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Old-Fashioned Swiss Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Get ready to meet your new favorite cake – an Old-Fashioned Swiss Chocolate Cake so decadent it will have you doing a happy dance with every mouthwatering bite. I’m talking layers of chocolatey delight brimming with rich, cocoa goodness. Each tender morsel melts in your mouth, releasing an intense chocolate flavor that dances on your taste buds.
One slice of this sensational cake will transport you straight to chocolate paradise. The addition of freshly brewed coffee magnifies the deep, complex chocolate notes, taking this cake over the top. And let’s not forget the silky chocolate buttercream frosting that adds the perfect sweet finish.
I absolutely love whipping up this impressive yet easy-as-pie cake for gatherings with my nearest and dearest. Watching their eyes light up when I bring it to the table makes my heart soar. And the rave reviews and clean plates let me know I’ve got a winning recipe on my hands!
Get excited chocolate lovers because today is your lucky day! I’m over-the-moon thrilled to finally share my cherished family recipe for Old-Fashioned Swiss Chocolate Cake with all of you. It’s been passed down in my family for years, creating incredible memories at birthdays and holidays. And now I can’t wait for you to make new memories with this sensational cake too!
So let’s get busy, shall we? It’s time to preheat that oven and get baking this mouthwatering chocolate confection that will become your new go-to treat!

What type of cocoa powder works best for this cake?

For the richest chocolate flavor, use a high-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder like Ghirardelli or Valrhona. The Dutch process gives the cocoa a milder flavor that really allows the chocolate taste to shine. Natural cocoa powder can work too but may result in a slightly more bitter taste.

Can I make this cake without buttermilk?

Buttermilk gives great tanginess and moisture to the cake but you can substitute it. For every 1 cup buttermilk, use 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes before using. The acid helps replicate the texture and flavor buttermilk provides.

My cake layers are sticking to the pans, help!

To ensure the cakes seamlessly release from the pans, properly grease and flour them first. You can also line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy release. If they still stick, gently run a knife around the edges and they should come out cleanly. Letting them cool for 10 minutes before inverting also helps prevent sticking.

How do I get the frosting super smooth?

Using room temperature butter and ingredients ensures the silkiest frosting. Beat it on high speed for 3-5 minutes to add air and get it light and fluffy. Frosting the cooled cake layers gives you the ideal canvas for spreading. Finally, lightly smoothing it with an offset spatula makes for a flawless frosted cake.

How should I store any leftovers?

Cover leftover cake tightly in plastic wrap or an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The frosting will firm up when chilled so let slices sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving for the best texture. You can also individually wrap slices in plastic wrap to grab and go!

So let’s get baking! Here’s everything you need to know to make this sensational chocolate cake at home.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and hot coffee.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until blended and smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  8. Once the cakes are cooled, spread a generous layer of frosting on one cake layer. Top with the second cake layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides.
  9. Serve and enjoy this decadent chocolate cake! Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Cooking tips :

  • Use high-quality cocoa powder for the richest chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa works best.
  • Brew an extra strong cup of coffee to really intensify the chocolate taste.
  • Don’t overbake the cake. It should be moist with a delicate crumb.
  • Allow the cake layers to cool completely before assembling and frosting.
  • Use room temperature ingredients for the smoothest frosting.
  • Consider garnishing with chocolate shavings or fresh raspberries for a pop of color.
  • Store the frosted cake in the fridge to help the frosting firm up. Let slices come to room temperature before serving.
  • Wrap leftover slices individually in plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out.

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