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 from Broma Bakery:

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

Print

Blackout Chocolate Cake

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 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
Scale

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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! 

50 comments

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Sounds fantastic other than the coffee….what can I substitute for the coffee, as I am unable to have anything with coffee in it.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You can sub hot water!

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Delicious! A sky high moist dark chocolate cake…YES!

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Best chocolate blackout cake ever⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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YAY! So happy you enjoyed it 🙂

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Oh my goodness this looks AMAZING! I don’t have a go-to chocolate cake recipe, so I’ll have to try this out!

Jamie Kamber

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Once again, Sarah, you’re an evil temptress. I have a very busy week ahead, but now you’ve made sure I’ll be baking on the weekend. Thanks!!! 🙂

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I’m in on this one! Looks superdelicioso 😉 Happy Birthday!

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Blackout it is !

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Looks devine!!!!!! Would you consider adding photos to the printouts?!

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Can the coffee be substituted? Or completely removed? I don’t like the taste of coffee at all ????

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You can use hot water instead!

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Dang girl, this cake looks SULTRY! I need to find a reason to make this ASAP (although every day is a day to celebrate so….)

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I’m planning on making this.
I have a question.
Do you put the bottom side up to frost??
I’m not knowledgeable about Drost a two layer cake.
I’d like to learn a good method.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yes, that’s a great way to do it!

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Sarah – I just made this. My icing didn’t turn out nearly as dark as yours. I’m not sure why. Any tips?

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Hey Katie! We used extra dark cocoa powder which is why ours was so dark! Regular cocoa powder works just fine too, it just won’t produce as dark of a color! If you want it to be dark you could also cheat and add a little black food coloring to the frosting! Hope this helps 🙂

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I still remember that gf chocolate cake you made last year for the workshop!! Is this even better than that one?! Putting this on my list. You are amazing. xo

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It’s like you read my soul….cream cheese chocolate frosting?!?! Yes please. Cannot wait to make this! By dark cocoa powder do you mean dutch process cocoa powder? Thanks!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa 🙂

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Definitely looks like the best ever!

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Hi. Can you help me to convert the cups into grams? I want to make the cake, but I am used to weight all the ingredients.
Thank you! Codruta

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I don’t convert, but there are many websites online that do!

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I’m all over this. Literally the cake of my dreams!

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Dying over that frosting! Those swirls!!

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Someone gave me this recipe about 3 years ago and I will never make another chocolate cake. I use hazelnut flavored coffee and sometime frost with a chocolate ,mocha buttercream, depending on who I’m making it for. Love your website and recipes!!

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I’m obsessed with that frosting, what an incredible cake!!

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Brilliant. Thank you for the Blackout Chocolate Cake recipe and share your feeling.

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This is probably the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever had. I think the cream cheese and coffee just add such an excellent addition to a typical buttercream frosting.

I can’t wait to make more of your recipes. Your blog inspires me to one day have my own cooking blog. Please come out with a cookbook! I’d buy it in a heart beat! 🙂

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My honey asked for “death by chocolate” for his birthday dessert and this certainly filled the bill. I did three 6″ layers and I probably needed to chill the frosting a little bit as it was hard to make the decorative swirls. Lord that’s a lot of butter in the frosting – but no one complained, lol. He absolutely loved it, so thank you for all the points I scored. I now have to do some drive-by “caking’ on neighbor’s porches though – this cake needs to be shared and I can’t have it taunting me every time I open the fridge.

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Can butter be subbed for veg oil?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yes! I’d use melted butter!

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Hi sarah, can we substitute the buttermilk with something else ?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You can always make your own buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every 1 cup of milk and letting it stand for 5 minutes.

Hope this helps!

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This recipe looks divine! I’m a huge fan of the chocolate and coffee combination. I would love to make this cake to exact specifications.

I am from Toronto and I am having trouble getting Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder. Would alkalized black cocoa powder or callebaut dark cocoa powder work?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Definitely! Any high quality dutch processed cocoa should do the trick.

I’ve never used either of those with this cake, but it looks like Callebaut dark cocoa powder might be a little more similar. Let me know how it goes!

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I made this and LOVED it– and I DO have an amazing go-to cake. But what I loved was that this cake is not super sweet or very dense. It was surprisingly light (which meant I ate WAY too much!). Here’s my question: how does it do in cupcake form? Please let me know and please keep on providing amazing recipes!!! Thank you!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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So happy to hear you loved this cake just as much as I do!

Great idea. I haven’t tried it in cupcake form yet, but it should work too! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

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Do you also use Hershey’s special dark cocoa in the frosting or just regular cocoa? And what kind of flour in the cake? Cake flour or all purpose?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I did! You could also use another dutch processed cocoa as substitute.

I used all purpose–you could try it with cake flour and might get a finer crumb. Let me know how it goes 🙂

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Did you use all purpose flour or cake flour?
And did you use dark cocoa in the frosting as well? Or regular cocoa?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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All purpose flour! You could definitely use cake flour too though if you have it on hand! I used dark cocoa powder to get that rich chocolatey look, but regular cocoa powder would work just fine too. Hope this helps!

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made the cake it and it was awesome. however frosting turned out super soup-y. it was the perfect stiffness when i didn’t add the coffee but I added it anyway because the recipe called for it- but mine turned out like soup. probably my fault. anyway SUPERB recipe

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh no! Make sure the coffee is at room temperature so that it doesn’t melt the butter in the frosting. You could also always add a little more powdered sugar to stiffen it up a little more.

Thank you for your kind words. Hope the frosting works out better next time 🙂

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What’s a good substitute for buttermilk in this recipe? Thank you in advance ????

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You can make your own buttermilk by mixing one cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir together and let stand for 5 minutes.

Hope this helps!

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I’m making this for my kids for Valentine’s Day! My cake pans are 9”. It will be a thinner layer i imagine, but how much should I adjust the baking time? Any other changes i should make?

Thank you!

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Hey Wendy,

Great question and good thinking! You shouldn’t have to change anything other than baking a few less minutes. Just keep an eye on the cakes to make sure to not over bake. Hope this helps!

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I definitely want to make this cake recipe , it looks delicious 😋. What substitute can I use instead of buttercream?

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Hey Lourdes! Do you not want frosting? Or not want butter? Let me know and I can provide some alternatives!

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