Skip to Content

Tuxedo Cake

This tuxedo cake is my take on the Costco tuxedo cake! It’s made with dense, fudgy chocolate cake layers, filled with fluffy dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse, and topped with rich chocolate ganache frosting.

image of a slice of dark chocolate tuxedo mousse cake on a plate

What is a Tuxedo Cake?

If you look up what a tuxedo cake is online, you’ll find a few different answers. While most involve a decadent chocolate cake base and white and chocolate ganache, that’s where the similarities end.

In my opinion, this cake was really put on the map and gained popularity by Costco. Costco’s tuxedo cake has become a fan favorite, and I think the best example of what a classic tuxedo cake should be.

It’s made with dense chocolate cake layers, filled with white and dark chocolate mousse, and topped with a thick layer of chocolate ganache. It also has brownie bits sandwiched between the layers of mousse.

This tuxedo cake recipe is a humble nod to Costco’s tuxedo cake and contains all the same components except for the bits of brownie.

image of a slice of tuxedo cake that's been cut into to show how fluffy it's mousse filling is

How to Make This Chocolate Tuxedo Mousse Cake

To make sure your chocolate tuxedo cake turns out as amazing as possible, let’s walk through each step together! I’ve also included a video tutorial of the process below.

Step 1: Make the White and Dark Chocolate Mousse

Make the white and dark chocolate mousse first, so it has time to chill and firm up.

Place a large mixing bowl and hand mixer beaters or the bowl of stand mixer and whisk attachment in the freezer. This makes it easier and quicker to whip up the whipped cream for the mousse.

Then melt the chocolate chips by placing them in a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl. Heat in 20 to 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water and cocoa powder. Pour into the melted chocolate and whisk together until smooth. The mixture should be somewhat thick. Set aside.

Then add the white chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl. Heat for 45-60 seconds in the microwave, then let the mixture sit for a minute.

Stir until combined with a rubber spatula. The white chocolate should be completely melted, and the mixture should be smooth. Set aside.

image of white chocolate and heavy cream being melted down together to make a thin ganache as a base for a white chocolate mousse

Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of fine salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment.

Mix on medium-high speed until the whipped cream starts to gather in the whisk attachment and you can see texture around the edges of the bowl.

At this stage, the whipped cream should be thick and able to keep its shape. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes in my stand mixer.

image of freshly whipped up whipped cream

Scoop half of the whipped cream into a separate bowl, and mix in the chocolate/cocoa/water mixture using a rubber spatula.

image of chocolate mousse cake filling that's been chilled and is ready to be used

Use the spatula to swoop around the sides of the bowl and pull through the center until the ingredients are fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix the mousse, or it will become deflated and lose its structure.

Pour the melted white chocolate/heavy cream mixture into the remaining whipped cream using a rubber spatula.

At this point, the white chocolate mixture should have cooled down a bit and should still be fluid but shouldn’t be hot to the touch.

image of whipped cream being folded into white chocolate ganache to make a white chocolate mousse cake filling

Use the spatula to swoop around the sides of the bowl and pull through the center. Be careful not to over-mix the mousse, or it will become deflated and lose its structure.

Cover both bowls of mousse with plastic wrap or scoop each mousse into its own piping bag and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Step 2: Make the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

While the mousse chills, make the chocolate ganache frosting.

Add the heavy cream into a medium-sized bowl and heat it until it just begins to bubble. This can be done in either the microwave (takes me about 45-60 seconds in my microwave) or a double boiler.

Then pour in the dark chocolate and corn syrup and let the mixture sit for a minute.

image of spreadable dark chocolate ganache being mixed together

After a minute the chocolate should be softened. Stir the mixture until the cream and chocolate are combined and the mixture is smooth.

If any bits of chocolate aren’t fully melted, heat the mixture again for 15 seconds and stir until smooth.

Then mix in the unsalted butter and fine salt.

image of chocolate ganache being mixed together in a glass bowl with a whisk

Cover with plastic wrap placed flush against the top of the ganache to prevent it from forming a skin, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

image of spreadable dark chocolate ganache being covered and set aside to cool to room temperature

If you need to make this topping in advance, it can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a month.

The ganache should thicken and be scoopable once it reaches room temperature. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, place the bowl in the fridge.

image of scoopable chocolate ganache filling

Step 3: Bake and Level the Chocolate Cake Layers

Next, make the chocolate cake batter following the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Preheat the oven and line and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan or 2, 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray.

If you have heating cores, place two heating cores in the 13×9 pan or one heating core in each 9-inch pan and generously spray them with non-stick spray. This helps the cake bake up more evenly and quickly.

image of a quarter sheet pan with flower nails or heating cores being put into place before being filled with batter

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake a 9×13-inch pan for 40-45 minutes (add 3-5 minutes if you aren’t using heating cores), or bake 2, 9-inch cake pans for 34-37 minutes (add 2-3 minutes if you aren’t using heating cores).

Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.

Then place the cake layer(s) pan and all into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layer(s) are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.

image of chocolate sheet cake being leveled with a serrated knife

Use a serrated knife to level the top of the layers. If you made a 9×13-inch cake, cut it in half to make 2, 4.5×6.5-inch pieces.

Wrap and freeze the layers at this point if you’re making them in advance. If you do make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before making this cake.

The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble the cake.

Step 4: Make the Chocolate Simple Syrup

The chocolate simple syrup in this recipe is optional but recommended.

The cake bakes up pretty moist on its own, but I like to add simple syrup so it stays moist for several days, especially since the sides are exposed to air.

It only takes a couple of minutes to make, and I think it’s worth it!

After bringing the water and granulated sugar to a boil, remove the pan from heat and stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder. Then pour the mixture into a separate container to cool.

image of a small batch of chocolate simple syrup in a small jar

Step 5: Stack and Fill the Cake Layers

Now that all our components are ready for this tuxedo cake, it’s time to assemble it!

Spread a bit of chocolate ganache on a grease-proof cake board or flat plate to help keep the cake in place, then center the first cake layer on top of the ganache.

If you made the chocolate simple syrup, generously brush it over the cake layer using a silicone brush or clean kitchen brush.

image of a chocolate cake layer being brushed with chocolate simple syrup using a silicone kitchen brush

Cover the cake in an even layer of dark chocolate mousse, then top it with an even layer of white chocolate mousse.

image of a chocolate tuxedo cake being filled with dark and white chocolate mousse

Place the remaining cake layer on top of the mousse and soak the top of the layer with chocolate simple syrup.

Use a small offset spatula or piece of acetate sheet to clean up the sides of the cake and give the mousse a sharp edge that’s flush with the cake layers.

Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to help it keep its shape. Then spread the chocolate ganache in a thick layer on top of the cake with a small offset spatula.

Decorate the top of the cake with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate pearls, then enjoy!

image of a chocolate tuxedo cake that's filled with dark and white chocolate mousse and topped with dark chocolate ganache frosting

I like to cut and serve this cake cold straight out of the fridge, but you can also let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour before serving if you want it to be less cold.

I don’t recommend leaving this cake out at room temperature for longer than that or else the mousse will deflate and lose its shape!

Substitutions & Swaps: Dark Chocolate Cake Layers

While I love this tuxedo cake just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all these ingredients on hand.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend or cake flour if needed.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cake layers.
  • Dark Cocoa Powder – I like to use dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe. However, it would also taste great with regular cocoa powder too!
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place (and also omit the salt)!
  • Egg Whites – I like to use egg whites from a carton, but you can also use 4 large eggs in place of the egg whites in this recipe. Or if you have an egg allergy you can use a flaxseed egg or an egg replacer.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use full-fat yogurt, sour cream, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy-free.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola or even sunflower oil would work great!
image of bite of tuxedo cake on a fork

White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Substitutes

  • White Chocolate – You can use good-quality white chocolate chips, baking chocolate, or white chocolate bars.
  • Dark Chocolate – Any good-quality chocolate with 60% cocoa or more will work for the dark chocolate mousse.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Use heaving cream or heavy whipping cream (milk fat % of at least 30%). To make dairy-free and vegan chocolate mousse cake filling use coconut cream.
  • Powdered Sugar – You need a fine sugar like powdered sugar to give the whipped cream a smooth consistency. I don’t recommend using granulated sugar or other types of sugar to make the mousse.

Making This Tuxedo Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

You can make these cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.

The white and dark chocolate mousse can also be made in advance! It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

You can also make the chocolate ganache frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

This cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month. I recommend covering the cake with plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container to keep it moist.

image of a slice of dark chocolate tuxedo mousse cake on a plate

My Tips for Making the Best Tuxedo Cake

  • When making the dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse, chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer. It makes it easier and quicker to whip up the whipped cream for the mousse.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set out any cold ingredients that need to be at room temperature ahead of time.
  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level). Or better yet, use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Level your room temperature or thawed cake layer(s) with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Chill your cake layer(s) in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes it so much easier to stack and frost them!

Let Me Know What You Think

If you try this tuxedo cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating below and a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 24

Tuxedo Cake

image of a slice of dark chocolate tuxedo mousse cake on a plate

This tuxedo cake is my take on the Costco tuxedo cake! It's made with dense, fudgy chocolate cake layers, filled with fluffy dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse, and topped with rich chocolate ganache frosting.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse

  • 1/2 cup or 4 oz. good quality dark chocolate chips (90g)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (80ml)
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (25g)
  • 3/4 cup good quality white chocolate chips (130g)
  • 2 1/3 cups cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, divided (560ml)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (30g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract (8mL)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (120g)
  • 2/3 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (120g)
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup - optional (20g)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (30g)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt (2g)

Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (500g)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (280g)
  • 3/4 cup dark or Dutch-processed baking cocoa powder (75g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10g)
  • 1 tsp fine salt (6g)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (226g)
  • 1 cup egg whites from a carton or about 7 egg whites, room temp (240g)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temp (360g)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (30g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1 tsp instant espresso - optional

Chocolate Simple Syrup - Optional

  • 1/2 cup water (120g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (8g)

Recommended Tools

Instructions

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse Filling

  1. Make the mousse first, so it has time to chill. Or better yet, make this mousse in advance! It can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.
  2. Place a large mixing bowl and hand mixer beaters or the bowl of stand mixer and whisk attachment in the freezer. This makes it easier and quicker to whip up the whipped cream for the mousse.
  3. Then melt 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips in a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl. Heat in 20-30 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. You can also use a double boiler if you don't have a microwave.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of warm water and 1/4 cup of dark cocoa powder. Pour into the melted dark chocolate and whisk together until smooth. The mixture should be somewhat thick. Set aside.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of heavy cream in a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl. Heat for 45-60 seconds in the microwave, then let the mixture sit for a minute. Stir until combined with a rubber spatula. The white chocolate should be completely melted, and the mixture should be smooth. You can also use a double boiler if you don't have a microwave. Set aside.
  6. Then pour 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, and 1/2 tsp of fine salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment.
  7. Mix on medium-high speed until the whipped cream starts to gather in the whisk attachment and you can see texture around the edges of the bowl. The whipped cream should be thick and able to keep its shape. This usually takes about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes in my stand mixer.
  8. Scoop half of the whipped cream into a separate bowl, and mix in the chocolate/cocoa/water mixture using a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to swoop around the sides of the bowl and pull through the center until the ingredients are fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix the mousse, or it will become deflated and lose its structure.
  9. Pour the melted white chocolate/heavy cream mixture into the remaining whipped cream using a rubber spatula. At this point, the white chocolate mixture should have cooled down a bit and should still be fluid but shouldn't be hot to the touch. Use the spatula to swoop around the sides of the bowl and pull through the center. Be careful not to over-mix the mousse, or it will become deflated and lose its structure.
  10. Cover both bowls of mousse with plastic wrap or scoop each mousse into its own piping bag and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  1. Make the chocolate ganache next, because it needs time to cool and thicken before it's used to frost this cake.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, until it's just beginning to bubble.
  3. Gently pour 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp of corn syrup (optional) into the heavy cream. Make sure the chips are fully covered with cream. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute. If you want to use milk chocolate to make the ganache, use a little less than 1 cup or 160 grams of milk chocolate.
  4. Stir slowly until the cream and chocolate are combined and the mixture is smooth. If any bits of chocolate aren't fully melted, heat the mixture again for 15 seconds and stir until smooth.
  5. Mix in 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter and 1/4 tsp fine salt until combined.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the ganache from forming a skin, then set aside to cool to room temperature. If you need to make this in advance, it can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a month.

Dark Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. While the mousse chills, make the dark chocolate cake layers. Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C and line and grease a 9x13-inch cake pan or 2, 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray. If you have heating cores, place two heating cores in the 13x9 pan or one heating core in each 9-inch pan and generously spray them with non-stick spray. This helps the cake bake up more evenly and quickly. Set aside.
  2. Mix 2 1/2 cups sugar, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of dark cocoa powder, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.
  3. Mix in 1 cup of room temperature, unsalted butter slowly into the dry ingredients on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture looks like moist sand.
  4. Pour in 1 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  5. Add in 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 tsp instant espresso. Mix on a low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat on a medium speed for about 30 seconds to make sure everything is properly mixed together.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake a 9x13-inch pan for 40-45 minutes (add 3-5 minutes if you aren't using heating cores), or bake 2, 9-inch cake pans for 34-37 minutes (add 2-3 minutes if you aren't using heating cores).
  7. Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Then place the cake layer(s) pan and all into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layer(s) are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layer(s).
  8. Use a serrated knife to level the top of the layer(s). If you made a 9x13-inch cake, cut it in half to make 2, 4.5x6.5-inch pieces. Set aside.
  9. Wrap and freeze the layers at this point if you're making them in advance. If you do make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before making this cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble the cake.

Chocolate Simple Syrup - Optional

  1. This step is optional, but I love to soak the cake layers in chocolate simple syrup so the cake stays moist for several days, especially since the sides of the cake aren't covered. Pour 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to boil.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 Tbsp cocoa powder. Pour into a small bowl to cool to room temperature, then cover and set aside. If you're making this in advance, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 

Assembling this Chocolate Tuxedo Mousse Cake

  1. Now that all our components are ready for this tuxedo cake, it's time to assemble it! Spread a bit of chocolate ganache on a grease-proof cake board or flat plate to help keep the cake in place, then center the first cake layer on top of the ganache.
  2. If you made the chocolate simple syrup, generously brush it over the cake layer using a silicone brush or clean kitchen brush.
  3. Cover the cake in an even layer of dark chocolate mousse, then top it with an even layer of white chocolate mousse.
  4. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the mousse and soak the top of the layer with chocolate simple syrup. Use a small offset spatula or piece of acetate sheet to clean up the sides of the cake and give the mousse a sharp edge that's flush with the cake layers.
  5. Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to help it keep its shape. Then spread the chocolate ganache in a thick layer on top of the cake with a small offset spatula.
  6. Decorate the top of the cake with chocolate sprinkles and/or chocolate pearls, then enjoy! I like to cut and serve this cake cold and straight out of the fridge, but you can also let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour before serving if you want it to be less cold. I don't recommend leaving this cake out at room temperature for longer than that or else the mousse will deflate and lose its shape! This cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes

My Tips for Making the Best Tuxedo Cake

  • When making the chocolate and white chocolate mousse, chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer. It makes it easier and quicker to whip up the whipped cream for the mousse.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set out any cold ingredients that need to be at room temperature ahead of time.
  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level). Or better yet, use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Level your room temperature or thawed cake layer(s) with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Chill your cake layer(s) in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes it so much easier to stack and frost them!

Making This Tuxedo Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

You can make these cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.

The white and dark chocolate mousse can also be made in advance! It can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

You can also make the chocolate ganache frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

This cake can also be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. I recommend covering the cake with plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container to keep it moist.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 466Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 64mgSodium 322mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 1gSugar 40gProtein 6g

Adelaide Diodat

Monday 25th of March 2024

I made this recipe and it was awesome!! However the white mousse was a little soft, I was wondering can I add gelatin to the mousse to thicken it?

Chelsweets

Sunday 31st of March 2024

Hi Adelaide,

So happy to hear you love this recipe!! The white chocolate mousse is slightly softer than the chocolate mousse, especially if it warms to room temperature. You can add a bit of gelatin (dissolve it in cold water, then warm it up until it's a liquid, let it cool slightly, then add it into whipped cream once it's been mixed with the powdered sugar and whipped up. Hope that helps, happy baking!

Skip to Recipe