Thula's Cake Lab

Dark Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-coffee Buttercream

Cakes, Recipe | August 4, 2016 | By

chocolate cake revised


Who doesn’t love chocolate ?!!! If there is one thing that we universally love, it’s got to be chocolate!!
This chocolate cake recipe is hands down one of the best recipes you will come across… ever !!! Let it be a chocoholic, cake lover or anyone craving for something sweet….if you are looking for an all-season favorite you got to try this recipe! A rich, moist, tender cake that literally melts in your mouth…. yes it does !

chocolate cake revised- 2


Try taking this to your next family potluck or surprise your loved one with this deliciously moist and tender dark chocolate cake and be prepared for raving comments!!
This has been a hit recipe in my circle ever since its invention and now here I am sharing it with you 🙂 Try it, taste it and experience the difference…and don’t forget to leave a review !!
Got you craving already?!….Put on your baking hat…lets dive into the recipe !!

The recipe is straightforward and simple. Pay attention to details and you can’t go wrong, but if you have a hiccup, I am here to help 🙂 There are 3 main steps . First is the preparation of a sugar-coffee syrup. Heat the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves completely. Sprinkle coffee powder onto this syrup while mixing to help it dissolve and give a nice brown sugar-coffee syrup.

coffee-sugar syrup
I use a hot (not boiling) coffee syrup as this helps with dissolving the chocolate chips and bring the other cold ingredients to room temperature. Remember to save 2 tablespoons of this syrup for your buttercream frosting.

Second is the preparation of the “Brown Cake Flour mix” which involves mixing, sifting and fluffing… as mentioned in my previous blog articles this is a pivotal step in baking. Look at the picture below. Do you see how tender the cake looks? This is the result of good flour preparation– which is why I call it the “mantra” of baking!

chocolate cake revised 3

The third step is the careful incorporation and mixing of wet with dry ingredients. Over mixing gives a tough chewy cake while under mixing gives an unevenly baked cake. My advice is to use a stopwatch and mix for the time advised.

Immediately pour the batter into two 8 * 3 cake pans. You can use a digital scale (Amazon is offering 65% off!) to weigh equal portions of batter into two pans.
I usually remove the “Bake even strips” at this point to improve measurement accuracy and put them back on after weighing. 
Be careful not to leave the door open for too long when inserting the cake pans into the oven. Once the sides are slightly browned and starting to detach from the cake pans, 45-50 minutes later, you can test for “doneness”. Next, proceed to “cooling” and “icing”.

I have had many “vegetarian option” requests so I am providing you with three tested and tried substitutes for the cake (source from PETA) and for the frosting, this time it’s going to be a Cocoa-coffee buttercream that’s vegetarian ! egg replacers

Dark Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Coffee Buttercream
Serves 14
Write a review
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
50 min
Dark Chocolate Cake
  1. Thula's Brown Cake Mix
  2. 300g Sugar
  3. 3/4 cup Water
  4. 1 TB Instant coffee of your choice
  5. 4 Eggs
  6. 1/2 cup oil
  7. 1/2 cup whole milk
  8. 1/4 cup yogurt
  9. 50 g Chocolate chips- Semi sweet
For the Cocoa-Coffee Buttercream
  1. 150 g Shortening
  2. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  3. 7 TB Whole milk
  4. 600 g Confectioners Sugar
  5. 80 G Cocoa powder of your choice
  6. 2 TB coffee syrup
Directions for the Cake
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 320F/160C
  2. 1. Mix sugar and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 3 minutes. Stop give the mix a quick stir and continue heating for 30 seconds until the mixture turns into a clear molten syrup. To this hot syrup add the coffee powder and mix until it completely dissolves. Save 2 TB of this coffee syrup for the Buttercream and use the rest for the cake.
  3. 2. Prepare 2*8 inch circle cake pans (I use aluminum pans) and attach Bake-even strips
  4. 3. Prepare cake flour mix
  5. 4. In a clean mixing bowl add eggs, oil, milk, yogurt and mix on medium speed (kitchen aid 5-6), for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate chips and continue mixing. Slowly pour in the hot coffee syrup into the mix. Continue mixing for another 30 seconds and stop.
  6. 5. Add the brown cake mix. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Stop, use a spatula to scrape down the sides and continue mixing for another 60 seconds on low speed, speed 2 in the Kitchen Aid.
  7. 6. Pour into two 8*3 inch baking pans and bake at 320F , 45-50 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness- insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean then your cake is done. If not give it another 2-3 minutes and check again.
  8. 7. Cool your cake on a rack for 10-15 minutes and then invert it onto the rack and leave it there until it is cool to the touch and proceed to frosting
Directions for the Frosting
  1. 1. Mix butter and shortening together for 3 minutes until light and fluffy- High speed
  2. 2. Add milk, and coffee syrup and continue mixing 30 seconds-medium speed
  3. 3. Adjust the speed to low and while mixing add sugar 1/2 cup at a time allowing it to blend with the butter.
  4. 4. Add cocoa powder and continue mixing for another 3-5 minutes until a smooth frosting is formed. You can adjust the consistency by altering the amount of milk used.
  1. *TB- Tablespoon
  2. you can replace vegetable shortening with margarine or unsalted butter.
  3. Chocolate chips- I love the Hershey's semi sweet/ bittersweet chocolate chips. You can pick a brand and flavor that suite your taste buds. I love "semi sweet" as it gives a good balance to flavor.
  4. Garnish with some chopped almonds and cashews
  5. If you are a new Baker or looking to improve your skills, I highly recommend reading the following posts.
  6. 1. Know your Ingredients
  7. 2. Equipment and Utensils....Choose wisely!
  8. 3. 10 steps to succeed in baking
Thula's Cake Lab
 Enjoyed making this cake ?!! Don’t forget to rate this recipe and share … please do !! Your feedback is valued 🙂 

  1. indu
    August 4, 2016

    you haven’t mention flour. how much of it?

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 5, 2016

      Indu, please read the recipe card carefully. The first ingredient is “thula’s Brown Cake Mix”. Click on it and it will direct you to flour mix recipe. Thank you

    • Janani
      September 19, 2016

      Thula, instead of chocolate chips can I use dark cooking chocolate? If so how much do I need to use? Sooo tempting. Can’t wait to try this out!

      • Thulashitha RD
        September 19, 2016

        Sure you can! Use any chocolate brand…. try to pick “semi sweet” . works best for this recipe! thanks for following my recipe…. cant wait to see how it turned out 🙂

  2. Rohini Nair
    August 5, 2016

    This looks simply amazing and thanks for the step-by-step instructions! Will definitely dry it 🙂

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 5, 2016

      Anytime Rohini! please do and let me know how it worked for you 🙂

  3. Anju Aravind
    August 5, 2016

    Wowwww….. Yummy…. Doubt – U said we can replace shortening with unsalted butter. In that case how much quantity of total butter in grams.

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 5, 2016

      Hello Anju! so the total weight of unsalted butter would be -> 170g + 150g = 320g
      thank you.

  4. Indika
    August 21, 2016

    Very tempting! Will try out soon. 🙂

  5. Mythili
    August 28, 2016

    Hi Thula.. can you also please also share some recipes using whole wheat flour? These days more n more people look at cake and ask, is it all-purpose flour or whole wheat!!? People are becoming increasingly health conscious and this has put good old all purpose flour in bad light :-/

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 28, 2016

      Hello Mythili. I sure will. thanks for the request, adding it to my upcoming list 🙂

      • Mythili
        September 9, 2016

        Great. Thanks!

  6. Ahallya
    September 25, 2016

    Thula, after reading your blogs, I am inspired to bake a cake for myself and I’m happy it turned out well. Thank you for the recipes. It’s very motivating. And the taste of the recipes are so good.

    • Thulashitha RD
      September 25, 2016

      I am so proud of you Ahallya !!! thanks for following my recipes!