There seems to be an “insert trendy food item here” day nearly every week, but this is definitely one we can all get behind. Chocolate Cake Day, that is! In honor of this decadent day, we plan on celebrating with this ultimate chocolate layer cake. What makes it so special, you ask? This cake has FOUR layers of super-moist chocolate cake layered with an ombre of chocolate fillings before being smothered in luscious, velvety fudge frosting. Yes, that’s right. An ombre filling! So grab a fork (and a tall glass of milk) and dive in!
Would you believe that we are all just one bowl away from this fudgey chocolate cake? No mixer required. This one-bowl cake recipe comes together rather easily, but if you decide to use a store-bought cake mix, we have tips for that too. The fun part is all about the filling! Using the same base, you simply add more and more chocolate to create the different layers. Pretty simple, right? Pipe on any remaining fudge with a frilly piping tip and sprinkle with chocolate jimmies to create the perfect finish.
For the cake
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot coffee (or water)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour four 6-inch round cakes and set aside.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk and oil. Crack the eggs into the liquids and add the vanilla. Whisk together to break up the eggs and stir until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in all of the dry ingredients. Stir together until mixed.
- In two batches, stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Keep whisking until smooth.
- While stirring, stream in the hot coffee. Mix until smooth. The batter will be fairly runny.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans. Allow to completely cool before filling and frosting.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting (recipe to follow).
For the filling and frosting
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 4-6 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- Place the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir to combine and set aside to cool.
- Place the remaining butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and the vanilla. Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until fluffy.
- Stop the mixer and remove about 1 cup of the plain vanilla frosting and set aside.
- Add the cocoa and melted chocolate to the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl. Add in at least one more tablespoon of milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk as needed until desired consistency is achieved.
- To fill the cake, place the bottom layer on a cake board or serving plate. Spread on about 3/4 cup of the fudge frosting with an offset spatula.
- Mix about 1/4 cup of fudge with about 1/2 cup of the plain vanilla frosting to create a milk chocolate fudge layer. Top the dark fudge frosting with the next layer of cake. Spread on the milk chocolate frosting with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake.
- Spread on the remaining plain vanilla frosting with an offset spatula and top with the last layer of cake.
- Frost the cake with the fudge frosting. With any remaining fudge, pipe on decorative dollops around the top of the cake and sprinkle with chocolate jimmies, if you’d like.
Don’t have four six-inch cake pans? This cake batter may be baked in two eight-inch cake pans, and then sliced in half horizontally to create four layers. Bake time will vary. The frosting may also need to be increased to cover the larger cake.