Chocoholics unite! 👊🏻
This Death By Chocolate Layer Cake is the cake of your dreams. Three gorgeous layers of chocolate cake with a chocolate milk soak, chocolate cookie crumbs, creamy chocolate buttercream and milk chocolate ganache.
One bite of this over-the-top chocolate cake and you will be in chocolate-covered heaven.
I love chocolate. So a Death By Chocolate Layer Cake was inevitable. My Death By Chocolate Cupcakes are still one of my most popular recipes, followed by my Easy Death By Chocolate one layer cake.
So when I decided to make a three layer over-the-top choccy cake, I wanted it to be next level. Not just chocolate on chocolate, but chocolate in every single element. And oh boy, did I go there.
So it all starts with three layers of my favourite chocolate cake. A super easy recipe that makes a really lovely, tender cake. Then the fun part begins. And I mean FUN.
I took inspiration from Milk Bar in New York who are famous for their cleverly decorated and differently flavoured cakes. Their cakes all have cake, something with crunch like their homemade truffles, a soak to keep in the moisture and a creamy frosting.
SO to assemble this cake, we add on a chocolate milk soak, followed by plenty of creamy chocolate frosting – one that’s made using real chocolate. It’s my secret to the perfect (and utterly delicious) buttercream.
Next comes plenty of chocolate crumbs for extra flavour and extra crunch. These crumbs are so easy to make, they’re basically a chocolate cookie, but they are the perfect way to squeeze in ONE more layer of chocolate.
The final touch is an avalanche of milk chocolate ganache. Times that by three and you have a tower of chocolate goodness, aka, a Death By Chocolate Layer Cake.
So if you, like me, love chocolate just a little too much, then this is the cake for you! A rich three-layer chocolate cake with oodles of creamy chocolate frosting, plenty of chocolate cookie crumbs and enough gooey milk chocolate ganache to make you weak at the knees.
Death By Chocolate Layer Cake
Death By Chocolate Layer Cake with soft chocolate cake, a chocolate milk soak, choc cookie crumbs, creamy chocolate buttercream and milk chocolate ganache.
- 315 grams (2 and 1/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 80 grams (1 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 300 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 90 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 240 ml (1 cup) hot water
- 105 grams (3/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 65 grams (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour or corn starch
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 230 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 200 grams (1 cup and 1/3 cup) good quality dark chocolate
- 750 grams (6 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 5–6 tablespoons full fat or whole milk
Milk chocolate ganache
- 150 grams (1 cup) good quality milk chocolate
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream or heavy cream
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon powdered drinking chocolate
- Chocolate cake
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line three 8-inch round cake pans with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Then add the sugars. Whisk together. In a separate mixing bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla, eggs and sour cream. Whisk together. Boil the kettle and pour out 1 cup of hot water.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Start to fold together, slowly pour in the hot water, and continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Divide the mixture evenly into three cake tins and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes before gently removing the cakes from their tins and leave them to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Chocolate crumbs
Next, make your chocolate crumbs. In a large mixing bowl, add your plain flour, sugar, cornflour and cocoa powder. Whisk together. Melt your butter and add it to the mixture, stirring until it forms wet crumbs. Pour this mixture out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread out into one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then leave to cool completely.
- Chocolate frosting
To make the frosting, place your softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for a couple of minutes until pale and creamy. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a microwave, stirring in between 20 second bursts, until just melted and set aside to cool a little.
- Once the butter is very pale and creamy, add one cup of icing sugar and one tablespoon of milk and beat on low until the sugar is incorporated and then beat on medium speed until combined. Next, add the rest of the sugar, one cup at a time, and the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until thick and creamy.
- Next, add your melted chocolate to the buttercream mixture, ensuring the chocolate is still smooth and melted but is not warm. Beat until the chocolate is completely mixed through.
- Milk chocolate ganache
To make the chocolate ganache, roughly chop the milk chocolate and add to a small bowl. Pour over the cream and the pop in the microwave for 20 second bursts, stirring in between, until chocolate has melted. Put the ganache in the fridge for about 15 minutes to thicken.
- Chocolate soak
To make the chocolate soak, stir together milk and chocolate powder.
- To assemble cake
Level the tops of your cakes using a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Set the leftover cake to the side. Place one of your cakes onto a turntable, if you have one, then gently brush the top of the cake with the chocolate soak. Add chocolate frosting and spread to the edges. Cover in chocolate cookie crumbs and then drizzle with milk chocolate ganache.
- Add second cake layer on top. Then repeat with chocolate soak, chocolate frosting, cookie crumbs and chocolate ganache. Add the final layer of cake on top. Then cover the entire cake with chocolate frosting. Use a cake scraper to remove excess chocolate frosting. Add the remaining cookie crumbs and chocolate ganache on top. Cut and serve
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