Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

February 19, 2014

Here you have it, my new favorite chocolate cake! I’ve made three chocolate cakes this week (and believe it or not I’m still not sick of chocolate cake) but I’ve been on a mission to create my idea of the best chocolate cake.

I already have my favorite chocolate frosting that will likely never be replaced so that part was easy, but my old favorite chocolate cake is now just that, an old favorite. I wanted a cake with a little more chocolate (or cocoa anyway), so I decided it was time to create my own chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Here’s the rundown in what I’m looking for in a chocolate cake:

  • Chocolate flavor. This cake, loaded with it. The boiling water intensifies the chocolate flavor of the cocoa. I’m starting to think it’s a must for all chocolate cakes.
  • Moisture. We all hate dry cakes. I like mine really moist. This one, check.
  • Crumb texture. Is it soft? Is it fluffy or dense? Does it have stability? Soft is definitely a must and I like my chocolate cake somewhere between fluffy and dense. I’m not a big fan of the chocolate cakes that are so fluffy they just crumble apart and don’t have much structure but I also don’t want it so dense that it’s like eating a cheesecake.
  • Perfect frosting. An incredible frosting is just as important as a good cake. It is going to crown the cake after all. This frosting is likely the best chocolate frosting you’ll ever make. Just sayin :).

I really hope you love this chocolate cake as much as I do. Find a reason to celebrate and enjoy!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting | Cooking ClassyChocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting | Cooking Classy

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

5 from 3 votes

A perfectly decadent, rich chocolate cake. It has the perfect texture, a moist crumb, an abundance of chocolate flavor and its finished with an tempting, creamy chocolate buttercream.

Servings: 16
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (70g) unsweetened cocoa powder (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (235ml) boiling water*
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter**, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour (spoon and level to measure)
  • 1/2 cup (116g) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature (I like to use 1 cup unsalted and 1/2 cup salted)
  • 4 cups (480g) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (70g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 - 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment paper. Wrap cake pans with baking strips for the most level cakes***.

  3. In a large, heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Carefully pour boiling water in to cocoa mixture and immediately whisk to blend well. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

  4. Using an electric hand mixer set on low speed blend in vegetable oil and melted butter until combined. Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract and blend just to combined. Then add flour and blend until combined, and finish by blending in milk and sour cream just until combined.

  5. Divide mixture evenly among 2 prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, about 29 - 34 minutes. Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes, run butter knife around edge of cake and invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

  6. Trim tops from cake to form an even layer. Add frosting to top of one round then top with second cake and frost top and sides of cake. Store in an airtight container.

  7. For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
  8. In a the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, whip butter on moderately high speed until very pale and fluffy (nearly white in color), about 6 - 8 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.

  9. Add in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp heavy cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and add up to 1 tbsp additional cream to thin if needed.

  10. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip mixture until pale and very fluffy about 4 - 5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl. Keep frosting cool or it will start to melt if it rises above about 70 degrees.

Recipe Notes

  • *Water should be carefully measured after boiling. If measured before you won't have the same amount as some water would evaporate.
  • **Cake portion originally did not include any butter, I've updated it to include this for an even moister more fudgy cake. Also updated sour cream originally listed as 1/3 cup, increased to 1/2 cup.
  • ***Another update to this recipe is to use cake strips. You can buy them online (I have these) or you can make your own. I recommend using them or cake does dome a bit on top so if you use them you'll have taller more even cake layers that don't need to be trimmed to level.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cake
Author: Jaclyn
Post contains affiliate links.


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  • Lauren G

    Hey! I was wondering if you could use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?

  • Darline

    Hey, can i make this cake and put fondant on top of the cake and the buttercream?

  • Olesea

    I was slightly intimidated by this project at first because I have very little experience with baking, but I find the instructions easy to follow and so the result was a success!

    I did not have 9″ pans, but bought 3 disposable aluminum pans with plastic lids, 8 1/2″ each, and divided the batter into 3. Each layer turned out moist and yes, they did dome a little.

    When I was making the buttercream I decided to make 1/3 more of it because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough for decorating the cake. I was left with plenty so next time I would just make the amount that you suggested.

    Thank you!

  • Jessica

    I absolutely love your recipes! Could I possibly sub butter for the canola oil? I plan to make cake pops and oil makes them slip off the sticks.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Without further testing I can’t say for sure. The cake may end up dry. I might try a chocolate sheet cake as those are usually butter based. So glad you like my recipes :)!

  • Jennifer

    I dont have an electric stand mixer. Could i use an electric hand mixer for the frosting

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes that will work great too, it just takes a bit more mixing. Hope you enjoy!

  • Caitlin Veteto

    I made this cake for my aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary party. It received rave reviews. I used natural cocoa for the cake and 50/50 natural and dutched for the frosting. The cake and the frosting are the right level of sweet. The layers did dome a little. They also set firm enough to make them easy to handle. The frosting is delicious, but challenging for a cake that was iced the night before and moved. It doesn’t set up and crust. I think that is because it has more butter to sugar/cocoa than some. Just had to be extra careful with the temperature it was kept at (summer here in Oklahoma.) I have tried several chocolate cakes looking for a scratch recipe. This is only one I would make again. Thanks!

  • Pheen

    I’ve made your red velvet cake which was amazing. Wanted to ask of this has a similar crumb texture and moisture as the red velvet?