Death by Chocolate Cake

/// September 15th, 2016

This Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

What in the world could possibly be better than homemade chocolate cake? DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKE. That’s what!

This sinfully decadent dessert begins with three luscious layers of chocolate cake. Each layer is slathered in rich chocolate buttercream, then enrobed in a layer of hot fudge. Finally, the entire cake is coated with chocolate shavings, then sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.

Chocolate HEAVEN ↓

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

P.S. This cake may look fancy, but I promise it’s simple enough for anyone to throw together! I timed myself the last time I baked this and, much to my surprise, found I had it baked, frosted, and ready to be served in less than 2 hours. Not too shabby!

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • For the hot fudge layer you can make your own, or use your favorite store-bought brand. I used this dark chocolate hot fudge sauce and was very happy with the results.
  • I suggest using high-quality chocolate for the chocolate chips and shaved chocolate. I love Ghirardelli mini chips as well as their 72% dark chocolate and used both in this recipe.
  • This recipe calls for vegetable oil, but you may use an equal amount of melted coconut oil in its place, if preferred. I do not recommend substituting oil with melted butter.
  • For best results, make sure your eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, and milk have all come to room temperature before you begin baking.
  • When you measure your flour, be sure you’re not packing it into the measuring cup. Packed flour will yield a dense and dry cake.
  • The cake layers should all be baked on the middle rack of your oven. If there’s not enough room in your oven to bake them all in an even row at once, you can bake them in two batches.
  • For the rich chocolate frosting, you’ll want to make sure your butter is VERY soft before creaming it.
  • The cakes should be completely cooled before adding the frosting and hot fudge sauce.
  • The assembly is a two part process: you’ll place one cake level on a large plate, top it with a thin layer of frosting, then add the hot fudge, then add another cake level and repeat. Once you’ve added the final cake level you’ll want to leave the top bare and place the cake in the fridge to set for one hour. Once it’s set, you can finish frosting it and add the edible decorations.

This cake is literally chocolate on chocolate on chocolate on more chocolate. This cake is intense. This cake is a chocolate lovers paradise.

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

Next time you’re craving chocolate, treat yourself to this death by chocolate cake. Trust me, you’ll love it. And it’ll keep, covered in the fridge, for about a week. Meaning you could technically eat death by chocolate cake 7 nights in a row. A blessing and a curse if you know what I mean 😉

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day ♥

This 3-layer Death by Chocolate Cake is for SERIOUS chocolate lovers only!

Death by Chocolate Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 9" Layer Cake; 8 large slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

This triple layer Death by Chocolate Cake is a must try for serious chocolate lovers.


  • For the chocolate cake:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (not packed!)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (you may also sub in melted coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • For the chocolate frosting:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks, 16 ounces), VERY soft
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce
  • Garnish:
  • 1 cup hot fudge sauce sauce (please see post for more on this)
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, shaved
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips


  1. For the chocolate cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°(F). Cut out three 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans with. Spray each pan generously - sides and bottom - with nonstick cooking spray, then place the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pans and spray again. It's important to make sure every bit of pan and paper are sprayed so your cakes don't get stuck. Set pans aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use your hands to break up any large clumps, if needed. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract; mix until completely combined. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated. Pour in hot water and continue mixing until completely combined; about 1 minute. The batter will quite thin. Quickly fold in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pans and transferring to a cooling rack. Cool cakes completely before frosting.
  5. For the chocolate frosting:
  6. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric beater, cream the softened butter on medium-speed until completely smooth; about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar/cocoa have been absorbed by the butter; about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium; add in vanilla extract, salt, heavy cream and hot fudge; beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting appears a little too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar; If your frosting needs to be thinner, add additional heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  7. Assembly:
  8. Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake, making each one an even, level surface. Transfer 1 layer to a large plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top, then add a 1/2 cup of hot fudge sauce; top with another cake layer, and repeat, thinly spread it with a layer of frosting, then adding a 1/2 cup of hot fudge sauce. Top with the final cake layer and place cake in the fridge to set for 1 hour. Once set, finishing frosting the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the sides and top with chocolate shavings, then gently press the mini chocolate chips around the sides and on the top. Slice and serve, or keep refrigerated for about a week.

22 thoughts on “Death by Chocolate Cake

  1. Tara

    Hi! Looks great!
    I have a chocolate cake recipe that calls for hot coffee…. Could I replace the hot water with hot coffee in this recipe?

    1. J.R

      Today is my second time making this cake, the first time we couldn’t stop eating it!!
      My kids love it and my husband said not to make this again….LOL….BEST CHOLATE CAKE EVER!!!!!!!!!

  2. Aishwarya

    This cake looks amazing.. But I don’t want a cake as big.. Can I just halve all measurements?
    can’t wait to try it

    1. Jo

      I would like to bake this cake for my husband birthday. He is a chocolate lover, can you please give the recipe in smaller size and in grams ?


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