Black Cocoa Cake with Peanut Butter Filling & Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

I have a bit of a problem.  Ever since I won Baked Elements from Valerie, I’ve been obsessed with Baked.  I follow Baked on Instagram – you should too, they will make you happy.  I like them on Facebook.  I follow them on Pinterest.  I make my house smell amazing and all my friends jealous with their recipes.  Everything they touch is insane in the best possible way.

GYCO - Chocolate

Oh, and Baked is a bakery in Brooklyn, New York.  I guess I should disclaimer that they are on the other side of the country from me {sad} which is why I live vicariously through their blog – The National Baking Society.  This blog is where I got the inspiration for the cupcake milkshake I made for Ashton’s housewarming, and where I got today’s recipe.


Black Cocoa Cake with Penut Butter 1


Truth be told I made this cake just out of sheer fascination with the way the men of Baked talked about black cocoa powder.  I HAD to get some.  I went to and order some immediately after reading this recipe.  {You can get black cocoa powder HERE.}  If you’d like to learn more about the difference between regular Dutch-processed cocoa powder and black cocoa powder click on over to The National Baking Society and check it out.  Then Jen picked chocolate for the ingredient – it was a sign.  I must share this cake for GYCO!


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I took a slice of cake to work for my friends to try.  One my girlfriends freaked and insisted I make her a cake too.  I mentioned cupcakes and she was ecstatic.  Don’t make cupcakes with this recipe.  Okay.  Make cupcakes, but be careful.


Black Cocoa Cake with Penut Butter 4


I’m not sure if I just over filled the muffin tin cups or if this cake batter just isn’t meant to be made on a smaller level, but this is what I ended up with.  {I’m sure it was my fault.}


Black Cocoa Cake with Penut Butter 5


After some quick thinking, and a little trimming with my 2″ circle cookie cutter – I had uniform cupcakes.  I put on a thick layer of peanut butter frosting and then topped that with the sour cream chocolate frosting.  My friend was in heaven and I pulled it off!!


Black Cocoa Cake with Penut Butter 3


One Year Ago: Belgian Waffles

Black Cocoa Cake with Peanut Butter Filling & Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author The National Baking Society


Black Cocoa Cake:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • cup black cocoa
  • cup Dutch process cocoa
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt {a regular store bought little cup is enough}
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter slightly softened
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter slightly softened

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chips


Black Cocoa Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in lower third of oven. Spray two 9" round cake pans with a good coat of non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, both cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, and salt three times. Yes, THREE times to fully incorporate everything together; set aside.
  3. Whisk together yogurt and 1/4 cup lukewarm water; set aside.
  4. Whisk together eggs and vanilla; set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 sticks of butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and stream in sugar. Beat until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Turn mixer back to lower and stream in egg mixture. Mix until combined; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the cocoa mixture to the batter, and beat until just combined. Add 1/2 of the yogurt mixture, and beat until just combine. Repeat with 1/3 cocoa mixture, remaining half of yogurt mixture, and last 1/3 of cocoa mixture; beat until just combined after each addition. Scrape the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Slam the pans on the counter top a couple times to remove bubbles and even batter.
  8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pans.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Carefully place one half on the cooled cake on a serving plate {bottom side down}. Top the cake with all the peanut butter frosting and smooth over the top of the cake only, not down the sides. Add the second cake layer on top of the frosting {bottom side up, to give your cake a smooth top} and press down gently.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting:

  1. Place a medium sized glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. The bowl should rest above the water {not touching the water}. Add dark chocolate chips to the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally until completely melted and smooth.
  2. Remove bowl from heat and stir in sour cream until ingredients are combined and smooth. Frost cake until completely covered.

Recipe Notes

*If you don't have Greek yogurt on hand, you can substitute sour cream in its place. That's what I did for the cupcakes and the flavor was practically the same. But I do think the yogurt was better.
*This is the most evenly baking cake I've ever made. The tops are practically flat. It blew my mind.
*For tips on the Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting, please go to The National Baking Society recipe page using the link above.


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    • Julie says

      There were no rejects. 😉 I cut them down (ate the cupcakes scraps) and frosted them. No one knew. The really janky ones went in my babies’ tummies.

  1. says

    Oops – hi ladies!!! So sorry I’m very late to the party. Couldn’t decide which yoga pants to wear. 😉
    But I’m here. and I am going to dive into this mess of chocolate right now. {posting this over at Venus’ pad too}
    XO, Claire
    {Julie – this cake looks RIDICULOUS. Oh. My Yum.}

    • Julie says

      Yes, yes it will. I had no problem making the recipe twice in a 4 days period, if that tells you anything. 🙂

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