The ultimate chocolate layer cake recipe – rich, moist, intensely chocolatey cake smothered with smooth chocolate ganache, the ultimate treat!
Everyone needs a go-to chocolate cake recipe, one that is guaranteed to work every time and is an absolute crowd pleaser, this one is mine. Of course what constitutes the ideal chocolate cake is fairly subjective as tastes do vary, but in my opinion it should have a very moist crumb, deep chocolate flavor and be smothered in rich chocolate ganache; this cake fulfils all those requirements magnificently.
The intense chocolate flavor is achieved by using a combination of cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate in the cake batter; the addition of coffee helps to further enhance the flavor but don’t worry if you don’t like coffee – you can’t taste it, it just deepens the chocolate taste. If you are really worried about being able to taste it you can just use hot water instead.
Using buttermilk and soft brown sugar ensures that the cake is wonderfully soft and moist, it almost melts in your mouth! I layered it up with a delectable chocolate ganache made with a mixture of milk and dark chocolates and heavy cream; using part milk chocolate rather than all dark makes sure that the ganache isn’t overly rich and can be enjoyed by all ages rather than just adults.
I purposely left my cake unadorned, this recipe is about the cake itself rather than any fancy décor; but if you want to dress it up a bit then it would look (and taste!) fabulous topped with a generous pile of fresh berries. You could also top it with chocolate curls, truffles or chopped candy bars for an absolutely over-the-top chocolate experience!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3.8oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup hot coffee (or water)
- 5 Tbsp cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine table salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 + 3/4 cups light brown soft sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs