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slice of tuxedo cake on a plate with the rest of the cake in the background

Tuxedo Cake

From the chocolate cake to the chocolate filling to the chocolate buttercream, this cake is a chocolate lover's dream come true!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Cooling time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 38 minutes
Servings 12
Author Kelsie


Chocolate cake

  • 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

Chocolate mousse

  • 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

White chocolate filling

  • 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

Chocolate frosting

  • 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

Chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped


Chocolate cake

  1. 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.
  2. Combine the sugar, butter, and oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

Chocolate mousse

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

White chocolate filling

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Chocolate frosting

  1. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Top with the remaining cake layer and. Frost cake with chocolate buttercream, then refrigerate the cake while you make the glaze.


  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.