Death by Chocolate Cake Recipe

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I made this homemade Death by Chocolate Cake recipe for my mother’s birthday, which happens to be on Halloween. Whenever anyone asks what kind of cake she wants, she quickly blurts out, ‘Chocolate!’ and nothing else. So… here you go, a cake made of chocolate and nothing else. This Death by Chocolate Cake will include two layers of chocolate cake filled with a chocolate whip, topped with chocolate ganache and dark chocolate chips. These are modified from a modification from an original recipe so I have no idea where the originals come from, sorry. (If anyone knows, give me a shout and I’ll give credit where credit is due.)

Death by Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup chocolate milk (I used Kansas City local Shatto Chocolate Milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • A bit of raspberry or other liqueur to “baste” the cake with
Death by Chocolate Cake Recipe Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9″ round cake pans. I grease and flour and line mine with parchment paper rounds. In your kitchen mixer give a quick whisk to the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then, with the mixer on a low-medium speed add the eggs one at a time, then the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat for a couple of minutes, but don’t overbeat. Slowly stir in the boiling water and get a thin Death by Chocolate cake batter to pour into your pans. Bake about 30 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. When you pull it out of the oven, let the cake layers cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn them out of the pans and cool completely at room temperature on wire racks. Before adding the whip and ganache, poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and “baste” the cake with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of the liqueur and 1/4 cup water.
Death by Chocolate Whip Recipe Ingredients
  • 3 ounces Swiss dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Death by Chocolate Whip Recipe Directions
This will be your filling between the cake layers. Chop 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. Boil the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan, then add the chopped chocolate and mix well. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to whip the filling, pull it out of the fridge and lay the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Beat the cream with a hand mixer until you get stiff peaks, the tell-tale sign of a good whipped cream. I prefer to make this when the cakes are ready for it and use it right away, but you can refrigerate for a while if you’re not quite ready.
Death by Chocolate Ganache Recipe Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Swiss dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Dark chocolate chips for garnish
Death by Chocolate Ganache Recipe Directions
Assembled the Death by Chocolate cake and then prepare your dark chocolate ganache to pour over the entire cake. Chop 8 ounces of dark chocolate. Heat the cream just to a boil, then add the chopped dark chocolate and stir it gently to incorporate. Cool to room temperature, then pour over a completely cooled cake. Top the cake with chocolate curls, or I used dark chocolate chips, or whatever else you want. Refrigerate until ready to eat and serve chilled!

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Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.

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10 Replies to “Death by Chocolate Cake Recipe”

  1. Could I use white chocolate and milks for those who don’t like dark or bitter chocolates? And if someone can’t have the liqueurs what would you suggest I use?

    I found you as I am a pen pal to soldiers and I had an Army mom tell me about the cake’s in a jar. So that is how I found you. I am hoping to try that soon, but in the mean time all of your chocolate stuff is killing me. I so want to bake right now and it is almost time for bed…. Plus two weeks left in school and then the semester is over. Not sure why I thought college was a good idea at this stage of my life but here I am.

    Also Please tell your husband I said Thank You for the job he does, I appreciate it. And from one who was married to it to one who still is, Thank you for what you do as well….

    1. Hi Lisa! Good luck with your jar cake. 🙂 Yes, you should be just fine using white chocolates and milk chocolates – be creative! On this recipe, you could skip the liqueur altogether, or you could use raspberry syrup, cherry syrup, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, anything like that. It’s not a “key” thing in this recipe that would make or break it. Good luck – come back and let me know what you used and how it turned out! Maybe even e-mail me a picture and I’ll share it on the blog!

  2. By the way – if you’re sending this particular recipe as a jar cake, don’t do any of the frostings or fillings, it will probably cause it to rot given the amount of time it takes for them to arrive. Stick to just the cake!

  3. Hi Heather, I didn’t add anything to the cake, just the cake. I sent it out yesterday and I am sooooo excited about it. I hope I packed it well enough so that it makes it there in one piece. It should knowing me but since this is new I am nervous about it. I don’t always hear back from the kids I write to through this adoptaplatoon program so I might not ever know if she got them all right or not but I am hoping so. If nothing else I sure had fun doing it. If I do hear from her then I know for sure I will be doing it again as I got it right from your directions. I am just glad I already knew how to due regular canning, it helped me understand what I was doing better. And I have shared your site and your information with others as well. You ROCK, so thanks.

    Looking forward to trying some of your stuff out once I finish the semester next week.

  4. This was the most amazing chocolate cake that I have ever tasted! My kids and I baked it in a mason jar (filled 6 jars) to send to our deployed soldiers (husband and friends). Of course, we left out the whip and ganache. Before shipping, we tasted one of the jars and couldn’t get it in our mouths fast enough. Just wanted to say LOVE IT!

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Kathy! You made my day! I hope your husband and friends enjoy the jar cakes – mine always enjoyed mine!

  5. I see you need to use chocolate milk .. I want to send a mason jar toy boyfriend who is I’m Afghanistan but would the milk matter when it comes to the cake spoiling? Should I substitute the milk with something else or is it fine?

    1. Jenny – Yes, the chocolate milk part will be just fine. All cake recipes have a “liquid” component in the batter that bakes as normal. Just remember DO NOT ICE THE CAKE. Send a store-bought chocolate frosting on the side instead.

  6. I finally sent it out to my soldier!! My fingers are crossed that they get the cakes in perfect condition. Thank you so much for sharing all of your recipes, my brother fell in love with this cake that I had to make some for him as well. Lol!

    1. I would love to know if the jar cake arrived in Afghanistan in good condition. Have a son deployed now and he just told me that a buddy of his had received a jar cake and said it was delicious! my son’s birthday is coming up in July so this is my plan…..he usually gets my packages 10 – 14 days after I ship them. I just sent him bar cookies and pound cake that I vacuum sealed here at home and he said they were good! Please let me know if the cake arrived ok. Thanks!

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