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Hi Bold Bakers!
Everyone needs a go-to favorite cake recipe that never fails to blow away friends and family. That doesn’t mean you need to spend hours and hours perfecting some five-tiered art piece that would be on a baking competition show. For me, it means my master recipes: Best-Ever Vanilla Cake, Best-Ever Carrot Cake, and the Best-Ever Chocolate Cake — with Whipped Chocolate Ganache.
This recipe is a NEW and IMPROVED Best-Ever Chocolate Cake, which deserved the title. If you’re looking for my lovely older version, you’ll now want my Incredible Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe with Fudge Frosting.
What I love about this chocolate cake recipe is that it does not need a mixer and is very fast to whip up all in one bowl. This chocolate cake is also known as Devil’s Food Cake, Black Magic Cake, and Death by Chocolate. Once you make it, you’ll see why it’s earned its namesake.
What Kind Of Chocolate
When you’re making something that I feel fully confident in calling the “best-ever” chocolate cake, you will need a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder to let it live up to its full potential! But that’s not all.
We’re talking about a deep chocolate flavor here. You only need a small slice to satisfy your chocolate craving. That’s because I use 100% chocolate in the cake — which is really rare. No one does that. It’s intense and so soft.
If you’re looking for a super fudgy cake, then go with dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is less acidic than other powders which will give you a more “chocolatey” flavor and a beautiful deep rich color.
Using Coffee In Chocolate Cake
Don’t worry! This cake will not taste like coffee, despite the cup of freshly brewed hot coffee that the recipe calls for.
Do you know how certain flavors bring out others? Like when you pair sweet caramel with sea salt — the salt somehow makes the caramel taste even more… caramel.
Bitter coffee actually makes a person’s taste buds more sensitive to sweetness! If you don’t have fresh coffee on hand, you can always use instant coffee or espresso powder. You can even use decaffeinated coffee!
What You Need To Make The Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
You’ll only need a few tools from your kitchen cabinets on your journey to an incredible chocolate cake.
- Two 9-inch x 2-inch round cake pans, or three 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knife or offset spatula
- Optional: A hand mixer for the frosting
How To Make The BEST Chocolate Cake
If you want to know how simple it is to make a chocolate cake, then look no further. Here are the basic steps on how to make your own (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- In a bowl, combine cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, and hot coffee. Stir and let the chocolate melt. As I said, I promise this won’t taste like coffee, and you won’t want to skip it!
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs together for a couple of minutes, until light and creamy.
- Add the chocolate mixture and blend until well combined.
- Finally, whisk in the dry ingredients. Stop just as soon as the batter is combined. Lumps are ok. Be sure to take care not to overmix or it can toughen the cake.
- Divide batter evenly into the cake pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cooling completely in the pan.
Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- In a pan over medium heat, warm the cream until the edges just start to simmer.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let the cream sit in the bowl without stirring for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, whisk to slowly stir the cream and chocolate together.
- At this point, the ganache will be very thin. It will thicken as it cools so place it in the refrigerator until it’s the consistency of custard, making sure to stir it every 15 minutes.
- Once the ganache has cooled and reached the consistency of thick custard, it is ready to whisk. (see above video for step by step)
- Add the softened butter to the cooled ganache and whisk by hand for about 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Take care not to over whip the ganache or it will taste grainy and will separate.
- Once the cakes are cool and the ganache is whipped, you are ready to frost!
Assembling the Cake:
- Split each cake layer in half to create 4 layers (for two 9-inch cake pans) , or 6 layers (for three 8-inch cake pans).
- Stack your cake layers with about a ½ cup of ganache spread between each layer.
- Once your layers are stacked, you are ready for a crumb coat: frost the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of ganache and place in the refrigerator to firm up.
- Once cold and firm to the touch, you can lay your thick, decorative layer of frosting on the cake without worrying about loose crumbs ruining your design – have fun and decorate rusticly.
- Storing the Cake: This ‘frosting’ is fresh so it’s best to store the cake in the fridge until 90 minutes before serving. For longer storage, freeze the cake in an airtight container for up to two months. To defrost, leave at room temperature in the covered container for a few hours. Extra ganache can be refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen in an airtight container for up to two months.
Gemma’s Pro Tips To Making Chocolate Cake
- DON’T overbeat your batter! Overbeating your batter will result in a tough cake.
- Make sure you check on your cakes after 25 minutes of baking to avoid overcooking.
- Make sure the cake cools completely before frosting, otherwise you’ll have a melty frosting mess.
- Top your cake off with my easy Homemade Sprinkles!
- If you do not want to use eggs in this cake you’re in luck! The eggs can be replaced with a flax egg. The cake might not be quite as rich but will still be lovely and have great texture.
- Make your own Brown Sugar if you’re out!
- And make my Homemade Sour Cream if you don’t have sour cream, or you can use yogurt, too!
How To Store Chocolate Cake
This cake will stay fresh for 3-4 days at room temperature if it is covered tightly with cling wrap. If you are making the cake ahead of time, an unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. To thaw, sit the cake at room temperature until it is defrosted and soft, then frost and decorate!
The fudge frosting can be used immediately or stored in a refrigerator for 3 days. The frosting can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow the frosting to come to room temperature before using it.
Get more of my Best Cake Recipes:
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below the video!