My Chocolate cake is one of the most delicious, rich, dense, moist cakes you’ll ever try and makes the perfect basic layered cake but it’s also the PERFECT cake for carving and building 3D cakes as well!
This recipe is probably my most requested. Anytime I share one of my cake tutorials someone always asks about my cake recipe that carves so well. Not only does it carve well but it tastes AMAZING too! Super rich, decadent (one of my favorite words) and moist (yes I know some people hate that word, but how else would you describe a cake – super not dry???).
Now the reason I’ve never shared this cake before… I’ve been protecting my cake recipes hoping to someday share them in a cookbook. But I figured after so many requests I should simply share it. So that people following my cake tutorials will have a good cake for carving.
Not only do I use this recipe for almost all my carved cakes but also anytime I simply want a delicious cake for myself. Pretty much every holiday or anytime I’m asked to bring a cake this is the one (my second favorite to bring is my Cinnamon Chocolate cake recipe – I’ll share that next month).
When I’m carving a cake I use straight ganache for frosting. In fact often when I’m simply making it as a layered cake to enjoy I use straight ganache. But sometimes I want a softer frosting (as the ganache sets and firms up – which is great for under ganache, but not necessarily what you want for a simple layered cake.). So this mix of buttercream and ganache is my go-to. It’s rich, creamy and smooth. I’m slightly obsessed!
AND of COURSE I had to make a video for my favorite recipe ever! Seriously I make this cake probably about 3-4 times a month. Always my first choice for pretty much any cake.
Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe with Ganche buttercream- rich, dense and delicious
Perfect Chocolate Cake
- 8 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 4 C granulated sugar 3 3/4 C for high altitude
- 3 C all-purpose flour 3 1/4 C for high altitude
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 1/4 tsp for high altitude
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 C boiling water 2 1/4 C water for high altitude
- 10 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 C sour cream OR greek yogurt
- 1 C oil
- 4 lrg eggs slightly beaten
Chocolate Ganache buttercream
- 20 oz chocolate chopped
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 C butter slightly softened
- 3-4 C powdered sugar
Perfect Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 345 (370 for high altitude)
- Prepare three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans (if doing 8 inch pans I suggest 3 inches tall pans, or four of the 2 inch tall 8 inch pans) I use parchment paper circles on the bottom and a non stick spray on the sides
- Melt the baking chocolate in double broiler (or in a bowl over a simmering pot of water) then let it cool.
- In a large bowl, or bowl of a mixer add the sugar, flour, soda and salt and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl (or a large glass measuring cup) mix the boiling water and cocoa and let sit for a min (this lets the cocoa bloom and bring out a richer flavor)
- Then add the sour cream and oil and whisk.
- Add the wet mixture in a stream to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs slowly while beating on low.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix until uniform in color.
- Bake at 345 40-45 mins (raise the heat by 25 degrees and lower the time by 5 mins for high altitude)
Chocolate Ganache Buttercream
- Place the chocolate into a large bowl
- in a saucepan heat the cream - until just about to simmer
- Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 mins - then stir
- Let the ganache cool to room temp
- Beat butter and add 1 C powdered sugar
- beat in the corn syrup
- add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup as a time until you achieve a thick buttercream
- pour the ganache into the buttercream and beat.
- Chill for 5-15 mins in the fridge, beat again, chill, beat, chill, beat - until your happy with the thickness
Here is a sampling of the Cakes I’ve carved that use this chocolate cake recipe![riview showtitle=always tags=perfect-chocolate-cake size=150x150 lightbox=0]
And it’s time for this month’s Food Holiday – today is National Chocolate Day!!! Seriously could there be a better food holiday to celebrate?
10 new recipes from the Celebrating Food Bloggers
- Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Buttercream – HERE
- Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake – Life Made Simple
- Fudgy Double Chocolate Cookies – The Baker Upstairs
- Chocolate Mousse – Creations by Kara
- Vegan Chocolate Waffles – Namely Marly
- Selfish Bars – Foodie with Family
- Brownie Delight – Real Mom Kitchen
- Cocoa Chipotle Spice Rub – Hey Grill Hey
- Fast Fudgy Freezer Brownies – 365 days of slow cooking
- Spanish Hot Chocolate with Coconut Churros – The Noshery
19 of my most Chocolaty Recipes
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Salted Chocolate Brownie
- Ganache – frosting, truffles and drips
- Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream
- Hot Fudge Sauce
- Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
- Worlds Best Hot Chocolate
- Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissant)
- Chocolate Eclairs
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Texas Sheetcake
- Homemade Nutella
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
- Microwave Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate chocolate chip bagel
- Homemade Choco Taco
- Basic Chocolate Ice Cream
- Salted Caramel Chocolate brownies
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Made this buttercream and love it. Will be using it for my cakes from now on. This is a winner.!,
Confused about the cup measurement you are using.
Where I’m from the Metric system cup is 250g, but your recipe says 4C of sugar is 800g and 3C of flour is 375g. Please clarify the size of the cup you are using?
flour and sugar weigh very different things, so while a C may be 250 g in volume that’s not the same in weight.
For the chocolate ganache buttercream you mentioned that you like to use 3 different chocolates. Which ones do you use and which one do you use from Trader Joe’s?
The brands I use are callebaut, guittard, merckens, peter’s, trader joe’s or ghirardelli chocolate wafers (these are the brands I always have around so I just grab whatever is open, often mixing a few brands together). I stick with semi sweet, bittersweet and of course dark. I NEVER chocolate chips as they are made to hold their shape and not melt at high baking heats. So they don’t melt well without burning. At trader joe’s I buy their big bars and chop it up to melt and use.
This looks amazing! I really want to make this as cupcakes. I’m assuming the bake time would have to be changed though, any suggestions?
16-18 mins maybe? pretty normal cupcake time
This is an amazing recipe. I am making my second batch of cake now. The first was a hit with the family and at my work. The only change was that I added a raspberry jam I made in between the layers with the buttercream. I made the jam with 1 3/4 cup of frozen raspberries, 1/3rd cup sugar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
sounds wonderful!!! so glad you love it!
Not only the best chocolate cake that I have ever made, but the best that I’ve ever eaten! Absolutely outstanding! I had never had a ganache buttercream before, but I’m ALWSYS going to make it from now on. It takes time and patience, because of chilling and mixing and chilling again. But well worth it! Such a creamy decadent frosting, and the cake was moist and dense, but not too dense. Absolutely delicious.
thank you so very much!!!
Can the ganache buttercream be made ahead of time? If so, how would you store it? In the fridge?
yup – either in the fridge or freezer – then let it warm up enough to be able to beat it again
Made the Ganache Buttercream frosting but not the cake. Absolutely the best frosting I’ve ever experienced in taste and texture. You’ve nailed it perfectly. I hope to be able to make the chocolate cake along with the ganache buttercream next time around.
why does your recipe call for 3-4 cups of icing sugar when you only use 1 cup in your frosting? very misleading and confusing.
start with 1 C then add as much as you need, I used 3 in the end.
I love the cake recipe, but the frosting tastes like chocolate flavored butter. I felt sick after eating it, and I am someone who loves rich food normally. I will make this cake again and either do straight ganache or my normal chocolate frosting that I usually use. Thanjs for sharing!
I like straight ganache myself, but it’s often too rich for some people so I made this for those people. Also the type of chocolate you use will effect the frosting, I buy more expensive super high quality chocolate for a better flavor. But totally use whatever you want of course!
Hello! I just made this, my buttercream was delicious but something went wrong with the cake.. it was very wet for some reason and didn’t cook very well ( super dry on the outside but fine in the middle) I believe it’s because I had to add time for the middle not being cooked all the way. Any suggestions for my second attempt?
are you at high altitude? Did you use bake even strips and a heating nail in the middle of the cake – that will help it cook more evenly.
Hi Ashlee, would you be ok with this cake being prepared including the stacking and icing roughly 24-30 hours ahead of schedule? Plan would be to refrigerate until 2 hours or so before serving.
I never refrigerate cakes, as it dries cakes out. the buttercream will keep the cake fresh on the counter and yes you can make it the day before just fine.
Hi Ashlee. Just want to be sure that the sugar to four ratio is printed correctly. I’ve never seen more sugar that flour in a cake, but i’ve watched you carve and those look great. Is this the recipe you use?
Thanks, and have a great day!
this is the recipe i use for carving and it’s totally right in the recipe card.
Ashlee, Thank you for sharing your prized recipe. I’m making a number of cakes for a wedding coming up and wondered how well the buttercream stores? Could I make a batch on Monday and use it on Friday? This will be an outdoor wedding, do you have experience with how it holds up to a little heat?
I haven’t used this buttercream in a warm outdoor area, sorry. Since it’s chocolate I’d say it doesn’t hold up as well as using high ration shortening buttercream. I have refrigerated the frosting, then let it warm up slightly and rebeat to use later
I have a couple favorite chocolate cake recipes, but I just wanted to try something new. Yours is the best by far. I made it with the buttercream ganache for my brother’s surprise 50th wedding anniversary party. It was a hit. Thank you so much for a fabulous video and for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
you are so kind! I’m am so glad you love it and hope it was a hit at the party!!!
I found your blog and video through Pinterest when searching for a chocolate cake. I love that you include the video as it really helps to clarify things. I watched it first then used the written info to gather ingredients and to refer to as I worked. I tried it last night but didn’t wait long enough to let my layers rest in the pans, so they broke when I tried to turn them onto the rack. Tried again today and they came out AMAZINGLY! I made a little extra buttercream and used it to mix in with my broken pieces to make truffle style cake pops. Definitely will not go to waste!
oh no! I’m so glad they worked out the next day – and it’s hard to go wrong with cake pops! I’m so glad you like the recipe!
Hi Ashlee! I’m looking to make a cake for an outdoor event and the cake will be outdoors for 5-6 hours in the daytime. The temp goes from 75-85F where i live. Do you think the ganache buttercream would hold upwell in the weather?
I don’t think it would, it’s butter and chocolate. Shortening can hold up to warm temps but not chocolate and butter
Hi Ashley, what kind of oil do you use in the cake? I’m from the UK and have only tried recipes that use butter for cakes not oil 🙂
I use olive oil.
The “Perfect Chocolate with Ganche Buttercream” was SECOND TO NONE!!!!
so glad you loved it
This cake is beyond good. Rich and decadent. The only words that came out of my sons mouth was ‘Oh my gawd!’
I made the cakes ahead of time and froze them and they held up beautifully
Thank you so much! This is my all time favorite recipe, I’m glad you guys enjoyed it as much as I do!