Moist Triple Chocolate Cake- This 3 layer moist chocolate cake is easy to make and filled with whipped chocolate ganache. It is topped with chocolate cream cheese buttercream and mini chocolate chips. This is the best chocolate cake for birthdays.
Why Is This Moist Triple Chocolate Cake WAY Better Than A Box Mix?
This is the best moist triple chocolate cake because it tastes way better than any chocolate cake box mix. This cake is a 3 layer moist chocolate cake that has whipped chocolate ganache and chocolate cream cheese buttercream. Basically chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate.
Most box mixes are made with extra pudding to make it really moist. Usually it has a lack of chocolate flavor. This chocolate cake is made with buttermilk, hot water, and a lot of cocoa powder. All of these ingredients make for a moist and powerful chocolate cake! You won’t want to try another chocolate box cake again!
This cake is the perfect birthday cake. Who doesn’t want a super rich moist triple chocolate cake for their birthday?
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What Pans To Use For This Cake
You can make this a 3 layer 8 inch cake or a 4 layer 6 inch cake. It all depends on how tall you would like your cake to be. Either way you do it, you will spray your pans with a non-stick baking spray. Then, place an 8 inch or 6 inch parchment circle on the bottom.
By spraying your pans well and using a parchment circle, the cakes shouldn’t have any problems with sticking to the pan.
How To Make The 3 Layer Chocolate Cake
Next, sift all of your dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) in a medium sized bowl. Sifting all of your dry ingredients will make sure all of the flour lumps are gone.
Then, use a mixer and mix together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and oil. While you are mixing those together, heat the water in a saucepan until it is hot and steaming. Then, add the hot water very slowly to the wet ingredients. Don’t pour the hot water in too fast because then you will cook the eggs.
Next, add all of the dry ingredients to your wet and mix only until it is combined. Once you add the gluten to the wet ingredients, it is easy to over mix it. If you over mix the batter that is when it can sink or be too dense. To fix that, stop beating the batter as soon as its combined.
Then, divide the batter evenly between all of the cake pans by using a food scale.
Another tip if you live in high altitude and struggle with your cakes sinking in the middle: knock your pans on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Too many air bubbles can cause a cake to sink, especially at high altitude.
Next, bake the cakes for 18-25 minutes. The cakes are done baking when you stick a tooth pick in and it comes out clean.
Let the cakes sit in the cake pans for 10 minutes before you transfer them to a cooling rack. If you are making your cakes ahead of time, wait ’til they are cooled completely and then wrap them tightly in cling wrap and freeze them.
Can This Cake Be Gluten Free?
Yes this cake can absolutely be gluten free. While I don’t recommend the cake to be vegan because the eggs and buttermilk and very vital to this cake, it can absolutely be gluten free.
I recommend using a 1:1 ratio gluten free flour. This will be the best one that will give you the best results for your cake.
What Is Whipped Chocolate Ganache?
Regular chocolate ganache is just heavy cream and chocolate that is mixed together to form a smooth and silky chocolate. It is super simple to make and I use it on everything.
Whipped chocolate ganache, is when you cool down the ganache enough so it is more solid (think like a buttercream). Then, you whip it using a mixer until it is very light and fluffy.
It is seriously super easy to make! It is great filling for this cake, but it is also a great frosting to put on cupcakes. I actually used this for the double chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate strawberries.
How To Make Whipped Chocolate Ganache
First thing you will want to do is make the chocolate ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it is hot and steaming. Once it is hot enough, pour it over a bowl of chocolate chips.
Next, let it sit there for 1 minute and 30 seconds. This will allow the heavy cream to melt the chocolate. Then, mix until it is smooth and glossy. Once it is ready place the bowl of chocolate ganache in the fridge.
The chocolate ganache will need to be in the fridge for about 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes whisk the chocolate so it stays smooth even while cooling down. After the 40 minutes it should be thick, pretty solid and cool to the touch.
Next, use a mixer on medium-high to beat the chocolate ganache for 1-2 minutes. The whipped chocolate ganache will be very light in color and fluffy.
Place the bowl to the side if you are going to use it right away. If you are making this ahead of time, place the ganache in the fridge. Before you whip it again, leave the ganache on the counter for 40 minutes to 1 hour. If you try to whip it right away it will clump up because it is too cold.
Tips On Making The BEST Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream
I don’t know about you guys, but I think regular buttercream icing is too sweet. The addition of cream cheese and cocoa powder brings down the sweetness immensely. This frosting is seriously so good! It might be my new go to chocolate frosting from now on! Here are my best tips to make this frosting.
- Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature- This is actually extremely important. When your cream cheese is room temperature it will beat very smoothly. When it is cold, it will clump up.
- Your butter should be slightly cold- leave your unsalted butter on the counter for 30 minutes. Really cold butter won’t blend smoothly and room temperature butter is too warm and it won’t hold it’s shape. When the butter is slightly cold the mixer will help warm it up a little.
- The powdered sugar and cocoa powder should be sifted- Use a sifter to make sure the powdered sugar and cocoa powder are very fine. When there are lumps, that is why your icing can become gritty.
- Beat the buttercream for 5 total minutes– first beat it for 4 minutes on high, then scrape the bowl and beat for another minute. This will introduce air and make your buttercream is super fluffy.
- Let your buttercream chill before using it- Leave your buttercream in the fridge for 15 minutes before using it. The mixer will warm up the butter while it is beating it. The fridge will help set the butter a little and will be easier to work with.
Tools Needed To Get A Perfectly Smooth Cake
Technically you don’t need much of what is on this list. You can slather on the rich chocolate buttercream and call it a day. However, if you are looking for tools to create a cake that looks very smooth and is a show stopper, then this will help you a lot.
- 8 inch cardboard circle– this will go on the bottom of the cake and will act as a sturdy base.
- 10 inch cardboard circle– this will go underneath the 8 inch cardboard circle. You will attach it by tape and it acts as a good base to transfer the cake to and from the freezer. Once the cake is ready, just remove the 10 inch board.
- Cake leveler– If you have cakes that dome on the top and generally don’t bake evenly, then this leveler will help make you cakes even. This helps to get a non-lopsided cake.
- Icing smoother– I use this every time I decorate a cake. This will get you super even sides.
- Cake turn table– This turn table has been a life changer for me. It turns smoothly and it is a few inches high. It makes decorating cake so much easier!
- Acrylic Disc– This is an 8 inch acrylic disc that you put on top of your cake after you apply the crumb coat. This will help you get the sharp cake edges.
How To Assemble The Moist Triple Chocolate Cake
In my recipe below I list the basics to assemble this cake. If you want all of my tips and tricks to get your cake perfectly smooth, then I’m here for you!
If you made any of the moist triple chocolate cake pieces ahead of time and you chilled them, then bring them out to room temperature. Let your cake sit for 1 hour, the whipped chocolate ganache for 1 hour, and the buttercream for 2 hours. Before you use the buttercream or the whipped chocolate ganache make sure you use a mixer to re-whip them.
First grab the cardboard circles and tape the bigger one to the smaller one. I use regular scotch tape. Then grab a small amount of frosting and spread it on the 8 inch card board circle. This will act as the glue for your cake and will keep it in place.
Place your first layer bottom side down and pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake. I used a 1M piping tip. This will make sure none of the filling spills to the outside.
Next, spread the half of the whipped chocolate ganache on top of the cake. Use an offset icing spatula to get it smooth. Then, take a bit of the buttercream and spread it on top. Using just the ganache isn’t enough filling, which is why I use extra buttercream.
Repeat the rest of the cake and filling process. For the last layer place the cake bottom side up. We want the flattest and most even surface for the top of the cake. Next, take a piping bag and pipe in the holes on the sides of the cake.
How To Frost A Smooth Layer of Buttercream Frosting
Next, apply a thin layer of frosting for the crumb coat layer. It should be thin enough that you see parts of the cake poking through. I use the icing smoother to make sure it is very smooth. Then, place it in the freezer and the buttercream will harden and trap all of the crumbs.
Then, place the acrylic disc on top of the cake. Apply the frosting along the edges of the cake underneath the disc. This will keep the disc in place. Then frost the rest of the cake. Use the icing smoother to get the smooth sides. If the first time you do it there are holes in the frosting, then apply more frosting and smooth it again.
Can This Cake Be Turned Into Cupcakes?
Yes, this can absolutely be turned into cupcakes. Make the batter as normal and bake for 16-20 minutes. This should make 24 cupcakes.
Then, you can fill the cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache and top it with chocolate cream cheese icing. It will be perfect for a birthday party!
Can This Moist Triple Chocolate Cake Be Frozen?
Yes, this cake can absolutely be frozen. I recommend first cutting the cake into slices. Then, wrap each slice tightly in cling wrap and place it in a Tupperware or in aluminum foil.
When you are ready to thaw it, place the cake on the counter and let it get to room temperature.
Other Cake Recipes To Try:
Moist Triple Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups White granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp Baking soda
- 3/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Oil Canola or Vegetable
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 3 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Hot water
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- 1/2 cup Heavy cream
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/2 cup Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 7 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 TBSP Pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache Drip
- 3/4 cup Heavy cream
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mini chocolate chips for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with non stick baking spray. Line the bottom with an 8 inch parchment circle and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat water until hot and steaming.
- Using a mixer, combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and 3 eggs. Once it is all combined, slowly add in the hot water. Go slowly so you don't cook the eggs.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined
- Use a food scale to evenly disperse the batter into the 3 cake pans. Bake for 18-25 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely, then wrap tightly in cling wrap and place cakes in freezer.
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- In a saucepan, heat heavy cream until hot and steaming. Pour hot cream over a bowl of the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 1 minute and 30 seconds
- Use a rubber spatula to stir chocolate until smooth and glossy.
- Place bowl of chocolate ganache in the fridge for a total of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, take the bowl out and whisk it to keep it smooth. At the end of the 40 minutes, it should be thick and cool to the touch. If it isn't thick enough, then place in fridge for another 10 minutes and check again.
- Use a mixer, beat cooled chocolate ganache on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. It should get very light in color and become very fluffy. If the ganache is too cold, or you placed it in fridge overnight, allow the ganache to sit on the counter for 40 minutes to 1 hour, then re-whip to get it fluffy again.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Place cold butter on the counter for 30 minutes to get slightly cold. It should be cold to the touch, but you can see a finger indent if you press on it.
- While butter is on the counter, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together.
- Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese on medium for 1 minute. It should become light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl. Add the butter and beat again on medium-high for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. The mixture should become very thick. Add the vanilla, pinch of salt, and heavy cream. Mix on low until combined.
- Turn mixer up to high, and beat for 4 minutes straight. The buttercream will become light in color and very fluffy. Scrape the bowl. Beat again for 1 minute.
- Take the bowl off the mixer and use a wooden spoon and beat the buttercream by hand. Mix for a few minutes until all air pockets are removed.
- Place buttercream in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then, beat again by hand before using to fluff it back up. If you keep buttercream in fridge overnight let it get back to room temperature and then beat again with mixer to get it fluffy again.
Chocolate Ganache Drip
- In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until hot and steaming. Pour hot cream over a bowl of chocolate chips. Let it sit for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Stir the chocolate until it is smooth and glossy. Place half of chocolate in a squeeze bottle for the drip. The rest will go on top of the cake.
- Take cake out of the freezer and allow to sit for 1 hour before decorating.
- Place a small amount of frosting on an 8 inch cardboard circle. This will act as the glue for the cake. Place 1st layer of cake bottom side down on cardboard circle
- Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake. This will be the border. Use half of the whipped chocolate ganache and spread evenly on top of cake. Use 1/4-1/2 cup of frosting and spread on top of ganache. It should come up to the ring of frosting. Make sure it is perfectly even.
- Place second layer of cake bottom side down. Press the cake down gently but firmly. Repeat step 3.
- Place last layer of cake bottom side up. Press the cake down gently but firmly. Fill in any gaps of frosting around the filling.
- Place a light layer of frosting around the entire cake. This will be the crumb coat layer. Freeze cake for 15 minutes.
- Frost the rest of the cake until smooth. On the bottom edge of the cake, place a layer of mini chocolate chips. Use your hand to press them into the frosting. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes
- Use the squeeze bottle to drip chocolate around the edge of the cake. Then, pour almost all of the rest of the ganache on top of the cake. Spread it smooth. Freeze cake for 10 minutes.
- Use the rest of the frosting to decorate the top of the cake. Then, decorate with mini chocolate chips on top. Keep cake in the fridge until ready to serve.
Cake, filling, and frosting can be made ahead of time before decorating cake.