Moist Chocolate Birthday Cake

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This is a moist chocolate birthday cake that is also good as cupcakes. Frost it with vanilla or chocolate buttercream, or any icing of your choice. For cupcakes, divide into 24 muffin cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
3 8-inch layers


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup hot coffee


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the pans and dust with cocoa powder.

  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

  3. Beat butter, dark brown sugar, and white sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat on medium-high until fluffy.

  4. Pour melted chocolate and vanilla extract into the bowl with the sugar mixture; mix on low speed until combined. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing on low speed. Pour in coffee slowly in a steady stream; mix on low speed until smooth.

  5. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into batter. Divide batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, making sure not to overbake. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes; turn out onto waxed paper to cool completely before frosting.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

413 Calories
21g Fat
56g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 413
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 274mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 227mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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