Rating: 3.66 stars
753 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 208
  • 4 star values: 243
  • 3 star values: 181
  • 2 star values: 76
  • 1 star values: 44

This dense cake offers an intense chocolate experience, complete with fudgy frosting.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Line bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

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  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in chocolate and vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  • Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pans 15 minutes; run a knife around edge of each pan, and invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on a work surface. Place one cake on sheet, and spread top with 1/3 of ganache. Place second cake on top, and spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Using two wide metal spatulas, carefully transfer frosted cake to a serving platter.

Reviews (50)

753 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 208
  • 4 star values: 243
  • 3 star values: 181
  • 2 star values: 76
  • 1 star values: 44
Rating: 1 stars
10/13/2017
I made this precisely as instructed, but as other reviewers stated, this cake is VERY dry. It comes out of the oven smelling and looking fabulous. However, when you slice into it, the cake falls apart and crumbles. No about of ganache or milk to drink with it will help this cake. I really regret not reading more of the reviews prior to making this because I made it for my birthday. While it still tastes good, mostly due to the ganache, I don't even want to eat the rest of it.
Rating: 5 stars
08/20/2017
Trim down the bake time/temp on this otherwise delicious cake. I tossed out the first attempt due to extremely dry texture after following the recipe exactly. Second attempt dropped temp to 325 and tested with toothpick after 25 minutes -it was done!
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Rating: Unrated
03/14/2016
PLEASE READ THE REVIEWS BEFORE BAKING...Made this cake with my 5 yr old daughter. She has baking fever after watching a marathon session of the Kids Baking Championship. She wanted to bake a fancy cake. Use real chocolate. So after a google search we tried this. SO DRY! The reviewers are correct. With so many dry/bad reviews it makes me wonder if the Stewart team are reading the comments. They should and adjust the recipe or explain what we all are doing wrong!
Rating: 1 stars
02/14/2016
Wish I had read all of the reviews - this cake is SO DRY. I threw the whole thing out and started all over with another recipe. An expensive waste of ingredients. Any cake with 4 egg yolks is not going to come out moist.
Rating: 1 stars
06/16/2015
I have always loved Martha Stewart recipes until this one. Crumbly and dry even though I baked for only 30 minutes. Made for my sister's 40 th anniversary and got the notion it just felt dry, when removed cakes from pans. So I made a different MS recipe for her which turned out beautifully. My family had this one tonight and even with sugar syrup and icing added, it is still dry and crumbly. Expensive experiment with the amount of chocolate, cocoa and butter. Reviews stating dry are correct.
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Rating: 2 stars
09/13/2014
Other reviewers have called this cake "dry." I read the reviews while it was in the oven (at 325 degrees) so I removed it early, and it is not dry, exactly. It's ... powdery. It's moist enough, but the crumb is all wrong. It doesn't hold together well. When I cut it, the crumbs were very small and there were a lot of them, and mouthfeel is weird. Maybe the cocoa didn't dissolve? That doesn't make sense. Anyway, I'm not serving it to my guests, but I'll freeze it for family use with ice cream.
Rating: Unrated
02/13/2014
We just finished this up, AMAZING CAKE!! This will be our go to recipe. We just baked it about 10 minutes less, and spooned it into the pan, & spread it even. It was picture perfect when we flipped it out. Will definitly use over again.
Rating: Unrated
01/09/2014
This cake is extremely dry!!! I get that it is supposed to be a dense dark chocolate cake but it is so much to the point that it makes it tragically dry. I am not even sure why it comes out so dry, but I am guessing the lack of milk maybe. I was expecting it to come out moist and dense, like a brownie but this was just not good. Maybe it's ok with a huge scoop of ice cream to make it go down...i don't know. Other than a good chocolate flavor, this cake was not impressive.
Rating: Unrated
01/05/2014
I lovingly made this for my boyfriend's birthday and followed directions to a tee, but it was so dry. Disappointed in the dryness.
Rating: Unrated
11/27/2013
My cake was ruined too. Waayyyyy too dry. And the ganache - I love ganache but in my opinion this was too bitter. Unfortunately I am dumping it ALL. :( Very disappointed.
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2013
This cake has a delicious, rich chocolate flavour & the ganache is outstanding. Unfortunately, the baking time listed is FAR too long & resulted in a seriously dried out cake. I'd suggest baking it for 20-25 minutes. I was so disappointed have ruined the cake for something as simple as baking time. Wish I had read followed my instincts & not the recipe!
Rating: 2 stars
11/03/2013
Made this cake today, triple checked the recipe. Batter was very thick and did not pour out of bowl. Baked for 40 minutes and tested done. Cake was very dry and not good. The ganache frosting was good. Will use that frosting, but will keep searching for a good chocolate cake recipe, this one isn't it.
Rating: Unrated
09/25/2013
I haven't had a forkful of this quite yet but can't resist commenting. I used 9" pans, dropped the temp a bit to 325 because my oven can be hot, and in 22 minutes, the toothpick test showed me it was done. I expected it to be less time because it was a little thinner, but this was much less time. So watch carefully, the posted time is no doubt too long with all the earlier "dry" comments.
Rating: Unrated
06/16/2013
Really good. This cake got devoured in no time. I baked it about 5 minutes less than what the recipe called for, because a lot of people were complaining about how dry the cake was.
Rating: 5 stars
03/04/2013
This is by far the best chocolate cake recipe I use. I bake all my cakes at 325 and adjust the time accordingly. If you use a heating element in your pans and adjust the bake time to work with your oven, this cake is not dry at all. It is very dense, almost brownie like. Amazing!
Rating: Unrated
10/29/2012
Can i beat the batter without mixer but by hand instead?
Rating: Unrated
09/01/2012
I made this cake yesterday, and only read the reviews once I had finished the mixture and was about to put it in the tins. It was at that point I noticed the mixture was nowhere near Fluid enough to pour into the cake tins, which seemed to match others complaints of it being far too dry. So using a hand mixer, I proceeded to add two shots of espresso of 90ml each and about 1/3 cup more milk (full cream milk, not buttermilk). The end result was delicious and not too dry at all. Yummy!
Rating: Unrated
06/15/2012
I haven't used this exact recipe but I make one just like it. After reading reviews about the dryness, I would like to share the liquid ingredients in the cake that I make: 1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee, 1 1/2 c. buttermilk, 3/4 c vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 3 c sugar, 2 1/2 c flour, 1 1/2 c cocoa, 3/4 tsp BP, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 c fine quality semi-sweet chocolate. I make this every year for my daughter's birthday.......expensive but well worth it!
Rating: Unrated
06/02/2012
I'm a novice baker so I followed the recipe very closely without making any adjustments. My family loved the icing but everyone agreed that the cake was simply too dry. Great flavor but absolutely no moisture. Like another reviewer said- I ended up serving it with ice cream to offset the dryness. Unfortunately I didn't read the reviews before making the cake or I would have avoided the recipe all together. On a positive note, I really loved the ganache and definitely will make that again!
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2012
How I wished I had read the reviews before making this cake. I like to cook and do not consider myself a novice in the kitchen. Tried of my fail proof chocolate cake I opt to make this one. Dry cake, very dry. I had to serve Hit with ice cream. The ganache whipped up beautifully but it was to cold to spread. I let sit out and still had trouble spreading it on the cake. {Not to mention the $20.00 on just the bittersweet chocolate} Still learning
Rating: 1 stars
01/19/2012
I followed this recipe to a tee and though the icing was divine, the cake was horrible. It was dry and taste like flour. I was too embarrassed to serve it to anyone so I trashed the whole thing. I had such high hopes! Oh well, money and time down the drain.
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2011
thank you..
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2011
thank you..
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2011
thank you..
Rating: Unrated
12/15/2011
For the frosting I used the Quick Chocolate Frosting recipe instead of the Ganache - since I needed something I could find all of the ingrediants for and it worked really well with the cake.
Rating: Unrated
12/15/2011
Just wanted to say that I baked this cake in Uganda, using local ingredients, without an electric beater (I used a wire whisk), in a gas oven with the temperature reading in celcius instead of farenheit and it turned out amazing! It was the first chocolate cake I've ever made - I made it for my husband's birthday since its not possible to buy cake mix here and everyone loved it. It was very rich and delicious. Thanks so much to whoever posted this recipe!
Rating: Unrated
11/28/2011
I baked this cake for my husband's birthday, we both agreed it was a little dry and too dense, almost like a cakey brownie. Although we were not happy with that, the ganache was really great.
Rating: Unrated
09/26/2011
This cake turn out absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it! I made a few modifications, though: First, I made it with three layers instead of two, secondly, I used some rum to moist the cake and thirdly I added a thin layer of strawberry marmalade between layers (along with the ganache). But most important of all, I let it rest 24 hours before serving, so it was rich and moist.
Rating: Unrated
09/12/2011
I know some have said they had issues with the texture and flavour of the cake and icing but mine was DIVINE! My guests couldn't stop raving about it and none of us could stop eating it. It was beyond worth the effort and time.
Rating: Unrated
06/30/2011
I made this cake in June 2011. The cake was dry and sumwhat flavor-less (no, I did not over cook it). The frosting wasn't chocolately, that is hard to say after I put tons of chocolate in it, but it didnt taste right. The household of four people all agree that something was "off" with this cake. Considering it took a lot of time to make, with odd ingredients that I had to go to the store for... it WAS NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!
Rating: Unrated
05/29/2011
I tried this recipe wit regular cocoa powder and 9 inch pans. The batter was glue consistency and the cake turned out dry. Thankfully I incorporated a raspberry glaze and lemon curd layer. The ganache was heavenly.
Rating: Unrated
04/08/2011
This recipe is amazing. When I made it, everyone loved it. it was the best cake i have ever made. It turned out exactly as expected: rich, dense and dark. Simply brilliant!
Rating: Unrated
04/07/2011
I made this for my son's birthday. The chocolate flavor is great, I know it is a dense cake, but it came out dry & I really wanted a moist cake. My son loved it.
Rating: Unrated
04/06/2011
Where are the ingredients and recipe for the ganache?
Rating: Unrated
03/11/2011
Sounds Good!
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2011
i loved it.perfect
Rating: Unrated
02/08/2011
I wonder if scoring holes in the cake and adding kahlua, irish cream, cointreau, or grand marnier would add more to this cake? Also, added to the frosting? I believe, that 250 grams of butter is just a little more than 1 cup of butter.
Rating: Unrated
02/08/2011
What is the best recipe for a super moist chocolate cake? I used to have this recipe for a chocolate mayonnaise cake, which was really really good!
Rating: Unrated
09/26/2010
I was very disappointed in this recipe. I agree with another contributor's comment: It produced a very, very, dry cake with a brownie-like tough top that fell apart while removing from the pans. I would never make it again.
Rating: Unrated
09/15/2010
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans I cup unsalted butter does it equivalent to 250gm ??? Please xplain to me.... Regards.... Marz Suhaimmx
Rating: Unrated
09/10/2010
Honestly I prefer this Vegan recipe, I'm not even Vegan I just love it http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/desserts-a-goodies-/vegan-triple-layer-chocolate-cream-cake
Rating: Unrated
07/21/2010
Unfortunately, this recipe is not a splendid as MS, herself. And I'm surprised she allowed it to be on her website. I baked this cake the night before my mother-in-law's birthday, and served a dry cake for the celebration. I am an avid baker and use discretion with baking times as I consider varying oven temps. I checked it after 35 minutes, and the cake was not done. Though, the full 40 minutes produced a dry cake with brownie like crust around the rim.
Rating: Unrated
04/29/2010
you'r a marvelous person.I learned much from hand crafts,recipes and organize the house.thanks alot
Rating: Unrated
04/15/2010
I agree with saucier-rob that the cake is delicious if you don't overbake it. I baked the cake for 30 minutes and it was perfect. I also used Martha Stewarts' ganance frosting recipe instead of the one that goes with this cake. All that confectionary sugar doesn't make sense and creates too thick of a frosting. With a few modifications the cake turned out yummy!
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
I agree with EWjunk - this cake was WAY too dry - and I too did not over bake it. When I got done mixing together the batter, it was like thick mud, and the resulting cake was like a dry brownie. I ended up throwing the whole thing out because it was simply unedible. This is a major FAIL of a recipe. And a waste of $25 for me.
Rating: Unrated
07/21/2009
My husband and my kids were in the mood for chocolate cake and then I cam across this recipe and everyone like the way it look. So I made it and I got rave reviews from my kids, but since my husband is not a chocoholic he was not pleased. He enjoyed it but probably won't have seconds.
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2009
I made this cake for my husbands b-day party and it was a great hit. All the cake was gone.
Rating: Unrated
11/04/2008
I found this cake disappointingly dry and crumbly - great flavor but not moist enough (it was not overbaked). I found the ganache "too much" - everyone I served this cake to said the ganache was delicious but left half of it on their plates. It's just too rich and too much of it. Normally a ganache is a thin coating on a dessert, not a huge plop on top of it! Also, it might cut some of the richness if one used a sweeter chocolate than bittersweet.
Rating: Unrated
10/17/2008
Delicious cake, especially the frosting. When baking the cake, I noticed that my cake was finished much sooner than 40 minutes, more like 35.