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chocolate layer cake

Chocolate Layer Cake

This homemade chocolate layer cake has moist, flavorful layers and a light and smooth chocolate buttercream. You'll never need another chocolate cake recipe!
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Servings 16


Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder sifted
  • 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

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1/2 c hot water
  • 1 c salted butter
  • 6 c powdered sugar


Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease two 8" (or three 6") round cake pans. 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.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and then put in a freezer bag and freeze, if desired.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. This will enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • In a large bowl (again, I use my stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment), whip the butter until smooth.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar; stir. Add all of the chocolate mixture and finally the remaining powdered sugar.
  • Whip the frosting for a few minutes, scraping down the sides on occasion. The frosting will be light, fluffy and sooo delicious!

Building the Cake

  • Get the cake layers out of the freezer; don't let them thaw. (Frosting frozen cake is much easier than a soft crumby cake - it'll thaw out and be so moist and delicious!)
  • If your cakes are domed, use a serrated knife to carefully cut the tops off to level the cakes.
  • Place one cake on a serving dish. Spread some frosting on top.
  • Place the second cake over the frosting (I like to put the cake on cut-side down).
  • Frost the outside and top of the cake with a butter knife or whatever other utensils you have for decorating. (These photos show the look of just a butter knife - see, you don't need anything fancy to make a cake!!)
  • Add sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and/or chocolate shavings for decor.
  • Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.
Keyword chocolate cake, layer cake