Black Magic Chocolate Cake is all that and more. Moist, rich and covered in a layer of dark chocolate, this has become my go-to cake despite the preparation time. Plus, my friends like this one the best out of all the cakes I make.

I’m going to admit up front, this cake takes a lot longer to make than others because the frosting has to be refrigerated for up to two hours. I learned this the hard way.

I discovered this cake on Pinterest when I had a dinner party to attend. I was asked to bring dessert which is usually not a problem for me.   However, this dinner party involved foodies with sophisticated tastes and I needed something over and above what I usually make. Looking for a “wow” factor, and based on the ingredients I already had on hand, I decided on Black Magic Chocolate Cake.

Unfortunately on the day of the dinner party, I had a to-do list a mile long, including homework that was due. I didn’t have time to go to the store, let alone make something that required a lot of time. I based my choice, as I said, not only on ingredients I had on hand, but also based on the preparation time.

Two hours before I was supposed to be at the party, I started the cake. Cakes generally don’t take long to make and I thought my timing was good until I got to the frosting instructions — refrigerate for one hour, stir and refrigerate for another hour. I panicked. I had thirty minutes left before I had to leave. So, I did what every other sane person would do and packed up the two layers of cake, the bowl of frosting and left.  After all, who doesn’t walk into a dinner party with an un-assembled cake?   Having attended a dinner party similar to this one before, I knew it would be at least four hours before we even got to dessert.

Despite having to finish the cake during the dinner party, it was a big hit and worth all of the time and effort.

I adapted the original recipe from (Links to an external site.). Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips as the original recipe calls for, I use dark chocolate chips. In addition, I found that the chocolate chips don’t need to be cut into smaller pieces (they can be left whole). Further, it makes sense to start the frosting first and make the cake during the refrigeration time. This step cuts the preparation time to two hours instead of the 2 hours 50 minutes it would take by following the original recipe.

If you’re new to baking, heavy whipping cream is found in the dairy aisle next to the milk and the buttermilk. One pint each of heavy whipping cream and buttermilk is sufficient for this recipe. Another tip I learned along the way is to substitute cocoa powder in place of flour when buttering and flouring the pans before pouring the batter in. The cocoa powder blends in with the dark color of the chocolate cake to avoid the floury look on the sides of the cake when you take it out of the pan.

Don’t skip flouring the pan. I made this cake in order to take pictures of it to go with this column and admittedly I forgot to flour the pans. Obviously, I shouldn’t bake and compose an article in my head at the same time. Needless to say, half of the cake stayed in the pans. I plan to use frosting to “glue” them back together. All is not lost though. I know the cake itself is going to be fabulous no matter what it looks like.


Instructions and Ingredients

Black Magic Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Diethood

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus two hours chill time for frosting

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes (frosting requires two hours of refrigeration)



butter for pans

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup brewed strong black coffee

½ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

1 bag (12-ounces) dark chocolate chips

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 stick butter


Prepare frosting first

1.  Place chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

2.  Place whipping cream and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat to just a boil.

3.  Pour cream mixture over chocolate; whisk vigorously until chocolate is melted and smooth.4.

4.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

5.  Remove from refrigerator and stir; refrigerate about one hour more or until spreading consistency.

Prepare cake while frosting chills

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Butter and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

4.  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

5.  Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for about two minutes. You should have thin batter.

6.  Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

7.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8.  Cool 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to wire racks.

9.  Cool completely before frosting.

10. Spread about ¼ to 1/3 of frosting on one cake layer; top with the other cake layer and spread frosting on top and sides of cake.

11. Cut and serve.