This moist Cadbury chocolate cake is the best chocolate cake recipe ever! In between two fluffy chocolate cake layers is decadent chocolate ganache filling and on top is nutty brown butter milk chocolate buttercream. This cake is perfect for the whole family to enjoy on any special day of the year!
Out of all comfort desserts, chocolate cake has to be the best! It is the perfect birthday cake, holiday cake, or just because cake.
Usually, when people think of chocolate cake, they think of a heavy and rich fudge cake. You know, like Mrs. Trunchbull's fudgy dessert in Matilda. However, this chocolate cake is light and fluffy due to the milk chocolate! It's the type of cake that you can eat two whole slices of and still want more.
milk chocolate cake
Butter: You will need ½ cup of high-quality unsalted butter for the cake. Make sure it is softened. My favorite butter is Kerrygold.
Sugar: To have a perfectly sweet but not too sweet cake, use 1 cup of granulated white sugar.
Vanilla: You will need 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Since this is a baked good, you can use the real stuff or imitation.
Salt: ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt balances out the other flavors in this cake.
Eggs: You will need 2 large eggs at room temperature. You can do this by leaving them out at room temperature for 30 minutes or in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
Flour: This recipe calls for cake flour for several reasons. Cake flour is a low protein flour which makes the cake extra moist and soft. It also is finely ground, making the cake have a better crumb and pillow-like. You will need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour.
Baking soda: Also called bicarbonate soda, you will need ½ teaspoon. This is what makes the cake rise.
Cocoa powder: The chocolate powder you use is important in this cake to give it that milk chocolate flavor. Be sure to use one that is unsweetened. I typically use Hershey cocoa powder or Nestle cocoa powder for this cake. You will need ½ cup.
Buttermilk: I love adding buttermilk to cakes and you will too when you try it in this one! It is a tenderizer making the cake super fluffy. It also balances out the sweetness and brings out the natural flavor of the cocoa powder.
milk chocolate ganache
Chocolate: The star of the show in this ganache is Cadbury dairy milk chocolate! It tastes very milky while the texture is velvety smooth. You will need 2 bars of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate bars (7 ounces).
Heavy cream: You will need ⅓ cup of warm heavy cream. Make sure your cream is warm enough to melt the chocolate, but not too hot to separate it. I find that somewhere in between 45 seconds to 1 minute is enough time.
brown butter milk chocolate buttercream
Butter: You will need 1 ¼ cups total for this buttercream. ¾ cup will be browned and the remaining ½ cup will need to be softened. The most important ingredient in buttercream is the butter so be sure to use high-quality butter. My favorite is Kerrygold.
Chocolate: Once again, the star of this recipe makes another appearance, Cadbury dairy milk chocolate. You will need 4 bars of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate (14 ounces).
Powdered sugar: 1 cup of powdered sugar is needed for this buttercream. It is best to sift it so that it can be smoothly incorporated.
Salt: ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt balances out the buttercream.
Vanilla: You will need 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Unlike the cake portion of this recipe, you will need the real deal here. If you use imitation extract, your buttercream will have an artificial taste.
Milk: Milk is added to the buttercream recipe to thin it out if needed. If the buttercream is too stiff, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin it out. You want it to be stiff enough to hold a place on your cake.
Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!
variations & substitutions 📖
Although I highly recommend using Cadbury chocolate, if you can't find it or don't have it on hand, you can substitute it with any other milk chocolate. I also love Lindt chocolate and Dove chocolate. Just be sure to use bar chocolate and not chocolate chips.
Make this cake your own by switching out the chocolate ganache filling with whatever is your favorite! Try mousse, caramel, jam, or even peanut butter.
You can make chocolate ganache using a dairy free milk, or whatever milk you have on hand. Check out my other posts answering can you make ganache with half and half or can you make chocolate ganache with almond milk.
tips & tricks 👩🏻🍳
Use parchment paper rounds on the bottom of your cake pans. Simply trace the bottom of the cake pan on a larger sheet of parchment paper and cut out the circle. Or use already cut parchment paper rounds.Then spray the bottom of the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and lay the parchment paper round. Lastly, spray on top of the parchment paper round. Yes, spray the pan and the parchment paper. This is the best way to ensure no sticking of the cake on the pan.
Don't open the oven while the cakes bake. I know you want to smell it or check on it just to make sure it's okay, but I repeat do not open that oven! Opening the oven lets in cool air which drastically changes the oven's temperature. Extreme temperature changes can cause the rising cake to sink.
step by step instructions 🔪
Prior to starting, preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Grease on top of parchment paper. The parchment and grease will ensure no sticking of the cake to the pan.
Step #1 - Brown the butter for the brown butter buttercream. Place the butter in a light colored medium saucepan over medium heat (image 1). Once the butter melts, it will begin to foam and sizzle. In about 5-8 minutes from when you started, the melted butter will become golden brown. Once the foam subsides, you will see the milk solids at the bottom be toasty brown.
Step #2 - Cool the brown butter and melt the milk chocolate. Remove the pot from the heat and set it in the fridge to cool for 1-2 hours until solid (image 2). The butter should be almost fully solid once chilled. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Set aside to cool. We will come back to both of these components later to finish the buttercream.
Step #4 - Add the vanilla and salt. Next add the vanilla and salt. When the butter is fully beaten it should be light and fluffy (image 4). This usually takes about 5-6 minutes. Do not over beat the butter and sugar or the cake will become dense.
Step #5 - Add the eggs. Add the eggs into the butter mixture, one egg at a time (image 5). Beat well in between each addition, about a minute each.
Step #6 - Incorporate the dry ingredients. In the wet ingredients bowl, add the cocoa powder, baking soda, and cake flour (image 6). Mix until just combined and there are no longer any dry spots.
Step #7 - Add the buttermilk. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk (image 7).
Step #8 - Beat until the mixture is just combined. Mix everything together (image 8). Be sure not to over beat the final cake batter. Over beating will cause the cake to be dense and tough rather than light and fluffy. Just mix until all ingredients are incorporated and there are so streaks.
Step #9 - Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Pour half of the mixture into each lined cake pan (image 9).
Step #10 - Bake & cool. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes (image 10). Test if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the remaining cake components.
Step #11 - Chop up the chocolate & heat the heavy cream for the chocolate ganache. Chop the chocolate bars and place into a medium bowl. The chocolate chunks should be pretty small so that they can be melted with the cream is added (image 11). Heat the heavy cream in the microwave in 30 second increments until hot to the touch. About 1 minute should make the cream hot enough to melt the chocolate. Be sure not to heat up the cream too much or it will separate the melted chocolate.
Step # 12 - Pour the cream & mix. Pour the hot heavy cream into the bowl with the chopped chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two to melt the chocolate. Then carefully stir until the chocolate is fully melted (image 12). Let sit at room temperature to thicken and cool. If your chocolate ganache is not thickening, check out my post on how to thicken chocolate ganache.
Step #13 - Check your components for the brown butter milk chocolate buttercream and start the base. Make sure the chocolate is still melted but not hot. If the chocolate has hardened, place the bowl in another bowl of hot water to create indirect heat. Stir to slowly remelt the chocolate. Make sure your brown butter is chilled. Make sure your remaining butter is softened. Then add the cooled brown butter, softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla to a bowl of a stand mixer (image 13).
Step #14 - Beat the base. Beat all of the ingredients together. Beat for at least 5 minutes until everything is combined and smooth (image 14).
Step #15 - Add the chocolate. Slowly and carefully, pour in the melted chocolate with the mixer on low (image 15).
Step #16 - Fully combine brown butter milk chocolate buttercream. Beat until all ingredients are combined and consistency is fluffy (image 16). Be careful not to over beat or the butter will separate.
Step #17 - Construct the first layer of the cake. Place the first layer of cooled cake on a cake stand. Before adding the chocolate ganache make sure it has cooled and thicken. It should be like fudge and should not be pourable. If your chocolate ganache is not thick enough, check out my post on how to thicken chocolate ganache. Then evenly distribute the cooled chocolate ganache (image 17). Try to have the ganache layer be as even as possible to allow the top layer to be sturdy.
Step #18 - Add the second layer of cake and secure. On top of the chocolate ganache, add the second layer of cooled cake (image 18). Gently press to stick all layers together.
Step #19 - Add the crumb coat or first layer of frosting. Add a couple scoops of frosting on the top and sides of the cake (image 19). Cool for about 30 minutes before adding more frosting. This isn't necessary but does help ensure the cake is secure when adding a lot of frosting.
Step #20 - Add the last layer of frosting and decorate! Add the buttercream however your heart desires. Don't worry about the frosting being perfect here. I typically add some frosting on the top and the sides, and then go in and randomly add spatulas of buttercream all over (image 20). You can also make it smooth or add any type of toppings your heart desires! Fresh chocolate shavings really add that finishing touch.
serving suggestions 🍽️
Serve a slice of cadbury dairy milk chocolate fudge cake by itself, or with ice cream on the side. This cake can feed 6-8 people large slices of cake.
My favorite thing to store a cake in is a cake carrier. Not only does it keep the cake fresh and covered, but it doubles as a travel cake carrier. I am often making cakes as a birthday gift and this is the perfect way to transport the cake from my kitchen to theirs. For something to display the cake and properly store it, try this covered cake stand.
The cake will keep well on the counter at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
To freeze, place the cake on a cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze for about 20 minutes. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. On the day you want to eat the cake, let it defrost in the fridge for 2 hours. Then remove the wrapping and let it defrost at room temperature an hour before serving.
If the temperature of your cream is too high, it will cause the fat in the chocolate to separate. This will result in a grainy chocolate ganache. Your cream should be at 90-93F. I find about 45 seconds to 1 minute of microwaving the ganache makes it warm but not too hot.
If your buttercream is dense, then your butter was probably not softened enough. Make sure the butter is completely softened before adding it to other ingredients.
Why is make cake flat & dry?
If your cake has become flat & dry after baking, you most likely overbeat some of your ingredients. When making a cake, you want to mix the ingredients until there are just no dry spots. If you continue mixing past that point, the air bubble will decrease, causing your cake to deflate in the oven. No one wants a deflated, fried, flat cake so be sure not to overbeat.
more dessert recipes
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