★★★★★

Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Looking for a tried and true chocolate cake recipe? This dark chocolate cake is rich and moist and the perfect, from scratch recipe you want! Topped with a smooth and creamy vanilla frosting and your sweet tooth will be satisfied!

Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting: from scratch, dark chocolate cake. Delicious, easy and gorgeous with fluffy vanilla frosting!

This week I turn 40. As in 40 years old. I made myself a “pre-birthday” cake.

What is a pre-birthday cake you might ask? It’s the cake you make yourself the week before your birthday. A cake that is so rich and indulgent, it may help you overcome those feelings of “oldness.”

Once upon a time I looked forward to turning 30. I had 4 kids and I was ready for my 30’s! There were many occasions when I would receive comments about being a young mom, how I had so much to learn, etc. I was 23 when I had my first…was done by the time I turned 30. Yes I was young. But, it was right for us. I wouldn’t trade it for a minute!

But now? See, I have friends my age who have little kids. 5 year old. 3 year old. Babies, even. Even though they are 40, they can pass for much younger because their children are so little.

It doesn’t work for me. My oldest will be 17 this year. No mistaking it…I am officially old.

Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting: from scratch, dark chocolate cake. Delicious, easy and gorgeous with fluffy vanilla frosting!

BUT, and this is a BIG but, I am so thankful for all the experiences that have brought me to where I am in life (well, almost all of them, hehe)!! I am confident in who I am, what I do, where I’m going and how I’ll get there! I love myself too. Yeah, I may have some cupcake handles, and my abs aren’t as tight as they were when I was 20…but it’s okay. I’m okay.

And because of that…let’s eat cake! I wish I could share a slice of cake with each and every one of you! Your sweet comments really make my day, honestly!

And, this rich dark chocolate cake is just what a 40yr old birthday girl craves!

Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting: from scratch, dark chocolate cake. Delicious, easy and gorgeous with fluffy vanilla frosting!

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Yield: serves 12-16

Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Looking for a tried and true chocolate cake recipe? This dark chocolate cake is rich and moist and the perfect, from scratch recipe you want! Topped with a smooth and creamy vanilla frosting and your sweet tooth will be satisfied!

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate morsels

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together cooled coffee and milk. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Slowly add in dry ingredients alternating with the coffee/milk mixture (about 3 additions of each).
  4. Pour cake batter into two prepared pans (2-9inch round cake pans, lined with parchment paper and greased and floured). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  5. For the frosting, beat butter for 3-4 minutes until pale in color. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat an additional 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth!
  6. To assemble cake, lay one layer of cake on a cake plate. Spoon 1/4 of frosting onto top of cake, spreading evenly. Top with about 1/2 cup of mini morsels. Add second layer of cake. Spread a layer of frosting around the sides of the cake and the top, very thin. This is your crumb coat. Allow to set about 15 minutes (or refrigerate). Apply final layer of frosting, spreading evenly and using a straight edge spatula to smooth. Using your hands in a cupped fashion, press mini chips around sides. Continue until all sides are done.
  7. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

**The coffee in this cake just deepens the chocolate flavor. It does not make this cake taste like coffee in any way! If you absolutely must remove the coffee, just replace the 1/2 cup coffee with water. **To keep frosting off cake plate, lay strips of parchment paper under the first layer of cake, all the way around. Once frosting is applied, carefully remove strips of paper! **I used Wilton's Bake Even strips to get perfectly flat cake tops. If desired, slice dome of cake to make a flat layered cake.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Looking for more delicious Cake ideas?

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This Lemon Cake has a homemade Lemon Curd filling and Whipped Cream Cheese frosting too! Perfect for that citrus lover!

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Looking for something a little richer? A little bit more chocolate? This Chocolate Cake with Mint Chip Frosting is your answer (don’t mind the old photos!!) The frosting truly tastes like mint chip icecream!

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Check out some of these other great recipes from around the blogs…

Looking for a tried and true chocolate cake recipe? This dark chocolate cake is rich and moist and the perfect, from scratch recipe you want! Topped with a smooth and creamy vanilla frosting and your sweet tooth will be satisfied!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on July 18, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. Happy belated birthday! You make 40 look great! And this is my favorite cake combo, chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream 🙂

  2. Happy almost 40th! I turn 40 this year too and I think this needs to be my months before 40 birthday cake! Looks amazing!

  3. I have been craving chocolate cake like nobody’s business. I’ve tried making it a couple of times but it never came out just right. This cake however looks like chocolate cake perfection! Must make it soon.

  4. I’m 46 and I feel like my 40s have brought me clarity in that I finally figured out who I am, I’ve settled into myself. A real time of acceptance. I will say that so far this has been the hardest decade of my life, maybe the clarity that comes with age. Whatever. Remember this, age is truly just a number, it’s how you feel inside about yourself! Rejoice & embrace the changes that come next!

    1. Thank you Beth for these words!! I think clarity does come with age. And I think the hardships come from not only from getting older, but also less self centered and we see more around us!

  5. Happy Birthday Aimee! And I was looking for a chocolate cake for my hubby’s birthday next week. This may be it! Though I have other plans for the frosting.

  6. Happy almost birthday! I want to make this cake and it is nowhere near my birthday! I had a hard time turning 30. I just had my daughter 6 days earlier and baby blues had set in hard that day. Since then, birthdays have gotten much easier!

    1. 30 was a breeze for me!! So far 40 hasn’t been too bad, but I don’t think it’s hit me yet, LOL.

  7. Happy birthday my sweet friend! I’ll be hitting 35 this winter and it has never really bothered me until recently. Now that my oldest is in Kindergarten and making friends…well their moms and dads are like kiddos themselves! lol

    1. You look so young I’m sure you fit right in! See you can get away with being young! Thanks for the birthday wishes 🙂

  8. HAPPY, HAPPY 27TH BIRTHDAY!!! you do not look almost 40, and I am pretty good at guessing.. I’m also 57.. till December… My one was born when I was 34, few months before 35, like my dad.. He was 34 Ault my birth, 35 two months later.. Enjoy, its worth it!! Love your blog!!!BIG FAT HUGS FOR THAT DAY!!!!!=)=)

  9. Happy Birthday Aimee…:-) You look so young, you don’t look like 40, I tought you’re under 30. You’re so lucky to have 4 kids . I will be 32 on 21st July and I don’t have any kid yet. My mom was 19 when she had me. That’s life….the important thing is happiness.
    Love your cake, nice blog. Keep posting!
    Regards from Germany
    Amallia

  10. Happy Birthday! I can tell by looking at the color of this cake that it is absolutely amazing and perfect for a 40th birthday!

  11. Happy Birthday, Aimee! I remember when I was younger I thought 40 was old, but now that I’m getting to be 30, 40 doesn’t seem old at all…haha! Have a wonderful birthday celebration 🙂

  12. You make such lovely delicious cakes..beautiful pictures..thanks for sharing the recipe will certainly try this delicious cake.

  13. Aimee, continue to celebrate your life! Your timeline is close to mine; just one problem. My son didn’t co-operate. He didn’t have my one and only grandchild until he was almost 37. So, at 57 I thought of myself as an old grandmother. But, the best thing is I didn’t feel old and still don’t! Just blessed! Enjoy.

  14. STOP IT YOU ARE NOT OLD! Old is like, way way down the road. You still have all the energy to run this awesome blog and make these fantastic cakes! I think you’ll be just fine heehee. 😉 I hope you have a lovely birthday though, Aimee (with more cake!).

    1. I do have lots of energy. But the 10 cups of coffee a day might help with that 🙂 Thanks for the birthday wishes Jess!!

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