Death By Chocolate Cake

Death by chocolate cake is a chocolate lovers dream! This cake gets its intense chocolate flavor from Guinness beer, mayonnaise, espresso powder and mini chocolate chips. Paired with easy chocolate buttercream and a rich ganache drip, you might be dead but you'll be happy! This chocolate cake isn't for the faint of heart!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves: 8 cups
slice of chocolate cake on grey plate with cake in background

The death by chocolate cake is the perfect cake for the ultimate chocolate lover. This features three layers of ultra decadent, moist cake with big chocolate chunks. Then it’s slathered with light and fluffy easy chocolate buttercream and a chocolate ganache drip. It’s chocolate heaven (Get it? Because you died haha) in every bite! 

slice of chocolate cake on grey plate with cake in background

This cake gets its amazing texture and a big flavor boost from dark, flavorful Guinness stout beer, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, espresso powder, big chocolate chunks, and even a little mayonnaise! This is hands down, the MOST amazing chocolate cake I’ve ever personally tasted. It’s so moist I’d almost say it’s on the verge of being too moist. Is that a thing? It’s so full of chocolate flavor it’s practically fudge.

When I first made this cake, halfway through I thought, “there is no way I’m making this cake again, it’s taking way too long!” But then… I tasted it. And I died. I died a delicious chocolate death and then I was re-incarnated thankfully so I could go in for a second bite. 



Before you start this recipe, I highly suggest you go through the ingredients to make sure you have everything on hand. There are some ingredients you might not have on hand. 

death by chocolate cake ingredients

I frequently get asked about substitutions so I will list them here. 

Dark Beer – No this will not make your cake alcoholic. The alcohol cooks out but the fizzy nature of the beer and it’s deep dark flavor adds a TON of flavor to the chocolate. You can replace the beer with room temperature coffee or water. If you use coffee, leave out the espresso powder. I prefer using Guinness beer because it already kinda tastes like chocolate!

Espresso powder – Again, the espresso powder will not make your cake taste like coffee, it just boosts the flavor of the chocolate and it’s amazing! If you don’t have espresso powder, you can also use an instant coffee mix. If you can’t find either or you don’t want to use it, just leave it out but trust me, the cake will not be as good without it!

Dutch-process cocoa powder – Natural cocoa powder like Hershey’s is alkaline meaning it needs something like baking soda to make the cake rise. Baking soda can leave an after taste in your cake if you use too much. By using the dutch process cocoa powder, we can use baking powder to make our cake rise plus a little baking soda for flavor. If all you have is Hershey’s replace half the baking powder with baking soda. 

Mayonnaise – I know it might sound odd to be adding mayo to your chocolate cake but trust me if you want moist, mayo is the way to go! Mayonnaise is made from eggs and oil. Eggs and oil = moisture! If you don’t want to use mayonnaise or you don’t have any, you can replace it with oil but only use half as much as the mayo by weight, or your cake will be too oily. 


BEFORE YOU START – Bring your butter, Guinness, eggs, and mayonnaise to room temperature and prepare the rest of your ingredients. Check out my blog post on room temperature ingredient hacks for more info. 

Room temperature ingredients make a huge difference in your recipes. Learn how I warm up my cold ingredients from eggs to cream cheese, quickly and easily.

For best results, use a food scale to weigh your ingredients. Converting this recipe to cups could lead to failure. Read my blog post on how to use a scale for more information.

Pro-tip – If you’re in the UK search for Shipton mills soft cake and pastry flour or flour that has a protein level of 9% or less. 

Step 1– Preheat your oven to 335º F/168º C. Prepare your cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release. I used three 8″ round cake pans but you can adapt this recipe to any size pan by using my cake batter calculator right above the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post. Optional: Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking from the chocolate chips.

Step 2 – In a large measuring cup combine the beer, espresso powder, and the vanilla. Whisk it all together.

pouring dark beer into a measuring cup

Step 3 – In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

sifting death by chocolate cake ingredients

Step 4 – Place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium until smooth and shiny. About 30 seconds.

Step 5 – With the mixer on low, gradually sprinkle in the sugar. Mix on medium-high until mixture is fluffy and almost white. About 3-5 minutes. 

adding sugar to creamed butter

creamed butter and sugar

Step 6 – Reduce the speed back to low. Add your eggs one at a time. Let the egg incorporate fully before adding in the next egg to avoid breaking your batter.

adding egg to butter and sugar mixture

Step 8 – Next add in your room temp mayonnaise and mix until combined.

Pro-tip – If your batter is broken (curdled looking) your cake will not rise properly and you will get an un-cooked gummy layer at the bottom of your cake. So it’s very important to make sure your eggs, mayo, beer and butter are all room temperature or even a tad warm so they mix together properly. 

Step 9 – With the mixer on low, add in 1/3 of your dry ingredients and mix until almost combined. Add in 1/3 of your liquid ingredients. Scrape the bowl. Repeat the process two more times until everything is combined.   adding dry ingredients to cake batter

adding liquids to cake batter

finished death by chocolate cake batter

Step 10 – Mix in your chocolate chips or chopped chocolate at the end. These chocolate chunks take the death by chocolate cake over the top and make it ultra chocolate-y (is that a word?) 

Pro-tip –Using finely chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips is best, regular chocolate chips are too big and will sink to the bottom of the pan.

adding chocolate chips to cake batter

Step 11 – Divide your cake batter into your prepared pans (I like using homemade pan release, cake goop). I’m using three 8″x2″ cake pans and I used a scale to make sure each pan had the same amount of batter in them so I get even layers. Totally optional haha!

Step 12 – Bake at 335º F/168º C for 40-45 minutes (baking times will vary depending on the size of the pan you use) until a toothpick comes out cleanly but with a few sticky crumbs. Don’t over bake. 

Step 13 – Let your cakes cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Flip the pans out onto a wire rack and cool fully.

Pro-tip – To easily remove cakes from the pan, place the cooling rack on top of the barely warm cake pan. Hold the cake pan and the cooling rack together with your hands, one on top, one on the bottom. Flip the cake pan and the cooling rack over and set them both down so the cake pan is now on top of the cooling rack. Lift the pan off. 

Step 13 – Once cooled, gently wrap in plastic wrap and chill until the cakes are firm enough to handle. You can flash chill in the freezer for an hour if you need to cool them quickly. 


I decided to update the frosting that originally went with my death by chocolate cake because the cake already has so many steps, why make the frosting so complicated. Originally I had a chocolate cream cheese frosting for this but every time I make it for myself (which is often) I just make chocolate easy buttercream and a chocolate ganache drip!

Don’t worry, if you still want to make chocolate cream cheese frosting, you can! Just add 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar or 1/4 chocolate ganache (you can use the leftovers from your drip) and add it to my regular cream cheese frosting recipe

Step 1 – Add the pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine.

Step 2 – Add in your sifted cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract. Then bump the speed up to high. 

Step 3 – Start adding in your softened butter in small-ish chunks. About the size of a large marshmallow until you have added it all. 

Step 4 – Continue letting your buttercream whip on high until it is light and creamy and tastes like chocolate ice cream. This can take 10-15 minutes or more depending on the strength of your mixer or if your butter is cold. If it still tastes like butter, keep whipping!

Pro-tip – If your butter is not mixing in, it might be too cold. Take out 1 cup of your buttercream mixture and microwave it for 15 – 30 seconds until its JUST melted. Not hot! Pour the mixture back into your mixing buttercream and it will help it come together.  


Step 1 – Microwave your chocolate for 30 seconds to warm it up

Step 2 – Heat your heavy cream until it just begins to simmer. Do not boil your cream or it will cause your drip to split. Learn more about making the perfect ganache drip here. 

Step 3 – Let your ganache cool to 90ºF before dripping. I usually make my drip right before I start frosting my cake. By the time I have done the crumb coat and the final coat of buttercream, the drip is ready to use. 


For more information on how to make your first cake step by step, check out my how to make your first cake tutorial

how to make a cake tutorial

Step 1 – After your cakes have cooled and chilled so they are easier to handle, cut off the domes with a serrated knife to level them. 

leveling a chocolate cake

Step 2 – Place your first layer of cake on your cake board or on top of your cake platter. Fill with buttercream. I like to go for about 1/4″ of frosting. Try and keep the frosting level with an offset spatula. Repeat with the next layer. 

layers of chocolate cake and buttercream

Step 3 – Cover the entire cake in a thin coat of buttercream. This is called the crumb coat and will lock in those crumbs! Then freeze the cake for 20-30 minutes to set the buttercream. 

chocolate cake on turntable with thin layer of chocolate buttercream

Step 4 – Apply the final layer of buttercream and smooth with a bench scraper or your offset spatula. Level off the top with your offset spatula. 

Step 5 – Send the cake back to the fridge for 15 minutes before you do the drip. 

Step 6 – Place your cooled ganache into a piping bag and snip off the tip. Don’t make the hole too big. Drip one drip on the side of the chilled cake to make sure it doesn’t drip too far. If it does, it might be too hot and need to cool before you do the drip. 

piping bag with chocolate ganache inside a glass cup

Step 7 – I used my leftover buttercream and ganache to make some swirls for the top of the cake with another piping bag and a 1M piping tip.

Just look at that gorgeous cake! If you’re going to experience death by chocolate, this is the way to do it! Even though the drip and the swirls are super simple, they look truly gorgeous!

slice of chocolate cake on a grey plate

Pro-Tip – I always keep my frosted cakes in the fridge. The frosting acts as a barrier and keeps the cake fresh but NEVER serve a cold cake. Cold cakes taste very dry because the butter is cold. Always take your cakes out of the fridge a few hours before you serve them. I’ve even gone as far as microwaving my cake slice for 10 seconds if it’s too cold. 



For this recipe yes. Cake flour is a low-protein flour that results in less gluten development during the reverse creaming stage. You cannot do the flour/cornstarch trick or the cake will get over-mixed and taste like cornbread. 


I promise your cake will NOT taste like mayo! It adds a lot of moisture to the chocolate cake for that yummy stick to your fork texture. You can also use plain greek yogurt or sour cream, but the flavor won’t be the same. 


You can use water or coffee. The Guinness intensifies that rich chocolate flavor, it doesn’t make the cake taste like beer and all the alcohol cooks out. 


Espresso powder is commonly used in baking to bring out the chocolate flavor. It is made from coffee beans that have been brewed, dried, and ground into a fine powder. It’s much more concentrated than instant coffee but won’t add any coffee flavor to your cake. 

You can make your own espresso powder, or substitute it with dark roast instant coffee. It won’t bring the same rich, roasted flavor, but it will do the trick if you’re stuck. 


Dutch-processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder are not the same. Dutch-processed is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acidity, making it have a stronger flavor and a darker, almost black color. If you can’t find Dutched, you can use regular cocoa powder instead.

Love death by chocolate cake? Check out these other recipes for chocolate lovers!


My favorite chocolate cake recipe

Triple chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate Irish cream cake

Easy chocolate cake

Chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream


Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

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slice of chocolate cake on grey plate with cake in background

Death By Chocolate Cake

Death by chocolate cake is a chocolate lovers dream! This cake gets its intense chocolate flavor from Guinness beer, mayonnaise, espresso powder and mini chocolate chips. Paired with easy chocolate buttercream and a rich ganache drip, you might be dead but you'll be happy! This chocolate cake isn't for the faint of heart!
4.85 from 32 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 1881kcal


Death By Chocolate Cake

  • 14 oz (397 g) Stout Beer Like Guinness (Room Temperature)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (1 1/2 Tbsp) Espresso Powder
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Real Vanilla
  • 14 oz (397 g) Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) Baking powder
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) Salt
  • 6 oz (170 g) Dutched Cocoa Powder
  • 10 oz (284 g) Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 16 oz (454 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Large (4 Large) Eggs Room Temperature
  • 6 oz (170 g) Mayonnaise Room Temperature
  • 6 oz (170 g) Mini chocolate chips

Easy Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 ounces (113 g) pasteurized egg whites
  • 16 ounces (454 g) powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces (227 g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces (57 g) cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ganache Drip

  • 8 oz (227 g) Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 4 oz (113 g) Heavy Whipping Cream


  • Stand Mixer
  • Paddle Attachment
  • Whisk Attachment
  • 1M Piping Tip
  • Piping Bag
  • Bench scraper
  • Offset Spatula


Death By Chocolate Cake

  • NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly. 
  • Heat oven to 335º F/168º C. Prepare cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release. I used three 8"x2" round cake pans. Use the cake batter calculator above this recipe card to adjust the recipe to your size cake pan. Optional: Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking from the chocolate chips.
  • In a large measuring cup combine the beer, espresso powder and vanilla. Whisk together and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. 
  • Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream until smooth and shiny. With the mixer on low, gradually sprinkle in the sugar. Mix on medium high until mixture is fluffy and almost white. About 3-5 minutes. 
  • Reduce the speed back to low. Add your (ROOM TEMP) eggs one at a time. Let the egg incorporate fully before adding in the next egg to avoid breaking your batter. Add in your mayo and mix until combined. 
  • With the mixer on low, add in 1/3 of your dry ingredients and mix until almost combined. Add in 1/3 of your liquid ingredients. Repeat the process two more times until everything is combined. 
  • Fold in the mini chocolate chips and divide the cake batter into your cake pans. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly but with a few sticky crumbs. Don't over bake. 
  • Let your cakes cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Let fully cool then gently wrap in plastic wrap and chill until the cakes are firm enough to handle. You can flash chill in the freezer if you need to cool them quickly. 

Easy Chocolate Buttercream

  • Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to remove any clumps.
  • Place pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • Attach the whisk, combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes.
  • Add in your softened butter in chunks. Add in vanilla and salt. Whisk on high until light and fluffy.
  • Optional: Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles.

Ganache Drip

  • Microwave your chocolate for 30 seconds to get it warm
  • Heat cream on the stove over medium heat just until it starts to simmer. Do not boil. chilled cake. 
  • Pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. If you have lumps, place the bowl into a microwave for 30 seconds and whisk. Let the ganache cool to about 90º (barely warm to the touch). Place the ganache into a piping bag and drizzle over the top of your frosted and chilled cake.


1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, beer, mayo, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. Learn more about decorating your first cake. 
5. If the recipe calls for specific ingredients like cake flour, replacing it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch is not recommended unless specified in the recipe that it’s ok. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. 
All purpose flour is a plain flour with no rising agents. It has a protein level of 10%-12%
Cake flour is a soft, low protein flour of 9% or less. 
Cake flour sources: UK - Shipton Mills Cake & Pastry Flour
6. I always keep my frosted cakes in the fridge. The frosting acts as a barrier and keeps the cake fresh but NEVER serve a cold cake. Cold cakes taste very dry because the butter is cold. Always take your cakes out of the fridge a few hours before you serve them. I've even gone as far as microwaving my cake slice for 10 seconds if it's too cold. 
7. You can replace the Guinness in this recipe with another type of stout beer or room temperature water or coffee, but it will not have the same taste. 
8. You can replace the mayo in this recipe with room temperature greek yogurt or sour cream, but it will not have the same taste. 


Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 1881kcal (94%) | Carbohydrates: 199g (66%) | Protein: 20g (40%) | Fat: 119g (183%) | Saturated Fat: 66g (330%) | Cholesterol: 324mg (108%) | Sodium: 1282mg (53%) | Potassium: 806mg (23%) | Fiber: 13g (52%) | Sugar: 137g (152%) | Vitamin A: 2845IU (57%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 161mg (16%) | Iron: 7mg (39%)


152 comments on “Death By Chocolate Cake

  1. Omg! I’m going to make this on the next cake order. But your video doesn’t work? Can’t wait to make it. Thank you Liz!

  2. I made your Black Velvet Cake this weekend. Can it actually be better than that recipe??

      1. 5 stars
        Would you say this is better than your original chocolate cake recipe? I always use that when I need a chocolate cake it’s my go to!

      2. You mentioned you made this for your friend’s daughter. I noticed it had fondant over it. Did you ganache it first before you put the fondant, or just directly over the cream cheese frosting. I wanna try making this in to a tiered cake. Thank you.

      3. I posted but it is not appearing. I wanted to know if I can put fondant Over the cream cheese frosting or ganache the cream cheese frosting first before the fondant. Thanks

      4. You can’t put fondant over cream cheese frosting or it will melt the fondant but you can use cream cheese as a filling, ganache on the outside and fondant over the ganache

  3. I can’t get the video to work either. 🙁

  4. You have me dribbling Liz… But they’re saying that the video isn’t available. Can’t wait to make it

  5. How many chocolate chips? Recipe doesn’t say. Thanks

  6. I would also like to see the video. The recipe looks great but that extra help of watching the actual process always helps.

  7. I wasn’t able to watch the video, either. (Says it is unavailable.) Liz, I made your Black Velvet Cake this past weekend and OMGosh I thought it was heavenly. You’re telling me this is even better? Okay, I’m game. I’ll try it. Thanks!

  8. Is it safe for kids if it has beer? Also could you plz let me know are you keeping the cake with cream cheese filling in fridge or outside? I personally not keep fondant cakes in fridge but this one looks yummy and also ingredients like cream cheese needs to be in fridge yes?

    1. Alcohol bakes out of the cake so it’s perfectly safe for anyone to eat 🙂 Cream cheese frosting is always kept refrigerated except right before serving.

  9. Mini chocolate chips missing from ingredients list?

  10. can u please tell me a non-alcoholic substitute for stouts beer? we don’t take alcohol in any form even if it evaporates while cooking. would love to try this cake. tia.

  11. Hi! There are no mini chocolate chips measurement listed under ingredients. How much would you add?
    Thank you!

  12. Hi, The measurement for chocolate chips to be folded into the cake isn’t given.

  13. 5 stars
    What can I use as a substitute for the beer as I don’t drink alcohol?

  14. I love the sound of this recipe and want to make it soon. I would also love to watch the video to see how you frosted it to get such a cool effect, but the video is not available. 🙁 Thank you!

  15. This recipe sounds delicious, but I’m a little confused by the frosting directions. It doesn’t say where to add the 8 oz. of melted chocolate, does it go in with the cream cheese? Also, how much ganache would you make to cover it?

  16. Sounds delicious can’t wait to try it. I just signed up to be in your Facebook group!

  17. 5 stars
    Your recipe sounds so good. What is this dark beer. In India I don’t know if it’s available. Can I use any beer?

  18. This cake is delicious but I’m slightly confused by the cocoa powder/ heavy cream mixture when making the frosting. 4 tbsp of heavy cream mixed with 2 oz of cocoa powder just yielded a clumpy mixture for me. Did I do something wrong?

      1. 4 stars
        i just made this last night… ended up adding double the cream and it was still very dense but yes, smoothed out nicely once mixed.

  19. 5 stars
    Just made this to take to family reunion. It turned out beautiful! Needless to say, I had no leftovers to take home.

  20. 5 stars
    I just made this cake for a customer. Instead of 2 8″ pan, I divided it into 3 6″ pan. I had extra so I made mini cupcakes to bring to work but my husband and kids ate it all. It was so delish! The only problem I had was crumb coating. It was so crumbly. It really needs to be chilled. I’m happy with the results. Thank you again!

    1. Yes chilling cakes before frosting is always a must because it hardens the butter in the cake and keeps it intact. I’ll be sure to update the instructions to include that information.

  21. If I was to make this in 6X3 pans about how long do you think would they need to bake? Can’t wait to try this!!!

  22. I tried this recipe before going to work. i baked it for 45 minutes at 330. After cooling for 10 minutes, i turned over one pan into the rack, and it collapsed! I felt so sad, as it had a lot of steps! I’ve since gone to work. Do you think i can still try to bake the 2nd pan for more minutes when i get home?

    1. The cake needs to be baked at 335 degrees. Not sure on the size of your pans but perhaps it wasn’t done yet. It will collapse if you take it out too soon. The other cake most likely will not rise since you did not bake the batter right away. I know it is a complicated recipe and I feel your pain! I have had many cake fails that broke my heart

  23. Hi. I want to make this recipe for my my niece’s birthday. What can i alternate for stout beer?

  24. Good Day! My question is, your #1 states: — NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly. — however, I don’t see any ingredients listed as “room temperature”. Am I assuming right when it’s the butter, eggs and heavy cream.
    Most everything is measured out and ready to be mixed. Just waiting for the beer to come home (room temperature??). I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’m a bit nervous after reading the comments. I only have one 8″ pan, so I was going to bake one cake and then bake the other after that (but I see you’ve commented to someone that it won’t rise if I do that), so it’ll be two batches of batter (plus two extra cakes I can put in the freezer). Providing the first one turns out. Wish me luck!

  25. I’d love to try this cake. I see in the recipe it calls for 14oz of Stout (450ml) But in your video I see 300ml (10oz) stout??

  26. I ran out of Dutch cocoa, only have about 3.5 oz. Can I use regular cocoa to make up the difference.?

  27. Hi Liz, why do you use mayo? I want to try the recipe but the mayo is putting me off lol

      1. Ahhhh thank you ? I thought that might be the case, as there is no oil or buttermilk in the recipe. Thank you for replying

  28. Hi there! This recipe looks really amazing! I was wondering if it would also be good to use for cupcakes? I have seen in other recipes on here that if you start the cupcakes in the oven at a higher temp for 5 minutes and reduce it to the 335 for the rest of the cooking time, that they have had good success. Will that same process work for this recipe?
    I absolutely cannot wait to try this out!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for the reply! I made them yesterday and they had the most perfect domes in the history of my cupcakes! I think I baked too long though, they were dry?
        If I do the 5 minutes at 400, how long should I keep them in at 335? I did 13 yesterday.

        Can’t wait to try all of your recipes! Even though that batch was dry (my fault) they were still incredibly delicious and that rarely happens with dry cake!

      2. Cupcakes for mat at 335F bake for 21 minutes but that’s my oven, you always want to take them out while they still have a bit of sticky crumb in the middle still

      3. 5 stars
        Okay! I think I need to go ahead and invest in an oven thermometer. I think I may have over mixed a bit too, so I’ll try to focus more on that stage as well.

        Thank you for your fast replies! So helpful(:

  29. Are these measurements before or after sifting

  30. Hello, I’m making this cake for my best friends birthday party in 1 week. However I don’t have 8 inch pans. If I use two 9 inch pans , how long is the bake time? Please help! I officially cannot make anything else after reading your amazing recipe . Thank you

  31. Hi need to know if chocolate chips would melt in cake ?

  32. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, I am making this cake next Monday for an 18th birthday. He likes the vanilla buttercream frosting. I really like to bake and try your recipe, it looks so delicious. Do you think Vanilla buttercream go with this cake recipe? Please help me. Thank you.

      1. 5 stars
        Success ?, Thank you so much Liz, everybody loves your cake, very rich and sooo delicious to the last bite.

  33. 5 stars
    Just made this and did mini cupcakes for a little marketing thing I’ve got going on right now. Pretty excited to use this to lure in new clients. Lol. Thanks as always!….Amy B.

  34. 4 stars
    The recipe indicates cooking the caje batter in 2-8″ pansYet the video shows a 3-layer cake.

    Which is correct?

      1. I have 9″ round pans and there was WAY too much batter.

        Are the cakes supposed to be removed from the pans before cooling? That’s the usual way to do things, but it doesn’t say.

      2. Hmm that’s odd. I’ve made this cake multiple times and they fit right in two 8″ cake pans. Yes I remove them from the pan after cooling for about 10 minutes otherwise the chocolate chips can stick to the bottom. Leaving your cakes in the pans can also continue the baking process and cause your cakes to dry out.

      3. 2 stars
        Well, you should state in the recipe to remove the cakes after 10-15 minutes and then cool completely (as per usual). I did because I knew it would be troublesome if I didn’t, but anyone following the recipe might not think to do that.

        The cake tasted great. It was very moist, but oddly SUPER crumbly. Very strange to be both crumbly and moist. And a total mess to cut and serve. I’m disappointed.

  35. Hi Liz,
    This recipe is superb! Everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  36. 5 stars
    Hi Liz,
    This recipe is superb! Everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing! 😀 (re-posting because I forgot the stars!).

  37. Hey! Totally making this for my boyfriends birthday next weekend….How long would you recommend baking the three 6” cakes for ( instead of the two 8” cakes)? Thanks!

  38. Should I make 1 1/2 batches to better fit 2 9″ pans? Also, is there a brand of Dutch cocoa you recommend? I’m struggling because I want to use quality chocolate in my recipes but can’t find a good place to buy it in bulk.

  39. 5 stars
    This is the most delicious chocolate cake. That cream cheese frosting is yum. Made it for my mums 80th and she normally doesn’t rave about cake but she loved it. Thanks Liz ?

  40. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious so moist and chocolatey. I made this for my mum’s 80th birthday. She never raves about cakes but absolutely loved this one. The cream cheese frosting is so yum. Thanks Liz for the recipe x

    1. ya buddy! This is a favorite chocolate cake amongst my friends as well. It’s a bit labor intensive but the chocolate cake comes out soooo moist!

  41. 5 stars
    Made your chocolate carving cake and it was amazing! So wanted to try this out because it sounds delicious! Just wondering if I made the cake one day, wrapped and kept in fridge until the following day to frost, is that too long to keep them refrigerated without frosting? Also, with your cream cheese frosting, will it hold up if I make it and leave in fridge for a few days before using? Thank you so much! Your a Rockstar Cake Artist!

  42. 5 stars
    What kind of mini chocolate chips? Semisweet? Milk chocolate? I can’t wait to make this. ??

  43. OMG!!!! This is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten, let alone made!!! You rock Liz!!!!

  44. Would love to try this for my boyfriends birthday! How many cups of batter would you recommend for a 3 tier 9 inch cake?

    1. Do you mean three layers? Tiers are like when you make a wedding cake and each tier is a different size. To make three layers of 9″ cakes I would do a 1 1/2 batch

  45. The frosting recipe calls for 8 oz Melted Chocolate. Is that dark chocolate? semi-sweet chocolate? milk chocolate? unsweetened chocolate?

  46. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious! Should I make any adjustments for high altitude? Thanks so much for sharing:)

  47. For religious reasons, I do not want to use the beer. Is there any other liquid I can use that will give me the results as close to the original recipe?

  48. How do you get 3 layers when you only put into 2 cake pans? I seen you cut top off one cake but I thought it was to level it. Which can be done using a slow bake

    1. You can either do two 8″ cakes or three 6″ cakes (2″ tall pans). A slow bake does not necessarily remove the dome off a cake. It just depends on the recipe.

  49. Hi Liz,
    Can this cake be stacked? I want to make a 2 tier cake. Also,will it work with a 9inch with a 6inch as the tier, if so, will both need to be 3 layers or can the 9 be 2 layers while the 6 inch be the 3 layers? I did the vanilla cake but it was too much crumbs and made it hard coat, what do you recommend I do?

  50. Hi so I think I totally wrecked my first attempt. Could you specify weight vs volume?

  51. 5 stars
    I made this cake for a birthday party. The taste of the sponge it’s absolutely AMAZING. I used the strawberry swiss buttercream and strawberry puree. This combination of flavors is delightful. Highly recommended

  52. Liz,

    I love all your stuff I signed up for elite membership. I made the cakes and chilled overnight, but I keep getting lots of crumbs, what am I doing wrong??

    1. Nothing, it’s a moist and tender cake 🙂 Make sure you are in the elite fb group as well so you can get questions answered quickly

  53. I have been unable to find espresso powder. Is instant coffee a good substitute? Thank you so much!

    1. Mayonnaise doesn’t have garlic in it, unless yours does in which case don’t use mayonnaise with garlic in it. Just regular mayonnaise.

  54. 5 stars
    I made this cake yesterday and it turned out great! It is moist and tasty! Thank you, Liz!!!
    The only complaint was that it is a bit too sweet. How can I decrease the sweetness-by putting less chocolate chips, less sugar in the cake and frosting? Will sugar reduction in the cake change its consistency?

  55. do you have a conversion rate from weight to measurement?

  56. How does this work/taste with your easy chocolate buttercream icing?

  57. Hi I saw your cake has 3 layers? did you use 6″ pans for the 3 layers?

  58. 5 stars
    This isn’t by far the best chocolate cake I have ever made. I was unenthusiastic about all the steps, but people… stick with it! It is work every crumb! I made this for Father’s Day and my husband is a huge chocolate fan and a very tough critic. He raves about this cake as did I, and I’m not even a big chocolate fan. Great recipe. I will keep it in my arsenal!!

      1. Is the beer by weight as well? I made this and it is very dry. I measured everything by weight except the beer which I measured 14 oz in a measuring cup.

      2. It’s all by weight but using a measuring cup should not make a difference. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, I’m not sure what the problem was. The cake is extremely moist typically.

  59. What type of chocolate did you use for the frosting? Semi-sweet, milk or dark?

  60. Hi Liz!
    When I added the heavy cream to the cocoa powder it kind of just seized up and I couldn’t whisk it until it was “smooth”. All of the cocoa powder basically absorbed the heavy you know why that is?
    Could I just put the heavy cream and cocoa powder into the cream cheese/butter mixture separately?

  61. Both of my cake layers fell apart trying to take them out of the pans even though they were cooled off and I sprayed both with non-stick. Why is this?

    It would be helpful to place a backlink to another baking website (or another blog of yours if you have it) that explains what Dutch cocoa powder is and how to get through the recipe if you only have regular unsweetened. I had to do a lot of my own research on this before I could even start.

    Also, my cream cheese frosting ended up having chunks of cream cheese that did not incorporate into the rest of the frosting mixture. I would recommend that people use the whisk attachment instead. The paddle just doesn’t mix as well, even at high speed for 10+ minutes.

    Ended up throwing the whole thing out and picked up a Wegmans chocolate cake instead.

    1. Thanks for the helpful feedback! I updated the blog post to link to my differences between dutched cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder blog post. Your cake might have stuck because of it cooling fully in the pan. The sugar/chocolate that crystalizes while baking can cause a cake to stick once it’s fully cooled. I really recommend using my cake goop recipe for a pan release because it create a barrier between the cake and the pan to reduce sticking. I updated the recipe to use a whisk instead of a paddle attachment. I agree that the whisk is better. Sad you threw it away, I would have still eaten it but that’s just me and me dedication to eating chocolate cake 😀

  62. Wow, I was looking for this recipe, will definitely try to bake it perfectly, can’t wait.

  63. Hi !!! i havent done it yet but i wanted to know if its possible to freeze it, either the whole assembled cake of the frosting alone, thanks!!!

    1. Yes you can freeze the cake, it needs to be defrosted for 24 hours in the fridge and then brought to room temperature before serving.

  64. 5 stars
    Everyone in my house said this was the best cake hey have ever had anywhere. It was absolutely amazing. I used your Italian meringue butter cream recipe and added sifted cocoa powder and it was perfect. This is the third cake of yours I’ve made and I finally got the room temp ingredients right and it definitely made a difference. Thank you for your recipes!!! Amazing.

  65. 5 stars
    Hello !!

    I did yesterday your vanilla cake with AP flour and it was sooo good but always that I put it into the fridge when I took it out it’s a little bit dry, what can I do ?

    For Death by chocolate cake: Can we use medium Folgers classic roast coffee ? …… How I make this recipe with smaller cake pans ?.

    THANK YOU !!!

    1. It’s not dry, it’s cold. Either warm it up in the microwave for 10 seconds or so or just leave it at room temperature. No need to refrigerate a chocolate cake.

  66. 5 stars
    Thankyou for your inspiration and awesome recipes!!! All the way from Brisbane, Australia. Do you mind me asking … what bench mixer you find the best? I love the look of the one used for this choc cake ❤💜💚

  67. If I leave out the chocolate chips, does it change the recipe at all?

  68. I usually make these kinds of executive decisions myself, but it seems important (from reading the recipe and comments) to follow your recipe. I have a convection oven – do you recommend baking these cakes without convection, or using convection and either lowering the temperature by 25 degrees or reducing the bake time by 25%? Cant’ wait to try it, but need to buy cake flour first. I’m assuming self-raising flour is the same as cake flour?

    1. I have not had any experience baking with a convection oven so I am not sure honestly. Self-rising flour isn’t the same as cake flour. I assume you might be in the UK if you’re asking about self-rising flour (which we don’t use here) You need to use low protein flour, search for Shipton mills cake and pastry flour

  69. Thanks for the reply! Actually, I’m in Canada 🙂 We can buy both self-rising flour (in small bags) and cake&pastry flour (in large bags). Will pick up the correct flour and report back on my experience with convection backing.

  70. Would this chocolate cake be good for a blackforest cake? Or could you recommend any of your chocolate cakes to use as base for my blackforest cake please. Thank you.

    1. I would use the easy chocolate cake as a base and use whipped cream and cherries to decorate it. Traditional black forest cake also has a simple syrup with kirsch added to it (a type of alcohol).

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