Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a rich (you guessed it) chocolaty cake covered in a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting.

Chocolate cake is probably my favorite cake of all cakes. I think I’ve divulged to you before, that as a kid I didn’t really like cake or even frosting for that matter. Which ultimately was why I was a size 4 until I had children, and as we all know with children comes birthdays and with birthdays comes CAKES and with cakes comes the bigger waistline… ya following me?


Speaking of birthdays… earlier this month was my Dad’s 63rd birthday! I can’t flippin believe it! I swear it was yesterday that he was pushing me and my sisters in the wheelbarrow lined with that egg carton-foam down our backyard hill! OMG so much fun! *sigh*

But my Dad is great! He is as laid back and chill as they come. Nothing makes him happier than a home cooked meal and seeing his grand kids. So making him happy isn’t hard at all… it’s actually quite easy. 🙂

He came over… we grilled up some steaks… and I made him {at his request} a chocolate cake with chocolate {buttercream} frosting. Pure heaven!

I modeled this cake recipe from Ina Gartins’ recipe because frankly it’s the best dang chocolate cake I’ve ever had! I omitted the vegetable oil and substituted it for applesauce as you’ll find in most {if not all} of my cake recipes. This cake is always a hit!

So here is my spin on a classic chocolate cake.

Here are the cake ingredients. Betcha couldn’t figure that one out huh?

Next line two {9 inch} round cake pans with parchment paper butter and flour them, make sure to tap out the excess flour.

Into the bowl of your mixer; sift all the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Then on low speed, mix the sifted ingredients until completely combined.

In a bowl combine the wet ingredients; buttermilk, applesauce and eggs.

If you don’t have buttermilk, just use one cup whole milk and add a tablespoon of white vinegar… *POOF* buttermilk substitute!

Add in the vanilla extract.

Whisk thoroughly until combined.

With your mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Grab the cup of cooled brewed coffee, pour it into the batter and mix until combined.

Don’t forget to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl.

Next divide equally among the two cake pans and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. The way I tell that the cakes are done is that they sort of pull away from the sides of the pan, and when a tester is inserted… it comes out clean.

Then allow the cake rest in the pans for 25 minutes then carefully turn them out on a wire rack to cool, completely.

Oh! And don’t forget to peel off the parchment paper!

Now on to the butter cream!!!!

Mmmmm more chocolate.

Next, roughly chop up the 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate.

Then bring a saucepan with some water up to a simmer {just enough water that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl}. Set the bowl of chopped chocolate on top so it can be warmed gently by the steam.

Next, keep stirring until melted and smooth.

Then when it’s finished remove from the pot and set aside to cool slightly.

Next, toss in the softened {room temp} butter in to your mixing bowl; on medium-high speed mix until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.

Then add in the yolk of one egg that was slightly beaten and the vanilla extract, and beat for another 2-3 minutes.

Next, turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add in the powdered sugar working in batches so you don’t end up wearing the stuff.

The butter/vanilla and egg should be a light yellow and fluffy.

Now this is where I wish I had an assistant… or remembered to set up the tripod. Ugh. What you don’t see is me pouring in the room temperature melted chocolate and mixing it on low. DO NOT WHIP! Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the mixer and give it one final mix.

Ta DAH! This totally smells AMAZING! But this is for my Dad’s birthday and not to dip pretzels in… so let’s get on with making the cake!

Next, place one of the cake layers upside down on to your cake stand or plate.

Then top with about a third of the frosting.

Next, spread out evenly and leave a little of an overhang.

Then place the second cake layer, right-side up, and place the remaining two thirds of the frosting on top.

Next, spread evenly on the top and down the sides until the cake is covered with the buttercream.

Here is the final look at my Dad’s birthday cake.

And here is the final slice! This is an amazingly chocolatey moist cake. The kind of cake that cures my craving for chocolate, the kind of cake that makes me glad I like cake and lets me forget about my waistline! 😉 Enjoy!

Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: two 9 inch cake pans and enough buttercream to frost them!

Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a rich (you guessed it) chocolaty cake covered in a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups natural high-fat cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled


  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature and beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans, tap out any excess flour.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer; sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the paddle attachment in place, mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the cooled coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to get all the ingredients incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating them half way through, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  3. Place 1 layer, upside down, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with about a third of the frosting. Place the second layer on top, right-side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

For the Buttercream:

  1. Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and then set aside to cool down to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beaten egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, working in batches, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and then beat at medium speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, add the cooled chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Careful not to whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.
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50 Responses to “Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

  1. #
    Chubby McGee — March 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    GORGEOUS and super yummy lookin'!

  2. #
    Andrea the Kitchen Witch — March 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    That is a beautiful cake!! So rich & chocolaty 🙂 Happy birthday to your Dad!!

  3. #
    The Answer Is Chocolate — March 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Yum. You knew I'd find this 🙂 Posting to my FB page. Happy birthday to your dad!

  4. #
    Evan — March 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Delicious! Nothing is more crowd pleasing than a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I'll have to look for high fat cocoa powder.

  5. #
    ravienomnoms — March 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Wow, your pictures are insanely good, just want to point that out first. Secondly, that cake….oh my goodness that cake. It looks so amazing! How sweet of you to bake something so fantastic for your Daddy, bravo!

  6. #
    Steph — March 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Yay for chocolate cake! Everytime I see chocoalte cake I always think of Matilda, where BRucey had to eat that huge cake 🙂 LOL This looks devine! Happy Birthday wishes to your dad

  7. #
    Suz — March 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    My chocolate cake loving husband would adore this! Bookmarking to make for his next birthday!

  8. #
    Emily — March 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    This looks beyond amazing! I love your flour and sugar containers as well. So cute!

  9. #
    Kelly — March 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Yummy! Just curious about the egg in the frosting. I've never made a frosting with egg and I'm curious if it changes the texture. (I use high quality eggs so not super scared about salmonella.)

  10. #
    Lizzy — March 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Beautiful cake! Happy b-day to your dad 🙂

  11. #
    Peggy — March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    That cake looks beautiful! Simple and classy! I'm sure your dad (and everyone else, for that matter) loved it!

  12. #
    Tiffany — March 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    There really is nothing like chocolate cake!

  13. #
    Brittany — March 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Yum! This looks delicious! 🙂

  14. #
    Sandra — March 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Omggg..what an amazing looking cake, and chocolate! Yummy! Your dad is so lucky to have you(and this cake LOL)

  15. #
    Jennifer — March 15, 2011 at 12:24 am

    aww happy bday to your dad! <3 that cake looks like chocolate heaven! yum!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  16. #
    The Food Hound — March 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

    I love Ina 🙂 She's brilliant! I might have to make this, even though I've already posted what I believe is the best chocolate cake EVER. But it's Ina… and your pics look amazing.. maybe we can share the #1 spot?? Happy birthday to your dad! And I love that you use Penzey's cocoa!

  17. #
    Ang — March 15, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Awww, happy late birthday dad. Too sweet. Not the cake of course. I have actually made Ina's chocolate butter cream frosting and holy smokes is it good.

  18. #
    Medeja — March 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    That cake looks amazing 🙂 I love such chocolate cakes

  19. #
    Pretend Chef — March 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I did not like cake, frosting, or even ice cream growing up. I sure was dumb. I love it now! This cake looks beautiful and so delicious. I love how simple it is. I need to make this for a friend's upcoming birthday!

  20. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — March 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes for my Dad!! You are all so kind!!

    Kelly.. addind the egg makes it more of a stiffer ganache type texture. Leaving it out will give it a softer silkier texture!


  21. #
    Katrina — March 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Oh how special to celebrate your dad's birthday! Congrats!! And I'm saving this chocolate buttercream recipe. I haven't had luck making my own chocolate. I'm determined…! ♥- Katrina

  22. #
    Amanda — March 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    what a great looking cake! my husbands birthday is coming up soon…i will have to remember this one!:)

    happy birthday to your dad. he looks so sweet!

  23. #
    briarrose — March 17, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Beautiful, moist cake. I wants it! Chocolate cake is my favorite.

  24. #
    Sarah — March 17, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Ah-mazing, I am so looking forward to trying this recipe!!

  25. #
    Erinsgobragh — March 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Oh my gosh your pics are so fabulous! I love it!

  26. #
    leslie — May 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    This is the "best" chocolate cake recipe ever! I've tried several but they were never as moist and flavorful as yours! I love your blog. Simply scratch is my favorite blog for recipes. Do you have a recipe for a white cake that is as moist and good as the chocolate cake recipe? Thanks Laurie. Sincerely Leslie

  27. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — May 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks Leslie!! I don't currently have a white cake recipe… but plan to work on one because of your lovely comment!! Thanks again xo

  28. #
    Jackie — September 13, 2011 at 6:43 am


    What is the purpose of using applesauce in your cake recipes.

  29. #
    Anonymous — December 15, 2011 at 2:57 am

    I tried the chocolate frosting with a vanilla cake- success! so simple and super chocolaty, not too sweet. Thank you!

  30. #
    Anonymous — January 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I was just wondering if I can make these into cupcakes? If I can, what time adjustments do I need to make? And do I need to do to the cupcake liners to keep them from sticking?

  31. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 16, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Definitely use the cupcake liners! They will save you so much time! Also, I always suggest baking them for 13-14 minutes and test them… then add a minute or two until you insert a tester and it comes back clean! Best of luck 🙂

  32. #
    Bergen — January 24, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Recipes like this make me wish I was a coffee drinker 🙁
    I've tried other chocolate cake recipes without coffee or applesauce and the chocolate flavor is never really there and they always end up a little dry so I am super excited to try this cake out! 🙂

  33. #
    Anonymous — March 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Why can't I pin any of your recipes to Pinterest?

  34. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — March 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Not sure, try clicking on the post title and try pinning again. 🙂

  35. #
    Katy — July 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I just made this recipe for my little guy’s two year old birthday party yesterday. So many people at the party asked me for the recipe, and numerous people told me they generally don’t like cake, but that this one was unbelievably good. Thanks so much for the killer recipe, Laurie! I have a feeling I’ll be making this one for years to come.

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 15th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      You are so welcome 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  36. #
    Farah from Malaysia — August 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you sooooo much for sharing all your wonderful recipes… whatever recipe i’ve used from has never failed me… i love this recipe, i baked them today and i haven’t add on the frostings yet and they’re already gone… so i thank you from the bottom of my heart…

  37. #
    Joanna — February 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Hi. Is it ok to use a regular unsweetened cocoa instead of natural high fat?

    • simplyscratch replied: — February 28th, 2013 @ 9:09 am

      Yes it totally is 🙂

  38. #
    Madison — January 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I was just looking at your recipe, and noticed there is no butter or oil! How does the cake stay moist?

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 12th, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

      Hi Madison, In the post I mention that I use applesauce in place of oil. It’s a great trick that adds moisture without all the calories 🙂

  39. #
    sabs — March 10, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Can this cake be made into cupcakes?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 11th, 2014 @ 1:47 am

      Sure I don’t see why not 🙂

  40. #
    Gean — October 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    not sure whether there is an error in the ingredients…amount of coffee perhaps…a full 1 cup?? made this cake today for my granddaughter’s bd and everything looked great as far as consistency of the batter but after adding the cold coffee at the end, was very runny and was not cooked through after more than 1 hour in the oven…..Please HELP??

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 14th, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

      Hi Gean! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. It’s hard to say without being in the kitchen with you. Unfortunately there isn’t an error in the coffee amount but it possibly could be a number of other things; i.e. inaccurate oven temp, a mismeasurement of flour? Are you baking the cake in two 9-inch round pans? I’m so completely baffled as to why the cake is not baked with more than an hour in the oven? Please keep me posted, Gean!

  41. #
    Gean — October 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    trying to email you back directly rather than posting but not able to….?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 14th, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

      Sorry about that Gean! It should be up and working now!

  42. #
    Abigail — September 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I FINALLY got to make this for my husband’s 40th birthday, this is the most amazing cake ever. I am not exaggerating, it’s moist and super flavorful, it’s rich without being too rich. This cake is a party in my mouth, and I love chocolate cake. My husband said that is the best ising he’s ever had and he loved the cake! Thank you!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 30th, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

      Oh that’s the best comment/feedback ever! I’m so glad Abigail! Happy Birthday to your husband!


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