You know how old people forget just how old they are? They always seem to lose track of an anniversary or need a few minutes to add up their age. Well chalk me up as a grandma, because I straight-up forgot a birthday- A BLOG BIRTHDAY. My little site turned four years old two weeks ago, and the day came and went with zero thought. Since I’m not one to pass on a celebration, you better believe we’re going to make up for it with today’s brownie batter cake!
If you’ve been following along here for any length of time, you know there’s been small changes, ebb and flow, and lots of big life stuff happening over the four years this site has existed. The truth is we’ve grown a lot together in that time. You watched us build a house, birth two babies, and take this site from a side gig to a full-time job. We won an award together, went on vacations together, and used up probably a million pounds of butter and chocolate.
“Food connects use to our past, our futures, and all the people we bump into along the way.”
This site tends to be a place where I jabber on about my personal life and kitchen mishaps, but I really just appreciate having a space for us to do it together. You’ve written to tell me about your success with a recipe or how a certain flavor reminds you of your childhood. We’ve made cakes for your best friends, your little sisters, and your sick neighbors. Yes, I love the chance to share my stories, but the thing that makes this place continue to feel worthwhile is the fact that you all are sharing your stories back with me. It feels good to know I’m not the only one who gets fired up about muffins or wants to wax poetic about a latticed pie. Food connects us to our past, our futures, and all the people we bump into along the way, but here, it also connects me to you. We’re friends in that way, and I’m increasingly grateful for it.
So thanks for celebrating four years of this site. Thanks for being patient when I screw up an ingredient list or when a technique I swear by completely flops in your kitchen. For sticking with me when I’m writing from a weird space of postpartum hormones or when I talk too much about gross body stuff. And for sharing my enthusiasm for sugar and the people that sit across the table from us. Wood & Spoon was created by me but it’s made it this long because of you. We’re celebrating together here.
Brownie Batter Cake
This brownie batter cake is a fun twist on a chocolate cake. The fluffy chocolate layers get fancified with brownie batter filling and a malted chocolate buttercream that is rich and flavorful. All together, this brownie batter cake is a chocolate lover’s dream, and it’s also a great alternative birthday dessert for the person who just really likes brownies (raises hand!).
The layers for this brownie batter cake comes from my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I love how simple this cake recipe is to make- no butter to soften, no intense mixing process. You could really just make it with a spoon and some elbow grease! The filling is equally simple, made with a smidge of cream cheese, cocoa, and malted chocolate powder. We throw together a few of those same ingredients, along with melted chocolate and tons of butter, for the buttercream, and it’s honestly so good I could eat it with a spoon. 10/10 would recommend you do so. Give this brownie batter cake a make and let me know what you think! It’s been great hanging out with you guys on this site for four years, and I can’t wait to see what is to come.
If you like this brownie batter cake you should try:
Milk Chocolate Chip Cake
Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Almond Toffee Cake
Black and White Cake
Brownie Batter Cake
This brownie batter cake is a chocolate cake with brownie batter filling and a fluffy malted chocolate frosting!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 120
- Yield: 9 Servings
- Category: Dessert
For the cake:
- 2–1/4 cups (315 gm) all-purpose flour
- 2–1/4 cups (450 gm) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (60 gm) dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2–1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1–1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1–1/4 cups (300 gm) buttermilk, room temperature
- 3/4 cups (180 gm) black coffee, hot
- 1/2 cup (120 gm) vegetable oil
- 1–1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
For the brownie batter filling:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons chocolate malt powder (like Chocolate Ovaltine)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Water as needed
For the frosting:
- 1–1/2 cups (340 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups (375 gm) powdered sugar
- ½ cup (55 gm) chocolate malt powder (like chocolate ovaltine)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (90 gm) heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces (190 gm) dark chocolate (I use 70%), chopped, melted, and cooled
To prepare the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and these to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
- Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting. (see notes)
To prepare the brownie filling:
- In a medium bowl combine the first 6 ingredients on medium speed just until combined. Add water a teaspoon at a time until it becomes a thick, brownie batter consistency. Set aside until ready to use.
To prepare the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on low speed for 1 minute until combined. Add the malt powder, vanilla, and salt and stir on low until combined. Add the melted chocolate, increase the speed to medium, and whip for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the whipping cream. Beat on medium-high speed for one minute.
To assemble the cake:
- Use a serrated knife to cut the domes off each cake. Put some of the frosting into a piping bag or plastic bag with the end cut off of it. Place one layer on a cake board or serving platter and pipe a ½” dam or frosting around the perimeter of the cake. Fill it just under the top of the frosting with brownie batter filling and top with an additional layer of cake. Repeat this process once more. Coat the stacked cake with a thin layer of frosting and place in the fridge to set up. Continue frosting as desired and serve!
- I find this cake is easiet to work with when the layers are partially frozen. Wrap the baked and cooled layers in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight or for a few hours. Thaw out for 15 minutes prior to using.
22 thoughts on “Brownie Batter Cake”
I’m about to make this cake for my 2 year old’s birthday, wondering how I would adjust table time if I wanted to use 6” pans?
I was wondering what the malt powder is ? I live in Australia and was so not sure if we get it here ..
You may be able to purchase online! It lends a distinct flavor. 🙂
Hi hi – my cake batter was pretty runny actually. Not really any need to scrape down the sides or the bowl in that 2 minutes of mixing. Do you think I measured wrong or is it supposed to be like that? Thanks! <3 your blog btw!
I made this cake for my sister’s birthday (she loves chocolate) and everyone loved it! The frosting and brownie batter filling were delicious and wonderful paired with the chocolate cake (which is also amazing by itself, it’s definitely my new go-to chocolate cake recipe) Thank you for sharing!
So happy to hear this!!!!
Hi Kate, I only have one round pan.
Should I bake everything and then cut the cake across to get 3 layers or is it better to bake the layers one at a time?
I’d bake one at a time! 🙂
I want to use chocolate ganache for the frosting step. My husband’s request :)) Do you think that will work?
Thank you for your recipes!!!
yes! how are you planning to do it? glaze? whipped? that will make a bit of difference.
This is my first time commenting, and I want to start out by telling you that I adore your blog. I always enjoy reading your posts and gushing over your gorgeous photos and recipes!
I’d been wanting to try this brownie batter cake ever since you first mentioned it sometime last year. I was so happy when you posted the recipe, and I decided to bake it for my grandfather’s birthday (today). As I was baking the cake, I questioned the weight measurements for the cocoa powder. My go-to chocolate cake recipe also calls for 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder, and I always measure that as 82 gm. So 175 gm seemed like a whole lot! But I decided to trust your measurements. We won’t be cutting the cake until this evening, but I did taste some scraps as I was decorating it last night and the chocolate flavor was far more intense than what I’d prefer. Was the 175 gm listed in the recipe a typo?
Hi Kate! I am wanting to bake this in 6″ pans instead of 8″. Could I just put the leftover batter into a cupcake tin and bake? or what would you recommend?
Absolutely! That’s a great idea!
Hi do you need the coffee!?!
Nope, you can sub in water instead. Just gives it extra flavor! Makes the chocolate more choclately
Hello, I have made this once and everyone loved it thank you for the recipe. Just wondering if you can freezer the brownie batter filling and how long? Thanks
I’m sure you can but I Haven’t a clue for how long.
Kate, I am trying to pin this recipe and can’t. I have pinned many of your recipes in the past.
What am I missing? Thanks jk
Hi there! I’m not sure but I’ll look into it!
I can’t wait to try this! Looks amazing!
hooray! I hope you will!