Go Back

Vanilla Bean Chocolate Cake

5 from 6 votes
Leave a Review »


vanilla bean and cocoa frosting

chocolate fudge frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and oil together until combined, mixing on medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the milk, vanilla extract and paste. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the dry ingredients, and once they are all added, increase the speed to medium-high. Beat the cake batter for another 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and stir by hand to incorporate it – it will seem a bit thin and water, but stir and fold the batter until it is combined. Pour the cake batter evenly into both pans. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center is set. Let the cake cool almost completely (I wait about 25 minutes) before gently turning it out on parchment paper. This cake is super moist and soft, so be careful!
  • I like to wrap the cakes in plastic wrap once cool and refrigerate or freeze so they are easier to frost. I freeze them overnight. Then I make the frosting the next morning and go from there. To frost, remove the cakes and place a layer of the chocolate fudge frosting on one of the cakes. Top it with a big spoonful of the cocoa frosting and even it out with a spatula or spoon. Place the other cake layer on top.
  • For the multiple frostings on the outside, I start at the bottom and using a knife, place big scoops of the frosting onto the bottom of the cake, all around. I then do the same with the cocoa frosting. Finally, I do the same with the vanilla, place it on top and down the top edge. It looks messy! (See photo above.) Using an offset spatula or knife, start dragging it around the cake so all of the frosting smoothes out at once. I do this multiple times, using multiple spatulas (or just washing the one I have) until it looks smooth enough to my liking. It’s supposed to look messy and like the colors are run together.
  • If desired, finish it off by topping with some chocolate curls. To do this, I simply stick a chocolate bar in the freezer for an hour or so, then use a vegetable peeler to “peel” some curls.

vanilla bean and cocoa frosting

  • Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until creamy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the sugar. Beat until the sugar is incorporated and add vanilla paste and extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat the frosting on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy and creamy. If the frosting seems too thick, beat in the tablespoon of milk for 1 to 2 minutes until combined. Once you have your vanilla frosting, remove half of it and place in a bowl.
  • Add the cocoa to the remaining frosting and beat until combined, scraping down the sides.

chocolate fudge frosting

  • Melt the butter and chopped chocolate together in the microwave – I do 30 seconds on medium power (once or twice), stirring each time, until melted. Place the chocolate in the bowl of your electric mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and the cocoa and mix on low speed. Stream in the milk and add the remaining powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat the frosting on medium speed until it comes together – it might take a few minutes until it is creamy and frosting-like. Beat in the vanilla, continuing to scrap down the sides and bottom of the mixer. If the frosting appears too thin, add in a bit more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. If it’s too thick, add in a bit of milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.


[cake slightly adapted from allrecipes]

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to follow @howsweeteats on instagram and tag #howsweeteats. You can also post a photo of your recipe to our facebook page.
I appreciate you so much!