For all my chocolate lovers out there, this one’s for you! This legendary Blackout Cake is so moist and chocolatey, you’ll be rolling your eyes in pure delight from just one bite. It’s a classic Brooklyn favorite that you just won’t want to miss!
What’s in this Blackout Cake Recipe?
A true blackout cake will always be layered with delicious chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, and topped with yummy chocolate cake crumbs. It makes for a moist, crumbly, and chocolatey masterpiece!
- All-Purpose Flour: Gives this cake structure.
- Sugar: A combination of granulated white and brown sugar makes this cake sweet and rich, while powdered sugar sweetens the frosting without making it gritty.
- Dark Cocoa Powder: Adds a deep, dark chocolate flavor to the cake and the frosting.
- Leavening: Baking soda and baking powder
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the chocolatey flavor of the cake and the frosting.
- Eggs: Add richness and structure to the cake.
- Milk: Adds moisture to the cake.
- Greek Yogurt: Adds so much moisture and richness to this cake!
- Water: Helps hydrate the cake and dissolve the sugar and cocoa powder.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness of the cake and the frosting.
- Unsalted Butter: Adds richness to the cake and forms the base of the frosting.
- Heavy Cream: Helps thin the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
Pro Tip: You can use any cocoa powder you like in this cake, although dark will yield the richest flavor.
Variations on Brooklyn Blackout Cake
Blackout cake is a rich chocolate layer cake filled and frosted with fudgy chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate cake crumbs.
Blackout cake was named by Ebinger’s Bakery, a local Brooklyn bakery, in recognition of the mandatory blackouts in Brooklyn to protect the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II.
While you can use any cocoa powder you prefer, I like to use dark cocoa powder here for the richest chocolate flavor.
The original Brooklyn Blackout Cake from Ebinger’s does contain a chocolate pudding filling. However, nowadays, blackout cakes can be made with or without pudding. Blackout cake is really just a common name for a rich, dark chocolate cake! If you’d like, you can definitely make chocolate pudding for the filling!
If your cake is a bit flat, that’s most likely because you didn’t add enough baking powder and baking soda. Also, be sure to check the expiration dates on your baking powder/soda! If they’re expired, they just won’t do the trick.
Greek yogurt is one of those secret ingredients for great cakes you might not know about. We’re using it here to help add moisture to the cake, so it doesn’t end up dry (no one likes a dry cake). Because of the high fat content, Greek yogurt creates a rich and delicious texture.
A dry cake can be caused by 2 things. You may have measured the ingredients incorrectly, or you might have overmixed the batter. It’s important to spoon and level your ingredients if you’re not using a scale, and it’s important to have a light hand when mixing the batter.
How to Store
Store leftover blackout cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve at room temperature.
How to Freeze
Freeze blackout cake whole or in individual slices tightly wrapped in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of aluminum foil for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.
Blackout Cake Recipe
For the Cake
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour 420 grams
- 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
- 1 cup brown sugar 213 grams
- 1½ cups dark cocoa powder 126 grams
- 1 tablespoon baking soda 18 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
- 5 large eggs 250 grams, room temperature
- 2 cups milk 454 grams, room temperature
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 227 grams, room temperature
- 1 cup water 227 grams
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 12 grams
- ¾ cup unsalted butter 170 grams, melted (1½ sticks)
For the Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter 452 grams, room temperature (4 sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar 452 grams
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder 84 grams
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream 114 grams, room temperature
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- Add the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk until combined.3½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1½ cups dark cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Greek yogurt, water, vanilla extract, and melted butter.5 large eggs, 2 cups milk, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, ¾ cup unsalted butter
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a handheld electric mixer until just combined.
- Pour the batter evenly among the 2 cake pans (about 1,264 grams per pan).
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes.
For the Frosting
- Using a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.2 cups unsalted butter
- Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until well incorporated.4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream and mix again until the frosting reaches a smooth and creamy consistency with stiff peaks.2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ cup heavy cream
- Using a bread knife, shave off the rounded top of each cake to create a flat top. Save the cake scraps in a bowl.
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand cut side down. Spread a generous layer of frosting on top. Add on the second layer.
- Frost the entire exterior of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Crumble the cake scraps in your hands to create cake crumbs. Gently press the cake crumbs on the sides of the cake and sprinkle the crumbs on top.
- For a gluten-free blackout cake, swap the all-purpose flour for an equal amount of gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
- You can use any cocoa powder you like in this cake, although dark will yield the richest flavor.
- You can use any milk you have on hand in this recipe, including non-dairy milk.
- In place of the Greek yogurt, you can use sour cream.
- In the cake, in place of the butter, you can use vegetable, canola, or coconut oil.
- Measure your dry ingredients using the spoon-and-level method to avoid adding too much flour.
- Do not overmix the cake batter; otherwise, you will end up with dry, tough cakes.
- Make sure to sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to remove any lumps. This will lead to a smoother frosting.
- Make sure to save your cake scraps for decoration!
- Do not frost warm cakes. The frosting will melt off!
- Feel free to halve the frosting recipe and instead fill your cakes with chocolate pudding.
- The chocolate cake layers can be baked up to 1 day in advance and stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to frost.
- The chocolate frosting can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before using.