Double Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Double Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

18 reviews / 4.4 average

I’ve always been a cake person.

Don’t get me wrong - I definitely eat both cake and ice cream. But if given the choice, I will choose cake. Preferably extra rich and chocolatey, with a thick layer of frosting.

Slice of double chocolate cake with buttercream frosting on a white plate.

So on my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a little a lot of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. The problem here is that I am not a very experienced cake maker.

In addition, I admit that I have little to no experience in successfully frosting a double layer cake.

But luckily, my frosting-loving taste buds coincide with my heavy-handed frosting abilities. So it was a Happy Birthday after all.

Slice of double chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

Completely unrelated to double chocolate cake (or maybe not, considering all those calories), I ran a half marathon this weekend!

Two women running a race.
Two women with ribbons around their necks.

That was fun.

Now I’m ready to eat another double chocolate cake. Extra frosting, please.

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A picture of Double Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Double Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This double chocolate cake with buttercream frosting was what I made myself on my birthday. So chocolatey, so rich, so perfect. Happy Birthday to me!


Units Scale

Double Chocolate Cake, from Foodessa

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 1 cup boiling water)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Confessions of a Tart

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (more to your tastes)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 cups of powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency)


Double Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three round baking pans and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee.
  2. Pour batter evenly between the three pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Whip the room-temperature butter on medium speed. Shift to low and add cocoa powder slowly, spoonfuls at a time, until fully incorporated. Still on low, add in the powdered sugar (also one spoonful at a time), alternating with the milk, to achieve desired consistency and taste. Then, beat on medium speed until very light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes. Add in more sugar if consistency is too thin.


I used two of the cakes and frosted the middle/top/sides. And from the same batch, I still have a third cake and enough frosting to make some extra cake pops!

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 828

Keywords: double chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, chocolate cake recipe

It feels good to be able to run 13 miles. And it feels really good to eat chocolate cake.

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    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      ……. I was 4 when you made that comment. I tend to forget that other people existed before i did so it gets kinda confusing…….

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just made this today and it is uhh-may-zing! The only thint i usef half regulg I changed was that I used half regular cocoa and half semi-sw et cocoa in both the cake and frosting. So yummy!!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Frist off….Just found your blog….and I am already in love!!! My pintrest account with be full of your site I am sure.
    Second, how dare you look so amazing after running a half marathon!!! I always look like a drowned rat when I finish one….but I love the addiction!!
    Third, going to make this…I have tried many a chocolate cake and always look for new yummy ones…so thanks for posting it.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi, love the look of this cake and would really like to make it for my sister in-laws anniversary in a couple weeks. May sound like a silly question but did you use plain or self raising flour for this? Thanks

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          I made this at the weekend and it went down so so well :). I’ve now been asked to make it for two birthdays in the next couple of weeks. So thank you for posting this recipe!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi Lindsay, made this cake for the fourth time and it turns out amazing every time. I have decorated the cakes with fondant and everyone can’t believe how moist it is as usually fondant cakes tend to be a little dry. This comment was from a non-chocolate lover, ‘one of the best chocolate cake ever tasted.’ Could you please post a recipe for a vanilla cake too :). Thanks

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi! I’m thinking of making this for my boyfriend’s birthday on saturday and was wondering… Do you suggest making this the day of or the day before the event? I know some people say cakes are more moist if you let them sit for a day but I’m no expert… PS I made your carrot cupcakes and they were AMAZING.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Cate! It’s been a while since I made this one so I don’t remember how it compared the next day. However, I almost always like cakes better the next day so I would lean towards making it a day ahead of time if possible. I don’ think it’s going to dry out or anything… if anything it’d just get more moist and yummy like you want. 🙂

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Just to make sure you have it moist enough, use equal parts sugar and water and kinda just use a pastry brush to put a layer on the top and let it soak. I use it all the time and my family thinks my cakes are the best

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      i guess the pans were too big… i only got two layers but it came out very nicely 🙂 i have a ton of frosting left over so i’ll have to do another cake 🙂 thanks for sharing the recipe!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Simone – Did the two 9″ pans work out well – nice and thick halves of cake? And do you think halving the frosting recipe would work well so there is no excess?

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made this cake yesterday for a party! It was my first cake and it was a hit with everyone there. Thank you so much for these awesome recipes, they are always spot on. I ended up making one thick layer of cake so my baking time was longer, but it otherwise turned out well. Loved the frosting!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Begum,
      How long did you bake your one thick layer of cake for?
      I’m a student so I only have the one cake tin but would love to make this for a friend’s birthday.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this the other day and it was delicious. I have one small slice left that I’m waiting to devour. However the cake was a lot more dense than I thought, still enjoyed it a lot, but is it suppose to be dense? Or was it maybe because I kind of tapped the batter on the counter before I baked it?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi, Kate! This cake is fairly dense. If you felt it was too dense for your tastes, you could try using cake flour next time. Cake flour is finer than AP flour and will produce a lighter, more airy cake.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is my go to cake/cupcake recipe. Best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I accidentally forgot the melted butter the first time and ever since I just eliminate it all together. Do you have a comparable white cake recipe?

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I absolutely love this recipe.. it’s my NEW favorite go to!! I had three layers, used cake flour and sprinkled pecans on top.. yum!!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve never been a baker, but wanted to bake a cake from scratch. Watched the movie “It’s Complicated” and she mentioned double chocolate cake. Made yours. OMG!!! THE BEST CAKE EVER!! SO Moist. Everyone that ate it, want me to make for them. Thanks so much for posting the recipe.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can I just point out that this is not a double chocolate cake? Double chocolate has actual chocolate and cocoa powder, not just two different things with cocoa powder. For example, a quadruple chocolate cake has white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate chips in a cocoa powder cake. Remove one type of chocolate and it becomes a triple chocolate cake and so on.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay, made this cake for the fourth time and it turns out amazing every time. I have decorated the cakes with fondant and everyone can’t believe how moist it is as usually fondant cakes tend to be a little dry. This comment was from a non-chocolate lover, ‘one of the best chocolate cake ever tasted.’ Could you please post a recipe for a vanilla cake too :). Thanks

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    So.. is this recipe enough for 3 layer 8 inch cake with generous amount of frosting to fully cover the cake? How tall are each cake? About 1&1/2 inches or..?