Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

A Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is what every chocolate-lover needs!

Cakes are always one of my best desserts. Before my father-in-law passed away, he would request a cake for our weekly Sunday family meals. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on a lot, but I once overheard him telling a nurse that I made the best cakes in the world. When questioned if they were full of sugar, he would smile and shake his head no. Being a diabetic, they weren’t exactly the best choice for him. But they made him happy — and that made my heart full.

Chocolate Layer Cake

When it comes to a chocolate cake, I’ll often pass because they are dry and crumbly. I am not overly picky about brands when it comes to food brands — except for chocolate. If you decide to go the cheap route, it will show in a cake more than other desserts. And no one wants a yucky cake!

This recipe is best when made the night before and allowed to completely cool prior to frosting. I like to put mine in the freezer (covered and wrapped with plenty of clear wrap). Even for a short time, the freezer can help keep the cake from crumbling when your frosting.

This Chocolate Layer Cake is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, bridal showers, and any other time you want a sweet treat! It pairs perfectly with chocolate buttercream frosting or our favorite, peanut butter frosting!

Yield: 12 Servings

Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake

Don't settle for less than a perfect chocolate layer cake!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes



  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2½ c. granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 t. real vanilla extract
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2¼ c. boiling water

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • 16-oz. powdered sugar
  • 1-2 T. whole milk
  • 1 t. real vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 8”round cake pans, then line bottom with round parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Mix the cocoa powder and boiling water in a medium bowl until well combined and no lumps remain.

Alternating between the two, slowly add dry ingredients and chocolate mixture to the bowl with the butter and sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate ingredients.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the three cake pans and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake 22-28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool for approximately 10 minutes before transferring the cakes from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely, approximately 10-15 more minutes. (Cakes should no longer be warm to the touch before frosting).

To assemble the cake, place the first layer top-side down on a cake plate. Add 1/3 of the frosting to the top of the cake layer and spread it out evenly. Take the second layer and level off the rounded top with a knife or cake leveler. Place the second layer on top of the first layer, top-side down. Add frosting to this layer and spread out evenly. Repeat this with the 3rd layer, and spread the remaining frosting out on the top layer. Slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!


Mix the butter and cocoa powder in a large bowl until well blended.

Add the powdered sugar and mix on low-speed until all of the sugar is combined.

Stir in milk and vanilla extract, if using, to reach desired consistency.


Time-Saving Tip: Make the cakes the night before serving and cover the baking pans with foil or plastic wrap once cool to the touch. Cakes will be ready to frost the next day.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 764Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 110gFiber: 3gSugar: 79gProtein: 8g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 10/11/2019

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

PIN for Later!

Decadent & Delicious Chocolate Layer Cake

#Choctoberfest 2019 Blog Hop

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Perfectly gorgeous cake. I’m drooling here.

  2. Thanks for all the great recipes! I pinned this page!

  3. Looks really moist!

Leave a Comment

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