When I want to bake but I’m not quite sure what to make I usually tend to make something that I’m craving. Today – chocolate cake. I am IN LOVE with my chocolate cake recipe. It’s decadent, rich – but light and moist. All things I love in a great cake!
I am pairing my favorite chocolate cake with a creamy whipped dark chocolate buttercream. It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s so stinkin’ delicious that I’m pretty certain I may consume half the cake myself!
Mostly though, I love this cake because of the memories it brings me. Growing up, I would request a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting every year for my birthday. My mom, without fail, would make it for me… from scratch and with love every time. Our birthdays were only 2 days apart, so we always shared a birthday cake. I don’t know if she loved this cake as much as I did, because she never asked for anything different… or maybe she was just being a good mom and letting me have what I wanted. Either way… nothing could ever beat her chocolate cake. Not even this recipe.
My mom passed away a few years ago… but, every time I make a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting I am reminded of her and how we shared this cake on our birthdays.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1½ cups brewed coffee
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
- 5½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cup + 3-4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- chocolate shavings (garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease, line with parchment paper and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans. Each pan should get 3 cups of batter.
- Bake 26-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, use a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure both layers are the same height.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter until smooth.
- Add the dark chocolate cocoa powder and mix on medium-high until combined.
- Add the sugar and salt and mix until incorporated. The frosting will be very thick.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again for 20 seconds.
- Add 3-4 Tbsp more of heavy cream until you have reached your desired consistency. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip on high for 3-4 minutes.
- Place a piece of wax paper on your rotating cake prep stand and place the flattest side of one layer on it. Spread a thick layer of frosting on the top of this layer of cake.
- Place the second layer, flat side UP, on top of the frosting.
- Crumb coat the entire cake. (A crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting that seals in the crumbs.) Place cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Spread a ½ inch layer of frosting on the top and side of the cake. Using an offset spatula, smooth out the sides.
- Spread an even layer of chocolate shavings on the top of the cake. Place cake back in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Gently slide the cake off the wax paper and place it onto your cake stand.
- Press remaining chocolate shavings onto the bottom edge of the cake closets to the cake stand.
- Serve with a giant glass of milk and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!