This decadent chocolate drip cake is rich, dark, and super moist. A simple secret ingredient enhances the chocolate flavor even more!
This cake is every chocoholic’s dream! It’s the ultimate chocolate layer cake!
It’s taken me a while to perfect this recipe and I honestly believe that this chocolate drip cake is THE BEST chocolate cake you’ll ever have, hands down!!!
It’s luscious and rich – absolutely DIVINE!!!
I must warn you, though! This chocolate drip cake is so tempting it’s sinful! The only way to prevent you from devouring the entire cake is to make sure you are NOT alone with it (#truestory)!!! Otherwise, you won’t stop eating it!
Just be prepared – you can’t say I didn’t warn you!
Cakes are definitely a staple in our house! You’ll always find something for everyone! Like this delicious lemon pomegranate cake, my Greek halva cake, my easy strawberry Charlotte cake with fresh strawberries, my Portokalopita – Greek orange phyllo cake, my ouzo-spiked chocolate orange cake, or my best carrot cake!
This chocolate drip cake, however, is my all-time favorite cake! It’s perfect for entertaining and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Here are a few reasons why you’ll love this cake:
- It’s rich and scrumptious.
- It’s incredibly moist and tender.
- It has an intense chocolate flavor.
- It’s not that difficult to make.
What makes this chocolate drip cake stand out?
- I use a secret ingredient that I think really improves the color and taste of the cake.
- There is NO creaming the butter for this cake! Perfect for beginner bakers!
- I also use the blooming method in both the cake AND the chocolate cream cheese frosting for the ultimate chocolate flavor. “Blooming” means adding a hot liquid (like water, oil, or coffee) to cacao powder so as to intensify the chocolate flavor. I love this method and use it quite often in my recipes, like my classic homemade brownies.
- The cake layers bake pretty flat (with a tiny dome). Also each layer is about 1 ½ inches tall, which I think is perfect for layer cakes.
What does this chocolate drip cake taste like?
This cake is rich, chocolaty and remarkably moist. The double chocolate cream cheese frosting isn’t overly sweet and the chocolate ganache drip on top adds a nice decadence to the cake!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CHOCOLATE DRIP CAKE
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: One of the secrets to making this cake with such an intense chocolate flavor, is using Dutch-process cocoa powder, instead of natural cocoa powder. To learn the difference between Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder, check out this post!
Oreo Cookies: My secret ingredient! I think they really boost the overall flavor!
Hot coffee: I don’t taste the coffee at all in the cake, but if you want to avoid coffee, just add hot water.
Light vegetable oil: I use a bit to make it moist.
Eggs: I use 2 whole eggs for this recipe.
Sugar & Salt: I use both dark brown and white sugar, as well as powdered sugar for the frosting. A little bit of salt really boosts all the flavors.
Dark Chocolate: I use semisweet couverture chocolate with cocoa solids of about 55%. I found that dark chocolate with more than 55% was a bit too bitter for me.
Baking soda & baking powder: I use a combination of both for this cake. If you’re nerdy like me, and wonder why I use both, you can read about it here!
Flour: I use regular, all-purpose flour.
Buttermilk: I make my own buttermilk and it really gives a wonderful tang to the cake, which I think pairs well with the chocolate.
Cream cheese & Butter: I use some butter and full-fat cream cheese for the frosting.
Heavy whipping cream: You need heavy whipping cream for the ganache because you’ll want to get the right consistency and I don’t think it’ll work with low-fat or fat-free cream.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE DRIP CAKE
First, start off by preparing your pans. I butter them and then dust them with cocoa powder or all-purpose flour. Then line the bottom and the sides with parchment paper (the flour will help the parchment stick to the pans). I don’t usually line the sides of the pan with other cakes, but for this cake, I found that it made the sides soft. That way, I don’t need to trim the edges before frosting.
Now make the cake layers.
Chop the chocolate up into small pieces. Try to make the pieces as small as possible so that the chocolate will melt faster.
Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, or in the microwave in 10-15-second intervals, stirring in between each increment. Then let it cool while moving on to the next step.
Mix the ground Oreo cookies, the cocoa powder, and the coffee together. Set it aside to cool down.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with the sugars, salt, the baking powder, and the baking soda.
Add the melted chocolate, the cocoa mixture, the buttermilk, the eggs, and the oil and beat until well-combined. Then distribute the batter evenly into the prepared pans. I like to weigh the batter first and then divide it by the number of pans I’m using, so I get even layers.
Then bake your cakes and let them cool completely.
TIPS FOR LEVELING THE CAKES
Leveling cakes makes a nice, even surface which is really important for stacking layers. These cakes create a slight dome on top, which you can cut off before building the layer cake (the scraps make great snacks!). After the cakes have cooled completely, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This makes leveling the tops so much easier. You could also make the cakes a day ahead and keep them in the refrigerator before leveling. I use a cake leveler, but you could use a serrated knife.
While the cake layers are cooling, make the double chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water and let it cool.
In another bowl, beat the butter and the cream cheese until creamy.
Add the cocoa mixture, the melted chocolate, and the powdered sugar. I usually do this in 2 parts. Beat with a hand mixer, starting on low speed so that the powdered sugar doesn’t fly all over the place, then increase to high. I like to put the frosting in a pastry bag because it makes a nice even layer in between the cakes.
Put half of the frosting in a piping bag without a tip and cut a small end of the bag. Put the other half of the frosting in another piping bag with your favorite tip (I use a French tip).
After that, assemble the layer cake.
On a plate or a cake stand, put one cake layer and add a thick swirl of frosting. I don’t bother using a spatula to spread it at all.
Then put the second cake layer on top and add more frosting.
Add the final cake layer on top and make sure it’s lined up straight. Add some frosting on the top and on the sides.
Then use a palette knife or scraper to cover the cake. I start from the top and work my way down the sides. Scrape off any excess frosting. Put it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes and then add more frosting. I like to smooth the frosting all around as much as possible with a few patches of cake showing through for a more rustic look.
Now, make the chocolate drip ganache.
Add the chopped chocolate and the heavy cream to a small bowl and microwave it in 10-15-second intervals. Alternatively, heat the heavy cream until tiny bubbles start to appear and then pour it over the chopped chocolate.
Keep stirring until the cream and chocolate turn into a nice, creamy chocolate mixture.
When the cream and chocolate are thoroughly combined, let the mixture cool for a few minutes so it thickens. It’ll take about 15 minutes.
When it’s the right consistency, it’ll make thick ribbons on the surface of the bowl as it falls off the spoon, as shown above.
Do a test drip to see if the consistency is right. I like to use a straight glass and see how the drips fall. If the drips stay on the glass and don’t pour down to the bottom, then I know the consistency is just right.
Finally, it’s time to add the final touches to the cake!
Add the drip ganache all around the edge of the cake. I found it easier to use a piping bag, but you could use a small squeeze bottle or even just a spoon. Just start off slow and move around the cake.
Pour the rest of your ganache on the top of the cake in the center.
Use the back of a spoon to even it out on top without going over the edge. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 so that the ganache sets. This is CRUCIAL! If you don’t let the ganache set, any frosting you put on top of it will slide right off (yes, it has happened to me before, that’s why I don’t want it to happen to you 🤭)!
Use the remaining frosting to top the cake as desired. I used a French star tip.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
You can save time by making the cake layers ahead or even freezing them for later.
This cake is best served at room temperature. If you put it in the refrigerator, take it out about half an hour before serving.
To freeze unfrosted cakes, just wrap each layer in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Then put them in individual freezer bags and label them. I usually keep them in the freezer for about a month. To thaw, leave the layers out on the kitchen counter or table at room temperature WITHOUT removing the freezer bags or plastic wrap and foil. That way I’m sure that there won’t be any condensation that could make the cakes soggy! I have never frozen frosted cakes.
The Perfect Consistency For The Chocolate Ganache
I have tried making this ganache using cup measurements instead of my digital scale and it was a disaster! You really need accuracy to get the perfect ganache! For me, a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and heavy cream is ideal. The ganache isn’t runny or too thick and gloopy.
Good quality dark chocolate is best for this recipe. My favorite is semisweet couverture chocolate with cocoa solids of about 55%.
You can keep it at room temperature for a few hours, but after that I like to store it in the refrigerator. I put it in the fridge uncovered for about 20 minutes, just to harden the frosting. Then I put it in a cake keeper or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for about 4 days (although it’s usually long gone way before that).
Now that I’ve shared all of my tips and tricks for the best chocolate drip cake, I finally feel my mission is complete! 😌
Now’s your chance to show off your new skills and amaze your family and friends!
Let me know how these chocolate drip cake turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Chocolate Drip Cake
For the cake layers
- 3oz (85g) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I use semisweet chocolate with 54% cocoa solids)
- 8 regular Oreo cookies, finely ground (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup (2oz / 55g) cocoa powder powder (I use Dutch-processed)
- 1 cup (4 fl oz / 250ml) hot strong coffee (or replace with hot water)
- 1 ½ cups (7 oz / 200g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar (3.5oz / 100g)
- 1 cup soft brown sugar, packed (7oz / 200g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk)
- ½ cup light vegetable oil
For the double cream cheese frosting
- 7oz (200g) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I use semisweet chocolate with 54% cocoa solids)
- ¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder powder (I use Dutch-processed)
- ¼ cup (30ml) hot water
- 7oz (200g) cream cheese, full-fat
- 4oz (113g) unsalted butter
- 3 ½ cups (15.5oz / 440g) powdered sugar (plus more if needed)
For the ganache drip
- 1.8oz (50g) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I use semisweet chocolate with 54% cocoa solids)
- 1.8oz (50ml) heavy whipping cream
Make the cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Butter three 6 inch pans (or two 8 inch pans) and dust with cocoa powder or flour and line the bottom and the sides with parchment paper (the flour helps to keep the parchment paper in place). Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, or in the microwave in 10-15-second intervals, stirring in between each increment. Set aside to cool.
- Mix the ground Oreo cookies, the cocoa powder, and the coffee together. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with the sugars, salt, the baking powder, and the baking soda.
- Add the melted chocolate, the cocoa mixture, the buttermilk, the eggs, and the oil and beat until well-combined using a hand mixer. The batter will be thin.
- Distribute the batter evenly among the 3 pans. (I like to weigh the batter first and divide the number by 3) and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- When they're done, remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge, flip the pans over, and tap the bottom to release the cakes (they should pop right out). Remove the parchment paper and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the double chocolate cream cheese frosting
- Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool.
- Mix the cocoa powder and the hot water together. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the butter and the cream cheese until creamy.
- Add the cocoa mixture, the melted chocolate, and the powdered sugar ( I usually do this in 2 parts) and beat with a hand mixer, starting on low speed, then increase to high. (If the frosting isn't thick enough, you could put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes or add a little bit more powdered sugar.)
- Put half of the frosting in a piping bag without a tip and cut a small end of the bag. Put the other half of the frosting in another piping bag with your favorite tip (I use a French tip).
Make the ganache drip
- Add the chopped chocolate and the heavy cream to a small bowl and microwave it in 10-15-second intervals. Alternatively, heat the heavy cream until tiny bubbles start to appear and then pour it over the chopped chocolate.
- Stir continuously until the cream and chocolate are well-combined.
- When thoroughly combined, let it sit for a few minutes so it thickens a bit, about 15 minutes.
- Do a test drip using a straight glass. When the drips stay on the glass and don’t pour down to the bottom, the consistency is just right.
Assemble the cake
- Level your cakes (I use a cake leveler).
- Place one cake layer on a plate or a cake stand, and pipe a thick swirl of frosting on top.
- Then put the second cake layer on top and repeat the process.
- Place the final cake layer on top and pipe some more frosting on the top and on the sides.
- Use a palette knife or scraper to spread the frosting over the cake. I start from the top and work my way down the sides. Scrape off any excess frosting.
- Put the cake in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes and then add more frosting and smooth it all around the cake.
- Add the drip ganache all around the edge of the cake. I found it easier to use a piping bag, but you could use a small squeeze bottle or even just a spoon.
- Pour the rest of your ganache on the top of the cake in the center.
- Use the back of a spoon to even it out on top without going over the edge.
- Put the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 so that the ganache sets.
- Frost the top of the cake with the remaining frosting.