Hot Chocolate Cake

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Hot Chocolate season is upon us and we are excited to share a Hot Chocolate Cake recipe that is sure to please!

Why not have a big slice of hot chocolate cake with your hot chocolate? We think you're going to love this recipe.

Delicious Hot Chocolate Cake Recipe

This delicious chocolatey cake features homemade hot chocolate cake layers filled and frosted with hot chocolate buttercream, and piled high with whipped cream!  

Not only is Hot Chocolate Cake a great choice for winter and Christmas celebrations, but if you love chocolate desserts like we do, you're going to want to serve this moist chocolate cake year-round! 

Hot Chocolate Layer Cake topped with Whipped Cream!

How to Make Hot Chocolate Cake

**You can find the full, printable recipe for this Hot Chocolate Cake a bit further down--here is a quick rundown of the process!

  • Preheat the oven and prepare your three 8 inch cake pans. (You can use two 9 inch cake pans if you'd rather!)
  • Combine the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk for 30 seconds and set aside.
  • In another bowl,  add the milk, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy.  Gradually add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, scraping bowl as needed.
  • Mixing on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (We do 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of wet)
  • Add in the prepared (hot) hot chocolate. The batter will be thin, don't worry!
  • Pour into 3 prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs attached). 

I love that this recipe makes 9 cups of batter! It works great for cupcakes also. If you are making standard sized cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Delicious Hot Chocolate Cake

Frosting the Hot Chocolate Cake

For today's recipe, we decided to frost our cake with a delicious Hot Chocolate Buttercream, which is also flavored with hot chocolate.

Since we love our Hot Chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, we whipped up a quick batch to use on top of  the decorated cake!

Quick Tip: (We really love homemade whipped cream for the top of the cake but if you prefer a store bought whipped topping, stay away from canned whipped cream as it deflates really quickly. Something like Cool Whip will hold up better!) 

Another great alternative for filling and frosting the Hot Chocolate Cake is Seven Minute Frosting as it has a great marshmallowy flavor! 

Decorating the Cake

After filling the cake layers with hot chocolate buttercream, I proceeded to give it a quick crumb coat (thin coat) of frosting.

I chilled the cake in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to firm things up a little before adding my final coat of frosting and combing around the sides with a metal cake comb (Mine is from Evil Cake Genius). This chilling step is optional, but I find it helpful!

Decorate the cake however you like- this frosting pipes perfectly! However I decided to go with a combed look. Metal cake combs are my favorite because you can run them under very hot water just before gliding over the freshly applied frosting for a smoother finish!  

I finished things off with a small bead border around the base of the cake (applied with a piping bag fitted with a small round tip 4).

For the whipped cream on top, I loaded the whipped cream into a disposable piping bag and snipped away enough of the tip to leave a nice, large opening. Then I added my dollops over the cake that way. (You can also just pile it on by the spoonful!)

Moist and Delicious Hot Chocolate Layer Cake!

More Chocolate Cakes

We love chocolate cake recipes and have made so many over the years!! Here are just some of our favorites. If you love chocolate cakes, make sure to check out our collection of The Best Chocolate Cakes!

Sharing a roundup of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes!

Enjoy the Recipe!

We hope that you enjoy this Hot Chocolate Recipe! If you give it a try, we would love for you to leave a comment and photo below. 

In related news, you may enjoy our Mug Cake Tutorial (I Love You a Latte) ! It would go perfectly with this recipe!

You can find this and hundreds more free cake decorating tutorials and recipes in our Recipes & Tutorials Section!

Delicious Hot Chocolate Cake

Delicious Hot Chocolate Cake

Hot Chocolate Cake

Moist and delicious Hot Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Whipped Cream! This is such a delicious dessert and perfect for winter!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


For the Hot Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened (Should still hold its shape but soft enough to easily dent when pressed.)
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (put in a bowl with very warm water for 10 minutes if in a hurry.)
  • 2 ¾ cups (322g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (82g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (measure then sift)
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2)g baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) salt
  • 1 cup (220g) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil, I use canola oil
  • 1 cup (220g) hot water, mix in 1 packet hot chocolate mix ( we used Swiss Miss brand but use your brand of choice to prepare the one cup of hot chocolate.)

For the Hot Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 packets hot chocolate mix
  • ½ cup (240g) hot milk (not boiling)
  • 3 sticks (339g total) unsalted butter, softened (do not soften in microwave)
  • 7 cups (805g) powdered sugar (icing sugar) adjust amount slightly up or down to your liking.
  • 2 Tablespoons (4g) unsweetened cocoa powder (sift)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240g) heavy cream
  • ¼ (29g) cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (4g) teaspoon vanilla


For the Hot Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Grease and flour three 8x2 inch round pans or two 9x2 inch rounds.  
  • In a medium size bowl, add the flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend, set aside.
  • In another bowl,  add the milk, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy.  Gradually add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.  
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each egg just until the yellow of the yolk disappears. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Mixing on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of wet)
  • Add the cup of prepared (hot) hot chocolate at this time. The batter will be very thin. Don't worry this is how it should be.
  • Pour into 3 prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. 

For the Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Prepare the hot chocolate in advance so it will have time to cool.
  • Add 2 packages of hot chocolate mix to a cup, heat the milk to just under boiling and pour over the chocolate mix and stir.  Let this mixture cool down in the refrigerator, otherwise it will melt the butter when added. 
  • Add the butter to mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until soft and smooth.  Add the vanilla and 2 Tablespoons sifted cocoa powder, salt and blend. 
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar and slowly add the cooled hot chocolate a little at a time.   
  • You may not need all of the liquid so add slowly.  It is a good idea to cover the bowl with a towel so you won't have a cloud of powdered sugar over your kitchen.  Mix on medium speed until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.  Add additional liquid or powdered sugar until it is the consistency you like.
  • The recipe makes approximately 6 to 6 ½ cups frosting.

For the Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • Chill the mixing bowl and beaters/ whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into the chilled mixing bowl, begin beating on low speed gradually increasing to medium high speed.  
  • The cream begins to thicken (approx. 1 ½ minutes) and soft peaks form....peaks that slightly bend over.  Watch closely as this happens quickly.  Do not over beat.
  • This recipe yields about 2 cups of whipped cream. 


For the Cake Layers
Makes 9 cups of batter 
Works well for cupcakes - For standard size cupcakes bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

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  1. Yummy! This sounds so delicious! I usually use hot coffee in my chocolate cakes and cupcakes. I wonder if I could use hot coffee for the hot water when making the cocoa. What do you ladies think?

  2. Hi, how would I go about cutting this recipe in half? I don’t need three layers of cake, only 2 and enough buttercream and whipped cream for that. Thx.

  3. Hi Tori, This recipe makes 9 cups of batter. The recipe can be baked in two 9 inch pans without changing anything, except an increase in baking time. If you want to cut the recipe in half, it will be fine to do so just cut each ingredient amount by 1/2 and bake in two 8 inch round pans. I hope you will enjoy the recipe.