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+ servings

Ultimate Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

A triple layer devil's chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting partially covered with mini chocolate chips.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, delicious chocolate cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings (6" 3-layer cake)
Calories 377 kcal


  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or make your own with milk and vinegar, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream depending on consistency desired
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Garnish (optional):

  • 1-1/2 - 2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • chocolate shavings


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 6" or two 8" round cake pans by spraying with baking spray, dust with cocoa powder and shake out the excess. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes until smooth.
  4. Reduce speed and slowly add boiling water to the cake batter. Turn mixer to high and beat for about 1 minute until ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

  7. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  8. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the sifted cocoa powder and sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat until sugar/cocoa until combined.
  9. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla and cream 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until smooth.
  10. Switch to high speed and beat for 1 minute. You may need to add more cream or more powdered sugar depending on consistency desired or if you'd like to increase the frosting's thickness. Taste, and add salt to taste.
  11. Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand.
  12. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with about 1/2 - 2/3 cup frosting.
  13. Place the second layer evenly on top, and press down gently so cake layers stick.
  14. Spread another 1/2 - 2/3 frosting evenly on the top.
  15. Position the third layer, bottom side up, on top of the frosted layer and add frosting to the top and sides of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting (the crumb coat).
  16. Refrigerate the cake for about 15 minutes to let the crumb coat set up.
  17. Ice the sides and top of the cake with the finishing coat.
  18. Decorate with chocolate chips or as desired.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can also make a two layer 8 inch or 9 inch cake.
The 8" inch cake will have taller layers.

Frosting amount is enough to frost a 9" inch 3 layer cake generously. You may have some leftover which can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

If frosting appears too dry, add more cream, one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Cake recipe adapted from Hershey's

Nutrition Facts
Ultimate Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/12 cake))
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 202mg8%
Potassium 273mg8%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 410IU8%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.