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Chocolate Honey Cake

This cake is pretty simple, but since the ganache takes several hours to thicken, you may want to make the ganache first and then start the cake while the ganache sits.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Author: Cookie Madness


  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot strong brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup mild honey such as clover
  • 10.1 oz. 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt the kind that measures like table salt
  • 9 tablespoons 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Honey Ganache

  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 60% cacao, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups 12 ounces heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey such as clover
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x2 inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Dust sides with flour.
  • Sift cocoa powders into a medium bowl. Whisk in the hot coffee and then the honey. Let cool completely.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the oil, beating until combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Raise the mixer speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until combined.
  • Using a heavy duty scraper for stirring (or the lowest speed of your mixer if using a stand mixer with paddle), add the flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down sides as needed. Beat just until combined.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans, spreading evenly. Tap pans lightly before placing in the oven.
  • Bake on center and lower racks, rotating the pans halfway through, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes (mine was done in 40). Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pans, invert the cakes onto the rack, and remove the pans and the parchment. Let cool completely. At this point, you may also wrap the cakes in plastic and freeze if desired.


  • Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
  • Combine the heavy cream and honey in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the honey dissolves into the cream, about 30 seconds. Just as the cream comes to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate. Let stand about 1 minute; then whisk until smooth. Stir in the butter, and vanilla until the butter is melted and the mixture is glossy.
  • Let ganache cool at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will thicken as it cools. (The ganache can sit, covered, at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)

Frost the cake

  • Set one of the cake layers on a serving plate.
  • Spread about 1 cup ganache over the surface of the cake. Top with the second cake layer and spread a very thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake to seal in any crumbs. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set.
  • Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake.


Note: Makes sure your cake pans are at least 2 inches high. For the chocolate, I used a mixture of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bar and bittersweet chocolate chips and didn’t have any issues. I also cheated a little and after the ganache had cooled, I chilled it just until it started to thicken. If you have time to let it cool at room temperature, that’s probably the best way to go.