09 Oct Classic Layer Cakes: Chocolate with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Oh my goodness the last week and a half have been a whirl-wind! Last Tuesday was my dad’s birthday, Wednesday was mine and then Friday through Sunday was Austin City Limits Festival. I’m pooped!

And you know what birthday celebrations mean…all the cake!

My original plan was for last week to be Classic Birthday Cake Week, but obviously that didn’t work out. With all of the baking and celebrating sandwiched between dancing my buns off and more celebrating, there was no time to actually write and post. So I’m nixing the “birthday” and instead making this week about classic cakes

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Why classic?  Because my dad and I are pretty easy to please on the birthday cake front. We like run of the mill, old fashioned, plain jane birthday cakes. Give me a mile high, decked out, 25 ingredient cake any other day of the year. But on my birthday, I crave the classics.

Dad is a chocolate on chocolate kind of guy and I’m a fudge on yellow kind of girl. Of course by fudge on yellow I mean yellow cake mix with fudge frosting from a plastic tub. No judgement – it’s what I grew up on. It tastes like birthday.

But this post isn’t about my penchant for boxed cake.

It’s about Dad’s not-from-a-box, classic Chocolate Birthday Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream frosting. Which he had the nerve to tell me might be too moist.  I’m sorry…wha?

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Is it even possible for a chocolate cake to be too moist? Isn’t a moist, fluffy cake what all bakers strive for?! Here I am, cutting a perfectly fat slice, handing it over to him with a smug grin, watching him take that first bite, feeling like I’ve reached the peak of chocolate cake perfection…and it all comes crashing down.

Because my father the Chip-Ahoy-loving, frozen-Turkey-Tetrazzini-eating, criticizer-of-chocolate cakes said so.

But that’s also why it’s ok. Because he obviously has no idea what he is talking about.

This chocolate cake is perfection.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

My go-to chocolate cake recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. (More proof that it’s amazing.) I know there are a ton of chocolate cake recipes out there, but I’m quite attached to this one. It’s MOIST (!) and the coffee gives it a depth of flavor that is completely addicting. And I’m not even a chocolate cake person.

The fluffy whipped cream frosting is the perfect complement to the richness of the cake. Any with only 3 tablespoons of sugar it adds just a touch of sweetness unlike traditional buttercreams.


Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting


    For the cake:
  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • For the frosting:
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar


    For the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350. Butter three 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • For the frosting:
  • Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl large enough to hold the whipping the cream.
  • In a medium saucepan combine cream and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Whisk hot cream mixture into chocolate and mix vigorously until smooth.
  • Cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 4 hours (24 hours is best!).
  • Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the cream until thick, about 3-5 minutes.



  • Maegan @ The BakerMama
    Posted at 21:41h, 10 October Reply

    I’m with your dad when it comes to birthday cake! You can’t beat a good chocolate on chocolate cake and yours definitely looks like cake perfection! You make such pretty cakes! Happy Belated Birthday, by the way! Hope it was a great one! 🙂

  • Classic Layer Cakes: Yellow with Chocolate Fudge Frosting - Butterlust
    Posted at 12:07h, 15 October Reply

    […] this week I shared the cake I made for my dad on his birthday, Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting. In that post I mentioned my favorite birthday cake is yellow box cake with chocolate frosting from […]

  • Katherine
    Posted at 10:37h, 14 December Reply

    Hi there! This cake looks gorgeous and I’m making it! I just have a cake-novice type question: what’s the reason for baking this cake in three pans? Does it come out flatter that way? I only have two pans but I’ll bake it in two shifts if it makes a big difference in the end result being nice and flat!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 10:49h, 14 December Reply

      Hi Katherine! I baked mine in 3 pans solely because I wanted to have 3 layers and it’s much easier to split it into 3 pans versus cutting it into layers later on. You can definitely split yours between two! You may need to up the baking time a little bit – I would test at the normal baking time and then give them another 3-5 minutes if they’re not ready. Let me know how it goes!!

  • Lorie
    Posted at 15:24h, 22 February Reply

    this cake sounds wonderful! Love your blog, too! I’ve been trying to find a good whipped cream frosting for my dad. 🙂 We were talking about this bakery in CT, where I grew up, and how it was the best frosting, nothing like their whipped cream frosting anywhere. I moved down south close to 40 years ago now. Anyway, saw your recipe on pinterest. Can you tell me how long the frosting will hold up? I’ve been reading about using a stabilizer, but people seem to have issues with those, too. Also, is it easy to pipe? Sorry for all the questions!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 11:01h, 24 February Reply

      Hi Lori – thanks so much! You know, it’s been about 6 months since I made the frosting but I remember it holding up very well. I had the leftover cake in my refrigerator for about a week and the frosting held it’s shape and consistency the whole time. And yes, it’s very smooth and easy to pipe! I hope this helps – thanks again for stopping by and commenting!

  • Kristel
    Posted at 14:01h, 20 February Reply

    Hi! I would like to make a three-layered cake too, for a school competition!
    I was wondering how much chocolate and cream will I need for the filling if I have a 30cm pan and would like to spread it around the cake too?
    Would it be possible to do it with white chocolate and will I be able to colour it blue with food coloring?

  • Beth Holstad
    Posted at 18:08h, 13 August Reply

    This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. It was mmmmmmmmmmgood! Followed the recipe as written and it turned out perfectly. The cake was moist but not soggy – light and spongy. The frosting was yummy and easy to work with. Kept it in the frig and the entire family kept asking if I had more cake! I will make it again, and again! Thank you 🙂

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 09:51h, 14 August Reply

      LOVE this, Beth! Thank you for the feedback! It doesn’t get much better than a classic chocolate cake, am I right?

  • Hannah
    Posted at 09:03h, 02 March Reply

    If I baked this in a 9×13 pan, how long should it be in the oven?

  • Tina
    Posted at 17:46h, 13 July Reply

    Thank you sooooooo much
    Its been 2 months that I’m searching for a chocolate cake recipe as moist and fluffly as my lemon cake recipe and here you are!!!
    I just do exactly as you describe it, same quantity same ingredients and OMG its the best chocolate cake that I never had!!! THANK YOU

  • Stacey
    Posted at 22:16h, 08 October Reply

    So I made this frosting tonight and I don’t know what I did wrong! I let the cream/choco mixture sit in the fridge for 4hours, and when I whipped it with my standing mixer, it turned into the strangest lumpiest texture. Did I overwhip it? Is that possible? Any advice would be appreciated!

  • Aretha Brown
    Posted at 16:36h, 05 November Reply

    I made this cake and frosting e and it was FANTASTIC and everything you would hope it would be. The whipped cream held up really well over time. I used two 9″ pans instead of three 8″ pans. The cake tasted AMAZING a day later out of the fridge. This cake ROCKS. The only thing I might do next time is add a tsp nutmeg. I love nutmeg notes in chocolate.

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