Black Velvet Layer Cake

Black Velvet Layer Cake

Everyone knows that cream cheese frosting is the secret to red velvet cake’s stardom, and chocolate is universally beloved. By topping layers of rich chocolate cake with this favored frosting, we’ve created the best of both worlds. You’re welcome. If you’re looking to enjoy the classic as well, check out where you can get our top picks for red velvet cake or bake our recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Black Velvet Layer Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) coffee
  • 1 cup (224 grams) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • Sweet Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
  • 1 cup Caramel (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, and eggs. Add coffee mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Stir in sour cream and vanilla until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Using a serrated knife, remove rounded tops from cake layers. Crumble tops, and set aside.
  4. Pipe a ring of Sweet Cream Cheese Frosting around inside edge of bottom cake layer to create a border. Fill center with ⅛ cup (30 grams) Caramel. Repeat with remaining cake layers and Caramel. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top and sides of cake. Spread remaining frosting on top of cake, and swirl with a spatula. Top with reserved cake crumbs. Store cake, covered, in refrigerator.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 2½ cups
  • 1 (8-ounce) package (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup (120 grams) at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in cream, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla. Refrigerate leftover frosting for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Makes 3 cups
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) light corn syrup
  • ½ cup (113 grams) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup (240 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  1. In a large heavy saucepan, place sugar, ¼ cup (60 grams) water, and corn syrup; swirl to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture is amber colored, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted (mixture will foam).
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat cream on high until warm, 30 to 40 seconds. Slowly add cream to caramel mixture, whisking until smooth. (Mixture will foam). Stir in salt. Let cool completely. Store Caramel in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use; it is much easier to work with cold.
  3. Store remaining Caramel in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.


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  1. I have made this cake multiple times and it’s a winner! I have also used the extra salted caramel for an ice cream topping too. Love this cake.

  2. This is one of my favorite cakes to make. I swap out the caramel for the bourbon caramel from the Guinness Stout Cake recipe from Back from Scratch.

    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your question!

      Just a plain 1 cup of brewed coffee/drip coffee will work perfectly for this recipe. Please note, you’ll want to let the coffee cool before adding it as it could accidentally cook the eggs if added while still hot.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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