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Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake

Yep, I’m baking again! I have a good excuse this time and it’s not just to eat the goodies. It was my mother-in-law’s birthday this weekend and I just had to make her “my special birthday cake”. I’m a big believer that everyone should have cake on their birthday. Adults get my special “Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake” and my kids get a homemade cake of their choice. My 7 year old asked for a Justin Bieber cake or a puppy cake this year, and since I can’t let her get caught up in “Bieber-fever” this early, she got an adorable puppy cake!

So, back to the reason for this post – the Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake!  I have been making this cake for family members (and friends!) for over 15 years and this is the first time I’m sharing it!  It’s so easy to make but so sinfully delicious that people ask for it year after year. And don’t get me wrong, this is NOT just a birthday cake. This is a cake for anytime or anywhere! No matter what the holiday, occasion or just ordinary day, you can fit in this cake. I’m sure you gathered from the name of the cake that it’s all chocolate!  If you are a chocolate-lover (and if you aren’t I’m not sure we can be friends!), you will love this cake. It will satisfy any chocolate fix you have. It’s chocolate cake, brownie, chocolate frosting and chocolate chips all combined to make a masterpiece!

Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake




  • Chocolate Cake Mix (any chocolate flavor)
  • Brownie Mix (13×9 Family Size)
  • 2 cans of chocolate frosting (any chocolate flavor – dark, milk, fudge…etc)
  • 5 eggs (for the cake and brownie mix)
  • Veg oil (for the mixes)
  • One 12oz package of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Two (or three) 8″ round pans

Make the Cake & the Brownie:

1. Make the chocolate cake according to the box. Pour batter evenly into two lightly greased 8″ round pans and bake at 350 degrees for 32-37 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.

2. Make the brownie mix according to the package. Pour entire brownie batter into one (1) lightly greased 8″ round pan. Make sure the brownie pan is the same size as the cake pans that you used!  Bake the brownie at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes. Watch the brownies carefully as not to overcook them but make sure they aren’t completely doughy in the center.Cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely. I found it was easiest to remove the brownie carefully using a wide spatula underneath.

Assemble the Cake:

3. Pick the plate you want the cake to be displayed on and start with one (1) cake layer. Frost the top of the cake layer with about 1/3 of one of the frosting containers. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on that layer. (Note: Any chopped up candy – Reese’s, M&Ms, Heath Bits etc can be substituted for the chocolate chips to add another flavor!) Carefully place the brownie layer on top of the cake layer.

4. Frost the top of the brownie layer with about 1/3 of one of the frosting containers. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on that layer. Carefully place the 2nd cake layer on top of the brownie layer. Carefully frost the top of the cake with the remaining 1/3 of the frosting container.

5. Spread the entire 2nd container of frosting on the sides and top of the cake. BEFORE THE FROSTING SETS, you need to apply the chocolate chips to the outside. Take a handful of chocolate chips at a time and firmly press against the side of the cake until most of the chips stick. Some chips will fall to the plate and you will use those to fill in the holes.

6. Repeat this process around the entire cake. Take the fallen chips and the chips that you have left and fill in the holes and sprinkle on top.

7. That’s it!  You will be the hit of the birthday, holiday or occasion!!  Enjoy! Look at the inside brownie layer!!!  To Die For!!!

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  1. Can you make this sugarfree? has anyone tried it? I know they now have sugarfree everything! But i dont know how it will taste!

  2. Just saw this on Pinterest and HAD to come check it out. Looks insane. I am not sure when I will be able to make this (a pretty serious diet started this week) but I will have to dream up a special occasion soon. Unless you want to mail some to me…?

  3. Just made your cake for my family. 18 people were here for my hubby’s birthday and everyone loved it. I even have half a cake left over because it is so filling, one small piece is all we could do. Thanks for sharing your idea. I saw it on pinterest. I will have to try some of your other posts!

  4. When I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it! Thanks for sharing it! Just made it for a get-together tonight. No doubt, it will go over with all the chocolate-lovers there! I did have to bake the brownie layer longer, probably about 40-45 minutes before the center was done. And not being a fan of ready-made frosting, I made chocolate buttercream frosting, and it took 3 batches of the recipe to cover the cake. Wow! Can’t wait to try this cake!!

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  6. I love chocolate cakes… Thanks for sharing them …very informative…hope i would not gain sooo much pounds for eating sweets, LOL!!!

  7. Just made this cake tonight. I too had to bake the brownies for about 40 minutes; I think it might be because I chose fudgy ones, rather than cake-like ones. Amazing recipe!

  8. I saw this on Pinterest and repinned! Looks absolutely delicious!

    Am so making this next family get together! 🙂

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  10. Made this cake last night to celebrate my fiances birthday tonight…have yet to try it but looks amazing. I used chopped up Reese cups instead of chocolate chips to add another flavor other than rue chocolate. Will let you know how it goes over with everyone!

  11. Suggestion: Try chocolate fudge pudding for the filling – use half the milk in directions to make it firmer to spread – and, of course, keep the chocolate chips. You can even bake the cake with the chocolate chips in it – sometimes, they will fall to the bottom of the cake pa. Makes entire cake more moist and more chocolatey.

  12. Not sure how you can call a boxed cake with canned frosting homemade. Far from it! Try making your own frosting and at the very least adding to the mixes and this would actually be a good idea.

  13. Will definitely be making this. Can think of 2 ideas I want to try – Mocha: espresso powder in cake mix; and using germ. choc. cake frosting (coconut & pecans) in between layers instead of choc frosting. Oh, a 3rd: touch of cayenne, cinnamon, and marmalade (Mexican) Yep, I’m drooling. Make some strong coffee to sip w/ it 🙂

  14. Have you ever combined the brownie and cake mix in a 9×13?? What were the results? I am trying to make a thicker cake, I would double the boxes of cake mix but at the moment I .ony have a box of brownies to go with the box of cake mix. Any suggestions?

    1. I don’t think it would work in the same pan because brownies and cake cook differently. They don’t stay in the oven for the same amount of time so I would worry that one would be overcooked or undercooked.

  15. Made this tonight but I had a terrible time trying to get the brownie out of the pan. I had to take it out in pieces, smash, flatten and rearrange the brownie layer by hand (not to worry, they were freshly washed hands!) It looks good though! Will be eating it at work tomorrow for a friends birthday!

  16. My daughter and I actually made TWO of these at one time – having never tried them. They were amazing. Now, I will say we deviated in three ways: 1) we added pudding to the cake mixes to make them even more moist and flavorful…chocolate pudding of course. The big deviations were, 2) we were instructed by the Head Cook that cream cheese filling was the way to intensify the taste between layers; 3) we were also severely instructed that butter cream icing is the only choice for icing a cake….again, chocolate of course. HOLY COW! The cakes, being used for my wife’s (Head Cook) 40th birthday, were a huge hit and they were absolutely wonderful! Because we only had one oven and essentially only four pans, it took nearly 5 hrs start to finish for six pans of cakes and brownies, cool down (some frig help) included. Totally worth the time!

  17. I made this cake for a church pot luck it was so rich and wonderful however I used a red velvet cake mix (which is just chocolate cake with red food coloring) it looked as good as it tasted. I also cheated, I used triple chocolate fudge frosting.

  18. I made this last night and it was freakin’ awesome. I couldn’t stop eating it. My kids almost lost their minds when they realized the middle layer was brownies. You are a genius. You should be awarded a medal. It’s too easy to make though and for that reason my entire family will likely be in a sugar coma in a few days 🙂 Thank you!

  19. This would be a great cake completely homemade :). I’m going to try it, I usually make my cakes and icing from scratch so I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this one….might have to make my own bday cake lol.

  20. Just made this last night for my co-workers b-day, I used chocolate whipped cream frosting, & it looks so yummy. Can’t wait to cut into it after lunch!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  21. I pinned this recipe a while ago and didn’t have an occasion to make it… My son’s birthday is tonight and I am sooo excited to finally try it. Unlike the other comments… I plan on doing this with all of the mixes (this will be his third cake in three days!) Can’t wait to bite in!

  22. I made this but I used chocolate chip cookie dough for the center layer. Used a milk chocolate frosting for the exterior and a special dark flavored frosting on the insides. Wonderful!

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