With only 2 preparations, a soft and moist chocolate cake and a dark chocolate ganache, this cake is perfect for a birthday or any other occasion.
Why this recipe works
If you are looking for a simple, delicious, and effective recipe for a birthday party, then you must try my easy and ultimate chocolate birthday cake recipe.
This chocolate dessert is a classic cake in our home, a chocolate layer cake, super yummy, made with only 2 simple preparations and its pretty birthday decoration.
- Made of a soft and rich chocolate cake recipe, the buttermilk chocolate cake made with buttermilk that brings a soft, tender and moist crumb in the mouth.
- With a simple and delicious chocolate frosting, a ganache made with semi-sweet chocolate, heavy cream, and my special touch, unsweetened cocoa powder to enhance the full-bodied chocolate flavor.
- Best chocolate birthday cake recipe, which is the perfect recipe for baking beginners, a simple, easy, and perfect cake for any occasion that will please the kids and the whole family.
For chocolate lovers only
*You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
- Flour: Preferably use cake flour, but you can replace it with all-purpose flour. Be sure to weigh the ingredients with an electronic scale to get accurate measurements.
- Cocoa: Only unsweetened cocoa powder like dutch process cocoa powder.
- Yeast: A mixture of baking soda and baking powder essential for the softness of the cake.
- Vegetable oil: preferably a neutral vegetable oil such as sunflower oil, coconut oil or grape seed oil, it is possible to substitute it with melted butter.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs, take them out in advance or leave them for a few minutes in a bowl of hot water.
- Sugar: preferably white granulated sugar that you can replace with brown sugar.
- Buttermilk: indispensable for its flavor and softness, you can replace it with dairy milk, plain yogurt or sour cream.
- Coffee: the coffee reinforces the strong flavor of the chocolate, you can replace it by water. You can also simply use espresso powder and water.
- Vanilla and salt: Indispensable to flavor and bring out all the flavors.
A simple chocolate ganache in a whipped version for a smooth ganache with a creamy, chocolatey texture. You can replace it with chocolate buttercream or chocolate mascarpone frosting.
How to Make the Happy Birthday Chocolate Cake
Tools: With this cake, you will have 3 chocolate cakes that will make up the 3 layers of the layer cake, use 3 cake pans for baking or if you only have one pan then bake in 3 batches.
Chocolate cake layers
- Preheat oven to 329°F / 165°C and line three 6 inches / 15 cm round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Mix and sift together the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil, then add the buttermilk and black coffee.
- Add the dry ingredients to the first mixture in several batches and mix after each addition with a rubber spatula to obtain a smooth and homogeneous cake batter.
- Pour the mixture into the 3 cake pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes (without opening the door during the baking time).
- Let the chocolate cakes cool in the pan, then carefully remove them from the pan and let them cool completely upside down on a wire rack.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling.
Whipped chocolate ganache
- Cut the chocolate into small pieces or chop it finely with a knife.
- Then place it in a large container with the unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Heat the half of heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers, then pour the hot cream all at once over the chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Let stand for a few moments, then mix with a spatula until you have a smooth liquid ganache.
- Add the other half of the cold heavy cream and mix again to incorporate it.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours until cold.
- When ready to assemble, place the cooled ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with an electric mixer and whip on medium-slow speed for about 2-3 minutes until you have a thick, firm chocolate frosting.
- Cut the bumps out of the chocolate cakes with a cake leveler or a serrated knife to get even cake layers.
- Place the first layer of chocolate cake on a cake board on a cake turntable.
- Put a small amount of ganache and smooth it with an angled spatula.
- Cover with the second cake layer and add another layer of chocolate frosting.
- Finish with the last layer of chocolate cake and cover the entire birthday chocolate cake with a thin layer of chocolate frosting.
- Apply a new, thicker layer of chocolate ganache and make a wave effect with the spatula or the back of a tablespoon.
- Place the chocolate birthday cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour before decorating with sugar sprinkles, pearls or chocolate shavings and serving.
How to serve this Happy birthday cake
This chocolate birthday cake with its delicious ganache already has everything to seduce chocolate lovers. But if you want to lighten its full-bodied taste or make it even more delicious, here are some ideas to go with it:
- Simple Chantilly or Mascarpone frosting.
- Fresh fruits, raspberries, strawberries, exotic fruits etc.
- Spreads, jams, compote or fruit curd etc.
- Salted caramel sauce and pecans.
- Caramelized cinnamon apples.
- Vanilla ice cream.
- Chocolate sauce.
Fridge storage: This birthday cake can only be stored in the refrigerator, in a cake box or under plastic wrap for about 5 days.
How to freeze it? To freeze the leftover cake, place it cut into slices and wrap it well with plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to make the chocolate cake ahead of time? The cake layers can be made several days in advance and stored under plastic wrap in the refrigerator, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Freezing the ganache? It is possible to freeze the ganache but before it is whipped, once whipped it can be kept in the freezer when it is already on the cake.
Tips for this recipe
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Allow your eggs, butter, and dairy ingredients (like sour cream or buttermilk) to come to room temperature before starting. This ensures better mixing and a smoother batter.
- Proper Mixing: Avoid overmixing the cake batter. Mix until the ingredients are just combined to prevent a dense texture.
- Cake Layers: Level the cake layers with a serrated knife or cake leveler for even stacking and a professional appearance.
- Crumb Coat: Apply a thin layer of frosting, known as a crumb coat, to seal the cake's crumbs before adding the final layer of frosting. This creates a cleaner finish.
- Decorating Tips: Use piping tips and tools for cake decoration to achieve various designs, such as borders, rosettes, or writing messages.
- Room Temperature Serving: Take the cake out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to soften slightly for a better taste and texture.
Buttercream Option: Ganache is an easy recipe and perfect for an intense chocolate taste, but if you prefer buttercream frosting, then try this whipped buttercream frosting or this Swiss meringue Buttercream.
By adding unsweetened cocoa, you can make a chocolate buttercream frosting or with melted chocolate like in this recipe for white chocolate Swiss buttercream.
Fruity flavor: Like in my chocolate raspberry ganache cake recipe, you can add a raspberry cake filling or a strawberry compote and add a strawberry whipped cream filling or a raspberry whipped cream frosting.
Faq - Frequently Asked Questions
How to substitute buttermilk in cake?
One common method is to mix regular milk with an acid, such as lemon juice or white vinegar. For each cup of buttermilk needed, simply combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, stir, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to curdle.
Another effective substitute is to use equal parts of sour cream or plain yogurt and milk. This provides the necessary acidity and moisture to your cake batter, resulting in a tender and flavorful cake.
How can I replace black coffee in chocolate cake?
To replace black coffee in a chocolate cake recipe, you have a few alternatives. You can substitute it with hot water, which helps maintain the cake's moisture and chocolate flavor. Alternatively, you can use brewed decaffeinated coffee if you want to avoid caffeine or hot milk for a milder taste. These substitutions won't compromise the cake's texture and will still enhance its chocolate richness.
You will also love
- Dark chocolate fudge
- Chocolate high-hat marshmallow cupcakes
- Moist chocolate cupcakes
- Lemon Meringue Cake
Did you make this recipe?
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