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White and pink background and plate with eaten slice of double chocolate cake, silver fork

Double Chocolate Cake

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Layers of made-from-scratch chocolate cake meet the easiest ever 5-minute chocolate frosting in this irresistible, two layer cake. Both parts are easy, can be made ahead, travel well, and are a total crowd-pleaser! 

*The nutritional values given after the recipe are for the chocolate cake (not including the frosting)

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings



For the cake:

  • 3 ounces (85g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (18g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (125g) very hot coffee (or boiling water)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sunflower oil
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature

For the frosting:


For the cake:

  1. Mix chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. 
  2. Add boiling water all at once, leave for 30 seconds and then stir until the chocolate is completely dissolved. It might seem at first that it won’t but it will. That’s why we add almost boiling coffee or water, to soften the chocolate.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  4. Grease or spray an 8 or 9-inch (22 or 24cm) round cake pan with removable bottom. Sprinkle with fine breadcrumbs or flour and refrigerate while making the batter. 
  5. Beat oil and sugars for 1 minute in a large bowl. 
  6. Add eggs one at a time, and beat well each time. 
  7. Add the vanilla and mix.
  8. Sift flour, bicarbonate, baking powder, and salt.
  9. Add to the oil mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture and sour cream in 2 parts. That means that you start and end with flour. 
  10. Mix very well but do not overbeat the batter at this point.
  11. Pour into the prepared (cold) pan. 
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out dry. If you use 2 pans it will take between 30-35 minutes. 
  13. Let it cool on a wire rack. 
  14. Carefully remove from the pan and let it cool completely before filling (even better if you do it the next day). 
  15. If not using immediately, wrap well and either refrigerate for a few days or freeze for a month or more. 

For the filling:

  1. Make filling as directed in the recipe, above in the Ingredients
  2. Cut the cold cake in two and put the bottom layer on a flat surface. 
  3. Fill with about half the chocolate mixture and spread, leaving about half an inch without filling near the edges.
  4. Top with the remaining cake round and press lightly. The filling will squish to the edges. 
  5. Frost sides and top with a metal spatula or knife. Let dry until it develops a harder outer layer. 


  • Chocolate: use your favorite dark semisweet chocolate for this recipe. I like Callebaut 54% chocolate wafers or Ghirardelli Premium baking bar.
  • Cocoa powder: always use unsweetened. I like Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, Ghirardelli Premium baking cocoa, and Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder. And, in my experience, the dark ones are the best (this does not apply to the super dark used for making homemade oreo cookies known as dark cocoa powder).
  • Coffee or water: I strongly encourage you to use coffee. The cake will be richer, with a deeper chocolate flavor. But water works too. Just make sure it's very, very hot so it can melt the chocolate pieces.
  • Oil: I use sunflower oil, but coconut, canola, or even olive oil work.
  • Sugar: brown sugar is wonderful in chocolate cakes because it adds moistness and a caramel undertone. But you can use only white sugar.
  • Flavorings: add spices such as ground cinnamon, almond extract in addition to vanilla, or a couple of tablespoons of your favorite liqueur (subtract it from the coffee amount). 
  • Storing: as with most cakes, this one can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for a month or more. Always ensure the layers are well wrapped and situated on a flat surface in the freezer; otherwise, they will not keep their shape.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 358
  • Sugar: 29.5 g
  • Sodium: 333.9 mg
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 49 mg