Tuxedo Cake

Tuxedo Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Cool and Chill: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1086 Calories
56g Fat
141g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 1086
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 56g 72%
Saturated Fat 28g 138%
Cholesterol 137mg 46%
Sodium 575mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 141g 51%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 108g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 202mg 16%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 185mg 4%
*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.)

There are several different versions of tuxedo cake, but they all have a few things in common: they tend to be towering, impressive desserts that are a delicious mix of chocolate and vanilla. The dark chocolate and white vanilla mimic the elegant colors of a tuxedo.

This recipe features layers of black and white cake and chocolate and vanilla frosting for a delicious and sophisticated dessert. While it may sound complex, we make it easy by using boxed cake mix. Sandwiched with blankets of vanilla and chocolate frosting and topped with a decadent layer of chocolate ganache, this tuxedo cake is certainly ready for a black tie affair.

Ingredients

For the White Cake Layers:

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) box white cake mix

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 egg whites

For the Chocolate Cake Layers:

  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) box devil’s food cake mix

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 eggs

For the Buttercream:

  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar, divided

  • 1 pound (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened, divided

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

  • 2 tablespoons milk, divided

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

  • White chocolate, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cakes

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 4 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.

    Tuxedo Cake ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Prepare the white cake layers. In a large mixing bowl, combine the white cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

    White cake layer ingredients in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Divide the white cake batter into two of the prepared cake pans. Bake for 26 to 31 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    White cake mix divided between two cake pans
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely before assembling the cake.

    White cake layers cooling on a rack
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Prepare the chocolate cake layers. In a large mixing bowl, combine the devil’s food cake mix, water, oil, and eggs until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

    Chocolate cake mix ingredients in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Divide the chocolate cake batter into two of the prepared cake pans. Bake for 26 to 31 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Chocolate cake mix divided between two baking pans
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely before assembling the cake.

    Chocolate cake layers cooling on a rack
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Frosting and Assemble

  1. Make the buttercream. In a large mixing bowl fitted with a wire whisk, combine 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup of the butter, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.

    Ingredients for tuxedo cake frosting

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Beat well to combine. Add the milk 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired spreadable consistency is achieved. Remove 1/3 of the white buttercream frosting to a bowl.

  3. To the remaining 2/3 still in the mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder. Beat well to combine. Set aside.

  4. In another large mixing bowl, fitted with a wire whisk, combine the remaining 4 cups of powdered sugar, remaining 1 cup of butter, and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat well to combine. Add the milk, one teaspoon at a time, until the desired spreadable consistency is achieved.

  5. Using a serrated knife, cut the rounded top off of the cakes to make a level surface.

  6. Place one of the chocolate layers down on a cake stand or serving platter. Top with half of the chocolate buttercream.

    Spreading chocolate frosting on a layer of chocolate cake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Stack one of the white cake layers on top. Frost with about 1/4 of the white buttercream.

    White cake layer with vanilla frosting on top

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Place the other chocolate cake layer on top. Frost with the remaining chocolate buttercream.

    Chocolate layer frosted with chocolate buttercream

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  9. Place the last white layer on top. Frost the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining white buttercream. Refrigerate until the buttercream is set, at least an hour.

    White cake layer with vanilla frosting on top

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Decorate the Cake

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the semisweet chocolate and whipping cream. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.

    Ganache ingredients in a pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Pour the ganache mixture on top of the chilled cake and allow it to drip down the sides of the cake.

    Ganache poured over the top of the cake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Decorate the top of the cake with grated white chocolate or white chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Tuxedo Cake decorated with shave white chocolate

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Slice and serve.

    Sliced tuxedo Cake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

How to Store

  • The decorated cake should be stored in the fridge. If storing for longer than a few hours, cover it with plastic wrap. The cake is best eaten fresh, but leftovers will keep for a few days before drying out.
  • You can make the cakes ahead of time. Bake and completely cool them before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap. Decorate and serve within a day or two or freeze for longer storage.

Why Is It Called Tuxedo Cake?

Tuxedo cake is so named because the dark chocolate and vanilla layers make it look like a black and white tuxedo. It also happens to be attractive enough to serve at a black tie event.