Blackout chocolate cake on plate

This past weekend, I celebrated my 27th birthday. So naturally, I had to make a chocolate cake to celebrate. 

And before you go thinking “omg she made her own birthday cake that’s so sad,” no, my mom made me the best carrot cake in the world. So this girl actually got two cakes.

I’ve been a fan of chocolate cake ever since…well to be honest it was probably since I watched Matilda and saw that sinfully rich chocolate cake Mrs. Trunchbull made Bruce eat (yes, it was a horrific scene, but can anyone deny that that cake will go down in history as one of the most salivating chocolate cakes ever?).

The Blackout Chocolate Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

Even though growing up I preferred cookies and brownies to cake (I know, I should’ve been checked out by a doctor, what was wrong with me?!), homemade chocolate cake was always the one exception. I just loved chocolate cake. So every year for my birthday, I ask for a chocolate cake.

The Chocolate Blackout Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

Now. This chocolate cake is special for a few reasons.

  1. It’s a Blackout Cake. Meaning it is made with dark cocoa for that super rich look.
  2. It’s sky high, but only has 2 layers, making it easy to assemble.
  3. It’s made with brewed coffee for added richness and depth of flavor.
  4. It’s moist as heck.
  5. The homemade chocolate frosting has cream cheese in it (seriously, you’ll never want to make another frosting again once you have it so hear me out), which imparts just a subtle tanginess and adds to the creamy factor.

Basically, it’s a Blackout Chocolate Cake fit for a queen. Which, on one’s birthday, one should be.

But even if it’s not your birthday, I know you can find some excuse to make this joy of a cake soon. Because you ARE a queen and you deserve it 🙂

The Blackout Chocolate Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

Tips for making this blackout cake

This chocolate cake is super easy to make, but you have to use the ingredients I specify (i.e. don’t use regular cocoa powder instead of dark cocoa powder, etc). To make a true blackout cake, you need that blend of ultra rich cocoa powder and coffee. Omit either of these ingredients, and you’ll be left with a regular chocolate cake! (Totally fine on a normal day, but for your birthday you need the real deal). If you’re not a coffee drinker, don’t fret. This blackout cake doesn’t taste much like coffee, but it does make this cake super flavorful.

Real buttermilk is another key ingredient in this cake recipe, as it makes the cake extra moist and adds a subtle tang to the batter. If you’re in a pinch, a buttermilk substitute will work, but the real stuff is preferred!

The Blackout Chocolate Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

How to make chocolate frosting

Don’t be scared of homemade frosting! To make a truly epic chocolate cream cheese frosting, you need to make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Set everything out on the counter while your cake is in the oven, and by the time you’re ready to make the frosting the butter and cream cheese should be the perfect temperature! Also make sure your coffee is room temp, as it’d otherwise make an absolute mess of your chocolate frosting.

You’ll know the cream cheese frosting is ready when it starts to fluff up in the mixing bowl. And, you know, when you taste it and think it’s amazing…

The Blackout Chocolate Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

The Blackout Chocolate Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. Aka a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

More Homemade Cake Recipes You Might Like:

Persian Love Cake (Cardamom, Rose, & Almond Cake)

Winter Solstice Cake 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Super Fudgy Mocha Layer Cake

30-Minute Red Velvet Cake for Two


Blackout Chocolate Cake

blackout chocolate cake

The Blackout Cake to end all other chocolate cakes. AKA a moist as heck chocolate cake with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting.

  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x


for the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee

for the frosting:

  • 1 3/4 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, eggs, and buttermilk.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until no lumps remain. Pour in brewed coffee, mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, place butter and cream cheese in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (an electric hand mixer also works). Cream on high speed for 1 minute, then turn speed to low and add in cocoa powder. Mix until combined, then add in powdered sugar, brewed coffee, vanilla extract, and salt. Cream on high speed for 1 minute, until mixture has lightened slightly and is fluffy.
  6. Frost cake by placing first cake layer onto a cake stand. Top with a healthy dose of frosting. Spread evenly, then repeat with second layer. Use remaining frosting to frost sides of the cake. Last, use the back of a spoon to create a large swirling pattern all around the cake!

blackout chocolate cake recipe


Kaveri Aggarwal

Hi this cake looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it out! I just have one query: I have 2 round 6″ pans and not 8″, so how much should I scale this recipe down for it to fit that?
Thank you!

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hi Kaveri! This recipe makes 3 6 inch rounds! So you could bake two off and then bake the remaining batter as a third layer, or you could make 2/3 of the recipe!

Kaveri Aggarwal

Awesome! Thank you!!


Going to make this recipe. What do you think of soft cream cheese for the frosting?? I want to avoid a trip to the store!!!

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hey Jeannie! I think that would work fine!


Baked the cake… I did get the full fat cream cheese. After thinking about it, I thought the frosting would hold up… AND … the cake was FABULOUS! (Just as you described). Frosting yielded so much, I had to use the remainder to make flowers all over the top and edges. Making it again for my daughter in-laws birthday in December. Thank you!!!


how can I make this without cocoa powder?


This was delicious! I was only bummed because I didn’t taste the coffee in the frosting or after the cake was baked (though I tasted it in the raw batter). I used a dark roast cold brew. So next time I may play around with adding some espresso powder so the flavor comes through.

Gretchen M Plaia

Can I double the recipe to make a 2 layer 8 x 12 inch cake? I need it to fee 15 – 20 people

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Yes definitely! Let us know how it goes!


This cake is all the recipe promises! It’s chocolatey and moist, and the coffee adds a layer of depth to the flavor profile. In my experience, however, the recipe makes more batter than will fit in 2 8″ rounds. I’ll use 9″ when I make it again – which will be soon! Thank you for the fabulous recipe!


Did you use dark Cocoa for the frosting?

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hey Deborah! We did 🙂

This cake will be one of the best chocolate cakes you’ve ever eaten.

Sofi | Broma Bakery

we totally agree 🙂 Best cake EVER


I was wondering if you can taste the cream cheese in the frosting? My sister wants a dark chocolate like this one, but doesn’t like cream cheese.
Thanks!!! Looks amazing!!

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hi Aly! You can’t! It just tastes like a super cream chocolate frosting 🙂


I was disappointed by this cake, which bills itself as the “best chocolate blackout cake.” You state in the comments that you used dark cocoa powder in the frosting, but didn’t make that specification in the recipe itself. Your cake ingredients call for dark cocoa powder but your frosting ingredients call for regular cocoa powder. I used regular cocoa powder in the frosting, per your recipe instructions, and the frosting is about ten shades lighter than the dark chocolate frosting you depict in your photos. Can cocoa powder even achieve that dark of a color? It seems like other frostings that look darker use melted chocolate chips. I tried adding some dark cocoa powder at the end but even that didn’t save the frosting’s color. The cake was good but the frosting was too light to be considered a blackout cake. Any ideas on what went wrong?

Sofi | Broma Bakery

Hey Kate! Sorry to hear that you weren’t pleased with the frosting in this blackout cake, but happy that you enjoyed the cake itself. I’m sorry that we did not specify dark cocoa powder in the frosting–we should have specified like we did in the cake! It sounds like you might have overbeaten your frosting if it was super light. The more you beat cocoa powder the lighter it gets!

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