The Ultimate Chocolate Layer Cake

This is truly the ultimate chocolate layer cake recipe!
The perfect cake to impress the heart of a fellow sweet tooth, a moist rich chocolate cake with dark & milk chocolate ganache!

This rich and delicious chocolate layer cake is simple to prepare, with a secret ingredient that makes this chocolate cake super moist (it’s hot water – believe it or not!).

The hot water helps to “bloom” the cocoa powder, creating a deeper, richer chocolate flavour, as well as a softer more delicate chocolate cake crumb!


Top tips for a perfect chocolate layer cake:

  • Make sure to spray your cake tins with nonstick cooking spray (or brush them with melted butter) and line them with parchment paper to make it easy to remove the cakes from the pans.
  • I prefer to level then freeze the cakes for about 1 hour before frosting them. This will make the layers firmer, so it’s much easier to frost the cake.
  • To get a clean slice of cake, place the finished cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cutting it!
  • Cake layers and frosting will freeze well for up to 3 months. For the frosting, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting cake. You may also slice the cake once decorated, store in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.


the ultimate layer chocolate cake

Serves: 15 | Prep Time: 3 hours | Cook Time: 30 mins | Ingredients: 16 | Difficulty: Medium

Cake Ingredients:

  • 110g Cocoa powder
  • 240g Hot water
  • 240g Whole Eggs
  • 6g Vanilla extract
  • 190g Unsalted butter
  • 240g Warm milk
  • 10g Instant coffee powder
  • 350g Sugar
  • 350g All-purpose flour
  • 8g Baking powder
  • 4g Baking soda

For the Ganach

  • 225g Dark chocolate (bean-to-bar for a richer taste)
  • 50g Milk chocolate
  • 330g Double cream
  • 150g Unsalted butter
  • 20g Acacia Honey
  • 2g Salt


Method for the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 175C and prepare 3x 20cm baking pans with melted butter and parchment paper.

chocolate layer cake step 1

2. Into a large bowl, sift the cocoa powder and pour hot water over and mix well until fully incorporated.

chocolate layer cake step 2

3. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and unsalted butter and mix again.

chocolate layer cake step 3

4. Add the warm milk, instant coffee powder, sugar and mix together.


5. Into another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and gently fold into the wet mixture with a spoon or spatula until just combined.


chocolate layer cake step 4


6. Divide the cake mix into 3 prepared cake pans, and bake for 25-30 minutes.


chocolate layer cake step 5


7. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before levelling, then freeze for one hour white preparing the ganache

chocolate layer cake step 6


  • Add on the chocolate mousse a spoon of whipped cream and decor with shaved dark chocolate and if you like an edible gold leaf.


chocolate layer cake step 7
chocolate layer cake step 8

Method for the ganache:

1. Heat cream and honey, in a small saucepan or in the microwave until it’s hot and starts to bubble.

chocolate layer cake ganache 1

2. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour over the hot cream. Let stand for 2 minutes.

chocolate layer cake ganache 2

3. Add the salt and chopped butter and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until cool and slightly firm. (You are looking for a spreading consistency).

chocolate layer cake ganache 3

Frosting the cake:

1. Remove the cake from the freezer.

2. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand or plate, and top with a layer of frosting, and smooth it out into one even layer.

chocolate layer cake frosting 1

3. Repeat with the second layer of cake.

4. Place the third layer of cake on top and use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.

Icing cake

5. Before cutting a slice, let the cake set in the fridge for around 1 hour.


Layer cake cut slide
layer cake

There you have it, the Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe!

If you make this recipe, snap a picture & share it on Instagram tagging @cocoaboxau & we’ll re-share it 🙂 !

Ilaria is a Pastry Chef Consultant from Italy. She works with brands and businesses to create stunning & delicious desserts using traditional & modern techniques. See more of her work on:  the-dessert-lab.mn.co

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