Super moist and delicious chocolate cake recipe with salted chocolate buttercream. Hot brewed coffee in this cake brings out the best chocolate flavors. This recipe makes one 6″ 3-layer cake or a 9″ 2-layer cake. You could also bake into a 9″x13″ sheet cake. For best results, weigh the dry ingredients on a scale as volumetric measurements can vary widely and impact the final cake.
- 3/4 cup (62 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
- 1 cup (240 ml) strong hot coffee* (or espresso or hot water)
- 1 3/4 cups (219 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk*, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (or canola or melted coconut oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Salted Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks (16 tbsp) salted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (2 tbsp) cream cheese (full fat), room temperature
- 3 cups (340 g) confectioner’s sugar, plus more if needed
- 3/4 cup (63 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup strong hot coffee (or espresso or milk if you don’t like coffee)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Baking the Cake
- Prep Pan + Preheat. Line baking pans with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick cooking spray to ensure easy release. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Pre-mix chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup (62g) cocoa powder and 2 tsp espresso powder. While whisking, slowly pour 1/2 cup coffee into the bowl. When chocolate mixture is smooth, pour in the remaining 1/2 cup coffee. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to ‘bloom’.
- Combine dry ingredients. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. After the chocolate/coffee mixture has cooled, add 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Pour this wet mixture into bowl of the dry ingredients. Whisk until batter is fully incorporated – the final batter will be loose.
- Divide + Bake. Divide batter evenly among baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean since bake times can vary. Cool cakes completely on a wire rack before assembling.
Making the Buttercream
- Beat butter + cream cheese. Add 2 sticks room temp salted butter and 1/4 cup cream cheese to a stand mixer or bowl with a hand mixer. Mix until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add remaining ingredients. Sift 3 cups confectioner’s sugar and 3/4 cup cocoa powder to the bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Start your mixer on low speed at first as dry ingredients come together, then slowly pour in coffee one tablespoon at a time until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, up to 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup. Then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the frosting is silky smooth. Set aside.
- Assemble. When cake layers have cooled completely, frost the cake, and allow it to set for a few hours before slicing.
- *Coffee – if you don’t have brewed coffee, replace it with 1/4 cup warm milk and 2 tsp instant coffee powder or 1/4 cup warm milk or 1/4 cup hot water.
- *Buttermilk – if you don’t have buttermilk or just don’t want to buy it, you can make it at home using milk and vinegar or lemon juice! To make 1 cup of buttermilk for this recipe, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Then pour in milk until you have 1 cup of liquid. Voila, homemade buttermilk!
Keywords: birthday, chocolate, chocolate cake