Chocolate Shadow Cake

chocolate shadow cake

Jacob Snavely / Photolibrary

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
374 Calories
14g Fat
57g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 374
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 6g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate cake is a layer cake with fluffy white frosting and a thin, chocolate glaze. The chocolate glaze is drizzled over the white frosting to create the "shadow" in the recipe name. In terms of both taste and visual display, this cake is a showstopper.


  • For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup butter (room temperature) 
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour (sifted)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:
  • 2 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons shortening

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two (9-inch) round cake pans and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

  4. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk into the butter-sugar mixture, combining well. Beat 2 minutes at low speed of electric hand-held mixer. Add eggs, and vanilla, and beat an additional 3 minutes.

  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the Fluffy White Frosting

  1. Combine 2 egg whites, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and light corn syrup in the top of a double boiler set over rapidly simmering water.

  2. Beat with an electric mixer for about 7 minutes, or until mixture will stand in stiff peaks. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and set aside.

Make the Chocolate Shadow Glaze

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and shortening together 30 seconds at a time, mixing until smooth.

  2. Cool slightly and set aside.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Fill cake layers with frosting, then frost the sides and top of the cake.

  2. Drizzle the chocolate shadow glaze over the frosting, allowing some of the chocolate mixture to run down the sides of the cake.