Dive into the rich, chocolatey depths of this double chocolate cake, a dessert that promises an unparalleled indulgence. Crafted for the true chocolate lover, this cake combines a moist, dense base with a luscious frosting, each bite packed with intense cocoa flavor. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply satisfying a sweet tooth, this cake is designed to deliver a deeply satisfying chocolate experience.

This double chocolate cake recipe is the ultimate treat for anyone who believes there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. With cocoa-infused cake layers and a creamy, rich frosting that blends melted chocolate and heavy cream, it’s a testament to the power of chocolate to bring joy.

on a serving platter

The Chemistry of Chocolate Cake

The success of this cake lies in the balance of ingredients and the chemical reactions they undergo during baking. The combination of baking soda and baking powder ensures a rise that’s both substantial and even, creating a perfect crumb texture. The use of hot water not only intensifies the cocoa’s flavor but also contributes to a moist cake by allowing the cocoa powder to “bloom”. Meanwhile, the buttermilk adds a slight tanginess that cuts through the richness, balancing the overall flavor profile.

Can I use coffee instead of hot water?

Absolutely! Coffee can enhance the chocolate flavor even further, adding depth without overwhelming the cake with coffee taste.

How do I ensure the cake layers are moist?

Avoid over baking by checking the cakes for doneness at the 22 minute mark. The cakes should be moist with a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick when tested.

double chocolate cake

What’s the best way to store leftover cake?

Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before serving to enjoy its full flavor.

Can this cake be made in advance?

Yes, the cake layers can be baked, cooled, and frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 months. Frost and thaw before serving.

double chocoalte cake with a slice out

What is in double chocolate cake?

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Cocoa Powder

Provides a rich, sweet chocolate flavor. Creates a dark brown color in your treat. Absorbs water in your batter or dough at the same rate as flour. That means, if you add too much, you could end up with a dried, crumbly finished product.

Baking Powder

Puffs up your batter or dough instead of spreading it out. Baking powder contains a little bit of baking soda, an acid & cornstarch. Because of this, it only needs a liquid to react. It also consists of two different acids, so it’s double reacting. It reacts as soon as it’s mixed with a moisture and then again when it’s heated up.

Baking Soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter or dough. It increases the spread in your treat and encourages browning, which gives the crispy outside and soft inside texture that everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will activate your baking soda are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk and sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, which is right when it’s mixed into your batter or dough. The soda creates little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Hot Water

Helps to intensify the chocolate flavor by “blooming” the cocoa powder.

Vegetable Oil

100% fat, contains no water and has a higher melting point. This means it will not melt down in your oven, resulting in thicker cookies or brownies. It doesn’t help leaven your treat like butter can, so it can make your treat flatter and greasier.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Buttermilk

Contributes to the cake’s tender crumb and balances the sweetness.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Unsalted butter

Often the main ingredient of frosting, it adds structure to your buttercream. It also adds a smooth and velvety texture. Butter melts at body temperature, so it will make your frosting have a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

Chocolate Chips

Is a form of chocolate. Chocolate chips are not pure chocolate, they are typically made up of cocoa, sugar, emulsifier and vanilla.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Makes a softer, more spreadable frosting. When melted with chocolate it adds more fat and moisture to the mixture, resulting in a silkier blend.

a full double chocolate cake

Storage Tips

For best results, consume the cake within 3 days when stored at room temperature or within a week if refrigerated. The cake’s flavors continue to develop, becoming even richer a day after baking.

Freezing Options

The unfrosted cake layers can be frozen for up to 3 months, providing the flexibility to bake in advance for special occasions.

Making Ahead

Bake the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them for later assembly. The frosting can also be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Simply bring it to room temperature and whip it briefly before use.

double chocolate cake with a slice out

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Why make double chocolate cake?

This double chocolate cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of chocolate in its most divine form, offering a moment of pure, unadulterated pleasure with every bite.

Recipes You May Love

Double Chocolate Cake

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Assemble: 30 minutes
Servings: 20
Rich, dense and moist double chocolate cake.

Ingredients 

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  • In a standing mixer combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Turn the mixer on low and pour the hot water and vegetable oil in. Turn off the mixer after you have poured both in.
  • Add the eggs and stir until just combined.
  • Turn the mixer on low again and pour the buttermilk in. Add the vanilla extract in after.
  • Continue mixing until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the batter evenly into two 9-inch cake pans that have been greased and lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the cake and allow to cool in the pan. Once cooled, remove from the pans and wrap each in plastic wrap. Place them in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to chill before frosting.

Frosting

  • In a microwave safe bowl add the heavy cream and chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly. Repeat once and then stir until all the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • In a standing mixer add the butter and mix until softened.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined, it will be dry and clumpy.
  • Add the chocolate ganache mixture and stir until combined.
  • Turn the mixer on high and whip for 2 minute until lighter in color and texture.

Assemble

  • Place the first cake layer on a cake board or platter, frost the top of the cake layer with a thick layer of frosting.
  • Place the second layer on top of the frosted cake layer. Frost the sides and top with a crumb coat, catching all of the crumbs.
  • Place the frosted cake back in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and frost all over with a second top coat of frosting.

Nutrition

Calories: 700kcal Carbohydrates: 93g Protein: 6g Fat: 36g Saturated Fat: 18g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 80mg Sodium: 304mg Potassium: 226mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 73g Vitamin A: 685IU Vitamin C: 0.02mg Calcium: 75mg Iron: 3mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

Double chocolate cake titled