10 Layer Chocolate Cake

I’m always seeing videos of 10 layer chocolate cakes. I don’t really know why people decided to make 10 layer chocolate cakes…but I love the idea. So I made one.

This cake was so soft, so fudgy and so chocolaty, it was soooo good.

HEADS UP – this recipe will make you 6 cake layers, which with the icing between the layers, you will get a 12 layer chocolate cake. I broke one of the layers (I don’t want to talk about it) so I only ended up with a 10 layer cake. But you will have a 12 layer one.

A slice of the chocolate cake layer on a plate, with the full cake in the background.

Video Tutorial

The fudge icing

The first thing we are going to make is the icing.

The reason why we are making this first is because this icing will need some time to set.

This is everything you will need to make the icing:

  • Dark chocolate 
  • Unsalted butter
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar.
  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
  • Salt – just to help enhance the flavours.

All you need to do is heat all of these ingredients together, then leave this icing to set up.

Do I have to use dark chocolate?

I know a lot of people don’t like dark chocolate because of the bitterness.

However, using dark chocolate will give you best results; it will give your icing the best texture.

So dark chocolate is best to use.

If you are worried about the icing tasting bitter, you can just add more icing sugar to make it sweeter.

Just try the icing before it has set. If you think it tastes bitter, add more icing sugar.

The full cake after being decorated.

Leaving the icing to set

Like I mentioned, you are going to need to leave this icing to set.

The icing is going to be very soft and liquidy at first. After it has set you will get a thick fudgy icing.

There are 2 ways you can leave it to set.

You can either place it in your fridge. Then after a few hours it will be thick and fudgy.

Or you can do what I do and just leave it at room temperature overnight.

I personally think it sets much better at room temperature, so that’s why I make it the day before and leave it to set overnight.

But both ways work, it is up to you.

By the way, if you are making the icing the day before. I recommend making the cake layers on this day too.

Just wrap them in some cling film and leave them in your fridge overnight.

This way, the next day all you need to do is fill the cake and decorate it.

The fudge icing in a bowl, before being left to set.
The fudge icing in a bowl, after being left to set.

The cake layers

Once the icing has been made, we can move onto making the cake layers.

We are going to bake 3 cake layers, then after they have baked and cool, we are going to cut each layer in half. Giving you 6 layers.

These are the ingredients you will need to make the cake batter:

  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
  • Instant coffee – this will intensify the chocolate flavour.
  • Hot water – we are going to mix this with the cocoa powder, which will also intensify the chocolate flavour.
  • Oil – for moisture. Any flavourless oil works but I like to use vegetable oil.
  • Buttermilk – also for moisture.
  • Eggs – this recipe uses 8 eggs, which I know is a lot. But the recipe also makes a lot of cake batter. 
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Sugar – I used a mixture of both granulated sugar and soft light brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add flavour and again…moisture.
  • Baking soda 
  • Vinegar – this will react with the baking soda as your cake layers bake, giving you fluffier velvety cake layers.
The ingredients needed to make the cake layers.

Ingredients substitutions

For the chocolate cake batter, I’ve used some ingredients that I usually get asked if there are any substitutes for.

So let’s talk about those:

The coffee

Coffee does a great job at intensifying the chocolate flavour in desserts.

If you are worried about the cake tasting coffee flavoured, you don’t need to be. You won’t be able to taste the coffee.

But with that being said, if you don’t want to add the coffee, you can leave it out. It won’t make a huge difference.

The oil

Cakes typically have either oil or butter in them.

Oil adds a lot of moisture, whereas butter adds flavour.

Since we are making a chocolate cake here, chocolate is an overpowering flavour; it takes over. So butter doesn’t really add much to the flavour. 

So I prefer to use oil so I can get that moisture. 

Again, any flavourless oil works, but I use vegetable oil.

If you did want to use butter though, you can.

The recipe card below says to use 400ml of oil. If you are using butter, use 400g of unsalted butter and melt this before using it.

The buttermilk

Buttermilk is another ingredient that I add for moisture.

The best substitute is plain natural yoghurt. I use this most of the time, I never have buttermilk in my fridge. 

Or you could make a buttermilk substitute yourself.

All you need to do is mix 240ml of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice of white vinegar together.

Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it is ready to use.

BUTTTTT I will say, actual buttermilk or plain yoghurt will give you the best results.

The vinegar

When making the cake batter, the last step is to mix together vinegar and baking soda, then you add this into your cake batter.

As the cakes bake, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, which gives your cakes an extra lift. Leaving them with a nice fluffy velvety texture.

White vinegar or apple cider vinegar are the best to use. But if you don’t have either, you could use lemon juice instead.

1 of the cake layers before being baked.
1 of the cake layers inside of a tin after being baked.

Assembling the cake

Once your cake layers have baked and cooled, and your icing has set, you can put them together.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Start by cutting the tops of the 3 layers off, this will just make them more flat and even.
  • Cut each layer in half, leaving you with 6 layers.
  • Place one of the cake layers down onto a cake board.
  • Spread some icing over this. You don’t want to add too much, just a thin layer.
  • Add another cake layer on top and spread more icing over it.
  • Now keep repeating until you have stacked all of your layers.
The cake layers after being filled and stacked.

Decorating the cake

The final step before digging in is to decorate the cake.

I mean to be honest you don’t have to decorate it, you can leave it the way it is if you wanted to. But decorating it is fun I think.

You can decorate it however you want.

All I did was cover the cake in some of the fudge icing, added a swirl on top, and then covered the sides of the cake with some chocolate sprinkles.

But again, you can decorate it however you want.

Then it is finally done!

Here are a few more cake recipes I think you might also like: 

10 Layer Chocolate Cake

5.0 from 7 votes


  • For the fudge icing:
  • 680 g dark chocolate

  • 300 g unsalted butter

  • 220 g icing sugar

  • 600 ml double cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the cake layers:
  • 100 g cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee

  • 160 ml hot water

  • 400 ml vegetable oil

  • 240 ml buttermilk

  • 8 eggs

  • 400 g plain flour

  • 250 g granulated sugar

  • 250 g soft light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar

  • Extras:
  • Some chocolate sprinkles, to decorate (optional)


  • Making the fudge icing:
  • In a large pot, add all the ingredients for the icing, then place this over medium heat.
  • Keep heating this, whiles stirring, until all the chocolate and butter has melted, and you have a smooth mixture.
  • Pour this through a sieve then leave to set until it becomes thick and spreadable. You can either leave this in your fridge for a few hours, or I prefer to just leave it at room temperature overnight.
  • Making the cake layers:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line three 8 inch cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, add the cocoa powder, instant coffee and hot water. Whisk these together.
  • Add the oil, buttermilk and eggs, whisk until combined.
  • Now add the flour and both sugars, whisk until you get a smooth batter.
  • In a small separate bowl, add the baking soda and pour the vinegar over this. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix and then whisk this into your batter.
  • Pour this into your prepared cake tins, then bake in your pre-heated oven for around 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Once baked, leave to cool completely.
  • Putting the cake together:
  • Once your icing has become thick and spreadable, and your cake layers have cooled completely, you can put the cake together.
  • Get your cake layers then cut the tops off, just so that you have more flat even layers. Now cut each one of these layers in half.
  • Place one of your cake layers down onto a cake board and spread some of the icing over this. Add another cake layer on top, then add more icing. Keep repeating until you have used all of your cake layers.
  • Now you can decorate the cake. I just covered it in more icing, added a swirl on top, then covered the sides with some chocolate sprinkles.
  • At this point, you're done. Cut into it and enjoy!


  1. Mina
    February 18, 2024 / 9:05 pm

    Cannot wait to make this!!! I wanted to make it in 3 6inch cake tins, would I need to change the recipe at all???

    • Ash Baber
      February 19, 2024 / 11:10 am

      I’d recommend halving the recipe!

  2. H
    March 5, 2024 / 7:45 pm

    Made this cake last week and it came out perfect. Made a little coffee syrup to make the sponges extra “moist” before layering.
    Just a quick question as I want to make this soon again, the chocolate some people pour over a chocolate cake, is that just melted chocolate or a runny ganache? What would you suggest? Thank you❤️

    • Ash Baber
      March 9, 2024 / 11:30 am

      From the videos I’ve seen I think it usually is just melted chocolate. But I would use a ganache, I think it would taste way better

  3. Sarah
    March 11, 2024 / 9:52 pm

    Brilliant reciepe!! Made for Mother’s Day and halved the reciepe which still made a lot of cake! Reminds me of the “Bruce” cake from matilda- so rich, moist and VERY chocolatey

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