This chocolate brownie cake is a recipe I created by total accident. And it just may be one of the best accidents I ever made. Exactly as the name suggests, this brownie cake is a bit fudgy, a bit cakey, incredibly decadent, chocolatey and oh so simple to make. Drenched in a velvety chocolate ganache and you'll be wondering where with recipe has been all your life.
Made with two box mixes, one cake and one brownie, this single layer cake recipe gives you the best of both desserts in one fudgy cake.
While trying to quickly whip up two chocolate cakes for two kid parties we were attending, I grabbed two box mixes of what I thought were cake. I threw them together in the mixing bowl and then looking at the boxes, realized that they were not the same. I was in such a hurry that I decided to just roll with it, making it up as I went along.
I know, this is a baking blog and how the hell can I be providing a recipe using box mixes...
Let me tell you something. Not everything has to be totally from scratch to be delicious and worthy of sharing. I am a mom of five kids with parties constantly, and sometimes I just don't have the ingredients on hand, or the energy to make multiple cakes for multiple parties. Using box mixes is FINE! And do not ever let anybody tell you differently.
And let's be honest, kids will always pick the box mix cake or brownies over homemade almost every single time.
Since this chocolate brownie cake is made with a boxed mixes, the other ingredients are things you would likely use in boxed mixes, kind of a mesh of things you'd use for both cake and brownie recipes. Here's what you need:
- Chocolate or devil' food cake mix. Just the mix.
- Chocolate brownie mix. Just the mix.
- Cocoa powder. I always add extra to cake mixes, and I use black cocoa powder, but you totally don't have to, and can use whatever cocoa powder you have.
- Oil. I know this is a combo cake and brownie, and when I make brownies (box or not) I always use butter, but this brownie cake should have a fudgy, but cake(ish) texture so I prefer oil like I do in all my cake recipes.
- Egg yolk. Just one
- Buttermilk. Something else I use when making a cake from a mix. I never use water as it calls for and always use buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, use regular milk.
To make the chocolate ganache you need:
- Chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. While you can use chocolate chips, I recommend using a bar of chocolate chopped. Chocolate chip contain emusilfiers to hold their shape, which can cause them to not melt properly.
- Heavy cream. Equal parts chocolate to heavy cream
How to make it
These are as easy to make as they are to get the ingredients together. Everything goes into a large mixing bowl and mix it up. I use a stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer or whisk together.
Bake and then cool.
Make you ganache by bringing cream to a simmer and pouring over chopped chocolate. Stirring the hot cream into the chopped chocolate will give you the most luxurious, thick and shiny glaze for your brownie cake.
Pour this over the top and let it glaze the top and run down the sides of the cake.
Ingredient swaps and variations
I am all about adaptability and this brownie cake recipe is no exception. Here are some great ideas
- Add chocolate chips. Just stir them right in the batter.
- Add fresh fruit like raspberries.
- Skip the ganache and use another frosting instead.
- Make a quick raspberry sauce or strawberry coulis to accompany the cake
- Make this fudgy chocolate brownie cake in a bundt pan. You can totally do this as a bundt cake as there is more than enough batter. Just make sure to adjust your baking time.
- This cake yields more batter than can be used with a 9-inch round cake pan. That being said, you can most definitely make this in a larger cake round if you have one, just decrease the bake time a bit and be sure to check the center with a toothpick for doneness.
Tips for success
A few things to make this chocolate brownie cake come out perfect every time:
- Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make sure the cake comes out easily.
- Cool the cake completely before pouring on the ganache.
Make sure to only fill the pan up ⅔ way full. You will have extra batter - this is two box mixes put together. If you overfill the pan the cake batter will bubble over and make your oven a mess! Take the extra batter and make cupcakes out of it (or use a 6 or 8-inch round to bake up the rest, wrap it tightly and freeze (just mind the baking time).
Other chocolate recipes you'll love.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Stand mixer
- 9-inch round cake pan
For the cake
- 1 box chocolate cake mix or devil’s food
- 1 box brownie mix
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
For the ganache
- 8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 8 oz heavy cream
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (using the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients. With the stand mixer, a handheld mixer or a whisk, mix everything until well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with just a few crumbs on it.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
To make the ganache
- Place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until it is just simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Stir to combine with a spatula. It will not come together immediately, but continue to stir until it becomes fully combined and shiny. Let cool about 15 minutes.
- Pour the warm ganache over the cooled cake, slowly and gently spread over the top so it slides down the sides.
This cake will keep in the fridge for five days. Leave out of fridge for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.