Chocolate Christmas Cake

Chocolate Christmas Cake with Chocolate and Vanilla Buttercream and White Chocolate Snow

chocolate cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water

chocolate buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk

vanilla buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white chocolate

 

Make the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by spraying the bottoms only with non-stick spray.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray the paper with the non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine then beat for three minutes on medium speed.  Scrape the bowl down and gently stir in the boiling water - the batter will be very thin.

Divide batter between the cake pans.  Bake for 25-28 minutes until the center of each cake springs back when gently touched.  Set the pans on wire racks and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Cool completely in the pans.


Make the Frosting:

For the vanilla frosting, place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Mix on low to combine, then increase speed to medium high and whip until very light and fluffy.

For the chocolate frosting, place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Mix on low to combine, then increase speed to medium high and whip until very light and fluffy.


Assemble the cake:

Remove the cakes from the pans and peel off the parchment paper.  Use a sharp knife or cake leveler to level the tops of the cakes and to split each in half for a 4-layer cake.

Set the first layer of cake on a cake plate.  Spread with a layer of the vanilla buttercream, about 1/4 inch thick.  Repeat with the 2nd and 3rd layers of cake and vanilla buttercream.  Top with the 4th layer of cake.  Frost entire cake with a thin "crumb coat" of vanilla buttercream.  Let frosting set for about 20 minutes.  Frost the top of the cake with vanilla buttercream.  Frost the sides with the chocolate buttercream, swirling as desired.  Pipe additional chocolate buttercream around the top and bottom edges.

If desired, sprinkle the chopped white chocolate on top of the cake to resemble snow.

There's no need to use all the buttercream if there's extra left - just store in an airtight container in the fridge for another cake.

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