Dark Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream

chocolate cake

I want to preface this post by telling you how much I love the Tall Boy.

Like, more than any one person could love another.

And not just because he volunteered to take the shopping list to get groceries the other night because it was seriously cold and windy and I didn’t want to get chilled. I’m delicate, ya’ll.

But apparently, guys need clarification between “powdered hot chocolate mix” and “unsweetened cocoa.”

So I attempted to explain the difference to him (nicely, hello, I might need him to go to the store for me again sometime), and he pointed to the container on the cocoa powder where it said, “perfect for making hot chocolate” and said  he just didn’t see why this wouldn’t work.

Okay, I can kind of see his point, but the short of the story is that this cake involved multiple trips to the store and a number of arguments differences of opinion–and by the time I was done with the cake I was just so. over. it.

Except that I took a bite and decided it was my new best friend.  And I’m not even a fan of chocolate cake.

This cake was to-die-for moist.  And the hot chocolate buttercream?  Heaven, people.  Heaven.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream
recipe from What Megan's Making; cake adapted from Sweetapolita and frosting from Joy the Baker
For the Cake:
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup powdered hot chocolate mix
For the Cake:
  1. Sift your dry ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Add the remaning ingredients to the bowl. With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be VERY liquidy. Pour into two 9" round pans that have been lined with parchment paper and greased.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, then rotate the pans in the oven. Bake 15 minutes longer or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
For the Frosting:
  1. Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and with the mixer on low, mix in powdered sugar while slowly adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together heavy cream and hot chocolate mix. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

I’m linking up over at Mom’s Crazy Cooking Challenge today, and if you haven’t checked out Tina’s site, you should. She’s got some great stuff over there.

PhotobucketMy previous Cooking Challenge posts:
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Eggnog Fudge
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

And be sure to check out the entries from all of the other bloggers this month, though you might want to grab some elastic-waist pants first.



    • Ashley

      Thank you, Erin. It really was!


    I love the use of coffee in it!

    Jennifer #19

    • Ashley

      The coffee really gave it a rich flavor. Even if you’re not a coffee fan, you’ll enjoy it in this cake.

    • Ashley

      That buttercream was amazing (and dangerous!).

  2. Chels R.

    That Looks AMAZING!!!!! Beautiful pictures!
    Come check me out at #62! 🙂

    • Ashley

      Your red wine cake looks fabulous!

  3. amy @ fearless homemaker

    yum, this looks delicious! i could probably do some serious damage to a bowl of the hot chocolate buttercream right now. YUM!

    • Ashley

      I wish I would have gotten better pictures. I was so frustrated with the cake I just wanted to be done–and then we dug into it…wowsers, was it good. By the time I thought to snap a picture of the sliced cake, there wasn’t much left!

  4. Terry

    Sounds amazing! #18

  5. andi winslow

    I made the same cake and yes it is the best. Its my new go to for chocolate cake. Your icing recipe sounds good. nice post andi

  6. Teri @ The Freshman Cook

    I just love this recipe, and I will definitely be making the unique frosting! Gorgeous cake!

  7. Tandy

    I have run out of cacao before and used my sugar free hot chocolate mix as a substitute – you could tell the difference! Lovely frosting recipe 🙂

  8. Bertie's Bakery

    Ummmmm can you say delicious?? Looks great 🙂

  9. Lisa~~

    I think my husband deliberately messes up when I ask him to get things at the grocery so that I don’t bother asking anymore. Your cake looks wonderful and hot chocolate buttercream sounds divine.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake

    Cook Lisa Cook


    WOW, hot chocolate buttercream YUM! And we have the same talks over here (so I just go to the store by myself) 🙂 Thanks for participating in this challenge we’ve already had 17,000 hits in one day to the linky party. If you haven’t had a chance already come check out my Whopper Cake (it’s #1 in the linky party)!

  11. Kim Bee

    This is gorgeous. I love buttercream frosting. I also love how you highlighted multiple blogs with your choice.

  12. Kristen

    So glad it turned out in the end…and judging by the pictures, Oh Boy did it turn out! What a fantastic looking cake!!

  13. Miz Helen

    The presentation of your cake is beautiful and I love the combination of flavor, it looks delicious. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

  14. April @ Angel's Homestead

    hehe What a great story about the hot cocoa mix! Sometimes our best recipes come from little slip-ups like that though. Cake looks great. 🙂

  15. Kristin

    This looks amazing! Definitely bookmarking it 🙂

  16. Cassie @ A Little Treat

    mmmm this cake looks delicious. I don’t know how many times I have had a crazy argument with my sweet over baking supplies! Thank you for sharing!

    Cassie #82

  17. Patsy

    I could try this recipe, but it would never look like this! I am now following your blog. Patsy

    • Ashley

      Patsy, so glad you stopped by! And really, you should give the cake a try. The decorating is MUCH easier than you think! =)

  18. Desi

    I am so very much intrigued by that hot chocolate buttercream!



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Hello There!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking.  In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.

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