Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Layer Cake is the BEST chocolate cake you’ll ever taste! A rich chocolate cake with ganache frosting. This recipe also works so well with gluten free flour!
This post was originally published on March 9, 2009. It was updated with new photos and additional commentary in October 2020.
I first heard about this cake last year on the Today Show, where they reported that it was the most popular recipe at Epicurious.com. I made it for my sister’s birthday, and we loved it! My dad said it was one of the best chocolate cakes he’s ever had. He doesn’t often give out compliments, so it means a lot.
Original Photo from 2009 Post:
Original Commentary from 2009 Post: The picture is really unfortunate looking – I apologize. I made it at my parents’ house, and my mom didn’t have any 10-inch pans, so I used two 8-inch pans and a 9-inch pan, which explains why the cake is a little bottom-heavy. I just made the normal amount of frosting, so it didn’t cover completely, but it was still good! I’m sure it would be even better made the right way. Looking back, I probably should have just done two 9-inch pans and used the leftover batter to make a few cupcakes!
Gluten Free Chocolate Layer Cake
This cake is GREAT made gluten free!! I recommend a measure for measure flour such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour in place of all purpose flour.
Looking for More Cake Recipes?
Check out my favorite Cake recipes:
Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake
Mocha Cream Cake
Samoa Bundt Cake
Rich Chocolate Bundt Cake
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with Coffee Buttercream
- Two 10-inch round cake pans or three 9-inch round cake pans
For Cake Layers:
- 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate (such as Callebaut or Ghirardelli)
- 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (see note)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk (see note)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For Ganache Frosting:
- 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate (such as Callebaut or Ghirardelli)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
Make Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 300°F and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper or parchment paper and grease paper.
- Finely chop chocolate and combine with hot coffee in a bowl. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In another 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 coffee mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture on medium speed until just combined well. Batter will be very thin.
- Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until tested 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 pan 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.
- 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).
- Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.