This Chocolate Cake is super soft and moist and intensely chocolaty — the perfect cake for everyone who loves delicious chocolate. This cake is made with oil for super moist cake layers. The frosting is made with only 3 ingredients and is beyond creamy. Decorated with lots of chocolate chips. It's easy to make, and you need just 25 minutes of hands-on preparation time. Detailed step-by-step instructions including photos and video provided.
Before we jump into the recipe, here are a few pieces of information about this cake:
This Triple Chocolate Cake is a simple and straightforward chocolate cake recipe. The chocolate cake is made with oil instead of butter to have super moist and delicious chocolate cake layers.
For the best chocolate frosting, please be sure to use just high-quality chocolate. Choose a semi-sweet (dark) chocolate of a brand you love. The taste of the chocolate affects the taste of the frosting. I love brands like Lindt, Ghirardelli, or Hershey's.
Let's start with the cake. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. These are flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder.
In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, combine all wet ingredients on medium-low speed. These are oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir just until combined.
Then add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Slowly mix in hot water and stir just until combined. The water should be hot boiling. Please take care that you don't burn yourself. The chocolate cake batter will be very thin.
Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Therefore cut out circles for the bottoms and stripes for the sides. Spray a bit of baking spray underneath the stripes that it sticks to the sides. I found out that lining also the sides with parchment makes it super easy to remove the cake from the pan without adding any additional fat or moisture to the sides of the cake.
Fill the cake batter into the two baking pans equally. Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate results. If you measure the pans, you can be sure that your cake layers will be equal in size and texture.
Bake at 350°F / 175°C for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick centered in the middle should come out clean with a few cake crumbs on it. I bake mine for 22 minutes. After baking, let the cake layers cool down for 15-20 minutes. Then remove from the pans and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate frosting. It can't be easier. You need just 3 ingredients: butter, powdered sugar, and chocolate.
Mix butter with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until very creamy. About 2 minutes. The butter needs to be room temperature. Cold butter doesn't mix that well, and you need to mix significantly longer to make it creamy.
Sift in powdered sugar and mix until creamy and combined.
Add melted chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy. Please don't add hot chocolate. The chocolate should cool down for about 10 minutes before you add it to the butter. But it should be still liquid though.
Assembling and Decorating
It's time to assemble the cake. Therefore, cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface.
Then place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner, or serving plate. Remove about ½ cup of frosting for decoration. Spread half of the remaining frosting over the cake. Then place the second cake layer on top and spread the remaining frosting over the cake and frost the outside and the sides of the cake.
Decorate with chocolate chips and the reserved frosting. I transferred the reserved frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 32B tip and piped it on top of the cake.
Chill at least 3 hours in an airtight container in the fridge. Cake slices are best eaten at room temperature. Therefore place it on the kitchen counter 15-30 minutes before serving.
- Do not overmix the batter. Just stir to combine at every step.
- Measure flour correctly. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with the back of a knife. A packed cup of flour equals 1.5x times the required amount of flour.
- Measure and divide batter into the two pans equally that they are baked through at the same time.
- Don't overbake the cake. Remove when a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- It's crucial to have the right oven temperature for perfectly baked chocolate cake layers. Therefore I can't recommend enough to invest in an oven thermometer.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder vs. natural cocoa powder
This chocolate cake calls for dutch-processed cocoa powder and baking powder. If you want to substitute with natural unsweetened cocoa powder, then substitute the dutch-processed cocoa powder 1:1. Instead of 1 tbsp of baking powder, use 1+½ tsp baking powder and 1+½ tsp of baking soda. Natural cocoa powder needs baking soda to react, and dutch-processed cocoa powder needs baking powder.
I added 1 tsp of espresso powder to the cake batter to enhance the chocolate flavor. No worries. You won't taste the coffee. But if you really don't want to add the espresso powder, then just leave it out.
For a gluten-free chocolate cake, I recommend using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1.
If stored in the fridge, up to 4 days. If stored at room temperature, up to 3 days. I recommend storing the cake in the fridge. If it is too warm and humid in your climate zone, the buttercream could get too soft and greasy.
The whole cake:
After chilling for 3 hours, place the Triple Chocolate Cake in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap two layers of tin foil around until completely covered. It freezes well up to 2 months. Unwrap the cake and thaw in the fridge overnight. Eat within 2 days.
Place the slice in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice, until fully covered. Place in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. It freezes well up to 2 months. For thawing, unwrap the cake and place on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours. Eat within 1 day.
Just the cake layers:
After baking the cake layers, remove the paper and let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic foil twice. Place in freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. Freeze up to 1 month. For thawing, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is room temperature, make the frosting and assemble the cake as described.
If you make this Chocolate Cake recipe, leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!
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Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (240g)
- ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled (65g)
- 1 + ½ cups granulated white sugar (300g)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil (120ml)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk (120ml)
- 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 cup hot boiling water (240ml)
- 1 + ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature (339g)
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted (360g)
- 1+½ cups semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (255g)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for decoration (175g)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the cake: In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla* just until combined. Stir in dry ingredients to combine. Slowly mix in hot water until combined. Be cautious that you don't burn yourself! The batter will be very thin.
- Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting: Mix butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in melted chocolate until creamy. The melted chocolate shouldn't be hot. After melting, let stand 10 minutes.
- Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner or serving plate. Remove ½ cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread the half of the remaining frosting over the cake. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate with chocolate chips and the reserved frosting. Chill in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Leftovers will stay fresh up to 4 days. Let cake come to room temperature before serving.
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- Read the blog post for additional information on how to make Triple Chocolate Cake, tips for super moist chocolate cake, how to store and freeze chocolate cake, substitutions, etc.
- Watch step-by-step photos to see the required consistency at every step.
- Watch the 78 seconds video to see the whole process of making Triple Chocolate Cake.