This moist chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting is a decadent dessert with a soft, rich crumb complemented by a creamy, luscious topping. It’s a favorite choice for celebrations and indulgent moments!
If you’ve been on the hunt for the moist chocolate cake recipe of your dreams, then you’ve come to the right place! Imagine biting into layers of velvety, rich chocolate flavor complemented with a silky fudge frosting. This recipe is the best of both worlds: simple ingredients and a fancy outcome that’s sure to impress.
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to accurately measure your flour to avoid dry, dense cake layers.
- Granulated & Brown Sugar: This combination adds sweetness and moistness. The brown sugar contributes to producing a fudgy cake.
- Cocoa Powder: Use dutch-processed cocoa powder. For a darker color, you could use dark (sometimes labeled as “black”) cocoa powder.
- Buttermilk: Gives the cake a tender crumb. If you don’t have buttermilk, a good buttermilk substitute is whole milk mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Coffee: Amplifies the chocolate flavor. Feel free to use instant coffee or even espresso powder mixed with water.
- Vegetable Oil: Keeps the cake moist. Olive oil or canola oil are good alternatives, but I prefer vegetable oil for a neutral taste.
- Eggs: Always ensure they’re at room temperature for best results.
- Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Our leavening agents and flavor enhancers.
- Chocolate Fudge Frosting: This glossy and rich frosting is made with butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. The addition of honey and heavy cream gives it a velvety and luxurious texture.
Step by Step Instructions
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl whisk together your wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Evenly distribute the cake batter among your prepared round cake pans. Give them a gentle tap to release air bubbles.
Place them in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Once done, cool the baked cakes in their pans for around 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
In a microwave-safe mixing bowl or using a double boiler, melt chocolate chips, honey, and heavy cream. Allow it to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream your room temperature butter until smooth.
Gradually add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat this mixture on low speed initially, then increase to medium speed, ensuring a uniform texture.
Incorporate the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Mix until you achieve a creamy chocolate frosting.
Lay one cake layer on your serving platter. Apply a generous amount of chocolate frosting on top.
Continue stacking cake layers, adding frosting between each layer. Finish by frosting the entire cake, ensuring the sides are covered. Optional: Decorate with chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or any decoration of your choice.
Tip: Ensure all your ingredients, especially eggs and buttermilk, are at room temperature for best results.
- Buttermilk: If unavailable, mix whole milk with a splash of lemon juice as a buttermilk substitute.
- Vegetable Oil: Canola oil or olive oil can be used in its place.
- Gluten-free: For a gluten-free option, use all-purpose gluten free baking flour.
- Chocolate ganache frosting: Instead of chocolate fudge frosting, you can use ganache. Check out this Triple Layer Chocolate Cake Recipe.
- Black cocoa powder: For an ultra dark chocolate cake, use black cocoa powder.
The type of cake pans you use matters. For instance, darker cake pans heat quicker than light colored pans. I personally recommend these 8-inch round cake pans for even baking and heat distribution. If you need to upgrade your kitchen tools, check out these essential items.
How to Store
Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Freeze
Place cake uncovered in the freezer for 1 hour. After 1 hour, wrap the cake with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature.
How to Prepare Ahead of Time
You can prepare the cake layers a day ahead. Once cooled, wrap the unfrosted layers in plastic wrap to maintain their moisture. Store the cake layers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Prepare the frosting on the day of assembly.
- To achieve the perfect cake texture, do not over-mix the batter.
- Always whisk your dry ingredients, especially cocoa powder, to avoid lumps in the cake batter.
- Use a scale to weigh out all of the ingredients for the most accurate measurements.
- Always preheat your oven for best results.
- For the best outcome, make sure ingredients like eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature.
- Use a scale to ensure even distribution of the cake batter between pans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bringing certain ingredients, such as eggs and butter, to room temperature ensures a smoother batter. Cold ingredients can cause the mixture to seize or become uneven, affecting the end result of your moist chocolate cake.
Coffee is used to intensify the chocolate flavor. While the cake won’t taste like coffee, it helps in deepening the rich chocolate notes, making it taste even more chocolatey.
Yes! If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of whole milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until it curdles, and it’s ready to use.
A toothpick or thin skewer can serve the same purpose. Insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs, your cake is perfectly baked. If it’s wet with cake batter, continue baking.
Absolutely. Both olive oil and canola oil are suitable substitutes for vegetable oil. However, do note that olive oil might add a slight fruity undertone to your cake, which can alter its classic flavor.
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Moist Chocolate Cake
- 3 8-inch round cake pans
- parchment paper
- Mixing bowls
- Stand mixer or hand held mixer
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk room temperature
- 3/4 cup coffee room temperature
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Make sure there are no pockets of flour but avoid overmixing.
- Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans. Tap the pans on the countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans and transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, honey, and heavy cream. Cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat to combine.
- Add the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla to the frosting mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting and spread a layer of frosting. Add the final cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting.
- Optional, you can decorate with chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or anything else you like.
Photos by Ashleigh Scott