Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
You have a rich, decadent chocolate cake topped with a whipped sweet vanilla buttercream in a classic combination that is the best of both worlds. This chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream is perfect for any celebration.
Hi friends! I have a simple and classic cake for you today. I’ve been meaning to share this chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream for a few months now and I am glad I finally got around to it.
Classic combinations such as a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, vanilla cupcakes with Nutella buttercream and this chocolate + vanilla are always great to have in your baking arsenal. I find myself making these recipes over and over for family celebrations and I’ve been trying to document them here. Even though they are nothing new, I still think they are worth sharing in case you need one of these in your back pocket.
I particularly like this combination because it has your rich, decadent chocolate cake that is topped with a whipped sweet vanilla buttercream. This is the best of both worlds and an easy crowd pleaser. Chocoholics will love it and vanilla lovers will too.
As usual, I used my go-to one bowl chocolate cake recipe but you can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe. This classic chocolate cake recipe that is butter-based would also be great with this combination. Regardless of the chocolate cake you use, just make sure you use good quality ingredients to get a rich chocolate base.
To complete the cake, I used a whipped vanilla buttercream. This is that bakery-style frosting that we all love. The key to this is using GOOD quality butter like Land o Lakes or Kerrygold for maximum creaminess. I whip my butter for at least 5 minutes to aerate it and after adding the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and heavy cream (not milk!), I whip it again for another 5 minutes on medium-high speed. The result is incredibly silky, light buttercream that is perfect for all your cakes and cupcakes. This frosting is also a great decorating icing as you can layer cakes with it and pipe borders/decorations as you desire.
There you have it, friends! This chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream classic needs to be in your baking recipe box and one I know your family will love. I re-make this at least 3-4 times a year for different requests and it is always a hit.
It’s good to have classics you can call on for any event.
I used this cake to demonstrate how to frost a layer cake. Be sure to check it out if you are new to decorating cakes or a need a refresher.
For the Cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ cup strong black coffee, hot
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 tablespoon heavy cream
For the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients using a whisk.
- Mix the dry ingredients on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add the wet ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix for an additional minute on medium speed until well combined.
- The batter will be thin. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
- Cool cakes in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto the wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, you could start on the frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Whip butter on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream and mix on low for 1 minute until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
To Assemble The Cake:
- Level the cakes if needed. Onto a cake stand, place the first layer of cake. Evenly spread about 1 cup buttercream on top. Add the top layer of cake with the top of the cake down. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Then spread the icing evenly and frost the cake. Decorate as desired with sprinkles.
- The cake will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated.
- You can convert this cake into cupcakes by easily baking the prepared batter in cupcake tins. Be sure to adjust your baking times. I recommend baking the cupcakes from 12-15 minutes.
MAKING THIS RECIPE? Share it with us on Instagram using #aclassictwist so we can see what you are baking up in your kitchen!