My “Ultimate Chocolate Cake” is beyond moist. You could LITERALLY leave out it on the counter for several days and it would still be luscious. The surprise favorite for me  on this cake were the cacao nibs.

I’ve been making a lot of cakes and desserts using fresh fruit. There has been quite a bounty at the market, and I love a seasonal treat. That being said, I heard the siren’s song of chocolate calling my name. At first, it was a whisper, then it became more of a drum beat; urging me to make the most decadent dessert possible!

I don’t use the term ultimate lightly so if you are a chocolate lover I HIGHLY encourage you to make this cake!!

For those of you who have not been exposed to these little delights, they’re pure, unprocessed chocolate aka they’re very crunchy and chocolatey (vaguely bitter). They contrast the buttercream nicely and prevent the cake from cloying.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A SIMPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE?

  1. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in prepared pans until centers are springy to the touch.

WHAT MAKES THE CAKE MOIST AND FLUFFY?

  • Adding the right amount of fat gives chocolate cake a moist crumb. Using oil, as I did in this recipe lets you chill the cake without having to worry about it hardening. Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent; too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.
  • If you head over to my German Chocolate Cake post you will see another way to get a moist and fluffy crumb; creaming the butter and sugar coupled with whipping egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage then folding them into the batter.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A CHOCOLATE CAKE MOIST FROM SCRATCH? 

Use a nice quality cocoa powder, fresh ingredients and remember to balance the sweetness with a bit of salt. Follow the recipe below for the most moist and fluffy chocolate cake imaginable.

Don’t over bake your layers! Watch the batter and remove from oven when the centers spring back when pressed lightly and the edge starts pulling away from the pan.close xVolume 0% 

A FEW TIPS AND POINTERS

  • If you find cake decorating to be a bit intimidating then check out my How to Decorate a Cake post, it has lots of helpful tips and a full how to video.
  • To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set on the shop page or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!
  • The batter is very liquidy so while it will be AMAZINGLY MOIST the cook time will be longer than your average chocolate cake.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

  • If you are not a coffee fan then sub in milk, or water. The coffee, which you really don’t taste, helps bring the chocolate taste out but I know lots of people either can’t stand it or have dietary restrictions.
  • If you don’t have sour cream handy then plain whole milk yogurt will work just fine!
  • Buttermilk can be annoying to keep on hand as it expires quickly and most recipes use very little. I often use powdered buttermilk reconstituted with water or add a tablespoon of lemon juice into some whole milk to curdle it.
  • I’m OBSESSED with cacao nibs but you can totally skip them, or sub in chopped nuts. Use your favorite and never forget to toast them!!

On a personal note — I have to share that my husband and I ate EVERY PIECE OF THIS CAKE and have NO REGRETS! Let me know if you have as much difficulty keeping your hands off this cake as we did!

STEPS TO MAKE THIS CHOCOLATE CAKE

HOW DO YOU MAKE A HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CAKE?

  1. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans. I highly recommend using cake strips for a more even bake. Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. 
  2. Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine then mix on level 2 for two minutes. Distribute batter evenly to the three pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I recommend rotating the pans halfway through the bake. Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully.
  4. In a small bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tbs of cream then microwave for 40 secs on half power. Stir to combine then set aside. Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer). Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly. Add the cream. 
  5. Slowly mix in the ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Add the salt, as well. You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step. Mix until you have a fluffy, even consistency. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate ganache. 
  6. Pipe chocolate buttercream between each layer. 
  7. Pipe the buttercream on the outside of the cake. Smooth with a bench scraper and offset spatula. 
  8. Press cocoa nibs to the bottom of the cake (or the entire side, if desired).
  9. Use an 869 tip to pipe dollops on top.

If you’ve tried this recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 10 Servings

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake
1/2 cup sour cream (120mL)
1 cup buttermilk (236mL)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup strong hot coffee (355mL) (Use a Moka pot so it's basically espresso)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (177mL)
1 tbs vanilla extract (13mL)
3 cup all-purpose flour (360g)
2 2/3 cup granulated sugar (533g)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (50g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (4.8g)
1 tbs baking soda (14.3g)
1 tsp kosher salt (5.7g)
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
1 1/2 lb confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (338g) room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60mL)
1/4 cup Cocoa powder (25g)
1 tsp vanilla (5mL) optional
1 tsp espresso (5ml) optional
1/4 tsp salt (1.5g)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate (45g)
For the Decoration:
1/4 cup cacao nibs (about 60 grams)

Instructions

  1. For the Cake:
  2. Butter and flour 3 eight inch cake pans. I highly recommend using cake strips for a more even bake.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
  5. Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients.
  6. Whisk to combine then mix on level 2 for two minutes.
  7. Distribute batter evenly to the three pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F (176C) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I recommend rotating the pans halfway through the bake.
  8. Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully.
  9. For the Chocolate Buttercream:
  10. In a small bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tbs of cream then microwave for 40 secs on half power. Stir to combine then set aside.
  11. Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer).
  12. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly.
  13. Add the cream.
  14. Slowly mix in the ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Add the salt, as well.
  15. You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step.
  16. Mix until you have a fluffy, even consistency.
  17. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate ganache.
  18. For the Assembly:
  19. Pipe chocolate buttercream between each layer.
  20. Pipe the buttercream on the outside of the cake. Smooth with a bench scraper and offset spatula.
  21. Add a smooth coat of chocolate buttercream to the surface of the cake.
  22. Use an 869 tip to pipe dollops on top.
  23. Press cocoa nibs to the bottom of the cake (or the entire side, if desired).
https://yupfoodie.com/recipe/the-ultimate-chocolate-cake/