Vanilla Cream-Filled Double Chocolate Cake for Two

Vanilla Cream-Filled Cake for Two via Sweetapolita

Hi, guys! This post might be a teaser of sorts with its iPhone-only photos, but the good news is that this recipe is one that I couldn’t go another day without sharing. I had planned to do “official” photos of this cake, and I still might when I make it again for my man on Valentine’s Day, but for now let’s talk about how much I want you to make this cake. (I also think this is perfect best-friend-sharing cake for two!)

What exactly is going on in that little 5″ round tower of gooey decadence? It’s 6 layers of a deep, dark (super-moist) chocolate chip devil’s food cake stacked and filled with a fluffy vanilla cream and smothered in a glossy, satiny, super-chocolaty glaze. I say it’s “for two,” but of course you both might surrender before  it’s all done and save some for later. You can smother it in the glaze and then let it set, but I think it’s much sexier and decadent to pour the warm gooey glaze all over it and embrace the messy deliciousness digging right in — this is no time for cutting pristine slices.

I made this little super-simple chalkboard cake topper to profess my love by cutting out two chalkboard labels with a tag cutter (but you could use scissors) and taping to each side of bamboo skewer that I cut to size. So easy!

And this is one of those cakes that you can infinitely modify with new flavours. I love the idea of adding liqueur to the glaze (I did Grand Marnier for a hint of orange), and you can even go ahead and add some orange zest to the cream filling. I love the idea of an espresso theme — you could add Kahlua to the glaze, and even add a bit of coffee extract to the cream filling. What I do recommend, though, is always using the best chocolate you can, especially with the glaze. I used an extra dark chocolate with 72% cocoa solids, but you can use any kind you like. You’ll just want to stay away from milk chocolate, as it’s just a bit too sweet for this kind of glaze.

I opted out of using a ganache (chocolate and heavy cream) because the cake filling is made from heavy cream, and I find that much ganache on top of this much cake and cream filling a bit over the top, but you could definitely give that a try if you’re feeling rebellious. The glaze is made from chocolate, butter, a bit of light corn syrup, splash of liqueur (optional) and a pinch of sea salt (I also love how easy it is to make.) and, like ganache, takes to pretty much any flavouring you love.

So you might see another version of this cake soon, along with a few other upcoming cake delights, but in the meantime here is the recipe for this ooey gooey, super-chocolaty cake for two. Oh, and if you’d like to check out me digging into this cake for real (and I realize it’s just me . . . not two), you can watch it here, taken via my new favourite iPhone app, “Vine.” An app kind of like Instagram, but rather than viewing snippets of life in images, you see 6-second looped video clips — way too much fun. ♥

Vanilla Cream-Filled Double Chocolate Cake for Two

Yield: One 6-layer, 5-inch round cake

Moist, dark and decadent chocolate chip devil's food cake stacked high and filled with vanilla cream and covered in a rich and super chocolaty glaze . . . for two.


    For the Cake:
  • 1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/3 cups (300 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (145 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) Dutch-process dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk, shaken and warm
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coffee or espresso
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup premium dark or extra dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) white vinegar
  • For the Vanilla Cream Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
  • 1-3/4 cups (420 ml) whipping cream (35-37% fat), cold, divided
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 6 oz (180 g) premium dark or extra dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light corn syrup
  • Splash of liqueur of choice, optional (grand marnier, spiced rum, kahlua, etc.)
  • Pinch of sea salt (regular salt, if necessary)


    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 5-inch round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the coffee and buttermilk. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, then fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda (it will foam) and quickly add to batter, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan for 275 g each (excluding the pans--you will want to tare the scale each time.) This ensures even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 25 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Try not to over-bake.
  6. Let pans cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
  7. For the Vanilla Cream Filling:
  8. In a small bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of the cream just to a simmer, then stir into the gelatin mixture. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, about 8 minutes.
  9. In a chilled stainless steel bowl, beat the remaining whipping cream, icing sugar, vanillla and salt until it thickens slightly and soft peaks form. Very gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form (should be thick enough to spread). Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
  10. For the Chocolate Glaze:
  11. Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in liqueur and salt.
  12. Assembly of the Vanilla Cream-Filled Double Chocolate Cake for Two:
  13. Cut your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 layers.
  14. Place your first layer face-up on a plate and cover with an even thin layer of the Vanilla Cream Filling, taking it right to the edge. Place another cake layer face-up and spread another layer of the filling on top. Repeat until you come to your final cake layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume.
  15. Cover the entire cake gently with plastic wrap, and then, once covered, use your hands to carefully ensure the cake is lined up straight. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  16. Pour the warm chocolate glaze all over cake. Dig in.


[vanilla cream filling adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • I used three 5 x 2 Inch Round Cake Pan for this cake. These pans are super cute and so handy for small layers cakes. It feels unnatural spending money on three of the same pan at first, but it’s so worth it if you like building multi-layer cakes. 
  • I used 72% Bittersweet Chocolate  for my chocolate chips in the cake itself and the glaze, which really a dark and intense chocolate. You can use any premium dark or extra dark chocolate you might have on hand or prefer.
  • I use this MAC Knife for all of my cake layering. It’s super sharp and makes clean cake layers, ideal for building not-so-crumby layer cakes.
  • I recommend chilling the wrapped cake layers for about 30 minutes before slicing them to build the cake, and then chilling the filled cake (you can carefully cover with plastic wrap) for about an hour before covering with the glaze and eating. It’s not required, but if you find your cake is wobbly, this helps set the filling, keeping it more stable.
  • Leftover cake (is there such a thing?) should be refrigerated, because of the whipped cream filling and served at room temperature. I love this chocolate cake because it stays unthinkably moist even after refrigeration.
  • For the cake topper, I used this Tag Punch and cut from something similar to this Black Chalkboard Vinyl and then just trimmed the end for a plain rectangle. (The tag punch is also awesome for making these photo gift tags, among other fun ideas.)

Good luck & enjoy!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. Diana says

    Just plain amazing! I love everything you make and I am definitely trying this next! Now I am sad I don’t have an iPhone… ;)Maybe they will make the app for Android soon. ;)

  2. Nadia says

    oh my lord, I thought the pictures looked good but that video did it. I’m licking my lips now it looks sooo goood!

  3. says

    Pure love on a plate!
    One thing I’ve been wondering for quite some time now and this post reminded me: what is the difference between kosher salt and regular salt?

  4. Lori says


    I seriously have been looking at the vine pix every day – drooling – waiting.

    You said it’s a serving for 2, but I’m making it and eating the whole thing. Hah!

  5. says

    Oh. My. Goodness. This cake looks all kinds of ridiculous. This might have to be something I make for me and my single girlfriends this weekend for Valentines Day!!!

  6. Adrienne K says

    Hi Rosie! I am going to (try to) make that beautiful cake for my guy! Looks perfect, especially since chocolate makes his world go round.By the way, the phone picture/video (?) thing didn’t work for me… Cool idea though!
    Xo Adrienne

  7. Ann says

    Wow Rosie! You never cease to amaze. This looks awesome! I especially love the video! I would love to see more of those! :)

  8. Katrina J. says


  9. Jay says

    Looks like an incredible cake! I was making a cake yesterday and needed a filling so I tried this whipped vanilla one. I’m not sure what I missed, but it was a waste. Once I added the gelatin mixture it turned to a watery mess. Yours sure looks nice though :)

  10. Erin says

    This looks amazing! Definitely making this for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if I missed it but when I was looking through the recipe I didn’t see where to add the coffee. Is it after the buttermilk?

  11. says

    Hi Rosie,
    I just love your baking blog!! I have learned so much since i discovered you last year. I made this cake yesterday to practice for Valentine’s Day and it turned out great. However, when I made the vanilla cream, it whipped up fine but when I added the gelatin it turned into liquid. The whipping cream and gelatin mixture did not set – it was still watery when I added it to the cream that was already whipped. Please help! It sounds so delicious and I really want to make it work. Thanks very much.

    • says

      Hi Irene,
      So sorry to hear that. Here’s what I explained to another reader with the same issue:
      “I took another close look at the recipe, and I honestly can’t see why that’s happened. I do know that if the cream/gelatin mixture isn’t cool, that it will cause the whipped cream mixture to deflate and become watery, but if your gelatin mixture was cool I’m truly not sure. If you do feel up for giving it another try, I recommend warming 1/4 cup of the cream, as opposed to the 1/2 cup (I’ll change that in the recipe), that will cool faster once in the refrigerator and could solve the issue. I’ll give this another try this week and see if I can figure it out!”

  12. Jenn says

    It looks like I have had the same problem as quite a few other readers….

    When I went to make this filling, upon adding the gelatin mixture, it immediately turned watery. I kept whipping with the hope that it would turn out, but it never did. I was very disappointed. Not sure where I went wrong. The gelatin was cooled down and everything. Oh well. :(

    • says

      Hi Jenn,
      I took another close look at the recipe, and I honestly can’t see why that’s happened. I do know that if the cream/gelatin mixture isn’t cool, that it will cause the whipped cream mixture to deflate and become watery, but if your gelatin mixture was cool I’m truly not sure. If you do feel up for giving it another try, I recommend warming 1/4 cup of the cream, as opposed to the 1/2 cup (I’ll change that in the recipe), that will cool faster once in the refrigerator and could solve the issue. I’ll give this another try this week and see if I can figure it out!

    • says

      Jenn, just a quick update that I made the whipped cream filling again this morning, and I used 1/3 cup warmed cream to mix with the gelatin. This too worked well for me, so I’ve adjusted the recipe. Hope that helps!

  13. says

    oh my GAD. i just clicked on the Vine link (first time ever looking at Vine! sometimes i resist new technology and apps, i have no idea why!) and that cake looks sooo good.

    even your iPhone pics are delectable, lady!!!


  14. Lesley says

    Rosie, this cake is so good! I made a trial run today and it was amazing. I’m going to make it again next week for my husband, but my kids and I sure loved giving it a test today. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  15. says

    wowsers….this cake looks like a taste of heaven! my hubby loves chocolate so he would definitely appreciate getting a taste of this. Must.make.this.cake.soon:)! Thanks so much for the detailed instructions Rosie, I absolutely love your blog and all the gorgeous sweets you make:)

  16. Roshini says

    Can they be shipped? if so, would you mind shipping it to Sri Lanka for me??
    It’s heavenly Rosie, only you can ever get ideas like this!!

  17. says

    I’m supposed to be making a chocolate cake for someone soon. It will not look like this. Hello!? One day….a man can wish. In the meantime, you keep bringing it. So pretty Rosie!

  18. Janine says

    Hi Rosie,
    Does it matter what kind of cream you use, as here in South Africa we only really get 3 kinds of a cream one is a pouring cream, which we whip for meringues/scones etc and then there is a UHT cream and a dessert cream (artificial yugh!!). We aren’t lucky enough to have the different kinds of fresh creams that you all have over there. Thanks for the receipe I made it over the weekend..the cream flopped but everything else was awesome.

    • Julz says

      Hello Janine?

      I was looking on the internet and found this: It also says they are “South Africa’s long loved cream” The picture shows it whipped like you need here. SO- perhaps you can find it if you ask or just sit home and call around first to different grocery stores before you go. That is what I do to save gasoline! :)

  19. Laura T says

    O. M. Goodness!! Are you trying to kill me??!! I am definitely NOT showing my hubby this cake! lol But….oh boy! I can’t resist! Awesome as usual!

  20. Hasmig says

    Hi Rosie, it absolutely looks divine, however if i want to triple the recipe, do i triple everything?
    Thank you,

  21. Jasmine says

    Hi Rosie,
    Greetings from Australia! I made this cake yesterday with my bf and we both absolutely loved it! The cake was moist and chocolately! Glaze was wonderful but it wasn’t enough for the cake haha, a little bit more would have been perfect. But we did use a 20cm pan and cut the cake into 3 rather than using 3 5 inch pans. Couldn’t find the smaller pans. Baked the cake for an hour (we guessed the baking time) and it turned out to be just right. The whipped cream gelatine turned out fine but when we took it out from the fridge it was lumpy? Not smooth to spread so we let it sit out for 10 mins and it became more spreadable. Is that normal? Nonetheless, simply delectable! This is going to be my go to recipe for all future chocolate cakes! Thank you very much! Look forward to more yummy recipes from you!

  22. Jessica Nagel says

    dang, I just made the cream too & itcompletely deflated on me when I added the gelatine. it was like, when a merengue deflates. I’m hoping it sets more like a gelee for my cake tomorrow…

  23. Jessica Nagel says

    I think I over whipped it originally & then when I added the gelatine mixture it over whipped & deflated…could that be it?

    • says

      Hi Jessica,
      That’s too bad about the cream! I find I have best results when I add the cooled gelatin mixture very slowly to the whipped cream at soft peaks, then it all whips together nicely to medium-firm peaks for spreading. I hope that helps!

  24. Katie says

    So, I’m wanting to make this for Valentines, but don’t want to spring for 3 new pans just now. Could this be baked in other size pans? Could I do 2 8 inch rounds maybe? or something like that?

      • Trista says

        Thank you for giving the weight of the batter!! So excellent. Now I can have perfectly even cakes. Would be so super if you could add that to your recipes- which I LOVE :D

  25. Katie says

    might I use loaf pans for a long and skinny cake? I’m not good w/ pan substitution, but since you’re so experienced with cakes, I thought you might have a better idea.

  26. Jessica Nagel says

    So far, so good. I could only find 4″ cake pans so the cake layers ended up thicker so I ended up making 2 3 layer cakes or it would have been too tall & toppled over. They are wrapped & chilling in the fridge & I’m all set to douse them in the ganache tomorrow evening. Can’t! Wait! I had some chocolate cake crumbles with leftover vsnilla cream tonight & it was YUMMY!

  27. Anna Bartnicka says

    Rosie, a question maybe you can help me with:)
    Is there a place here in Canada where it’s possible to get heavy cream (not whipped), :D))

  28. Kaylie says

    Oh Rosie, I made this today and it was all kinds of wonderful! So chocolatey and moist and the whipped cream was the perfect filling. Thank you for this recipe!

  29. Lisa says

    Does anyone know if this recipe would work if I used a vegetarian alternative to gelatin? It looks so delicious, I really want to give it a try :)

  30. Penny says

    I think I might have to make this for my 31st wedding anniversary in June… looks really good and great for a special occation…

  31. aysh says

    More like cake for one! Rosie, if you were do to just a ganache on the cake instead of the glaze, would it be a simple ganache recipe like 1 cup of cream and 8 oz of chocolate? How do you know how long to let it cool before pouring it on a cake and letting it set?

    I had an idea to use a whipped ganache on a 9 inch cake but wanted to use a ganache on the outside and wasn’t sure of the technical parts.


  32. Lynne says

    Thank you for this recipe. I found and bought mini cake pans to try your new recipies. Well, I managed to get two 4.5″ pans. I made a 4 layer chocolate cake yesterday with Frangelico in the sauce. My husband and I ate half yesterday and half today and he said he thinks its the best cake I’ve ever made. It is so intensely chocolatey. Delicious. x

    • says

      Lots of people use mayonnaise to make cakes smoother and softer… something like that. I’m not quite sure if that’s why Rosie used it tho. xD And does anybody know what kind of cocoa to use that’s easy to find?

  33. Ami says

    Hi Rosie!
    About how many cups of batter does this make? Or how many grams does the batter weigh? (If you have the volume or weight for the glaze and the filling, that’d be great too!) I want to make 2 6-inch layers (to halve later so I have 4 layers), and I want to know if I have to scale the recipe. This cake looks so gorgeous and delicious, and I just have to bake it! :)

  34. Busola Adejumo says

    Hi Rosie, I made this cake 2 days ago and it sunk in the middle, I made it in an 8inch pan and it didn’t rise up, so today I tried to repeat but used it for cupcake instead, and I had the same issue… Pls what could be the reason… The cake is very fluffy and moist which I love. Please helpppppp

  35. Beth says

    OMG! I just saw this on FB, and I might just have to run out and buy 5 inch pans to make this – this weekend!!!!! I’m drooling.

  36. Jillian says

    Hi Rosie! I just discovered your blog a couple weeks ago, and have read every single recipe, I think. I made this cake over the weekend as my first attempt at one of your recipes, and seriously. Best cake I have EVER made. I didn’t have gelatin on hand, so I made some swiss meringue buttercream and it is simply divine. Thank you for sharing and all the work you put into your recipes! They are easy to follow, and your instructions and tips are comprehensive and extremely helpful. Thank you again! I cannot WAIT for your book!

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