Triple Dark Chocolate Cake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-20
Three layers of moist, dense chocolate cake filled with a dark chocolate buttercream and topped with a dark chocolate ganache and truffles. Serves 12-20.
For the cakes:
  • 215g (or 1 cup + 4 teaspoons) granulated sugar
  • 180g (or ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon, packed) light brown sugar
  • 90ml (or ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons) vegetable oil
  • 1½ large eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 45ml (or 3 tablespoons) hot water
  • 180ml (or ¾ cup) buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 195g (or 1½ cups + 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 135g (or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
For the imbibing syrup:
  • 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • 1 teaspoon light rum, optional
For the chocolate buttercream:
  • 260g (or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter
  • 500g (or 4 cups) powdered sugar
  • 140g (or 1 cup + 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160ml (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of table salt
For the ganache:
  • 90g (or 3 ounces) dark chocolate
  • 90ml (or ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons) heavy whipping cream
To decorate:
  • Store bought chocolate truffles
Start with the cakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Line the bottom of three 18-cm (7-inch) springform pans with baking parchment, butter the sides, and dust the sides with cocoa powder.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together sugars, oil and eggs. In another bowl, dissolve coffee in hot water. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir together. In yet another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add both the dry and wet ingredients to the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir until mostly incorporated, then mix for about 30 seconds until the batter looks smooth (albeit grainy fro the sugar).
  4. Divide the batter evenly over the prepared pans, then bake the cakes on a rack in the middle of the oven for 25-28 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
While the cakes are baking, make the syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place over low heat, stirring with a metal spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks clear. Remove from heat, transfer to a mug, and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, stir in the rum, if you're using it.
While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream:
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat butter with a mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Combine vanilla, cream and salt and add it to the bowl as well. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, stir ingredients until somewhat incorporated and the mixture looks dry and crumbly, but not powdery. This is just so that you don't end up with a big cloud of powdered sugar and cocoa in your kitchen when you turn the mixer on.
  3. Mix for 3-5 minutes, or until the buttercream looks creamy, fluffy and smooth. Use immediately or keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 hours until
  4. ready to use.
To assemble:
  1. Place first cake layer onto a serving plate. Using a pastry brush, brush with an ample amount of syrup. Top with about a cup of buttercream, spreading it evenly over the cake layer using an offset spatula. Top with second cake layer, imbibe with syrup, and frost with another cup of buttercream. Top with final cake layer and imbibe the cake with the syrup.
  2. Reserve about half a cup of buttercream, then frost the entire cake with the remaining buttercream, scraping the sides of the cake with a bench scraper so that the cake layers show through the frosting. Place the cake in the fridge to chill thoroughly for at least 1 hour.
Once the cake has chilled, make the ganache:
  1. Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and stir with a rubber spatula until all of the chocolate has melted. You don't want the mixture to get too hot, or it will seize, so pay attention. The ganache should be really runny.
  2. Remove the cake from the fridge and use a teaspoon to apply ganache near the edges of the cake so that it drips down the sides of the cake. Pour some ganache on top of the cake and spread evenly using an offset spatula. You'll have some leftover ganache. Place the cake i the fridge to allow the ganache to set.
  3. Fit a piping bag with a large open tip and fill with the reserved buttercream. Pipe dollops of buttercream around the edge of the cake and decorate with a chocolate truffle.
  4. Cake keeps for a couple of days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at