Chocolate Layer Cake

Layer cake chocolate - Lilie Bakery

Un chocolate layer cake terribly delicious with its cocoa sponge cake and Swiss chocolate meringue buttercream icing. A perfect birthday cake to place candles on!

This is a fairly simple layer cake recipe: it contains two preparations to make only. The soft cocoa sponge cake surmounted by a Swiss chocolate meringue buttercream. This icing allows you to make decorations that hold together well, that's its advantage.

And then, depending on the occasion, it will also serve as a very beautiful birthday cake ! All you have to do is plant the candles there ...

How to make this chocolate layer cake?

We start by preparing the three discs cocoa sponge cake from the layer cake. It is very soft and well cocoa. You just have to mix all the ingredients (ending with the milk).

After cooking, they are left to cool for the rest. Moreover, this step can be done the day before, to avoid any stress!

Layer cake chocolate recipe - Lilie Bakery

Then we tackle the icing. For this, we realize the Swiss meringue (a meringue made in a double boiler, then whipped in a food processor or mixer). Add to this meringue diced butter at room temperature then the melted chocolate. The result is a Swiss chocolate meringue buttercream.

The assembly is carried out by placing a disc of sponge cake on which we deposit a layer of icing, then so on. Finally, cover all the layer cake with the remaining icing, finally using a sleeve pocket for the last touches! I list all my equipment at the bottom of the recipe.

Recipe details

I advise you to prepare the sponge cake in advance, and focus on frosting and assembling on D-Day or even the day before.

I use three 15cm molds in diameter, but you can only use one mold. You will need to cook 3 times one after the other.

Layer cake chocolate cream butter Swiss meringue - Lilie Bakery

For the success of the Swiss meringue buttercream, make sure that your butter is ambient temperature. Neither too soft / liquid nor too cold. This guarantees a good mix with the Swiss meringue.

For the decor, take your time! Smoothing does not go well the first time. I always use a angled spatula which allows me to have smooth edges like in my photos.

Other layer cake recipes to try

If you like layer cakes, then I advise you to take a look at other recipes from the blog that you might also like: the Carrot layer cake with spices, Devil's food cake, Raspberry coconut layer cake, Layer cake lemon poppy.

If you make this recipe, don't hesitate to tag @liliebakery on Instagram so I can see your chocolate layer cakes!

Layer cake chocolate - Lilie Bakery
Print Pin
4.5 on 47 votes

Chocolate Layer Cake

Absolute indulgence in this layer cake with its Swiss meringue buttercream ...
Prep time2 hours
Cook time30 minutes
Total2 hours 30 minutes
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, French
Yield: 12 people


Cocoa sponge cake

  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g granulated sugar to be dosed according to your taste
  • 70 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cc baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 190 ml milk at room temperature
  • 1,5 cc natural vanilla extract

Swiss meringue buttercream icing

  • 100 g dark chocolate pastry more or less full-bodied according to your tastes
  • 5 egg whites ambient temperature
  • 220 g granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 340 g diced soft butter at room temperature
  • 2 cc natural vanilla extract


Cocoa sponge cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170 ° traditional heat. Cut circles of baking paper to put in the bottom of three 15cm molds (or your mold if you make 3 successive batches).
  • In a container, combine the flour, powdered sugar, bitter cocoa, baking powder, salt. Separately, relax the eggs with a fork then add to the dry ingredients. Finally, add the milk and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the dough into the 3 molds and bake for about 30 minutes. Then let cool, then unmold on a rack. Put the cakes in the fridge (wrapped) if making the icing the next day.

Swiss meringue buttercream icing

  • Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave, then leave to cool.
  • In a double boiler, manually whisk the egg whites and powdered sugar with the pinch of salt. Remove the container when the egg whites have reached a temperature of 55 ° c.
  • Continue to whip with a food processor or mixer until the container is completely cold (about 10 minutes).
  • At this point, add the diced butter at room temperature, one by one, continuing to whisk for at least 5 minutes, medium speed.
  • Finish by adding the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate (ideally with the flat mixer of the food processor).

Assembly of the layer cake

  • Place a cardboard holder on your serving cake pan (this is optional). Secure it with a little icing. Ideally, take a turntable to put under your cake pan, the icing will be easier to achieve.
  • Take the first disc of sponge cake, fix it on the cardboard support using a knob of icing. Cover it with a layer of icing then place the second disc. Ditto, layer of icing then 1rd disc.
  • Place a layer of icing on top and spread over the layer cake using a spatula to cover it entirely, this is the famous "crumb-coat". Be careful, this layer must be very thin, you can see the 3 cakes through. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Continue the icing by distributing (as best as possible) the cream on top and sides using an angled spatula. You have to leave a minimum of traces of course ...
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip with the rest of the cream, and make small domes all around the cake (at the base and on the top) to have a rendering as in my photos.
  • Decorate with chocolate or grated chocolate sprinkles. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.


Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. As it is a buttercream, it is important to take out this layer cake 30 minutes before serving it to fully awaken its flavors.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @liliebakery on Instagram so I can see the result :)



  1. Reply

    soft focus

    12th November 2012

    he is magnificent! and worthy of a showcase, I don't know if I would dare to eat it… (AH BUT OF COURSE THAT IF !!!)

  2. Reply

    LadyMilonguera @ A fun siphon ...

    12th November 2012

    It is really superb!

  3. Reply


    12th November 2012

    Superb! I put it aside because it is exactly the kind of cake I would like for my birthday in early 2013!

  4. Reply

    Strawberry basil

    12th November 2012

    This layer cake is just incredibly beautiful! I take this opportunity to wish you a happy birthday then!

    If the recipe doesn't scare me, it's really the editing that seems more than complex to me!

    See you soon

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      12th November 2012

      Thank you, Strawberry Basil! Indeed, the assembly / decoration is the least easy to do, but even if the decoration is not at the top, the taste will be there!

  5. Reply


    12th November 2012

    MAGNIFICENT!!! What a beautiful birthday cake !!!!

  6. Reply


    12th November 2012

    wow wow wow, I love it. You had a great time, tell me for your birthday;)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      12th November 2012

      It's the day we don't deny ourselves anything, isn't it? :-)

  7. Reply


    12th November 2012

    Wow !!! It's so good to have fun;)

  8. Reply


    12th November 2012

    This cake is really very very beautiful! And happy birthday :)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      12th November 2012

      Thanks Co! :-)

  9. Reply


    12th November 2012

    Pfiou a marvel!…

  10. Reply


    12th November 2012

    This cake is MAGNIFICENT! Worthy of a great Paris pastry shop!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      12th November 2012

      What a beautiful compliment! Thanks LeeYaa!

  11. Reply


    12th November 2012

    it is just perfect, beautiful… BRAVO ♥


  12. Reply


    13th November 2012

    Whaouuuh that's a cake !!! We take full eyes and I'm sure it must have been delicious: P Magnificent !! You are really very very talented: P

  13. Reply


    13th November 2012

    Wow! Another great achievement. Beautiful… I would say magnificent!
    Kisses X

  14. Reply


    13th November 2012

    No but WOAW !!!! He is magnificent ! You are really very talented, I admire your recipes, your photos, it's always a taste and visual happiness ^^ Ah and I forgot: Happy birthday ^^ Kisses

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      15th November 2012

      Thank you to you for these compliments! See you soon.

  15. Reply


    13th November 2012

    He is magnificent!!!! <3 A very happy birthday with a little delay…. ;-)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      15th November 2012

      Thank you Gaëlle :-) I saw your tag, I must try to find the time to do it in my turn… See you soon!

  16. Reply

    Marie Kitchen

    14th November 2012

    Your cakes are so beautiful… it's a dream, it's magnificent! What a great job! Well done !

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      15th November 2012

      Thank you Marie! Pastry is a dream, you're right! See you soon.

  17. Reply


    14th November 2012

    he is sublime, happy birthday ;-)
    I can't seem to make such a smooth icing, congratulations it's really successful.

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      15th November 2012

      Thanks Kiki! :-) It's true, not easy easy smoothing, I spent a lot of time there… See you soon!

  18. Reply

    celine cooking

    14th November 2012

    It is really superb !!! your blog is beautiful too !!!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      15th November 2012

      Thank you Céline for your message and your visit, see you soon!

  19. Reply


    15th November 2012

    Hello Lilie! I am amazed every time I see this cake ... I take this opportunity to send you a little tag: B

    Have a good day!

  20. Reply


    15th November 2012

    Superb, and greedy what an appetizing cake, perfect to celebrate a superb birthday !!! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Reply


    16th November 2012

    Wow! It is superb! I can't believe it, there isn't ONE trace, the smoothing is perfect (Admit, you missed 3 before, right? ... lol). Your achievements are a real pleasure for the eyes and the taste buds!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      25th November 2012

      Eheheh, Sabrina, this is my 1st smoothing on layer cake, it's true, on the other hand I spent time there :-)

  22. Reply

    Ninie Thumb

    17th November 2012

    OMG this cake is too envious. I dream of having the courage and the talent to make such a cake one day.

  23. Reply


    19th November 2012

    Your cake is really beautiful, you seem to have mastered the icing! Ps: happy birthday; )

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      25th November 2012

      Thanks Eva! You have to be patient for the icing, but it's done, nothing insurmountable ... :-)

  24. Reply

    O gourm @ ndiz

    20th November 2012

    This cake is sumptuous !!! I discovered your blog, I hasten to add it to my favorites. At the next birthday, I come to look for a recipe on your blog :-)

  25. Reply


    23th November 2012

    It is sublime, I love it!

  26. Reply


    27th November 2012

    Whoa… He is sublime!

  27. Reply


    30th November 2012

    Wah! He is magnificent! I discovered your blog and I think it will go straight to the favorites. Biz

  28. Reply

    pizza directory

    December 13, 2012

    Beautiful, I envy all those who have been invited to taste it.

    Happy birthday anyway!

  29. Reply


    3th January 2013

    I tried the recipe and frankly everyone liked it! thank you :)

  30. Reply


    3th January 2013


  31. Reply


    14th January 2013


    I discovered your blog thanks to my little sister who tried one of your recipes, and well I find it super awesome.
    I remained silent in front of your birthday cake and in front of the layer cake covered with pink.
    I think I will come often to visit your blog.
    very good continuation and above all continue to treat us

  32. Reply


    22th February 2013

    while looking for an idea of ​​cakes to make for the holidays with my children, I came across the wish which is really a pleasure for the eyes my children in spit in advance
    I just want to know if the proportions you put for the cakes are for one or is it for all three?
    thank you in advance bravo and good luck

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      24th February 2013

      Hello, the proportions listed correspond to the 3 levels of cake. Thank you for your visit, @ soon.

  33. Reply


    March 13, 2013

    Wow wow wow!
    This cake is absolutely fabulous! And I'm sure he was excellent!
    In any case BRAVO!

  34. Reply


    March 26, 2013

    hello Lillie, this cake is really beautiful Congratulations
    Tell me then make the whole cake the old one then place it in the fridge?
    See you soon

  35. Reply

    Make me bite!

    29th June 2013

    Bravo for this superb cake !!

    I have a little "technical" question: is there no fat, butter or oil in the base of your cake?

    Thank you for your answer and have a good weekend!

  36. Reply


    1th October, 2013

    Super cake, it must be delicious;) a small question what butter do you use for the icing please?

  37. Reply


    27th October, 2013

    Troooooooop beautiful it's great and thank you again for your recipes I did it for my husband's birthday he was delighted and my children too you are a true pastry fairy I give you lots of kisses and thank you again thanks to you it was a nice surprise

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      29th October, 2013

      Thank you very much Mimi! :-)

  38. Reply

    happy sweet cake

    23th November 2013

    Super nice cake and super nice blog ^^ I love the recipe, both cake and buttercream. The rendering is just beautiful and the icing of your cake is just PERFECT !!!

  39. Reply


    April 9th

    hello i just want to know if you put butter in the cake or not? thank you

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 11th

      Hello, no butter in the cake recipe, yes in the icing. See you soon.

  40. Reply


    31th May 2014

    Hello I would like to know if our mold is larger the quantities change or remain the same thank you my mold is 24cm I am not smaller

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      3th June 2014

      Hello, you will have to increase the quantities by two I think (subject to it, because I have not tested with a 24cm mold…). @ soon

  41. Reply


    3th October, 2014

    little question. I prepared the dough three times instead of once…. I will therefore have three cakes. In your opinion Can I freeze one?
    thank you in advance

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      7th October, 2014

      Hello Emily, yes no worries, it freezes very well when cooked (not garnished). @ soon

  42. Reply


    26th November 2014


    I noticed there was no butter in the cake, is this normal?
    I tried it anyway, but I think I made a mistake, I baked the whole appliance in a single mold, it was all deflated and pasty, that's it, it's not the fault of the recipe but I think it was necessary to cut the dough in 3 as it was said,
    thank you again for all these recipes,

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      26th November 2014

      Hello, it is indeed normal that there is no butter. For the recipe, it is mentioned to cook 3 successively in the same mold or to use 3 different molds to go faster. Indeed if you poured all of the dough in one and the same baking, the cake simply could not bake properly. @ soon

  43. Reply

    Lilie berenice

    December 3, 2014

    how to achieve such a perfect assembly? The icing is completely uniform, perfectly smooth, no trace of a spatula!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      December 7, 2014

      Hello, I always use a small angled spatula to smooth my layer cakes, no secret outside of that! @ soon

  44. Reply


    17th January 2015


    This cake looks DE-LI-CIEUX !!! Bravoo;)

    Do you think that it is possible to bake the dough all at once in a 15cm by 10 high mold… ??

    Merci :)

  45. Reply

    Lassale nasturtium

    27th January 2015

    Hi beauty! I would have liked to know if the Swiss buttercream icing could be covered with sugar paste? Kisses!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      5th February 2015

      Hello, yes you can use Swiss meringue buttercream to lay a thin layer on the cake before covering it with sugar paste. @ soon

  46. Reply

    incorrigible greedy

    28th January 2015

    Hello Lilie. as you can see I took a speudo; I have not yet made this beautiful cake but it will not be long. I just made your Bavarian with 3 chocolates and I can tell you that I had a hit with it. It's a wonder and I'm very happy to have found your blog because you have recipes that are really out of the ordinary. not always good for the line but what do you want it's so good and beautiful to watch. Thank you for everything and keep telling us you're the best. See you soon. Kisses.

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      5th February 2015

      Wow, well what compliments :-) Thank you to you, and good food! @ soon

  47. Reply

    Lady Cakes

    15th February 2015

    Hello, I'm Lady Gâteaux and as my name suggests, I'm a fan of pastry and also of chocolate (hence my stop on this magnificent Layer Cake!)! Your icing is just perfect… Bravo!
    I invite you to come and visit my pastry shop window on my Lady Cakes Page on FB or on my website…Miam !

  48. Reply


    28th February 2015

    Bravo for this cake, it is magnificent! I was wondering (except errors) if it is normal that there is no butter in the dough of the chocolate cake?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      March 9, 2015

      Hello, yes it is normal, the butter is not obligatory. @ soon

  49. Reply


    July 8, 2015

    Hello, I would have liked to know: when whipping the sugar with the egg whites in a bain-marie, do you use a hand whisk or the mixer? Thank you

  50. Reply


    25th May 2016

    Hello lili again a magnificent achievement
    I was wondering can I prepare the icing the day before and poach the day? Or better do everything the day before and put it in the fridge please
    Thank you

  51. Reply


    25th May 2016

    Hello Lilie, I have to make a layer cake for 18 people but the only mold I made 26 cm. What to do in terms of quantities? I thought I would only bake 2 cakes so can I keep the same quantities as your recipe where I try 3 cakes and multiply by 2?

  52. Reply


    July 27, 2016

    Hello Lilie! Do you think baking and mounting this cake a day before? Would the icing keep a day cool?
    Merci :)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      August 9, 2016

      Hello Marion, if you put in the cold, the butter in the icing will harden. Ideally, it is kept under a bell. Or you take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before tasting.

  53. Reply


    September 1, 2016

    Hello Lilie,
    I made this cake for my son's birthday. It wasn't as beautiful as yours though it was delicious. I had never made Swiss meringue buttercream, so I was a little stressed but it was a success.
    A very big thank you for sharing, I will come back often to take a look at your wonderful blog.

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      September 14, 2016

      Thank you Céline for your little note :)

  54. Reply


    18th October, 2016

    Hello :)! Superb cake :)! I have a question, do we make the sponge cake 3 times or do we try to spread the dough in 3?
    Thank you for your answer kisses :)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      3th November 2016

      We must divide this dough into 3 molds, for 3 discs of sponge cake. See you soon

  55. Reply


    December 15, 2016

    Good evening quelke quantity for 24 cm molds

  56. Reply


    21th January 2017

    So I test them and I say super good the cream a killer thank you for this easy recipe a thousand thank you Catherine

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      28th January 2017

      Super thank you Catherine for your return :)

  57. Reply


    17th February 2017

    Hello, I would like to make this very beautiful cake but I did not find the baking time can someone please help me?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      24th February 2017

      Cooking is 30 minutes;)

  58. Reply


    27th February 2017

    Small question, do you have to put several layers of icing? If so, should the cake be put back to cool on each layer?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 12th

      A good layer of icing is enough for the final decoration;)

  59. Reply


    March 26, 2017

    I tested this recipe yesterday but mmm if it is good it is not my favorite texture and way too sweet for me and my partner. But it's still personal because I made several of your recipes that we adored. So my question then go back to the recipe for your chocolate peanut butter cupcake to make this layer cake? Because the biscuit is extra soft and I love it and the buttercream is there I find it less cloying but in terms of proportion is it enough or do I have to double or add just 1/3 of the recipe to obtain this layer cake please?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 12th

      Hello Noémie, it is indeed very sweet, you can try to adapt the recipe for layer cake cupcakes, by trying to double the proportions. Adjustments may be necessary.

  60. Reply


    April 20th

    I don't see the amount of butter to make the cakes? Is it an oversight?
    Thank you for your generosity

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      10th May 2017

      Hello Laure, yes it's normal, there is no butter;)

  61. Reply

    katia pau

    14th October, 2017

    Hello, I do not understand what this 11/2 cc measure of vanilla extract corresponds to?
    Thank you for answering me, I can't wait to get started

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      24th October, 2017

      1 1/2 = 1,5;)

  62. Reply

    pushed bou

    25th October, 2017

    hello lili is it possible to make the same cake all at once in a 15 × 10 genoise mold please? thank you

  63. Reply

    eva biwole

    April 25th

    do you have to use unsweetened cocoa or you can use nesquik

  64. Reply


    21th November 2020

    Hello thank you for this recipe.
    A question please, if I put the cake in 1 mold is it possible? Thank you

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      23th November 2020

      Hello, yes it is possible, it will be necessary to cut into 3 equal levels then

  65. Reply


    March 2, 2021

    5 stars
    I had a blast with this cake !! As advised I did it in advance and everything was perfect, I can not wait to test other recipes

  66. Reply

    Jacqueline Roussel-Lecardonnel

    3th May 2021

    5 stars

    For the buttercream, I wonder if I can make it with milk chocolate and in this case should I put more chocolate?
    Have a nice day and thank you for your blog.

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      4th May 2021

      Hello Jacqueline, I'm afraid that milk chocolate is too sickening. Here the chocolate is light-bodied (52% cocoa), it is mixed with Swiss meringue buttercream, which further reduces its intensity. If you really want to give it a try, don't change the dose of chocolate as it will change the final texture. See you soon :)

  67. Reply


    19th May 2021

    5 stars

    Could you tell me if the recipe has changed recently? I had in mind 150gr of flour and 300 of sugar. I thought it was a lot that had marked me but excellent sponge cake

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      19th May 2021

      Hello Naima, thank you for your message. In a desire to reduce the sugar present in my recipes, I slightly lowered the dose of sugar in this chocolate layer cake. However if you want to have the same result as before in terms of sugar, you can absolutely add more. It has to suit your taste :) See you soon!

  68. Reply

    a little pastry chef

    26th January 2023

    5 stars
    we are in 2023 and this recipe is still as beautiful and good. Congratulations for this magnificent recipe and in addition it is simple I am 13 years old and I succeeded. Congratulations again.

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      30th January 2023

      Well done ! Goodbye :)

  69. Reply


    2th February 2023

    I would like to make this cake for my daughter's 4th birthday, she loves chocolate. However, I would like to use food coloring because she would like a Frozen and Rapunzel cake…
    I'm thinking of using white chocolate for the outer icing instead… what do you think? If yes, how much?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      7th February 2023

      Hello Mathilde, I understand your request but it would be a completely different recipe because white chocolate cannot be dosed at all like dark chocolate. I advise you to find another recipe for frosting like here:

  70. Reply


    December 14, 2023

    Good morning!! After having tested and LOVED 2 of your recipes (lemon meringue logs and vanilla caramel pecan logs, photos and comments to come :-))
    I'm planning to make this for my littlest's birthday.
    Quick question ^^ Can I make it in advance and freeze it??
    Indeed, I would like to keep the surprise intact and take advantage of the last days of school to do so :-D

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      December 14, 2023

      Hello Angélina, yes you can freeze the cake discs individually in the freezer or freeze the fully decorated cake. Make sure to wrap it well so that it does not get damp. To defrost it will be in the refrigerator for 6 hours. See you soon :)

  71. Reply


    April 9th

    5 stars
    He looks super handsome! I'm going to try making this for my kids' double birthday! Does it start to melt if left unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours?

    thank you in advance

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 10th

      Hello Léonor, this layer cake is best taken out of the fridge 30 minutes before because it is a Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Two hours might be a bit long. Once the guests are served, you can put it back in the fridge though. See you soon :)


Leave me a rating for this recipe :)