Now that April is here and my insane schedule has begun, I have plenty of wonderful recipes saved up to share with you all.  The biggest problem now is just deciding which to post when, because they are all delicious and I love them!  Of course, it was pretty much no contest when this cake was added to the mix.  Say hello to my new favorite cake.  This cake is far better than any super-duper chocolatey restaurant cake I have ever tried.  With a brownie base, chocolate mousse layer, chocolate cake layer, and then a thick covering of chocolate ganache, no other cake really stands a chance.  Each component was delicious on its own but combined to make something truly spectacular.  

I have wanted to make this for months, but really wanted to make it for someone who would truly appreciate it.  Recently a friend and fellow choc-aholic had a birthday and I knew that this would  be the perfect cake for her.  Not only did she love it, but so did the rest of my family, including even my dad who claims he isn’t much of a chocolate fan.  With nearly 2 pounds of chocolate you might consider feeling guilty, but this cake is so good that any little twinges of guilt were easily silenced with another bite of cake :)  This earns even more points with me because I love multiple-step desserts that require some assembly.  I made one minor change concerning the method of assembly and lining the pan with parchment, but otherwise this is not too difficult – it just takes some time.  I made this over a couple of days and it worked out well.  But you NEED to try this.  There is no question.  Get thee to the kitchen and make this, now!

Chocolate Overdose Cake
For the brownie base:
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate mousse filling:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-oz. pieces
1 7/8 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar

For the chocolate cake:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cup sugar, divided
7/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, soft

For the ganache:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
18 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-oz. pieces 

To make the brownie base, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper and spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray.  Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, salt and baking powder.  Stir with a fork to mix.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined.  Whisk in vanilla.  Add in the flour mixture in two additions, folding with a rubber spatula until completely homogenous.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.  Set aside, prepare the cake batter, and bake the two layers at the same time.

To make the cake, line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a round of parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of the pan.  Combine the chocolate, cocoa and hot water in a medium heatproof bowl; set the bowl over a saucepan containing 1-inch of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.  (Note: at this point, my mixture was pretty thick and I thought I had ruined it, but mixing in the sugar was like magic and it made it smooth and liquidy again.)  Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.  Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes.  Replace whisk with paddle attachment.

Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.  Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.  Add about one third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds).  Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.  Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth batter to edges of pan with an offset spatula. 

Bake the brownie and cake layers at the same time: the brownie for 25-30 minutes and the cake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack.  Allow the brownie to cool completely in the pan.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Once the brownie layer has cooled, run a knife around the edges to separate it from the pan.  Remove the sides of the springform but leave the brownie layer on the springform base.  Form a ring of parchment paper around the brownie layer and extending up the sides of the springform pan – reclose the springform so that the parchment is fitted tightly to the sides. 

To make the chocolate mousse filling, place a stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer or fridge.  Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat.  Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler.  Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap and allow to heat for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.  Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed. 

Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the chilled whisk attachment.  Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.  By hand, whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated.  Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together. 

Spread the mousse over the top of the brownie base evenly.  Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.  Place the cooled cake round over the mousse, pressing down lightly.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream and the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl.  Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Chill 1 cup of ganache for 1 hour.  Allow the remaining ganache to come to room temperature (about 40 minutes).

Remove the springform ring and parchment collar from the assembled cake.  Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter, removing the springform base and parchment round.  Use a spatula to smooth the room temperature ganache over the cake top and sides, covering evenly.

Place the chilled ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a shell tip and pipe a shell border around the base of the cake.  Pipe 12-16 rosettes around the top of the cake to indicate servings.  Serve chilled and store leftovers in the fridge.  Cut the cake with a hot, dry knife.

Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

  • jillrock96

    Are you kidding me with this??? Well, there goes my plan to lose a few pounds before the baby’s baptism next month. This looks SINFUL.

  • I’m not a chocolate lover (I’m a carob fanatic), but DAMN does that cake look good.

    Best of luck with your insane schedule!!! Hang in there!!!

  • Oh my! I think a slice of this cake would surely cure my winter blaahs.

  • If I made this I probably would die of a chocolate overdose. This looks too good for words!!

  • Wow, that is a lot of chocolate! :) Looks amazing!

  • Oh man, the only person I know who would truly appreciate this is my brother-in-law, and that makes yet another reason I hate living so far away from the rest of my family.

  • Erin

    That cake has long been on my list to make. I can’t wait for a good opportunity. Seeing it again has convinced me that maybe I just need to create the opportunity myself :)

  • I made this cake almost a year ago when I first saw it on Shawnda’s site. It is amazing!

  • Oh my gosh Annie, I seriously just made this last week for my sister’s birthday! I’ve had the recipe saved since it was posted! My post is written and scheduled for later this month (like you I’m trying to space things out) and my picture of the cake slice is eerily similar to yours (although I didn’t pipe the ganache for decoration). Just wanted to give you a heads up so you didn’t think I was copying you! Your version looks beautiful! :) And I totally agree with your note about the thickness of the chocolate/hot water mixture – I was prepared to start over, but the addition of the sugar amazingly fixed it!

  • I love how it has a brownie and cake layer! Looks incredible!

  • This cake looks awesome! I plan to make this someday very soon.

  • Kim

    So far the Reeces cake has been my favorite and I thought nothing could top it. But this is on my list of cakes to make next! Thanks for inspiring me!

  • Wow! That sounds and looks incredible!

  • Whoa, is this decadent! I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

  • Oh my, that looks DIVINE.

  • philleb

    OMG – I can’t wait to try it!

  • annie

    sweet Jesus! now THAT’S a cake! =D

  • Pingback: Chocolatey Weekend Links : Chocolate Bytes()

  • Pingback: Top Posts «

  • Your photos make me wish I was fond of chocolate. Guess I’ll save this one for the chocolate lover in our family’s birthday!

  • Wow, this definitely sounds amazing! I bet my co-workers would go crazy over it.

  • I’m bowing to the gods/desses of chocolate – this cake looks ridiculously good! Cake and mousse and ganache, oh my :)

  • Oh, I can’t wait to have some chocolate-crazy kook to make this for!

  • yummmmyyy!

  • There is no such thing as a chocolate overdose but this certainly comes close. I like the different textures and all that chocolate.

  • Ryley

    Does the whipped cream hold up well in the middle of this?? Have you ever made stabalized whipped cream with geltain? I wonder what that would be like….
    My SIL’s birthday is at the end of the month and she is a HUGE chocoholic.. I think I may attempt this! :)

  • Annie

    Hi Ryley,
    This is actually chocolate mousse, not whipped cream, so it holds up very well. It is designed to hold up just right in this cake. You definitely don’t need to worry about adding gelatin or anything.
    :) Annie

  • Jeff

    I came across this recipe the other day and immediately decided I wanted to make it. I have all the ingredients and I’m getting started really soon.

    Also, I have fallen in love with!

  • preetha21

    Wow so much of chocolate…Amazing..

  • Abby

    How do you transfer the cake without it falling apart when placing it on top of the mousse?

  • Annie

    Hi Abby,
    As long as you have lined your cake pan appropriately and let the cake cool completely before transferring, you shouldn’t have any trouble moving the cake layer. I just pick it up with my hands and top the mousse – nothing special. This is not a particularly delicate cake and I’ve made it a few times without issue. I suppose you could try using a really wide spatula if you are having trouble.
    :) Annie

  • Gwyn

    So I finally got the excuse to tackle this cake. I think this was my first time making a cake from scratch (besides bundt type cakes). It was DELICIOUS! So fun to make – definitely time consuming but fun! I made it for my MIL’s birthday (a choc-o-holic). I served it with whipped cream on the side. Forgot to send leftovers home with her so gave out slices to friends, family who visited later so I didn’t end up eating the whole thing by myself! Everyone emailed me or called me later telling me it was the best chocolate cake they’d ever had (my sister even dreamed about it last night). Guess this will be going in the family favorites file!

  • Jackie

    Hi Annie

    How do you measure 7/8 cup of flour, sugar etc.

  • Annie

    Jackie, 1/4 cup is equal to 4 tablespoons. So, 1/8 cup is 2 tablespoons. There are lots of conversion websites you can use as well to answer these kinds of questions.

  • Maggie

    I just finished making the cake and it didnt work out completely due to my aunt rushing me to finish it and I put on the top cake layer over the mouse when it was still warm causing the moose to turn to almost a cream. A bit disappointing since I put in so much effort but I’m sure it is going to be just as delicious. Im excited to try it non the less, so thanks for the recipie.

    ps. I added a bit of bourbon onto the top cake layer for an extra pizazz.

  • Annie

    Oh no! Yes, rushing the chilling of the mousse can be a fatal error. I hope it still turns out well.

  • Amanda

    I am so excited to try this cake but I’m nervous too. I’ve decided to make this for Mother’s Day this year for my chocaholic of a mother, I know she’s going to love it! I’m still learning my way around the kitchen though and just hope that everything comes together in the end. I’m sure it will though, with your excellent directions!

  • i turn 29 next week and this may just need to be the cake i make myself for my birthday!! my husband will thank u:)

  • Kavie

    Hi Annie, I made this cake in stages-cake and brownie on Monday and finished off with mousse and ganache on Tuesday and served at a party yesterday-Wednesday. Cake was great,lots of compliments but I have a few questions. 1.The recipe doesnt call for peeling of the bottom parchment, do you serve with the parchment on? 2. The cake didnt keep together well, it fell apart (the cake and mousse layer kept together but the brownie layer separated)when it was cut and served. How can I prevent this? Will it help if I peeled or scraped of the dry top layer of the brownie after baking to allow the mousse to adhere better? Please advise-I loved this cake and would love to keep baking it for family and friends.

  • Annie

    You can remove the parchment if you wish. I find leaving it on helps me transfer the whole cake to a platter, but that’s your call. When you slice the cake, it stays on the platter. As for the cake not staying together, I don’t really have any suggestions. I have made this cake multiple times and all the layers stayed together with no problems. The coating of ganache on the outside seems to help with that. I wouldn’t recommend scraping off part of the brownie, that just sounds like it would make a mess and I’m not sure it would help.

  • Kelly

    I want to do these in a cupcake. Any thoughts?

  • Annie

    Just make the triple chocolate cupcakes on the blog. This is one cake I don’t think would be easily converted to a cupcake.

  • Kelly

    Thanks. Love your blog

  • Michelle

    I’ve been following your blog for about six months now (your blog is my favorite food blog I visit by the way) and have made quite a few of your recipes. I’ve been eyeing this one for quite some time and decided that I would finally tackle it for Christmas dinner… put simply: IT WAS A HIT.
    I spread out the baking process over two days, took my time and special care to each component and even piped on the ganache exactly as your picture looks… it was worth every minute of work in the end. Everyone took their first bite and instantly had that “oh my god are you kidding me right now?” expression, it was to die for!
    It’s probably one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I’ve ever come across, so I just wanted to thank you so much for posting this recipe and for just being amazing. Thanks so much! : ]

  • Lucia

    Hi Annie,

    I love your site– Longtime reader, first time commenter. I had a quick question about the ganache recipe for this cake: I’m looking at making your Boston Cream Cupcakes, and I noticed that the recipe there calls for 1 1/2 cups chocolate ganache. What’s the yield on the ganache recipe attached to your Chocolate Overdose Cake? (e.g., if I follow the recipe for the Chocolate Overdose Cake’s ganache, will that yield enough for the Boston Cream Cupcakes?)


  • Annie

    Yes, this is way more than enough. I would probably only use 4-6 oz. chocolate worth of ganache for the cupcakes. They only need a thin coating dipped on top. Enjoy!

  • sofiya


  • Catie

    Even though you said further down that this cake may be a little difficult as a cupcake, I decided to go for it anyways, and it was a huge hit! Although I did exclude the brownie component, they were perfect! I made the cake into cupcakes, dipped them in ganache, piped on the mousse on top, then drizzled some extra ganache on top of the mousse. They are heavenly. Thanks so much for this recipe! I look forward to trying many more in the future!

  • Tracy

    I’m going to make this cake for a friends birthday this weekend but i’m having a difficult time thinking of how i’m going to transport it without it melting, I have a 2 hour drive, what are some things I can do to assure it won’t melt in that time?

  • Anonymous

    As long as it’s well-chilled in advance, I don’t see any reason it would melt unless you are driving in very hot weather. It that case, I would use a cooler.

  • Tracy

    Thank you so much! Love your blog by the way I always try out your recipes!

  • Hannah

    I made this cake for my husband’s 30th. The end product was pretty good but not like yours and I’m not sure where I went wrong. I live in the UK and can’t get unsweetened chocolate so I used chocolate that was 85% cocoa for the unsweetened and 75% for the semi-sweet. I made the brownie and cake layer the day before. When I made the mousse it all was going fine until I mixed the combined chocolate and 1/4 whipped cream into rest of the whipped cream. The chocolate got clumpy and by the time it was distributed evenly when folding it with a spatula it wasn’t light and fluffy anymore, it was kind of dense. I still put it on the cake but it wasn’t like a mousse at all. I also had trouble with the ganache. After waiting 5 minutes to stir the chocolate never really got all the way smooth. There were still some chunks in it. My house is really cold so I don’t know if that might be part of the problem. I put the ganache in the warmest room in the house to let it come to room temperature but after 40 minutes there was no way I could spread it on the cake. It was a disaster. I had to hold it in my hands to try to melt it enough and ended up rubbing it on the cake with my fingers. It was a mess and not at all smooth or shiny. After I got it most of the way covered I was able to use a hairdryer to warm it and smooth it out a bit with an offset spatula, but it still wasn’t right. And the ganache that was chilled for piping was too hard to do anything with at all. Any idea what I did wrong?

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like quite a few things went just slightly wrong, to give you an overall disappointing result. I’m guessing the chocolate was a bit to warm when added to the whipped cream, and if you over mixed it to try to smooth it out, that likely deflated it. Ganache is quite simple and usually doesn’t present problems. If the chocolate didn’t melt initially, I would guess that the cream needed to be warmer. In any case, you can always microwave in short bursts (10-15 seconds) until it is completely smoothed out. Then it sounds like you let it cool for too long and it hardened more than it should have. You really need to keep checking it to make sure it is a good texture for spreading. Same with the reserved ganache for piping – you just have to check and do the piping when it is still pipeable. I hope that helps!

  • Hannah

    Thanks for the reply Annie. I really enjoy your blog and I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I won’t give up yet!

  • guest

    hannah where did you buy the unbleached all purpose flour?

  • Lannie

    Hi Annie,
    Back here where I live, they don’t sell buttermilk. Is there anything that I can substitute with, but still get the same delicious outcome?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks, and enjoy!

  • Naomi G.

    Can this be assembled the day before? Or should I make the components and assemble in the morning?

  • annieseats


  • Naomi G.

    Thank you! I ended up assembling and making the ganache the day of, to make sure the cake was fully cooled. This cake was SPECTACULAR, and fun to make. A little hard to cut and serve, but it easily fed almost 20 people since it was so rich.

  • Cmadgett

    This was fantastic! It was labour intensive as I only had one Springform pan but I would make it again for sure. Yummy!

  • sarah

    hi annie! If I were to make the mousse filling a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge would that be okay?

  • annieseats

    Not really. The chocolate will solidify once it is chilled, so you should just assemble the cake when the mousse is made. Hope that helps.

  • sam

    Hi Annie, quick question… I only have unsweetened cocoa powder on hand. Would this be okay to use for the cake? If so, should I just use that and sweetened chocolate instead of unsweetened? Or would you suggest following the recipe as listed? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    It’s only 2 tablespoons so I doubt it makes much of a difference.

  • Dave

    I’m going to try this cake but put a peanut butter mousse in the center. I’m hoping it’s to die for;)

  • annieseats

    That sounds AMAZING.