Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

When there is a celebration there should be a cake…an extraordinary cake. This is the “Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting”! It’s ‘naked’ because the sides are left unfrosted. It is triple layer, double chocolate and topped with berries and shaved dark chocolate. Simple. Beautiful.
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Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Why is This Cake So Amazing?

Because all the ingredients are amazing…coconut oil, vanilla paste, 60 percent cacao chocolate chips, coco powder and plain full fat greek yogurt….

Naked Chocolate Cake from The Organic Kitchen

…oh…and this….

IMG_3534 copyrs

Now coffee haters, don’t worry! Espresso powder does not make this cake taste like coffee, it simply enhances the already rich chocolate flavor. I am not a fan of mocha myself, so trust me!

IMG_3533 copyrs

This is a double chocolate cake, hence the photo above, rich dark chocolate chips and cacao powder.  The greek yogurt makes this cake amazingly moist.

IMG_3539 copyrs IMG_3546 copyrsI use 8″ baking pans to make three layers…

Naked Chocolate Cake from The Organic Kitchen

…and then put enough of our butter cream frosting in between layers so when gently pressed, the icing seeps out like mortar between bricks. Notice the beautiful vanilla bean flecks in the frosting. Those come from my favorite vanilla paste! To finish, I use a “Y” to make chocolate shavings and then sprinkle them on top. Then I arrange with assorted berries. During the holidays I use cranberries for a special touch.

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The Recipe: Naked Chocolate Cake

You will need: 3 – 8″ cake pansespresso powder and vanilla paste. (affiliate links) If you use 9″ pans your cake won’t be as high and cooking time will change.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting




Yield 10 -12


Ingredients for cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 63% cacao)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 rounded teaspoon espresso powder
  • ¾ boiling water
  • ¾ cup full fat greek yogurt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup organic granulated unbleached sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

Buttercream Frosting: Make sure butter is soft or the icing will be clumpy

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • Raspberries or strawberries for garnish
  • A bar of dark chocolate for shavings.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center position. Use a paper towel to butter sides of three 8" cake pans and dust with cocoa powder (or flour, but cocoa powder will disappear). Use the bottom of cake pan to trace a circle on parchment paper, cut three 8" circles. Place parchment in bottom of pans and coat with butter and cocoa powder as well. Do not skip this step or you will have a really hard time getting cakes out of pans.

Cake Prep:

  1. Place flour, salt and baking soda in bowl and whisk, set aside.
  2. Crack and separate eggs into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place chocolate chips, cocoa powder and espresso powder in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Bring one cup water to boil. Measure ¾ cup boiling water and carefully pour over chocolate chips and cocoa powder.
  5. Let sit for a minute then whisk.
  6. Add greek yogurt and whisk until well incorporated, set aside.
  7. Place butter, coconut oil and sugars in mixer and begin mixing on low speed.
  8. Add chocolate mixture to mixer with butter and sugars. Mix till well combined. Add vanilla paste and then eggs, one at a time, then add flour mixture.
  9. Once batter is combined, scrape sides of mixer, turn mixer to medium and mix for one more minute. Pour as evenly as possible into prepared cake pans. Tap pans firmly on counter to remove any bubbles in batter. Bake for 24 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. As soon as pan is cool enough to handle, use a knife to separate cake from edges of pan and CAREFULLY remove cakes and set on rack to cool, keeping parchment paper on the bottom.

Frosting Prep:

  1. Place soft butter and sugar in mixer and beat on medium speed till combined. Add vanilla paste and whipping cream. Mix till light and fluffy.
  2. Remove parchment from bottoms and set one cooled cake on plate, frost top and leave a generous amount around the edges. Then place second cake on top (don't forget to remove the parchment) and gently press so frosting squeezes out the sides like mortar between bricks. Frost second layer the same way then place third layer on top. Generously frost top of cake, garnish with shaved chocolate berries. Serve and listen to the raves!

Courses Dessert

A Different Take on Decorating:

To make the cake above look like the cake below…click!

Naked Chocolate Cake from The Organic Kitchen


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21 thoughts on “Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

  1. Yes, I do want cake now. For breakfast. Thanks a lot. Can’t wait to try this. Glad to know about the espresso powder. So many chocolate cakes call for coffee and we always just replace it with hot water because I don’t have any on hand. Now I can use this instead!

  2. Hi Linda ! I have been following you and “the organic kitchen” for a couple of years now and when we came back from Honduras a year ago I wanted to send for your book! just haven’t done it yet. I need the info to do it. I really love all your recipes. Plus I love you and haven’t talked to you for years. It’s wonderful to see how successful you are! Love you Lots, hope to hear from you. Love Melody

  3. Hi:) i just made this cake last night for my sons 1birthday! It came out really well!:) while making the frosting i must say that it was very very sweeet despite me using only 2.5 cups of powdered suger. And i also feel the amount of cream needs to be more. It was way too lumpy nd not enough to add to 3 layers. I kept adding cream about 1/2 pint ! That worked much better. Thank you again for this recipe:) HE SMASHED THAT CAKE AND LOVED IT!! :)))

    • Interesting… I just made it tonight and it wasn’t lumpy at all and iced the three layers perfectly! It came out exactly like the pictures in fact! This is a standard buttercream icing recipe. I would think a half pint of cream would have made it way too runny. But I’m glad your son loved it:)

  4. Hi Linda, I would like to make this cake for my brother’s bday. Is the icing hard or fluffy?? I would like to prepare it the night before & refrigerate, however, do not want the icing to be hard? Any suggestions?….Thanks….

    • Hi Tracey,
      It is a buttercream so it’s soft. The icing hardens up a little but not a lot. You could either make the cake the day before and frost it right before serving or make is a day shad and pull it out of the fridge a few hours before serving to allow time for it to come to room temp.

  5. I can’t tolerate powdered sugar. Do you know if I can use anything else for the buttercream. Maybe maple syrup? Thanks!

    • Well the problem would be consistency. I love maple syrup as a substitute for sugar in things like whipped cream but for a buttercream frosting you need that dry ingredient or it would simply be too wet…butter and syrup would just be a runny mess. Sorry.

      • Thanks so much! Ok I will try it as is. Also do you know if there’s any parts that can be made ahead of time? Would the cake part last for a few days in an air tight container?

          • I love this cake so much! I’ve now made it several times and it just comes out so great and so pretty. I can’t eat powdered sugar so I’ve been using an old fashion German buttercream recipe in place of the frosting. I’ve also played with subbing the sugar for coconut sugar to reduce the glycemic index and it works fine (but has a slightly more malty flavor) which I like.

            Have you ever used it for cupcakes?

            Thank you again this is our go to cake!

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