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Black Magic Cake

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a slice of Black Magic Cake on a plate
This black magic cake is a chocolate lover’s dream—a luscious chocolate flavor in a spongy and soft two-layer cake covered in a smooth ganache frosting.
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Table of Contents
  1. Black Magic Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Black Magic Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This divine black magic cake is bursting with decadent and rich chocolate flavor and it is absolutely sublime and SO moist. The coffee undertones enhance the deep chocolate taste for a sinful treat you will want to make again and again. 

close up shot of a slice of black magic cake on a plate

Black Magic Cake Ingredients

black magic cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup black coffee (or 2 shots of espresso with water added to make 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

For the Ganache

  • 12 ounces of dark chocolate chips 
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BUTTERMILK: You can make your own buttermilk using whole or 2% milk and lemon juice or distilled white vinegar. For every 1 cup of regular milk, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

CAKE FROSTING: While this cake is traditionally iced with chocolate ganache frosting, you could choose your favorite frosting flavor to frost the cake. Vanilla frosting or even a cream cheese frosting would work well. Add a few drops of food coloring to a white frosting for a fun color if this cake is for a child’s birthday.

DRIED CHERRIES: Cherry is such a fantastic combination with chocolate. Add 1 cup of dried cherries to the cake batter for a hint of cherry in every bite.

How To Make This Black Magic Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

STEP THREE: Add the milk, eggs, coffee, vanilla extract, and oil into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Turn the electric mixer on to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through mixing.

black magic cake process shot of ingredients in a measuring cup

STEP FOUR: Divide the batter between the two 8-inch round cake pans lined on the bottom with parchment paper and sprayed around the sides with non-stick cooking spray.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Ideally, you should use shiny pans rather than dark pans for this recipe, as the dark pans can cause your chocolate cake to brown too early around the edges.

You can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the pans easier.

black magic cake process shot of batter in pans

STEP FIVE: Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out with just a few crumbs.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

STEP SIX: Cool the cakes for 10 to 15 minutes in their pans and then remove them from the pans to cool the rest of the way on wire racks.

STEP SEVEN: When the cake is cooled, prepare the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan or a microwave-safe container until steaming. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Cover with a plate for 2 to 3 minutes to contain the heat and allow the chocolate chips to soften. Whisk the melted chocolate until the mixture forms a smooth, glossy ganache.

cream poured over the chocolate chip and then whisked in a cup

STEP EIGHT: Level the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife.

black magic cake process shot of cakes being leveled with a knife

STEP NINE: Pour about ½ cup of the ganache over the top of one cake layer and spread just to the edges to form the filling.

PRO TIP:

Place the cake on a cooling rack over a baking sheet when pouring the ganache so that the drips are caught on the cookie sheet for easy cleanup.

black magic cake process shot of chocolate ganache being smooth over cake

STEP TEN: Stack the second cake layer, top-down, onto the ganache layer. Pour the extra ganache over the top of the cake.

black magic cake process shot of chocolate ganche being poured over cake

STEP ELEVEN: Use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache down and around the sides. For an extra smooth ganache, allow the ganache to cool for about 15 minutes and then smooth out with the offset spatula.

black magic cake process shot of chocolate ganache being spread over cake with a spatula

How To Serve

Serve this heavenly cake for dessert for a special occasion or for no reason at all. Top your piece of cake with whipped cream and serve a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Chocolate cake is such an indulgent treat, and we have a few for you to test out. Try our German chocolate cake or chocolate mayonnaise cake for an easy chocolate cake recipe.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Cover this black magic cake with chocolate ganache using plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

IN THE FREEZER: This rich cake freezes well for up to 3 months. Seal in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap before freezing.

close up shot of black magic cake with a slice taken out of it

Originally a Hershey’s cake recipe, this is the best chocolate cake recipe ever. The buttermilk gives the cake a moist texture every time, and the inclusion of coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate. Throw this black magic cake recipe together the next time you are looking for a delicious dessert to whip up.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What makes this dense chocolate cake so moist?

The buttermilk and oil make this black magic chocolate cake extra moist.

Can this chocolate cake be frozen?

You can freeze this moist chocolate cake for up to 3 months.

Can I use a bundt pan for this recipe?

You can use a bundt pan for this recipe; just increase the baking time to 50 to 55 minutes and make sure a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

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a slice of Black Magic Cake on a plate

Black Magic Cake

5 from 2 votes
This black magic cake is a chocolate lover’s dream—a luscious chocolate flavor in a spongy and soft two-layer cake covered in a smooth ganache frosting.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup black coffee or 2 shots of espresso with water added to make 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Ganache

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer.
  • Add the milk, eggs, coffee, vanilla, and oil into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Turn the mixer on to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through mixing.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Cool the cakes for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
  • When the cake is cooled, prepare the ganache.
  • Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan or a microwave-safe container until steaming. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Cover with a plate for 2 to 3 minutes to contain the heat and allow the chocolate chips to soften.
  • Whisk until the mixture forms a smooth, glossy ganache.
  • Level the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife.
  • Pour about ½ cup of the ganache over the top of one cake layer and spread just to the edges to form the filling. Stack the second cake layer, top-down, onto the ganache layer.
  • Pour the extra ganache over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache down and around the sides. For the extra smooth ganache, allow the ganache to cool for about 15 minutes and then smooth out with the offset spatula.

Video

Notes

  • Ideally, you should use shiny pans rather than dark pans for this recipe, as the dark pans can cause your chocolate cake to brown too early around the edges.
  • You can buy pre-cut parchment paper rounds to make lining the round pans easier.
  • Place the cake on a cooling rack over a baking sheet when pouring the ganache so that the drips are caught on the cookie sheet for easy cleanup.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Susan Gartin says

    5 stars
    This has to be the best chocolate cake ever! I was a little concerned because the batter seemed so thin, no worries! After 6 days the crumbs in the 13×9 pan were still moist. I will never go back to any other chocolate cake recipe. Hubby asked for no frosting it’s so good!

  2. Susan says

    This is a really moist cake,
    For a change I substitute the coffee for Orange Crush pop or Orange Fanta pop. Orange cream cheese butter icing with orange zest or marmalade is delicious.