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Naked Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

A beautiful triple layer, double chocolate cake with buttercream frosting!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy dessert recipe, holiday recipe, party recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Linda Spiker


Ingredients for cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 whole 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 cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 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 if desired


  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. 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 one minute, then whisk.
  6. Add sour cream 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 until well combined. Add vanilla paste and then eggs, 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!