A cake for chocolate lovers! Death by Chocolate Cake contains four layer of rich chocolate cake frosted with decadent chocolate buttercream and topped with melted chocolate.
There is such a thing as too much chocolate on a cake? Impossible.
Death by Chocolate Cake
This is by far one of the richest, most decadent cakes I’ve ever made. It’s chocolate overload.
A dense and fudge-like chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream topped with dark chocolate ganache and decorated with all sorts of chocolates goodies. Since it’s Halloween, I’m calling it Death by Chocolate Cake!
Chocolate Fudge Cake Ingredient Notes
- Unsweetened Chocolate : Also known as Baker’s Chocolate. This ingredient does not have added sugar, it is primarily used in brownies, mousses, and cakes.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder : There are several choices of unsweetened cocoa powder to choose from: natural cocoa, Dutch-processed cocoa, or black cocoa. For this recipe, I used natural cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour.
- Brown Sugar : Use either light or dark brown sugar. In a pinch, you may use granulated sugar mixed with molasses. See recipe card notes for details.
- All-Purpose Flour : I exclusively use King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour for consistency. However, any brand will work. For best results, weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale. If you prefer to use volume measurements (such as cups), use the Stir and Spoon Method to measure flour.
Helpful Tools and Equipment
This recipe makes two 6-inch cake rounds. Use a sharp serrated cake knife to divide each cake round into two layers. You will end up with a total of four cake layers.
A rotating cake turntable is highly recommended for assembling the layer cake.
Step by Step Assembly Instructions
- Place one chocolate cake layer on rotating turn table or cake stand. Add chocolate buttercream.
- Use a mini offset spatula to spread buttercream into an even layer.
- Add second cake layer. Repeat spreading buttercream layer. Repeating adding third and fourth cake alternating with buttercream.
- Spread a thin layer of buttercream to crumb coat the assembled layer cake. Place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to allow buttercream to harden.
- Use remaining buttercream to add a thicker coat all over chilled cake.
What is ganache? It is a simple mixture of chocolate and heavy cream. Simmered heavy cream is poured over chopped chocolate. The mixture is whisked together until smooth, shiny, and homogenous.
Ingredient proportions determine the ganache consistency. This cake uses a one to one ratio of chocolate to cream. It results in a loose ganache perfect for creating chocolate drips.
This is the fun part! Top the assembled Death by Chocolate Cake with your choice of chocolate cookies, crackers, and candies.
Your options and choices are limitless. The cake in the image above showcases:
- Pirouette Cookies (rolled wafer cookies)
- Mini Reese’s Cups
- Hershey Kisses
- Mini or Fun Size Milk Chocolate Bar
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Related Chocolate Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate Marshmallow
- Triple Chocolate Brownies
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Layer Cakes
Death By Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Fudge Cake:
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ⅓ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup water, boiling
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Simple Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons milk, or heavy cream
- 3 oz dark chocolate (72% cocoa), finely chopped
- 3 oz heavy cream
- Rolled chocolate wafers
- fun-sized chocolate bars
- mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
- Hershey’s Kisses
Chocolate Fudge Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 6-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder and boiling water. Whisk until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool. It is ready to use when it is no longer hot, and just warm to the touch.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla and continue to mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3 of flour mixture into the bowl of stand mixer. Mix at low speed until almost combined. Pour in half of the cooled chocolate mixture and mix. Add another 1/3 of flour, followed by the remaining half of chocolate. End with the last 1/3 of flour. Mix between each addition and scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pans after 15 minutes. Bake until cake is set and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes.
- Run a knife or mini offset spatula around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert and let cake cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Simple Chocolate Buttercream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream butter until smooth. Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add to bowl in three additions. Mix on low speed after each addition. Add salt and milk. Mix until combined.
- Adjust consistency according to preference. If buttercream is too thick, add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved. If buttercream is too thin, add 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar (up to 3/4 cup). Set aside until ready to use.
- Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Bring heavy cream to a simmer. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 3 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and stir ganache until homogenous. Allow to sit at room temperature for 8-10 minutes until ganache has slightly thickened.
- Level cake rounds. Slice each cake round into two layers, for a total of 4 layers of cake. Build cake and frost with buttercream. Chill in the fridge while ganache thickens.
- Once ganache is ready, pour melted chocolate over chilled cake. Immediately decorate the top of the cake with you desired toppings (Oreos, chocolate wafers, chocolate bars, chocolate candies).
- Place in fridge for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to set up. Remove from fridge and serve immediately.
- This chocolate fudge cake was also used to make this Speckled Egg Chocolate Cake