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Chocolate Cake with Pink Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Midnight Chocolate Cake with Pink Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Course Cakes, Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12


  • For the three 8" cake layers:
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature - see notes for an easy method to make buttermilk at home
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee can be substituted with hot water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • For the Pink Vanilla Buttercream Icing
  • 1 cup 227 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • Bright pink food coloring I used Wilton's Rose gel food coloring


  • For the Cake Layers:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Butter and lightly flour three 8 inch cake pans. Line with parchment rounds. If you don't have three cake pans, don't worry you can use one pan and bake each layer separately. While one layer is baking, I cover the remaining batter with foil and place in the fridge.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: buttermilk, coffee, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a handheld mixer combine. This will take about 1 minute. The batter will be very thin.
  • Bake the layers, each will take about 20-23 minutes, depending on your oven. Do not over bake. The cakes are done when an inserted toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cake layers cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, running a knife gently around the cake pan. Take out of pans and cool completely at room temperature.
  • For the Pink Vanilla Buttercream Icing:
  • Add softened butter and salt to a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. This will take about 8-9 minutes.
  • Turn your handheld mixture to the lowest speed, and slowly add the confectioners sugar. Add the heavy cream, water and vanilla. After the ingredients are combined, turn the speed to medium and beat until light and creamy. This will take about 7-8 minutes.
  • Assembling the Cake:
  • Transfer about 2 cups frosting to a medium bowl. Tint this a pale pink with food coloring. This will be frosting we use within the layers.
  • Place a small amount of frosting on your cake stand or board, and place the first layer of the cake bottom-side up. Spread about 1/2 cup of the pale pink frosting from the middle to outer side of the cake layer.
  • Repeat with the second cake layer, again using 1/2 cup of the pale pink frosting.
  • Place the third layer bottom-side up and cover the whole cake with a thin layer of crumb coating.
  • Cover the cake and place it in the refrigerator for a 1-2 hours until the buttercream is hardened. You can even do this for overnight.
  • Tint the remaining frosting a bright pink, as bright as you like. I used a few drops to achieve this look. Carefully frost the top of the cake, and then move onto the sides. It doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Decorate with strawberries and white chocolate shavings.
  • Keep at room temperature until you serve the cake. To get a clean cut, dip a long, sharp knife and dip it in hot water. Do this for each cake slice, while wiping with a clean cloth in between cuts.


*How to make your own buttermilk: The general ratio is one cup of milk + one tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice). Let the mixture stand for five minutes, until you can see that the milk is curdled in appearance. Since this recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, you will have to add 1 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 1/2 cups of milk. *Make sure that before frosting the cake, the crumb coating is firm to touch, otherwise you won't get a neat look with the finished look of the cake.