This BLACK AS MIDNIGHT DARK CHOCOLATE cake is our FAVORITE go to chocolate cake recipe. When we get a request for a RICH CHOCOLATELY BIRTHDAY CAKE this is what we bake.
This cake is SUPER MOIST with a RICH VELVETY FUDGEY CRUMB! We also love this cake because it doesn’t require any softened butter!
If you wake up wanting cake for breakfast you can walk into the kitchen and start baking right away.
What you need to know before you start:
- Don’t overbake and use aluminum cake pans if you have them. If you are using dark cake pans this may require less baking time
- Use high quality DARK CHOCOLATE COCOA POWDER if you want the cake and icing to look dark (I use HERSHEYS SPECIAL DARK)
- Make sure the coffee is lukewarm and not hot when you add it to the batter so it doesn’t curdle the eggs
- Be sure to prepare the pans according to directions
- It’s worth mentioning this batter looks bubbly and not smooth looking when you pour it into the pans and that is ok.
- ⅔ cup DARK COCOA POWDER (USE HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK TO GET THE DARK COLOR)
- 1 cup of LUKEWARM BREWED COFFEE
- 1 pinch of CAYENNE
- 2 cups SUGAR
- ½ cup VEGETABLE OIL
- 3 LARGE EGGS
- 1 teaspoon VANILLA
- 1 cup BUTTERMILK
- 1¾ cup ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
- 1 teaspoon SALT
- 2 teaspoons BAKING POWDER
- butter for greasing pans
- 2 parchment circles, cut to size for the inside of cake pans
- cocoa for dusting pans
- Two 9 inch cake pans (buttered inside and dusted with cocoa powder (see note below)
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 cup DARK COCOA
- 4½ cups CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
- ¾ cup of BUTTER (1½ stick), softened to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a bowl dissolve ⅔ cup of COCOA POWDER and 1 pinch of CAYENNE with 1 cup of LUKEWARM STRONG BREWED COFFEE and set aside
- In the bowl of your stand mixer using paddle attachment, cream ½ cup of VEGETABLE OIL with 2 cups of SUGAR until well combined
- Add 3 EGGS and beat until light and creamy (2 minutes). Be sure to scrape down bowl as needed.
- Slowly add in COFFEE/COCOA mixture, 1 cup of BUTTERMILK, 1 teaspoon of VANILLA and beat until batter is smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, sift 1¾ cups of ALL PURPOSE FLOUR, 1 teaspoon of SALT, 1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER and 2 teaspoons BAKING SODA.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in your mixer stand and beat on LOW speed until incorporated. Scrape down bowl and mix until combined. Do not overbeat after adding flour
- Butter the bottom and sides of two 9 inch cake pans. Insert parchment paper and butter the top of the parchment paper then sprinkle the whole inside with cocoa powder covering the bottom and sides and shaking out the excess.
- Pour batter evenly into two pans and place in center of preheated oven.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean with a small amount of cake crumbs. Crumbs are ok but wet batter is not.
- Do not overbake as cake will lose moisture. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes.
- Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then carefully invert out of pan and onto rack. Cool for another hour before adding any icing or frosting.
- Sift 1 cup of DARK COCOA POWDER with 4½ cups of CONFECTIONERS SUGAR in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer cream 1½ sticks of SOFTENED BUTTER until smooth.
- Add pre-sifted SUGAR COCOA powder mixture along with ½ cup of BUTTERMILK and 2 teaspoons of VANILLA EXTRACT and beat until smooth and creamy. If frosting is too thick add additional buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
- FROST THE COOLED CAKE!
Use room temperature butter-Cut up butter into slices and sit in bowl for at least an hour to come to room temperature
Be sure the coffee is lukewarm before adding to your mixer. We don't want it to curdle the eggs!
Use the best quality DARK COCOA powder to get the dark look to the cake.