Cakes & Cupcakes Chocolate

Extra Dark Chocolate Snack Cake

June 4, 2019

An extra dark chocolate snack cake with a hint of espresso and a silky smooth, rich chocolate buttercream. This cake is […]

An extra dark chocolate snack cake with a hint of espresso and a silky smooth, rich chocolate buttercream. This cake is perfect for all occasions and bakes up quickly for a decadent dessert in no time.

This post was created in partnership with Williams-Sonoma. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Browned Butter Blondie possible. 


I’m a girl that loves to celebrate everything. And I mean everything. Birthday, anniversary? I’m on it! Make the school tennis team? I’ll bake a cake. Loose a tooth? Cookies…coming right up!! What’s that? You started a brand new job today? Let me whip up some cupcakes. The dog’s half birthday is today? Well then, I think we better buy some balloons! I really do love any reason to throw a party and celebrate the little things. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?


I’m not shy about my love for celebrating all the big and little moments that come our way. I love the cake and the candles and the balloons and aaallll the glitter. The sappy cards that only make me cry and the confetti strewn all over the floor with abandon. I love picking out the matching paper plates and napkins and finding the perfect cake topper to fit the theme. I love washing the champagne glasses the day after a party and remembering all the love and laughter shared the night before. Call me crazy but it’s these little things that bring me joy.


If you ask me, we should all be celebrating more. We all have so much to be grateful for and each of us has special people in our lives that are worth appreciating. It doesn’t even have to be a birthday or an anniversary to be worthy of a cake, a few balloons and a sappy Hallmark card. There is joy to be found in the ordinary and the extraordinary moments in life. I say let’s celebrate more…just because.


This deep, dark chocolate snack cake is just the thing to make every whoop-tee-do memorable. It’s nothing fancy but it’s always a hit and you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen for long when you’d rather be sharing smiles and happy times with those that came to eat cake.  It’s such a simple dessert really but one that garners rave reviews every time and it couldn’t be easier to throw together. Did I mention that my husband loves this cake and he doesn’t even like cake?? I’ll never forget the first time I made this cake and he walked into the kitchen, took a bite right off the pan and declared “wow, that’s really good cake”. Yep, my non-cake-loving husband had just made my day. Maybe even my whole year!! Let’s just say this cake is on repeat over here.

Seriously tho…who doesn’t like cake?

We’ll get to that another day…


But back to this deep, dark chocolate espresso cake with the smoothest, silkiest chocolate buttercream you’ll ever taste. Gah! It’s just soooo good and so decadent and it’s honestly embarrassingly easy to make. The perfect cake to whip up when you are short on time and big on wow factor. This cake will make your day over and over again.


To make this extra dark chocolate snack cake, first we start with a bit of bittersweet chocolate and a hint of espresso. Sub in hot coffee if you don’t have espresso but trust me when I say your cake will not taste like coffee. The espresso just elevates the chocolate flavor oh-so-perfectly so it’s even more, well…chocolately. You’ll love it and wonder why you aren’t adding espresso to all of your chocolate bakes. For this recipe I used freshly brewed espresso from Williams-Sonoma’s new line of Fair Trade coffee capsules. They are available in five flavors including decaf and I love that they are compatible with my Nespresso machine. Just pop in a capsule and in ten seconds I’ve got hot espresso ready to add to my cake batter. And the capsules are packaged in 100% recyclable aluminum which we can all feel good about. Next we combine the yogurt, milk, oil and eggs and add this slowly to the dry ingredients. Be sure to use Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe for this deep, dark cake that delivers a rich and decadent flavor. Finally, we add the melted chocolate and mix until barely combined. Do not over mix. If you remember one thing from this post, let it be “do not over mix”. We good??


Once you’ve made your batter, divide it evenly between two 8 inch square or round cake pans. You can also make one full size sheet cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan if you prefer. I like to make a smaller snack cake and freeze one for later. Double the cake. Double the goodness. And it never hurts to have a cake waiting in the freezer for those last minute impromptu celebrations you’ll be having just because. {wink, wink}.


Cool the cakes completely before frosting with the chocolate buttercream. And this is not just any chocolate buttercream. The confectioner’s sugar to butter ratio is dialed in just perfectly to make the smoothest, creamiest, most swoon-worthy buttercream your sweet tooth will ever meet. It’s fluffy but not airy and the flavor is out of this world. It’s a wonder I didn’t lick the bowl clean before any of the buttercream made it on to the actual cake. Just look at those swirls!! Save this buttercream recipe for all of your cupcakes, layer cakes, even brownies. It’s just the best thing ever and it will be the star of your next party.


I hope you have some fun moments and milestones to celebrate soon. Buy that sappy card, blow up a balloon or wrap a gift and call it a party. And whether or not you bake this ultra chocolate cake for your next special occasion, I hope you find more time to celebrate just because. I’ll be surprising my hubby with this cake for Father’s Day coming up next weekend and probably for graduation the week before that. Keep the parties {and the cake} coming!!


If you make this extra dark chocolate snack cake, be sure to tag @brownedbutterblondie on Instagram. I love to see what you’re baking up in your kitchens. And don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest for all the latest recipe details straight from the blog. And let me just say, thanks for being here and following along. It really means so much that you check back here each week for new recipes. This little blog of mine is something worth celebrating so I’m going to sign off and go enjoy a slice of cake.

Happy baking!

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Extra Dark Chocolate Snack Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 2-8 inch cakes 1x
  • Category: Cakes


A deep, dark ultra chocolatey snack cake with a hint of espresso and a silky smooth, rich chocolate buttercream. This cake is perfect for all occasions and bakes up quickly for a decadent dessert in no time.



For Cake

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup hot freshly brewed espresso
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, plus one egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, Dutch process
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For Buttercream

  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar


For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease two square 8 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper
  3. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl and cover with hot espresso and hot water
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside
  5. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, milk, canola oil, eggs and vanilla
  6. Whisk to combine and set aside
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt on low speed until well combined
  8. Put mixer on low speed and slowly add the yogurt mixture
  9. Mix on medium speed for just 30 seconds until well combined
  10. Stir the chocolate and hot espresso mixture together until smooth
  11. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the mixer and mix on low speed until incorporated
  12. Remove the bowl from mixer and scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure mixture is well combined
  13. Do not over mix
  14. Pour batter into the prepared pans, dispersing evenly
  15. Bake on center rack of oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a bit of crumb remaining
  16. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 25-30 minutes
  17. Invert cakes onto a platter or cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

For Buttercream

  1. Over a double boiler, melted the chocolate while stirring constantly
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and cool slightly
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium high speed for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy
  4. Add the vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed until incorporated
  5. Reduce mixer to low speed and carefully add the confectioner’s sugar
  6. Once combined, increase speed to medium high and beat until smooth and silky, about 3 minutes
  7. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl
  8. Add melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on low speed until completely combined
  9. Once cake has cooled completely, frost with buttercream


Store leftover cake in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.
Cake may be made in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen or refrigerated until ready to frost.

*Cake adapted from the Chocolate Cake recipe by The Vanilla Bean Blog.

  • Reply
    Brenda Fitzgerald
    June 12, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    Please clarify—do you use chopped chocolate or chocolate chips for the cake? I prefer using chopped chocolate.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      June 12, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      Either will work but I prefer high quality chopped chocolate too!

  • Reply
    Michelle B
    February 26, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    This cake looks great — I am out of eggs, any suggestions for substitute?

  • Reply
    February 15, 2022 at 12:13 am

    Love it! The buttercream is the silkiest I’ve ever had and the cake is so decadent and chocolate-y! Highly recommend!!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2021 at 4:55 am

    This is a must try chocolate cake….. Moist fluffy and has deeeep chocolate flavour and buttercream frosting just melts in ur mouth…..its my favourite chocolate cake…..thank you for this recipe…..

  • Reply
    August 14, 2021 at 6:06 am

    hey brewing coffee? could you please define that , and also can you give alternatives for greek yougurts

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 15, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      Hi! You can use either hot espresso or brewed coffee in the recipe. And sour cream is a great substitute for Greek yogurt. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Can I substitute powdered chocolate in the frosting recipe?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 14, 2021 at 12:27 am

      Hi Mary. I’ve only made this frosting the way it is listed here so I can’t speak to how it will turn out if you change the ingredients.

  • Reply
    Amrita Chugh
    February 1, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Hiiiii! I am yet to try this recipe. just wanted to know if this would bake well in the form of cupcakes? And if yes, should I fill the cupcale liners half or 2/3rd? 😀

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 1, 2021 at 8:59 pm

      Hi! Cupcakes sound like a great idea. I would fill them 2/3 full and be sure your oven is preheated for 10 minutes before baking. Enjoy!!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    It’s a snowy Saturday and I woke up with a very intense craving for chocolate cake. I happened to have all the ingredients for this in my pantry and was really surprised at how fast it was to whip up the batter and put the cakes in the oven! I didn’t have any chocolate bars so I used 1/2 cup of Nestle chocolate chips and used an instant espresso powder instead of freshly brewed espresso. Haven’t made the buttercream yet but am already happily chowing down on naked slices of cake. This one’s a keeper!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 30, 2021 at 10:56 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve found a new favorite!!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Is it possible to stack both cakes with frosting between and make a layered cake?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 15, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Yes! Absolutely!!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    I haven’t eaten the cake yet, but this butter cream is with out a doubt the best chocolate buttercream cream I have ever made, and quite possibly the best butter cream period.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      November 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      I LIVE for that frosting!! It’s so good and I’m so happy you like it too!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Us the icing recipe for the whole cake or just one of the 8” squares?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      September 1, 2020 at 8:32 pm

      The frosting will cover both cakes but if you like your frosting extra thick like I do, you can always double the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Carla Flott
    August 26, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Made this today. Delicious cake and my husband was licking the frosting bowl! He is currently eating his 2nd piece. Good job!!!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 26, 2020 at 5:30 am

      Thanks for trying my recipe! I’m so happy you loved it!!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    I love chocolate cake, and usually make a layer cake, but after finding this recipe I’m in love! I’ve made this several times & it always turns out perfect and is so easy to make. The texture of the cake & the amazing frosting make it hard to stop sneaking slices!! I just made this again today, this time for my mom’s birthday & I hope they love it as much as we do at home. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 10, 2020 at 3:58 am

      I’m so happy to hear you love this cake! It’s on repeat for all our favorite special occasions too!!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Can I use chocolate chips for the chocolate in the recipe?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      May 9, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      I do recommend chopped dark chocolate for this recipe but you can use chocolate chips in a pinch. If you can, use a quality brand like Guittard or Ghirardelli. Enjoy the cake!

  • Reply
    Caroline Meyer
    April 29, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I just made this cake for the third time and it is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. I am shown so much love and appreciation when I bake this for my family. I’m thinking of making it everyday, or at least everyday until the stay home mandate lifts. Maybe I’ll switch between this and the Cookie Butter Banana Bread another favorite in my house. I have not tested these recipes for freezing as none of Heather’s recipes last long enough to freeze. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      May 8, 2020 at 11:55 pm

      This makes me so happy to hear! Everyone in my house loves this cake too!! Thanks for your kind note Caroline!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Heather,
    Wanted to ask whether oils other than canola oil can be used in this recipe because where I live it is impossible to find Canola oil.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      April 27, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      Vegetable oil such as canola works best for this recipe and I haven’t made it with any other type of oil. You could try another neutral oil such as sunflower seed oil.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    I just made this and it is delish!! I actually halved the recipe to make one small cake and it worked perfect!! So good.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      April 10, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      I’m so happy you loved this cake and that you were able to make the recipe work for you!!

  • Reply
    December 30, 2019 at 2:39 am

    For the espresso can I just use hot water? I’ve had bad experiences with baking cakes with coffee. Thanks

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 30, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi Jessie, yes you can omit the espresso from the recipe. But I promise your cake won’t have a coffee flavor if you decide to use it. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I have tried to make chocolate cake many times at home, and it just never quite hits the spot. There’s always a “but”… (Normally that it’s just not quite chocolatey enough, in my opinion.) This cake… Wow. It blew all of my previous chocolate-cake-making attempts out of the water. Absolutely amazing – moist, delicious flavour, and the icing is to die for. I can normally take or leave icing, but not in this case. Its sweetness just complements the slightly darker cake so well. I’ve made this cake twice in two weeks already (I’m in the UK, so I even went to the effort of converting it from cups for future use), and will be making another next week as well! I have to show off this cake to everyone I know! Can confirm that it freezes very well too. I’m so glad to have found this recipe, it will definitely be my go-to for all future chocolate-cake endeavours. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 18, 2019 at 1:30 am

      This makes me so happy to hear!! Thank you so much for trying my recipe and I’m so thrilled that you love it as much as I do!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Can I use sour cream to replace yogurt?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      July 17, 2019 at 7:25 am

      Yes, sour cream will work in the recipe too, although I prefer the flavor using greek yogurt. Enjoy!!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    You mentioned that this cake can be made as one full-size sheet cake. What size pan would that be? A 9×13-size baking pan? A shallow-rimmed half-sheet-size baking pan? Please clarify. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      June 5, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Hi! Yes, a 9 x 13 baking pan for the full sheet cake size. It will be fairly thick. Enjoy!!

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