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Chocolate Chocolate Cake – Whewwww! Guys, I’m really glad pumpkin has moved on and other flavors are taking the stage.

Homemade Chocolate Chocolate Cake with chocolate shatters drizzled with chocolate and chocolate frosting.
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I love pumpkin and all of it’s goodness, but I’m ready for peppermint, eggnog, gingerbread, and CHOCOLATE!

Delicious Chocolate Chocolate Cake drizzled with chocolate and chocolate frosting on a wooden table.

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Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Okay.. so chocolate isn’t exactly a new flavor, and it’s definitely not a christmas specific flavor.. but I love chocolate and it will probably be a main ingredients in lots of my holiday baking this year, so what better way to kick off the holiday baking season than with a chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate cake!!

That’s 4 times the chocolate.

Chocolate cake.
Chocolate buttercream.
Chocolate ganache.
Chocolate shards.

This chocolate chocolate cake is the perfect cake to pair with a glass of milk. Pairing it with a glass of chocolate milk might be too much. I draw the line there.

Delicious Chocolate Chocolate Cake smothered in chocolate ganache on a wooden table.Putting a piece of chocolate shatter into the Chocolate Chocolate Cake.

I initially wanted to top this chocolate chocolate cake with fancy homemade chocolate curls. Buttttt I can’t make beautiful chocolate curls. I’ve tried. I think I’m having issues getting the temperature of the chocolate to be right. I’ll have to keep practicing, but in the mean time, I found my new favorite decoration – chocolate shards! They are impossible to mess up (woohoo!!) and they add some nice height to any dessert.

A slice of Chocolate Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate shatters on a small serving plate.

How to Make Chocolate Shards

Here’s a simple walk through of how to make chocolate shards:
1. melt chocolate or chocolate melts. You could also use chocolate candiquik or the various colored wilton candy melts
2. Set a cutting board on the table and place a large piece of wax paper over the cutting board.
3. Gently spread the melted chocolate onto the wax paper, making a nice even layer.
4. Place another large piece of wax paper on top of the melted chocolate, gently smoothing out any air bubbles.
5. Place the whole thing (cutting board too) in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove from the freezer and let the chocolate sit for 2-3 minutes.
7. Begin to break the chocolate into shards, creating any size and shape you want.
8. Store the shards in the freeze until ready to use.

Homemade Chocolate Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting on a serving dish.
4.50 from 18 ratings

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Chocolate Chocolate Cake

By: Beth
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
This chocolate chocolate cake is the perfect cake to pair with a glass of milk. Pairing it with a glass of chocolate milk might be too much. I draw the line there.


Chocolate Cake (this recipe makes three 6 inch cakes)

  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, room temperature (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • cup + 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp melted chocolate, cooled

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups cocoa powder
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Shards

  • ¾ cup chocolate chips or candy melts
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil

Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips


Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Using butter grease the bottom and sides of three 6 inch round cake pans or springform pans and line the bottoms with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around each pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently mix using a spoon.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, lightly beat.
  • Add in the sour cream and melted chocolate, mix by hand using a spatula.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the 3 pans, with about 1 & 1/3 cups to 1 & 1/2 cups in each pan.
  • Bake for 22 minutes. Then loosely cover the pans with foil. Continue to bake for 7-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is done baking, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife.
  • If you’ll be assembling the cake later, wrap the cake layers really good in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. They will be good for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the cocoa powder, and gently mix by hand with a spatula.
  • Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1-2 cups at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting tastes good to you and is well mixed.

Chocolate Shards

  • Melt the chocolate or candy melts with the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir with a spatula melt smooth and melted.
  • Place a plastic cutting board or metal baking sheet on the counter. Place a large piece of wax paper on top of the flat surface.
  • Pour the melted chocolate on top of the wax paper. Use a spatula to smooth the chocolate into an even layer all around the wax paper.
  • Place another piece of wax paper on top of the melted chocolate and gently smooth out any air bubbles.
  • Place the cutting board or baking sheet with the wax paper on it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove it from the freezer and allow it to warm up for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the top layer of wax paper, break the chocolate into shards (any size or shape you want) and store them in the freezer on a plate, in a container or in a bag until you’re ready to use them.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Place chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  • In a small pot over low heat, heat the heavy cream until boiling.
  • Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to stand for 1-2 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to stir the mixture until smooth.
  • Allow the ganache to come to room temperature before adding it to the cake.

How to assemble the cake

  • Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch round cardboard cake circle. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Decide how much or how little frosting you want in-between each layer, you can measure the frosting, I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup in between each layer.
  • Repeat this process for each layer of cake. Once all of the layers are stacked and frosted, spread some frosting (the same amount as you did between the layers) on the top of the cake.
  • Next, it’s time to do a crumb coat. The crumb coat will help seal the crumbs in. Using your offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and the top of the cake. It’s easiest to start off with more frosting on the cake and remove some as needed.
  • Place the entire cake in the freezer or fridge for 20 minutes to harden the crumb coat.
  • Begin to add the second layer of frosting. Spread an even layer of frosting on the top of the cake. Next either pipe on the frosting or spread on the frosting around the sides of the cake. Use a spatula or icing smoother to smooth out the frosting, scraping off excess as you go. Once the frosting is uniform around the cake, use the smooth side of Viva brand paper towels and a fondant smoother to smooth out any imperfections. Place the paper towel on the cake and gently rub the fondant smoother around. Repeat this process, moving the paper towel all around the cake.
  • Transfer the cake to your desired serving plate.
  • Using a piping bag and a piping tip (I used a wilton 1M) to pipe a border of buttercream around the bottom of a cake.
  • Once the ganache is room temperature, use a spoon to drizzle the ganache around the sides of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Fill in the middle of the cake with ganache and spread evenly with the back of the spoon. Allow the ganache to set for 10 minutes.
  • Top the cake with various chocolate shards.
  • Slice and serve!


Calories: 724kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 1014IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Help! Every chocolate 6” cake I make has fallen in the middle. I followed this recipe exactly. Was I too cautious on the overmixing? Should I beat the eggs in one at a time? I just layed the foil over all 3 pans. Do they need to be covered more individually? I wrapped the pans with wet cloth. The sides were definitely done, and the middle came out completely clean, no batter on toothpick, but also no crumbs shown. The middle was darker though, and seemed like it wasn’t done. If I’d baked  it any longer, it would have been overdone I think? Should I try lowering the temp to 325 and bake longer? Ugh!!! 

  2. This chocolate cake recipe looks delicious ???? 
    I was just wondering if I can substitute the butter for vegetable oil for the sponge 

    1. Hi Sal! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do a one for one substitute like that in this recipe. The butter and sugar need to be creamed together for the correct consistency.

  3. Do you use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe? Do you think the frosting and ganache would work well with angel food cake?

    1. I use unsalted butter! The frosting and ganache together might be a little heavy for an angel food cake – maybe try just the ganache!

  4. This is my go to birthday cake to make. Thanks for the recipe! If making for a larger crowd, I have found I can double the batter for 3 (9in) layers (filling the pans 1/3-1/2 full) and baking approx. 30 min. For some reason I am able to use the same amount of frosting on my 3 layer 9 inch cake :)

  5. Going to make this awesome looking cake for nephew’s graduation party. Recipe doesn’t state what kind of chocolate used for the batter, the shards and for the ganache. Was it all chocolate chips or bars? milk, semi sweet??
      I want to make a 7″ 3 layer cake. Any conversion tips?

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Beth!  One word.  GORGEOUS.  I plan to make this cake for my great niece who adores chocolate.  But, before I do, I need to ask you a question.  Is the buttercream 3/4 of a cup total?  One stick of butter for me measures 1/2 cup.  If I use 3 sticks like your recipe says, it will be 1-1/2 cups total.   Once I hear from you, I’ll get cracking on this beautiful cake of yours.  Thank you.

    1. Thanks for catching that! The buttercream requires 3 sticks of butter which is 1 & 1/2 cups butter!