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A large chocolate cake on white cake plate. The cake is drizzled with chocolate ganache and covered with frosting rosettes.

Easy Chocolate Drip Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 28 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This Chocolate Cake Recipe truly is the BEST EVER! You HAVE TO try it! It’s a 3-layer, super moist chocolate cake with a rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate buttercream frosting. And to top it all off, this cake is covered with a chocolate ganache drip. It’s chocolate overload and you won’t regret it.


For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup (40 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder  (optional)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the frosting:

  • 3 cups (689g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 ½ cups (167g) cocoa powder (natural unsweetened or dutch processed)
  • 910 (1171 g) cups powdered sugar
  • 34 tablespoons (44-58ml) eavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

For the ganache:

  • 2 ounces (56g) dark chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons (88ml) heavy whipping cream


For the cake: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare the bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. To the batter, alternate adding half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Rotate your pans in the oven halfway through baking. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting: 

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color. Next, beat the cocoa powder into the butter until well mixed.
  2. Alternate adding 2-3 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt as needed. Ensure all the powdered sugar is well combined and beat for 2-3 minutes before adding additional powdered sugar.
  3. Once all ingredients have been added, whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is light and airy. If the frosting is too thick, add additional heavy whipping cream 1/2 tablespoon at a time.

For the chocolate ganache: 

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and heavy whipping cream. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments and stir until completely combined. Allow to cool.

To assemble this cake: 

  1. Level the cake layer by removing any domes. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake over that.
  2. Pipe the first layer of frosting, pipe in circles working outside edge to the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake and add the remaining frosting. Place the third layer of cake on top.
  3. Use your offset spatula to press any excess frosting onto the edges of the cake. To finish, pipe the frosting along the outside edge of the cake using a large open round tip or a cake icer tip. Then use an offset spatula or icing smoother to create a smooth edge. Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle the ganache along the edges of the cake. Allow the ganache to set completely. To pipe, the rosettes on top, use a large piping bag, fill the piping bag with the remaining frosting, and pipe the border of the cake. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles. 


Ingredient substitutions:

  • Sour cream  I recommend substituting with non-fat Greek yogurt. The recipe calls for light sour cream, but you can also use full-fat sour cream.
  • Brewed Coffee: I recommend using milk instead, but only if needed.
  • Cocoa powder: I prefer to use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder for the cake and regular or dutch processed cocoa powder for the frosting.

Storing a finished cake: This cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container such as a cake carrier. If you live in a hot or humid environment, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature. This cake can be made up to 2 days in advance if stored properly.

Preparing in advance:  Prepare the cake layers up to 2 days in advance. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap with a piece of parchment paper on the top and bottom of the cake layer. Or these can also be stored in an airtight container. Cake layers can also be frozen, double wrap in plastic wrap. The frosting can also be prepared 1-2 days in advance, and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. You’ll need to remix it prior to using it.

Cake Pan Sizes:

  • For two 9-inch cakes, they baked from 28-32 minutes. Baking times will vary due to how full the pans are, type of pans and true oven temperature. Please note these did “crust” a little more on the outside edge due to extended baking times and they rose quite a bite in the middle, so you’ll lose more of the “dome” of the cake.
  • For two 8-inch cakes, this should be baked for approximately 25-30 minutes, and about 2 1/4 cups of batter per pan and 1 batch of my best chocolate frosting.
  • For 6-inch pans: a full recipe will make four 6-inch layers, filling each one with about 1 1/3 cup of batter and baking for approximately 22-28 minutes.
  • For 10 inch pans: I’ve never tested this with 10 inch pans, but I would recommend a 2 layer cake so you still have nice, thick layers. Trying baking for 18-20 minutes and assessing additional time needed from there


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1178
  • Sugar: 123.2g
  • Sodium: 391.9mg
  • Fat: 65.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 42.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 151g
  • Fiber: 5.2g
  • Protein: 7.9g
  • Cholesterol: 186.3mg