Go Back
+ servings

Death by Chocolate Cake Recipe

Death by Chocolate Cake is a moist and fudgy chocolate cake topped with a creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. It's a chocolate lovers' favorite dessert recipe and one that will satisfy all of your cravings.
Keywords:cake recipes, chocolate desserts, death by chocolate cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 30
Calories274 kcal
Cost $ 0.30 per slice


  • oven
  • sheet pan
  • mixer
  • sifter
  • spatula


For the cake batter:

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour or a gluten-free AP flour or a blanched almond flour (same amount)
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 100%
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or full-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup full-fat buttermilk or 1 cup of half-and-half or whole milk mixed with 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 large eggs at room temp

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • For the cake batter: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Spray a 13x9-inch sheet cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Using a sifter, sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder) in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and mix to combine. Then add the wet ingredients in (mayonnaise, oil, buttermilk, hot water, and vanilla) and beat just until combined. Add the eggs and beat on low for almost a minute. 
  • Pour the cake batter into your prepared baking pan. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Test for doneness using a toothpick in the center of the cake.
  • After you allow your cake to cool for a few minutes, invert it onto a rack to come to room temperature. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and spread the buttercream frosting on top. Decorate as desired.
  • For the Halloween graveyard cake, I used chocolate cookies and wrote RIP with melted white melts but you can use white chocolate chips instead. I used sprinkles and Wilton sugar ghosts plus mini pumpkin candies. I also drew a spider web with the melted candy melts and topped with plastic spiders.   
  • For the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Then, add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
  • Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high, beating for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup more sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin. But if it is too thick, add a tablespoon of cream.

Recipe Notes

Chocolate Ganache
If you prefer, you can cover the cake with a chocolate ganache made with melted chocolate chips (4-oz) and warm heavy cream (1/4 cup), mixing well until creamy and smooth.  
CAKE: You can store your chocolate cake in the refrigerator for up to one week. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container or a cake keeper for the best results.
Or, if you prefer, you can keep your cake at room temperature for up to 3 days. Remember to keep it out of direct sunlight. If your kitchen gets hot during the day, it really is best to keep it in the fridge.
If you don't think that you'll finish your entire Death by Chocolate cake in a week, you can freeze it for longer storage. You will need to do this in two separate steps.
  • Freeze the frosted cake on a baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before you cover it.
  • Then, remove the cake from the freezer once the frosting is hard.
  • Finally, cover the cake in foil so that the frosting doesn't stick to the foil.
  • When you want to eat the cake, remove the foil from the cake and allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight.    
  • For a gluten-free cake, use gluten-free all-purpose flour (same amount).
FROSTING: If you don't use all the frosting, store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
After freezing, thaw in the fridge and then beat the buttercream frosting on medium speed for a few seconds or until it is creamy again. If needed, add a splash of heavy cream or milk to help thin the frosting.


Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Comment and rate the recipe. Also follow us on Pinterest at @easyanddelish for more delish recipes.