cake · Chocolate · dessert

Moist Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream & Chocolate Ganache

You guys, I have the most awesome dog in the world. He’s the love of my life. The cutest thing in the universe. And, the biggest wimp to ever exist.


I could write a whole book about all the things that freak him out. Actually, I could write a whole series. It would be called “A Big Scary World: Starring Sarge.” And, I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that he absolutely hates winter.

Everything about it. The rain. The wind. The Christmas lights. The six thousand candles lit around the house. It’s all bad. Really, really bad.


He dreams of summer. Warm, calm, sunny summer days (except the 4th of July, but that’s a whole other story).


So, what I’m getting at is: How many more days until summer? Oh, only 92?! Well, until then. I guess I’ll sit here, eating chocolate cake dreaming of swimming pools, ocean waves, and happy pups.

Because winter calories don’t count, right?! I mean, a girls gotta stay warm!


I love you, you deliciously-moist, supremely-naughty chocolate cake.

Oh, and I didn’t forget about you, you wonderfully-smooth vanilla buttercream.

OH, and YOU, you beautiful, shiny, magnificent chocolate ganache.

I love you. I love you so much.

Moist Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream & Chocolate Ganache

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

This chocolate cake is as moist as it is delicious! It is perfectly chocolate-y with a creamy, vanilla buttercream and topped with a rich ganache for a lovely balance of sweetness!


Chocolate Cake:

1 & 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cornstarch

½ cup salted butter, melted

½ cup canola oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream, full fat

1 tablespoon water

Vanilla Buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

6 cups powdered sugar

½ cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch of salt, optional

Chocolate Ganache:

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, choppped (good quality baking chocolate)

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon salted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For chocolate cake:

-Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray two 9 inch round pans.

-In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cornstarch. Set aside.

-Using an electric mixer, mix butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, and water. Mix on high for 30 seconds.

-Next, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Be sure to not overmix (this is crucial).

-Divide the mixture evenly into greased pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a tooth comes out with only a few moist crumbs. I bake mine for 22 minutes. It should not need longer than this. However, all ovens are different so be sure to watch closely.

-Allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Use a knife to go around the edges of the cakes for easy removal. Once transferred, allow to cool completely before frosting. I often place them in the refrigerator to speed this process up.

For vanilla buttercream:

-Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. Once combined, increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes or until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy. Taste the frosting to determine if salt is needed. I do not always add it.

To frost the cake:

-Using a large serrated knife, cut a thin layer off the tops of the cakes so that they are flat. Place one cake layer on a stand or large plate then spread a generous layer on the top.

-Next, place the second cake on top of the first layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the sides and on top of the cake. Place in the fridge for an hour. This is called a crumb coat, it helps ensure that the crumbs will not get picked up when doing the finishing layer of frosting. You can skip this step but I HIGHLY recommend it.

-After removing the cake from the fridge, add the finishing layer of frosting. You shouldn’t have any additional frosting remaining.

For chocolate ganache:

-In a medium saucepan, add chocolate, cream, butter, and vanilla. Melt chocolate on medium-low heat making sure to stir constantly. Once the chocolate is almost fully melted, turn heat to low and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes or until entirely melted.

-Remove from heat. If the chocolate is too hot, let sit for one minute (at most). Then immediately pour on to the top of the cake. Use an icing spatula or butter knife to smooth ganache over the top and slowly push ganache over the sides to create drips.

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