Black Velvet Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

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This cake is a lightly flavoured buttermilk chocolate cake, with a light chocolate cream cheese filling and dark chocolate ganache coating.

Years ago, I recall seeing a black velvet cake in the Food and Home Magazine, which I religiously purchased monthly. The cake itself looked delicious, but the styling and shot of everything being in black was so striking! The recipe was created by the fabulous and insanely talented Katelyn Williams of The Katetin.

I knew if ever I was to start exploring food photography and food styling, I would want to aspire to do something that epic! Now that I am blogging, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to do so. I think black and gold is such an elegant combination and when I saw that gold cake stand on sale at H&M Home (I didn’t even know they had a home until recently) I had to buy it.

What I like about the cake being completely black (ie, the actual cake, the filling and the icing), is that the flavour is unknown until you take an actual bite into it! I decided to use a red velvet cake recipe here and modify it slightly, pairing it with a cream cheese filling with a hint of chocolate and a dark chocolate ganache. I shared some with friends and their comment was “this is probably one of your best cakes we’ve tasted”. I felt rather accomplised.

The little touches of gold leaf add a lovely element of opulence to the cake and the solo black chocolate flower is completely eye-catching. I include a tutorial on how to make it here.

The next time there is a special occasion, I suggest trying this one out. I always find baking my own cakes as opposed to purchasing a generic one is always so much more special.

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar.


  • 210g cake flour
  • 30g corn flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125ml oil
  • 113g butter, essential to be at room temperature
  • 2 jumbo eggs, at room temperature (around 66g each, weighed in shell)
  • 180ml buttermilk
  • 60ml instant coffee (around 1 1/2 tsp of instant coffee in 60ml of boiling water)
  • 2 tsp activated charcoal*
  • 1 tsp black food gel

*I add the activated charcoal to try and get a strong black colour without using too much food gel. However, if you not opposed to adding food colouring, then you can skip the activated charcoal.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins with baking paper (or three 18cm tins).
  2. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa, activated charcoal and sugar into a bowl.
  3. Add in the very soft butter, cubed, to the dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, lightly beat the two eggs, then add in the vanilla, oil, buttermilk, coffee and black gel food colour. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour in half the liquid into the dry ingredients, which now includes the butter.
  6. With the mixer on very low speed, start to combine all the ingredients until just incorporated. Starting the mixer on low prevents a cloud of dry ingredients getting all over your kitchen.
  7. Once this is mixed in, add the remaining wet ingredients and mix, until just incorporated.
  8. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated, before dividing it into two (or three, if you are using 18cm) tins.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.


  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100g butter
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 Tbs cocoa
  • black gel food colour


  1. Beat the butter until light and airy.
  2. Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa together.
  3. Then add in the icing sugar/cocoa mixture and beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  5. Then gently fold the cream cheese into the butter and icing sugar mixture.
  6. Add black gel food colour to tint the icing.
  7. Beating the cream cheese separately ensures that it is not over beaten, and your icing does not end up being too runny
  8. Frost in between the two cake layers.


  • 375g dark chocolate (around 55% – 60% cocoa solids)
  • 290ml whipping cream
  • 45g butter
  • black gel food colour


  1. Place the dark chocolate, whipping cream and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave.
  2. Heat for about a minute, and stir the mixture.
  3. Then continue to heat, stopping every 30 seconds to stir the mix. Do this until all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Once the ganache comes together, add in the black gel food colour to tint the ganache black.

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