Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Cake – a rich chocolate layer cake recipe with ultra dark, fudgy frosting and homemade honeycomb. Created by our contributor, Olivia Bogacki.
It’s (almost) officially Fall, and I am one happy camper. I kicked off Fall a bit early last month with my Apple Pie Cake and I’m keeping that theme going with this moody Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Cake.
To me, chocolate cake is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect for those cold months when you’re curled up under a blanket by the fire. Is there anything better?? I will take my cozy sweaters and chocolate cake over shorts and ice cream any day.
This Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Cake is the best chocolate cake I have ever had, and I’m not even kidding you. That frosting is seriously to. die. for. Fudgy sweet deliciousness. It’s loaded with two types of cocoa as well as melted dark chocolate for that extra rich color and flavor. I like to use black cocoa for the extra dark color, but if you don’t have any, you can just leave it out or replace it with regular cocoa.
I chose to pair the chocolate on chocolate cake with some homemade honeycomb for both texture and color. I love that contrast!
Honeycomb is actually ridiculously easy to make. A few simple ingredients and you’ve got yourself a sweet, crunchy, airy treat. I used a candy thermometer in making mine, but you could just eyeball it if you’re feeling adventurous or don’t have one. Once the caramel starts turning the lightest shade of yellow, take it off the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Chances are you won’t get the perfect color every time, but the flavor and texture should be there regardless.
I made the honeycomb twice, as I wanted both thicker and thinner pieces (read: my first batch was too thin so I made another, but ended up using both). Next time I’d just make one thicker batch. The recipe below is for one batch.
If you love rich, chocolatey desserts, this cake will not disappoint! The perfect comfort food to get you through those chilly fall and winter days. Or, you know, Mondays.
DARK CHOCOLATE HONEYCOMB CAKE
a recipe by Olivia Bogacki
(makes one 6” 3-layer cake – 10 servings)
For the Chocolate Cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup very hot water
- Preheat oven to 350F, grease three 6″ cake rounds. Dust with cocoa powder and line bottoms with parchment.
- Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Very slowly pour in hot water while whisking constantly.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes. Batter will be very thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
For the Honeycomb:
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon baking soda (sifted)
- Line a quarter sheet pan (9” x 13”) with a silicone baking mat or tin foil (grease tin foil with cooking spray).*
- Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water into a large saucepan. Stir well to combine and until the sugar is dissolved. Do not stir from this point forward. Wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water, as needed, to prevent crystals from forming.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and cook till the temperature on a candy thermometer reads 300F (this will take about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat, sprinkle sifted baking soda over top, and quickly whisk it in. The mixture will foam up (it will grow about 4 times in size) and turn golden. Don’t over wisk or it will deflate. Just whisk enough to incorporate baking soda (max 5 seconds).
- Immediately pour into prepared pan and allow to cool (1-2 hours).
- Once cooled, use the tip of a knife to break into shards of desired size.
- Chop up some of the honeycomb into small pieces to add between the layers.
- Store any extra pieces in an airtight container, separated by parchment, at room temperature.
For the Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
1 ½ cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 ounces good quality dark chocolate (chopped, melted, and cooled)
3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1 cup regular cocoa powder (sifted)
3 tablespoons black cocoa (optional – for color)
1-3 tablespoon heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, whisk sifted sugar and cocoa powders to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth (1 minute). Add in sugar mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Beat in melted chocolate. Add enough heavy cream until desired consistency is reached (I used 3 tablespoons).
- Continue beating on high until smooth (approximately 5 minutes).**
For the Assembly:
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate.
- Top with approximately 2/3 cup of buttercream and spread evenly. Sprinkle some crushed up honeycomb on top of the frosting***
- Repeat with remaining layers and crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Frost the cake sides and top with a rustic pattern.
- Place honeycomb shards along the top as desired. You can find tips for arranging them in this tutorial.
* For thinner honeycomb use a half sheet pan. I made the recipe twice and used both sized pans so I could have a variety of thicknesses of honeycomb. You will have a lot left over if you do this! Store any extra pieces in an airtight container, separated by parchment, at room temperature.
** The frosting will darken as it sits.
*** Ensure the honeycomb pieces are fairly small or it will be harder to cut the cake, especially if chilled.