Layered Light Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A light chocolate cake with lots of addictive cream cheese frosting. This cake is moist but so light and fluffy, it really is the perfect match for all that delicious frosting! Adding red food color to this cake makes it Red Velvet Cake. It’s a much lighter chocolate cake with a tangy note from the cream cheese frosting.

The main flavor note actually comes from the cream cheese frosting. You’re getting bites of fluffy moist cake with a very creamy delicate frosting giving a really wonderful mouthfeel.

It’s the vinegar that makes a huge difference, acid reacts with the leavening agents to give you a fluffier cake.

More Cake Recipes

Step By Step Photo Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream your room temperature butter. Add in sugar and mix until combined.

3. Add apple sauce in 1/2 at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract.

4. Add vinegar to the buttermilk.

5. Sift in cocoa powder to the butter mixture.

6. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.

7. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined. Add remaining 1/2 of the dry ingredients and butter milk, whisk until combined.

8. Apply butter to the cake pan evenly and then dust off with cocoa powder until evenly spread.

9. Pour the batter into three prepared pans (make 3 cakes)(if using single pan, pour 1/3 of the batter and repeat the process 2 more times to bake cakes).

10. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. When done, let them cool in their pans for about 5 minutes, then dump them out onto a wire rack.

11. Slice of the domes for 2 of the cakes to get flat layers on which prevents the cakes from sliding when the frosting is layered in between them.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Cream the butter.

2. Sift confectioners sugar and a pinch of salt into another bowl.

3. Add room temperature cream cheese to the creamed butter. Add vanilla. Beat together.

4. Add the confectioners sugar in cups. Mix until combined. If you’re wanting a stronger buttercream, keep adding more sifted confectioners sugar until it’s stiff.

For the Assembly:

  1. Cut a disposable paper plate like shown below, spoon a little bit of cream cheese on it, place a cake and pipe a thick layer of cream cheese frosting between each layer. Cover the cake in frosting.

2. Use a bench scraper and offset spatula to smooth out the cake. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes or until the frosting is set a bit. If you’re in a warm climate, let your cake chill for even longer!

3. Decorate as you like.

Layered Light Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A light chocolate cake with a moist, decadent cream cheese frosting. 

Course: Dessert  Cuisine: American  Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 35 minutes  Total Time: 50 minutes  Servings:10

Ingredients

For the Cake:

1 cup = 240 ml

  • 1/2 cup butter (113 grams), room temperature,
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (10mL)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240ml), room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (15mL)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (adjust if needs more) or (2 eggs room temperature)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (15g)
  • 2 ½ cups flour (300g)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (6g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (6g)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 sticks or 1.5 cups butter (340g), room temperature unsalted
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 16 oz cream cheese (455g), room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (5mL)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and cocoa powder three 6-inch cake pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream your room temperature butter. Add in sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Add apple sauce in 1/2 at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Add vinegar to the buttermilk.
  5. Sift in cocoa powder to the butter mixture.
  6. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  7. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.
  8. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix until combined.
  9. Apply butter to the cake pan evenly and then dust off with cocoa powder until evenly spread.
  10. Pour the batter into three prepared pans (make 3 cakes)(if using single pan, use it 3 times to bake cakes).
  11. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. When done, let them cool in their pans for about 5 minutes, then dump them out onto a wire rack.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Cream the butter.
  2. Sift confectioners sugar into another bowl.
  3. Add room temperature cream cheese to the creamed butter. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat together.
  4. Add the confectioners sugar in cups. Mix until combined. If you’re wanting a stronger buttercream, keep adding more sifted confectioners sugar until it’s stiff.

For the Assembly:

  1. Cut a disposable paper plate like shown below, spoon a little bit of cream cheese on it, place a cake and pipe a thick layer of cream cheese frosting between each layer. Cover the cake in frosting.
  2. Use a bench scraper and offset spatula to smooth out the cake. place the cake in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes or until the frosting is set a bit. If you’re in a warm climate, let your cake chill for even longer!
  3. Decorate the cake as you like.

Tips

  1. Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  2. If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.

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