Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you! Rich, decadent, and incredibly soft, this chocolate cake is hands down the best chocolate cake you will ever try. With layers of silky chocolate buttercream and topped with a mouthwatering ganache, this recipe is the perfect way to impress your guests. This chocolate cake is an absolute dream, and once you make it, you’ll never be able to look at boxed cake mix the same way again.
What Makes This the Best Cake?
Our secret ingredient: coffee! It may seem strange to add coffee to chocolate cake, but trust me on this. The combination of coffee and cocoa results in a vibrant chocolate flavor that is both intense and incredibly tasty.
Don’t worry, it won’t taste like coffee! The coffee simply works to enhance the flavor of the chocolate without overpowering it.
Between the rich chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, and chocolate sprinkles, this recipe is a chocolate lover’s paradise. Every time I make this cake, the smells that waft through the house as it bakes bring my whole family running to the kitchen.
It’s become my go-to dessert for special occasions like holiday parties, family gatherings, and baby showers. I’ve found that the Best Chocolate Cake never lasts on the dessert table for long, so do yourself a favor and grab a piece early!
What is Ganache?
Aside from being one of the most delicious culinary inventions ever created, ganache is a simple mixture of chocolate and cream. It’s most commonly used as a filling in cakes, pastries, and candies.
The texture of your ganache is entirely dependent on your ratio of chocolate to cream. More cream will result in a looser ganache, while more chocolate will result in a more firm ganache that hardens when refrigerated. The former is typically used to frost cakes (like in this recipe!), while the latter is often molded into truffles.
To make the ganache, all you have to do is bring your cream to a light simmer, then pour it over your chocolate and whisk the mixture until the chocolate has melted and the ganache has been formed.
For an even easier way to make the ganache, you can simply add your cream and chocolate to a microwave-safe dish and microwave the mixture for one minute, then let it sit for a few minutes before whisking it all together into your beautiful ganache.
The amazing thing about ganache is that you can use any kind of chocolate you want to make it your own. White chocolate, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate will all produce delicious ganache.
For this recipe, I like to use semi-sweet chocolate to make my ganache, as I find that it brings the whole cake together really nicely.
What You Will Need for the Best Chocolate Cake
One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is that you probably already have most of the ingredients at home. As an avid baker, I usually have them all ready to go.
You will need sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt for dry ingredients. You will need eggs, buttermilk, black coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract for wet ingredients.
You can make your own chocolate buttercream frosting or cut down on time by using your favorite brand like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. To make your own ganache, all you will need is chocolate and heavy cream.
I highly recommend not skipping the ganache; it makes a world of difference in this phenomenal cake’s flavor.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
As for your kitchen tools, you will only need a few items: a large mixing bowl, an electric mixer, baking pans, a piping bag, and an angled spatula. The baking pan you use is entirely up to you, but I typically use two nine-inch baking pans so I can make it a double-layered cake.
You can also use a cupcake tin to make your chocolate cake into cupcakes or a larger baking pan to make it into a single-layered sheet cake. The options are endless!
How to Make the Best Chocolate Cake
There’s a popular misconception that baking a cake from scratch is difficult, but it’s really as simple as following instructions. If I can do it, you can too!
To make the Best Chocolate Cake, follow these simple steps:
- Heat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease and flour your baking pans then set them aside.
- In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix on low speed with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.
- Add your wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, then pour the batter into your baking pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, frost, and stack your cakes. Add your chocolate ganache to the top of your cake’s outer edges using the piping bag. Enjoy!
Serving Suggestions For The Best Chocolate Cake
Whether you’re baking this cake for a party or as a treat for your family, there are several ways you can serve it. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the Best Chocolate Cake:
- Complete your plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
- Serve up with a handful of fresh strawberries.
- With a sprinkle of crushed almonds or hazelnuts
- A tall glass of milk or a chocolate stout
- For coffee lovers, try making this cake with a coffee buttercream frosting.
- If you’re a big dark chocolate fan, try making your ganache with bittersweet chocolate instead of semi-sweet
- Want to make it bundt cake style? Increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.
How to Store the Best Chocolate Cake
While the Best Chocolate Cake is best served right away, you can store it unfrosted on the counter for up to 3 days or tightly sealed for up to a week in the fridge. Once you’ve frosted your cake with buttercream frosting, it can be stored on the counter for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it, as this will mess with the incredible texture of your cake, so it’s best to enjoy it while it’s fresh!
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp dutch process cocoa
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup black coffee (strong)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- For Ganache
- 2 cup dark semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour (2) 9-inch cake pans.
- 2. In an electric mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil till well combined.
- 3. In a separate bowl, measure and combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- 4. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and turn the mixer to medium and mix till well combined. (the batter should be a runny consistency).
- 5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake pans and bake them for 30-35 minutes.
- 6. Once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 7. Measure 2 cups dark semi-sweet chocolate and one cup heavy cream. Bring heavy cream to a boil and lower the flame.
- Add the chocolate and whisk until well melted and fully free of lumps. Put to cool for five to ten minutes before use. It should not be used while hot.
- 8. Use a serrated edge knife to level off each cake to get a flat surface. Spread buttercream or frosting on the top of one and place the other on top to make a layer.
- 9. Cover the entire cake with buttercream or frosting and then pour ganache from the top and let it run down the sides to cover the cakes completely. Put to cool and set in the refrigerator.
- Put the remaining ganache to cool in the refrigerator and pipe it onto the cake. Or you could pipe the frosting if you choose.
- Slice and serve!