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black cocoa cake

Black Cocoa Cake

Rich, moist & fluffy chocolate cake made with black cocoa. Covered in a black cocoa buttercream.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • two 8 or 9" round cake tins


Black Cocoa Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (226g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 420g
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour 325g
  • 1 cup black cocoa 85g
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups full-fat kefir or buttermilk 350g

Black Cocoa Buttercream Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter at room temperature (3 sticks, or 330g)
  • cup black cocoa 28g
  • 3 ½ cups organic powdered sugar sifted (455g)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 113 g semi-sweet chocolate optional


How to make black cocoa buttercream

  • Beat the butter with the vanilla and salt for 1 minute. Add the cocoa and powdered sugar and beat it until smooth. If adding the chocolate, heat it in the microwave until mostly melted then stir until smooth. Once it’s cool, stir it into the buttercream. If not using the chocolate, add milk or heavy cream until the buttercream is smooth (about 2-3 tablespoons). Set aside, in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.

How to make black cocoa cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and flour two tall 8” or 9″ round cake pans.
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, allowing each to beat fully before adding another. Once all the eggs are in, beat for another 2 full minutes.
  • Sift in the cocoa, baking soda and flour and with the mixer on, pour the kefir in and mix until the batter is fully incorporated (scrape the bottom a few times to make sure nothing got stuck and didn’t blend). Avoid overbeating this once the flour is in the batter or the cake will come out tough.
  • Bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester turns out clean or you can press the surface of the center of the cake and it springs back.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then flip them onto a wire rack to fully cool. Transfer to the freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for an hour or more.
  • Frost the cakes when they are cold.