How do you make the darkest chocolate cake?


Kurt Olsen

We simplify a delicious cake into 7 layers of chocolate ecstasy using our favorite chocolate methods.

Serves12 to 16

Makes1 (9-inch) 4-layer cakeWe independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were correct at the time of publication.

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There’s chocolate cake and then there’s this chocolate cake — four glorious layers of rich and tender dark chocolate cake, slathered with a whipped ganache frosting and drizzled with a bittersweet chocolate sauce. It is not the case. one-bowl cake It is not something you cook on a Wednesday night to serve after dinner. brownie-cake hybrid You recall eating as a child. This is a very serious, very deep and dark chocolate cake for people who aren’t afraid to shout their love of chocolate from the rooftops. The kind of cake so decadent that the only thing you can serve alongside it is a tall glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee.

A chocolate cake of this stature doesn’t have to be complicated. Using our favorite chocolate tactics, such as blooming cocoa before baking and beating chocolate and cream into frosting – we’ve simplified the process for maximum chocolate taste and smart kitchen efficiency.

The Deepest, Darkest Chocolate Cake

With its layers of black chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, and generous chocolate drizzle, this dessert is equally at home on a fancy dessert menu as it is in a diner dessert case. It’s not as sweet as many cakes, but the rich tastes of cocoa and dark chocolate make it a more grown-up affair.

  • In addition to flour, sugar, and eggs, this cake calls for Dutch-processed cocoa and unsweetened chocolate.
  • The whipped ganache calls for 24 ounces of chocolate and 2 1/4 cups of heavy cream. Use high-quality bar or dark chocolate instead of chips in this recipe.
  • From start to finish, this cake takes around 2 1/2 hours, including chilling time.

The Key Elements of Dark Chocolate Cake

  • Bloom the cocoa . Mixing cocoa powder with hot water (or coffee) is designed to bring out more flavor from the cocoa before you add it to the cake. The process of blooming hydrates the cocoa powder, giving it the intensity that our deep chocolate cake demands.
  • Bake the cakes. The cake batter itself follows a fairly typical cake mixing process after the cocoa has been bloomed, but it’s vital to get the cakes going before creating the frosting so that they may bake and cool while the frosting cools.
  • Make a rich ganache and cool. As soon as your cakes are in the oven, start making your frosting by making a ganache and letting it cool. The ganache comes together quickly but has to chill for approximately an hour before whipping.
  • Whip the ganache. At this point your cakes will be cooling and your ganache should be the consistency of very soft butter. Whip the ganache with an electric mixer until it has lightened in color and volume.
  • Build the cake. Before icing, divide your cakes into two layers and layer them with the whipped ganache. As long as your cake is cool and the frosting is at room temperature, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble coating the cakes, which means you can skip a crumb coat .

A chocolate cake drizzle is the last stage on our journey to chocolate cake perfection. A cake drizzle is just a thin ganache drizzled down the edge of the cake. It’s important that your cake be at room temperature and your ganache be warm but not hot for a beautiful cascade of drips down the side of the cake. While the drizzle is still wet on the cake is a perfect time to add chocolate sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or even mini chocolate chips to top off the cake — baker’s choice.

Slicing and Serving the Cake

You can serve this cake the same day it’s made or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before cutting and serving. A thin knife will produce tidy, attractive slices. Serve with a tall glass of milk, hot coffee, or a neat pour of bourbon.

We simplify a delicious cake into 7 layers of chocolate ecstasy using our favorite chocolate methods.


For the deep chocolate cake:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cupDutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cupboiling water
  • 2 ouncesunsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cupwhole milk
  • 2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1 teaspoonsalt
  • 2 sticks(8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cupsgranulated sugar
  • 4large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoonvanilla extract
  • 4large egg whites, at room temperature

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 2 cupsheavy cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds(24 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoonsvanilla extract

For the chocolate drizzle and decorating:

  • 4 ouncesbittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cupheavy cream
  • Chocolate streusel or shaved chocolate (optional)


Bake the cake:

  1. Heat the oven and prep the pans Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each pan with a parchment paper round; set aside.
  2. Bloom the chocolate In a small dish, combine the cocoa and water and whisk to make a thick paste.
  3. Heat the milk and melt the chocolate . Place the unsweetened chocolate and milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the chocolate is melted. Take the pan off the heat.
  4. Add the cocoa mixture to the milk mixture . Whisk the blooming cocoa mixture into the milk mixture until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature. In the meanwhile, prepare the dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk together the flour, leaveners, and salt . Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. . When the chocolate-milk mixture is ready, place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, an electric hand mixer and a big mixing bowl may be used.) 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the bowl’s sides.
  7. Add the yolks, followed by the chocolate mixture . With the mixer on low speed, add the egg yolks one at a time. Once fully incorporated, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the chocolate-milk mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract until well mixed.
  8. Fold in the flour mixture Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. Fold in the flour mixture by hand with a rubber spatula – don’t worry if there are a few dry patches; there will be additional folding later.
  9. Whip the egg whites . Place the egg whites in a wide, clean basin. Use an electric hand mixer or a whisk to whip to soft peaks.
  10. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter Fold in 1/2 of the beaten whites gently into the cake batter. To include the egg whites, use a broad flat spatula to gently scoop into the batter. It’s okay if there are some white streaks in the batter between the second and first batch of egg whites. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  11. Bake the cakes after dividing the cake mixture amongst the pans. Divide the batter equally between the two baking pans. Bake until the cake bounces back when pressed and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  12. Cool and remove the cakes from the pan . Cool the cake pans for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Flip the cakes out, remove the parchment, and place right-side up on the rack to cool completely.

Make the ganache frosting:

  1. Heat the cream in the microwave. Place the cream into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Place the chocolate in a large, heatproof basin while the cream is cooking.
  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let aside for 5 minutes to allow the cream’s heat to melt the chocolate.
  3. Whisk everything together, then let it cool for an hour at room temperature. Whisk the chocolate ganache until smooth, then set aside at room temperature to cool and thicken, about 1 hour. Before beating, the ganache should be around the thickness of room-temperature butter (soft and spreadable).
  4. Whip the cooled ganache into frosting. Beat the cooled ganache with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 8 minutes, or until it lightens in color and rises in volume.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Slice the cakes in half. Use a long, serrated knife to cut each cake into 2 layers. You should have four layers of cake.
  2. Layer the cakes with the whipped ganache. On a cake plate, serving platter, or cake circle, place a single layer of cake. Spread approximately 3/4 cup of the whipped ganache thinly and evenly over the initial layer. Repeat with the second layer and additional whipped ganache until you have three layers of filling and four layers of cake.
  3. Coat the cake with the remaining ganache. Dump the remaining ganache on top of the cake and use a spatula to work it down the sides until the whole cake is completely frosted. As much as possible, smooth the top and sides. Don’t worry, the chocolate drizzle will hide any flaws.

Make the chocolate drizzle:

  1. In a microwave-safe dish, combine the chocolate and heavy cream. Stir together the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute . Microwave the chocolate-cream mixture on HIGH for 1 minute.
  3. Stir to combine and let cool about 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth. Set aside until just warm to the touch, about 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon the drizzle onto the edges of the cake. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the top edge of the cake with a small spoon until it drips over the edge.
  5. Decorate the cake. If used, decorate with sprinkles or chocolate shavings before the drizzle solidifies.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Make ahead: The cakes may be cooked up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated after being carefully covered in plastic wrap.

Related Questions

  • Which dark chocolate is best for making cake?

    Dark Chocolate

    1. 85% Dark Chocolate Bar from Theo. Buy on Amazon Purchase from
    2. Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar.
    3. Equal Exchange 12 Pack Very Dark Chocolate Bars
    4. Chocolove 65% Rich Dark Chocolate Bar (12 Pack)
    5. Chocolove 70% Dark Chocolate Bar (Pack of 12)
    6. Chocolove Extra Strong Dark Chocolate Bar.
  • What is dark chocolate cake called?

    Death by Chocolate is a colloquial descriptive or marketing phrase for numerous cakes and sweets that include chocolate as the major component, particularly dark chocolate or cocoa.

  • What is the secret to a dense cake?

    You can try any of the following: adding a 1 oz. package of pudding (any flavor that complements the cake’s flavor profile), adding 1-2 egg yolks (along with the eggs called for on the box), or substituting milk for the water called for on the box. I hope this has been of use to you. Good luck with your baking!

  • What is the difference between chocolate cake and dark forest cake?

    What makes black forest cake different from conventional chocolate cake? Black forest cake is chocolate cake with cherries either in the batter, as a filling, or both and it’s usually covered in whipped cream and chocolate ganache.

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Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]