This is the ULTIMATE cake recipe for any chocolate lover! Layers of brownie cake are stacked with creamy chocolate frosting and topped with silky chocolate ganache and a pile of fudgy brownie bites. The cake is rich and dense like a brownie, but subtly puffed and fluffy – just enough to claim it as a cake. Trust me, it is unlike any other chocolate cake recipe you’ve ever had!
What is brownie cake?
Ok I know what you’re thinking. Is it a brownie…or cake? It honestly strikes the perfect balance between both. It has all the delicious qualities of a brownie – that being rich, fudgy, dense, and chocolatey – alongside the subtle texture of an extra moist and fluffy cake.
But because it has both qualities, that does not make it a cakey brownie. I find cakey brownies tend to be a bit dry, and this cake is anything but. It’s so moist, thanks to the extra butter and whopping 7 eggs that are inside the batter. The extra fat content from both ingredients provides a super rich cake, transforming it from a moist and fluffy chocolate cake to a dense and rich brownie cake.
Tips for making brownie cake
I’d assume many of you have never made a brownie cake before as it’s a fairly uncommon dessert, which is why I’m sharing my top tips to ensure yours turns out perfectly rich and decadent:
- Properly measure the dry ingredients – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail. If there’s too much flour, the cake will turn out dry and crumbly. If you can, measure the flour and cocoa powder with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour or cocoa container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added dry ingredients.
- Room temperature eggs – It is very important to use room temperature eggs for two reasons. The first is that there are 7 large eggs in the batter, so adding 7 large CHILLED eggs will create a cold batter. When the cold batter hits the heat of the oven, it will take longer for that batter to reach the necessary temperature it needs to bake through.
- Whipped eggs and sugar – To continue the previous tip, the second reason to use room temperature eggs is for the whipping process. One of the steps in this recipe requires you to whip together the sugar and eggs. By using room temperature eggs, this allows the eggs and sugar to easily dissolve into one. By doing so, the eggs will turn light and frothy which scatters tiny air pockets throughout the entire batter. This provides lift and structure to the cake.
- Carefully mix – I like to mix this cake by hand because it’s much easier to control the amount of force applied to the batter. In other words, it’s hard to over mix by hand. Because if you over mix the batter, the cake will fall in the center and turn a bit tough. To prevent this from happening, be careful when mixing in the dry ingredients. Stop right when they’re fully dissolved into the batter.
How to tell when the cakes are baked through
For a good fudgy brownie, the toothpick test never works. That’s because the batter in the center should remain somewhat wet and sticky – that’s how to achieve that signature fudgy texture. If it comes out clean, it’s a good indicator that the brownies are over baked.
So how can you test for doneness with a brownie CAKE? Well there are two signs to look for:
- They’re done with each cake layer is baked with a dome top and cracks running around the surface. The top should also look like a shell – just like the top of a brownie.
- As for the toothpick, stick it into one of the cracks of the cake. If it comes out with glossy and thin batter, it’s not ready. If it comes out with sticky but thick batter, it’s perfectly baked.
What are acceptable cake pan sizes for this recipe?
To get the most out of this recipe, three 6″ round cake pans are preferred. I love the thick and dense layers it provides, giving you that super fudgy texture right in the center.
If you don’t have 6″ cake pans, 8″ cake pans can also be used. They work just as well, but the cakes may have a slightly domed center. If that’s the case, level off the tops with a sharp knife once the cakes have completely chilled.
For either size, make sure to fully cover the inside of each pan with nonstick spray and parchment paper. Because of how rich this batter is, the cakes will stick to the bare pan.
Can I use gluten free flour?
I have not tested it, but I would suggest using a good one for one gluten free baking flour in place of the all purpose flour in this recipe. I recommend this one by Bob’s Red Mill. Just be careful when measuring as gluten free flour is more dense than regular flour. To ensure accuracy, use a food scale to weigh out your 1 cup of flour. The cake also may need 3-5 extra minutes in the oven.
How to store brownie cake
Make ahead – Your first option is to bake the cake layers ahead of time. To store them, allow the cake layers to cool at room temperature. Once they’re no longer warm, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator. They’ll keep fresh for up to 2 days. Then frost and decorate as usual.
Unsliced completed – To store the entire completed and unsliced cake, I recommend leaving off the brownie topping for easy storage as it adds quite a bit of height to the cake. You can add the brownies when you’re ready to serve. Place the cake in a cake container if you can. If you don’t have a container large enough, store it bare as long as it’s unsliced. The whole cake will keep for a few extra days.
Sliced completed – To store the sliced cake, press plastic wrap up against the open section of the cake. This will prevent it from drying out. Then store based on the instructions for the unsliced cake above.
For more of my favorite chocolate recipes, check out my:
- Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies
- Better than Boxed Chocolate Fudge Brownies
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make this ultimate brownie cake. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print