Chocolate Truffle Cake – a chocolate layer cake recipe with dense, moist chocolate cake, silky chocolate truffle frosting and chocolate flakes. By our contributor, Olivia Bogacki.
I am a HUGE fan of chocolate, especially chocolate cake – there are few things more comforting. I always have some kind of chocolate around the house. I know, I’m a baker so it’s obvious. But I’m talking about chocolate other than what I use for baking. I’m talking about little pieces I can snag here and there when I’ve got a craving or when I need something sweet after a meal (which is pretty much always).
I’m more of a semi-sweet or dark chocolate fan rather than milk or, heaven forbid, white chocolate. No offense to any readers who love white chocolate, it is just not my thing. I don’t like the flavor, and rarely have it around unless I need it for a special baking project. There’s often some milk chocolate around (my husband loves it), but for me it’s all about that slightly bitter flavor of dark chocolate that my taste buds crave.
Let me tell you though, this Chocolate Truffle Cake will satisfy any chocolate lovers craving. The cake itself is dense and moist, just like proper chocolate cake should be, and the frosting…. oh that frosting! Pure chocolate heaven! It’s simple, consisting of chocolate, heavy cream, and butter, which is basically how you make a chocolate truffle, albeit with slightly different proportions. It is dreamy chocolate heaven right there.
To maximize the ratio of chocolate truffle frosting to cake, I cut each of the cake layers in half horizontally. You can skip this step if you like, but you’ll have a bit of frosting left over.
I kept the decorating on this cake simple and classic, just like a chocolate truffle. The classic ones you find are covered in a simple dusting of cocoa powder, or sometimes coconut. Nowadays, the possibilities are endless. Because I like simple and elegant, I chose to cover the whole cake in gorgeous chocolate flakes. These may not be incredibly easy to find – I get them at a local gourmet shop – but good old-fashioned chocolate sprinkles will work too!
Simple textured dollops of frosting on top finish off this pretty Chocolate Truffle Cake.
Chocolate Truffle Cake
A chocolate layer cake recipe with dense, moist chocolate cake, silky chocolate truffle frosting and chocolate flakes.
- Yield: one 8” 4-layer cake ≈ 12 servings
- Skill Level: ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽
For the Chocolate Frosting (make in advance):
- 18 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate (finely chopped)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup unsalted butter
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (sifted)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup hot water
For the Assembly:
Make the Chocolate Frosting (in advance)
- Place chopped chocolate into a large heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream and butter. Cook on med-high, stirring often, until just simmering.
- Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Stir gently until completely smooth.
- Place plastic wrap directly on top of chocolate. Allow to thicken and set overnight.*
Make the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8″ 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 to 3 minutes. Batter will be very thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for approximately 30 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.
- Once cooled, cut each layer in half horizontally, if desired.
Assemble the Cake:
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Top with a thin layer of chocolate frosting (approximately 2/3 cup). Spread evenly.
- Repeat with remaining layers of cake and frosting. Crumb coat the cake. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Frost the cake and smooth the sides and top, reserving a small amount of chocolate frosting for the top decorations, if desired. Place cake back in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Place a bowl upside-down on a baking sheet. Place cake on inverted bowl so that the sides hang over.
- Gently press chocolate flakes (or chocolate sprinkles) into the sides and top.
- Pipe dollops of reserved chocolate frosting on top using a large open star tip, like a Wilton 6B, if desired.
- Plan to make the chocolate frosting one day in advance.
- You can force the chocolate frosting to thicken quicker by placing the frosting in the fridge, but be sure to stir often.
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