my new favorite go to cake. :) :) :)

    I scanned the comments thoroughly and no one else seems to have this question + I found nothing on google. Why? May I ask….Why do you shake up the buttermilk prior to adding it to the cake batter? I am 33 and have been baking avidly from the age of 12, and I admit to total ignorance here. I know that you never put anything in a recipe without a reason, so I would really love to hear your reasoning here.

    With great affection and appreciation for your flawless recipes.

    Erin the Baker from Seattle :)

    1. deb

      Hi Erin — I find that buttermilk that comes in milk cartons separates, that’s all. It’s not like it would ruin the cake if you didn’t, but some of the solids might be stuck at the bottom.

  313. Alison

    I made this cake for the umpteenth time this weekend and, as always, it was a huge hit. I made 1.5x the batter and made three very tall layers. I brushed the layers with Chambord and filled them with seedless raspberry jam.

    Deb – When you get a chance, can you please add the weights to this recipe? I usually convert it myself but it would be even quicker to have the weights listed within the recipe. Thanks!

  314. HZ in DF

    Nothing like the bottom of the oven to teach you about poor math. Just for the record, two-thirds of a recipe is too much for two 8″ layers. Hoping the cakes themselves will still be fine even if my oven isn’t. Smells divine anyway.

  315. HZ in DF

    The cake turned out GREAT! in spite of spilling over onto the bottom of the oven. Next time I’ll do my math right so I don’t lose any of the deep, rich goodness…and I’m looking for an excuse to make the next time be this week :)

  316. Gopi

    Hey, Deb, I have a question. I just made this cake and the layers sunk in the middle. I did tests on the effectiveness of my baking powder and baking soda, and both passed. But, I was wondering if perhaps the alkali to acid ratio was off as there was too much acid from having both baking powder and buttermilk in the recipe? By the way, I did make my own buttermilk using the vinegar/milk combination you suggested in another post.

  317. Beth

    Hey Deb! I’m making this lovely cake for my sister’s baby shower. I want to use a vanilla icing so that I can make it blue. Do you have any recommendations for the best recipe to use with this cake? Thanks! :)

  318. Heidi J

    I made this couple days ago as a double layer cake. I only have two round cake pans and they are 9 x 1.5 inch pans. I made a 2/3rd recipe of this cake and it worked perfectly. Divided between the two pans, the cake rose to the very top of the pans, but did not overflow. It was delicious!

  319. maitrayee

    Hi Deb! Thank you so much. after trying and trying to achieve perfection for this gorgeous rich cake, I finally could get it yesterday. It came out perfect. I listed all the possible errors (including the one, where I used to use self-raising flour previously and never lined my cake pan, for this particular cake, thinking that they were perfect!) and put back in my oven, only to find the marvelous end results. Look forward to follow more of your recipes. Regards!

  320. clarissa

    I made this cake in two 9″ pans and it was THE. BEST. CAKE. I increased the temp because I was afraid it would not bake correctly at a lower temperature for so long. I split it into four layers. The cake was moist, luscious, chocolatey, decadent. This is the recipe I will use anytime I need a cake for a special occasion.

  321. Carrie

    Deb, I’ve made this recipe before but this was the first time I used it for a client’s order. It was for the client’s Retirement party/celebration at work – in just two days, I’ve already been contacted for future orders for this cake! I made as cupcakes and used the Sprinkles chocolate frosting (my fave: Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  322. Kyleigh

    I made this as cupcakes for a birthday recently, and it was the first time I ever made a chocolate cake that I felt was satisfying! Sooo moist and rich and chocolaty. It was fabulous! I highly recommend a splash of cognac in the frosting, too!

  323. Jeannie

    Hi deb! Do you think a layer of this chocolate cake will be good as a base layer for an ice cream cake? Ie, swapping the cookie crust in your ice cream sundae cake with this chocolate cake. I read freezing a veggie oil based cake is better than a butter based cake. Would love your opinion! Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Karine — See Comment #359. Good luck!

      Jeannie — Ooh, I think it would be delicious. I agree that oil gets less hard in the freezer, but this is also such a tender/soft cake that neither will be much of an issue. Good luck!

  324. Karine

    Dear Deb,
    I’m planning on making this cake for my son’s birthday next week, but I can’t find buttermilk in Lisbon (Portugal). Any idea as to how to replace it?
    Thanks so much!

  325. Reshma

    Can this cake be made into 3 9″ layers? I guinea-pigged the fudgy chocolate cake (which was yum!!) and want to try this one too to see which works better for the crowd I’m trying to please! Thanks!

  326. Marta

    Deb, I’d love to make the cake for my sister’s birthday but we don’t have corn syrup where I live. Would it make a huge difference if I used regular syrup instead? Or if I didn’t add anything at all?

  327. I made this and everyone loved it! Though, tasting the batter I added some more melted chocolate maybe an eyeballed 1/3 – 1/2 cup more, partially because my cocoa powder didn’t quite give me a full 1 1/2 cups, but it gave it just that hint more perfect richer chocolate flavor, also nixed the corn syrup and just made the straight ganache poured over the top garnished with a classic fresh raspberries and mint leaves finish. I’ve made this recipe and those to-die-for, can’t-believe-it’s-not-melted-chocolate, no-substitution-necessary brownies… A HUGE WINNER. Based on that I’m pretty excited to return to Smitten Kitchen when I’m looking for something else delicious I have a hankering to make for my crew. :D

  328. I’d never made a layer cake, but I knew that if anyone could walk me through it it was Deb. When my son requested a chocolate cake with two layers, raspberry filling, and chocolate frosting for his 6th birthday, I a) welled up with pride at his good taste and b) found this recipe and knew I had no excuse not to make it myself. It was delicious — moist and rich without being overly sweet. I’m a sucker for any recipe involving buttermilk. I baked the layers a week ahead and froze them. Took them out the day before the party to defrost, then frosted the cake in the evening. They came out flat and didn’t need to be trimmed. The frosting came together quickly (I used Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips) and was easy to work with once it was cooled to the right consistency. I cheated and used raspberry preserves instead of the filling, but next time I’ll try the filling. The tip post is essential. I froze the layers, invested in cake boards (an 8-pack for $8 from amazon), and stuck little pieces of waxed paper around the edges to frost it. I’m so glad I did all three. This cake is my new thing.

  329. I am having a problem similar to Gopi’s (#432) and Sara’s (#145). When I baked a batch (minus about 3/4 cup) in a 9 x 13″ pan, the middle did not rise properly (twice now). It is not a case of the pan being too full. I’m using the Williams Sonoma gold pan with a capacity of 17 cups, so the batter only fills it halfway. I use real buttermilk. I’m wondering if there is too much leavening or the recipe uses too low a temperature (my oven is accurate), so that the batter rises to fast and then sinks before it sets completely. Some of the chocolate layers I’m baking this week are for a wedding, so I’m especially interested in figuring out what is going on. I’d appreciate any insight you have. Thanks.

  330. deb

    Hm, if the ingredients were all correct (and I’m sure they were), I am definitely stumped. The only thing I can think of is that it’s possible, given the thinness of this batter, that it really needs a smaller vessel to “climb” (the dish’s walls) well. You didn’t use cake flour or Dutched cocoa powder, did you? These (well, if the cake flour has leavener in it) can throw off the acidity.

  331. Liz

    I made this (and your Instant Fudge Frosting from the Espresso Chiffon Cake) today for a get-together tonight, and not only did it get rave reviews from the thirty people who devoured it (in under five minutes!), but it got the ultimate seal of approval. My boyfriend, who doesn’t like any sweets beyond shortbread and your Chocolate Wafers (which I make so often that I have the recipe memorized), liked it. He won’t touch frosting, so I made a naked little cake just for him (he tolerates chocolate cake on rare occasions, like when I insist he have a birthday cake). He picked at it here and there all afternoon, and as I was putting it away tonight, he said it “tastes like the real thing.” That is the highest complement that man can offer to a dessert. I know which cake we’ll be having for his birthday in December! Thanks, Deb. You rock.

  332. Thanks for your reply, Deb. I used King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour. I buy fair trade chocolate, and the cocoa powder I used says it is “non-alkaline” which I believe means it is acidic, natural cocoa rather than Dutched. I baked a few layers at 325 and they rose better, although still not completely level. I patched the sunken layers with extra bits of cake and they were moist and delicious.

  333. I used two different brands of fair trade cocoa, and the first can is Dutched. I thought my sample cake was bitter so I weakened the coffee and switched cocoas. The cakes I wrote to you about were mostly natural cocoa mixed with a few spoonfuls of the Dutched.

  334. Grace

    Amazing. I didn’t know if it would taste great as I’m a bit weird about using vege oil instead of butter in baking. But is was so so good. It looks realy impressive as well, very tall. The raspberry filling makes it perfect, as it cuts the chocolate flavour and adds a bit of interest.

  335. Aunt Rosie

    Halp! I’ve been asked to bake a cake for my niece’s 50th birthday party this weekend. I’d really like to adapt this cake to serve 60 people. I’ve purchased a round 14″ cake pan but I’m not sure what to do now. Should I triple the recipe? Are there any special adaptations to tripling a recipe? Do you have any idea whether 2 layers be enough or should I make 3 layers?

  336. Priscila

    Hi Deb! love your site. I’m doing this cake for my birthday, and I was wondering why plain glanulated sugar instead of brown or light brown? I´m no expert in baking obviously but those are so good in baking sweets. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Priscila — No reason you cannot do a 1/3 or half swap of brown sugar here. Brown sugar is more moist, and this cake is already very moist and soft, so just a heads up that it will be even more so.

  337. Catherine

    Hi Deb, BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER! Made it for my son’s 6th birthday with a chocolate whipped cream frosting, they LOVED it. But, now I want to make it for work, but in a BUNDT PAN, what adjustments do I need to make? I assume a different oven temp or time? Anything else? Thank you!!

  338. Tara

    Home with bronchitis and hubby told me bakery cake would be ok for his birthday this year (40th). Um, no. This has been the cake I’ve made for his birthday for several years. I am making it and doing the raspberry filling for the first time. And my 3 1/2 year old (also home sick) is helping me make it! I do not, however, cut it into 4 layers. I just do the 2 layers. Love this cake!!!

  339. Shannan

    There wasn’t a bite left! Everyone loved it! I didn’t use the suggested icing, I made butter cream because I was making an Elmo cake.

  340. Raish

    Hi Deb! this looked so good and i wanted to make something layered over the weekend and i just had to try ur recipe and (to my utter surprise – coz i’m a hit or miss kinda baker haha) it was a success! the only thing i changed was the sugar content of the cake and to me it turned out pretty darn good. only wish i had raspberries handy to make the sauce… next time maybe and oh i didn’t have 10″ pans so i had 9″ triple layer cake! thanks, i really do love ur site!

  341. V

    Hi there!

    Thank you for your fabulous recipes! I was wondering how this cake is different from your fudgy chocolate sheet cake? (I see many people made the fudgy cake in circular pans and it was still great). Thanks!

  342. Tiffany

    My daughter made this for my 50th birthday. It was worth waiting 50 years for! Absolutely divine cake. Thank you, Deb, for this recipe. It was a VERY happy birthday. :)

  343. Sarah

    I made this wonderful cake for my son’s half birthday. I decided to cut each of the cake layers in half, making this a four layer cake. All was fine until there wasn’t room to set this beauty in the fridge (to keep the frosting cool until later). I took it to the front porch. Before I could set it down, it slid off the base. Yes, I used frosting to secure the cake to the base. Yes, I’m upset this happened. No, I’m probably not going to make this again anytime soon since it took me about 4 hours over two days to complete. I decorated it to look like Minecraft’s Enderdragon. The whole thing is so sad.

  344. Laurie

    The most moist chocolate cake I have ever made for my Mother’s 87th birthday! I used 3 – 8 inch pans, cooked for less time of coarse. I tried some high altitude adjustments, I’m in Colorado at about 6,200 feet and always need to adjust with cakes. I didn’t get this one perfect, it was a little sunken in the middle of each layer, I made it work with a little trimming and such. It did not affect the wonderful flavor, it was a hit and came out beautiful. I decorated the top with fresh raspberries. Do you have any high altitude advice, I sure would appreciate it, want to fine tune and get this one perfect!

  345. Natalia

    My husband wanted a “simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing” which meant no experimenting like I’m wont to do.

    Everything about this should’ve been a disaser – I didn’t have cream so I subbed some milk-butter-yogurt combo; I only had 1x 10- in cake tin so I dug up my old cake tins (small and shallow, batter filled 5 tins in total!); I foolishly ignored the advice to line with baking/parchment paper so pretty much none of the cakes came out neatly; I cooled the frosting too much or too quickly and it was too hard to spread – all in all, I sabotaged myself nearly every way possible.
    The sponge came out so battered it was impossible to frost the sides, so I ended up going for the “rustic” look and guess what? My husband LOVED it, said it beats his favourite cake from our local bakery, so this recipe is a keeper! Next time I’ll try to be more prepared. Thanks SK!

  346. Ayesha

    Can I omit the three ounces chocolate altogether and just use cocoa powder? Also is the cake brown ir darker in color

  347. Sondha

    This is just a huge thank you, Deb (I feel like I practically know you, you and SK are such a part of my life!). I just wanted to say that since discovering you and this recipe in the archives in 2009, I have used this cake as my engagement and wedding cakes, a Hollywood 100 cake (doble 50th) and we make at the very least 3 or 4 every year as just various birthday cakes, not to mention other gatherings of all kinds. It’s been almost every family milestone cake, and has just made it’s 4th appearance this year as a 30th cake. Thank you so very much for such a joyous, dependable cake that I have made in 3 continents and countless ovens to consistent success!

  348. Ayesha

    Hi deb,
    The cake tasted mind blowinggggg to be honest but I dont know the reason as to why the centre of my cake layers were a bit fallen or sunken? I followed the recipe exactly.. please help, I dont wanna discard this recipe just because of the sunken top, its so yummyyy otherwise

  349. Melissa

    Hi Deb,

    I am just wondering about the raspberry filling…do you know what the equivalent would be in cups for the frozen raspberries? Thank you.

  350. Emily

    I made this for my husband’s 30th birthday, and WOW it did not disappoint. I made it into 3 9″ layers (with NO room to spare! but no overflow). I also only have 2 pans, but put the remaining batter in the fridge while the first 2 layers baked. I noticed no difference in quality. Instead of raspberry filling, I made an espresso buttercream to go between the layers and for decorative piping on the outside. I’m glad I did, because I had JUST enough ganache to frost the outside of the cake (and I made a full batch), and I don’t think I layered it on particularly thickly. All in all it was DELICIOUS, but super intensely chocolate. This, of course, was perfect for my husband, whose favorite dessert is a block of dark chocolate. I definitely recommend freezing the layers before assembling – the delicacy of the cake plus the likelihood of the ganache setting up as you frost means you’ll save yourself a lot of hair pulling if you freeze the cake. :)

  351. Other Shelly

    Hi Deb,

    Everytime I try to make a ganache frosting it never thickens up like it’s supposed to. I’ve used high and low quality chocolates, refrigerated it, beat with powder sugar, and it always slides off the cake as a gloppy mess. Any suggestions?

    I would like to make this recipe for my birthday cake, but don’t want to have this issue yet again. Thanks!

  352. maitrayee

    Hi Deb,
    I have made most of my cakes at home from this recipe and have to say that it tastes great and the texture is awesome too. But, I have a consistent problem everytime I bake this one is that, it sinks from the centre. This creates cracks while dealing with the cake (frosting and fondant application) and this, requires lot of efforts. I so agree with few of the above comments, Sara (#145), Gopi (#432) and Barbara (#451) who also encountered similar problem. Do you think that the low oven temperature (300degF= 150 deg C) a reason for the sunken cake? I would be glad if you can figure out the problem. Thanking you in anticipation <3

  353. Charmaine

    I put my left over raspberry and chocolate ganache in the fridge and forgot all about them. I just discovered them today (I made them a month and a half ago)!

    Will this be okay to use still? I thought I’d make popsicles with yogurt and banana with it.


  354. Amanda

    I have one 9-inch round pan. How long should I cook one layer at a time? It’s for my son’s bday, I don’t wanna blow it! Thank you!

  355. Roan

    Without a doubt the best cake I have ever baked. I think that the rasberry filling recipe made way too much than I needed.Still, amazing:). I love your site, so keep up the good work!

  356. Rose

    I made this cake last night after picking local raspberries. It was a perfect celebration of raspberry season and week 35 of pregnancy. Baby danced for at least an hour after I ate a piece of this spectacular cake.

  357. Eliza

    I wish I halved the recipe. It filled up my food proc to the tippy top. We’re just baking for the fun of it on a rainy day, so it’s a bit much to have a bunch of cakes (we used smaller sized pans as well as cupcake pans too). That said, it’s simple and oh so delicious. We ate one of the cupcakes still warm with caramel drizzled over it. YUM!

  358. Jo

    Made this for my four year olds birthday yesterday, it was amazing. Everyone loved it. I didn’t use the icing though, I used chocolate sour cream icing recipe from epicurious that is a favourite of my family. The combination was amazing.

  359. Christopher

    Wow! What a cake! Best chocolate cake I have made. This is my first time putting coffee into a chocolate cake and it makes a world of difference. I love your recipes! Thank you!

  360. I just made this cake (again) and, at the request of the birthday boy, frosted it with a cream cheese/caramel frosting. Holy. Moly. I will never go back.
    I had to use a bundt pan instead of the usual rounds, and had about a cup of extra batter. But the temp and bake time were roughly the same.
    The cake was a little delicate for the bundt pan–even with the pan buttered and floured, it did not come out as cleanly as it does in the round cake pans. But frosting covers a multitude of sins, right?

  361. Amanda

    For posterity…I’ve made this twice now in a 10×15 rectangle pan, and I’d recommend you start checking at 35 min in. The edges do get a bit browned before the center sets but the center did not sink.

    Also for posterity….a combination of applesauce with almond and olive oils does not make an appropriate substitute in a pinch for vegetable oil. Taste is not great, texture is fine.

  362. Maitrayee

    Hello deb! I have tried this recipe of yours atlest ten times, if not more in the last couple of years. I just love the taste and the rich feel.. But I am sorry to tell you that every time II bake this cake, it takes me ages to correct it. The centre portion always sink and later, the icing and applying the fondant becomes a task. Although I have had never given up trying and retrying this recipe but now, I think I should or would you know what goes wrong with the baking procedure that I follow? Thank you!

  363. Sarah

    Gah! Altitude!! I am with Laurie (472) – in Colorado at about 6000 ft, and the middles fell on my layers. We are enjoying some morning cake on a snowy 7th birthday morning as a result, but I’d love any altitude advice (adjustments) if you have them – the cake is delicious!!!!

  364. Heather

    This was amazing. I used a favorite frosting w this cake and I can’t get over the flavor, and it was t that difficult either. Light, yet indulgent crumb. Complex deep chocolate flavor. Omg

  365. Kathy

    Tried this for the first time and it was delicious. My husband always wants chocolate layer cake for his birthday and I have tried several different recipes. This one is the best so far, even better than the Fudgy Chocolate Cake Deb used for Jacob’s birthday a few years back (how is he so big?). This cake is very chocolatey, nice and dark in color and stays moist for several days.

  366. Hi Deb! This cake looks amazing!!! I want to make it tonight for my friends bday!

    I was wondering, can I use INSTANT NESCAFE COFFEE Powder instead? If possible, would you be able to let me know how many teaspoons of coffee powder?


  367. Marianne

    I made this last night- it was fantastic! Lovely texture and chocolate flavour. I used 1 teaspoon instant coffee with 1 cup of hot water (I was doing 2/3 recipe). I am popular with work colleagues today.

  368. Anne

    I made this yesterday. I didn’t fully read the recipe before making it so was rather taken aback that this was a HUGE cake. With these measurements I made a 9 inch round cake, 12 full size muffins and 8 mini-muffins. It could be halved to be a normal sized cake in a 9 inch pan (bake for 40m). Also in case it helps other readers – I run out of sugar and put only 2.5 cups – I think it would have been nicer with the three cups indicated in the recipe. With the coffee and all the cake was almost bitter with only 2.5 cups (granted we didn’t frost the cake). Finally this cake is so so moist, really easy to make and delicious. Thank you for posting the recipe.

  369. Rachel

    Just taken this out of the oven after two hours, and still wondering if it’s baked through fully.. I had the right oven temperature, but baked in two 9 inch pans. Any suggestions why they took so long?

    Fingers crossed they’ll be okay when they’re cut into tomorrow!

  370. Mimi (another one)

    My 2 cakes are in the oven now – I’m really eager to see how this turns out.

    I only had small eggs, so took 3 and a half egg. The batter seems quite liquid, I hope that’s all right. I had to check the sugar weight, because I couldn’t believe the 600 grams :-D but there was no conversion error… (sorry for doubting you, Deb).

    As it is 10 o’clock at night, I put both pans in the oven at the same time above one another, and set the oven on “Umluft” (hot air blowing thru the oven, no idea what that is in English). I HOPE this works as well. No way I’m staying up til midnight to wait for 2 cakes to be baked :-D

    The cappuchino layer cake from SK was the first layer cake I made and it was a success – so let’s hope this one is just as great :) I need it for a sort of bar mitzvah on Sunday.

  371. Mimi (another one)

    Just one question (didn’t find it in the comments above) – is there no need to brush coffee (or some other liquid) onto the layers before assembling the cake, to make them moist?

    Would it make the layers “swampy”?

  372. Mimi (another one)

    Thank you for taking the time to answer! I tried a few crumbs that fell off the cake and now I know why you want to fend off guests with a spatula :-D they were sooo good!

  373. Mimi (another one)

    Just if anyone is interested: the cake was gorgeous.

    I baked the layers on Wednesday, froze them on Thursday, and assembled the cake on Saturday morning, so that the flavors had time to “come together” til Sunday afternoon.

    I cut one layer in half and spread some chocolate filling over it. On the other layer I spread the raspberry filling. Next time, I’ll use only raspberry, it was delicious.

    It was soooo moist and SOOO chocolatey, it was wonderful. I wish we could have cut smaller pieces, but that was a bit difficult.I made a buttercream to pipe some decorations on top, and added 2 drops of blue food color. Alas, it turned light green (might have glowed in the dark… :-D ) .

    Actually, I was aiming for the pigeon-blue decorations you had on some other cake (I think). I guess the yellow butter turned it green. Still, it looked stunning and was a big hit. Thank you for the recipe and your help!

  374. Kris

    I made this cake yesterday in an “I want chocolate cake” moment – I halved the recipe and got 12 cupcakes and a thin 8-inch round cake, which I then topped with the peanut butter cream cheese frosting recipe from the peanut butter chocolate cake recipe on your site. JUST SAYING. More good news is that this cake recipe can be done WAY simpler – I thought the long egg beating step was unusual for an American style cake with baking soda and baking powder, so I didn’t bother beating the eggs first for any time at all. I just melted the chocolate and coffee, then added the buttermilk and oil to cool the wet mixture down before adding the eggs, which I’d just lightly beaten with a fork. Worked great, and the cake is just as delicious as it was last time! So this can easily be made into a two-bowl recipe – add wet ingredients to dry and you’re done.

    1. Sara

      This really is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I look at others on your site and then I just think about this one and bake it for the next birthday- every time a chocolate cake is requested.

  375. Kate the Baker

    Just made this to celebrate my dad’s birthday – “chocolate” was all he requested. It was the most dense, moist, intense-chocolate flavor. Exceptional!!! I used very good chocolates (a mix of different kinds!) for both the cake and frosting & it was truly exceptional. Cake for breakfast, midnight duels for “sneaking” a piece, and already calls for a repeat! Thanks, Deb.

  376. DS

    I have made this twice now with great success. The first time I multiplied it by 1.5 to make a three-layer cake. The second time I made it as is. I will say that if using x1.5 recipe, it is a LOT of batter so be prepared.

    Thank you, Deb! Your recipes are so well-tested and reliable. I have never made something from your site that didn’t come out as it was supposed to. You have my trust! :)

  377. Danielle

    I rarely follow recipes to the tee, but this one was perfect. I thought the chocolate frosting would be a little too much chocolate, so I made an almond buttercream that went well with it. I think it was a good balance since the cake wasn’t very sweet.

  378. ela

    Following the recipe you have posted, its easy to cut the cake into 2- 1inch layers. You did mention, though, that you adapted it to cut into 4 layers. Did you double the recipe and end up with 4-1 inch layer or did you end up with 4- 1/2 inch layers? I’m having trouble imagining successfully cutting this cake into 4 layers. thanks!

  379. Tim

    Deb! I’ve made this cake for so many birthdays and celebrations…even for a friend’s wedding. It is most definitely the best chocolate cake recipe! Just wanted to say I made it this weekend with the fudge frosting from the Espresso Cake with Fudge Frosting post. OMG. Mind. Blown.

  380. Jennifer Monson

    I made this last week for my mom’s birthday and it was DELICIOUS. We are having a family get together with a larger number (too large for the normal cake) and I am wondering…
    Can this recipe be used to make cupcakes?
    What would the baking time be?

    Thank you so much!

  381. Emily

    I will never make another chocolate cake. I’ve made this several times over the last two years and it always turns out beautifully. I make it into 3 8-inch layers, and freeze them after they’ve cooled, which makes them easier to assemble. I usually make a flavored buttercream to fill it, which is a fun way to mix things up, while keeping the elegance of the plain ganache on the outside. Word of warning: there is really only enough ganache to coat the outside; if you want to use it between the layers (at least for a 3 layer cake) then I would 1.5 the recipe.