Dark Magic Cake

This past Wednesday was my dad's birthday, so that meant I had to make a serious cake. All he said was that he wanted a "crazy chocolate cake", so I made a crazy chocolate cake.

I adapted this "crazy chocolate cake" from my Black Magic Cake. I used a mix of cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder, which is where I got the name from. This cake is indeed super chocolaty. It's three layers with lots of frosting and homemade chocolate whipped cream, which I could have eaten by the spoonful. (I may have eaten some of it by the spoonful. :P )

My original plan was to have the layers of cake with this chocolate filling I saw in a Southern Living magazine forever ago. I made this filling twice and it didn't turn out either time. First I made it with regular cocoa powder, but it was a really light brown color and I wanted it to be darker like the picture. So I made it again with dark cocoa powder (since it actually calls for dutch process cocoa powder), and it was a little darker but not much. But both times the filling turned out more like pudding and ended up running down the sides of the cake. It looked pretty cool, but it wasn't what I had envisioned.

from my Instagram: @collegiatebaker

So I laid the layers out and wiped all the filling off. It probably would have been fine with the pudding filling, but I decided to just use frosting. 

Also I had this vision of the sides of the cake being covered in chocolate flakes. Kind of like this cake, but completely covered in them. So I melted some chocolate chips down, poured it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and put it in the freezer. Then I attempted to make the "flakes", but they were too thick and immediately began melting when I touched them. Sooo, I just chopped them up and put them on top of the cake. This cake didn't turn out how I originally pictured it, but it turned out pretty great anyway!

dark magic cake

chocolate whipped cream:
For the homemade chocolate whipped cream, I used this recipe. It calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I used milk chocolate and it was wonderful. It also calls for the whipped cream to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, so make sure you read the directions carefully. I made the whipped cream the day before I made the cake and frosting and let it sit in the fridge over night.

dark magic cake:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup chocolate milk

1. Make a strong pot of coffee, at least 1 cup. 
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk them together carefully.
4. In another medium sized bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Mix well. 
5. Measure out one cup of chocolate milk, and another cup of the coffee.
6. Add half the dry ingredients, half the chocolate milk, and half the coffee to the sugar/eggs mixture. Mix until incorporated.
7. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, chocolate milk, and coffee, and mix well.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
9. Let the cakes cool for five minutes in the pan for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

dark magic frosting
1 cup butter (two sticks), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons chocolate milk
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or medium sized bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter until smooth and creamy. 
2. Add both cocoa powders, the vanilla, and one tablespoon of chocolate milk. Mix on low speed until mostly combined and then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. 
3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low speed first, and then on medium-high speed until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. At this point, if the frosting is too thick, add chocolate milk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Or if the frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. 
5. Spread or pipe onto cooled cakes. 

While I am very happy with how this cake turned out, I think I do need to warn you about just how chocolaty it is. I consider myself a chocoholic (admitting it is the first step, right?), and I think my dad considers himself a chocolate-lover too, but it's five days later and there is still some of this cake left. It's just really rich and basically over-flowing with chocolate, but if you're okay with that then it should be fine. :)

and the usual reminder:
*this blog will be moving to bethcakes.com at the end of May!*


  1. that looks amazing!! i'm definitely a chocoholic, and i'd gladly take some of that leftover cake off your hands :)

    1. haha, thanks! If it wasn't already five days old, I'd totally send it to you! ;)

  2. The cake looks beautiful, even though it's not how you envisioned it!

  3. The cake looks great! I know the feeling when a cake doesn't go quite as intended, but I think you turned it around pretty well. The chocolate pieces on top of the cake, surrounded by the chocolate whipped cream looks especially good.

    1. Thanks, Janine! It's a weird feeling, but I'm pleased with how it turned out! Besides, I'm the only one who knew what it was "supposed" to look like, so I just have to keep that in mind. haha :)

  4. I can't remember a better birthday cake. Super chocolatey especially with the pieces on top. Awesome and thank you little girl for baking it for me. :)

    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad you liked it and I hope you had an awesome birthday! :)

  5. This cake actually tasted better than it looked.....if you can imagine that!! Great photos Beth Cakes!

  6. I think this cake looks beautiful! And probably super delicious as well (:

  7. Oh my gosh ... that looks seriously delicious! Love the icing on the cake. Looks like you have to have a steady hand for that.

  8. This looks amazing, and totally like something my dad would love too. He's a major chocoholic. Despite all the issues...this looks like it turned out wonderful! :)

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! :)

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