Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Rated 4.2 out of 5
Read Reviews >

Moist and tender, this rich chocolate cake gets an added dose of drama from being baked in three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans, which gives it plenty of extra height. Topped with a simple, creamy chocolate ganache, it’s also easier to make than it looks.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 12


  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (1 lb./500 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) boiling water
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups (12 oz./375 g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) plus 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)


Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper and grease the parchment.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and vegetable oil. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until combined, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and espresso powder and whisk until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the espresso mixture to the batter. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix again until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula and tap the pans on the countertop to evenly distribute the batter. Bake until the cakes begin pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Place the chocolate chips in a large heatproof mixing bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the 2/3 cup cream until simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream until a smooth ganache forms. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. cream and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer, top side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Using an icing spatula, generously spread the cake layer with about a third of the frosting. Repeat the process with remaining cake layers, spreading the remaining frosting on the last layer. Lightly dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder before cutting into slices and serving. Serves 12.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! This is easily the best chocolate cake I've ever made! The cinnamon and espresso give it a depth that other chocolate cakes lack. Will definitely be making this one again. The presentation is beautiful too!
Date published: 2018-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional cake! I made this for friends at my house for a party. They absolutely loved it! I will make it again. The recipe is so easy to follow-you can't go wrong
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible Cake I was really looking forward to this cake as the picture makes it look amazing. Followed recipe when the cake was done cooking it weighed a ton and did not rise hardly at all. It was the denseness of a well packed brownie. Sorely disappointed. I know other reviews are saying its amazing I would like to know what there secret was. Personally I felt the cake was way to runny. If I would of thought about it I would of added a photo before I threw it out.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rich Chocolate Cake This cake was delicious and so easy to make. Rave reviews from everyone who ate it. If you want to frost the entire cake you will need 2 batches of the frosting. I still can't believe how easy this was and how good it came out!
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tastes as good as it looks. Easy and delicious. I only had 8 cake eaters and could see that this cake would be rich and would go further than I needed. I made two 8" rounds and one 6" round. For tonight's dinner, I used the two 8" cakes and still had more than half left. With the 6" cake, I cut it in half and used some of the recipe icing between the layers. I could have used a little more icing for the appearance, but needed tonight's cake to have the star appearance. For now, this smaller cake went into the freezer for my husband's bday just 2 weeks away. I have time to either make a little more icing or not.
Date published: 2016-09-20
  • y_2020, m_1, d_22, h_12
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.4
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_5
  • loc_en_US, sid_recipe.double-chocolate-layer-cake, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_williamssonoma
  • bvseo_sdk, java_sdk, bvseo-4.0.0
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 77ms