Cake Slice

The Five Chocolates Chocolate Cake

Wrapped boxes, colorful bags and cards hinting at treasure. Bows of all sizes, ribbons of all colors and eager smiles wrap gifts and faces. Excited fingers carefully slice open envelopes. Scanning eyes pretend to read notes of celebration, the imagination still guessing what hides behind carefully constructed presents. With the card read, its usefulness long gone, I toss it off to the side carelessly letting it fall to the ground.

“Can I open the present now?” a young me would inquire. “Thank your grandmother for the nice card first, Russell,” my mother would insist. “Thanks grandma. Can I open the present now?”

A smirk from my parents was all I needed. My small hands rip into the first gift. Another card read and another gift ripped open. A pile of shredded, shiny wrapping paper litters the ground at my small feet wrapped in velcro shoes–laces far to complicated for my five year old self. I neglect guests to play with my booty from the day.

Birthdays evolve. Piles of gifts shrink. The value of gifts increase. Puzzles and coloring books become video games and movies. Video games become computers and cell phones. Model cars become real cars. Soon favorite books, mementos hinting at an inside joke and carefully constructed cards become the norm. Less paper to rip to shreds, excitement still abounds.

One thing never changes. Cake. Favorite flavors evolve, shapes and designs mature but there is always cake waiting. After wrapping is shredded, toys played with, the first ever call made, or first ever drive around the block, cake is waiting.

This weekend I celebrated two birthdays. First, for my best friend and business partner, Alicia and second, my father. Even though one is on a carb-free diet and the other out of town, I decided cake was still in order. They may not have had any but I made sure to enjoy a slice or two for them. So, happy birthday Alicia! Happy birthday dad! I hope you like this cake I baked you, because I sure did!

This five chocolates chocolate cake is all about chocolate. Cocoa powder, milk chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate make an appearance in it. If you love chocolate, there is little doubt you will love this trek into chocolate. As a kid my favorite was without a doubt milk chocolate–I would never dare touch dark chocolate–, but tastes change over time. Now I love savoring a bar of 80% cocoa and I adore putting chunks of 100% cocoa in my cookies. This cake has a mix of it all. The cake is chocolatey, moist and sweet. The dark chocolate filling is rich and chocolatey. The milk chocolate frosting is sweet and creamy. The super dark chocolate ganache is decadently rich. On top I’ve sprinkled white chocolate shavings to add a little sweetness.  With each bite you get layers of chocolate on chocolate on more delicious, perfect chocolate.

If you don’t want to do the three different icings you can pick one and just use that one. This cake will work with your favorite icing too if you want a classic buttercream or a raspberry icing. While there are quite a few steps, each process is fairly simple. If you choose to make each of the three icings, then it will take some time and you’ll want to make it in a certain order. First prepare and bake the cake layers. Slice each cake layer into two–leaving four total layers–and cool completely while preparing the filling and icing. Spread the dark chocolate filling between the layers and ice the cake with the milk chocolate frosting. Lastly, prepare the chocolate ganache topping and spread that over the top of the iced cake. Refrigerate the cake to set the ganache.  Avoid making the cake, filling, frosting and ganache all ahead of time as the ganache will harden and so could the frosting.


Chocolate Cake


1 pound (2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) sugar
3 ounces (1 cup) good unsweetened cocoa powder
6 ounces (1 1/4 cup) bread flour
7 ounces (1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) butter, melted


1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper then butter and flour both pans.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together (sugar, cocoa, flours, baking powder and soda, and salt) and mix. Set aside.

3. Beat the eggs for a minute. Add the buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla and mix until homogeneous.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until combined and there are no lumps.

5. Add the melted butter and brewed coffee. Mix until fully blended in.

6. Pour the batter between the prepared pans. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs still attached (but not wet). Mine baked 37 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and let cook in the pans. Remove from the pan and let cool completely before icing.

Since the dark chocolate and milk chocolate frosting and filling are made with the same base, I’ve prepare one recipe below for both so you can prepare both at the same time. If you just want one flavor you can skip the steps that call for separating the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Filling and Milk Chocolate Frosting


4 ounces good milk chocolate, chopped
6 ounces good semi sweet chocolate, chopped (separated in half)
4 ounces good dark chocolate (60 or 70% cocoa), chopped
1 pound 4 ounces unsalted (5 sticks) butter
1 pound (4-5 cups) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cream


1. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Place 4 ounces milk chocolate and 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl. Place the 4 ounces dark chocolate and the remaining 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate in a separate large bowl.

2. Place one of the bowls over the pot of simmering water and stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.

3. Repeat step 2 with the other bowl of chocolate.

4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, or a separate bowl, beat the butter for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar mix until incorporated and smooth. Add the cream and vanilla and mix until blended in.

5. Split the butter and sugar mixture amongst the two bowls of chocolate. Place 60% of the mixture in the milk chocolate bowl and the remaining 40% of the mixture in the dark chocolate bowl.

6. Keeping the two frostings separate, mix each until the chocolate and butter mixture are blended. Don’t over mix or whip–you want to avoid incorporating air. Add more powdered sugar and mix until blended if the frosting looks too thin. You can add a little cream if the frosting looks too thick.

7. Divide the dark chocolate filling into three equal portions and place between each layer of cake.

8. Use the milk chocolate frosting to frost the cake. Try doing a thin crumb layer of frosting first–use just enough to cover the cakethough you will see some cake poking through–refrigerate for 10 to 30 minutes to let this thin layer harden, then apply the rest of the icing. This will help keep crumbs from pulling up during the icing part.

The last step will be to prepare the ganache. I suggest putting the iced cake in the fridge while you prepare the ganache.

Super Dark Chocolate Ganache


1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces good 100% cocoa bar, chopped
4 ounces good dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
3 ounces good semi dark chocolate (60% cocoa), chopped


1. Place all the chopped chocolate in a metal or glass bowl. Set aside.

2. Bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from the heat and let all the bubbles settle. Once the cream has cooled slightly, but is still steaming, pour it into the bowl with the chocolate.

3. Whisk the cream and chocolate mixture until completely smooth.

4. Let the ganache cool slightly before pouring over the cake. Starting at the center of the top of the cake add a little at a time and use a frosting spatula to control the flow of the ganache.

5. Refrigerate the cake for a while to let the ganache set.

After the cake has chilled, you can shave white chocolate to sprinkle on top and around the bottom.

Yes there is two pounds of butter in this recipe and yes there is over 2 pounds of sugar in this recipe. I don’t claim to be a healthy blog so you may want to make this a once-a-year cake. That or invite a lot of friends over to help you enjoy it. Enjoy!


AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.


  • Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    as a self-confessed chocoholic, this cake looks like something I’d like to eat every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. :)

  • spiceblogger

    Honey, Chocolate is my middle name. ;)
    This. Looks. Divine. God in cakeform.
    I esp like the tall, skinny candles.

    Happy birthday “Delicious Dad” and Alicia! :D


  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen

    This cake is stunning! It’s pure chocolate and, probably, pure evil!
    But evil is good, isn’t it?! Great pictures, too!

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    I would have liked to have had some of that for my birthday. That is certainly delicious in my book!

  • Meeta

    Oh my — swoon! You taunt the chocoholic in me – this looks incredibly rich, decadent and moist – just what I need now!

  • Stephanie

    oh my god this cake looks so so amazing. I was never a chocolate person and then.. bam! chocolate lover!. One day I chose a chocolate dessert off a dessert menu instead of a toffee one. Now looking at pictures of chocolately goodness like these ones of your beautiful cake make me want to run (not walk) to my kitchen and get it in my mouth as soon as freaking possible.

  • Margaret Murphy Tripp

    WHOA….drooling for a piece of this…with a cup of coffee AND a glass of milk. A beautiful presentation cake that actually looks like it tastes even better than it looks. Great recipe. Can’t wait for an excuse to make it!

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate

    I need a shot of insulin just looking at the pictures.

    Damn… this looks good ;-)

  • Sasha @ The Procrastobaker

    This cake sounds absolutely fabulous! Cake is allwaayysss needed at birthdays i agree, wouldnt be complete otherwise! And this certainly looks like a darn fine way to top off the celebrations :) gorgeous recipe indeedy

  • Thomas Andrew

    This looks dangerously good – I’ll take a slice with a nice tall glass of ice cold milk!

  • Maggie @MaggieCooks

    My sister and myself we were drooling over this cake!
    It looks soooooooo gooooooood!!!!!!!! :D

  • Faith

    what would I need to do to get a slice of your divine chocolate cake?! oh my brownies-from-a-box are looking so pitiful now.

  • Happy When Not Hungry

    What a beautiful cake!!

  • Cassie [Bake Your Day]

    I am not a chocolate lover but a combination of five different kinds totally appeals to me. Sounds so decadent, I want it for my next birthday!

  • Ah Tze

    I’m a chocolates lover. This indeed is a superyummy cake with FIVE chocolates added!!

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious

    Oh wow this cake looks amazing! So delish and so decadent!

  • Isabelle @ Crumb

    Yep, definitely no such thing as too much chocolate. I wonder if any of my friends have birthdays coming up, so that I can make this cake to.. errr… celebrate. Heck, I might even invite them, if I’m in a sharing kind of mood. :)

  • Nelly Rodriguez

    Gorgeous photography!

  • Salama

    I actually gained weight just looking at it.. It’s so beautiful I could cry..

  • Beth Michelle

    I am drooling over this cake. A chocoholics dream. Looks divine.

  • myFudo

    Wow!! This looks so delicious… Drooling!! Need to have your chocolate cake for my birthday :) Love the photos

  • Medeja

    It’s just so beautiful!

  • Elies_Lie

    Like I said on twitter Russel – u surely a chocolate lover!
    I don’t even remember how many of ur post including this amazing ingredients – chocolate – my fav! Haha ha!
    It’s a stunning cake! I wish I can make that one for my bday a week ago, but I happen to be a learning baker or even a very learning decorate cake, So ur post is very” tempting Russel!
    Happy birthday to ur friend – Alicia & also to ur father… send my best regard for them!
    Tq for sharing the recipe & story! Buzzed!! ;)

  • Amee

    That must be the ultimate birthday cake – yum!

  • Julia

    5 chocolates. I just died and went to heaven. Cryin’ shame your friend and dad couldn’t eat any, more for me, I mean more for you.

  • Amy at Gastronome Tart

    No matter how many times I make cake, I never seem to be able to get the layers with the icing in perfect proportion. Yours looks perfect! I also love the mix of all the different chocolates. Reminds me of my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Yum!

  • Eliot

    I love the nostalgicness (is that a word) of this post. Choco cake is my husband’s fave for birthdays. I will surprise him with this one.

  • Kathryn

    You can never have too much chocolate in a chocolate cake and this looks divine!

  • Julia

    I can’t even believe how good this looks.

  • Linda

    Oh my goodness, that is a gorgeous cake as a whole and each and every part! Beautiful photography too. Beautifully written post and so true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your amazing recipe!

  • Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Just gorgeous…I might even say you have outdone yourself. Happy Birthday to Alicia and your father, so very sorry that they weren’t able to indulge in this with you.

  • Irishbaker

    This cake looks fantastic how you have decorated it !

  • Sarah @ pão e queijo

    This cake looks divine… beautiful story, too.

  • Lacy

    What a gorgeous cake! Lucky birthday guy and gal, I’m sure they’re jealous they can’t indulge!!

  • Sandra

    I think I should have read this while walking on the treadmill. Kudos to you my foodie friend for creating a chocoholics fantasy cake!

  • Bianca @ bsweetdreaming

    Wow, I love your blog! The recipes look amazing, and your photography is phenomenal!

  • Janice

    I truly enjoy reading your posts. Oh, and your recipes always sound so delicious! :)

  • Madi @ Sit Down And Eat Your Peas

    WOW! What.a.cake! This looks delicredible (delish-incredible) and I’m so impressed with the effort that must have gone into this dessert. Ho.Ly! Beautiful! I linked here through Novice Chef and wasn’t expecting a fellow Kale Lover to have chocolate cake on his homepage! Props Dude. Props.

  • Elies_Lie

    Top 9 on foodbuzz today Russel!! Congratzz! ;)
    I already knew it from the first time look at ur pic & recipe! Chocolately! ;)

  • Ally

    Incredible. This is a work of art!

  • The Cooking Teacher

    Just found you over at Novice Chef blog, love your site, I need that cake NOW!

  • Snippets of Thyme

    Ha! Ha! I just love all of these “virtual” celebrations. The cake looks amazing and deliciously delicious.

  • RavieNomNoms

    Happy Birthday to your Father and Alicia! This cake looks like a wonderful way to celebrate! I am so impressed. It looks absolutely sinful…

  • Jen at The Three Little Piglets

    My twelve year old daughter just announced this might be THE most perfect chocolate cake ever. And she wants one… So do I for that matter!

  • Lisa @ GF Canteen

    Now that is a chocolate cake! I love chocolate with chocolate with chocolate…you get the idea! mmmm.
    (let me know if you try the framboise whipped cream).

  • Tes

    Oh the cake looks so heavenly delicious! I will definite try the recipe :)

  • kita

    What a stunning cake. The candles on top really do make it look so cute and festive as well! I am sure the thought was much appreciated from your friend and your father.

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    What a gorgeous cake….
    I can kill for this one, Yum!!!!
    Really beautiful pictures…….

  • The Chocolate Priestess

    This must be in the running for most perfect cake ever or perhaps I’m only biased.

  • miriam

    Just came across your blog for the first time – and what a glorious post to find! Chocolate cake is the perfect accompaniment to any birthday celebration :) Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  • Magic of Spice

    What an absolutely delightful cake…I would not mind having one of these beauties for my birthday :)

  • Leon - Dad

    Hey Russell: Thanks for this great mouth watering cake you baked for Alicia and myself on our respective birthdays. My mouth is still watering – wondering if I shall ever have an opportunity to actually taste such a fine looking chocolate bonanza – Definitely a “Chasing Delicious” creation, which I can only confirm when I taste it:)
    Thank you to all who extended happy birthday wishes.

  • pam

    Gorgeous photos!

  • Kelsey

    I’ve read over 100 blog posts today (playing catch-up) and yours wins the Food Porn of the Day award ;)

  • Michael Toa

    Oh Russell, I really need to catch up with your posts. This cake is simply magnificent! Gorgeous photos and I’m sure it tastes incredible. It’s my birthday in a few days… just saying…

  • Perry Yusuf Kruz

    It is a grand day for CHOCOLATE CAKES!!!! Beautiful!

  • pavithra

    What a stunning cake and pictures..Omg I way too tempted.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh stop! 5 chocolates?!?! This cake might be one of the few things in this world capable of satisfying my chocolate craving! I need to make this. Tonight.
    Thank you for sharing..

  • Lucie (Thursday Night Dinner)

    this cake looks absolutely divine! so delicious and so indulgent. YUM. I cannot wait to try it out! I saw this photo on and immediately couldn’t stop drooling!

  • Fine Chocolate Reviews

    Never too many chocolate recipes! :-)

  • Connie

    The only thing better than chocolate ganache? NOTHING! :) Gorgeous cake!

  • Casey Friedman

    where are the candles from?? I love them! ! !!

  • Anna

    a. This looks so rich!
    b. I’m looking to take a dessert to a Thanksgiving vacation. If I bake this cake ahead of time, say, on a Tuesday, will it keep until Friday evening? Should this be refrigerated? Should I take any steps like storing the ganache separately until it is served?

    Thank you for such a yummy recipe!

  • A World of Cake « baking bea

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    Mine seemed really soupy. I followed the directions but maybe I mixed it to long? What is the consistensy supposed to look like?

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