Hot Chocolate Dream Cake

Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 50 mins
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Rich and luscious, this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake tastes just like a steaming mug of your favorite cold weather beverage. It’s the ultimate chocolate layer cake and a pinch of cinnamon in the frosting gives it an extra pop of flavor.

Hot Chocolate Dream Cake!
Hot Chocolate Dream Cake!

Jorge and I kicked off a 10 day Christmas “Stay-cation” on Friday and we are both so excited. We kicked off the weekend by doing a whole lot of nothing. I baked, we caught up on some TV shows and played with the girls.

We didn’t really take a full vacation this year and just had a few long weekends here and there. So he had some time off saved up that would expire and I decided to mostly check out for the rest of the year.

Hot Chocolate Dream Cake!

Rich & Luscious Chocolate Layer Cake

However, this time of year still means baking for me. I love to cook and bake and find it soothing, but this time of year I go into over time. I think my Mom is trying to force me to slow down and enjoy Christmas…since she informed me she has already purchased all our desserts for Christmas.

Sure, I still get to make the turkey and all the sides, but dessert is officially off my list. (We don’t need 4 pies for 6 adults!) So I decided to go ahead and bake for our neighbors and friends. First up? These outrageous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. And then I made this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake.

Hot Chocolate Dream Cake!

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I used my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe that has been featured on many dream cakes. I have tried many different chocolate cake recipes over the years and I haven’t found a single one that comes close to beating it.

For the icing, I did a Chocolate Buttercream with a little cinnamon. I also added a little cayenne pepper to give it a slight bit of heat to the frosting. If you like Mexican Hot Chocolate, add the cayenne to your frosting.

This frosting recipe uses a little shortening — yes, you can sub it for butter — but I really recommend you use the shortening instead. It is still mostly all butter, but the shortening gives it better texture like from a bakery and I promise you won’t be able to taste a difference! If you do decide to use all butter, you will need to add a little milk (like a tablespoon or two) to the frosting.

Hope you enjoy this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake as much as we all did!

Yield: 8 servings

Hot Chocolate Dream Cake

Slice of Hot Chocolate Dream Cake with Snowmen marshmallows and a cup of hot chocolate

Rich and luscious, this Hot Chocolate Dream Cake tastes just like a steaming mug of your favorite cold weather beverage. It's the ultimate chocolate layer cake and a pinch of cinnamon in the frosting gives it an extra pop of flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored crisco shortening (or an additional 1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  4. Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don’t cook) into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch – then frost.
  7. Cream butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
  8. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed. When all sugar has been mixed in, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  9. Assemble the two cake layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Frost cake as desired.
  10. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. (With no milk in the frosting, it does not need to be stored in the refrigerator.)


recipe note: for a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to frosting.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 642mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 3gSugar: 75gProtein: 5g


NOTE: The adorable Snowman Marshmallows came from Williams Sonoma. 

Hot Chocolate Dream Cake!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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17 Responses
  1. Amanda

    You should temper the eggs; pour a small bit of the hot liquid into a bowl of eggs and mix it, then pour that back into the whole liquid mixture, that brings the eggs up to temp. Also if you cook the water and sugar to less then a boil it would still melt the chocolate and butter and have even less chance of cooking the eggs

  2. Zerlinda

    I don’t love chocolate- but I LOVE this cake. I have shared this recipe with others, it would be a shame to hoard this delicious recipe! I want to bake this cake every week! 

  3. Bluehoneybakery

    Can I use All porpose self – rising flour with this recipes. if so i know its 1/2 teasppon of baking powder to a cup of flour in self rising flour. Your recpice call for two teasppon so i just make up the difference.

  4. Liesl Struwig

    I made the vanilla dream cake and it is lovely and moist, can’t wait to try the chocolate. However I was wondering whether I could reduce the amount of sugar, would this have any impact on the cake besides cutting down on sweetness?

  5. Emily

    Hi Jess! Just wanted to thank you for your vanilla dream cake recipe- I made it the other day and my family went crazy! Bar none the best cake I’ve ever made- and I have made a lot of cakes!! I just made this chocolate dream cake – haven’t tried it yet (about to frost it now..) – will comment on it later!! Thanks again, you rock!!! 

  6. Deb

    I’m going to try this for Mother’s Day 
    Only problem is I only have one 7″ deep cake pan

    Would it work to put all the batter in one much deeper pan? 

    Assuming I’d need to extend the time considerably 

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Deb, Yes you could make it in a deeper pan, however I can not guarantee how it will turn out. You would need to extend the baking time. 

      If you do not have standard 8 inch cake pans, I would recommend making it in a 9×13 casserole dish instead. 

  7. Sharon

    Made this over the weekend. Consider myself quite the baker, yet my whole family said this is the best cake I have ever baked! What a compliment. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Suzanne

    So this recipe caught my eye specifically because of the addition of instructions for a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake- yes I will be making, so thanks for the recipe! It reminds me of spicy mocha coffee drink!

  9. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    Mmm this cake does look like a dream… love the hot chocolate flavor! And the way you decorated it is just so cute. Perfect addition to all that holiday baking! :)

  10. Caitlin

    If I were to use the chocolate cake recipe for cupcakes… How many would I have (18-24)? How long do I bake them for? Should I fill the liners 2/3 full or a specific amount? How long should I let them cool in the pan before transferring to a wire rack?
    Thanks :)!! Love your dream cakes!!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      It would make about 24 cupcakes and I would fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full. I would let them cool in the pan. Hope this helps! :-)

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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