This Chocolate Layer Cake with Ganache was created for my oldest son’s birthday a few years ago . Like his dad and brother, he’s a major chocoholic and there was no shortage of chocolate in this Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake!
A Moist Chocolate Layer Cake is ideal for birthdays and special occasions, and when there’s a surprise white chocolate ganache filling, every bite is sheer bliss.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake with Ganache
It’s pretty much a tradition to have a chocolate layer cake two days after Christmas. Still full from all the holiday over eating, we have one more special event to celebrate before the New Year. I can hardly believe it’s been 26 years since I gave birth to my oldest. When he asked for a chocolate cake filled with white chocolate ganache, it was pretty much a done deal.
He wasn’t due till after New Year’s Day so since Bill was scheduled to make rounds over the holidays, I hopped in my little red Toyota and drove over the snow covered interstate to visit my parents.
After celebrating Christmas with my family, I returned home to work a full evening shift on the oncology ward. Bill and I were both exhausted as we fell into bed late on the 26th after a full day of caring for patients. Hours later I awoke to labor pains and little Thomas was born before noon the next day with a head full of wild brown hair and his dad’s beautiful eyes. I was smitten.
Chocolate Birthday Cake
Like his father, Tom was an instant fan of chocolate. Well, it did take a few months before he first indulged. As a toddler, I remember him pounding on the refrigerator door saying, “puddy, puddy, puddy” over and over. The stash of chocolate jello pudding cups I kept on hand for quick snacks had become a favorite treat.
Birthdays demanded some sort of chocolate cake or pie, so the birthday boy got his request of a chocolate layer cake. But with a surprise in the middle.
Chocolate Layer Cake with White Chocolate Ganache
I tweaked an old-fashioned chocolate layer cake recipe by adding a thick, decadent filling of white chocolate ganache. Besides an extremely rich chocolate buttercream frosting, it was this surprise filling that pushed this chocolate cake over the top!
Although hubby jokingly declared the frosting to be “a chocolate party in his mouth” (after I told him, “good, really, really good” didn’t make for a very interesting blog quote), it was so moist, it was difficult to slice. Still the combination of cake, filling and icing made for one spectacular tasting cake. Maybe not up to my picky standards when it comes to perfect slices, but definitely worth sharing due to the amazing flavor.
I sent the leftovers of this chocolate layer cake home with the grown up version of the guy below, and he and one of his roommates elected not to share it with any of their friends. I consider that the highest compliment!
Tips for Making a Moist Chocolate Layer Cake
- Lining your baking pans with rounds of parchment paper help minimize any sticking when removing the baked cakes from their pans.
- The pans should also be greased and floured or sprayed with an oil and flour non-stick baking spray.
- Make sure to cool your cakes on a rack for about 10 minutes before turning them out of the pans to finish cooling.
- As with most baking recipes, unless otherwise specified, have your eggs at room temperature for the best incorporation.
- After adding the dry ingredients, just mix until well combined. At this point, do not beat as this will activate the gluten as well as add air to the batter.
- PRO-Tip: This recipe uses both baking soda and the less used baking powder. Before you even start mixing, check the expiration date on the baking powder. It often expires while sitting in your pantry.
- The combination of buttermilk, oil, and an extra egg yolk ensure a super moist and tender cake.
- PRO-Tip: Did you know that coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate? I could not detect any coffee flavor despite the 1 1/2 cups of coffee in the batter. The cocoa and chocolate provide the majority of the flavor.
- Over-baking your cake will make it drier. Check the cakes at about 35 minutes with a toothpick. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, your cake is done. If there’s batter on the toothpick, you definitely need to add more time.
You may need these supplies to make this chocolate layer cake recipe:
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about an elegant summer evening celebration, and our host is Barb who blogs at Creative Culinary. This event is celebrating five years of bringing together great cooks, concepts, and especially great food through the collaboration of Progressive Eats.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!
Elegant Summer Evening Soiree!
- Roasted Tomato Crostini with Herbed Ricotta – The Heritage Cook
- Shrimp Cocktail Louis – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread – Shockingly Delicious
- Steamed Clams with White Wine, Pancetta and Basil – Sarah’s Cucina
- Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction – Spice Roots
- Tomato and Fennel Salad – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Chocolate and Cherry Cake with Mascarpone Frosting – Creative Culinary
- Lavender Lemon Panna Cotta – The Redhead Baker
- Chocolate Layer Cake with Ganache – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
More Birthday Cake Recipes
- Classic Carrot Cake – MY choice for a birthday cake!
- Classic Yellow Butter Cake – Always a hit with chocolate frosting.
- Fudge Layer Cake – An impressive multi layer cake that any chocoholic will love!
- Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake – An old fashioned recipe for one of the moistest chocolate cakes you’ll ever taste!
- German Chocolate Cake
- Ding Dong Cake
- White Layer Cake
- More Cake Recipes
This Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe was originally shared in January, 2013. The photos and text were updated in 2019 after sharing this decadent cake with neighbors at our annual 4th of July party. There was nothing left but crumbs!
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate (chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups very hot coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder (sifted)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 12 ounces white chocolate (chopped)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- To make cake: Preheat oven to 325º. Coat three 8 or 9 inch cake pans with non-stick spray and then line bottom of pans with rounds of parchment paper. Note that this recipe makes 3 layers, but only 2 are needed for this cake.
- Put very hot coffee into a medium bowl. Add chocolate, let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until fully melted Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, combine 3 eggs and 1 extra yolk with the sugar and beat until light and pale yellow, approximately 3 minutes. Add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt and beat until combined. Add chocolate mixture and mix until just fully incorporated.
- Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted in a center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and allow to cool completely. Carefully peel off parchment. Wrap and freeze one of the 3 layers to use at a later time. You can make a 3 layer cake, but you will need more filling and frosting.
- To make filling: Melt cream and white chocolate in microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second increments till smooth and melted. Refrigerate mixture till cool and thick (you do not want the filling to be hard, but if it is too runny, it will run down sides of cake when second layer is placed over it).
- To make frosting:
- Place chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, stopping to stir frequently, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Let the chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
- Beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy (I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Frost as desired.
This recipe makes an extra layer which you can wrap and freeze to use later.
I had leftover frosting and calorie count is based on using all the frosting.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 109gFiber: 4gSugar: 86gProtein: 8g