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black velvet cake sliced to show inside texture

Black Velvet Cake

  • Author: Sloane
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-inch cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This black velvet cake has all of the best qualities of red velvet cake - velvety smooth texture, light crumb, and irresistible flavor - but with an intensified chocolate flavor and color. 



For the black velvet cake:

  • 240g all-purpose flour
  • 50g black cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 113g buttermilk (room temp)
  • 113g plain greek yogurt (room temp)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 113g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 270g granulated sugar
  • 150g neutral oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 340g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 300g powdered sugar
  • 30g dutch process cocoa powder
  • 12g black cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (melted and cooled)


For the black velvet cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease three 6 inch cake pans and line each of them with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, black cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and yogurt and warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds or so to bring to room temp. Stir in the vanilla and vinegar. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until fully combined.
  5. Pour in the vegetable oil and egg yolks and beat until completely combined. Scrape down the bowl to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
  6. Next, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in thirds as the stand mixer mixes on low speed. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
  7. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  8. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until fully combined.
  9. Pour batter into the three cake pans, using a kitchen scale to distribute the batter evenly.
  10. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cakes spring back when you touch them and the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.
  11. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

For the chocolate buttercream:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until completely smooth.
  2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the powdered sugar.
  3. Once all of the powdered sugar is combined, add in the dutch process cocoa powder, black cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. Lastly, pour in the melted (but cooled) chocolate and mix until fully combined.
  5. Continue mixing on low speed to remove any air pockets.

For assembly:

  1. Secure the first layer of cake on the cake stand with a small amount of frosting on the bottom. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to measure out the frosting for each layer. I used a 3 tbsp cookie scoop and put 3 scoops of frosting on each layer.
  2. Cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting for the crumb coat.
  3. Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then frost the cake as desired.


  • The cake layers bake up perfectly flat, so no need for cake strips!
  • You can make the cake layers the night before and decorate it the next day. Just wait until the cakes are completely cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
  • I recommend making the buttercream the day you are decorating the cake.
  • If you're in a rush, you can skip the crumb coat and decorate the cake right away for a more rustic look.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 1085
  • Sugar: 79.3 g
  • Sodium: 493.7 mg
  • Fat: 72.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 110.4 g
  • Protein: 9.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 171.2 mg

Keywords: black velvet cake, black cocoa powder cake, black cocoa cake, black velvet cake recipe, dark velvet cake