This Triple Chocolate Cake recipe is the ULTIMATE dessert for chocoholics! Three layers of deep, dark chocolate cake are filled with chocolate ganache, then decorated with fluffy homemade chocolate buttercream. A few chocolate truffles top off this showstopper dessert!
This deliciously easy chocolate cake recipe will win over the hearts of every chocolate lover! Dress it up with homemade chocolate truffles or keep it basic with the homemade chocolate buttercream. Either way it’s totally scrumptious!
It’ll be the best chocolate cake recipe you’ve ever made!
As a kid, all I ever wanted for my birthday was Nana’s homemade cakes. Chocolate was, is, and will always be my favorite type, especially hers. They were always from scratch, incredibly moist and tender, and absolutely loaded with chocolate.
I’m not sure what she did differently that made them taste so restaurant worthy. While it may not be as good as Nana’s, this triple layer moist cake is the best I’ve ever made.
Three chocolate cake layers of deep, dark chocolate. Oh so good! It’s definitely not a classic chocolate cake recipe!
Chocolate ganache, two ways: a whipped chocolate ganache filling, and as the decorations in truffle form on top of the cake.
Fluffy chocolate buttercream that you’ll have a hard time not eating from the bowl. You’ll find yourself scraping the chocolate frosting of the sides of the cake just to eat it!
It’s a smaller cake, but a decadent cake that you’re gonna love! Don’t be surprised if your family eats the entire cake!
It pairs perfectly with either hot coffee or vanilla ice cream.
Can you bake this in larger pans?
Yes! You could divide this between two 8-inch cake pans instead of the 6-inch pans I use here, or fit it in a 13×9 pan. For a larger cake with taller layer or more than 2 layers, you will need to make an extra half batch of batter.
How to make easy ganache truffles
This cake is garnished with the prettiest little truffles! Ganache is a delicious and versatile chocolate sauce. It can be used as a glaze, a frosting or a filling, and to make candy – in this case, truffles.
Truffles are just about the easiest dessert you can possibly make!
- After making your 1:1 ratio ganache (equal parts cream to chocolate), cool it to room temperature in a mixing bowl. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until it’s solid and set.
- Once the ganache is firm, use a small cookie scoop to portion out 1 tablespoon-sized balls.
- Roll the balls quickly between your palms until round and smooth. (You may want to use gloves for this – it can get messy!)
- Then, roll the truffles around in sweetened cocoa powder or chocolate flakes or sprinkles until they are completely coated. Transfer them to a parchment-lined plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
- All-purpose flour – sub out for gluten free flour if desired
- Granulated sugar
- Cocoa powder – regular, dutch-processed, or dark
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- Large eggs
- Buttermilk – scroll down a bit to see buttermilk substitutes!
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract – or vanilla bean paste, or beans from fresh vanilla beans
- Boiling water
Can you use dutch-processed or dark cocoa powder for this recipe?
Yes! I have made this same chocolate cake recipe with both Rodelle Dutch-Processed Cocoa and Hershey’s Special Dark. The darker the cocoa, the darker and more decadent the cake!
If you plan to use dark cocoa, simply follow the recipe as written. If Dutch-Process is your favorite, simply add another 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the recipe to balance the acid.
What can you substitute for buttermilk?
Yes! There are numerous effective substitutes for buttermilk in baking. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Whisk it together, then let stand for 5 minutes to allow the acid to curdle the milk.
1 cup of plain Greek or whole milk yogurt
3/4 cup milk plus 1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
How to make moist triple chocolate cake
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of 3 6-inch cake pans with rounds of parchment paper. Spray them lightly with baking spray and set them aside.
- Next, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Since this recipe contains cocoa powder, which tends to clump, I recommend sifting it all together with a sifter like this one. You could also use a fine-mesh sieve.
- Whisk everything together well, then use a spoon to create a well in the middle of the mixture.
- Then, add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Whisk (or use a mixer on low speed) until just combined, then add the hot water. Mix until well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until that trusty toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them to a cooling wire rack to cool completely.
- Make a batch of Chocolate Ganache, following this recipe.
- Use half of the ganache to make some ganache truffles and chill them. Fill the cooled cake with the remaining ganache – whipped gently until it’s slightly thickened and fluffy. Frost and decorate the now-triple chocolate cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream, then top with the truffles!
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Triple Chocolate Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup boiling water
Chocolate Ganache – for Filling & Truffles
- see below
- see below
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, then coat with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk until blended. With a spoon, create a well in the middle.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and stir until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the boiling water. Whisk until well combined.
- Divide batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, with only a few crumbs.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
Make 1 batch of Chocolate Ganache
- When ganache is cool, divide it between two bowls. Use a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip it until it is fluffy and thickened. Be careful not to over-whip, otherwise it will be impossible to spread.
- Cover and place the second bowl of ganache in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until set.
- Once the ganache is firm, use a small cookie scoop to portion out 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Roll them quickly between your palms until round and smooth. (You may want to use gloves for this – it can get messy!)
- Roll truffles around in cocoa powder or sprinkles until completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make 1 batch of Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
- Using a sharp serrated knife, carefully slice any domed tops off of each cooled cake layer.
- Place a layer on a cake board or plate and, using an offset spatula, fill and spread 1/2 of the whipped ganache to cover layer. Repeat with remaining layer.
- Skim ice the top and sides of the cake, smoothing out the buttercream. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes before continuing.
- Use the remaining buttercream to rough ice the top and outside of the cake, creating swirls and swoops with your spatula. Garnish bottom half with sprinkles, and pipe remaining buttercream into rosettes on the top of the cake. Top with truffles.
Kristin Maxwell says
This is such a gorgeous cake! I don’t know that I could make one as beautiful as you so maybe you can just ship one to me m’kay??
Absolutely great news, absolutely great cake, absolutely great photos ! Thank you for such a wonderful post and I wish you enjoy your day ! 🙂
This cake wowed everyone when I made it for a picnic! Thanks for a great recipe.
Shadi Hasanzadenemati says
Love this idea! Looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
This cake was very decadent, moist and full of deep chocolate flavor very much like a devil’s food cake.. the icing mimics the deep chocolate in the cake so for those of you who are chocolate fans this cake is for you!!!
This recipe sounds absolutely delicious and the images are gorgeous.
I will making this cake this week. What did you use that looks like cocoa krispies?