Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This year’s birthday cake was this beauty of a chocolate chip three-layered cake. Some of the best cakes with the most moist and soft crumbs come from a boxed cake mix as the base. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!



Chocolate Chip Cake

  • vegetable oil spray, for misting pans
  • flour, for dusting pans
  • 1 package plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 package, 1-3/4 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • milk, if needed for thinning


  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans or three 6-inch round cake pans. Spray pans lightly with nonstick cooking spray, then dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set pans aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Beat on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until completely combined, 1-1/2 minutes.
  3. Fold in 1-1/2 cups of the chocolate chips, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for garnish. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.
  4. Place the pans next to each other in the oven. Bake for 33-37 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let cake cool for about 10 minutes inside the pans. Run a knife around the edge of each cake pan and remove cake layers from pans to cool completely on the wire rack, about 30 minutes longer.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, a little at a time, and continue mixing on low speed until all of the sugar is added. Add in the vanilla. Increase mixer to medium and beat until fluffy, splashing in some milk if needed to reach desired consistency.
  7. Assembly: To assemble the cake, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Spread the top of the cake with a generous amount of chocolate cream cheese frosting. Repeat with other layers. Frost the top and sides of each cake, working with clean and smooth strokes.
  8. Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the top of the cake, lightly pushing if needed to allow the chocolate chips to stick.
  9. Store this cake in a cake saver or loosely covered plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to one week.



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