My Go-To Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

I have used a few different chocolate cake recipes over the years, and each on has it’s own merit. My moist chocolate cake recipe is so soft and fluffy, I love the way it tastes!!

It’s great for beginning bakers and is really easy to make, but it isn’t the easiest to stack and frost with perfectly smooth sides! When I was first getting into baking, taste was my #1 priority, so this didn’t bother me much.

As I became more into decorating (and obsessed with frosting cakes with smooth sides), I found it was so much easier to frost cake layers that have a bit more structure, like my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe.

I fell in love with the strength of the layers, how well they help up while being frosted. I altered the recipe to a make a chocolate version, and used this as my chocolate layer cake recipe for a while.

The only downside is that I like to trim away the carmelization on the sides, in additional to leveling the top of the cake. This means an extra step in the process, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the texture of the layers.

This lead me to continue to try out new chocolate cake recipes, and experiment. I really loved using Yolanda Gampps chocolate sponge cake recipe, but didn’t like that they baked with such huge domes!!

I felt like i was cutting off 2/3 of each layer when I leveled them. However, the layers tasted great with simple syrup, and had great structure.

I decided to use Yolanda’s recipe as the starting point, but combined my favorite elements from all my past chocolate cake recipes.

I chose to use black cocoa (I love the taste and color it creates), swapped some of the water for buttermilk, added slightly more flour, and used less baking soda.

The result?? A soft, tender chocolate cake that can handle a splash of simple syrup, yet still hold up while being frosted. I’m obsessed with this recipe, and hope you all will be too!

dirt cup cake - with dirt cup

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four 7 inch or 8 inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.

Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high for 1 minute. The mixture should become light in color.

Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.

Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter /egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.

Pour in half of the buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don’t, you’ll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!

Please learn from my mistakes :P). Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a medium speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.

Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Mix on high for 30 additional seconds, to incorporate a bit more air into the batter.

Evenly divide between the four prepared pans . I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.

Bake according to the size of pan. For 7 inch layers, bake for 35-37 minutes. For 8 inch layers, bake for 32-33 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.

Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.

Use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

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Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

This recipe makes soft, tender, chocolaty cake layers that can handle a splash of simple syrup, yet still hold up while being frosted. I'm obsessed with this recipe, and hope you all will be too!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword best chocolate cake layer recipe, best chocolate cake recipe, chelsweets, go to chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 seven or eight inch cake

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 cup black cocoa

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four 7 inch or 8 inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high for 1 minute. The mixture should become light in color.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.
  5. Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter /egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.
  6. Pour in half of the buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don't, you'll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!
  7. Please learn from my mistakes :P). Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a medium speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.
  8. Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Mix on high for 30 additional seconds, to incorporate a bit more air into the batter.
  9. Evenly divide between the four prepared pans . I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.
  10. Bake according to the size of pan. For 7 inch layers, bake for 35-37 minutes. For 8 inch layers, bake for 32-33 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.
  12. Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.
  13. Use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Recipe Notes

I chose to use black cocoa (I love the taste and color it creates), but if you don't have any on hand, you can use regular baking cocoa.

The Best Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I’ve shared my go to vanilla american buttercream recipe, but frequently get asked if have a chocolate frosting recipe! Whenever I make a chocolate cake, I usually cover it in ganache.

Since ganache is rather rich, I like to fill the cake with a lighter filling. This whipped chocolate buttercream is the perfect cake filling!

It’s light, fluffy, and not too sweet (or at least not as sweet as my classic American buttercream). This frosting also can be used to cover a cake.

This tried and true whipped chocolate buttercream recipe uses my vanilla buttercream recipe as a base, but adds in some melted chocolate, and a bit more heavy cream.

It also has a tiny splash of pasteurized egg whites (sounds crazy, but give the frosting a really silky, fluffy texture!).

whipped chocoalt buttercream ingrecients

If you are more of a visual learner and want to see a full video tutorial, you can watch me make my whipped chocolate buttercream below:

Begin by melting the cup of chocolate chips. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute at half power in large heat proof bowl, or over a double boiler.

Stir until smooth, then set aside briefly to allow it to cool just a bit (not more than 5 minutes).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a whisk attachment, until smooth.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  Alternate with small splashes of cream.

Scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure all the powdered sugar is mixed in. Add in any remaining heavy cream, then whip on high for about 1 minute.

Next, add in the melted chocolate. Beat on high again, until the chocolate is fully incorporated.

Pour in the egg whites, and beat on high again for about 30 seconds.

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Add in the vanilla and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!

If yours isn’t as thick as you’d like, place the bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes, then beat on high again for about 1 minute.

When using this to fill my favorite layer cake recipe , I add a very generous filling between four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers. 

I usually have a bit leftover, and either incorporate it into the decoration of the cake, or eat it with fresh fruit 😛

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

The Best Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This tried and true whipped chocolate buttercream recipe is the perfect cake filling, or cupcake frosting! It pipes well, and tastes amazing.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake filling, fluffy chocolate frosting, whipped chocolate buttercream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (4 sticks)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips (roughly 6 oz)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (roughly 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
  • 1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites (from a carton)

Instructions

  1. Begin by melting the cup of chocolate chips. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute at half power in large heat proof bowl, or over a double boiler. 

  2. Stir until smooth, then set aside briefly to allow it to cool just a bit (not more than 5 minutes).

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a whisk attachment, until smooth. 

  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  5. Scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure all the powdered sugar is mixed in. 

  6. Add in any remaining heavy cream, then whip on high for about 1 minute.

  7. Next, add in the melted chocolate. Beat on high again, until the chocolate is fully incorporated.

  8. Pour in the egg whites, and beat on high again for about 30 seconds.

  9. Add in the salt, and mix until fully incorporated. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!

Recipe Notes

If yours isn't as thick as you'd like, place the bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes, then beat on high again for about 1 minute.

Lime Tequila Cake

May really snuck up on me this year, but every year I like to make some type of cake to celebrate Cinco De Mayo! In the past I’ve made a giant donkey pinata cake, and a margarita trifle, and this year I decided to stick with an easy ruffle cake! I filled the center with some fun sprinkles, to make for an exciting cut. This cake is made with lime cake layers, drizzled with a tequila lime simple syrup, and frosted with a tequila buttercream. The recipe can be found below:

Lime Cake Layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 small lime
  • juice of 1/2 small lime

Tequila Lime Simple Syrup

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp tequila
  • juice of 1 small lime
  • zest of 1/2 small lime

Tequila Lime Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks (3 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp tequila
  • juice of 1 small lime
  • bright orange, pink, green, yellow, and blue gel food coloring

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 6” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in lime juice, lime zest, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling. Once fulled cooled, use a serrated knife to level the layers.

While the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a heat proof pan, and heat on a medium high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to allow the mixture to simmer until all the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes). Add in the tequila and lime juice, and remove from heat. Add lime zest. Allow the mixture to cool, then pour over the trimmed cake layers.

Next, make the tequila lime buttercream. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small additions of tequila and lime juice. Add salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in more tequila (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

NOTE: When making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Place 3/5 of the buttercream into a separate bowl, and color lime green. Divide remaining frosting between four bowls, and color bright green, pink, yellow, and blue! Place each color  into its own piping bag, fitted with a petal tip (wilton 103 or 104).

tequila lime frosting

Once the cake layers have cooled, use a 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter to  cut out the center of two cake layers. Stack and frost layers on a grease-proof cardboard cake round. Frost an even layer of green buttercream on the base  (uncut) cake layer. Add the cut out cake layers as the 2nd and 3rd layer of the cake. Frost the cut out section with a thin layer of buttercream, using a small offset spatula. Fill the center fully with your favorite sprinkle blend, then top with the remaining, uncut cake layer.

tequila lime cake adding sprinkles

Apply a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat), and place in freezer to chill for 5 minutes. Place remaining green buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a wilton 104 tip.

Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, begin piping on the ruffles! Alternate colors in the same pattern, to create a uniformed look. Begin at the base of the cake,  moving the piping tip slowly from side to side, to create  the ruffle pattern. The thicker side of the frosting tip should be placed against the crumb coat.

tequila lime cake pink ruffles

It should lightly graze the crumb coat as you pipe, to ensure the buttercream ruffles anchor onto the cake. Try to keep the width of each ribbon consistent while piping. Repeat until you reach the top of the cake, carefully ending each ribbon by dragging the piping bag to the right. Continue until the entire cake is covered.

tequila lime cake ruffles on close up

Decorate the top of the cake with buttercream flowers. Pipe ruffle flowers onto parchment squares using the remaining buttercream, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once firm to the touch, carefully peel off the parchment paper and place on one quarter of the cake.

uncut tequila lime cake from above

I’m actually not the biggest tequila fan, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how delicious this cake turned out! The tequila is well balanced with the sweetness of the simple syrup, the tang of the lime juice, and the buttermilk in the cake batter. This cake has just enough of a kick to to remind you to it’s Cinco De Mayo 😉

Circus Animal Cookie Cake

For this week’s Food Network Livestream, I am making a cake inspired by the flavor and decoration or circus animal cookies!! While I remember buying these at the grocery store as a kid, I had the hardest time finding them here in Manhattan! After no luck trying three different grocery stores, I ended up buying a few packs on amazon.

To me, there are three things that make circus animal cookies so great; their color, their coating, and all those colorful sprinkles!! The bright white and pink colors are so iconic and playful, and these were the two colors I wanted to incorporate into the decoration of this cake. The next thing that makes them special is the white chocolate coating!!! It takes the cookies from regular animal crackers to whole new level. I chose to add white chocolate into the cake layers, the frosting, and used it to make a ganache drip. I also used a ton of non-pareil sprinkles while decorating the cake, and added them between the layers. The recipe and tutorial can be found below:

White Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (6 oz. of white chocolate chips, melted)

White Chocolate Buttercream: 

  • 6 sticks or 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (6 oz. of white chocolate chips, melted)

Pink, White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (9 oz.)
  • pink gel food coloring (optional)

Additional Decorations:

  • circus animal cookies
  • Non-pareil sprinkles

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7” with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Slowly mix in the melted white chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Weight out half of the batter, in a separate bowl. Use pink gel food coloring to color the batter a vibrant shade of pink.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans, to make 2 white layers, and 2 pink layers. Bake for about 37 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Once the layers have fully cooled, I like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife. While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

While the layers bake, prepare the white chocolate frosting. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla, salt, and melted white chocolate. Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

NOTE: When making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Next, make the pink, white chocolate ganache! Heat heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds-1 minute, until bubbling. Gently pour white chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly until the cream and white chocolate are combined, then heat again for 20 seconds and stir. Repeat as necessary until all the chocolate bits are fully melted and incorporated. Then add gel food coloring, and mix until evenly colored. Allow to cool until desired viscosity is reached.

If it seems too thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream! The type of cream and white chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, so feel free to adjust as needed. I like to put my ganache into plastic squirt bottles when decorating cakes, but you can also use a spoon to drizzle it over cakes.

Stack and frost layers on a cardboard cake round. Frost an even layer of white chocolate buttercream on top of each cake layer, and add a generous drizzle of white chocolate ganache. Sprinkle with non-pareil sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cake layers, alternating the pink and white layers.

circus animal cake layers stacked

Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add a second layer of frosting. Smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

circus animal cake crumb coat

To add the pink ganache drips, chill the cake for 10 minutes in the freezer (the cake needs to be cold for the drips to stay in place). Always be sure to do a test drip, to ensure that your ganache is at the right temperature. Place the cake back in the freezer for another 10 minutes, to ensure the drips chill to keep them in place.

circus animal cookie pink drips

Then add frosting swirls around the top of the cake using a wilton 4B tip. Place a circus animal cookie on top of each swirl, and add non-pareil sprinkles around the top, and base of the cake.

me adding sprinkles to circus animal cake

Then all that’s left to do is cut into this cake and enjoy it! It’s perfect for anyone who grew up loving circus animal cookies, or  really anyone who loves white chocolate!!

circus animal cake sliced

Dirt Cup-Inspired Chocolate Cake

To celebrate Earth Day this year, I want to make something special this year! As my mind was sifting through everything I could make to celebrate, I remember dirt cups! As a child, dirt cups were one of my favorite treats. There’s something so wonderful about the simplicity of them. How can you go wrong with pudding, cool whip, and crushed oreos?! They’re also really easy to make, and I tried to keep this minimalist theme in mind while making this dirt cup-inspired cake.

This is definitely one of the easiest, and simplest cake recipes I’ve ever made! Ironically, it is also one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I’ve made. The pudding filling isn’t too sweet, so this is a great cake for anyone who doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth, or might not be the biggest fan of frosting. The recipe can be found below:

  • 1 batch of your favorite chocolate sponge cake (love making Yolanda Gampp’s chocolate cake recipe, using black cocoa)
  • 1 package of instant chocolate pudding (+2 cups whole milk)
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 1 package of Oreos, chopped in small pieces
  • gummy worms
  • green buttercream (optional)

Begin by making the chocolate cake layers. You can use whatever recipe is your favorite, but I highly recommend using a chocolate sponge cake for this, and not adding simple syrup! Usually sponge cake and simple syrup go hand in hand, but since the pudding filling is pretty soft, it keeps the cake nice and moist. This recipe is very flexible, so you can make whatever size of cake layers you prefer, and however many layers you want! I opted to make four, 7-inch cake layers, but this could definitely be made with three 8-inch layers, or even two 9-inch layers!

Once the layers are baked, allow them to cool fully. I like to place the layers in the freezer for about 45 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. Once fully cooled, level the tops using a serrated knife.

While the layers bake and cool, prepare the pudding filling! Whisk together 1 package of instant chocolate pudding with 2 cups of cold milk. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes, to allow it to set. Once the mixture has firmed up, fold in the entire container of cool whip using a  spatula. When the cool whip has been fully incorporated, cover and set aside.

dirt cup pudding filling

Then it’s time to assemble the cake! I chose to stack the layers using acetate sheets (channeling a momofuku-inspired look), but after I remade this cake for one of my Food Network live streams and omitted the acetate sheets, I found it’s actually much easier to assemble this cake without them! The pudding mixture stays rather soft, so it doesn’t really firm up after being chilled. I also had some of my Oreos cascade down around the base as I removed the sheets.

Dirt cup cake - removing acetate sheet

To build the cake, cover the base layer with a generous layer of pudding mixture, spreading it evenly over the layer using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with chopped Oreos. Repeat with remaining cake layers. Once all the layers are stacked, top the cake with one final layer of pudding mixture and Oreo bits. If desired, you can also pipe some grass patches on top of the cake with some green buttercream and a small grass tip (like a Wilton #233).  The last step is to add the gummy works on top!!

dirt cup cake - with dirt cup

This cake feeds around 20 people, and will be gone before you know it! Be sure to cut the cake using a very sharp knife, as it will be very soft with all the pudding between the layers. I brought the leftover cake into my office, and my coworkers couldn’t get enough of it.

 

Cookie Butter Cake

I’ve always had a deep love for Biscoff cookies (thank you Delta), but I didn’t know about cookie butter until a couple years ago!

I received flat of cookie butter a few months ago, and have wanted to make a cookie butter cake ever since.

This month I finally made it happen, and boy am I glad I did!! This is one of my favorite cakes I’ve made.

Staying true to the ingredients used to make Biscoff cookies, the main flavors in this cake are dark brown sugar and cinnamon. The recipe can be found below.

cookie butter cake slice with fork

Instructions:

Begin by making the cake layers. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7” (for taller layers) or 8″ round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.

Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.

Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 37-38 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.

Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too!

Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

Next, make the vanilla buttercream frosting. This will be the base used to make the cookie butter frosting as well!

Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

To make the cookie butter frosting, place 1/3 of the vanilla frosting into a separate bowl.

Add 1 cup of cookie butter, plus 2 additional Tbsp. of heavy cream, and mix until fully combined.

NOTE: When making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Stack and frost layers on a cardboard cake round. Frost an even layer of vanilla buttercream, then chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Add another layer of cookie butter buttercream on top of this, and spread evenly on top of the vanilla buttercream.

cookie butter drizzle on layers blog

Heat up 3/4 cup of cookie butter for 10 seconds, and drizzle 1/4 of a cup of cookie butter over each layer.

Repeat, with remaining layers, until all are stacked.

Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat using both frostings, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes.

cookie butter crumb coat blog

Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add a second layer of vanilla frosting.

Smooth using a bench scraper.

You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

adding biscoff to cookie butter cake blog

Carefully press the chopped up Biscoff cookies onto the sides of the cake.

Add less cookie bits as you work up the sides of the cake, to create a cookie gradient.

Press larger chunks of cookies around the base, and smaller bits higher up.

Gentry use your finger tips to add some crumbs around the upper parts of the cake.

piping boarder on cookie butter cake

Place remaining vanilla frosting into a piping bag fitted with a medium sized french piping tip.

Place the remaining cookie butter frosting in a separate bag fitted with a small french piping tip.

Pipe a boarder of cookie butter frosting around the top edge of the cake.

Pipe a slightly larger boarder inside the cookie butter frosting boarder.

adding drizzle to top of cookie butter cake blog

Heat 1/4 cup of cookie butter for about 10 seconds, then drizzle in the center of the cake with a spoon.

cookie butter cake slice with fork

I have never added two types of frosting between layers, and I loved the way it looked when I cut into the cake!

Cookie Butter Cake Batter:

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar ( prefer using dark brown sugar, the extra molasses adds great flavor!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

Vanilla and Cookie Butter Buttercream Frosting:

  • 8 sticks or 4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup  heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • For the cookie butter frosting: 1 cup cookie butter + 2 additional Tbsp heavy cream

Additional Decorations:

  • 12 Biscoff cookies, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of cookie butter (to drizzle on top)
  • French piping tips (to pipe the boarder)