This classic chocolate cake with chocolate faux Swiss meringue buttercream is perfect to celebrate any occasion. Bakers of all levels can achieve this cake!
About the cake layers
This cake is made using the reverse creaming method and is baked nice and slow. It produces a beautiful and delicate tight crumb. In reverse creaming we coat the dry ingredients with butter then add some of the wet and mix on medium for a couple minutes. This is important because it helps develop the structure of your cake. Don’t be scared to over mix, but also, don’t mix for longer than directed!
Tools to make the cake and buttercream
You’ll need a mixer with whisk and paddle attachments, a sifter to sift your powdered sugar and cocoa powder, 6 inch cake pans, cooking spray, a bowl, baking foil, parchment paper, and a scale. You’ll also want some sort of cake board. I usually like to go one size bigger than what I’m making. You can get these at Walmart or craft stores. If you plan to decorate the top of your cake like this one, you’ll want a large tip, I used the Wilton 1M because most cake decorators have this tip, and if not it’s a great first tip. A cake turn table is helpful, some people even use a lazy Susan.
To make the cake layers
Begin by preheating your oven to 330 degrees. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of your mixer and set aside. Put your chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the top of it and let it sit for a minute to warm the chocolate.
Add the room temp buttermilk. You may even want to warm the buttermilk slightly to make mixing the chocolate together easy. Mix the chocolate and liquids together until smooth. Add in the eggs and combine until it’s all mixed together and smooth.
Put your mixer bowl in the mixer stand attached with the paddle attachment. Stir together the dry ingredients for a few seconds to mix up. Add your room temperature butter in and turn the mixer to low for about 1 minute or until the mixture looks like a sand texture.
Once it looks like sand, with your mixer on low, add around half of your wet ingredients. You really just want to add enough liquid so that everything is a little wet without forming a dough texture, it should resemble cake batter. Then turn it to medium and let it mix for 2 minutes. Set a timer and do not go over. This helps develop the structure of the cake, without over mixing.
Then you’ll evenly divide your batter in your prepared pans and bake about 60 minutes or until done at 330 degrees. Remove them from the oven when they’re done and let them cool on a cooling rack until the pans are cool enough to handle. Remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap to put in the freezer or to decorate.
For the buttercream
This recipe is my standard Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe with some cocoa powder added into the powdered sugar at the beginning. You add pasteurized egg whites from a carton (has to be pasteurized from a carton) to your mixer bowl with the powdered sugar and cocoa. Mix that with the whisk attachment on high for about 6 minutes.
Once the meringue is made, switch the whisk attachment out for your paddle attachment and add your salt and butter. Allow them to combine on the lowest setting for 10 minutes before using it. Note that the buttercream will darken with time.
To Assemble the Cake
We will begin by stacking and crumb coating the cake. Once the cake is crumb coated put it back into the refrigerator to firm the buttercream, about 15-20 minutes. Once it’s firm you can make your final coat.
Add the final coat of buttercream and smooth it with a bench scraper. Fill any buttercream holes and just keep smoothing until it is how you like it. Once you’re happy with it you’ll put it in the refrigerator to get nice and cold while you prepare your piping bag with a wilton 1M tip, and fill it with your buttercream.
Add a few sprinkles to the top and map out where you would like to put your buttercream swirls. To make nice buttercream swirls start in the center and make a circle, bring the piping bag upwards and in so the second circle on top of the bottom circle is smaller. Stop squeezing once you get to the center top and pull up. You can add more sprinkle to the top and sides if you desire. I made my own mix out of chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, and some star sprinkles I found at Walmart. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Classic Chocolate cake with Chocolate Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- mixer with whisk and paddle
- kitchen scale
- 3 6 in cake pans
- oven thermometer
- cake turntable
- offset spatula
- cake scraper or bench scraper
For the cake layers
- 325 g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- 550 g sugar
- 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 270 g buttermilk, room temp
- 4 oz hot coffee
- 2 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3 oz cocoa powder preferably dutch process
For the Chocolate buttercream
- 6 oz egg whites, pasteurized in a carton
- 24 oz confectioners sugar
- 3 oz cocoa powder
- 18 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp salt
For the cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.
- In the bowl of your mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine the mixture with the paddle attachment in your mixer to distribute the ingredients.
- In a medium bowl put your chocolate chips and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the top of it and let it sit for a minute to warm the chocolate.
- Add the warm buttermilk and stir to combine until the whole mixture is smooth.
- Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and combine until smooth and set aside.
- Add the softened butter to the dry mixture and allow that to mix making a coarse sand like texture, about 1 minute.
- With your mixer on low, add around half of your wet ingredients. You really just want to add enough liquid so that everything is a little wet without forming a dough texture, it should resemble cake batter. Then turn it to medium and let it mix for 2 minutes. Set a timer and do not go over. This helps develop the structure of the cake, without over mixing.
- Scrape your bowl after the 2 minutes. With your mixer on low add the rest of the wet ingredents. Mix just until totally combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl again if needed.
- Prepare the pans by spraying with baking spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- Divide the batter evenly between 3, 6 inch pans. I used 17 oz per 6 in pan.
- Cover the cakes with aluminum foil and bake for 55-65 min or until done. They are done once they start to pull away from the sides of the pan or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool on a cooling rack until the pan is cool enough to touch. Remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap to freeze or to decorate.
For the Chocolate Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Weigh out your egg whites in the bowl of your mixer. Sift your confectioners sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl.
- Make sure your mixer has the whisk attachment on. Begin mixing it on low, slowly increasing it to high and let it go for about 6 minutes.
- Change out your whisk attachment for the paddle.
- Turn the mixer on low and add your butter in 1 stick at a time.
- Add your salt and let the mixer go on low for about 10 minutes.
- On a cake board, put a small dollop of buttercream and put the cake top side down on the board.
- Smooth buttercream on the top. Add the next cake on top and repeat.
- Add the last cake layer, seal the sides and coat the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream to lock in any crumbs. Refrigerate that for about 15 minutes before your final coat of buttercream.
- Add your final layer of buttercream, smooth and decorate it as you wish.
- I chose to add some sprinkles to the top. I added chocolate buttercream swirls with a 1M tip then added more sprinkles on top of that and to the bottom sides.