This triple chocolate cake is a delicious chocolate layer cake with three types of chocolate. It has a moist chocolate crumb cake with cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips and it’s all topped with a rich chocolate frosting.
This triple chocolate layer cake is the ultimate chocolate cake. It’s rich, decadent, and so delicious – everything you could want in a chocolate cake.
This cake is loaded with triple the chocolate. It has rich chocolate in every single bite of the cake with a melted chocolate bar and cocoa powder in the cake batter. The batter is then full of chocolate chips.
The frosting for the cake is made with melted milk chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. And you can top the cake with chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings, for even more chocolatey goodness.
This ultimate chocolate layer cake is perfect for a birthday party, or other special occasion. It’s a labor of love to make it (I promise it’s not really that hard – but it is harder than my easy chocolate cake).
I adapted this chocolate cake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake.
How to make the best Chocolate Layer Cake?
Boil your chocolate, cocoa powder and hot water in a double boiler until the chocolate is melted. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir it into the melted chocolate for about 2 minutes until its thick and glossy. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks until combined. Add in the remaining sugar and beat it into the eggs until it’s light and fluffy.
Add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir them together. Add in the butter 1 slice a time, mixing between each addition.
Then add in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix it to incorporate fully. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix it in to fully incorporate it. Repeat with another 1/3 of flour, remaining buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.
Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
Pour the batter evenly into 3 prepared round 8 inch baking pans.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pans, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How to make chocolate frosting?
Melt the chopped up chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until it’s melted smooth. Set it aside.
Add the butter to a medium sized sauce pan over until melted. The add in the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Cook it up until the sugar is totally dissolved.
Pour the chocolate, the sugar mixture, and the heavy cream into a large bowl and whisk them together to combine. Use a stand mixer, or hand mixer if you have them.
Place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes, then place it over an ice bath. Whisk the frosting up once it is cooled, and beat it until it lightens and is fluffy, for a couple minutes.
Spread the frosting over each layer of cake as you stack them up, then over the sides of the cake.
Slice it up and serve when you’re ready to enjoy it!
How to store leftover Chocolate Cake?
As soon as the cake is cut into it will dry out some. You can cover the sliced edges of the cake carefully with plastic wrap, and store the leftover cake for up to 3 or 4 days at room temperature.
If your house is extra hot and humid, then I recommend storing the leftover cake in the fridge instead.
You can also cut the cake individually into slices if you only have a little left and wrap them each up individually in plastic wrap. Store individual cake slices at room temperature for the same amount of time.
Or you can freeze the individual slices of cake for about 2 to 3 months. Let the slices come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then enjoy when you’re ready.
Tips for making the best Chocolate Layer Cake:
- Line the bottom of your cake pan with parchment paper, before spraying the pan with nonstick spray to make sure the bottom of the cake comes clean from the pan with ease.
- Instead of hot water you can substitute hot coffee in the cake. The coffee brings out the chocolate flavor, but doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee.
- You can bake the cake in two 9inch pans instead of the 8inch pans if desired. You will bake them for about 20-24 minutes.
This chocolate cake is the perfect chocolate cake – loaded with chocolate all over, chocolate cake with chocolate chips, chocolate frosting, and
More Chocolate Cake Recipes:
- Chocolate Poke Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
- German Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake
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Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used the half dutch stuff)
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (softened)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate baking chocolate
- 8 oz milk chocolate baking chocolate
- 1 stick butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 TBS corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the Chocolate Cake:
- Add the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in the top of the double boiler (or a heat proof bowl).
- Heat over medium heat, stirring often until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir for about 2 minutes until thick and glossy. Remove it from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and vanilla.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until combined (use a stand mixer or hand mixer if you have it - on medium speed)
- Add the remaining sugar, 1 1/4 cup, and continue to whisk until light and fluffy, for about 3 minutes on high speed.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix them together until completely incorporated, at medium speed. Use a paddle attachment if you have it.
- Add the softened butter, about 1 TBS at a time, mixing for a few seconds in between each addition.
- Add one third of the flour mixture, mix to incorporate, then one half of the buttermilk mixture, then repeat with flour, then buttermilk, then flour. Fully mixing after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Fold the chocolate chips into the prepared batter.
- Pour batter evenly into 3 prepared 8 inch round baking pans. (Remember. Line the pans with paper then spray the paper with non stick spray).
- Bake for about 22-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the pans from the oven, and allow the cake to cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove to wire racks to fully cool before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Melt chocolate in double boiler with 1 inch of simmering water in the bottom, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat butter in a medium sized sauce pan over low until melted.
- Add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt to the butter and increase the heat to medium. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the chocolate, the sugar mixture and heavy cream into a large bowl and mix to combine (use your hand mixer or stand mixer again if you can)
- Place bowl of frosting in the fridge for a few minutes to help cool.
- Place bowl over an ice bath and stir slowly, constantly until frosting starts to harden around the edges of the bowl.
- Once the frosting is cooled and thickening, beat until the frosting is light and fluffy (use paddle attachment if you have it - on medium speed) about 2 minutes.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or plate. Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake layer. Add another layer of cake and frost. Then the top layer of cake and more frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over the sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with chocolate shavings, or chocolate chips if desired.
This triple chocolate layer cake was first posted on March 20, 2013. The photos and text were updated for clarity on May 26th, 2021.
Krys M. says
I am going to definitely going to make this BUT! I only have 2 round pans. Will this recipe be ok for 2 pans? Then can I use cake flour instead of reg flour? After making the frosting, I hope there will be enough to frost the cake as I can see “tasting” it won’t leave enough left.
You’ll want to fill each of the pans 2/3 – 3/4 full so you may have extra batter leftover if you’re only filling 2 pans instead of 3 (you could use the leftover to make some cupcakes or something). Since you’re doing less layers as well, you won’t need the frosting in between one layer, so hopefully you’ll have plenty 😉 I’m not sure how cake flour will work, but it should be okay, I haven’t tested it though. Let me know how it goes for you
I made this for my husband for his birthday. He took what was left of his cake to work to share with his office. It’s been two months and they haven’t stopped begging me to make another one! All of them swore it was the best chocolate cake they’d ever eaten. Apparently one developer spent his day sneaking into the break room to steal bites off the cake. Someone threatened to beat him with his keyboard if he didn’t go back to his office and leave it alone lol.
I lost the original printout of this recipe so I’ve spent the past couple hours scouring the interview to find you again. I’m printing multiples this time. And it’s saved in my cloud. I can’t lose this one!
Wow what a compliment Michell! I’m so glad you and your husbands co workers all loved it!! Glad you were able to find the recipe again 😉
thanks for sharing your recipe so much chocolate
Christine Krause says
I would like to try this, but the last 2 ingredients are confusing.
“1 1/2 sticks tablespoon, softened” (this is probably for butter, but is the amount supposed to be 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks). Which measurement is correct?
“1 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips.” There’s no mention of milk in the recipe, but although this is silly, that doesn’t mean if you don’t have chocolate chips, that you should use milk instead, does it?
Aimee Berrett says
Sorry for the confusion, milk chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips.
And you are right 1 1/2 sticks butter, I’ll correct that in the recipe.
You had me at TRIPLE chocolate. I’d like a slice of this for dinner please. And maybe even dessert. 🙂 so much melted chocolate in the frosting – how can you go wrong?
Thanks Sally. It sure is chocolatey but like you said “how can you go wrong?”. Chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 🙂