The 16 Best Chocolate Cake Recipes of All Time

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Chocolate cake, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways… Just kidding, there’s literally no way we could possibly quantify our endless adoration for this classic dessert. And besides, these 16 recipes say it so much better.

1. CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE

With melty chocolate chunks embedded within, this dessert is a smorgasbord of chocolatey goodness.

Ingredients:

One 9-inch cake

CAKE

  • 3 sticks butter
  • ¾ cup stout beer
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, then dust with flour to coat.

2. In a medium pot, bring the butter and stout to a simmer, stirring until the butter is melted. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt and sugar.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Gradually add the butter mixture to the egg mixture, whisking well to combine.

5. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until the batter is well combined and totally smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs), 60 to 75 minutes.

7. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then run a knife or spatula around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan; gently invert the cake onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

8. MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: Whip the cream to soft peaks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the sugar and vanilla, and continue to whip until combined.

9. To serve, mound the whipped cream on top of the cake. The finished cake (before adding whipped cream) will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. With whipped cream topping, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

2. CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ladies, may we present the Platonic ideal of chocolate cakes. Sometimes simple is just so, so good.

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sugar (400 grams)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (210 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (64 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa, optional (11 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (12 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (6 grams)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240 mL)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee (240 mL)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (120 mL)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (4 grams)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  2. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin.
  3. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
  6. Frost as desired.

3. GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

Creamy caramel is the perfect accompaniment to this rich, moist masterpiece.

Servings: 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Ingredients

  • 4 oz sweet (German) chocolate, coarsely chopped 115 grams
  • 1/2 cup boiling water or brewed coffee 4.15 ounces/120 grams
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Batter Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 9 ounces/250 grams
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, softened (65 to 67°F) 2 sticks/8 ounces/225 grams
  • 2 cups granulated sugar or 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup packed light brown sugar (14 ounces/400 grams)
  • 4 large egg yolks ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons/2.5 ounces/75 grams
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to equal 1 cup) 8.25 ounces/240 grams
  • 4 large egg whites ½ cup/4.25 ounces/120 grams

Coconut-Pecan Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream 8.5 ounces/245 grams
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 7 ounces/200 grams
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick/4 ounces/115 grams
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten 3½ tablespoons/2 ounces/60 grams
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups grated coconut 3.5 ounces/100 grams
  • 1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped 4 ounces/115 grams

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F for a convection oven). Grease three 9- by 1½-inch round cake pans, two 8-inch by 2-inch square pans, or one 13- by 9-inch pan, line with parchment paper or waxed paper, and grease again.

To prepare the chocolate

  • Place the chocolate in a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over top, and stir until melted. Let cool. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Stirring together chocolate and hot water.

To make the batter

  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Cake dry ingredients sifted into a mixing bowl.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Beating butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Increase the speed to medium, gradually add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Sugar beaten into butter.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  • Eggs beaten into butter.
  • Stir in the chocolate.
  • Chocolate stirred into butter for cake.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk (4 portions for the flour; 3 portions for the milk) beginning and ending with the flour, until smooth. The batter will be rather thick.
  • Add the flour and milk to the batter in alternating portions.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on low until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until stiff but not dry, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Beating egg whites with a mixer.
  • Fold one fourth of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
  • Folding egg whites into cake batter.
  • Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched, 30 to 35 minutes for 9-inch rounds; 45 to 50 minutes for the 8-inch squares; and 45 to 50 minutes for a 13- by 9-inch.
  • Cake batter divided into three round pans.
  • Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes to wire racks and let cool completely, at least 1½ hours. The cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Three round cake layers, baked.

To make the frosting

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened or 170°F, about 12 minutes.
  • Egg yolks in a saucepan.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
  • Stirring coconut and nuts into frosting.

To assemble

  • Place a cake layer on a serving plate, spread the top with one third of the frosting. Arrange a second cake layer on top, spread with one half of the remaining frosting, top with the remaining cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting on top. Or for a sheet cake, spread the frosting over the top and sides; or cut the cake lengthwise into thirds and layer. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Do not freeze.

VARIATIONS

  • Substitute 2 ounces (55 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate for the sweet chocolate.
  • German Chocolate Cupcakes: Divide the batter between 24 (2½-inch) cupcake tins lined with paper liners, filling them about 2/3 full, and bake for about 25 minutes. After cooling, spread a layer of the frosting over top of each cupcake.
  • Hawaiian Chocolate Cake: In the frosting, substitute 1 cup chopped toasted unsalted macadamia nuts (4.75 ounces/135 grams) for the pecans, reduce the vanilla to ½ teaspoon, and add 1 teaspoon dark rum.
  • Chocolate Tomato Cake: Substitute 1 cup unseasoned tomato sauce for the buttermilk.
  • German Chocolate Upside Down Cake: This is a late 20th century adaptation, influenced by black bottom cake.
  • Omit the frosting; scatter 1 cup shredded coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans in the bottom of a greased and floured 13- by 9-inch baking pan; top with the batter; beat together 8 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup (1 stick/4 ounces/115 grams) unsalted butter, and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar until smooth, then drop spoonfuls over top of the batter; bake as above.
  • HINTS – To Toast Pecans: Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven, shaking the sheet occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

4. CHOCOLATE DUMP CAKE

One of the most decadent confections we’ve encountered in our (thorough) research. Cheat days exist for a reason, right?

Ingredients

One 9-inch Bundt cake (10 servings)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a Bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, combine the sugar with the coffee, chocolate, cocoa powder and butter. Heat the mixture in the microwave (about 1 to 2 minutes) or on the stove over a pot of simmering water (about 3 to 4 minutes), mixing occasionally, until the butter and chocolate are melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt to combine. Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth and fully combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  6. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove it while it’s still warm by inverting it onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

5. TWO-MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

Just microwave a few simple ingredients and you’ve got a delicious dessert all to yourself.

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 2 mins

TOTAL TIME: 7 mins

SERVINGS: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Optional Toppings

  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • Organic Powdered Sugar
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other fruit
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Zested orange

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a measuring cup.
  2. Pour the batter into your mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through.
  3. Enjoy plain or top with coconut whipped cream, powdered sugar or berries.

6. CHOCOLATE SKILLET CAKE

Like skillet cookies, but cake. We think we’re in love.

Ingredients

6 servings

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee (see note)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for finishing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch, oven-safe skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk the half-and-half with the melted butter and vanilla extract to combine.
  3. Add the half-and-half mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until fully combined. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and spread into an even layer.
  4. Pour the coffee over the batter (don’t stir!) and then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the cake is set at the edges but still looks jiggly in the center when you move the skillet, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

7. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH OREO CREAM FILLING

You never have to pick between cookies and cake ever again.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 10

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Oreo Cream Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 6-8 Oreo cookies , chopped into chunks

For the Chocolate Frosting*

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk , or regular milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and then spray well with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add oil, eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream and mix until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully pour in the boiling water. Beat on high speed for 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Invert cakes onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. (Once cooled I like to wrap them really well in plastic wrap and then tinfoil and freeze them until the next day, when I frost them. They’re easiest to frost frozen!)

For the Oreo Cream Filling

  • Beat the softened butter with electric mixers until light in color, about 3 minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar, ½ a cup at a time. Beat well to combine between each addition.
  • Add vanilla and milk and mix well. For thinner frosting add a little more milk. For thicker frosting add a little more powdered sugar. Fold in chopped Oreo cookie pieces. Spread filling over the top of one of the cake rounds. Top with the second cake round. Cover the cakes with chocolate frosting.

For the frosting

  • Add cocoa powder to a bowl with the melted butter and mix well to combine. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating until your reach your desired spreading consistency.
  • Stir in vanilla.

8. CHOCOLATE MAGIC CUSTARD CAKE

Trust us, this cake is certifiable proof that magic is real.

9. MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE

Lava has never looked so tasty. Come on, look at those swirls.

YIELD: 2

Prep time: 5 MINUTES

Cook time: 12 MINUTES

Total time: 17 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar; I prefer bars or baking chocolate to chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 of 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk (discard white or save for another use)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommended (doesn’t make cakes taste like coffee and serves to enhance the chocolate flavor)
  • ice cream for serving, optional but recommended
  • hot fudge for serving (homemade or storebought), optional but recommended

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and spray two ramekins (about 3-4 inches in diameter or about 4 ounces each) with cooking spray, place ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, butter, and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to whisk until smooth. If needed, return bowl to micro and heat in 15-second increments until chocolate can be whisked smooth.
  3. Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, optional espresso granules, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared ramekins, divided evenly.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges are set but center is still soft; don’t overbake. Baking times will vary based on oven, ramekins, and climate variances; bake until as done as desired.
  7. Allow cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute, gently rim the edges of ramekins with a paring knife, and invert over serving dishes to dislodge cakes.
  8. Optionally top with ice cream, hot fudge, and serve immediately. Cakes are best warm and fresh.

10. MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE

Frosting, marshmallows, butter—we’re all the way in.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oil , canola or vegetable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup boiling water

For topping:

  • 10.5 ounce package mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13” baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream and mix until combined. Reduce speed and carefully pour in the boiling water. Beat on high speed for 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle marshmallows all over the top of the hot cake, completely covering it.
  6. Return to oven (at 350 degrees F) for 2-3 minutes or until the marshmallows are just slightly puffed and melted.
  7. Allow cake to cool completely before drizzling frosting on top.

For the frosting:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add milk and cocoa powder and whisk well. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to make the frosting smooth.
  4. Drizzle warm frosting immediately over cake. Refrigerate cake for about 30 minutes or until frosting has set. Store at room temperature.

11. STRAWBERRY NUTELLA CAKE

This looks almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

YIELDS: 12 servings

PREP TIME: 0 hours 20 mins

COOK TIME: 0 hours 18 mins

TOTAL TIME: 0 hours 38 mins

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 4 tbsp. (heaping) Cocoa Powder
  • 1 c. Boiling Water
  • 2 c. Flour
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 c. Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. Nutella

FOR THE STRAWBERRIES:

  • 2 pt. Strawberries, Hulled And Sliced
  • 1/4 c. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 2 c. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 round baking pans with parchment, then spray the parchment with baking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the cocoa and stir it until smooth. Pour in the boiling water, let the mixture bubble up for 20 seconds or so, then turn it off and set it aside.
  3. In a measuring pitcher or bowl, mix together the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the hot chocolate mixture, stirring gently until it’s halfway combined and less hot. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and continue stirring gently until the batter is all combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the pans and bake them for 17-20 minute, until they’re just set. Remove them from the pans and set them aside to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries by stirring them with the sugar and the vanilla. Let them macerate for 15 minutes, then drain off the excess juice.
  7. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar.
  8. To assemble, turn one layer upside down on a serving platter. Spread half the Nutella all over the surface. Spread on half the whipped cream and top with half the strawberries Place the other layer upside down on top and repeat with the rest of the Nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries. Keep chilled until serving. Cut with a serrated knife!
  9. Note: Don’t assemble more than an hour before serving.

12. HERSHEY’S MILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

As if you needed another vehicle to consume Hershey’s bars (hello, s’mores), here’s the delectable treat all done up in a cake.

Ingredients

One 9-inch cake (10 servings)

CAKE

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 4-ounce bar unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk

FROSTING

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Three 1.55-ounce bars HERSHEY’S Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

FINISHING

  • Three 1.55-ounce bars HERSHEY’S Chocolate, melted
  • Three 1.55-ounce bars HERSHEY’S Chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  2. MAKE THE CAKE: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine.
  3. In a large heat-safe bowl, combine the unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Heat the water and butter in a medium pot over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to simmer.
  4. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and cocoa mixture, and stir to combine. If the mixture isn’t totally melted and smooth, microwave it in 15-second intervals until it is.
  5. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Add the eggs gradually and mix well to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add a third of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix to combine, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed. Add half of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Repeat with another third of the flour and then the remaining buttermilk, finishing with the remaining flour. Mix until combined, but don’t overmix.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and then bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes in the pans and then invert them onto cooling racks and cool completely to room temperature.
  9. MAKE THE FROSTING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix to combine.
  10. TO FINISH: Place one cake layer on a platter or cake stand. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake and spread it into an even layer. Repeat with the remaining two layers.
  11. Chill the assembled cake in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove, then pour the melted chocolate over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top.
  12. Serve immediately or hold at room temperature until ready to serve. Once sliced, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

13. HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE

Serve with ice cream, obviously.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 1 8×8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup cocoa powder and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk milk, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (batter will be stiff).
  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into corners. Sprinkle reserved cocoa and sugar mixture evenly over the top. Gently pour boiling water over cocoa. Do not stir.
  4. Bake until the top of the cake is cracked, sauce is bubbling and a toothpick inserted into cakey area comes out mostly clean, about 22-24 minutes. Cool on rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

14. CHECKERBOARD CAKE

Impress your guests with your ultra-artistic baking skills when you slice into this gorgeous number.

Ingredients

One 9-inch layer cake (10 servings)

CAKE BATTER

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, batter mixed according to package instructions
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix, batter mixed according to package instructions

CHOCOLATE CREAM-CHEESE FROSTING

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • One 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (with 2-inch-high sides).
  2. BAKE THE CAKES: Pour the chocolate batter into one cake pan, and pour the vanilla batter into the other cake pan. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 to 20 minutes, then invert them onto a cooling rack and cool completely (40 minutes to one hour).
  4. WHILE THE CAKES COOL, MAKE THE FROSTING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, and cream until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Cover the surface of the frosting with plastic wrap, then set aside.
  6. To make the checkerboard pattern, you’ll need 4 cake layers: 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla. (If the cakes didn’t bake flat and are rounded on top, use a serrated knife to trim off the risen part.) Use a serrated knife to cut each cake horizontally into 2 even layers.
  7. Place a 6-inch round plate in the center of a chocolate cake layer and use a small knife to trace around it, cutting through the cake. Place a drinking glass (about 3 inches in diameter) in the center of the 6-inch round and trace around it with the knife, cutting through the cake. Separate the pieces so you have a 9-inch ring, a 6-inch ring and a 3-inch circle. Repeat this process with the other chocolate layer and both vanilla layers.
  8. BUILD THE CAKE: Reassemble the 4 layers by nesting contrasting pieces. For example, start with a 9-inch chocolate ring, insert a 6-inch vanilla ring in the center and finish with a 3-inch chocolate circle. (We’ll call the chocolate-vanilla-chocolate ensembles your “mostly chocolate” layers, and the vanilla-chocolate-vanilla ensembles your “mostly vanilla” layers.)
  9. Place a mostly chocolate layer on a cake stand or platter. Scoop ⅓ cup frosting into the center and spread it evenly on the surface of the cake. Place a mostly vanilla layer on top and spread with another ⅓ cup frosting. Place another mostly chocolate layer on top, spread with another ⅓ cup frosting and then finish with the last mostly vanilla layer. (Alternating layers is what makes the checkerboard pattern when you slice the cake.)
  10. Use a spatula or butter knife to frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, then slice and serve.

15. CHOCOLATE QUINOA CAKE

This delicious bite has quinoa in it, meaning it’s definitely, definitely good for you.

Servings: 12 -16 servings, depending on size

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans (or a 9×13 pan) and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment. (Do not skip the parchment if you want to be able to flip the cake out of the pan.)
  2. Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in the blender or food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter and puree until completely smooth. Stop the machine as needed to scrape the sides and make sure everything is well mixed. This will be a thick and creamy consistency once the quinoa is pureed. (You should not see any little beads of quinoa in the pureed mixture.) Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the contents from the blender. Stir until well combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake on a center oven rack for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before inverting them onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the parchment and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  4. Place the chocolate chips in a medium size glass bowl. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until is gently simmers. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or so and then whisk to combine until it is smooth and glossy. Refrigerate and let cool completely. (2-3 hours in the refrigerator or about an hour in the freezer.) When fully chilled. use a mixer to whip the chocolate cream into soft peaks.
  5. Place one cake layer upside down on a plate. Scoop half the frosting onto that layer and gently spread it across almost to the edge. Place the other layer on top of the frosting and top with the remaining frosting. You can frost the sides if you like, I chose to leave mine simple. Chill 2-3 hours before serving to allow the frosting to set. Enjoy!

16. CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE

Meet your new favorite way to get your morning caffeine. Yes, cake for breakfast is allowed.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 16

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Espresso Cake:

  • 10 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 ounces Dutch-processed cocoa powder (9 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 50% cream + 50% whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup espresso vodka such as Van Gogh (regular espresso may be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 21 ounces granulated sugar (2 1/4 cup)
  • 6 large eggs (room temperature)

Chocolate Espresso Italian Meringue Buttercream:

  • 13 ounces (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 16 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon espresso vodka such as Van Gogh, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon brewed espresso room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the cakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly spray the bottom of 3 8-inch cake pans with baking spray and then cover them with parchment rounds. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until the dry ingredients are evenly combined. In a separate small bowl, combine the half and half, espresso vodka and vanilla extract.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on low speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer still on low speed, swiftly alternate between adding the dry and liquid ingredients over the course of a minute. Scrape down the sides well, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans, using a spatula to even out the tops.
  5. Bake until the a toothpick comes out of the center of each cake clean, approximately 30-35 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pan before removing.

Prepare the frosting

  1. Add sugar, water and corn syrup to a medium sized sauce pot. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to simmer and steam has developed, remove the cover (this helps prevent crystallization). Using a candy thermometer, cook the sugar to the soft boil stage, 235-240 degrees F.
  2. While the sugar is cooking, whisk the eggs on high in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until a soft peak has formed.
  3. Turn the mixer speed down to medium low and very slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Don’t pour the hot syrup directly into the meringue.
  4. Once the syrup is completely incorporated, turn the speed to high and allow the meringue to continue to form a stiff peak while cooling down. Mix on high until the meringue has reached room temperature. To speed up this 15-20 minute process, ice packs can be placed around the bowl.
  5. Once the meringue is room temperature, slowly begin incorporating the soft butter on medium speed. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer speed up to high and very slowly add the chocolate, espresso and vodka.

Assemble the cake

  1. Place the first layer of cake on a revolving cake stand and remove the parchment paper. Placing a cardboard round below the cake is optional but will make transporting the cake easier after it is assembled.
  2. Spread approximately one cup of buttercream on the cake and spread it around evenly with an offset spatula. Add more buttercream as needed to reached the desired thickness. Repeat with the second and third layer (don’t forget to remove the parchment each time). Use an offset spatula to apply a thin layer of frosting to the side and top of the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set this first layer of buttercream. Cover the entire cake with a final layer of frosting. Grate some unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate on top of the cake for decoration, if desired.
  3. Cake is best when served at room temperature.

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