That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Top view of Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

Home » 250+ Best Cake Recipes » Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

I pointed out a photo of a magnificent Triple Layer Chocolate Cake in an old Fine Cooking Magazine as a potential birthday cake for my oldest. Some tweaking was in order, like filling it with cream cheese whipped cream frosting and dialing down the espresso powder.

This chocolate cake was a showstopper and a huge hit with the whole family, especially the birthday boy.

 Triple Layer Chocolate Cake on a white cake stand

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

This was one perfect chocolate cake. The layers were moist, tender with the perfect amount of cocoa and sweetness. Paired with a light cream cheese frosting was a dreamy match made in heaven. The birthday boy was pleased, in fact, the whole darn family loved this!

A Gale Gand Cake Recipe

Gale Gand is a fabulous Chicago based pastry chef who had her own Food Network show. I trust her recipes implicitly, so when I saw her name under the by-line for a recipe for a gorgeous chocolate Irish whiskey cake, I took the bait. As a stunning cover photo for a December 2012 Fine Cooking magazine, it was beckoning me to bake it!

But I wasn’t sure how a whiskey cake would fly with my crew, so that was the first ingredient to go. Then the tablespoon of espresso powder in the whipped cream was next on the chopping block. I can sneak a little Kahlua or instant coffee/espresso powder into a recipe, but it has to be very subtle to keep the picky hubby happy.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake on a white ceramic cake stand

Tips for Making a Chocolate Layer Cake

This splendid cake turned out better than I imagined. A quality recipe ensured that. The cake layers were moist and flavorful and the frosting, light and decadent.

  • You’ll need three 9-inch cake pans. Most kitchens are stocked with one or two, so you may need to borrow (or buy) what you need before you start the recipe.
  •  PRO-Tip: Try to divide the batter equally  between the cake pans so your layers are the same height. I like using my kitchen scale. This is easiest if all 3 pans are from the same manufacturer and, therefore, the same weight.
  • Another option is to weigh your mixing bowl empty, then full of the cake batter. Subtract the weight of the bowl from the weight of the filled bowl and divide it by 3. Each pan needs about 1 pound and 1 ounce of batter. Or just take the easy route and eyeball it!
  • Though I love butter in baked goods, it’s the addition of oil in this cake batter that makes for a super moist cake.
  • PRO-Tip: Adding coffee enhances the chocolate flavor without turning this into a mocha cake. If you want a stronger coffee flavor, you can incorporate some espresso powder or instant coffee into the batter. Mix either of the options into the milk before adding it to the batter; about a teaspoon will dial up the chocolate intensity.
  • When making the frosting for this triple layer chocolate cake, have your cream cheese at room temperature, so it will blend smoothly.
  • When spreading the filling on the bottom two layers, do not go all the way to the edge. Instead, stop at least 1/2-inch from the edge, so that the pressure from adding the additional layers does not push the filling out too far. If you own an offset spatula, it’s a terrific tool for the job.

If you are a fan of chocolate cakes, this fabulous Black Magic Snack Cake is a terrific option for a smaller dessert, this Torta Caprese is ideal if you or one of your guests is gluten-free, and this Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake is the best no-bake dessert you’ll ever try!  If you haven’t made this retro Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, it’s out of this world!!

To make a chocolate garnish, check out how to make chocolate curls and chocolate shards (with a video).

I also love this French Silk Chocolate Cake and this Easy German Chocolate Cake from a couple of my blogger friends.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

A magnificent Triple Layer Chocolate Cake from Hershey's!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Yield 12



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment rounds, and grease parchment. Set aside.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; with a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Carefully, stir in hot coffee. The batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. (Use kitchen scale for even division if desired).

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

To make frosting, melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 3 cups frosting.


Adapted from Hershey's

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 3gSugar: 75gProtein: 6g
Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

31 comments on “Triple Layer Chocolate Cake”

  1. We love coffee, so I increased the amount and it was delicious!


  3. How can this gorgeous cake be so simple to make – it minds me of a tuxedo!!! I need to try it asap!

  4. Such a gorgeous cake, there’s nothing better than triple chocolate!

  5. This is a cake for a royal birthday celebration! Your son is so lucky to have you as mum. Why do you add baking powder and baking soda? I thought it was almost the same, just the soda is minus the cream of tartar. Maybe I have got it wrong

    • Good question, Helene! Baking powder is measured in an amount that will neutralize the acid in the cake ingredients. If that amount isn’t enough to leaven the cake properly, then some baking powder can be added (it has acid as part of its ingredients!). I didn’t know this either until I did a little research, but found it very interesting. The data is from Fine Cooking magazine.

  6. This is making me drool! Looks so good!

  7. This looks and sounds incredible. You could always put some chocolate chips on top 😉

  8. So pretty and perfectly simple!!! YUM

  9. wow! this looks so delicious and tempting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.