Prep Time
30 Mins
Bake Time
30 Mins
Cool Time
10 Mins
Makes 12 to 14 servings

This impressive chocolate cake recipe features three layers of tender chocolate cake and two layers of creamy mocha-chocolate filling covered in a rich chocolate-coffee ganache. The fourth element of chocolate is the garnish of chocolate curls that are sprinkled on top of the cake.

How to Make It

Step 1

Coat 3 (8-inch) round cakepans with cooking spray. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper; grease wax paper with shortening, and set aside.

Step 2

Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth; set aside.

Step 3

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.

Step 4

Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 4 tablespoons Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing. Spread half of Mocha-Chocolate Cream Filling evenly over ganache on cake layer. Top with second cake layer; spread top with 4 tablespoons Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing and remaining Mocha-Chocolate Cream Filling. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Chef's Notes

If you don't want to use the chocolate liqueur in the glaze, you can substitute  2 tablespoons of sweetened coffee.

Ratings & Reviews

sisterfanns's Review

December 27, 2014
It tastes lovely, but my mocha cream filling separated! I recall that my grandmother's similar cooked-flour icing used to do the same thing. Any ideas for how to keep that from happening?

unknown222's Review

November 21, 2013

Bouganvilleafan's Review

September 06, 2013
Second try and still ganache would not thicken. Will try suggestion of another reviewer and use mixer to hasten process. Great flavor. Cake still slides apart. Used bamboo skewers to hold it together. Probably due to runny ganache. Will not give up as it is the best choc. cake.

nadjanovotny's Review

June 23, 2013
This cake was a hit! Extremely moist, delicious and perfect for a chocoholic like me! To solve the dryness issues I had read about in the previous reviews, I substituted the butter for vegetable oil. This cake was pretty time consuming, but if you have some time on your hand it's a definite must-make

RRobin220's Review

December 30, 2012

ammycek's Review

December 06, 2012

user's Review

September 01, 2012
Marvelous cake definitely for a special occasion. There's nothing difficult about this recipe but it takes a great deal of time. Some scratch cakes are dryer than cake mix cakes (which I hate to admit)--not this one. I used Ghiradelli chocolate bars (opposed to my usual Baker's baking chocolate and they're the size/ounce the recipe refers to). Had I not used them, I would have been confused about exactly what the recipe called for. I also use only unsalted butter (noting the complaint from another reviewer). The cake was wonderfully moist and the flavor is delicious. I made the recipe exactly and wouldn't change a thing, except perhaps find a stronger liqueur for the ganache. The ganache takes time to thicken--more than the recipe states--but I waited and it thickened to a perfect, frosting-like consistency. The mocha filling and ganache aren't overly sweet which nicely complements the cake. An adult-style, elegant dessert.

lauramurff's Review

August 06, 2012
Love the cake. I would recommend making this cake for a birthday for sure. I followed the directions exactly. We had a cook out at my daughters steaks, potatoes and I brought desert. The cake was a hit we served it with a side of vanilla ice cream.

ClairesNana's Review

May 06, 2012
Followed the recipe EXACTLY. The cake was dry, and as one other reviewer stated, the way the choc. amounts are given is hard to understand. If I make again, I will double the choc. to 4oz. of each to see if it helps the dryness (even my hubby commented on how dry it was). The mocha filling was the perfect consistency but tasted like salty coffee. It should call for unsalted butter. The ganache was delicious - just the right amount and consistency. The cake needs to be refrigerated so the ganache and mocha filling don't get soft.

bloomingagain's Review

March 13, 2012
This is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten, hands down. Its not that difficult to make either. I've made it twice now. The first time I made it I didn't think the ganache was going to be easy to work with, so I added about 1/3 cup of cream to the ganache and beat it until it was more of an icing consistency. Awesomeness on a plate. I also didn't use cake flour, but I couldn't tell that that made any difference. The filling is so good there's no single word to sufficiently describe it. Worth every calorie!