classic chocolate layer cake


Here’s to Friday, and here’s to classic chocolate layer cake! This rich and fudgy chocolate cake tastes like the best Devil’s food chocolate cake layered with fudge frosting. Topped with swirls of frosting and a shower of festive sprinkles, this celebratory cake is perfect for birthdays, the weekend, and any occasion that calls for cake!

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake

A variation of my easiest chocolate cupcake recipe, this one bowl recipe comes together in minutes. Whisk up the one bowl fudge frosting, and you’re ready to swirl and sprinkle away!

A few notes: I baked this cake in three 9-inch round pans. For thicker cake layers, divide the batter into two 9-inch round pans, and bake as directed below. I smoothed the sides of the cake with a bench scraper for a naked cake appearance, but if you’d like more frosting, simply double the batch. Cheers to the best chocolate cake!

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake




  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • sprinkles, for decorating the cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add sugars, eggs, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla to flour mixture; whisk in just until incorporated. Dissolve instant espresso in boiling water; add to batter and whisk in just until smooth.
  2. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs, and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Cool cakes completely in pans on a wire rack.
  3. For the frosting, combine melted butter, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Whisk frosting one more minute, until smooth and glossy, then use immediately.
  4. To assemble, place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand. Use an offset spatula to spread about 1/2 cup frosting over the layer. Add second cake layer and spread about 1/2 cup frosting over the layer.
  5. Repeat the process of frosting to the top cake layer, swirling the frosting generously over the edge of the layer. Use the offset spatula to apply frosting to the sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting. Top with sprinkles.


Cake Layers: You can bake this cake in either 2 or 3 layers. For 2 layers, divide batter evenly between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. For even cake layers, place your cake pans on a scale and weigh each pan as you add the batter.

Frosting: If you like a more generous amount of frosting for the sides of the cake, make two batches of frosting.

Keywords: Chocolate Cake, Cake, Layer Cake, Chocolate Frosting

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake

  1. My husband was going through withdrawals as I had no chocolate desserts in the house. You’ve come to the rescue with the perfect chocolate cake!

  2. YUM! Beautiful Classic Chocolate Cake, Laura! Love that you used brown sugar and yogurt and that you added espresso powder to enhance the cocoa for a nice, deep chocolate flavor. Cannot wait to try this recipe. Your Fudge Frosting looks divine! Thank you for sharing!

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