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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing is so rich and full of delicious chocolate flavour! Just like Grandma used to make.

If you’re looking for a classic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting you’ve come to the right place. This recipe makes a generously frosted 3 layer chocolate cake. It really is the best chocolate cake recipe.

a slice of Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing sits next to a chocolate cake with a slice taken out of it. off to the left is a teal coloured cake pan

Just a Good Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Is there anything more delicious than a classic chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting? I don’t think so. If you love chocolate cake as much as I do, then this recipe won’t disappoint. It’s moist, chocolatey and SO flavourful. This recipe is a keeper…it’s perfect for birthdays, special occasions and no occasions to…any kind of day deserves cake.

a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing sits next to a teal coloured cake pan

The Not-So-Secret Ingredient

This recipe has coffee added to the ingredients. It’s no secret in the baking world that coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour. I remember the first time I saw chocolate cake recipes with coffee in them and feeling skeptical, but trust me, the coffee just boosts the chocolate flavour. And now, I won’t make one without it…you don’t taste the coffee, all you taste is rich chocolate.

Recipe Tips:

  • Butter and Eggs: Are best used when at room temperature.
  • Coffee: Use just a regular cup of coffee…it can be warm or cold, decaf or regular (hot coffee might be too hot and could cook the eggs, so use warm). I like to use a strong cup of good coffee for ultimate flavour. Don’t use junky coffee, use your good stuff.
  • Icing Sugar: Icing sugar is confectioner’s sugar. Us Canadians just use the word icing sugar, but it’s the same thing.
  • Cocoa Powder: Use a high quality cocoa powder for maximum chocolate flavour (Dutch process cocoa is the best).
  • Preparing your pans for baking: I like to use a flour/oil spray to prepare my baking pans (PAM has a really good one). If I don’t have that I will cut parchment paper in circles to fit the bottom of the pan. You can also just butter and flour your pans (you can also use flour and cocoa powder so your cake doesn’t have white flour on the outside of it.).
  • Levelling the cakes: If after baking the cakes have too much of a rounded top, you can trim the tops to make them more level.
  • Frosting Notes: The frosting recipe will generously ice a 3-layer, 8″ cake, inside and out.
  • Frosting Your Cake: Make sure to let your cake cool completely before adding the frosting or the frosting will melt.
  • Leftover Frosting: If you end up with any leftover frosting, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag for later.
  • Storage: You can keep any leftovers covered on the counter. Cake pans are great.
  • Freezing: You can freeze the un-frosted cakes in for up to 3 months. Just make sure to wrap them tightly with foil and plastic wrap.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

This Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing is so rich and full of delicious chocolate flavour! Just like Grandma used to make.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking



Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong coffee (it can be warm or cool)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Chocolate Buttercream Icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 9 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 3, 8-inch circle cake baking pans. You can either grease and flour your pans, or use parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. See tips!
  3. Into a mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. To the dry ingredients add the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla, and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes (I use the paddle attachment). Mix well.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into your prepared pans. Gently tap the pans on the countertop to remove air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate your pans. Bake for about 15 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  7. When done, let your pans cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove cakes from the pans.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing:

  1. Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla until the icing is nice and fluffy. Make sure to scrape the bowl often.

Putting it all together:

  1. Once the cakes have cooled you can frost them.
  2. If the cakes have too much of a rounded top, you can trim the tops to make them more level.
  3. To frost the cakes, place one cake down onto a cake plate, spread on frosting. Place another cake on top. Spread on more frosting. Add the last cake and use the remaining frosting to cover the cake. Note: don’t be skimpy with the amount of frosting between the cake layers…refer to the pictures above to see how much frosting should be between them.
  4. Enjoy!

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Recipe from Food Network Magazine

So if you are looking for a good old-fashioned chocolate cake, this is it.  Search no further.  Trust me!

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Have a delicious day!

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  1. 5 stars
    I have made this cake three times and I love it!!! This is the best chocolate cake and frosting recipe I have come across. It is now my go to recipe! I even made it for my sisters birthday and she loved it!! So did my family! Now my mother would like one for her birthday. But she wants a white vanilla cake. Do you have recipe for a white vanilla cake? Or could I leave out the cocoa and get the same taste in a white cake form?

    1. Hi Eric! I’m so happy you enjoy this cake recipe!! I actually don’t have a white vanilla cake recipe as of yet…I’m working on having one ready for this summer! I wouldn’t use this chocolate cake recipe as a base, as I haven’t tried it…I’m not sure it would work.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. You may have save me from a disaster lol. I will be patiently waiting for that recipe!!!