Desserts

Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake

What better way to celebrate love and sweetness than with a Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake? Ultra-rich, decadent, with a fudgy center that gets a boozy kick of Kahlua. If you’re on the lookout for a show-stopping treat to woo your loved ones, this indulgent dessert is perfect for any romantic occasion.

For all you chocoholics out there, prepare to be blissed out! 🤎❤️

Valentine’s Day may be all kissy-smoochie, filled with balloons, flowers, sweets, and doting over the ones we love. Don’t get me wrong, I totally support it, but my true love on Valentine’s is chocolate! And my hubby has no problem with that! Hee hee.

So, I can’t take all the credit in my attempt to create something a little different and elegant. The recipe, yes, the idea, however, I found from the internet..of course. This heart cake is easy & and elegant; I promise!

It may look like work, but crafting this confection is easier than you might think. The truffle takes literally 5 minutes to make, and you can make the cake in advance. Every bite is rich and velvety chocolate heaven!

Think of this cake as the foundation to let your creativity go wild- Decorate with berries, frosting, sprinkles…or all of the above!
Whether surprising your significant other, treating your family, or impressing your friends, this cake is sure to make hearts skip a beat. ❤️

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Ingredients for chocolate truffle heart cakes

All-purpose flour ~ make sure to measure the flour by spooning it versus scooping it into the measuring cup. This ensures too much flour gets packed in the cup that you would have more flour than the recipe calls for.

Unsweetened cocoa powder ~ I use Hershey’s dark cocoa. Use a good quality whatever you use! Some off-brands cannot be as flavorful.

Eggs ~ for texture and richness, and of course, help bind everything together.

Coconut oil ~ adds great moisture and is a healthier oil. The Crisco brand makes a tasteless and odorless one if you’re not a coconut fan. But you can’t taste any trace of coconut. You can substitute avocado oil or any clear oil you prefer.

Buttermilk ~ give the cake a soft and tender crumb. You can substitute sour cream; however, you’ll want to thin it out a little. For each cup of buttermilk needed, use 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup liquid..

Coffee ~ enhances the chocolate without adding a coffee flavor.

Sugar ~ plain old white sugar. I have not tried this recipe with sugar substitutes.

Decorations ~ frosting, strawberries, edible flowers, pink and white M&M’s, sprinkles. Go crazy, or keep it simple.

Ganache Filling

Chocolate chips ~ I use 60% cocoa, but you can use semi-sweet. I also use dark chocolate bars. Trader Joe’s has a large brick of 72% cocoa. It’s great for baking.

Heavy whipping cream ~ the higher the fat content, the richer and creamier the ganache will be. I have used half and half with great results, just not as silky.

Baily’s liqueur~ is optional, but it takes this cake to a whole new level! You can also substitute any cream liqueur.

How To Make A Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake

Here is a quick run-through. Scroll down for a printable recipe card with complete instructions and ingredients.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk together.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil, coffee, Kahlua, and vanilla; whisk or beat on low with an electric mixer until well mixed. Slowly add the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it. Cool completely. Cut a small heart in the center of the cake no deeper than an inch deep.
  4. Make truffle ganache filling. Heat the heavy cream in a heat-proof microwave measuring cup.
  5. Pour the hot milk over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well. Let the ganache cool until it thickens to a spreadable consistency.
  6. Fill the cake with the ganache, smooth it, and place it in the fridge to chill. Decorate using frosting, berries, or sprinkles.
instructions on how to cut a chocolate truffle heart cakes
Filling the chocolate truffle heart cakes

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a heart-shaped pan; what else can I use?

No problem. You can use a square 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan or an 8 or 9-inch round pan. You can make a heart cake by using wax paper to cut out a heart, lay it over the cooled and chilled cake, cut, and voila!

Do I have to use buttermilk?

I hear ya on this one. Unless you use buttermilk often, it seems a waste to buy it and only use 1 cup. ( Tip. buttermilk freezes beautifully) You can substitute sour cream; however, you’ll want to thin it out a little. For each cup of buttermilk needed, use 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup liquid.

Why does my cake rise in the center? AKA Doming

Great question! I learned a great tip years ago. Take an old kitchen towel and cut it into long strips. (long enough to wrap around the cake pan) If it is a thin towel, double the layer. Soak it, and squeeze out the excess. Wrap it around the pan and secure it with a safety pin. Magic!

Make The Cake Ahead!

For the cake

  • Prepare the cake following the recipe instructions provided. Cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Cake can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. If freezing for a long period, I always wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and then foil.
  • Thaw in refrigerator or at room temperature. Note – you can decorate a frozen cake!

Truffle filling

  • Make the ganache as directed and cool, and place it in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 weeks, or freeze up to for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, allow the ganache to soften or defrost at room temperature. To Remelt: Scoop the ganache into a proof bowl and set over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water. Turn heat on low and let simmer until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.
Close up of a piece of chocolate truffle heart cakes
Print
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Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 45 minutes ( does not include decorating time)
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

What better way to celebrate love and sweetness than with a Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake? Ultra-rich, decadent, with a fudgy center that gets a boozy kick of Kahlua. If you’re on the lookout for a show-stopping treat to woo your loved ones, this indulgent dessert is perfect for any romantic occasion.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup.
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder. Use a high-quality cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Truffle filling

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces of good quality dark chocolate. (chocolate chips or chocolate brick bar)
  • 3 tablespoons of Bailey’s liqueur or other liquor you prefer. Rum, whiskey, or kahlua

Buttercream frosting ( if using)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream ( half and half or milk ok)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Instructions

For the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a heart-shaped cake pan. (if using another size pan, please refer to the FAQ’s above)
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil, coffee, Baily’s, and vanilla; whisk or beat on low with an electric mixer until well mixed. Slowly add the wet ingredients. Don’t worry if it looks thin; this is what gives the cake its moist and tender crumb.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, spreading it evenly. Tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the truffle filling.

For the truffle filling

  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat only until you see tiny bubbles around the edges. DO NOT BOIL. 
  2. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, ensuring the chocolate is submerged. Let sit covered for about 5 minutes, then stir or whisk until smooth.  
  3. Add the bailey’s and stir to mix well. Set aside.

Buttercream frosting (if using)

  1. Add softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment.

Cut out, fill, and decorate

  1. Once the cake has cooled, it’s time for the fun part. If the top of the cake is uneven, simply remove a very thin layer all the way across the top. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut out a heart in the center (see image above). Only go about an inch deep, as you will be filling it with the ganache. This also depends on what pan you used, in other words, how thick the cake is. 
  2. Don’t forget to save the scraps for snacking!
  3. Drizzle your favorite liqueur or coffee.Fill the cake with the ganache. It should be level with the cake. If your cake has thickened, you will need to remelt it. To do this, Scoop the ganache into a proof bowl and set it over a saucepan filled with about an inch of water. Turn heat on low and let simmer until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.
  4. From this point, you can refrigerate and decorate 
  5. Decorate to your heart’s desire
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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