Triple Chocolate Cake

This gorgeous triple chocolate cake recipe packs a punch with three kinds of chocolate and an indulgent, but surprisingly, not overly sweet chocolate buttercream frosting. Delish!

Quick steps on how to make this triple chocolate cake:

  • Butter and flour your cake pans. Pre- heat the oven
  • Mix dry ingredients in a stand mixer. add in buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla and hot coffee. Pour in cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
  • To make the frosting- sift confectioners sugar to remove lumps
  • Beat butter on low then on high until the color becomes pale yellow- about 3 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and melted chocolate, egg yolks, vanilla and coffee. Beat for 5 minutes until fluffy, but do not whip.
  • Chill the frosting for 5 minutes so it can set.
  • Once cakes are completely cooled, set on a cake pedestal and frost using an off-set spatula. Chill cake until 30 minutes before serving.
  • It’s cake- have fun.

Ingredients in this chocolate cake recipe:

  • all purpose flour
  • sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • special dark cocoa powder ( we like Hersey’s Special Dark)
  • semi sweet baking chocolate squares
  • baking soda, baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • kosher salt
  • sea salt
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar
  • pasteurized fresh eggs
  • unsalted butter- * see my favorite brands below
  • hot brewed coffee
  • buttermilk
  • canola oil

Equipment needed for this triple chocolate cake recipe:

  • 2- 8″ cake pans- Nordic Ware or Wilton make great pans
  • off-set spatula- buy my favorite HERE
  • stand mixer for the frosting
  • parchment paper- buy my favorite HERE
  • cake pedestal for decorating
  • large mixing bowl
  • silicone scraper
  • measuring cups and spoons

Pro-tips for great baking success:

  1. Butter and flour your cake pans well.
  2. Room temperature butter and sifted confectioners sugar are key to a light frosting.
  3. Make certain your leavening ingredients are fresh.
  4. Give your oven plenty of time to get to the correct temperature.
  5. Tuck long pieces of parchment or wax paper under the cake before icing- this will help keep your cake stand clean. Just pull away after the icing is set.
  6. Because there is so much butter in the frosting, store leftovers in the fridge. If you have chilled the cake, before serving, let it still at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.
  7. Chill frosting for just about 5 minutes- this makes it perfect for spreading.

How to make perfect chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • Butter- Make certain your butter is at room temperature-about 67-70 degrees. Use unsalted butter. I prefer Tillamook unsalted extra creamy or Challenge butter.
  • Sugar– I use 10X Confectioner’s sugar. It is very important you sift the sugar before incorporating it into the butter or else you might have lumps. Measure first, then sift.
  • Salt– Use a fine sea salt- it a very delicate taste- not metallic like table salt, but sea salt brings out and enhances the sweetness and the coffee flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract– Obviously I am a huge snob about vanilla. If you cannot buy Pine and Palm Kitchen vanilla, I highly recommend a high quality vanilla. Do not use imitation vanilla for buttercream. Vanilla paste is another fantastic option.
  • Egg Yolks- egg yolks add a rich silkiness to the buttercream that is fantastic. Use pasteurized fresh eggs. the heat from the melted chocolate and coffee will “cook” the eggs. Add in the chocolate slowly so the eggs do not scramble.
  • Hot Coffee– Use a dark roast and very hot coffee. Instant espresso works great as well. Sometimes I’ll just order an espresso when I know I’m going to make this recipe and add it into the frosting. Divine.
  • Chocolate- You want o seek out a high quality chocolate for this . I use Ghirardelli squares, which are found at most grocery stores in the baking aisle.

How do I store my Buttercream frosting for later use?

If you want to make the frosting in advance, place frosting in an airtight container and chill the fridge for up to 7 days. To frost your cake or cupcakes, let frosting rest at room temperature for 30 minutes then -using a paddle attachment on your mixer- whip again until fluffy and light. You can add in a few spoonfuls of sifted powdered sugar if needed.

Buttercream freezes very well in a zip top bag or freeze safe container for up to three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes and re-peat the steps above to prepare the frosting for your cake.

Commonly asked questions:

Can I freeze the cakes?

Yes- wrap unfrosted cakes in a double layer of plastic and freeze up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in your fridge, then frost as usual.

What can I substitute for the eggs in the frosting?

Omit the eggs, and chocolate squares and instead just add in 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

My buttercream is runny and won’t set.

Your butter is too warm. Place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes, add in 1 TBSP of sifted powdered sugar and slowly whip the frosting. This should help it set up. Add in more sugar if needed.

Can I make other flavors with this recipe?

Yes! Omit the chocolate and add in seedless jams, creamy peanut butter, lemon zest and lemon juice for other flavors. The list is endless.

If you love Chocolate Cake, try these recipes:

Triple Chocolate Cake

Recipe by Meggen Arthur Wilson Course: MOST POPULAR RECIPES, Sweet ToothCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: moderate


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time





This gorgeous triple chocolate cake recipe packs a punch with three kinds of chocolate and an indulgent, but surprisingly, not overly sweet chocolate buttercream frosting. Delish!


  • butter & flour for cake pans

  • 1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup Special Dark cocoa powder ( I like Hersey’s)

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup hot coffee

  • For the Frosting
  • 8 oz semi sweet chocolate

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 lb or 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

  • 2 TBSP brewed hot coffee

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour two 8″ cake pans.
  • Sift flour and all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of the mixer with the dry ingredients and mix well on low speed. Add in hot coffee. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make certain everything is well incorporated but do not over mix.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 35-40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes on wire racks. Run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen the cake then invert the pans to remove the cakes and cool completely.
  • For the Frosting
  • While cakes are cooling, sift confectioners sugar.
  • Set aside.
  • Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until chocolate melts. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy- about 2-3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat on medium speed another 1-2 minutes. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in sifted confectioners sugar- beat until smooth. Remaining on low speed, add in melted chocolate and coffee until creamy and light. DO not over mix or whip. If frosting is too “loose”, place in the fridge for about 5 minutes to set up for decorating.
  • On a cake pedestal, place one of the layers. Tuck strips of parchment paper or wax paper under the edges of the cake.
  • Plop a small amount of frosting on the layer and push frosting out to the edges of the cake.
  • Top with the second layer. Again, with an off-set spatula, push another large dollop of frosting to the edges of the cake letting the frosting “fall” onto the sides. See my video below. Continue decorating the sides. Remove parchment paper and wipe pedestal base clean.


  • Chill until serving if you are in a warm climate. Let set out for 30 minutes before slicing if cake has been chilled.

  • Cake can keep in the fridge for up to seven days- ha! There won’t be any left after seven days.
  • Nutritional information: Serving Size: 1 slice of 8. Calories- 870, Total Fat- 50 grams, Sat fat- 22 grams, Carbs-107 grams, Fiber-5 grams, sugar-79 grams, protein-9 grams, cholesterol- 148mg, sodium- 576mg

This is a recipe for chocolate cake with three kinds of chocolate: special dark cocoa powder, regular cocoa powder and semi sweet baking chocolate. Nothing too fancy. Nothing they don’t have at Safeway or Publix. But is it one heck of a great cake. The recipe is based off of Ina Garten’s Beatty’s cake, but over the years, I’ve tweaked and tweaked it. I nearly double the amount of frosting, add coffee not espresso powder and I add a touch of cinnamon. It is decadent, but light. It is chocolatey, but not heavy.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *