Matilda Chocolate Cake

Matilda Chocolate Cake

Matilda Chocolate Cake gets its name from the classic 1996 movie, “Matilda.” Its moist chocolate cake layers are covered in a smooth, glossy frosting making it a decadent dessert perfect for any celebration!

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Slice of Chocolate Layer Cake

If there’s an iconic chocolate cake, the one from “Matilda” would have to be it!  And I’m not gonna lie, every time I see that movie, I start craving a big ‘ol slice of chocolate cake. 

But not just any kind of chocolate cake.  It’s gotta have dense, moist, chocolate-y cake layers with swirls of glossy chocolate frosting!

After some trial and error, I can honestly tell you that this is THE BEST chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.  Yeah, that’s a big statement…and I mean it 1000%.  It starts with my Homemade Chocolate Layer Cake base, which has been my go-to chocolate layer cake for years.  But what makes this cake extra special is that fudgy, glossy frosting!  Mmmmm!!

Close-up of chocolate frosting

Why do you add coffee to the cake batter?

When you add a hot liquid to cocoa powder, it helps it “bloom,” meaning it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. You can “bloom” the chocolate with any hot liquid (milk, water, coffee, etc). However, I always choose coffee for my chocolate cake.

Why do I use coffee? Because coffee actually brings out even more chocolate flavor. Are you concerned you’ll taste the coffee? You won’t! I know it seems odd, but really it just helps deepen the flavor of the chocolate!

Chocolate Layer Cake with chocolate frosting on a platter

What pan size should I use?

You’ll see that this Matilda Chocolate Cake recipe calls for two 9” round cake pans.  However, there are a couple other options, too, in case you don’t have the 9” round pans:

  • 9×13” pan + 6 cupcakes
  • Three 8×8” round cake pans (will take several minutes less)
  • Two square 9×9” pans
Fork with a bite of chocolate cake on it

How do you store the chocolate cake?

Matilda Chocolate Cake is really best at room temperature. Therefore, if I’ll be eating the cake soon after completing it (within a few hours), I’ll just leave it at room temperature.

If it’s much longer than that, I store it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. Then, remove it from the fridge about an hour before serving so it comes to room temperature.

Can I freeze leftover cake?

Absolutely! I freeze leftover cake all the time. I typically cut my cake into slices and lay them in an airtight container with sheets of waxed paper in between. Then, when I want a piece of chocolate cake, I can easily just grab one and thaw it out! 

Close-up of Layered Chocolate Cake

Delicious chocolate dessert recipes

Fellow chocolate lovers, you know I’ve got some recipes that’ll be right up your alley!  Here are a few of the most chocolate-y and decadent!

Chocolate Cobbler – It’s like a chocolate lava cake, but wayyyy easier and just as delicious!
Chewy Homemade Brownies – These homemade brownies are dense, chewy, chock-full of chocolate and have a beautiful shine on top!
Hot Chocolate Poke Cake – This poke cake has all the elements of a delicious hot cocoa!
Cheesecake Brownies – Turn a box brownie mix into rich, fudgy brownies with a swirl of cream cheese filling!

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Matilda Chocolate Cake

Matilda Chocolate Cake

Matilda Chocolate Cake has moist cake layers covered in a smooth, glossy frosting making it a decadent dessert perfect for any celebration!
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Servings 16 slices


Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c hot coffee

Glossy Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 c salted butter
  • 3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c cream
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease two 9" round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda to your mixing bowl (I use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Stir until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined, add in the coffee slowly so you don't cook the eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir slowly until combined. Then mix on high for two minutes, scraping the sides halfway through.
  • Distribute the batter between the two prepared pans.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (A few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick is fine, but you don't want it gooey).
  • Cool for a few minutes. Run a butter knife around the outside of each pan, and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.

Glossy Chocolate Frosting

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.
  • Add the sugar, cocoa and salt and whisk together. (It will be a little bit grainy at this point, which is fine).
  • Whisk in the cream and sour cream. Continue to cook on low heat until hot and smooth, but do not let it boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Let the frosting cool in the fridge (it'll thicken) until it's at the right consistency.*
  • Stir the frosting until smooth and frost the cake.


*If the frosting thickens more than you’d like in the fridge, set it out at room temperature for a bit until it softens.
Keyword chocolate cake, layer cake


  1. 5 stars
    This cake is to die for. I thought my chocolate cake recipe was the ultimate until I tasted this. Moist, fudgey, chocolatey, and the icing is tangy and rich and smooth. I chocolate heaven. LOL Thank you so much, I got people begging for this recipe when I made it for a birthday party. I directed them to your site.

    • Oh my goodness, Deb!! Thanks for your review… totally made my day!!! 🙂 🙂 I LOVE a good chocolate cake and this one is definitely my go-to!
      Have a great day!

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