The Ultimate Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

Sharing the Ultimate Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache for your weekend chocolate fix! Picture a super simple chocolate cake that’s made without a mixer, is super fluffy, moist, and extra chocolate-y. Each layer of this fluffy and rich cake is covered with a decadent, roll your eyes back delicious whipped dark chocolate ganache that’s not too sweet, fluffy, creamy, and SO. GOOD. From there, the cake is topped with super simple chocolate ganache drip that really makes this cake a chocolate lovers dream. There’s really just so much to love about this cake! Every bite is perfectly sweet, rich, decadent, extra chocolate-y, and truly delicious. It’s the perfect cake to enjoy for any special occasion, but especially fun for Valentine’s Day or even birthday’s! Trust me, this cake is SO GOOD, and guaranteed to be the best EVER chocolate cake.

chocolate cake on upside down white plate with parchment paper, chocolate curls and empty glasses behind

→ This post is also available as a Web Story: Chocolate Layer Cake

About The Recipe

If you’ve ever read our blog before, then you know that I absolutely love all things chocolate. Whether that’s a piece of chocolate, homemade brownies, chocolate ice cream, truffles, etc. It’s one of my favorite things to eat!

And, to be honest, my love affair for chocolate cakes has always been around. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have a chocolate cake for my birthday. My mom used to even bring us chocolate cake for snack time in kindergarten! (No, I’m not kidding. She’s that awesome!)

So, I might have just a slight obsession with chocolate that dates back to the very beginning of – well, me.

My mom always said that, as a kid, I used to get more chocolate on me than in my mouth. Which, between me and you, is still true to this day. Though, that never stopped my mom from giving me all the chocolate-y sweets she baked for her catering business or whenever we went out somewhere.

But, as I got a little bit older, I still had a huge love of chocolate. It’s just things got a little too sweet for me and her. I mean, we both equally love chocolate (though, I think I might edge her out just a bit), but it always felt like, whenever we made a chocolate cake, it ended up being much too sweet.

So, this is the cake that my mom developed to give me the ultimate dessert for birthday’s! I guess you can really say that this is an homage to everything little me (and me now!) loved. Chocolate, on chocolate, with more chocolate!

slice of cake being pulled away on upside down white plate with a stack of white plates behind and empty glasses

It’s truly the perfect chocolate cake for any and all occasions! Anniversaries, birthday’s, holiday’s…even if you just want to celebrate the weekend. This cake is not only super simple to make, but it’s truly a chocolate lovers dream.

Every bite of this cake is rich, silky, chocolate-y, sweet without being too sweet, and just SO. DARN. GOOD.

If you are or know a chocolate lover, this is the cake you need to bake right now!

Why You Will Love This Dark Chocolate Cake

  • The cake itself is SUPER simple to make. No mixer required! It’s actually just a super simple dump cake.
  • The frosting is made from ganache, NOT buttercream. So, it’s less sweet than a traditional chocolate cake, which means it makes for the perfect dessert for adults.
  • This recipe uses a technique called “blooming” to help enhance all the delicious chocolate flavor!
  • Four layers of deliciously rich chocolate cake…need I say more?
  • Makes for a great cake to celebrate anything with!
front shot of cake with two slices cut from the cake with one slice on white plate in front

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cake:

  • Natural Process Cocoa Powder
  • Boiling Water
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Large Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Whole Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
water, sugar, flour, eggs, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, milk, vanilla, salt, and oil on marble surface

For The Frosting:

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
chocolate chips and heavy cream on marble surface

How To Make This Chocolate Cake

Step 1: Make the frosting

Heat cream in a medium sized pot until the cream begins to bubble around the edges.

heavy cream in pot

Pour heated cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir together.

Pour the ganache into a large glass casserole. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down to touch the chocolate. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Step 2: Make the cake batter

In a medium sized bowl, combine the boiling water and cocoa powder. Mix together with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined.

In another medium sized bowl, mix together the wet ingredients with a whisk until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.

Stir in the bloomed cocoa powder.

Step 3: Bake

Divide the batter amongst four greased and floured cake pans. If you have a scale, this is 15 ounces per pan. If you don’t have a scale, that’s roughly about 2 cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes start to pull away from the pans and test done.

Take out of the oven and let rest for about ten minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. If needed, level the cakes with a serrated knife.

Step 4: Whip the ganache

Pour ganache into mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

Step 5: Assemble the cake

So, now that the cakes are leveled and the ganache is whipped, it’s time to start assembling! Place your bottom cake layer on a cake plate and add roughly about ½ cup of the whipped dark chocolate ganache. Spread it evenly across the top. Repeat this step until the cake is fully assembled.

With the remaining frosting, frost the outside of the cake. Decorate as desired.

whipped ganache spread around the cake

Whipped Ganache FAQ’s

Why is my whipped ganache grainy? When it comes to working with chocolate, there are so many things that can go wrong. One of the main reasons for a grainy ganache is that the cream was overheated. Though, don’t fret! You can fix it. Place the grainy whipped ganache into a sauce pan and turn on a very low heat. The lowest your stove can go! From there, use a whisk and gently stir until the chocolate is totally melted again. Once melted, pour back into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the ganache sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Add back into the mixer or use a hand mixer and whip until light and fluffy.

Can I pipe a whipped ganache? Actually, yes! This ganache is VERY stable and holds shapes well. With this as the frosting, you can really go all out! It is more stable than a buttercream (and tastes even better!).

Decorating Ideas

There are so many things you can do with this cake, but here are a few of our favorites!

  • Make a little extra frosting and pipe decorative elements on top of the cake.
  • Use chopped chocolate or chocolate curls to press to the bottom of the cake or sprinkle on top.
  • Use sprinkles! Especially if it’s for someone’s birthday.
  • Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
  • Use chocolate drips!
pulled back shot of chocolate layer cake on plate with two slices missing and on white plates beside cake

How To Make Chocolate Drips (3 Simple Steps!)

If you want to decorate this cake the same way we did, no worries! Making chocolate drips is actually SUPER simple. Below is a quick guide on how to make it!

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ¼ cup of chocolate and ¼ cup of heavy cream. Heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring well with a rubber spatula in-between each, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  2. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  3. Using a spoon (or a piping bag!), spoon a small amount of chocolate ganache onto the edge of the cake. Gently push over the edge with your spoon and it will create a drip! Repeat as often as you’d like. The bigger the drip, the more chocolate you will need to push off the edge. Fill in the middle once the drips are complete.
chocolate cake with chocolate drips on white plate with chocolate curls around and cake knife

How To Store

One of the best things about this cake is that it freezes beautifully. You can freeze this cake as a whole or just freeze slices. I recommend freezing individual slices of cake as it’s already portioned out and ready to eat whenever you want a slice of delicious chocolate cake!

You can also keep this cake in a cake plate on the counter for about 3 days, but we recommend placing it in the refrigerator as it is a very moist cake! It should keep in the fridge for about 7-9 days.

Expert Tips

  • You can boil the water in a microwave, on the stove top, or in a kettle!
  • Mixing the boiling water and cocoa powder is a technique called, “blooming”. This allows for the powder to dissolve and release all of it’s amazing flavors. That means you wind up with a much more flavorful and delicious cake!
  • Be sure to check the expiration dates on your baking powder and baking soda
  • Use a cake tester or a toothpick to test when this cake is done.
  • Do NOT over-whip the ganache!
  • You may need to level the cake layers before assembling. The best way to do this is with a cake leveler or a serrated knife.
  • Pipe the whipped ganache between each layer of cake! This ensures no tearing of the cake and helps provide more even layers!
  • When assembling the cake, it’s best to keep your offset spatula clean.
  • You can decorate this cake however you wish!

When you make this Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache recipe, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

chocolate cake on upside down white plate with parchment paper, chocolate curls and empty glasses behind

The Ultimate Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

Traci
Every bite of this Dark Chocolate Layer Cake is rich, decadent, moist, perfectly sweet, and extra chocolate-y. It's truly SO. GOOD. With double the chocolate, there's definitely a reason that this cake is the ultimate dark chocolate cake!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Refrigeration Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 1090 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 1 cup dark cocoa, sifted
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups milk, room temperature
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Ganache

  • 4 cups dark chocolate couverture
  • 4 cups heavy cream

Instructions

Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 4 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla.
  • Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and whisk until well blended, about a minute.
  • Stir in chocolate.
  • Spoon batter evenly into pans and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until cake tests done.

Ganache

  • In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and heavy cream.
  • Microwave on high power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
  • Pour into a clean, glass container.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the chocolate.
  • Refrigerate 2-3 hours, until completely chilled.
  • Remove from refrigerator.
  • Spoon into bowl of stand mixer.
  • Beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

Putting It Together

  • Using a serrated knife or cake leveler, slice the top off each cooled cake layer so that it is level with the sides.
  • Place one layer on serving plate or cake board.
  • Top with ½-¾ cup ganache.
  • Spread.
  • Top with another cake layer.
  • Repeat filling and layering.
  • Once all layers have been used, spread remaining ganache on top and sides of cake.

Notes

  • You can boil the water in a microwave, on the stove top, or in a kettle!
  • Mixing the boiling water and cocoa powder is a technique called, “blooming”. This allows for the powder to dissolve and release all of it’s amazing flavors. That means you wind up with a much more flavorful and delicious cake!
  • Be sure to check the expiration dates on your baking powder and baking soda
  • Use a cake tester or a toothpick to test when this cake is done.
  • Do NOT over-whip the ganache!
  • You may need to level the cake layers before assembling. The best way to do this is with a cake leveler or a serrated knife.
  • Pipe the whipped ganache between each layer of cake! This ensures no tearing of the cake and helps provide more even layers!
  • When assembling the cake, it’s best to keep your offset spatula clean.
  • You can decorate this cake however you wish!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 SliceCalories: 1090kcalCarbohydrates: 104gProtein: 13gFat: 78gSaturated Fat: 42gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 483mgPotassium: 250mgFiber: 11gSugar: 66gVitamin A: 1275IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 160mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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6 Comments

    1. Hi Connie! You can absolutely make this into a 3 layer cake! Just remember that you will have to adjust your cook times. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. Hi, Janice! Just click on the whipped dark chocolate ganache in the recipe card. We have being updating, and now our link colors are blending in. We will get that fixed ASAP! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  1. Thanks. As a chocolate cake lover I have to say this is an awesome recipe and the chocolate cake as well as the Ganache are heavenly delicious¡¡ One single detail, I took real care to prepare the Ganache according to the instructions but even though it tasted delicious I couldn’t get it to thicken enough, so what did I done wrong and how to avoid it in the future?

    1. Hi, Francisco! As a fellow chocolate cake lover, I’m so glad you liked the cake! I’m sorry the ganache didn’t work. It can be finicky sometimes. The ganache should be considerably thicker when you take it out of the refrigerator, but not completely set. It should still be too runny to spread on a cake. When you beat it, it should come together. If this was not the problem, you can always stir in more melted chocolate and refrigerate again.