Last updated on September 27th, 2023.
This is the ultimate chocolate brownie cake recipe, in fact, this is the ultimate chocolate lover cake. It is dense, fudgy, light, and fluffy all at the same time. You can bake it as a brownie pound cake, a cake layer, and even cupcakes, and it is great for a special occasion.
What is Brownie Cake?
It is a cake with the density and texture of a brownie and also the properties of cake. Meaning it is light and fluffy as well. I know it sounds like I just describe two opposite desserts but believe it or not this is what this Brownie Chocolate Cake Recipe is all about.
As you cut into the cake, much like any other cake, the knife goes smoothly through the tiny air bubbles, and the slice is light and a bit crumbly. Then as you bite into it, you immediately taste the flavors and texture of a chocolate brownie. I kid you not when I say that this is the best brownie bundt cake recipe, and it is a great option when you can’t decide between chocolate cake and Biscoff Brownies.
First, let me add that my favorite part is that this is a homemade chocolate brownie cake recipe baked from scratch without any box mixes, and you only need a few bowls and an electric mixer!
The way this cake gets its brownie texture and cake properties is:
- High fat and sugar content, which is higher than flour.
- Incorporating air bubbles by whipping the cream and then folding it into the cake batter.
But before we go on…
While this is an excellent recipe for a layer cake, and the cake is moist and tender, please note that it has an intense chocolate flavor and is a very rich, fudgy brownie cake and denser than the average chocolate cake.
Note: You can find the whole ingredients list, including measurements, below on the recipe card.
While the cake calls for relatively simple ingredients, it is essential that you’ll use high-quality unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Like in this Black Forest Brownie recipe, I used Scharffen Berger (not sponsored, not affiliated), the quality is always excellent, and I love their large bricks of chocolate.
- Natural cocoa powder. Because it is an acidic powder it will set the cake faster, and since the cake will need less time in the oven, less moisture will evaporate and fewer air bubbles will be disturbed. For more information, read all about What Is Cocoa Powder.
- Heavy whipping cream. Any brand is fine, just make sure it is heavy whipping cream and not light cream.
- Unsweetened chocolate. The high content of fat in the chocolate will continue the rich texture of the cake. In addition, the cocoa butter melts at body temperature, which means the cake will literally melt in the mouth, much like these Brownie Blondies. Read all about What is unsweetened chocolate and What Is Dark Chocolate?
- Light brown sugar and Granulated sugar. The combination of the two will contribute to the flavor and texture of the cake.
- Unsalted butter. You can also use salted butter, make sure not to add the salt.
- All-purpose flour.
- Baking powder
Every ingredient was carefully chosen and has an important rule in this recipe so if possible avoid making any changes.
- Dutch cocoa butter. Can be used instead of the natural cocoa butter. Reduce the baking powder to ½ tsp and add ¼ tsp of baking soda. Note that the cake will come out a bit denser. You can read all about Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder In Baking.
- Light Brown Sugar. Remove and use only granulated sugar.
- Unsweetened Chocolate. Can be replaced with dark chocolate 72% and higher.
How to make brownie cake
Note: the full browney cake recipe can be found below on the recipe card.
But before we start, like mentioned before the cake gets its lightness from the whipped cream we fold into the batter. But before whipping the cream, we need to bring the cream to a boil then pour it over the cocoa powder and allow it to bloom, and release all of the yummy chocolate flavors (you can learn more about the process of chocolate bloom in my book “Baking Science”. So please plan ahead since the cream will need to completely cool before we whip it.
- Bloom the cocoa powder. Measure the cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl, bring the cream to a boil then gradually pour it over the cocoa powder. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.
- Melt. Over a double boiler (or in the microwave) melt the chocolate, light brown sugar, and butter. Pour the melted mixture into a large bowl then add the rest of the sugar.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time.
- Allow resting for 10 minutes. This is so the sugar will bond with the liquid that is in the mixture and provide us with a moist and tender cake. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl then mix the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.
- Whip the chocolate heavy cream until stiff peaks form then fold it into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan (or divide the batter between cake pans) and bake.
Other than changing the pan and style (cupcakes) I would only recommend that if you wish you can mix 1 cup of chocolate chips into the batter.
How to tell that the Brownie cake is ready?
Much like when we bake brownies, we do not want the cake to completely dry out. There are two ways to know if the cake is ready
- The top of the cake appears to be crusty.
- The toothpick test. A toothpick comes out of the center of the cake with a few moist crumbs, and/or some crumbs with wet batter. If it comes out completely wet, then it needs more time.
Know that the baking time will change depending on the type of pan you use. For a bundt pan, for 38-44 minutes, layer cake for 25-28 minutes, and cupcakes for 15-17 minutes. Also, your over is different than mine so pay more attention to the signs I describe above rather than the time.
Please read these tips carefully as they are vital for baking the perfect cake.
- Pour the boiled cream over the cocoa powder gradually to prevent clumping.
- Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature unless otherwise instructed.
- Before folding the whipped cream into the batter, mix in 1/4 of the cream for easy distribution.
- Use an offset spatula to level the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before inverting it to a cooling rack. Do not allow the cake to completely cool in the pan; otherwise, it will stick to the pan.
Storing and making ahead
The cake is best stored at room temperature and covered for up to 4 days. You can make the cake/cakes/cupcakes up to 10 days in advance, cover them with plastic wrap, or place them in an airtight container and freeze.
brownie cake ideas for toppings
Here are some ideas for you to fill and or frost the cake/cupcakes with:
- Chocolate drizzle – see the recipe on the recipe card.
- Chocolate ganache, you can also learn more about what is chocolate ganache and personalize your topping.
- Whipped ganache
- Cream cheese frosting
- Whipped chocolate cream
In this recipe is the addition of heavy cream and baking powder.
Cake-like brownies will have a fluffier and lighter texture, while fudgy brownies will be denser and more decadent.
A cake contains more flour and some form of leavening.
Brownies are mostly referred to as cookies or bars.
Another way for this recipe.
Brownies are dense cookies rich in fat with little air incorporated into the batter. Cakes are lighter and tend to rise tall.
No. Brownies fat: flour ratio is much higher than cakes. Also, cakes are light and airy; brownies are dense and rich.
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Best Brownie Cake Recipe
This is the ultimate chococlate cake recipe, it is tender, moist and rich with choclate flavors.
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened natural cocoa powder (45 g / 1.5 oz)
- 1 1/2 Cups Heavy whipping cream (360 ml / 12 floz)
- 11 TBSP Unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces (160 g / 5.5 oz)
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetned chocolate, chopped (120 g / 4 oz)
- 1/2 Cup Light brown sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz)
- 1 Cup Granulated sugar (200 g / 7 oz)
- 4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Cup All-purpose flour (120 g / 4 oz)
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Semi-sweet chopped chocolate (170 g / 6 oz)
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil (30 ml)
Make ahead: Place the cocoa powder in a medium bowl (preferably a stainless steel bowl). Bring the heavy cream to a soft boil, then gradually pour the cream over the cocoa powder while stirring to prevent clumps. Let sit for 10 minutes then place in the refrigerator to completely cool, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C), and grease 8 cups bundt pan with butter or a baking oil spray.
Over a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the butter, chopped chocolate, and light brown sugar.
Transfer the melted mixture to a large bowl then mix in the granulated sugar. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Set aside to allow the mixture to dissolve the sugar for about 10 minutes stirring 2-3 times. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Use a hand mixer to whip the cool heavy cream until a stiff peak is formed.
Mix the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture then fold in the whipped cream. (start by mixing in 1/4 of the cream then fold in the rest)
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs from the center of the cake.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes then invert the cake onto your serving plate.
Serve with melted chocolate, whipped cream, or ice cream.
Melt the chocolate, and mix in the vegetable oil until smooth, drizzle over the cake.
- Be sure to pour the boiled cream over the cocoa powder about 2 hours ahead of time and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. If it does not cool completely, the cream will not whip.
- Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, excluding the cocoa whipped cream.
- To make cupcakes: divide the batter between 18 cupcake liners and fill each up to 3/4 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs from the center of the cupcakes.
- To make layer cake: divide the batter between 3 6-inch baking pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs from the center of the cakes. For an 8-inch layer cake, double the recipe of 1.5 (instead of 4 eggs, use six eggs as an example) and divide the cake between 3 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes.
- The cake is best stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.