There is something so special about a chocolate layer cake. It has always been one of my favorite desserts. As I’ve gotten better at baking, I knew I wanted to create my own version of it. My goal was to create a simple recipe with a big flavor profile. I think it’s safe to say I have achieved just that!
The result is a fluffy chocolate cake, sprinkled with dark chocolate chips, and topped with a creamy, smooth chocolate fudge cream cheese frosting! It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. The beauty of this triple chocolate cake is its simplicity. However, the combination of each element creates a surprisingly elevated cake.
Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe Walkthrough
Keep reading for a step by step visual walkthrough of this Triple Chocolate Cake recipe. If you prefer, you can skip to the bottom of the post for the recipe card and instructions. However, if you prefer a more detailed walkthrough be sure to keep scrolling through the rest of the post.
Don’t let the extensive recipe process shots deter you from making this recipe. I like to provide photos of each stage of the bake so you know what each step looks like when completed correctly. I’ve found that a visual aide while baking is always helpful!
Making the Cake
This triple chocolate cake recipe is super simple and similar to my Chocolate Espresso Cake recipe. All you have to do is mix together the dry ingredients, set aside, mix together the wet ingredients, and then combine them together. The hardest part of this bake probably is prepping the baking pans.
Step 1: Mix together all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and kosher salt.
Typically, I will use a whisk to mix dry ingredients together. I find that this helps the ingredients mix together easier. Once you have done this, set the mixture aside.
Step 2: Mix together the softened butter, eggs, and milk.
The mixture will look a bit odd, but mixing all of the wet ingredients together before adding to the dry ingredients helps create a smooth batter mixture.
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients to the mixer with the wet ingredients.
Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
Step 4: Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Be sure that the chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter to ensure that each bit has bits of chocolate chip when eaten.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans. Bake at 350ºF for 22-24 minutes.
The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Another way to test the doneness is when the cake reaches 210ºF.
Small note, make sure that you are using a 3″ deep cake pan. This will prevent the cake from rising too much during the bake and spilling all over the oven.
Making the Frosting
If you’re just after the instructions to making the Chocolate Fudge Cream Cheese Frosting, you can find the recipe here. However, I will also provide a step by step tutorial below to save you the trouble of looking in multiple places to complete this bake.
I try not to start making the frosting until the cakes have completely cooled. That way I can start frosting the cake as soon as the frosting is made. You may find that you have a firmer frosting to work with if you let it chill in fridge for 10-15 before starting to work with it.
Step 1: Over low heat, melt together butter and heavy whipping cream.
Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the mixture constantly, to avoid any clumps from forming or the mixture becoming burnt. Once the mixture is on the verge of boiling, remove from the heat.
Step 2: Add dark chocolate chips and mix until fully melted and combined into the mixture.
Be sure to stir together until all of the chocolate has melted and a smooth chocolate mixture has formed.
Step 3: Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and set aside to set.
This will take about 2-3 hours to set to a fudge-like consistency. You can use it before it sets this much, but it will change the consistency of your frosting. Allowing the fudge to completely set, will help create a firmer frosting.
Step 4: Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and fudge.
Using the paddle attachment, cream together the ingredients until a smooth chocolate mixture is achieved.
Step 5: Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Switch to the whisk attachment. Start mixing on low speed until most of the sugar has incorporated. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue whisking until you reach the desired texture.
Once the frosting has been completed, you are ready to frost your layer cake! Don’t overthink this step. While I love to bake, I typically struggle with the decoration portion of it, which is why I love my chocolate pumpkin bundt cake that requires no decorating! However, this frosting is thick and creamy, which makes for the perfect consistency for an east frosting job.
It may not look super elegant, but I find that the best homemade cakes are more about the taste than the look. I still think you’ll be surprised at how good this icing looks when it’s applied. For a fancier finish, you can grate a chocolate bar over the cake to create chocolate flakes.
And that’s it! Let me know what you think down in the comments below.
P.S. If you want less chocolate, you can use my Joe-Joe’s Buttercream Frosting for a little variety.
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 C (180g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 C (275g) Sugar
- 1/2 C (50g) Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 C (113g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 3 Eggs
- 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp (75ml) Milk
- 2/3 C (125g) Dark Chocolate Chips
For the Frosting
- 1/2 C (120ml) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3/4 C (175g) Unsalted Butter
- 1 1/4 C (200g) Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 C (226g) Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/2 C (113g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 3/4 C (400g) Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
Making the Frosting Part I:
- In a sauce pan on low heat, cook the heavy cream and butter, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted. Continue cooking until the mixture is just below boiling. Remove from the heat.
- Add the dark chocolate chips to the pan, whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour the fudge into a bowl and leave to set at room temperature for 2-3 hours, whisking occasionally.
Making the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare two 8" x 3" round cake pans by lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and generously greasing the sides of the pan with butter.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the softened butter, eggs, and milk.
- Add the flour mixture and mix together on low speed until just combined.
- Gently fold in the dark chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- After 5 minutes, turn the cakes out on onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
Making the Frosting II:
- Once the fudge has set to a thick and creamy consistency, add it with the softened butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together all of the ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bowl down halfway through to prevent any lumps from forming.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Using the whisk attachment on low speed, gently whisk until the sugar is mostly incorporated. Increase to high speed and whisk until stiff peaks begin to form in the frosting.
- Frost the cake and enjoy!
It helps to make the fudge portion of the frosting before you get started on making the cake. This ensures that the fudge has set to the right consistency by the time you are ready to make the frosting.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 667Saturated Fat: 40gCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 6g