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Deep & Dark Ganache Cake Recipe

Deep & Dark Ganache Cake Recipe

My ode to all things chocolate, this is a phenomenally rich and satisfying cake. — Tarra Knight, Benbrook, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + cooling Bake: 30 min. + cooling YIELD:24 servings


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 teaspoons light corn syrup


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. square baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • 2. Place chocolate in a small bowl. Pour hot coffee over chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
  • 3. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed until lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, oil, vanilla and chocolate mixture, beating until well blended. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • 4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  • 5. For ganache, place chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth.
  • 6. Let stand at room temperature to cool and thicken slightly, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Mixture will be very soft, but will thicken when spread onto cake.)
  • 7. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup ganache. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Yield: 24 servings.

Recipe Note

TWO-LAYERED DEEP & DARK GANACHE CAKE & CUPCAKES: Prepare cake as directed, using twelve paper-lined muffin cups and two greased and parchment-lined 8-in. square baking pans. Fill muffin cups three-fourths full; bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Divide remaining batter between prepared cake pans. Reduce oven setting to 325°; bake cake layers as directed. Yield: One 2-layered cake and 1 dozen cupcakes (24 servings).

Nutritional Facts

1 piece (3-layered cake): 437 calories, 27g fat (11g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 277mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 3g fiber), 6g protein.

Reviews for Deep & Dark Ganache Cake

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Laura User ID: 9211956 268957
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2017

"Giant mess of a cake - first try bubbled over the side due to too much baking soda and what was left in the pans was overly sticky and sweet. Second try I reduced the baking soda to 1 1/4 tsp and the sugar to 2 cups and used 2 13x9 baking pans instead of the 3 8 inch pans recommended which fixed the bubbling over and the stickiness.

I have no idea how anyone could fit all of the batter into 3 8 inch pans as the recipe can easily make 5 8 inch layers. When the cake came out it was just okay - tasted close to a devil's food cake from a box and nothing to rave over. It was moist, but very crumbly which made it a mess to try to stack for finishing. Seems like it would be a good base for cake pops since its moist but crumbles well.
The ganache was okay, though that too had problems. I let it sit for over an hour before use but was still much too thin to do much of anything other than drizzle (again, no idea how the recipe picture managed to get the ganache to stay on the sides of the cake). I'm sure if the recipe was edited it could be a decent recipe, but not as it stands."

panden User ID: 8810248 245681
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2016

"This was a great hit at my son's Birthday party! I followed most of the instructions as is, except, instead of canola oil I used grape seed oil; and the ganache with bittersweet chocolate as written was a bit too thin and a bit too overwhelming. Therefore to balance things out, I spread some strawberry jam over each layer before spooning on the ganache.

Next time, I will used 3/4 bittersweet and 1/4 semi sweet chocolate to make ganache. Also, instead of 2 full cups of cream, use 13/4 cup cream to get the ganache the right consistency.
On the positive side, the cake was really moist and spongy. It took me 35 minutes at 350 F to bake the three 8 inch square layers. They came out about 2-2.5 inch thick."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2015

"Everyone has given this cake such a good review but that wasn't my experience; my batter was very thin and I was already a little bit worried before I put it in the oven and rightly so it just is a mess of a cake, it bubbled over in the pans it doesn't seem to want to cook all the way through I've had it in there now for almost an hour it's still jiggling in the middle. I measured very carefully so I know it's not a mistake in measurements unfortunately I would not recommend this cake."

best of home cooks User ID: 5361390 233590
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2015

"Very yummy. Everybody loved it. The only change I made was I used semi sweet chocolate chips instead of bitter chocolate. Was to expensive for the amount needed, and no white corn syrup in the ganache, as I used the chocolate chips. This cake was easy if u set everything up in stages. So moist and only for the deepest chocolate lovers. Will make this again for special occasions."

k_s9 User ID: 8089062 225850
Reviewed May. 4, 2015

"Hi I made this cake a few days back...wish I could share the pic with everyone it was fabulous...just like a store bought type. tasted rich, chocolaty n moist n not overly sweet....a sure treat for chocolate lovers !! I did make a few adjustments. ...used semi sweet chocolate as that is what i had! Used brown sugar instead of white, n gave a caramel wash to the chocolate sponge...yum! ! 1/4 of a cup warmed with 2 tsp of milk n then brushed it over ....I also made half the recipe and still it was a big cake for a 9 " pan. I made 5 cupcakes with it too ...!! baking time increased to an hr plus 5 mins but cake came out perfect ....also I used only 3/4 tsp of both baking powder n b soda...n that also not I have had trouble with whipping cream b4r so I whipped the cream saperate with icing sugar n melt chocolate over boiler n then folded together the two...I made an extra ganache layer unwhipped to give a shiny finish to the cake...topped off with modeling chocolate flowers n leaves !!!! A must recommended to all !!"

1CityChick User ID: 8306385 223481
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2015

"This is a fantastic recipe."

bettydee715 User ID: 3288208 178237
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2014

"for Becki Rogers - to lighten up the cake so it's less dense, try cutting back on the eggs."

misswho User ID: 7979090 194468
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2014

"Really good cake, especially for those who prefer a cake that is not too sweet. I omitted the corn syrup as I always make my ganache with raw honey. I sub the same amount of honey for corn syrup. My ganache also set up instantly and was nice and thick. Great cake."

BeckiRogers User ID: 5277884 194466
Reviewed May. 3, 2014

"I'm normally not a chocolate cake fan, but for some reason, this cake appealed to me. I'm so glad that I made it. It was delicious! I do agree as others have said, that you need to be a dark chocolate lover for this cake. The cake was a bit more dense in texture than I expected and if anyone else had the same issue, I'd like to know or if there are suggestions on lightening the texture, I'd appreciate the suggestions. Following the recipe, the ganache had a little more bite than I'd expected so I added a little extra corn syrup for sweetness. Maybe this added to time that it took for the ganache to thicken, but it definitely took more than 45 minutes. Since I didn't have square cake pans, I used round and was disappointed that my finished results weren't smooth and pretty. However, I took the cake to work and used my co-workers as guinea pigs (as I so often do with new recipes) and they loved the cake! One of my friends actually requested that I make it for her daughter's wedding as the groom's cake - which I did, adding blueberries as part of the decorations. It was such a hit at her daughter's wedding that I was asked to make it for another wedding! Now, I'm making it again for someone's birthday. I have to give this cake recipe five stars. Wonderful!!!"

Nia4sure User ID: 5848448 191987
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2014

"I agree with bakergirlmd, corn syrup is totally NOT necessary to make ganache! I also enjoyed the helpful tips in jennycrocker review. Looking forward to trying this cake!"

angelmaryel2 User ID: 7016763 115282
Reviewed Feb. 12, 2014

"This good for feb love month,and everybody know kid love chocolat"

bakergirlmd User ID: 6045723 115267
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2014

"Amazing recipe; I've made something similar over the years. The addition of coffee to already-dark chocolate is the quintessential combination! The buttermilk gives it the added acid plus moistness you would not otherwise have in this type of cake. I gave the recipe four stars as I'm not a fan of the ganache containing corn syrup...the cake is rich enough on its own. I definitely left it out. I just slightly warm cream in a saucepan and break up the chocolate into pieces and keep stirring 'til the chocolate melts....voila, you have ganache!"

merrycarrie User ID: 7041288 109566
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2014

"Amazing cake, I've made it for two different birthday cakes and a baby shower. Super rich and moist, the coffee definitely enhances the flavor without tasting like coffee. I put a raspberry filling between layers- a great compliment to this rich cake. I have had a problem with it sinking (a small amount) in the center, if anyone has a suggestion to improve this issue I would love to hear from you."

jennycrocker User ID: 4981029 194465
Reviewed Jan. 27, 2014

"This cake was delicious! Everyone's first response was, "it's sooo moist". I used 1/2 German chocolate and 1/2 semisweet, but I will make this again with milk chocolate, since that is my favorite. For the people worried about the coffee, I promise, you cannot taste it! I don't care for coffee flavor either, and no one but me even knew it was in there. We are recent empty nesters, the 2 of us would have never finished a 3 tier cake, (I did share with the kids, and they loved it), so I froze 2 layers unfrosted, and made 1/4 of the ganache recipe. That was perfect for 1 layer. I used 4 oz of chocolate (german and semisweet) and 1/4 cup half & half (I didn't have cream). For those concerned with the corn syrup, I didn't even bother with it. I just microwaved the cream for a minute and put the chocolate in until melted, threw a pat of butter in, because....butter...and it set up shiny and perfect. This will be my go to base chocolate cake recipe. So many possibilities with this cake!"

Terena User ID: 3238586 131908
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2013

"This cake was delicious, but it looked bad when I was done frosting it. I didn't have the square pans, so I used 9 inch cake pans, so that could be why it didn't look so good. I also used semi- sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. Next time I make it, I may whip the ganache with a mixer, instead of whisking until smooth. The ganache was so runny, even after waiting 45 minutes as suggested. Overall, it was very yummy, and I'd make it again."

NH-rescue User ID: 4255840 183084
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2013

"This recipe is very forgiving. We accidentally omitted the coffee/bittersweet chocolate mixture in the cake and it still turned out moist and chocolate-y. On top of that, we used two 9" layers instead of three 8"layers (which added lots more cooking time.) However, the ganache was rich enough to compensate and the whole cake was very satisfying.

PS The coffee/bittersweet chocolate mixture made a nice addition to a brownie recipe the next day..."

Amy the Midwife User ID: 2816815 149681
Reviewed Sep. 24, 2013

"Very moist and rich. I used another similar recipe for the frosting:

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 14 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter. I would give it 4 1/2 stars."

opalring User ID: 7349855 183082
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2013

"WoW!!! This recipe is amazing. I'm not a chocolate lover myself, but this cake made me a fan. I have made this cake three times already and have had several people tell me they would pay me to make this cake for them. I was worried that the cake might be too dry being there was a thin layer of ganache. I was wrong. The cake alone is super-moist and has just the right ratio of ganache to cake. The first time I made it, I used bittersweet chocolate and everyone loved it. The next two times I used semi-sweet (my favorite) and boy was it a hit! This cake is a winner."

jkcow User ID: 3038148 178229
Reviewed Jun. 3, 2013

"I was very disappointed with this cake. The photo and the write-up made it sound sooo good.

First, if you are not a true fan of dark chocolate, don't try it. Semi-sweet is about as dark as I like but I thought I would expand my chocolate taste buds. But this is really bitter. Licking the knife after spreading the ganache - wow - yuck! tasted like bile.
I might try it again and substitute semi-sweet chocolate, but the cake wasn't even that great. It was dry and didn't stay together which was perplexing with the buttermilk.
I made this for my birthday and was so disappointed. Usually my husband will eat anything and he wouldn't eat this either. In trash went all that expensive chocolate!"

mrmom820 User ID: 3032842 193414
Reviewed May. 23, 2013

"My husband has made this cake two times now. Once as a test run and once with our son for a boy scout event. This cake was so decadent and I was surprised at how easy it was for a novice baker to manage. He did such a great job that I've tasked him to make my mother's 60th birthday cake. It also decorated very easily considering the ganache frosting."

imafoodie User ID: 4516337 183081
Reviewed May. 8, 2013

"Made this for my birthday party - people went CRAZY for it. Absoultely delicious. It's a keeper!"

woodlore User ID: 7102112 126602
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2013

"Extremely rich but oooh so yummy! A small piece is plenty."

wrightgirl62869 User ID: 3692964 194499
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2013

"Excellent cake. One of my favorites."

Lynsue User ID: 4504275 131906
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2013

"The cake was awesome, so moist & rich, they were right, you can't taste the coffee. The ganache was not good, had to use another recipe for that, luckily tasted it before putting it on the cake. Used something else for the filling. Thanks"

NanaNance User ID: 7087535 115266
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2013

"I raved about this cake below but neglected to give it any stars. I'm giving it 5 starts and if there were 10 stars available, I'd give it all 10!"

NanaNance User ID: 7087535 149680
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2013

"I absolutely ADORE this cake. It is rich; it is moist; it is wonderful. It is by far the best chocolate cake I have ever had. Everything about it makes you scream more, More, MORE! Thank you Taste of Home for introducing me to this decadence!"

debson User ID: 2473709 193413
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2013

"I used Milk chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet chocolate. The ganache did take longer to setup. But everyone loved it. Next time I may use more chocolate chips for the frosting."

kkparsons13 User ID: 6467193 109565
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2013

"This issue arrived right when I was searching for a new from-scratch chocolate cake recipe for my kids' birthdays. I am not a huge cake person, but this was delicious! Very moist and rich. My only problem is that it took longer to bake than the recipe said, and also overflowed one of my pans, but that might be because I was using strange shaped pans for my kids. A definite keeper!"

Pupperelli User ID: 6767638 123304
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2013

"Okay, I've been baking a long time and this is my all-time favorite recipe for chocolate cake. All of my friends are asking for this recipe. I wish I could tell them this was my original recipe, but I can't. Instead, I have printed it off and handed it out. Thanks so much! If you're looking to blow the socks off of a chocolate lover for Valentine's Day, this is it!"

Mark_mckinley User ID: 6444116 177461
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2013

"cake is very moist and rich."

susannemalena User ID: 1563342 109564
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2013

"Moist, rich, chocolate chocolate cake. Delicious and easy. You can not taste the coffee at all- the taste is pure chocolate. I substituted semi sweet for the bittersweet and I used round pans instead of square."

chnbuglady User ID: 7111983 193412
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2013

"Beyond five star rating. (But bake 40-45 min. I also used semi-sweet chocolate.) I too HATE coffee, but used instant espresso coffee as I do for my chocolate mocha cookies. As other reviewers say, it enhances the chocolate so well. You don't know there is coffee in it. Trust me on this. Best, sinfully, heavenly chocolatey cake ever. Would cost $$$ in a bakery!!!"

nandarcook User ID: 1646322 193409
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2013

"why are the cupcakes baked at 375* and the cake at 325*? Thank you."

betsyrower User ID: 3349360 194497
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2013

"This recipe is fabulous. My husband does not like coffee flavoring in desserts, but he LOVED this cake. It only heightens the chocolate flavor. The cake is so moist and the ganache a wonderful delight for chocolate lovers. A winner and keeper!"

DevinAustra User ID: 1422497 193408
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2013

"WOW. Rich, dark, dense and moist. Like a great restaurant-quality triple layer chocolate cake with the creamiest, smoothest, chocolatiest frosting ever, only you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price and wow your friends!

If you really hate coffee, just use plain water, although I suggest leaving it in or simply weakening it. You really can't taste it, but it's necessary to bring out the chocolate flavor even more.
If you don't care for bittersweet chocolate, try replacing half the chocolate in the ganache recipe with semisweet.
I had to bake the cake considerably longer than the recipe said and the sides stuck to the pan (will line the sides with parchment next time as well) but I was still able to pull it together and make a very impressive dessert."

Danipooh02 User ID: 1679122 178228
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2013

"This recipe is to-die-for! I even made it gluten free. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!"

smcelroy User ID: 3173101 191986
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2013

"I, too, do not like the flavor of coffee but the cake looks awesome. Can anyone tell me if you can really taste the coffee?"

grammadi323 User ID: 4618440 109563
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"for tillytootles... coffee simply pronounces the chocolate depth...and taste... use instant in won't smell it... but trust me... this one is mega delicious!"

martylb User ID: 1456305 123303
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"This recipe sounded very similar to one I already have (and love). Looked it up, and it is similar. Will try this one to see which is better."

tillytootles User ID: 1902787 177459
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"The picture of this cake really looked wonderful to me. I could hardly wait to get home and try it out. Then I got to reading the recipe & I discovered that there is 1 1/2 cups of coffee in the batter. Coming from a person who can not stand the taste of coffee - this really turned me off. Just the smell of coffee turns my stomach. There has to be something else that a person could put in this batter instead of coffee - the photo looks so good. With that much coffee in the cake - I'm sorry - I just would not even give it a try!!"

zucchinilady User ID: 3149814 177458
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2013

"had to make a 'test run" of this cake before Valentine's is a keeper, very moist and ooh, so chocolate."

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