Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

I finally had time to make John’s birthday cake!  I’m only 5 months late… sorry John!  Since this cake was SO long overdue, I decided it had to be the absolute BEST chocolate cake I could make, and nothing less!  It had to be moist, rich, and dark.  And big.  REALLY big… so I opted for four layers.  Did we really need a giant 4-layer cake for just the two of us?  Probably not… but now we have cake for daysss (and hey, no one is complaining!).

If you are a chocolate lover like me, you will absolutely love this recipe.  The cake recipe is one of my favorites, adapted from Deborah’s recipe over at Taste and Tell.  The frosting is made using the to-die-for Hershey’s recipe using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder.  This cake will satisfy even the most intense chocolate cravings!  Enjoy!


Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

Active Prep: cake – 20 mins; frosting – 10 mins
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
TOTAL: ~1 hour, plus cooling and decorating

Dark Chocolate Cake


– 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
– 1 ½ c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 1 Tbsp baking soda
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– ½ Tbsp salt
– 4 c white sugar
– 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 2 c milk, at room temperature
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
– 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 1 ½ cups hot coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Line four 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (*Be sure to sift the cocoa powder or your batter may end up with unmixed chunks of cocoa powder in it – not tasty to bite into!)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until combined. Add the milk and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture.
  4. Once combined, add the hot coffee and mix slowly until just combined. Batter will be thin.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 °F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave cakes in pans for ~15 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks to let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.


Dark Chocolate Buttercream


– 2 1/2 c (5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 3 1/3 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 15 c confectioner’s sugar
– 1 2/3 c milk
– 1 ½ Tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir on low until combined.
  2. With mixer on medium speed, add confectioner’s sugar and milk a little at a time, alternating between the two. Add vanilla.  Turn mixer up to medium-high for 5-10 seconds, until frosting is well-mixed.  Add additional sugar or milk depending upon the desired frosting consistency.  Frost cake as desired.  Makes ~10 cups frosting (enough for one 4-layer cake).

2 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

  • I had a taste of this chocolate cake. The cake is rich and moist, and the frosting is out of this world, combining for probably the BEST chocolate cake I have ever had! A real winner!

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