Brooklyn Blackout Cake

I recently tried Brooklyn blackout cake…I AM UPSET.

I don’t know why I have never tried it before, I wish I knew about it earlier. It’s sooooo good, I think it’s my new favourite kind of chocolate cake.

Essentially it’s layers of chocolate cake that are filled with a chocolate pudding, and then covered in a fudge icing and cake crumbs. Once again, IT’S SO GOOD.

A slice of the Brooklyn blackout cake on a plate, with the full cake in the background.

Video Tutorial

Breakdown of the process

I recommend making this cake over 2 days, just because the pudding and the fudge icing both need time to set.

So making it over 2 days makes it so much easier.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we are going to be doing:

Day 1:

  • Make the pudding.
  • Make the cake layers.
  • Make the fudge icing.

Day 2:

  • Level your cake layers.
  • Stack them, with layers of pudding between them.
  • Now ice with the fudge icing and decorate. 
The full Brooklyn blackout cake after being decorated.

The pudding

The pudding takes the longest to cool and to set up, so this is why we are making it first.

If I’m being honest, I don’t know exactly what pudding is.

I think this kind of pudding is not common in the UK, it seems very American.

So I made it the way I saw fit. If you’re looking at the recipe and thinking ‘THIS IS NOT PUDDING’…I apologise.

Anyway, these are the ingredients I used to make it:

  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
  • Corn flour – also known as cornstarch.
  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
  • Milk – make sure to use whole milk.
  • Egg yolks
  • Soft light brown sugar – regular granulated sugar does work, but brown sugar is going to add a lot more flavour. So I recommend brown sugar.
  • Salt – just a little to help enhance the flavours.

Making it is super easy, we’re just going to heat everything together until the mixture thickens, then leave this in your fridge overnight.

The cake layers stacked, with the pudding between the layers.

The cake layers

We’re going to make 3 chocolate cake layers for this. 

I made the same chocolate cake batter I use all the time. I love it so much, the cake always comes out so soft and moist and fluffy. And it’s also very easy to make.

These are the ingredients you will need to make it: 

  • Cocoa powder
  • Instant coffee – this is going to help intensify the chocolate flavour.
  • Hot water – this is going to hydrate the cocoa powder, which will also intensify the chocolate flavour.
  • Oil – for moisture. Any flavourless oil works, but I used vegetable oil.
  • Buttermilk – also for moisture.
  • Eggs
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Sugar – I use a mixture of both white and brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add a lot of moisture and flavour.
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar – this is going to react with the baking soda as your cake layers bake, giving you fluffier cake layers.
Some of the cake batter inside of a cake tin.
1 of the cake layers inside of a tin, after being baked.

Substitutions for the cake ingredients

Whenever I make my chocolate cake batter, there are always some ingredients that I get asked if there are any substitutions for.

So let’s talk about them.

The coffee

Coffee is used in a lot of chocolate desserts. All it does is help enhance the chocolate flavour.

If you’re worried about your cake tasting like coffee, you don’t need to be worried.

It doesn’t make the cake taste coffee flavoured at all. All it is doing is making it taste more chocolaty. 

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


Buttermilk is great to use in cakes, it adds a lot of moisture.

If you can’t find any though, plain natural yoghurt works just as well. I always have plain yoghurt in my fridge, so I always just use this.

Or you could make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 180ml of whole milk and 1/2 a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it is ready to be used.

BUTTTTTT actual buttermilk or plain yoghurt will give you the best results. So I really recommend using these.

The vinegar 

The last thing we are going to do when making this cake batter is mix some white vinegar with baking soda.

Then we’re going to mix this into the cake batter.

As the cake layers bake, this vinegar is going to react with the baking soda, which will give the cakes an extra lift. This will leave you with cake layers that are fluffier and have a velvety texture.

I use white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works too. If you don’t have either, lemon juice can be used, but vinegar will work best.

1 of the cake layers after being levelled.

The fudge icing

The last thing we are making is the fudge icing.

We’re not going to make a lot. The fudge icing is just for the outside of the cake, so we don’t need a lot.

Just like the pudding, all we are doing is heating all the ingredients together, then leaving it to set.

The ingredients are:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Unsalted butter
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar.
  • Double crem
  • Salt

Once it has been made, we’re going to leave it to set at room temperature overnight. The next day it will have become thick and spreadable.

Do I have to use dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate works best, it gives your icing the best texture.

If you are worried about the icing tasting bitter, I don’t think it does, but if you do think it’s bitter you can add more icing sugar.

Once all the ingredients have been melted together, try it. If you think it tastes bitter, mix in some more icing sugar.

But remember, you’re going to be eating this icing with cake and also pudding, so don’t add too much sugar, you don’t want it to be too sweet.

Unless you like that, then you do you, make it as sweet as you like.

The fudge icing inside of a bowl, after it had set.

Decorating the cake

Now that everything has been made, cooled and set, we can finally put the cake together.

To do this, I just levelled my cake layers by cutting the tops off, then I stacked them with pudding between them, and covered the outside with the fudge icing.

Now you can decorate the cake however you want.

From what I’ve seen, Brooklyn blackout cake is usually coated in cake crumbs.

So with the cake that I had cut off, from the tops my cake layers, I crumbled this and coated the cake with these cake crumbs.

And then with the leftover fudge icing I had, I piped this on top. 

But again, you can decorate the cake however you want.


I know there is quite a few parts to it, and it was made over 2 days. But the time and effort you have put in is so worth it TRUST ME.

The top of the blackout cake after being decorated.

I make a lot of cakes. Here are some other cake recipes I think you need to try:

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

5.0 from 1 vote


  • For the pudding:
  • 20 g cocoa powder

  • 40 g corn flour

  • 300 ml double cream

  • 300 ml whole milk

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 200 g soft light brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the cake layers:
  • 75 g cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee

  • 120 ml hot water

  • 300 ml vegetable oil

  • 180 ml buttermilk

  • 6 eggs

  • 300 g plain flour

  • 180 g granulated sugar

  • 180 g soft light brown sugar

  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • For the fudge icing:
  • 220 g dark chocolate

  • 100 g unsalted butter

  • 80 g icing sugar

  • 260 ml double cream

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • DAY 1
  • Making the pudding:
  • In a large pot, add all the ingredients for the pudding. Whisk everything together, then place this onto medium heat.
  • Keep heating this, whiles CONSTANTLY whisking, until the mixture thickens.
  • Push this mixture through a sieve, then cover with cling film. Make sure the cling film is touching the surface of the pudding.
  • Leave this in your fridge to cool and thicken overnight.
  • Making the cake layers:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c. Also grease and line three 8 inch cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, add the cocoa powder, coffee and hot water. Whisk these together.
  • Now add the oil, buttermilk and eggs. Whisk all this together.
  • 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 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Once baked, leave to cool. Then take them out of the tin, wrap in cling film, then also leave these in your fridge overnight too.
  • 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 this to set, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, overnight. After it has set, it will have become thicker and more spreadable.
  • DAY 2
  • Putting the cake together:
  • Now that everything has been made, we can put the cake together.
  • Start by cutting the tops of your cake layers off, just so we have more even layers. Keep the cake you cut off aside, we're going to use this to decorate.
  • Place one of your cake layers down onto a cake board and spread some of the pudding over this. Add another cake layer, spread more pudding over this, then add the final layer of cake.
  • Now ice the cake with your fudge icing. The cake might be a little wobbly at this point. If you feel like it is too wobbly to ice, leave it in your fridge for about 30 minutes before icing it.
  • Once iced, you can decorate however you want. I crumbled the cake that I cut off, then coated the cake with this. Then I added the leftover fudge icing into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and piped this on top of the cake.
  • After decorating, the cake is done. Enjoy!

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