Tuxedo cake is moist chocolate cake filled with rich chocolate mousse and sweet white chocolate filling. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true!
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I operate under the philosophy that cake is an everyday food, because every day is somebody’s birthday. (Have I ever mentioned that I’m able to justify eating pretty much anything at any time?)
And this tuxedo cake is totally worthy of being someone’s birthday cake. OMG. From the moist chocolate cake to the rich dark chocolate mousse to the tangy-sweet white chocolate cream cheese filling, every bite is is decadent beyond your wildest imaginings.
This cake is not quick to make by any stretch. It’s a celebration cake both because it’s totally fancy-pants and dramatic, but also because it will take the better part of a day to make, and who has time for that on a regular basis?
But you can divide the work up over two days if you’d prefer; make the cake layers a day ahead, then make the fillings and frosting and assemble it all on the second day.
Wrap the cake layers well with plastic wrap the night before and you’ll be good to go. You can store them on the counter at room temperature overnight without a problem.
Assembling your tuxedo cake
First make your white chocolate cream cheese filling, your chocolate mousse, and your chocolate buttercream.
- Spread half of the white chocolate mixture over the top of one of your cake layers. Don’t go all the way to the edge—this makes frosting your cake easier because you don’t have to worry about any filling seeping out into the chocolate frosting.
- Pipe two circles of buttercream over the filling around the edge of the cake; this is the dam that will hold the mousse inside. Use a large round tip for this.
- Last, you’ll spread the mousse inside the dam, then refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes so it doesn’t wobble as you finish the assembly.
Be sure to refrigerate the cake again after you’ve added the final cake layer or frosting the cake will be almost impossible. I know—I tried and almost knocked that top layer onto the ground.
And that would have been tragic.
Because this cake? I don’t even have words for how much I love it. Tuxedo cake is my new favorite dessert and I think it will be yours too.
Tools to help you assemble this cake
A small offset spatula is helpful for spreading the white chocolate filling–the small size lets you have more control so you don’t spread it all the way to the edge.
And finally, while the chocolate glaze on top of the cake is OPTIONAL, it makes the cake look really professional. I like to use a plastic squeeze bottle to add glazes to cakes.
To add the glaze: pour the glaze into the bottle (a funnel is helpful). Squeeze a circle of glaze around the edge of the cake, squeezing harder in places to create drips. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth.
For tips on frosting your cake, see this death by chocolate cake–I share my favorite tools and techniques.
How to store your tuxedo cake
Should you happen to have uneaten cake you can store it, covered, in the fridge for about 2 days. (Unlike some cakes, this one must be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese in the white chocolate filling.)
If you can’t eat all the leftovers in two days, this tuxedo cake freezes beautifully.
Slice the cake, set the slices on a baking sheet, then put the baking sheet in the freezer for about half an hour to set the frosting and filling.
Once the frosting has hardened, tightly wrap each slice individually with a few layers of plastic wrap and/or freezer paper. You can store it this way for a couple of months.
Did you make this tuxedo cake? AWESOME! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Instagram too! Tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see! Then like IBK on Facebook and follow on Pinterest for more fun and decadent recipes.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups warm coffee or substitute flat cola
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup heavy cream divided and very cold
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment, spray the parchment with more cooking spray, and set pans aside.
Combine the sugar, butter, and oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then slowly add the coffee (or flat cola) until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the cakes spring back when touched gently with your fingertip.
Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes then invert cakes onto the rack and peel off parchment paper. Let cake cool completely before proceeding. (Once cooled you can wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place 1/2 cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and bring cream to a simmer. Do not allow to boil. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes. Add the corn syrup then whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Let stand at room temperature until cool but not firm, about 30 minutes.
Place sugar and the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy cream in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set to high speed until the cream holds soft peaks. Stir one quarter of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula until combined. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream.
Microwave white chocolate at 50% power in 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow to cool for several minutes.
Beat cream cheese and butter together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in melted white chocolate until combined. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on low speed until combined. Turn mixer to high and beat until very fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until very smooth and creamy. Turn mixer to low and beat in cocoa powder, then gradually beat in 4 cups of powdered sugar. Beat 1 to 2 minutes more. Add 3 tablespoons of milk, vanilla, espresso powder (if using), and salt and beat to combine. Turn mixer to medium and beat until frosting is smooth. Add additional powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or additional milk if it is too thick.
Trim the tops of the cake layers so they’re even—a long serrated knife is your best choice of utensil here. Place 1 cake layer on a cake circle. Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill the bag with about 1 cup of frosting.
Spread half of the white chocolate filling over the top of the cake—don’t go all the way to the edge of the cake. Pipe two lines of frosting around the edge of the cake. (This is the dam that will hold your mousse inside the cake.) Place a little less than half of the chocolate mousse on top of the white chocolate filling. You want enough to fill in the dam but not so much to overflow. Make sure the mousse reaches the edge of the buttercream, then smooth the top of the mousse. Refrigerate cake layer for 20 minutes.
Repeat the filling instructions from the previous layer. You may not be able to use all of the mousse; keep the remainder as a well-deserved treat. Again refrigerate cake for 20 minutes.
Top with the remaining cake layer and. Frost cake with chocolate buttercream, then refrigerate the cake while you make the glaze.
Place the chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl. Heat the glaze in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to steam. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until mixture is smooth.
Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes (until it’s thick but still pourable) then pour over the frosted cake.
Alternatively, you can pour the glaze into a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze a circle of glaze around the edge of the cake. Squeeze a little more glaze out in some places to create drips. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and smooth the top.
Refrigerate to set the glaze then slice and serve.
- Because this cake requires so many steps I strongly encourage you to read through the recipe at least once before getting started baking.
- The chocolate glaze is optional.
- If you opt not to add the glaze, try serving the cake with some hot fudge sauce for extra decadence.
- I used white chocolate chips to garnish the cake; this is also optional.
- Uneaten cake can be stored in the fridge (covered) for up to 2 days or in the freezer (tightly wrapped) for up to 2 months.
Cake layers adapted from The New Best of Betterbaking.com
Mousse and glaze adapted from The Model Bakery Cookbook