This Classic Chocolate Cake Pairs Moist Chocolate Cake Layers With A Rich & Silky Chocolate Buttercream. It’s The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need!
There are few things more comforting in this world than good old chocolate cake. It is, in fact, one of my favourite things to eat. The classic combo of moist chocolate cake and rich chocolate frosting is truly the best. To be honest, I don’t know what’s taken me so long to get this classic pairing up on the blog.
I have no shortage of chocolate cake recipes. Most of them use the same ingredients and formula, just in different quantities depending on the size of the cake. One of my oldest and most popular recipes is my Mocha Cake, which I used as a basis for the Chocolate Cake recipe I bring you today.
THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE
If you’re looking for a rich, delicious and moist chocolate cake, this is the recipe for you! I’ve been using this one for years and I love it. Not only is it super easy to whip together, it bakes up perfectly every time.
Most of my recipes can be made in either two 8″ pans or three 6″ pans, but for this chocolate cake recipe, it’s a little different. If you want to make a three layer 6″ chocolate cake, be sure to use pans that are at least 3″ tall, or use the recipe here that has slightly lower quantities.
You’ll often see this kind of chocolate cake recipe using hot coffee instead of hot water in the batter, and you can use either. I used to use hot coffee (it’s supposed to enhance the chocolate flavour), but I actually found it added some bitterness to the cake. Also, I’m generally pretty lazy, and it’s a lot easier to boil up some water instead of making coffee!
I like to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in all of my chocolate recipes, but regular cocoa powder will work just fine. Dutch-process has had some of the acid stripped from it and yields a richer flavour overall. Again, it won’t make or break the recipe to use regular cocoa powder here.
Buttermilk is not optional though, and cannot be swapped for milk, as it will affect the overall result. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own at home. I honestly never buy it because I only use it in chocolate cake recipes, so often times it will go bad before I can use a whole carton. Instead, I measure out 1 cup of milk (whole milk ideally, but I often just use 1%) and add in 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar (I always use lemon juice). Just let it sit for 10mins, and you have your own homemade buttermilk.
CHOCOLATE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
This chocolate buttercream recipe is pure heaven. It is seriously SO good. I’ve made chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream in the past, but have always struggled a bit getting it to look and taste very chocolatey. With Americanbuttercreams it’s easier to achieve that fudgey flavour and color. As such, I decided to add in more melted chocolate than I have in the past. I used 12oz of it in this recipe where I typically would probably use 8oz or so. The resulting frosting was amazing BUT it was quite soft. It’s possible that my chocolate wasn’t quite cool enough before I added it to the buttercream, but the buttercream needed multiple sessions in the fridge/freezer to firm up.
Typically if your Swiss meringue buttercream is soupy, it’s either because your meringue was still too warm when you added the butter or your butter was too soft. Usually, you can just stick the whole bowl in the fridge for 20mins and rewhip it, and it will come together perfectly.
This didn’t quite work out for me until (after two 2omin fridge sessions), I stuck it in the freezer for 10mins. It whipped up perfectly then, but it was still softer than a typical buttercream would be, and got even softer as I was frosting the cake due to the heat of my hand on the piping bag.
So if you don’t mind a softer frosting, go for the full 12oz of chocolate. But if you want something easier to work with, use 8oz instead (which is what I recommend in the recipe). It won’t be as dark, but it will still be delicious.
Most often when I’m using chocolate in ganache or frosting, I use a good quality semi-sweet chocolate from Callebaut. This time, because I wanted a darker color, I chose to use bittersweet chocolate. It was amazing. The buttercream is already so sweet due to the meringue, so the bittersweet chocolate is a perfect compliment. Unfortunately, I don’t know the percentages of any of the chocolate I buy, as the packaging doesn’t list them.
Either route you decide to take (semi-sweet or bittersweet), be sure to use the best quality chocolate you can get your hands on. This typically excludes anything you’d find in your local grocery store, but Lindt will do if you don’t have access to anything else.
The decorating technique here is very simple, though the soft buttercream did give me some trouble, and I ended up scraping it off and starting over. All you need to do is fill a piping bag fitted with a 1M piping tip, and pipe rows of frosting starting at the bottom. Rotate your cake turntable as you pipe so you get one continuous line. Start and stop in the same place so your “seam” will all be in one spot at the back of the cake.