This Chocolate Chip Cake with Buttercream is a stunning 3-layer cake packed with double the chocolate chips (that never sink to the bottom!). It’s a deliciously moist chocolate chip cake recipe your whole family will love.
One of my favorite family traditions is our annual Back-to-School dinner. I always make something special to celebrate the new school year. This year was no exception.
I remember being a kid and my mom buying us chocolate chip cake from a little lunch place in my hometown. I loved this cake. Which is why I needed to recreate this cake from my childhood for my children.
With one little trick to prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom, this has become the best cake recipe ever.
To make this easy cake recipe, you will need ingredients for the three chocolate chip cake layers, the buttercream and the simple syrup.
For the cake layers, gather together unsalted butter, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, milk and mini chocolate chips.
For the chocolate chip buttercream, you will need unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, heavy cream and (more!) mini chocolate chips.
And to make the simple syrup, you simply need equal parts sugar and water.
Chocolate Chips. These are the star of the show, after all. I prefer mini chocolate chips rather than regular size morsels or chunks. The smaller chips allow for greater distribution of chocolate goodness throughout the cake batter and buttercream.
How To Prevent the Chocolate Chips From Sinking To The Bottom
One simple trick – toss 2 Tablespoons of the flour with the mini chocolate chips in a small bowl, then mix into the cake batter.
The dry coating on the chocolate chips ensures they will stick to the cake batter and remain suspended during baking.
How To Get Flat Cake Layers
My secret – Bake Even Strips. You get them wet, wrap them around your cake pans and put them in the oven.
I like to put my cake pans on a baking sheet, but it is just because it is easier to get them in and out of the oven. The strips do not burn and it works every time.
I have also done it with strips of old towels. Same thing – get them really wet and tie them around the pans. Bake as normal.
How To Make From Scratch // The Steps
This yellow cake mix with chocolate chips and buttercream is baked, iced and assembled in a few easy steps. Simply:
Bake The Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 3 (8-inch) cake pans with parchment and spray with baking spray.
- Cream butter and sugar. Until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a bowl, whisk flour (take out 2 tablespoons and put in a small bowl to toss with mini chocolate chips), salt and baking powder.
- Add the eggs. One at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla.
- Alternate with flour and milk. Add one-third of the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, being careful to not overmix.
- Toss the chocolate chips in flour. Toss the mini chips in the reserved flour and fold into the batter by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl one last time.
- Bake! Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
Whip The Buttercream
- Beat the butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer until pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
- Add sugar and flavorings. Add half of the sugar and beat until well incorporated, then add the remaining sugar, vanilla and salt.
- Finish with heavy cream and chocolate chips. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about another 3-4 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.
Prepare the Simple Syrup
- Bring sugar and water to a boil. In a small saucepan over high heat. Turn off heat and let cool completely.
Assemble the Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
- Brush each layer generously with simple syrup.
- Assemble the 3 layers. Dab about a tablespoon of buttercream on the platter or cake board that you are going to be decorating your cake on. Add the first layer of cake and center on the board. Spread an even layer of buttercream over the layer and add the second cake layer. Repeat with the third layer.
- Decorate! Ice the sides and top of the cake with remaining buttercream. Add more chips and flowers for decorations, if desired.
What Makes This Chocolate Chip Cake So Good?
- It’s the perfect balance of vanilla cake mix and chocolate chips.
- Tossing the chocolate chips with the flour ensures flecks of chocolate throughout the batter.
- Brushing the cake layers with simple syrup keeps the cake moist. A fun, little bakery trick!
How To Serve
This wonderfully moist layer cake can be served for any special occasion!
I love to bake it for my kids’ birthdays, but it makes a beautiful presentation for holidays and dinner parties, too.
More Chocolate Chip Cake Recipes //
Originally published in May 2010, updated May 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.
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